Saturday, April 6, 2013

Review: After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall

Title:  After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall
Author:  Nancy Kress
Rating:  1/5


The year is 2035. After ecological disasters nearly destroyed the Earth, 26 survivors—the last of humanity—are trapped by an alien race in a sterile enclosure known as the Shell. Fifteen-year-old Pete is one of the Six—children who were born deformed or sterile and raised in the Shell. As, one by one, the survivors grow sick and die, Pete and the Six struggle to put aside their anger at the alien Tesslies in order to find the means to rebuild the earth together. Their only hope lies within brief time-portals into the recent past, where they bring back children to replenish their disappearing gene pool. 

Meanwhile, in 2013, brilliant mathematician Julie Kahn works with the FBI to solve a series of inexplicable kidnappings. Suddenly her predictive algorithms begin to reveal more than just criminal activity. As she begins to realize her role in the impending catastrophe, simultaneously affecting the Earth and the Shell, Julie closes in on the truth. She and Pete are converging in time upon the future of humanity—a future which might never unfold. Weaving three consecutive time lines to unravel both the mystery of the Earth's destruction and the key to its salvation, this taut adventure offers a topical message with a satisfying twist.


Let me start by saying I didn't even finish this book.  I got about halfway through before I couldn't take it anymore.

Usually I like the dystopian genre, and the concept wasn't that bad.  The story line was really hard to follow however, and the book just never seemed to be progressing.  After a while I was done.  Maybe some day I'll try again, but for now I just don't see anything good about it.

Recommended to... I have no idea, if you're bored and can follow it?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review: Freak of Nature

Title:  Freak of Nature
Author:  Julia Crane
Series:  IFICS [1]
Rating:  3.5/5


Donate Body to Science. Check.
When seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn checked the box, she never suspected she’d have her life–and her body–stolen from her. She awakens one day in a secret laboratory to discover that her body is now half-robot and is forced to hide her own secret: that she still has human emotions and a human mind. If the scientists who made her find out, they’ll erase what remains of who she was.

Kaitlyn finds an unlikely ally in Lucas, a handsome, brilliant scientist who can’t get over the guilt he feels knowing she was once a vibrant, beautiful young woman. He never expected a science project to affect him the way she does. As he tries to help her rediscover her past, he finds himself falling for the brave girl struggling to find her place and acceptance between the human and computer worlds.



I think I'm overly harsh with my numerical rating of this book, but there were enough points I didn't like enough to bring down my like of the story.

What I didn't like:

  • Mistakes in the ebook format - this is a simple thing like a missing quotation mark at the beginning of a speech passage, but it drives me crazy.
  • The little robots - the first one at the end of the chapter was cute, then they became annoying, like I was reading a book meant for 8-year-olds
  • Lucas - I hate him as much as I like him.  I hate that Kaitlyn sees him as this perfect guy when he's just as horrible as the rest of IFICS
  • Random sex - Really?  I thought this was supposed to be a ya book, and after getting her memories back how does that translate to I need to have sex now.
  • How it ended - Tied up every loose end so quick and yet it's book one of a series?
What I did like:
  • The storyline - enough that I finished reading despite my list of things I didn't like, and enough that I plan to read more by the author
  • Quess - she interjects some humanity into this story!
  • Action scenes - especially the paintball fight (but I would have liked more detail there)
  • Kaitlyn - I'm glad it's from her point of view and we could see how she felt about everything.
Overall could have been done far better, but not bad.

Recommended to those who like young adult, slightly scifi books and doesn't mind loose character personalities.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: Define Normal

Title:  Define Normal
Author:  Julie Anne Peters
Rating:  4.5/5


Now in its fourth hardcover printing, Define "Normal" has become a word-of-mouth phenomenon. This is a thoughtful, wry story about two girls--a "punk" and a "priss"--who find themselves facing each other in a peer-counseling program, and discover that they have some surprising things in common.


I really liked this book.  Because I have read other books by this author before I spent a vast majority of the book wondering when the two main characters would get together romantically.  It took me until about halfway through to realize they weren't going to.  After I got over that I started seeing the story better.

You see the events from Antonia's point of view, when in fact it's Jazz who has all the answers that we don't see coming.  It's a story of two girls overcoming prejudices, and how each girl has different struggles in their lives and how they handle it.

It tries to teach that you should look beyond the surface and see why a person acts the way he or she does.  And I think that goal was taught throughout the book.

It was a quick read that is easy to demolish in a few hours.

Recommended to those who like realistic coming-of-age stories.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Review: Pale

Title:  Pale
Author:  Chris Wooding
Rating: 3.5/5


The Lazarus Serum can bring you back from the dead - but when you come back you've changed - you're a Pale, an outcast. It's the last thing Jed wants, but an accident changes everything and Jed's forced to discover the true cost of living forever.


I'm not going to say this book was bad.  The premise was interesting and the size really caught my eye (it's about 70 pages long).  It was short though, too short to be it's own standalone published book.  I would have liked to see this in a collection, or continued.

There was your basic story line, a climax, a conclusion, but at the end I didn't feel satisfied.  I was mad that the author just left it where it was.

It seems like such an intriguing issue; Jed's whole life has changed.  Yet in less than 100 pages he has lost his old life, adapted a new one and seems entirely content.  It's just not enough.

Recommended to those who like sci-fi and just want a quick read that makes them think to a degree, but not too much.