Category Archives: Book Reviews
Kylee has a secret, one that could change her and her brother’s life forever. The village they live in is being threatened by an outside force. They need to go on a mission to capture the elusive Ghost Eagle. Can Kylee help her brother without revealing who she truly is? Can Brysen prove his worth outside of his sister and save the boy he loves? What happens when secrets get out and the world around them begins to tip?
This book is about the relationship between this society and their falcons and birds. I adore any story that surrounds animals. (Though I always get nervous because I don’t know if an animal is going to survive). I love to see the way stories tell about the relationship between a people and their animals.
This one is interesting because of the way the story works with the birds. I like that the villagers can tame the birds but are never in full control of them. They know that they can’t fully keep these birds down. They know they deserve to fly and be free and it kind of comments back on their way of life as well.
I also like Kylee’s character and her relationship with her brother Brysen. Kylee is a strong minded person who realizes she also has responsibilities. I liked her because you saw that she wanted to get away and be free but she also was not going to let her brother get hurt in the process.
The sibling relationship was the best part of this book. That dynamic grew throughout the story and you saw the secret ways they tried to help each other. You realize that Kylee has always been trying to protect her brother even if he doesn’t release it. You see that Brysen needs his sister if he won’t admit it. I liked that build up and that growth.
I wasn’t fully attached to any of the characters. I liked Kylee but she wasn’t someone I latched onto. She was there but I didn’t find myself scared of what would happen to her. The same went for Brysen. They felt a little flat to me.
I felt like we were told a lot about who they are but never truly shown those things. We got them thinking it over but never acting out to show that side of themselves. You knew that they had secrets but it didn’t feel life altering. I wanted more to be at stake for them. I even wanted them to have more negative or darker sides to them.
The story didn’t feel like it had high stakes to me. I felt like we were just moving piece to piece. I didn’t feel like there was anything in the way that was going to truly stop them. It felt like it was just moving gently along. One issue solved then another and it solved without much fuss.
I didn’t feel any urgency from the plot. I didn’t feel like I wanted to rush to the end. Even the end didn’t leave me wanting the next book right now. I may read the sequel one day when it comes out but I won’t rush out to get it.
I gave this book 3 stars because it was fun to read, loved the birds but wanted it feel like more was at stake and like there was a possibility of true failure.
“Kylee hated the assumption that boys always made when she was made, like her emotions weren’t a part of her thinking mind like theirs but rather tied to the moons and the winds like an animal’s.” (pg. 53)
“The truth was rarely kind, so why not let a lovely lie linger?” (pg. 101)
“It wasn’t the words themselves that had power but the memories that stuck to words like ticks to deer, draining and infecting them. If you shut down your memory and ignored the knowing-self inside you, you could say anything.” (pg. 127)
“He was the sort of man who’d rather take a punch than let go of his hate.” (pg. 186)
Christmas doesn’t go as planned for Monk and Gray. As they head back to Grey’s home they find those that mean the most to them are severely injured or kidnapped. Now time is ticking down as they hunt for those who took them while also battling a new threat, AI. Eve, a computer program, is wreaking havoc on the world and there is only one young woman who can stop her, but will it be in time before destruction takes it toll?
This story focused on AI and it was fascinating. I have always been intrigued by the idea of AI. It is one of those things that is great because of what it can do to help the world but it also one of those things that is terrifying because of how out of control it can get.
This story explored the darker side of AI. We see that in the wrong hands so much destruction can happen. Lives can be lost. I thought it was very clever the way the book talked about the two forms of Eve, the AI. There is the benevolent side and the darker side.
It was great because it looked at how to train her. You realize that what works on humans works with this program as well. Pain was used as a training mechanism and you see what that kind of torture does, close to what it does to a real human. It is a bit scary how close to real humans it seemed.
I also liked the focus on Monk and his family in this book. Monk has been the focus before but here you get to see a softer side of him. I also like that he knew Kat well enough to make decisions she would want. He doesn’t coddle her. He does procedures that helped them even if it hurt her because he knew that was what she would want. Even in a coma he didn’t treat her as fragile and breakable. He kept her strong and I loved seeing that side of their relationship.
I though this book as going to center on the storyline of finding Seichan and the girls. I thought that this was all going to play into one another but it really didn’t. It felt like two separate storylines.
I understood that this was more a set up for a future conflict between Valya and the Sigma Force group. It was just mentioned a few times though. I had trouble understanding what Valya’s issue was. She wanted the technology but I had no idea why. I didn’t get what her end game was.
She mentioned that she wanted the girls to raise as her own. Is she trying to set up a new group? What does she want in the end other than the end of Sigma? I wished we had gotten more from them and a better idea of where that story is going
This could have set up a good amount of time to build up Seichan’s character. We see that she is afraid of being a mom and feels like she can’t manage it. I thought we would see her find a way through helping the girls but we barely touch on it.
The idea is there but it isn’t explained well. There is no focus on how she is developing. I wanted to see her try to realize she can be a fighter and a mother. I wanted her to come to that realization on her own instead we got a quick thought from Grey at the end and that was it. I felt like we lost out on some great character development.
I gave this book 3 stars because while I enjoyed the storyline I wanted more from Siechan’s character.
This month was still a struggle to fall back into my usual routine. I didn’t read as much as I would have liked. I think I only got through about three books, one being Queen of Darkness which is about 900 pages long so I say that is still a good reading month.
I am actually much more pleased with the progress I have made writing than anything else. So all in all this month has been a pretty good start to the new year.
Books I read:
Archived – V.E. Schwab – I have been holding onto this book for a long time. I knew I wanted to read it but was slightly afraid of how it ended. In the end it was interesting and fun.
Unbound – V.E. Schwab – This was a great sequel. I think it really developed the characters. I liked the way it played with the past and explored mental health as well.
Queen of Air and Darkness – Cassandra Clare – This was a good end to this series. I think it wrapped up the stories well while also leaving room for another series. Though I do wonder when this series will truly end.
The Circle – Dave Eggers – Review
The Archived – Victoria Schwab – Review
New Year Book Tag
Good Omens – Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett – Review
The Unbound – Victoria Schwab – Review
Down the TBR Hole #12
Most Anticipated 2019 Releases
Queen of Air and Darkness – Cassandra Clare- Review
ABC Challenge (D)
Movies and TV Shows Watched:
Bohemian Rhapsody – I saw this with my mom and aunts. I thought it was really interesting and learned about Freddie Mercury and Queen. I grew up listening to their music and was interesting to learn more about them.
Rent Live – I was worried about this production. I adore the original musical. I think this was decent for what it was. It was sad that they couldn’t perform it as planned but there were some good parts. I was a bit disappointed in other aspects.
I joined a local writing group last year and they offer writing classes. I couldn’t attend one until this month. For four weeks I have been taking a writing habit class. We write, share and it has been amazing. Loving the feedback, and the community feel. I missed that. I used to be part of a group that fell apart. This has sparked my writing habit again.
Also one of the other members of the class liked my story so much he asked to read it again. He also said it sparked something for his own writing which I found the ultimate compliment. This class has definitely done wonders for fixing my writing issues.
How was your January? What books stood out for you?
Death has fallen over the Blackthorn family. The Shadowhunter world is once again thrown into chaos. Julian and Emma have to fight to save their world, their family and their loved ones. But their cures is getting stronger. How do they save everyone else and themselves at the same time? What sacrifices have to be made?
One thing that Cassandra Clare does really well is creating a series where the whole thing wraps itself up well while also leaving room for more. This book ends in a way that lets us know our main characters are in a good spot. But there is a hint that this story is not over, that these characters are not going to be able to just run off into the sunset and be happy forever. She always leaves room for more.
While I love this idea, especially because there are certain aspects of this story that I wasn’t quite satisfied with, it also makes me wonder if and when things will truly end. I love this world but I do want to eventually get to a point where the end is the true end and I am not wondering about things afterwards.
I thought the way we learned more about Julian’s character in this book was great. We learned that some of his behavior wasn’t as scary as it seemed before. The way he handled certain situations and seemed to be manipulating people was because he was protecting everyone around him. I was worried about what he would do to save his siblings and we see where he will go but we also saw that there was line he won’t cross. A few short paragraphs really gave us a full picture of him.
Cassandra Clare is someone who isn’t afraid to step out and talk about subjects some shy away from. Her books was the first time I encountered a gay character in a story. Since the introduction of Alec she has included a range of diverse characters in her books. In this one she took an even further step out and included a polyamorous relationship, which was interesting. I have not seen that before and I thought it was handled well.
I wonder at how that was received. I haven’t done much research on other reviews but I thought it worked well in the story. The situation was gone through, you understood the choices made and it works. I didn’t feel like it was there just to be there but was explored in a good manner. You realize it is right for these characters and that is what overall matters.
I also really liked the evolution of Kit’s character in this book. I felt like I got to know him so much better. I want to see more from him. I would be okay with a book, short stories or series about him. He needs more about him and not his past but where he is going from this point on.
In the very start of the book Magnus helps Julian in a way I was super surprised at. I won’t say exactly what happened because it is a bit of a spoiler but I didn’t understand why Magnus did it. He is someone who doesn’t do things because he is asked. He makes someone think about their choices more but he didn’t this time. I felt it was very out of character for him.
There is also a character that came back in this that had very little explanation of why. I was super confused by it and it was very glossed over. Why did he do what he did? Why wasn’t there more explanation to it? I felt like he was brought back to just be there to watch Ty. I wanted more about him.
There was one plot point at the end that really bothered me. I won’t say what exactly but it didn’t make sense to me. Two characters have an issue and there is no resolution to it. They fight and never fix it and it makes no sense to me.
One conversation could have fixed it but we are just left with one character thinking the other hates them. I hate that. I felt like it was a thread that could have at least had a small conclusion and been explored more later. I hope we get more because that was not enough for me.
Over all I gave this book 3 stars. I enjoyed the ride. I did think it dragged on a bit and some of the storylines could have been wrapped up a bit better. It did leave me wanting more though.
“Maybe the rest of them, in accepting the fact of her death, were the ones who didn’t understand.” – pg. 34
“Horace remind him of politicians shouting on TV, red-faced men who always seemed angry and always wanted you to know there was something you needed to be afraid of.” – pg. 60
“Perhaps you outgrew your dreams, too, as your world expanded.” – pg. 98
“Sometimes you have to let people blame you. When the only option is letting bad things happen, it doesn’t matter what people think.” – pg. 421 – One quote to sum up Julians character.
There are some great books I am eager to get my hands on this year. I thought I would mention a few of the most I am most excited about.
I also know that there are a number of sequels to books I plan on starting this year as well. I am someone who when I start a series has to read the whole thing if I can. I am not good at reading one then reading something else in between. I love to be able to stay enthralled in world and series.
Shaun David Hutchinson –
This is his memoir about his time struggling with who he was and and how he got to the point where he is today. I love his books and am very interested to take a deeper look at him as a person and an author!
Release Date – May 21st
The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried –
Someones ex-bestfriend dies then comes back to life but not fully? I mean it sounds like an awesome and deep zombie story and I am all for it.
Release Date – February 19th
Seanan McGuire –
In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) –
I am so pumped for this one. I love this series and am eager to read another one of the children’s stories!
Release Date – January 8th
James Rollins –
This one comes out in a few days and I can’t wait. I adore the Simga Force series and this one sounds intense!
Release Date – January 22nd
Cassandra Clare –
Red Scrolls of Magic –
This is a whole series that centers around Magnus and Alec. I adore these two and can’t wait for a series just about them!
Release Date – April 2nd
Angie Thomas –
On the Come Up –
The Hate You Give was fantastic and meaningful. I am eager to read her second novel.
Release Date – February 5th
Kristen White –
I have seen this everywhere and I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I am not sure how I am going to feel about this one but I am very interested to read it soon.
Release Date – January 8th
Julian Winters –
How to Be Remy Cameron –
This one doesn’t have an official publication date yet but it is supposed to come out near the end of this year. I loved Running with Lions so I am eager to read his next book.
Sequels to books I really want to read:
Children of Virtue and Vengeance (sequel to Children fo Blood and Bone ) – Tomi Adeymi –
I have been meaning to read th first one for ages and now the second will be out this year. So I know this will get read before the end of the year for sure.
Release Date – June 4th
The Winter of the Witch – Katherine Arden – Winternight Trilogy #3 –
I have been meaning to read this for a while and now the whole series is out. Can’t think of a better reason to start it.
Release Date – January 8th
Wayward Son – Rainbow Rowell – Simon Snow #2 –
Carry On is one of those books that has been following me everywhere and I finally bought. And now there appears to be a sequel coming out this year.
What are some of our most anticipated reads and releases for this year?
New year and time to go through this list again. I am determined to get this shelf down to books I will actually read in the future.
This was originally created by Lost in a Story and seems like a good way to go through some of my TBR on Goodreads and see what is there and what I can get rid of or push me to start reading.
Links will be on the titles for the books Goodreads page. (I am going to do ten for this round of this tag).
It works like this:
- Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
- Order on ascending date added.
- Take the first 5 (or 10 or 15 or 20, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
- Read the synopses of the books
- Decide: keep it or should it go?
- Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time
TBR – #258
Between the Lines – Jodi Picoult– At first glance of the cover I had no idea why I placed this on my list. After reading the summary I know exactly why. The whole idea of having a book boyfriend and then him actually being real and wanting out. I love it and think it would be a sweet and fun read.
Decision: Keep (I have both books in my shelf so I am going to round this up as a keep for both)
Life of Pi- Yann Martel – I have seen this movie and really enjoyed it. I don’t know though if and when I will ever get to the book. I felt like the movie gave a clear story and I don’t know if reading it will add anything. I am going to take it off for now but I do want to read it one day.
Bones Omnibus – Mark Wheaton- Something about a dog who takes out demons. But all in one volume? I am not quite sure what this is and how it got on my list.
Revolution – Jennifer Donnelly – I like the idea of past and present connecting but honestly I don’t see myself reading this anytime soon. It sounds interesting but not enough to keep on the list.
Angelfall – Susan Ee – I love the idea of an angel like apocalypse. I like the idea of angels being good and bad.
The Fireman – Joe Hill – I have read two other books by Joe Hill and I really enjoyed them. I really want to get to this one, once I am ready for a scary book.
The Invention of Murder: How the Victorian’s Revealed in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime – Judith Flanders – A whole book about how murder led to detective stories and the history behind it all sounds fascinating.
A Murder in Time – Julie McElwain – I like the time travel idea but the rest doesn’t sounds that interesting. She time travels and solves a mystery but it doesn’t sound like anything connects.
A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Mass – This one is everywhere. I have it on my physical shelf and I really want to read it soon. I just need to be in the mood to go through what is out of the series.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Lani Taylor – Another one I have head a ton about. I really want to get to it too but again need to be ready to dive into a full series.
TBR-249 (I noticed again that Goodreads had on my TBR list a handful of books that should be on my Read list. I fixed those and thus the number doesn’t quite add up right)
(This will be a review for a sequel in a series. Spoilers may be present for the first book).
Mackenzie is having trouble sleeping, which is understandable after her fight with Owen. She can’t close her eyes without seeing the man’s twisted smile, hear his grating voice and be stalked by him. But she can’t show anyone that pain. She has to prove to the Archive that she is whole and capable. But that becomes even harder when people begin to go missing around her. Who is out to get her? Is she losing her mind? Can she keep herself and the Archive together or will Owen win in the end?
I was worried about reading this series at first. I know that Schwab can’t currently write anymore books for this series, due to her contact and current publisher. She has talked about this on her Twitter and Instagram before. So I was worried that this was going to end in a cliffhanger and leave me wanting more. In reality it ended with a final moment that left room for more but also was one I can live with being the final end.
As for a sequel this improved so much on the first. It is so hard to write a sequel to a book because you have to live up to the first, keep the story threads moving and not lose speed. Schwab did a great job at this. While the first one was kind of predictable this one was anything but. I didn’t see so much of this coming and wanted to keep reading in order to know where the whole story was going. It took the first one and expanded the characters, the world while also centering on a common theme and picking up from the first book.
I thought the best part of this book as how it dealt with trauma and how people are forced to handle what has happened to them. Too many times we try to force people to handle trauma how we think it is best for them. We try to help but we are trying to make people be okay too fast. Usually people are given small finite amount of time to be affected then they are forced to pretend they are okay. If they let it go onto long they are seen as too damaged and thus need to be removed from society or their lives.
This was explored well because we see Mackenzie trying to hold herself together. In the book we are only about a month out from the incidents in the first book. She was forced to fight a man she thought was her friend, throw him into a void of nothinginess, learned secrets were being hid from her and watched a boy she cared about being nearly fatally stabbed. Anyone would have severe PTSD after that. But she is told she has to show she is capable. She can be strong and manage her life and job.
In reality she is breaking and she knows it but she can’t tell anyone. She has to clear her list, keep her mask on for her family and deal with the reality of her nightmares in order to keep her job as Keeper. She has to pretend she is okay when in reality she is anything but. The way this was all handled was done really well, I thought. We see her pain, feel her fright and understand her choices. She is one of those characters I had no trouble emphasizing with. I wanted her to be able to break and not worry about losing everything in the process.
I liked the additional characters in this book too. I thought Cash was a nice addition to the cast and Amber had potential. They were every much side characters in this book but I saw where their potential could be.
While I loved most of this book it does use one of my least favorite type of storylines, which I have done a whole post about, so I will keep this brief. Mackenzie keeps too many secrets from Wesley, because she is trying to protect him. I hate that idea. It never works. It only creates confusion, and danger for the other person.
Now this book didn’t use it in a way that angered me too much. I was annoyed for sure but I wasn’t as annoyed as I usually am. I understood her choice. Mackenzie wanted this all to be her fight, wanted to show she was alone capable of taking care of herself.
But Wesley was the one person she could have told. He would not only understand but he could have done so much to help her. He would know how to be separate when necessary. Instead she pushed him away. I thought if she had told him their relationship could have deepened. We also could have explored the idea of having those around you to help yourself heal. I thought we could have seen how important support is to helping someone handle trauma.
I also wished we had gotten a bit more about Wesley in this book. There is so much mystery around him. I would love a book from his POV. I want to know who his family is, what truly happened and why he hides his name. I know that was probably planned for a further book but I would love to have that information.
There was nothing that made me want to stop reading this book. There was nothing I had to try to be okay with to finish. It was fun and exciting and pulled me along the whole time.
I gave this book 4 stars mostly because of the whole secret keeping issue I had. Other than that this is a great sequel and leaves sparks for so much more.
“Maybe I just can’t stand our home-turned-house.” (pg. 15) (I love the way these simple words sum up so much, such a vivid image and idea).
“But the fact is, dreams catch us with our armor off.” (pg. 70)
“It doesn’t all boil down to with or against. Some of us just want to stay alive.” (pg. 98)
“Treat all the bad things like dreams, Kenzie. That way, no matter how scary or dark they get, you just have to survive until you wake up.” (pg. 177)
“We stand out in the minds of others more than in our own.” (pg. 275)
The end of times is on its way. The apocalypse is supposed to be terrifying, the world is ending. What if the end of the world doesn’t go quite as planned? What if the angel and demon in charge of starting the whole thing, make a few mistakes? What if the anti-christ isn’t brought up in a tough and angry home but a quiet suburban family? What if the four horseman decide they are bikers instead? The apocalypse may seem scary but that is only if the people in charge actually know what they are doing.
The characters in this book are what make this one so much fun. This was a reread for me. I read it ages ago and remembered it vaguely. I did remember that I thought it was fun and near the end of the year I needed a fun and quirky book to read.
The angel, Aziraphale, and demon Crowly are my favorite characters in this book. I loved how they played off each other. They are friends, do their jobs because they have too but are super reluctant to end the world. They like Earth and humanity. They enjoy being around people and they don’t want to give any of that up.
They were interesting because they felt like tired office workers to me. They felt like two normal guys who are fed up with their jobs. They stay with their employers out of necessity but they don’t quite agree with everything. They go along because they have to but you can feel their reluctance and avoidance of the issue.
I like that they were close as friends. This way they used each other to vent when necessary was fun. I thought it was an interesting dynamic and I could read an entire book just about the two of them.
The tone of this book was relaxing and enjoyable. Apocalypse books are usually stressful and fill you with fear and trepidation. This one just made you wonder if the end of the world is actually possible. Judging by the random things happening in our world everyday you wonder if these agents are in charge. Constanly messing up, not caring and not wanting to finish out what they started. They all felt human and it felt like anyone I know could have been in this scenario.
The four horsemen characters were interesting as well. They were the ones that felt closest to what we know they are supposed to be. They are menacing but still with a silly, quirky edge to them. You feel their presences but you aren’t scared of them. They are again just doing what they are told but not forcing anything. Just workers showing up but not putting their full effort into their jobs.
I did think the ending was a bit flat. I thought it worked but you are leading up to this huge end and it sort of fizzled out for me. It was a lot more talking then I remembered. I wanted them to be running around trying to stop each others mistakes but instead you get speeches.
The ending worked for the story but it wasn’t what I was expecting or what I remembered. I thought it could have used a bit more punch or a few more laugh moments to get finishing the book with the same tone as it started. You have these fumbling idiots running around the whole time but they all kind of just stand around at the end.
There wasn’t anything that threw me out of the story completely. I stayed in the world and connected to the characters. It was a fun and interesting ride.
I gave this book 4 stars. It would have been a five star if the ending was a bit more involved.
“They’d been brought up to it and weren’t, when you got right down to is, particularly evil. Human beings mostly aren’t. They just get carried away by new ides, like dressing up in jackboots and shooting people, or dressing up in white sheets and lynching people, or dressing up in tie-dye jeans and playing guitars at people. Offer people a new creed with a costume and their hearts and minds will follow.” (pg. 18)
“They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways , and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse.” (pg. 25)
“Hell wasn’t a major reservoir of evil, any more than Heaven, in Crowley’s opinion, was a fountain of goodness; they were just sides in the great cosmic chess game. Where you found the real McCoy, the real grace and the real heart-stopping evil, was right inside the human mind.” (pg. 69)
The dead are not gone forever. When you die your body and all your memories are preserved in the Archive. There you are stacked on shelves, able to leave a lasting impression on the world. Mackenzie is a Keeper, charged with keeping Histories from escaping. An easier said then done job when the Archive begins to break down and her world is upended. Can she stop those responsible or will time run out and will she be added to the shelves?
I misunderstood what this book was about when I read the summary and read other reviews. I have seen people praising this book and I loved Victoria Schwab so I knew I had to read this one.
I thought that the idea was that people’s consciousness were preserved in literal books. Instead their bodies are recreated in this Archive and that is where their memories are stored. I really liked the concept. I liked the idea that when you die you are not dead and gone forever. I liked the idea that there is a literal library of people and their histories. Each person is important because of the life they have lived and the things they have learned throughout that life. I loved the idea of preserving everyone.
I thought the pacing of this story as great as well. It didn’t drag on. The mystery was presented early and I liked that our main character was the one to stumble upon the mystery right away. She didn’t just hover around waiting for someone to tell her what to do. She was curious and began investigating. She worked to find the answers she wanted.
The story moved a perfect pace. We got our mystery and pieces were slowly revealed bit by bit. I liked that we weren’t stumbling around wondering what was going on or the end being just a huge info dump. Everything seemed to work in the right order.
Wes was my favorite character in this book. He felt original and fresh. I loved that he wore earrings, nail polish and eyeliner. I loved that he is an individual and he isn’t someone who is going to fall into a generic category. I think too many times male characters are just described as handsome in a super generic way. Wes felt more dynamic and real.
I could have used a bit more detail about how the Archive itself works. I don’t quite understand how they get all the people and their memories there. The world isn’t magical one so I am unsure how that works. Especially since it is so secretive. It isn’t like everyone knows about it yet everyone is cataloged there.
I also saw hints of one of my least favorite things in this story near the end. Thankfully it didn’t go that route but I still feel like the possibility for it, is there in the sequel. The idea that you don’t have to tell someone something in order to protect them. I hate the idea of keeping secrets because you want to keep someone safe. It never works and I hope it doesn’t become a thing in the next book.
I enjoyed the whole ride of this book. I see hints of where the next book could go. I didn’t have anything that threw me out of the story and made me want to put it down.
I have this book 4 stars. I really enjoyed the story, the characters and am excited to read Unbound to see where the story goes.
“We leave memories on objects we love and cherish, things we use and wear down.” pg. 26
“Lying is easy, but lonely.” pg. 84
“Things only hurt more when you can see them.” pg.251
Mae is beyond excited, she has been hired at the most sought after company in the world. She knows she has to prove herself and she is ready to do whatever is necessary to climb the ranks. The Circle is the leader in technology. Though as she gets deeper into the company Mae begins to understand the scary implications of the work they are doing. Will she fight back or will she succumb to the power of The Circle?
I thought the way the book goes into the power of brainwashing is fascinating. There wasn’t too much plot and the character development was minimal; what really drives this book is the reader watching as Mae falls deeper and deeper into this cult like atmosphere.
It is interesting because it starts off pretty benign. You see her beginning to think like the heads of the company want her to think. And as a reader you agree with some of the way they frame the new development. You agree that you want the world to be safer. But as an outsider you also are able to think deeply about what this new way of life could mean for the world itself.
I sat there reading thinking of how terrifying this whole process seemed. Mae questions things at first but she is quickly told to back off. She is manipulated by how she is given certain questions. She is told to think in one way and when she fights back they make her feel guilty. They twist every word she says and make her feel like she is in the wrong even though her concerns are valid.
I also thought the way the technology evolved was interesting. I read it wondering what they could possibly try to do next and it just got worse and worse. The scariest part is that this is all very possible. We let technology into every part of our lives and we think it is okay but this book shows how far it can go.
I was captured by the way the world is taken into the hands of this company and molded to who they want the world to be. As a reader you read hoping to take notes and know what to look for in case this becomes to close to reality.
I thought the plot itself was lacking a bit. Most of this story was about how the technology progresses and they get closer to closing the Circle. There is a lot of hearing about the new techniques.
Near the end you start to see hints of resistance. I wanted a bit more from this part thought. I also wanted to know more about the founders of the company. I thought they were too flat. I thought that if I understood them a bit more I could understand how this company began. I think deepening their characters would have made the reader feel a bit conflicted about how they see the world. We get hints of what they wanted with this company but I think if we got their POV too I would have had trouble damning their ideas.
I had a bit of an issue with Mae’s character. I felt she was to naive. She accepted everything quite quickly. While she did question things for a minute it wasn’t much.
There is one moment in the first few pages that made me wonder what was wrong with her. She is getting all her passwords and paperwork done on her first day. She is told to sign something but not to ask what it is. She doesn’t even question this idea. She just does it without a thought. I sat there wondering how you could ever sign something without knowing what you signing.
She also is given a new tablet and she is told to upload her personal computer to the new tablet. She is then told all her personal computer information is now in the company’s cloud. Again she doesn’t even think twice about this. How can you literally give all your personal information over to your work place without thinking about it? Work and personal should be separate but she just does it.
I had trouble understanding that anyone wouldn’t at least think this was weird. Now this could be because of the world itself but the world is set up to be much liker ours. I can’t see anyone I know not thinking this is strange and fighting it. This set Mae as too gullible and easy to manipulate too me. I wanted her to be a bit more of a fighter.
I also had an issue with her relationship. She kept going back to someone who was creepy. He taped them without her consent and then made her feel guilty for wanting him to delete it. She then was manipulated into agreeing with him through the system. I don’t blame her for this as much as the system and I thought this depiction was disturbing. I really didn’t like the relationship aspect in this story.
I have this book 3 stars. I enjoyed it I just thought it could have done with a bit more development of the side characters and a bit more focus on the actual plot.
“All that happens must be known” – pg. 68
“It was a kind of micro, but it was incomplete, distorted. And if Francis wanted any or all of that information, why couldn’t he just ask her?” – pg. 126 – This touched on the one time she fought the system but she quickly fell back into line. It also hints at a very problematic relationship.
“Now we’re all God.” pg. 398
“That the volume of information, of data, or judgements, of measurements, was too much, and there were too many people, and too many desires of too many people, and too many opinions of too many people, and too much pain from too many people, and having all it constantly collated, collected, added and aggregated, and presented to her as if that all made it tidier and more manageable – it was too much.” pg. 414