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Realm of the Reaper (Everworld #4) – K.A. Applegate – Mini-Review

519Q8QTAMYL._SX276_BO1,204,203,200_I am going to do a mini-review for the rest of these books. I have looked at things like the writing and the plot progression in depth before and I think at this point there is nothing too new to say about any of it. I want to concentrate some of these reviews on the development of the characters. This is where this series excels and I am curious how I see their progression now. I don’t think I need to do a longer review with these anymore, because it will just get repetitive.

This is Jalil’s book. I was having trouble remembering what Jalil’s story was. I knew some of David’s, April’s and Christopher’s but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what Jalil was doing in the story.

I forgot that Jalil has OCD. We see it from the first pages. He is enslaved to his mind and he hates it. He can’t fight it and he doesn’t let anyone know what it does to him. In Everworld though he is free. Senna gave him that freedom which makes him appreciate her but also hate her.

I most curious about how his story grows. Jalil is very logical. He loves science and everything has to have an explanation. He is trapped in his own mind in the real world so he uses knowledge to control everything else around him. He is going to change, take on the idea that things are different in this world and that is okay.

I still like watching Jalil try to make sense of this new world he is in. He is slowly realizing that magic is real here. That science is not the same. I am want to see how he begins to rethink his two worlds. One he is trapped in a disease he can’t free himself from. In another world he is free of that disease but he has many more dangers to fight. I think he whole story is going to revolve around this fight and I am eager to see how it comes out.

This book also introduced Hel which is who I thought abbot when I was reading Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology book. I remembered she was in this book and I wanted to see how she compared. I really like how close these books are to the real stories and how Applegate makes them her own as well.

Four Star

Vengeful – V.E. Schwab – Review

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Being an EO sounds great in theory. You get awesome powers and can do anything that you want. But you have to die in the process. You have to experience you breath stopping, your heart beat going silent. You wake up and then have to live with those memories. What if your death is caused by someone else? How do you live day to day with that memory in your head? What if revenge is all that you want and need? Can you be stopped? Should you be stopped?

(This is a review for a second book in a series. There will may be spoilers from the first book.)

 

 

What I Loved_-4

I have been waiting for this book since it was announced. I love V.E. Schwab, she is one of my favorite authors. I liked the first one because of how it concentrates on anti-heroes. Victor and Eli are not good people, they destroy what is around them and enjoy watching the world burn. Yet you are drawn to them, you understand them. I was curious how their story could and would continue.

This book picks up five years after Vicious. We see the results of Sydney bringing Victor back from the dead. We learn that bringing people back from the dead doesn’t always goes as planned. I enjoyed Victor’s journey throughout this book. He is desperate to find a way to save himself. As he dies over and over again he looks for anyone who can save him.

It was interesting because Victor is still his selfish self. His first concern is about how to save himself. He wants to live and he wants to survive. Though there is this small piece of him that really cares about Sydney. This is his saving grace. We see him trying to find a way to save himself without harming her.

I like how Schwab is able to make us care about these characters even though they are not good people. All of them kill at one point or another. They destroy lives yet I wanted them all to win. She does a great job and giving us a sympathetic side to them, giving us something to latch onto and relate to. Victor wants to keep Sydney safe. He wants her to not turn into him.

The new characters Marcella and June are two people who have been broken down and are now standing on their own two feet. Marcella was treated like a side piece. She was nothing but a figure to admire and use. After she rises again she takes her power back. She is no longer weak but a strong woman you can’t fight or deny. She is easy to relate to.

Once we see how she was treated, especially at a certain party scene you want her to win. You want her to kill and destroy those who hurt her. You want her to show that she can be just as strong as any of the men. I didn’t despise her. She was a woman wronged and she found a way to make things right for herself.

I loved June, she is my new favorite character. June is mysterious and I want to know everything there is to know about her. She has a past were don’t quite know. She was killed, but we don’t know how. She is a shape shifter who refuses to use her real face. I want to know why? I want to know what destroy her self image. I need to know why she is hiding.

Even though she is hiding though she still is strong. She is able to stand on her own two feet and she doesn’t let anyone tell her who she is. She can be anyone and she can take on any form. She is hiding but she is also showing the world who she can be. I want a whole book about her.

What I was just okay with
I had this same issue with Vicious, the end was quite quick. I felt like the book was setting up this huge fight. There were so many players and we saw them setting up so many elements. But the end fight was done quite quickly. I pictured a sort of cinematic fight, with all the people going after one another. In the end we got a quick fight with a definite end. I just wanted a bit more.

What I Wished was Different_
There was nothing that threw me out of the book. I loved the characters. I was impressed how much I felt connected to these despicable people. I thought the plot kept things moving.

I have this book five stars because I adored the characters so much. The end fight left me wanting more but the end it self left room for more and I hope to see these characters again.
Five Star

Copy of What I was just okay with
“Eyes were fickle. Minds were weak.” – pg. 57

“But there was, it turned out, a crucial difference between destroying things and destroying people.” (pg. 132)

“‘What does normal look like?'” (pg. 165)

“Men ahead of their time were always, by definition, outside of it.” (pg. 215)

“How many men would she have to turn to dust before one took her seriously?” (pg. 266)

“People can see an awful lot, and believe none of it.” (pg. 275)

“Every end may be a new beginning, but every beginning had to end.” (pg. 460)

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley – Shaun David Hutchinson- Review

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Andrew should be dead. He was supposed to die in the accident that took his parents and little sister. He now hides in the hospital where they died. He is intent on evading Death, who is after him. That is until the night a boy his age comes through the door. Now he must save Rusty. But how do you save someone else when you have no idea how to save yourself?

 

 

 

What I Loved_-4
The characters in this story were compelling. Andrew was interesting because he acted beyond his age. He was able to take care of himself in the hospital. He was smart and clever enough to hide from the authorities. He wasn’t afraid of being alone. He showed wisdom beyond his age.

Normally this would throw me off. I would wonder how a child could manage all this, even a teenager. But it is well established that this kid has been through a trauma that allows him to grow up fast. We see that what happened to his family threw him into a whole new world. One where he had to learn to sink or swim.

I also really liked Rusty. This wasn’t his story per se but it felt like his story as much as Andrew’s. We learn what happened to him and why. The details that Andrew gets give us a clear picture of what is going on.

I also really liked that Rusty connected to Andrew so quickly. He saw a kindred spirit in this lost boy. Both of them were lost kids who needed someone to understand them. They saw that in each other and connected over it.

The addition of the comic Andrew was working on was great. I really liked being able to see and read the comic. I think something would have been lost without that addition. I don’t think just describing it would have been able to give the whole picture. With the periodic looks at the comic I felt the connection to the story as a whole. I liked the mix of these types of story telling to give one full story.

What I was just okay with
I felt like there were some stories missing. Each of the characters had a tale of their own and you got hints of them from everyone but never the full story of anyone. I wanted to know more about all of them. There was definitely something missing from Father Mike’s story as well as Aimee’s story.

I found myself anticipating what was coming for them and was disappointed when we didn’t learn what was going on. I could discern most of it but I didn’t want to guess at it. I wanted to know that these people all had problems just like Andrew. I think each of them revealing their secrets would have helped Andrew grow and find his way.

What I Wished was Different_
I adore Shaun David Hutchinson’s other books. I know this was written before those and you can see him finding his way as a writer. While this book is great it is very heavy handed with its message.

You didn’t have to guess at the message even a little bit. There was no room for interpretation in the message. It was plain and written out over and over again for you. I am used to his much more subtle way of telling you something in his later books.

I think that if I read this book first before the other ones I wouldn’t have had an issue with this way of telling the message of the story. But I know what he can do and am glad to see how he grew as a writer. You can see he found his groove with We are the ants and it is great to see.

 

I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads. While I enjoyed it it was missing the punch that his later books have.

Copy of What I was just okay with

“It begins there because it’s important to know that a superhero with no past began as a man with no future.” (pg. 8)

“Maybe hell is seeing the lost loved painted over the faces of the strangers we meet.” (pg. 58)

“Maybe our beliefs decide our fate after death.” (pg. 99)

“No one unravels all of life’s many mysteries. They grow older and become better liars.” (pg. 123)

 

Aaru – Hall of Hel – David Meredith – Review

(I have been provided a copy of this book by the author for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own).

40963425.jpgKoren is a young celebrity and her life is falling apart. She thinks that her refuge is Aaru where her sister Rose now lives. But is Aaru as perfect as it looks? What is life when you will never grow old, where everything will remain perfect forever? What happens when a secret is found and that secret begins to take a part this utopia? Who will save them all now?

 

 

 

 

 

What I Loved_-4

I have say this was a great follow up to the last book. Most of the story felt seamless and continued the tale really well. I liked that this one got dark but with a message overtone that wasn’t overtly obvious.

I really liked the depiction of Koren’s life. We all know that being a celebrity is not as glamorous as it seems. This book did a good job at showing what that kind of attention can do to someone as young as Koren.

In this book we saw how broken she was and how broken her family had become. Her father is an alcoholic, her mother is only concerned about her image and Koren is being forced to grow up way too quickly. This was shown really well. It wasn’t a lecture about the dangers of having children in a spotlight; it was showing the pieces falling apart until they were nothing but a crumbled bits of rubble.

I also found the character of Hel extremely interesting. She is a combination of multiple people. (Though I am not a 100% certain why that is). I liked watching her come to find her voice and herself. She has two sides of herself, represented well by depicting her as Hel from Norse mythology.

She is constantly trying to determine which side of herself to follow. Does she given into her darker side or does she stand with her better half? She is the perfect one to “liberate’ those who are stuck in quarantine. She felt like a leader character. She was oppressed and she knows what it means to fight for true freedom.

I was a bit worried at first when the topic of mental health was brought up, worried it was going to be talked about in a negative manner. Instead we get this revolution type feel. We see Hel fighting to free these people. We see that she knows that being mentally ill is not a thing that makes you a monster. You don’t have to be locked away. I liked this message and I liked how she became their leader. Granted she went a bit too far into the darker side but I am interested to see how that progresses in the future of the story.

I also liked Rose’s storyline. She is trying to figure out what her purpose is now. What is your purpose when you can create anything and be anything? What do you strive for? What does life mean then? If you don’t have to work for anything what is the point? I am hoping we see her find some type of purpose in the last book.

What I was just okay with
I had a little bit of trouble with the timeline of this story. I thought for a bit that the parts with Hel and her creation were happening in a completely different timeline. Then I realized they were happening at the same time. But I was confused as to when that whole process started.

I think alot of confusion came from the fact that I didn’t know that this was where the Magic Man was going with his plan. I didn’t quite understand his purpose before and I am still vague on him. I think the timeline would have felt more stable if I had known this was the end game the whole time.

I also wanted to know more about Simon/Atem. There is something there about him. He doesn’t go from someone who fights to help the mentally ill to working with a pervert to get back into the system. If he wanted to save people I felt like this was the last way to do it. I really want to know more about him and what happened in his life.

What I Wished was Different_

There were two things that really threw me out of this story. The first was the sexual elements. I was really uncomfortable with the Magic Man lusting after Koren in the first book in this book it was worse. I felt like these elements were not needed. He could have needed her brain for his creation but the sexual element was not necessary. I felt like that was there to make us hate him which we already did. Those parts just made it hard for me to read.

I also didn’t like the creation of Frenir. I get the Norse mythology parallels but I didn’t like the idea of making a mentally ill person into an animal. I have a real issue with the message the send. Just become someone is disturbed doesn’t mean they are an animal. That image bothered me.

 

I ended up giving this book 3 stars on Goodreads. I liked the way the story progressed just certain elements made me uncomfortable.

Copy of What I was just okay with
“Not having anything to complain about and being happy aren’t the same thing.” (pg. 107)

Hamilton -The Revolution – Lin-Manual Miranda and Jermey McCarter

26200563.jpgI am not going to review this like one of my usual reviews. I am just going to do a quick take on what I thought about it and how it helped enhance the musical. (And also made me want to see it again!)

I had no idea this book existed until my brother’s boyfriend bought it for him for his birthday. He bought it before we saw the musical and as soon as the curtain fell, I knew I had to read this. I adored the play, thought it was enthralling, new and a pure work of genius.

This book goes into how the whole thing came about and the process that was taken to create this work of art. I loved how the book dove into certain sections which then related back to a song or a handful of songs. This way of tying it all together was perfect. You felt like you were there in the process.

I have a new appreciation for some of the songs, an appreciation I didn’t have before. I now understand the thought process and time that went into each song; the lyrics, the composition and the drafting process. It amazed me how many drafts there were, how it was constantly changing up until the last minute.

I also really liked how it reflected on the history of hip-hop and how the musical has opened up a new avenue for this type of music on broadway. I am not the biggest fan of hip-hop but the way these songs tell the story and connect you to the story are fantastic. Reading about the influences and how Lin-Manual Miranda used his favorites to help build this work, was great.

I also really enjoyed the way this reflected on the life of not only Hamilton but Burr. When I saw the production I came away realizing this was not just a story about Hamilton’s life but about everyone who touched his life. This book shed even more light on Burr and his tragic story. I do not see him as a villain, just a lost man.

The notes next to the songs were great. I read through the songs I have nearly memorized and learned so much about how they were created. While I am didn’t follow all the musical talk, I still understood the impact of certain elements.

Lin’s commentary was also witty and fun. You can feel his personality shine through. I loved the jokes and there were even a few Harry Potter references which were great.

All in all this book gave me an even greater appreciation for this musical. I knew it was a tough thing to write. I knew he took years to complete it but this showed just how much time, effort and thought went into this project. It just shows that sometimes things take years to complete but if you work at it and work hard, in the end it will all be worth it.

Circe – Madeline Miller- Review

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How much do you know about Circe? Only remember her as the one who turned men into pigs? Ever wondered what her backstory was? Circe was disgraced, cast out and forced to find a way to stand on her own two feet. She went from wishing anyone would see her, to hiding from the world to finding her place in the moral and immortal world.

 

 

 

What I Loved_-4

I have stated in past reviews and posts that I adore mythology. Something about these past stories still speaking to us today pulls me in. I love learning about how ancient people tried to make sense of the world we live in. Take that love and give me a new way of seeing a character I have read about before and you have my undivided attention.

I know of Circe as the woman who turned men into pigs and that was all I knew about her. So when I saw this book popping up on blog after blog I had to give it a try and I adored it. I thought the way this book breathed new life into a character I knew next to nothing about and really didn’t care about, was fantastic.

I loved the progression of Circe’s character throughout the story. She starts off as someone who is left out. She is the unwanted child of Helios. She is not special, she is missing something. She does not stand out and no one sees her.

I thought it was really interesting how she fought to be seen when she was younger. She goes so far as to trying to get herself punished. She thinks if she does something everyone hates at least someone will know her. Someone will notice her. I found it really interesting how this is the place where she started.

Throughout the book we learn how she was able to find a way to be true to herself. She didn’t need anyone to see her because she saw herself. She found purpose in her own life, in her own talents and destiny. She found her feet and she stood proudly tall. Her evolution was inspiring and great to read.

The writing of this book was lyrical. I fell into the words and they kept me captured throughout the story. The comparisons made were unique. I felt like I have never read a book quite like this one before. I never found myself feeling like I have heard the metaphors or similes used before. It swept me onward and through the the story and I wanted to read it not only for the story but for the way the words sounded in my head.

I also found it really interesting how Odysseus was portrayed in this story. I know him as this larger than life hero. He stands high and he is noble. He does everything he can to get home and take care of his wife and son. I saw him as this perfect man and this book gives us a different angle of this man who we thought we knew.

I liked that this story made Odysseus more human. He is flawed and we see that shine bright in this story. He is a man who will fight for what he wants and he kills whenever necessary. We see that darker side of him in this book, we see that he is not perfect. Through his story we get a look at PTSD in a character as well. The fact that this was explored without really naming it was interesting.

I also really enjoyed how this book explored bigger ideas that connect to us today. A good book can remark on our world without having to be outright blatant about it. You don’t have to give a lecture on rape culture to get your message across. Miller does a great job at commenting on real life events in a non-heavy handed way.

What I was just okay with

My only issue with this book was how it ended. I loved the progression of Circe but I thought we were cheapened by the end. It felt a bit rushed. I wanted to see the way Circe took that last step into becoming who she was meant to be. Everything led up to that point and then it happened in a matter of pages.

We really only get a summary of the last part of her life. I wanted more. I wanted to feel that final connection her and how she ended up.

What I Wished was Different_
There was nothing that threw me out of this story. I enjoyed the character development, the plot lines and the writing.

I gave this book five stars on Goodreads. I was enthralled the whole way through and am eager to read her other book, The Song of Achilles.

Quotes:
“Beneath the smooth, familiar face of things is another that waits to tear the world in two.” (pg. 16)

“Sons were not punished.” (pg. 182)

“Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep. ” (pg. 206)

 

Enter the Enchanted – Everworld – K.A. Applegate – Review

Everworld_3_enter_the_enchanted

 

April, Jalil, David and Christopher are trapped in a world that shouldn’t exist. Myths are supposed to stay on the page. Merlin shouldn’t be fighting dragons. Galahad is in storybooks. Not in Everworld, in Everworld all their wildest myths and stories are living and breathing. Question is can our group stay that way as well?

 

 

 

What I Loved_-4
This book ventures into Merlin and King Author myth territory. I really like the idea of the Arthur myths. I think they intrigue me because they are myths that have a touch of reality to them. No one knows for sure if they are true or not. We know that Zesus was a myth and that Loki never played tricks on people. But the Arthurian legends could be based on real people.

I liked in this story though that Arthur is not our main focus. Galahad is our focus in this one, which is interesting. We get to see a different character than people generally see in similar retellings. Merlin is prominent but not in a connection to Arthur. I liked that aspect.

I am enjoying the way the group is able to go back to the real world and make sense of what they are encountering. In this book Galahad and Gawain had similar memories of looking for the Holy Grail. Neither knew why, they just accepted it. They find out it is because our stories have them both in that role. I liked that we see this connection to the myth characters. They are influenced by their connections to our modern world.

I do enjoy the fact that we don’t just focus on typical mythologies in this series. While Loki and Zeus do play a part we also see people like Galahad and I know later elves. The lesser myths got carried along in the wake of the larger myths which is interesting. We are given a broader world and a more full world this way. It is all our stories connecting into one world.

I know that we are going to be getting Jalil’s POV next and eventually Senna’s. I am really interested in both of their stories. I remember that April, David and Christopher’s were pretty simple and predictable but the other two are a bit more of wild cards. I am really interested to see how they play into the larger picture.

What I was just okay with
This book was told from April’s POV and I had a bit of an issue with her. She is someone who is all talk but little action. She talks about wanting to not be the damsel that gets saved but then can’t take care of herself. She needs saving all the time.

She is hard to understand because she is constantly wanting Galahad to save her but she also sees that as annoying as well. She knows she needs to stand up for herself more but also realizes that isn’t easiest for her. I like how self-aware she is but I also want to see her use that self-awareness to actually start making a change for herself.

What I Wished was Different_
I like these stories. I love the plot and the characters are great. I am having more and more of an issue with the writing itself though. Not only is is choppy it is very repetitive. The same words or phrases are used over and over again. Sometimes right after one another. I know this adds emphasis but it does get tiresome.

Also I think this series may be where I got the habit of using synonyms  too much. I found that when I write I tend to write something like “It was a beautiful, gorgeous day outside.” There is no need for both of those words, they tell the same thing. I see that happen a lot in this book. I know this book stuck with me when I was a teenager and I think that idea or habit in writing crept into my style a bit.
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. I am enjoying the series still. I am just curious to see April grow a bit more and have to not focus on some aspects of the writing too much.

Copy of What I was just okay with
“He was a legend….We didn’t know him, but we knew what he represented. He was good standing up against evil. He was the strong man defending the weak. He was brave when the odds were against him.” (pg. 161)

Obisido – The Illuminae Files #3 – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Review

A1C5pfGdBaL(This is a review of the third book in the series, there will be spoiler for the first two books).

There is one fight left. The group comes together to get their home back. They take what they have learned and work together to take out the Bitech goons who have destroyed their lives. Will they all make it out in the end? Or are some sacrifices needed to save all those they hold dear.

 

 

 

What I Loved_-4
This ending was action packed. It was paced perfectly for the end of a series. It starts off running and never slows down. The stake were well set up in the first two books and now we are ready to see how this all plays out. I felt like anything could have happened throughout the whole fight.

I also liked that there was tension between the adults and the teenagers when it came to leadership. Too often in YA books kids take control and no one questions it. People just shrug and say sure, because they were able to fight through one moment. In reality that makes no sense, trained adults are going to know more than teenagers no matter what they fought through.

This whole scenario played out in a realistic way. I liked that in the end they do end up working together. You felt like both sides were heard. Tragedy occurred but the emotions that sparked the mutiny made sense. I liked that you saw this infighting mixed in with them trying to determine how to get Kerenza back.

I found Rhys interesting. He was this kid who fell into this chaos. He was up in a honored spot, watching everything take place but never understanding. Then he is on the front lines and forced to figure out what he is doing. He is forced to see the realities of what has been told to him by his superiors. The grey lines that his story showed were interesting. You wonder who is the bad person and how is just trying to stay alive and keep their job.

I thought the growth of Nik, Hannah, Kady and Ezra was done well. You saw their growth from their previous stories. The way they changed and had to deal with the result of their adventures was realistic and good to see.

I want a story all about Aiden. I think Aiden as the most fascinating aspect of this book. Aiden is an AI that is alive, that can feel and that can love. It was fascinating to see him come into a realization that he loved Kady. I want to know more about how he was created and if there is potential for him to have a future.

What I was just okay with
While the ending was well paced I thought it didn’t have the impact that the ending of Gemina had. Gemina was a gut punch surprise, while Obsidio ended as you thought it would end. I saw a fight coming and saw danger for all our players. That is what happened.

I think the ending of this book would have had a bit more impact if the whole Gemina particle and alternate universe storyline was in this book instead. I would have put down the series in awe instead of just feeling somewhat satisfied.

Asha was probably the weakest character for me. I didn’t feel like I connected much with her thought the story. I think we would have benefitted from learning more about her in the previous books. Maybe if we had more time with her I would have felt more connected to her.

What I Wished was Different_
Again this book did the thing where deaths are faked. I mentioned in my last review that I usually don’t mind this tactic, but this became too much. I am fine with it for a minute but it is something to use sparingly. Once, twice if you are creative with it. Beyond that you take out all the tension of the story. If I know they come back, almost every time, why worry about a character at all? I see them die, I shrug knowing they will come back somehow and move on. If you are going to kill a character commit to it, make it have an impact for the reader and the story.

I was excited for the storyline about Ezra’s mother being tied into all of this but that petered out quickly. I felt like that was there for shock value and didn’t do much for the story itself. I would have loved to have a showdown between those two characters. Would have loved for that to be part of the epic finale but instead we got a hint that didn’t flourish like I think it could have.
I gave this one 3 stars on Goodreads. It was fun, it answered the questions that needed to be answered, but it left me wanting more.

 

Copy of What I was just okay with
“Live a life worth dying for.” (pg. 194)

“I have heard it said that evil is imply a point of view. The villain is always the hero in his own story. And he definitions of “wrong” and “right” ever shit on the inconstant tides of human morality.” (pg. 259)

Land of Loss- Everworld (#2) – K.A. Applegate

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The group has survived their encounter with the Vikings, even made friends with them. They are still on the run from Loki, though he is the least of their problems right now. A heart hungry god and blood thirsty Aztecs are staring them in the face. Can they survive? If they do can they ever get home?

 

 

 

 

(This is a review for the second book in the series. Naturally there will be spoilers for the first book at times).

What I Loved_-4
I remember how much I loved Christopher in these books and I am glad to see that I still love his character. His is witty, he is funny and he is the one that I thought sounded most like a teenager. He doesn’t have a beyond-his-age view of life, like Jalil. He is your average guy just trying to make it through this adventure with his head and heart in one place.

I also found it interesting that Christopher has a good family. A lot of times the comedy relief character comes from a broken home. They use humor as a defense mechanism. This is different though. Christopher has a great family. His parents are still together and he has a brother he loves. He is just a funny guy who is trying to find his way. I liked this characterization because it makes me want to see how he progresses, since it is not a usual character type. I feel like I don’t know where his character will go.

I also found it interesting and a testament to the writing that in this book I was very annoyed by David. Reading about him from Christopher’s point of view made me want to shake him.  In the last book I understood where David was coming from, I understood why he was obsessed with finding Senna and risking all their lives.

In this book I was right onboard with Christopher and just wanted him to get his crap together. I was annoyed that he was always putting them all in danger. I was irritated that he could not think beyond Senna. Applegate does a great job of making you feel the story from the P.O.V character. I thought it was really interesting how this changed in this book. I am eager to keep reading to see how I view Christopher from April or Jaili’s  P.O.V.

There was also a bit of call back to first book scenes in this book. In the first book David remembers hearing a coach berate a player, using some horrible terms and destroying this kid’s self-esteem. Then in this book there is a moment where the gym teacher is quite cruel to Christopher. You realize it is the same man. She makes sure to keep things in line and in order here. Someone is mentioned in one place they appear in another, there is no discontinuity  which I appreciate.

What I was just okay with
I felt like all the action in this book appeared n the first half. They are fighting the Aztecs and trying to escape. Then they do and they are just wandering around for a bit. We meet some new players in the story, (Merlin and the Coo-Hatch), but it slowed down considerably in the last half. I think it would have been better to keep that momentum through to the end.

I am still eager to read the rest of the series but I didn’t race through the end like I did in the first book.

What I Wished was Different_
I am still enjoying my re-read. I haven’t come onto anything that feels out of sorts or thrown me out of the story. Even at almost 30 I can still relate to this story and am finding new aspects to it.

I gave this 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. I am eager to see how the character progress I just wish the end was a bit more exciting.

Copy of What I was just okay with
“There was nothing human here. Man’s god and demons and monsters were always mostly human. Distorted in form or power, but mostly human.” (pg. 110) (I found this interesting because it is very true. We tend to make all our gods and demons close to us, creatures we can relate to in some fashion).

Illuminae -Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Review

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They thought it was going to be a bad day because they broke up. For Erza and Kady that became the least of their problems when their home is destroyed. Now refugees on two separate spaceships they are out to find out what really happened. Can they discover all the secrets, right the wrongs and save themselves before time runs out?

 

 

 

 

What I Loved_-4
I have seen reviews about this book and heard about it in a  number of a places. I initially didn’t pick it up because of the plot (more on that in the next section) but the format peeked my interest. The idea of a whole book told through “found” footage was fascinating to me. I have not seen it done before and I wondered how it could change the reading of the story.

I thought the whole concept was done really well. I really loved the way the story was told through all these pieces of information. You get email messages, security footage summaries, mayday calls, and so many other ways  of telling the story. It made the story seem interactive. I felt like I was in the spaceship going through all the files, desperately trying to figure out what was going on.

The sense of urgency that you got from this book is astounding. I felt panicked at times and I wonder if I would have felt the same way reading the story in a regular novel format. Would I have felt like I was running with them? Would I felt the panic as the ship closed in to destroy them if I didn’t have the countdowns around me? I don’t think I would have.

I also loved that the format used pictures to describe the ships. I think sometimes descriptions of these type of spaceships can get difficult. You have to be very specific and detailed because it is something that people don’t see every day. We all know what a car looks like but a control room in a spaceship is not the same. I liked that we didn’t get bogged down in that. Instead we got to continue with the story and move the plot along.

I was impressed at how connected I felt to the characters as well. I was worried that this format would leave me feeling disconnected. I thought without descriptions of the characters or moments dedicated to them alone I would feel like I was on the outside. I didn’t. I felt like I was right beside them with every move they made.

Kady and Aiden’s characters were my favorite. Kady was a tough ass. She didn’t take any crap. She didn’t back down. She was not going to be played with. I loved her fighting spirit. She knew something was wrong and she was intent on fixing it.

Aiden the A.I. was fascinating. It was so lifelike that many times I forgot it wasn’t human. I thought it was interesting the way it connected to the human and how it could logic things out. I am curious to see how it returns and changes throughout the series.

What I was just okay with
I am gong to be honest the plot wasn’t anything that particularly astounded me. I felt it was very simple and pretty easy to predict. They get attacked, someone is hiding something, mysterious sickness takes over and then they run for their lives. It is a pretty set plot.

It is the format that makes this book. Without the format I think it would have taken much much longer to finish the story and I am not sure I would have gone onto the other books. In a normal novel format this would have felt done before. In this format it felt fresh and new.

I wasn’t very impressed with Ezra’s character. He was pretty simple. I felt like he was two  dimensional throughout the story. I hope that his character grows throughout the rest of the series. I want to see him get to the same level of being a badass as Kady.

What I Wished was Different_
I think in the middle things slowed down a little because much of the content was the same type of instant messages back and forth. I think that portion could have been broken up a little bit. Something different thrown in. I got a little bored reading that format but in the end it didn’t harm the story at all.

I gave this book 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. I loved the found footage feel, the mystery of it is what kept me reading.

Copy of What I was just okay with
“Point is, I had no idea how safe I was because I’d never been unsafe.” (pg. 103)

“Too young to know failure and the fear it brings.” (pg. 279)

“Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.” (pg. 302)

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