Friday, June 23, 2017

Review: Shatter Me

Shatter Me Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Welcome to X-Men Shatter Me, story of a strange young woman named Rogue Juliette who can kill people just by touching them. And she hates herself for it, but can't do anything about it and wants to die, poor girl.

This novel is a tiresome cliche storm. This novel is awesomely cliche-riffic.

I loved it. Just loved loved loved it. I would read this book 1 2 1500 times. Really. Juliette was oh so relatable, a mirror to so much of me. And Adam was great in this book too, but my favorite was Kenji, that guy who walks with his own laugh track.

(Not so much Warner, that piece of bantha fodder piece of so much early Rhysand.)

Can't wait to reread the remaining two books!

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: The Fall of the House of Cabal

The Fall of the House of Cabal The Fall of the House of Cabal by Jonathan L. Howard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a member of the Cabal Cabal, I confess myself a tad disappointed in this fifth novel in the series. This, I think, largely stems from the novel's relatively unfocused, scattershot plot, in which there were simply too many characters (besides those Cabal brothers) to keep track of, and even as they trotted the globe, it was only too easy to forget, sometimes, what the stakes really were this time around. That said, I didn't find it lacking in the signature Cabal dark humor, and there were quite a few welcome callbacks to previous Cabal stories, including the return of the Mirkarvian aeroship, the Princess Hortense.

Though I hear Jonathan Howard's taking a break from this series, I still can't wait to see what he gives us next.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Review: Wires and Nerve, Volume 1

Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first, I thought this graphic novel would be an adaptation of the original Lunar Chronicles books - and then when I heard Iko would be the central character, I thought it would be another side, another story. Nope, just another story, a sequel to the original series with Iko as the star. And damn, she is so good in this lead role - Meyer should've given her more spotlight sooner! My only real complaints about this book are the general lack of Scarlet and Wolf, as well as the artwork - I dunno, it doesn't appeal to me that much. At least it's not Dark Knight Returns levels of ugly, though, so there's that. And there's a great story in this graphic novel - a story that ends in a wild cliffhanger, which demands to be resolved ASAP. So I'll be better at putting myself in line for Wires and Nerve, Vol. 2 when it comes out. :)

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review: The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aimal Farooq recommended this author, and mentioned the movie based on this book of his. So when I got them both at the library, I decided to read the book first, and I think I made a wise choice. The movie, while not half-bad (and nor should it be, not when Riz Ahmed is the star!), loses a lot of the novel's poetic quality in its effort to expand, to build on the story Hamid gives us in under 200 pages. And while I sometimes found the story a little unfocused, Hamid writes the book so uniquely, so heavy on Gray and Grey Morality and Pakistani culture (especially food - mmm!), that I couldn't help but finish the whole thing in one sitting - and, from there, wonder exactly what had happened. Especially with that ending, the ambiguity of which puts Inception to shame - and, naturally, means it's not adapted that way in the movie.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Review: Cibola Burn

Cibola Burn Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After Abaddon's Gate left me questioning my faith in the team behind James S.A. Corey and The Expanse, I'm happy to say that Cibola Burn restored that faith.

By taking the setting well beyond our solar system and bringing us to the most terra incognita place yet, and delivering some damn good apocalyptic thrills worthy of Ridley Scott's work on that most underrated classic Prometheus, I think the series bounced back up to the quality I came to expect from Leviathan Wakes and Caliban's War both. Though I was a little weirded out by those random "Investigator" interludes and their repetitive nature, and slightly daunted by the sheer length, Cibola Burn proved to be one of the most rewarding entries yet in the world of The Expanse - especially with the return of two of my favorite characters, even if for all too brief periods of time, and holy crap on a cracker, that epilogue.

The second I finished this book, I had to place my order at the library for Book 5 - which apparently is proving quite popular right now, so I had to special order it from another library. But I promise, soon I shall read and review Nemesis Games and hope it keeps on building this series' high hype.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Review: Flame in the Mist

Flame in the Mist Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I liked Ahdieh's first duology and its unique take on the Arabian Nights, but this book wasn't nearly as enjoyable. Rather than the lush, romantic fantasy she gifted us with before, Ahdieh's story of a young Japanese noblewoman forced to hide out with the group that tried to kill her (calling it a Mulan retelling is highly inaccurate, especially given the Japanese setting as opposed to Chinese, but other reviewers have covered that in greater depth) is dark and full of terrors, but suffers from a muddled, repetitive plot, like Zack Snyder possessed Ahdieh as she wrote this book. Not helping is the fact that, even though chapters alternate between Mariko's and Kenshin's POVs (and I love Mariko, especially), the fact that both are rendered in third person makes it very hard for me to connect with them, or even differentiate between them sometimes. But the "dark and full of terrors" helps boost the story out of the trash heap for me, especially with that carnivorous jubokko tree, as well as the final scene, which is scarily reminiscent of a recent episode of Supergirl - no spoilers, though.

I'll read the sequel to this book - it's ending another duology, right? But I'm going into that one with some reservations, unless Ahdieh manages to tighten the pacing and make her characters more vibrant.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: Girl Out of Water

Girl Out of Water Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If not for this book getting flooded with trolls a few months back, I probably wouldn't have heard of it, nor ordered it from the library as soon as I did. On the surface, it really doesn't seem my style. And yet, reading this book, I found it pleasantly surprising how good it was. Though the story does lose considerable steam in the final act, which builds up to an ending so open I feel like it doesn't wrap anything up at all, I have to say, Laura Silverman can write some damn good characters. They pop off the page, each lending a slightly different flavor to this book's salt-tinged voice - my favorite flavor, though, is that of the twins, Parker and Nash, those adorable little buggers. And for what it's worth, even with the ending (as well as the love triangle that I kinda wish wasn't there - I ship Anise with Lincoln a hell of a lot more than I ship her with Eric) making me feel like this book is wanting, I read the whole thing in one sitting, easily.

And now, I'm wondering why I don't go to the beach more often. Hell, from the sound of it, everyone in Santa Cruz is happy to hook up with tourists over the summer. I should've done that as a teenager, LOL. Be the tourist, that is.

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