Tuesday, August 27, 2013

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Why I read this book?

My best friend is head over heels about this series and continuing (by now) tradition we plan to go and see the movie for our girl's night. So you see, I pretty much had to read the book, didn't I? ;)

What's the book about?

If you are not into YA fantasy I think is best if you don't go for this book. So, there is this girl, she thinks she is very normal, but she is not, she is actually a Shadowhunter (the name explains it, she has to hunt shadowy creatures a.k.a: demons) and at the same time she discovers this, she will also learn about another side of this world and realize the role she has in it.

What about the main character?

Clary (Clarissa, man that name takes me back some decades) was portrayed as a very simple character to me in this first book. Mind you, not Bella helpless, but still. She is the artsy type and as many teenage girls, feels she is not pretty at all. She is a bit oblivious of the fact that her best friend Simon is in love with her. She is not yet in my "female characters I don't mind my non-existent daughter would follow as example" but she didn't make the "oh hell no" list either, so that's that.

Final thoughts

Being a fanfiction author at first, I guess it was not surprise that she throw almost everything supernatural in the first installment. I was surprised to learn that even though this book has been around for almost 6 years now, they are just now using it for a movie. In general I liked it, it is exactly what it is being sold to be, a YA supernatural story. Is it great? No, it could have a better main character, but it has an interesting premise none the less. Is it horrible? No, the dialogues flow nicely enough, they don't seem as "fake teen" as this type of books often do, and the main character is not completely a damsel in distress that is nothing without a man next to her. Hopefully Clary will grow some presence in the next installment. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Readers Imbibing Peril VIII (R.I.P VIII)

Can you believe that is already the last week of August? That means, my dearest readers, that it is time for the Readers Imbibing Peril VIII (R.I.P VIII). In case you don't remember or that you are new around here, the main thing about this "challenge" is reading (or watching) anything that follows into the following genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, Supernatural.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above. That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event. I will highly encourage you to go to Carl's website at Stainless Steel Droppings to check out the "rules". 

This year I will be doing the Peril the First Challenge, which implies reading at least 4 books that fall in the genres mentioned. The first books to make the list are:

        The Nightmare by Lars Kepler: The second installment of the Lars Kepler duo. Last year I read The Hypnotist and I loved it. I got The Nightmare for Christmas, and I have to tell you, it's been really hard not to dive in the second one!

          The Twelve by Justin Cronin: The continuation of the The Passage; once again I was hooked by the first book, albeit it was a big book to read during last year's Read-a-Thon.  It's already reserved at the library and shall be in my hands soon enough.

          The Reckoning by Alma Katsu: The second book from The Taker Trilogy. I won a copy during this spring's Read-a-Thon; unfortunately it hasn't arrived yet :(, but there is a copy at the library, so problem solved.

          Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake: The continuation of Anna dressed in Blood. This one I will have to buy, since is not available at the library.

           *extra* The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper: An extra entry thanks to Audible :)

Well that's it for now. Last year I manage to read 6 books for the challenge, but since I'm also part of the Sword & Laser book club now, I don't know what else will be in my reading list. Either way, I'm planning on also doing the Fall Read-a-Thon so the list might change a bit.

**Note: for now the links to the books will take you to GoodReads, as the challenge progresses I will change the links to my reviews ^-^**

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Never List by Koethi Zan


Human beings are so terrible...they can bear anything

Why I read this book?

I heard Rebecca Joines Schinsky talking about it in one of her podcasts and since I liked Gone Girl so much, I went immediately to reserve it at my local library. I read it in 2 days and that's only because I couldn't spend the day just reading.

What's the book about?

Sarah (now known as Caroline) is a survivor of kidnapping and torture in her early twenties. She was abducted with her best friend who didn't make it. Now, after 10 years, her abductor is about to be released on parole, since he was "only convicted" on abduction, not murderer. Determined to find a reason for him to stay in jail, she embarks in a quest to re trace her past, confront her fears and try to solve the mystery still open.

What about the main character?

She is a traumatized (can you blame her?) woman, agoraphobic of sorts. She left Ohio and now works in New York as a risk analyst, which is perfect for her since she can work from home. Also, she is a person that lives in a constant guilt trip, not only because Jennifer died, but she feels guilty around the 2 other girls that were there also abducted around the same time she was. 

Final thoughts

I liked the book, but I think I would've compared it to Dark Places and not Gone Girl. Why? Because yes is well written, yes is a bit disturbing, but this was always constant, it didn't built up like Gone Girl did; the characters didn't turned out to be more twisted the more you read. Sure, I didn't expect the end, but I can't say I was flabbergasted with it, I was more like "Oh, well how about that?" and then continued.  I don't know if this is going to sound weird, but with the comments I saw around before reading it, I thought it was going to be more descriptive, more chill-down-your-spine type of book. I'm not necessarily disappointed at the fact that it wasn't, but you see, I think that's what set appart Gillyan Flynn for me, that a lot of time I had to put down my book and say: F%^&! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Metatropolis by Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi and Karl Schroeder

Why I read this book?

This was a gift from Audible. There were a couple of options but since I already knew Scalzi and liked him quite a bit I decided to go for it.

What's the book about?

This book is actually a collection of 5 different novellas that happen to share a common universe. A dystopian United States that has suffered the excesses of our times and now struggles to survive. Cities have emerged or evolved in such environment and the people in them have to adapt to new types of societies

Which was my favorite novella?

My favorite novella was by far the third one: The Red in the sky is our Blood by Elisabeth Bear. I really enjoyed the reader Kandyse  McClure. Contrary to what I felt with the previous two novellas, this one wasn't so much "the world is destroyed" in your face as the other, albeit it does mention several situation that have developed from the previous living ways. It talks about trust and being able to adapt. Second favorite would be Scalzi's Utere Nihil Non Extra Quiritationem Suis. As always Scalzi manages to bring a funny side to this writing while giving a nice story.

Final thoughts

Thank goodness for the 3rd and 4th novellas. I wasn't that much into the other three...well, that's not true, I liked the premise of all of the novellas, but the delivery of the first 2 and the last one didn't cut it for me. I think my problem was mostly with the narrators. Sotchasti-city was particularly monotone in tone, so sometimes I wouldn't realize the characters had changed, similar problem with To Hie from Cilenia, but Stefan Rudnicki's voice carried more than Scott Brick. 

In general I liked the idea of very different lives converging in a common universe, while being told with such different voices, but I was expecting more, which is why I gave this book a 3.5.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Female Ward by Debalina Haldar

Ragging at its most harmless is embarrassing and silly, but at its worst, it attempts to prevent individual students from independent thinking, attempts, in fact, to eradicate freewill

Why I read this book?
I got this book with the LybraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.  I asked for it since the story seemed very touching, even more when I learnt it was based on a true story.

What's the book about?

The story is told from the point of view of Disahri, a young woman that was a student at a engineering school who, along with 2 of her friends, was accused of bullying (ragging) a girl to the point that she attempted suicide.  The story jumps from present to past, showing us her life in prison as well as her time at school.

What about the main character?

Dishari is a sweet character. She is very naive, or at least I read her that way. She was also ragged when she began school, since apparently this is a common practice, but she was determined not to repeat the things that were done to her in the past. I found some strength in her, albeit she is not necessarily a strong character, but I think this is due to her being very young. 

Final thoughts

I think this was a very nice first book. In my opinion it needs a bit more work on the dialogs so they flow better. I don't know if the situation in India is still like that, ragging wise, but I do know the situation for women is far from good. Is a very compelling book, which makes you think and feel for the characters from the very beginning. Best of lucks to Haldar in her writing carrier. 

We enter the world with fists closed and when we leave, our hands are open. He said I should make full use of the time given to me for my life.