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review 2018-05-25 16:53
3 Out Of 5 "Colonized Mars" STARS
Red Rising - Pierce Brown,Tim Gerard Reynolds

 

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Red Rising

Pierce Brown

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Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

 

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

 

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

 

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I took forever to finish this, the audio was difficult to understand…and when I remembered that I had actually purchased this in eBook format, I started reading while listening.  Which helped, but still, it was really difficult for me to stay in the story.  For me Red Rising is plagued with too many characters, plot lines I couldn't always follow and a difficult to discern accent.

 

 This had the potential to be epic, and yet I only felt a smattering of that epic-ness.  The last two-thirds of the book involves some sort competition that I didn't really comprehend why they were doing it in the first place…like what was the point of it?  I believe, if I continue this series, I need to actually read the book and skip the audio.

 

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~MY RATING~

3STARS - GRADE=C

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.5/5

The Feels~ 3.5/5

Pacing~ 3/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 1.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3/5

Originality~ 3.5/5

Ending~ 3/5 Cliffhanger~ "to be continued"

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Book Cover~ Meh…

Narration~  2.5 -Gerard Reynolds…I really didn't like this narration.

Series~ Red Rising #1

Setting~ Mars

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-05-25 16:07
Exploring an untapped part of the Star Trek universe
The Rift - Peter David

Returning to Vega after their adventure on Talos IV, the U.S.S. Enterprise encounters a rift in space. After taking his ship through the rift, Captain Christopher Pike and his crew meet the Calligar, an advanced civilization in the far-off Gamma Quadrant; while initial interactions are promising, the Enterprise is forced to return to Federation space before the rift closes. Thirty three years later the rift opens again, giving the Federation the opportunity to renew the contact, this time with a team led by Captain James Kirk in the Enterprise-A, though this time the Calligar leader precipitates a crisis that jeopardizes both amicable relations and the Federation representatives sent to establish them,

 

On one level it's surprising that, even after a profitable half-century of developing the Star Trek franchise, so little has been done with the previous crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise; indeed, there are even more works about author-created characters than there are ones featuring the Enterprise under Jim Kirk's predecessor. Peter David uses the limited material from the original pilot to provide a depiction of a very different Enterprise crew, giving his work a freshness that is often lacking in a Star Trek novel. His concept of a periodically-opening rift to a distant part of the galaxy is also an interesting one, serving as a nice way to tie events to the Enterprise crew with whom fans are more familiar. Yet the second part of the novel is more disappointing, as the plot follows tired characters into well-worn grooves with a predictable course of events. Though David enlivens this part with some knowing jokes and a nice little twist, it still doesn't live up to the originality and promise of the first half of the book.

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review 2018-05-24 14:59
Back to basics
Windows on a Lost World - V.E. Mitchell

There is something appealingly basic about Victoria Mitchell's second contribution to the Pocket Books series of Star Trek novels. In it the Enterprise takes a team of archaeologists to a deserted planet. There they uncover evidence of an even older civilization than the one they were sent to investigate, one that left behind mysterious "windows" that are still active and were subsequently buried by their successors. An accident sends Kirk, Chekov, and one of the archaeologists into the window, where they vanish . . . and the Enterprise suddenly detects alien life on a previously uninhabited world.

 

What struck me about Mitchell's novel as I was reading it was how well her book captures the essential framework of an episode of an original series: the Enterprise explores something, encounters a problem that jeopardizes some of the crew, and then the rest of the crew works together to unravel the mystery and save the crew members in jeopardy. For this comfortingly familiar structure Mitchell provides a story that would have been impossible with the budget and effects of the series, with a refreshingly original alien species unlike any that had been envisioned beforehand. And even if the the the character traits and skill sets of her new characters are a bit too convenient for the story, overall the combination makes for one of the better Original Series novels, one that synthesizes well the best elements of the show and the possibilities of the written page.

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review 2018-05-24 03:31
Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood #2)
Leah on the Offbeat - Becky Albertalli

Wow, I don't even know where to start with how awful this book is.

 

Terrible bi rep? Check.

Terrible girl rep? Check

Terrible fat girl rep? Check.

 

I loved Simon Vs The Homo-Sapiens Agenda and fell in love with all the characters (well, not Martin) and I felt especially drawn to Leah. So when I found out there was going to be another book, centered on Leah, I got excited. Then the blurb mentioned that she's suddenly bisexual, and I got concerned because there was zero indication or hint of that in the first book. But it couldn't be that bad, right?

 

Other reviewers have said it better: this story felt like fanfic. And not even good fanfic. It felt like the really bad fanfic that you don't admit to reading. The AU kind where everyone's gay and acts so out of character as to be unrecognizable in order to force together the writer's OTP that makes zero sense in canon but dammit they're going to make it work no matter what. 

 

On top of that, there's no plot. It's just a string of scenes that are connected only be the fact they happen chronologically (aside from a couple of flashbacks). Leah exists just to be awful and condescending and rude to everyone, yet for some reason everyone still loves her.

 

There's also no heart. We never learn why Leah acts the way she does because there's zero reflection on her actions or feelings, and so she never learns or develops. She's the exact same awful person at the end of the book as she is at the start of it, and she's taken everyone else down with her. This is just Leah referring to herself as a bitch for 300 pages because isn't it hilarious when girls call themselves slur words? There's no reason to care about Leah, so there's no reason to care about anything that's going on around her.

 

There's a really awkward attempt at addressing racism that feels more like it was written as an overhanded after-school special message than an actual examination of racism and all of its nuances. It's there solely to give Leah one shining moment of being not completely sucky. 

 

In a word, this book is superficial.

 

The first half dragged because nothing happened aside from Leah being rude, not knowing how to express herself, and constantly having brain freeze, stopped heart and flipping stomach, because that's what hormones do to seventeen-year old girls. And apparently being bisexual means you develop crushes on everyone. I couldn't take the plodding pace of non-action, so I did skim most of the second half starting around 60%. Thankfully, not much happened in that section beyond prom, Leah and her girlfriend being selfish and awful to everyone at prom, and the writer leaving a bunch of dangling threads.

 

This was a huge disappointment and read like the Ms. Albertalli just phoned it in.

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review 2018-05-23 04:45
3.3 Out Of 5 "who put that dead body in the trunk of my car" STARS
Just A Little Junk - Stylo Fantome

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Just A Little Junk

Stylo Fantome

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Jodi Morgan is having a bad weekend. 

 

After partying a little too hard, she wakes up with a monster hangover and almost no recollection of the night before. So imagine her surprise when she looks in her trunk and instead of finding a spare tire, she finds the last guy she'd danced with before blacking out. 

 

Who is he? How did he get in there? How did he die? And oh dear lord, did she kill him!? 

 

When her older brother's best friend offers to help, things start looking up. They've known each other since she was thirteen, and ten years later, he still treats her like a little kid - surely, committing felonies has to trigger some sort of spark. Together, they wind up going on an adventure that takes them all over Los Angeles. From raves to penthouses to strip clubs. All in the search for the answer to her question. 

 

Who is the dead guy in my trunk!?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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If you like a funny, albeit, over the top rom-com, reminiscent of The Hangover with a splash of Weekend at Bernie's, you should give this a try. (((The scene at the rave is my favorite of the whole book))). I thought this was a totally fun read, while not life-changing or anything quite like that, though.  And, other than the twist near the end and everything following after, this could have been a solid 4-stars.  That whole scene…it was just too over the top for me.  But hey, it could make for an entertaining movie, I'm sure.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.3STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.5/5

Main Characters~ 3.2/5

Secondary Characters~ 3/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 2/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ It's quite cute...

Setting~ Van Nuys & Malibu, California

Source~ I own Kindle eBook

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