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text 2013-10-30 22:59
Continuing: The Diviners
The Diviners - Libba Bray

Picking up where I left off about a month ago.  So this is sort of a first impression opinion post.




When I first read Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series, this phenomenon seemed to happen: I just could NOT get into the story at all.  A Great and Terrible Beauty had some beautiful writing and great attention to detail.  I don't know what it was, but I had started reading the book and put it on hold a total of three times before I finally hunkered down and got past that strange barrier.  And after that, I enjoyed the book alright -- it wasn't the best of reads, but it was enough to keep me hooked in and interested.


And now, with The Diviners, the same exact thing has happened.


Here is a brief rundown of my thoughts written by the chapter up to how far I'd gotten before I put it on hold due to one series marathon, new book releases, and other interests...



First Chapter: A Late-Summer Evening

I'm sure I skimmed over half of this chapter without really knowing what the significance of describing an entire city in intricate detail merits if we won't even be seeing it again.  As far as the summary depicts, our heroine is leaving the town anyway.  The scenes taking place with the Ouija board and then the very last paragraph of the entire chapter were the only parts I cared enough about to pay attention to... so, whatevs.


I've read this first chapter three times (due to that mental block that keeps drawing me away from this book), and it still doesn't get any better.  If anything, I'm starting to wonder if this is my blatant disinterest in historical fiction, or if Libba Bray's introductory style just turns me off since I had the same problem with A Great and Terrible Beauty.  While I love her writing style, her pacing just hits me as being kind of slow.


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text 2013-10-28 12:16
Update: 40% Completed
Scent of Magic - Maria V. Snyder

This series so far certainly has a very fast-paced, go-go-go type of progression to it.  It's to the point where I don't have time to really think about the little quibbles that cross my mind, as well as the few instances of cringing I do at some of the dialogue and the narration.


Also, the flipping back and forth from Kerrick to Avry's 1st person POV is a little distracting.  I'm not certain that I like it or that it's working very well.  There was even a point where I felt like I didn't really care what was going on with Kerrick, even though his part of the story is probably important in the progression.


This isn't to say that I'm not enjoying it.  I DO appreciate Avry's kickass-ness, as a main character.  She just almost seems way too perfect sometimes though.  Nonetheless, I like her.


So overall, I'm keeping up with the story pretty well, so far and I don't have too many complaints yet.  The few complaints I DO end up having, I tend to forget after a couple more pages, so I'm just going to let those go.

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review 2013-10-28 12:09
Review to come: Cinder
Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Well... maybe.


I find that despite the fact that I feel like I really liked this book (I certainly read through the entire thing like I had a physical need to find out what happens next), I can't think of anything to say about it.


I take back what I said about the blocky Asian dialogue -- I had only read the first chapter and was a little concerned with the world building being based on a futuristic Asia (known in the book as the Eastern Commonwealth).  But everything turned out pleasantly awesome... in a way.


I'm going to take some time to think about this book before I finally decide whether or not I want actually write a review about it.  For the meantime, I really DID enjoy it a lot, though I can't exactly pinpoint what I liked about it and what didn't work for me.  The book just kind of... happened and I was satisfied with it as a whole.


I will say, there were some awesome feels going on during some points of the story.


For certain, I AM going to read the next book and have put the rest of the series on my To Read list.  I'm just going to pace myself since the third book won't be out until February and it seems there are talks of the ending of the second book being a suspenseful hanger.  Not fond of those...


And lately I've been contemplating just waiting for the entire series of certain books to be completed before starting them.  Cliff hangers are just going to be the death of me one of these days.  Especially if I've grown attached to the series and its characters.

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text 2013-10-23 13:09
Starting: Cinder
Cinder - Marissa Meyer

So... due to a bit of a stress-inducing night at work, the next afternoon when I woke up, I indulged myself in... let's just say, a book-buying-binge.  Most women shop for shoes, clothing, purses, etc. to alleviate stress.  I spoiled myself with a few books.  And it also helped that there were several price drops on Amazon.  I probably would have been a lot happier taking my happy ass to the nearest bookstore and immersing myself within shelves and paperbacks, but I was still too cranky to dredge up any motivation to leave the house -- so cyber shopping it was!


Anyway, back to the book, no?


Cinder was one of the books I'd been eyeing over and over again, but never really got the pull to purchase or read.  But it ended up being one of my purchases yesterday.  Then, on a curious whim, I started reading the first chapter during my break at work.


I'm officially interested.  It didn't really take long.  I like the concept.  Because then I went and browsed the summary blurbs of the rest of the books in the series and am now determined to read this entire series.  I'm a big fan of fairy tales and their retellings -- always a good way to hook me immediately.  In this series, we're taking one world set-up and retelling few different fairy tales as we follow Cinder's adventures; apparently there's Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, then Snow White.


Allow me to gape silently as my mind fangirls for a bit................................................




Cinderella is one of my favorite fairy tales, though I tend to favor more the retellings than the original; it just happens to have sentimental value because it was the first Disney movie I remember watching and loving when I was a kid.  Nowadays I start to see the original Disney version with a bit of a shallow touch to it (instalove at its best, even if happily ever after is intended), and I tend to groan at damsels in distress who need a prince to take them away.  My favorite Cinderella remake by far would have to be the Drew Barrymore version, Ever After.  See, there's a Cinderella who never needed her prince to save her from her dreary, rotten life of servitude to her evil stepmother!


But anyway... segway... again...


I like what I've read so far, though it's hard to judge with just one chapter.  It's an interesting set-up seeing as how Cinderella is a cyborg and a famous, highly skilled mechanic, and the setting is some futuristic society with a very Asian themed world as it's backdrop.  We start off in a place called New Beijing, we meet characters like Prince Kai, Iko, and Chang Sacha, and the telling and dialogue seems to have a distinct blocky Asian feel to it that might bug me.  


I don't mean the fact that it's Asian that it will bug me ('cause, hey, I'm Asian and I delight in Asian themes), but the fact that there's always a perceived "too formal" tone to dialogue when trying to be depicted as Asian that comes off a bit awkward in a lot of Asian themed books whether written by someone Asian or not.  It reminds me of someone trying to translate classic Chinese literary works, so they tend to translate everything to the word in the most formal tone possible (a sign of respect, maybe? though I DO admit that historical Chinese probably DID tend to sound too formal and poetic and blocky, of which I never complained about before when watching historical Chinese TV series... meh, I'm a walking contradiction), but for a more modern work, the dialogue should probably try to sound like any other natural colloquial conversation with informalities and slang and the like.


Though I DO see how formalities form in the presence of Prince Kai, so maybe I'm jumping the gun here a little bit.


Still I'm interested to see how this pans out; however, there's also the possibility I could get critical with this considering it's a futuristic China or something like that.  There seems to be an infusion of various Asian cultures -- I'm reserving my judgments for later as the story progresses.


Otherwise, the concept of the book itself is pretty intriguing.  I'm looking forward to seeing where this will take me.

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text 2013-10-19 18:48
Update: 13% and dragging
Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy) - Jennifer Estep

Maybe it was because I wasn't feeling well or something, but these are the words that went through my mind as I read through chapters 2 and 3:  "You are becoming increasingly boring to me."  


Here is a case where too much telling is going on and not enough action, because honestly, I don't need to know what kind of tomato sandwich you're fixing yourself within the context of a whole paragraph.  And I also don't really care to know the stereotypes of each and every student type at your school.  We could have covered your entire back story in one chapter or less, honestly -- I'm not much for info dumps.


So far, Gwen comes across as hypocritical: she resents that she's stereotyped as a poor Gypsy girl and assumes that people are scrutinizing her unfairly, but she does the same thing to everyone else.  She's judgmental and makes her own stereotyped assumptions of the rest of the students.


Also, for a girl who doesn't seem to care about the popularity spectrum, she sure does know a lot about it.


Anyway, maybe I'm jumping the gun and I need to read a little further before I solidify my opinions, but it's not looking good unless some action starts happening -- like a mystery mission or a murder or something...


Gonna see how far I get before I have to return the book tomorrow though.  Then it'll be set on hold until I can check it out from the e-book library again.

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