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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-11-30 06:19
November 2018 — A Wrap-Up

 

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 

Even though I read this book in October, I forgot to include it in that month’s wrap-up. So, reviewing it now. Cinder is the story of Cinderella but one who is half cyborg and works as a mechanic. All the elements you’d expect from such a story are there, i.e., an evil stepmom, a dead dad, and a prince who is smitten with the poor girl.

 

But the same goes for the issues that the original (read Disney) version and most YAs have. For instance, the forging of an instant connection between the prince and Cindy. She is considered expendable and is extremely poor at the beginning of the story. Yet soon she not only attracts royalty, but her blood also becomes the only source that can cure the virus plaguing the country. We also come across completely irredeemable and good-spirited characters, meaning everything is black and white.

 

All that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this modern twist on an old story because I did, which is why I will be reading the next one.

 

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Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard

 

The story opens on a man, Johanne Cabal, the Necromancer, striding into hell and demanding to see Satan. Having sold his soul for necromancy, he now wants it back. The reason for that becomes clear only at the end of the book and that too only partially. Satan sets him to achieve a seemingly insurmountable task in return for Cabal’s soul.

As Johannes recruits, recreates, and alienates people during the journey, we meet many quirky characters. The best thing about the book is undoubtedly its sense of humor.

 

Take a look:

“I was cast down from the presence of God himself into this dark, sulphurous pit and condemned to spend eternity here—”

“Have you tried saying sorry?” interrupted Cabal.

“No, I haven’t! I was sent down for a sin of pride. It rather undermines my position if I say ‘sorry’!”

The quote above is an excerpt from the exchange between Cabal and the Devil. The one below is about a crow (one of Satan’s minion) that follows Johannes around when its master can’t spy on him:

It looked at them; first with one eye, then with the other. Then, to show it was a polymath among crows, it went back to the first eye.

Besides laughing out loud, I also learned a few new words. You can view them below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, I can’t wait to read the next one!

 

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Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

 

This wasn’t the first book of Ms. Valente that I read. And like that one, this book was a beautiful hot mess. Her prose is almost succulent enough that you can bite into it and yet, in the end, you will be left thinking, What did I just read? 

 

Was it a commentary on the Russian Revolution? Was the book about Russian myths? Was it a coming of age story? Or, was it simply fantasy YA? I’d say there was a bit of everything in it!

 

 

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

 

A friend who exclusively reads middle-grade fantasy is crazy about this series. Since her taste in books and mine matches, I was excited to get started with this one.

 

It left me both underwhelmed and pleasantly surprised. The writing is crisp in a way that it immerses you in the scene playing before you. Consider the lines below on how the protag had been raised by her single mother:

Maura had decided sometime
before Blue’s birth that it was barbaric to order children about,
and so Blue had grown up surrounded by imperative question
marks.

I also loved the wry humor, which can be seen clearly in the example below:

Calla had once observed that Maura had no pets because her
principles took too much time to take care of.

What I wasn’t that crazy about was the mystery that the story is based on. I liked the characters and mostly enjoyed the book — even though I caught on to the twist pretty early. But the story failed to excite about the mystery. And there was a lot of random stuff going on. The tree that showed the future, for instance, why was it even there?

 

I’d like to continue with this trilogy though.

 

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My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent

 

I always enjoy reading anything by Rachel Vincent. Even though this book is majorly YA-flawed, I still enjoyed it because I am used to her writing style. No, I don’t have anything against YA, but certain things like the heroine failing to see that her bf was the demonic drug supplier can only happen in YA books.

 

Anyway, this series has grown on me and I intend to see it through.

 

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Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

 

Another book set in hell. I had been looking for such books because I had landed on the square for it in book bingo. The Cabal book was enough for it but since I had already done the hard work researching them and because I had liked Fight Club, I went ahead with this one too.

 

Normally, it bugs me when a male author writes a female character who is annoyingly smart or just full of themselves. Like these lines below made me wanna smack the heroine:

Such vocabulary props served as my eye shadow, my breast implants, my physical coordination, my confidence. These words: erudite and insidious and obfuscate, served as my crutches.

And it happened many more times. Most of the time, though, the writing was good enough to rescue the book from abandonment. Consider this sample:

Trickling toenails threaten to become full-fledged avalanches which could bury us alive (alive?) in their talus of prickly keratin.

And this one:

That, I think, is the function of Hell: It’s a place of remembering. Beyond that, the purpose of Hell is not so much to forget the details of our lives as it is to forgive them.

I also learned some new words:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, so I have no clue if the jejunum (part of the small intestine that absorbs nutrients from already digested food particles) has its roots in the word, jejune, or not. But it would be cool if it did, right?

 

As you can see, I didn’t do much reading this month. How did you fare?

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review 2018-11-26 14:49
Review: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
Cress - Marissa Meyer

 

 

Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker; unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

 

 

 

 

We have made it to Cress or Rapunzel . I’m always amazed when reading this series how well everything comes together, we have all the different story lines and fairy tales and yet it all comes together as one awesome story.

I rather enjoyed Cress in all her awkward and dreamy(ness) . She was fun to read and to see and follow her growth throughout the book. From the shy girl we first meet to the warrior she becomes in her own way.  I’m not really sure what to think of the shocking family reunion. I didn’t see it coming at all and it was really a surprise to me but also I’m not sure if it was a bit too convenient for the overall story line and everything connecting.

Thorne, I still enjoyed him a lot if not even more than last book. He puts out a tough shell for show but I think there is something nice and soft under that hard shell. I liked he handled his rather unexpected circumstance and he never lost hope or his humor. Be interesting to see how this will work out for him. 

Of course we meet Scarlet and Wolf again, it was great to see how they are together. Something happens to Scarlet that throws them and everyone for a loop and is not solved by the end of the book. I can’t wait to see how that turns out. We also get a glimpse of how dangerous Wolf can still be.

Then we have Cinder and Kai…… I really like Cinder and I love how she becomes so much more confident with each book, she also becoming funnier, I think or at least she loosens up a bit and it comes over that way. But she also becomes stronger and started to lead more.

Kai, I still really enjoy Kai but man oh man was he dense in this book …. So many glues and he never got it until it got spelled out for him.

Iko, still my favorite and I like to see her transformations, I just can’t get enough of her….. We also meet some new faces that I enjoyed but to be honest also was a bit confused by. I’m still not sure which site Jacin really is after that ending. Time will tell I guess.

A lot of stuff is going and things are moving fast in a war to stop Leveana . We also get a sneak peak and idea of Winter.

The ending was scream worthy and I can’t believe it ended there and I can’t wait to get to the next book, which is a huge book I see.

Overall I really enjoyed it some parts were off or I wasn’t sure but for the most part I really liked it…

I rate it 4 ★

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy Links

 

 

Amazon *** B&N *** Kobo 

 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2018/11/26/review-cress-the-lunar-chronicles-3-by-marissa-meyer
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review 2018-10-24 15:38
#57 - Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (re-read)
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

Another re-read as part of my Lunar Chronicles reread (I am trying to read all books before the end of the year). I already posted about this book when I first read it in 2015, you can find here my opinion on the first 3 books in the series.

 

I liked it beter than the first time I read it though. Again, this world is really one of my favourite and I am falling in love with it all over again. I totally recommend it.

 

 

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review 2018-10-21 08:54
#55 - Cinder by Marissa Meyer (reread)
Cinder - Marissa Meyer

I decided to re-read the Lunar Chronicles because it is one of my favourite series ever. And I still love it as much as the first time I read it.

 

I fell in love with this story and its characters all over again. If you have never read this series I totally recommend it to you. If you love sci-fi and YA, you won’t be disappointed!

 

The whole series is inspired by fairy tales (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel & Snow White, but there are also a lot of things that reminded me of Star Wars in there!)

 

I don’t really know what more to say about it, I think I already wrote a review that you can probably find on the blog. Also, as I have already finished the entire series there are things I know are going to happen so I am afraid of revealing spoilers.

 

I definitely recommend this series if you have not read it yet because it is totally amazing.

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review 2018-09-27 01:40
Pretty but problematic
Cinder - Marissa Meyer

I'm divided on this one.

 

I liked the writing. I liked the stab at representation and consent issues. New takes of old tales are always an interest to me, and the sci-fi slant is just more win.

 

I could not get over Earland. On his own, he undermines most of the good bits about body-autonomy, consent and chauvinistics screenings. There's this bit where the doc passes on testing the virus/cure combo on a male cyborg ostensibly because he's too old (and in his mind, ostensibly because he has a son), but then gets all gung-ho on testing the teen girl, and a female colleague implies it is because he's a chauvinistic ass. But hey, no! That woman was obviously wrong and overreacting! (oversensitive feminists!) He just knew that the immune one he was looking for would be a cyborg teen girl. He's not racist or anything. It is just a pity that the easiest way to find her was to implement a draft on a group with little body autonomy and they... well... die. The princess (and a cure... that too) must be found! He's just working with the system! Honest! (I kept thinking of The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks, and also the Nuremberg Trials, ain't he a peach?)

 

The other bit that I did not like was the very end.

 

Cinder is overwhelmed by all the revelations and pretty much giving up, even as Earland gives her the tools to escape and a path forward (Oh yeah, and on that note, this speech is not skeevy at all

But finding you and being able to reinstate you as queen are two very different goals. I have planned this moment for a long time. I can help you.”
Cinder gawked at him as panic gripped her lungs. “Reinstate me as queen?”
The doctor cleared his throat. “I understand you are frightened right now, and confused. Do not think too much. All I’m asking is that you find a way out of this prison. I know you can do that. Then come to Africa. I will guide you through the rest. Please. We cannot let Levana win.”

) she can't even contemplate it till she thinks about her prince *eye-roll*. Yeah, the whole cheese is a bit much, but getting out of dodge? How about not needing a love interest to get the drive to stay alive? (sorry, but Bella consumed any quota of patience for that devise that I ever possessed)

(spoiler show)

 

And I knew it was a series, but I still hate books that do not resolve the main plot. I like series with myth arcs and more or less self contained volumes. I can count the amount of books I "forgave" cliff-hangers or series' hooks with one hand, so a final demotion, though this one smaller and more personal.

 

Hell, likely all the cons I wrote there are personal anyway. It likely is the perfect book for many people, and I might still read the rest. I'm just not in as much of a rush as I felt I'd be at the start.

 

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