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review 2018-04-05 17:13
Invictus
Invictus - Ryan Graudin

[I received a copy of this book through Netgalley.]

What I liked:

- The beginning. Of course, you can tell immediately where this is going, and that there’s going to be another proposal to offset the bad news, and you can guess what that proposal will be, but it’s OK because it’s why you’re reading the book. Well, why I was reading it, at any rate.

- Some aspects of the world building, with the idea of trained people going back in time to record events, and having to follow specific rules to avoid creating paradoxes. It makes a lot of sense, since the ‘grandfather paradox’ is definitely not the only risk in such a setting: it’s obvious that you wouldn’t want to kill your own grandfather if you hope to be born someday… but it’s much less obvious that even ‘small’ actions like gambling in a casino can have consequences, for instance by preventing the ‘normal’ winner from winning, in turn preventing them from doing things that should normally have happened, and so on. The most noticeable actions aren’t the only ones that can change the world.

- The crew’s dynamics. I have a soft spot for heist stories carried by a crew (ship, spaceship, band of misfits, whatever), and when the latter works well together, it’s even better. In itself¸ this part wasn’t the most exceptional ever, but I could feel the ties uniting them, and that was good.

- Diversity. Priya is obviously of Indian origin, Gram is dark-skinned, and Far also has inherited a darker complexion from his father. It’s not mentioned more than once or twice, but it’s good to see.

- The book was entertaining, I wanted to know how the story would go (good thing I’ve been on sick leave and with time on my hands to rush through it, huh), and in general the action and tension scenes were gripping.

What I didn’t like so much:

- The romance. I’m not particularly keen on romance in general, for starters— in my experience 90% of such subplots, when they happen in stories whose main genre is not romance, are there because it’s what people (or the market, or publishing houses, I’m never really sure) expect. As a result, the romance feels forced, and that’s the feeling I got here. I didn’t particularly care about Imogen having a crush, all the more since it led to some screen time being used up for conversations about boys and should-I-oh-no-I-don’t-dare. As for the romance between Far and Priya, it was announced very suddenly, its beginnings happened off-scene, and I never felt any real chemistry between these two. In a story revolving around an all-for-one type of crew, friendship all the way would’ve worked better for me.

- The lull mid-book, the part where they go to Las Vegas. Partly because of the romance-related conversations, partly because I wanted to shout ‘Seriously, characters, is partying and getting drunk the best you can do right now?’

- Some other aspects of the world building. Yes, I know I partially liked it. However, some elements were there for… no reason? Example: How can Priya be 17-18 and already a full-fledged medic, with mechanic skills to boot? When did she got time to learn all that? Or why do they eat synthetic food, why is ice cream so expensive? I felt the latter points were here to give a ‘science-fictiony’ sheen, but without explanations about why the world came to be like that, I can never fully buy it. (I’m not asking for a treaty about 24th century economics, but at least a couple of lines about the whys would be nice.)

- Part of the plot when it comes to Eliot’s involvement. First, it’d have been good to see a couple of successful heists before she appeared, so that the disruption she created would be even stronger. Second, the true reason for her presence is somewhat complicated, and may have worked better with a little more development. An example of what I felt rushed with that is how easily an antagonist character convinces other antagonist characters to work with him, towards the end, in order to stop her; it happened very quickly, wasn’t very convincing, and anyway, why didn’t he enlist his own after that, to add a strike force he could fully control?
(Side note: I found the names they used very confusing. I could deal with the endings, like FLT6, but the whole strings of numbers in the middle… I kept trying to imagine the conversation with Eliot speaking these numbers, and I’m surprised she didn’t make a mistake every two sentences when using those.)

- The characters, outside of their role as a group. As a crew, I thought they functioned together well; but as individuals, they felt flatter. They have their quirks, sure (Imogen dying her hair, Gram and his games), but quirks don’t make a full-fledged character. I didn’t really like Far, he had too much of the ‘strong ego/insufferable’ vibe without enough of the ‘dashing captain/charisma’ vibe, so to speak. Also, I would’ve liked to see more of Gram, for some reason I liked him best.

Conclusion: Cool concepts, with good action scenes. The book was an entertaining read, although it failed in other parts.

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review 2018-01-25 18:37
Review: Invictus
Invictus - Ryan Graudin

Review: Invictus

 

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I snagged this one as a read it now title. I'd heard a lot of buzz on this book and to be honest it didn't really interest me having seen a lot of Firefly comparisons and I've never seen an episode or been interested in the show. But then I saw it as a read it now and I've enjoyed the authors work before so figured why not give it a try?

 

I tried. It was certainly creative, an interesting take on time travel agencies. The hero of the novel is an anomaly who was born outside of time - his mom was a famous pilot and on a job when it happened - and the hero has gained a somewhat infamous notoriety. He’s charming, witty and snarky though appears to have an attitude with authority. Nothing particularly new there where YA heroes are concerned (at least not to me anyway). Dude has done his training and is ready to take his final exams so he can become an official part of the space and time program that run the show.

 

Left with little options he finds himself taking a risky job of basically going through time and retrieving select objects requested by the boss for huge sums of payment. He gets to pick his own crew and name his ship. Each crew consists of the captain, the historian, the doctor and the math guy. Bonus points for diverse characters. The only really memorable character for me was Imogen the historian who changed her hair colour every day.

During a mission a new comer hijacks the object the the crew are after sending the mission into a tailspin. And causing of course, all sorts of other problems. Something to do with parallel words comes up half way through and at this point I sort of lost interest and started skimming. The technical side and sciencey side of things were a little bit too much for me and I got rather bored.

 

I found the plot getting rather silly by the end as well and rolling my eyes a lot. Though one interesting thing about it was it was a standalone which is really rare inYA sci-fi. Everything concluded though it was left with a possibility that it could continue. Some times sci-fi with time travel works for me, sometimes not.

 

Unfortunately I just didn't like this one much at all.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown Books for Young Readers for the chance to view the title.

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review 2017-12-23 19:32
Invictus - Ryan Graudin

This was Time, Multiverse, Alt-Life done right....ohhhh so right! If not for the slow beginning and the fleching annoying, made up curse words this would have definitely been rated higher. I do love a good Time Travel book and this wasn't good, it was GREAT!! After the slow as molasses (and just as interesting) begininng the action was well paced, the Historical aspect seemed to be researched and therefore felt extremely organic/possible/authentic. There were twists and turns and loop-de-loops abound...even though we were easily (and very willingly) led to the only ending that would have felt right, when the curtain closed on the Epilogue, it was still immensly satisfying (with just a dollop of I Need More STAT)!!

 

As I have stated (ad infinitum), I am a sucker of the greatest magnitude for a well executed Time, Space, Multiverse Travel book and this..with its pivot points/paradox a plenty...not only did NOT disappoint but delivered so beautifully that I'm searching for yet another Time romp for my next literary adventure as of this very moment...well, as soon as I'm finished typing here. I'll let you know how I fare BUT with respect to Invictus...if you are like me and harbor a (not so) secret obsession with all things Time/Space-y then this book will definitely entertain, tickle those fancies as well as dally in the realms of Causality and the nature of our Being to boot.

 

Enjoy!!

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text 2017-11-30 05:36
DNFing a Buddy Read?

I'm currently reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

 

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It is a buddy read I am doing with a friend I met through Booktube. We now chat over at Goodreads and do buddy reads often.

 

Our last buddy read was The Walled City by Ryan Graudin. We mutually decided to DNF that book, because we were both not liking it for various reason!

 

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So... She LOVES The Night Circus. She's read it like 2 times already. I know we all have different tastes and opinions and that is completely fine. I just feel bad DNFing a buddy read, especially when it is a book my buddy loves.

 

I feel all alone in a sea of people who are gushing about this book. I'm 150 pages into it and not enjoying myself. I love the setting and the first couple chapters were really interesting. The first bad experience I got which put a bad taste in my mouth is how Celia is treated by her father.

 

Also, I guess... I'm bored.

 

Do you buddy read? Do you DNF? Will you DNF a buddy read?

 

Maybe I should set the book aside and try it another day or maybe this one is truly not for me.

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text 2017-11-01 02:00
October Re-cap
Bad Romance - Heather Demetrios
The Treatment - Suzanne Young
Wolf By Wolf - Ryan Graudin
Rumors of Savages - Carrie Regan
Sustained (The Legal Briefs Series) - Emma Chase
Gun Shy - Lili St. Germain
13 Minutes - Sarah Pinborough
Midnight Burning (Norse Chronicles) - LLC Red Adept Publishing,Jennifer Fournier,Karissa Laurel
If There's No Tomorrow - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands) - Alwyn Hamilton

It was a long, busy month, filled with remodeling my bedroom, starting some schooling for myself, and my oldest moved out of the house too...but I still managed to get quite a bit of reading and listening in.  It was a well rounded reading month with 2 DNF's and a couple books under 3 Stars and 2 new favorites.

 

 

 

(Kindle eBook) Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

Finish Date:   10/02

4.3/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) The Treatment by Suzanne Young

Finish Date:  10/04

2.7/5 STARS - GRADE=C-

 

(Audiobook) Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Finish Date:  10/08

5/5 STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(Kindle eBook) Rumors of Savages by Carrie Regan

Finish Date:  10/08

3.7/5 STARS - GRADE=B

 

(Audiobook) Sustained by Emma Chase

Finish Date:  10/10

5/5 STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(Kindle eBook) Gun Shy by Lili St. Germain

Finish Date:  10/12

4.2/5 STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

Finish Date:  10/15

3.5/5 STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) Midnight Burning by Karissa Laurel

Finish Date:  10/20

2.5/5 STARS - GRADE=D+

 

(Kindle eBook) If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L Armentrout

Finish Date:  10/21

4.5/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton (review pending)

Finish Date:  10/29

4.3/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

2 DNF's both Netgalley ARC's

 

Down the Rabbit Hole by Julia Crane

 

 

 

Soulless by Jacinta Maree

 

 

12 books total (including DNF's) for a total of 3,983 pages read including Audio.

2 Netgalley ARC's, 6 Audiobooks and 4 eBooks. 

 

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