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review 2015-01-08 18:09
Paranormal elements and a strong female heroine in book one of this Supernatural Trilogy!
The Girl - Madhuri Blaylock

So, Im finally getting to review this title, after receiving it for free for an honest review. I felt a lot of things during reading this book. Some good, some bad, some gray. There were cool things about this read, as well as things I didn’t connect with, that may have just been lost on me.

 

But I think if you’re an urban fantasy fan, you’d enjoy it nonetheless. Which I did. I can't say that I wasn’t entertained throughout the course of the story of “The Girl”, book one, of the Sanctum Trilogy.

 

The Girl follows the exploits of a half demon, half angel hybrid named Dev, and a body of authority known as “The Sanctum”, a vast group of individuals(which I assumed were all human. Im not sure if they have angel or god blood or something, that grants them this authority) who create peace  amongst themselves and Magicals(An umbrella term for anyone supernatural) whilst making sure the rest of humanity knows anything about them.

 

The really gets it’s momentum going when Dev, meets Wyatt Clayworth, a Class A Warrior of the Sanctum. They fall hard for each other, even though his mission is to kill her, which you can see the conflict from there.

 

I like the set up and environment. I like that it’s set in NYC(but I will have some things that would’ve made it better for me in the diversity section of the review) as being a state away(in a state New Yorkers consider country in comparison) it’s a good place to set something. NYC is so busy, it’s really easy not to notice the small stuff. 

 

It reminds me a teeny weeny bit of The Mortal Instruments series for that reason. I can definitely see why someone might compare the two. I do think they’re two completely different stories, and their comparisons stop there, but it’s interesting to see such a big place, with so many people, see so little in front of them.

 

Sometimes I got lost in things being repeated too many times to count. I’ll probably bring that argument up better in the diversity section, but I heard Ryker and Wyatt be described as “Class A Warriors” in almost every chapter they were in. I think most people will assume by the 3rd time the phrase makes an appearance, that they are indeed “Class A Warriors.” Each time Im told that this, instead of shown, it made me wonder, “Well what does it take to be Class A?” 

 

“What is Class B?”

 

“What type of education is a prerequisite, and how long must you train to earn your rank?”

 

“Where are the other classes to counter or compare the significance to Class Types?”

 

There was a lot of telling me what their rank was, but very little showing me what it took to get there. There was even a situation, which Wyatt took on 7 of his Sanctum members, to protect Dev, but it didn’t show the battle, just the aftermath.

 

If I’d seen how strategic, or clever he was to take down 7 people, it would’ve shut me up. I would’ve been like “OK, that’s what a Class A rank does.” But how he felt about the fight, wasn’t the same to me as seeing how he did it. I kept thinking, was it like that scene in the awesome movie Hanna, where Eric Bana, totally wiped the floor with several opponents, without a weapon of his own(which totally changed how I looked at Eric Bana, XD click here to see).

 

If I’d just got a glimpse of what Wyatt could do, I wouldn’t be so confused. But the story is supposed to be about Dev, so I’ll talk more about her.

 

I liked Dev. I didn’t necessarily love her, despite wanting to, but I did like her. She was a tough as nails demon/angel hybrid, and unapologetic. I think a lot of people attempt to make a protagonist likable. I don’t think Dev is a typically “likable” heroine, but I think that’s what I like about her. Women have to strive to be appropriate, “likable.” I don’t connect to most “likable” heroines, so I did like that she didn’t care what people thought of her.

 

But describing her character with both her looks and talent, were a bit repetitive. Like Wyatt and Ryker, every appearance she makes(whether it’s being talked about, or she’s actually in the scene) mentioned how vicious, deadly, or beautiful she was.

 

By the third time, I kinda got that people found her attractive. There wasn’t as much situations that showed this, as much as it told. And for such a deadly character, sometimes her dialogue was a little “cheerlead-y.”

 

Im 100% sure that “cheerlead-y” is not a word. But with the way her character is written, certain dialogue seemed lower than her age group(which to be honest,being immortal, Im not sure what her true age was). Sometimes the book’s dialogue wasn’t reminiscent of teenagers(too mature or not mature enough).

 

One line in particular seemed a little off. It was by Wyatt, and just so I have an example, I’ll quote it.

 

In reference to a scene where Ryker challenged Max Breslin in a battle of words, Wyatt then gave him props. “Thank you Ryker Morrison for being your bad self.”

 

Maybe it’s because Ive been with a white boy for 4 years, but I can’t ever think of a situation, where a white boy would sound anything but uber corny for even trying to speak in my vernacular XD

 

It’s not a deal breaker. And Im only bringing attention to things that just seem off to me, and at times, dialogue was one of them.

 

I do however like the story’s backstory. The Circle of Ten, Im curious to learn more about that, and more about the other families involved. I’d love to know where else in the world other stations are, and how their settings, situations and techniques(weapons and battle tactics) compare and differ from NYC.

 

The story is 3rd person. I like 3rd person, but I am a 1st person snob. I think with all the characters involved, it works better to be 3rd person. So I can’t argue much about that. But I already mentioned how I felt about the dialogue and language of the book, so i’d simply be repeating myself if I mentioned it again ;p

 

I don’t think the editing is bad. It’s not perfect, but then again, there are very few books that are. Maybe it was the copy I had, as I read it as an ePub. The words seemed very close together, so while the editing works, perhaps I would’ve liked more interesting formatting.

 

As far as diversity went. Hmm…There was a lot of female representation. I don’t know how I feel about it. There wasn’t a woman in the book who’s worth wasn’t valued in how she looked. Each time, any girl is mentioned, she had to be “smoking hot.” There wasn’t a ton of room for any awkwardness. You were either petite or model-tall. 

 

I loved the troll Coco. She was my favorite character in the book, but so far had the least screen time, and wasn’t human. But even her looks had to be mentioned several times. While I was told many times how dangerous and powerful characters were, it was difficult to take many of the characters, especially the women, seriously.

 

Mainly because the men didn’t always seem to take them seriously. Or at least that’s how I interpreted it. I have a grandmother, who every time I visit her, the only thing she will comment on is my looks. So much of a women’s worth was put into her looks in her time, and while I cringe to hear it, I know she’s from a much different time.

 

Im glad there are so many women in this book with self confidence. I do get really bored of the “girls who are hot, but don’t know they are.” But when Wyatt first found Dev, her body was completely distorted, and each limb basically had a mind of it’s own XD Why were they saying how hot her body was?

 

Everyone was very perfect, at the way they looked, the way they were shaped, their height, their intelligence, their skill. I would’ve liked to see someone struggle just a little bit. 

 

For the most part, I can live with it. Hearing how hot all the characters were sometimes made me put the book down, but I always wanted to pick it back up, so it’s not a deal breaker.

 

As far as female representation, there weren’t as many women of color. I wasn’t sure why there weren’t more people of color, considering they lived in NYC. Do vampires not bite Latin@s? Were there no Asian Magicals? Dev and Ryker are definitely people of color, and Im glad they’re there. But in NY, I would’ve liked to see more color. That’s kind of the best place for it.

 

I think the title fits. A part of me feels as though this is more New Adult, than Young Adult, and by that, Dev is more a woman than a teenager, but she is a girl. She’s referred to as “The Girl” a lot in the book, and being a girl doesn’t mean she isn’t a woman. 

 

The cover is ok. I think I would’ve liked to see Dev(and or Wyatt with her) on the cover in comparison, but its not bad. Maybe it wouldn’t catch me in a book store, but the use of color, font, and arrangement is nice. I do think it doesn’t fully capture the genre of the book, so paranormal novel loving fans may not know it’s a book they’d normally read.

 

Character names. You know how I get with names. I feel like, the more ethnic the better XD Most of the characters that had big parts were white, so they’re names were a little plain, but suited them. I liked Dev and Ryker’s names the best. I don’t think I’ve ever met an average looking Ryker, and my boo Dev Patel, has convinced me, that Dev is also a hottie name as well.

 

I don’t dislike plain names, they’re just harder to remember for me. 

 

Character descriptions, were clear, but only because each character was described all the time by how hot their body and appearance were.

 

Overall, I liked it. Maybe if I go further into the trilogy, I’ll find more of what I look for in books in the future books(more diversity, more men of color). It’s definitely for paranormal romance fans!

 
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review 2015-01-07 20:07
An awesome sequel to this diverse steampunk story!
The Tinker King - Tiffany Trent

Let me just start out by saying, I hate spiders! This book was FILLED with them! Ugh, knowing they're oversized, can talk, will bite or eat at any given will, ugh, there were many times it was hard to get to sleep at night!

With that being said, The Tinker King didn't disappoint in terms of plot, antagonist and storyline! If you liked what you saw in the first book, you may also fall in love with this one. I still think the first book is better in terms of goals, but I loved the my boo Syrus was the leading man, and had a hell of a great antagonist!

If you haven't read the first book, I'll fill you in on some details(hopefully spoiler free of course). The Tinker King is the sequel to The Unnaturalists, a steampunk alternative universe that mirrors 18th-19th century London(I don't know, it's hard to say how long this new world has existed) as Charles Darwin opened a portal that created a parallel universe, in which dwellers of this world know of the Old London, but rarely speak of it, in favor of the New London.

Supernatural creatures are somewhat normalized, and magic is both forbidden and selfishly used by those who ban it. Chinese culture is the biggest non-European cultural influence, as an ethnic group known as Tinkers(those with spiritual ties to the Unnaturals, and also oppressed people who are known for being extremely handy).

I still enjoyed the world building, it doesn't fall any less short from the original when it comes to painting the world, and how it's different from ours. I liked the pacing for the most part, but I will say, I preferred Syrus' chapters to Vespa's. His chapters always seemed more exciting than hers for some reason, though Im not sure why.

I liked the back story of the Tinker King, and how it meshes with the current mission of the characters. I did think the ending could've been a little tighter. I liked it, but it ended pretty soon, the ending battle seemed a little rushed.

I love both Syrus and Vespa. I think what I liked about them most, is that they were just friends. Colleagues. Nothing less or more. I liked that it didn't feel the need to cause an unnecessary love triangle between them. It's nice to see two main characters who aren't each other's goals in terms of love. Both characters of color no less.

I think they're both strong, well-written characters, but much like the original, their POV is slightly different. While the first book featured Vespa in 1st person, and Syrus in 3rd, the Tinker King does the opposite. Syrus takes the lead as the 1st person narrator, while Vespa hops in the back seat and narrates in 3rd person.

For me, 1st person makes me feel closer to the character. I like both, but I feel as if I could easily be in the party of the group, where Im actually there, vs. 3rd person, where Im being told everything. Syrus was a great leading man. He was selfless, but selfish. Brave, yet afraid. Intelligent, but humble enough to know when he didn't have the answer. He was becoming a man, and I liked to see his growth from a pickpocketing thief, to a full-fledged main protagonist.

This book also had the best antagonist in the friggin world. Ximu, an Unnatural(The malevolent kind) an enemy to the Tinkers, and not for nothing, an enormous, disgusting, manipulative were-spider.

That's right, you read that right. Were-Spider. They got were-spiders out here y'all...

Ximu wasn't just some mission-less antagonist who wanted nothing but destruction(even though she did kinda want that too). She wanted her home, the home the original Tinker King had taken from her, and was ready to seek vengeance after being trapped in isolation for so long.

That provided plenty of conflict, but the best conflict in the book, you really have to read to find out!

I didn't have any major issues with the editing. The formatting was industry standard, and I tend to say this with every steampunk title I read, but while the language can be confusing, it suits the book.

Again, with the POV, I preferred Syrus to Vespa's narration, but they were both understood.

I think as far as diversity goes, if Im being honest, Vespa and Syrus are the only real characters of color who are main characters. If you want interesting female representation, the Empress, Olivia was still a great character. But like the first book, the Tinkers were lesser characters than the white folk.

I loved that Vespa and Olivia were really good friends without having to result to disliking each other because that's how mainstream expects two girls in a book to act. Like their common enemies.

There is a bunch of interracial pairings that I liked. Syrus and Olivia reminded me a bit of a couple I have that are in a WIP I have, so maybe that's why I liked their pairing. Vespa and Bayne seemed to be taken with each other, so while I thought they weren't as interesting together in comparison, they were still cute.

But as far as representation with, the ones who showed up were good, but there weren't many invitations.

The cover and the title are the main reasons I bought the book. They tease diversies like me, who love and melt over a gorgeous man of color on a book.

Character names...Eh. I think outside of the main characters, they were hard to remember, because they were so plain. I get the times they lived in, but then again, since they were New London, a place of magic and sh*t, I can't think of any reason not to have eye catching names, so I took off a quarter point.

I think with the character descriptions, they're done descriptive enough for me, but Bayne? They mentioned his eye color too much for me. It seems as though every book has a black haired, blue eyed love interest, and nearly every book boyfriend looks the same. In fact, because Bayne looks like so many heroes I've read, much like the first book, I pictured him East Asian(because obviously he'd be way hotter) unless it took me out of the fantasy and reminded me his eyes were blue again(which was a lot).

Nothing major, just, brown eyes still work too ya know!

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review 2014-12-24 22:45
Indian mythology that was a true win in this fantasy title!
The City of Death - Sarwat Chadda

I really dont know where to start with this book. I was completely turnt* out by Sarwat Chadda after reading the first book in this series "The Savage Fortress."

 

This book is a sequel, and with that it could've been a hit or miss, as sequel's often never live up to their predecessors.

 

I proudly admit, it was one of the few books I read this year that was a perfect 5 star for me. I look for 20 small details. All details that coincide with our review policy. They're broken down into quarter points, and it's very rare for a book to earn all of those for me!

 

"The City of Death" is a sequel in the Ash Mistry series, following a British teen who finds out he's an avatar of an ultimate warrior. The one thing I tend to appreciate about sequels, is that they don't slow down, since many readers tend to have a basic grasp of the world already.

 

This book still introduced it's world, but not too long for old fans to get bored. I couldn't find a single detail out of place. The world building, especially when they went to Lanka, the legendary home of Ravana(the demon king) was amazing. The picture was painted so vividly, I had no problem picturing it, or the part of India, Ash was forced to stay in.

 

The ending was...I didn't see it coming, and you have to read to understand how awesome it was!

 

One of the strongest elements of the book was the character development, and not just for the main character Ash. His friend John, we got to see in a much stronger light, to prove he wasn't just a thief, but just a misunderstood kid.

 

Parvati's back story was also touched on, and it makes her future very unclear, but I pray there's still hope for her, because her intentions are good, even if she was created to be the "killer of men."

 

Now to Ash. He was a kid with all this power, but with so little knowledge on how to use it. He had to make so many life changing decisions, that I cant imagine what it was like to be in the position of saving the world, while costing your own humanity to do so.

 

Sometimes I cant tell if Ash is a hero, or an anti-hero. As an avatar, many of his past lives were cruel, dictators, or people of power, who did anything to gain it. To listen to them, he had to lose parts of his self. Even with a struggle between good and evil, I'm so glad that there is a fantasy book that shows, that sometimes the biggest battle is with yourself.

 

There aren't any qualms about the editing of the book. Being traditionally published doesn't ensure a properly edited book, but this book is as high quality as one can get.

 

It's still 3rd person, which I'm not 100% crazy about. But I don't dislike 3rd person, I just prefer 1st person. But do 3rd person right, and you've got a fan for life!

 

The diversity is about the same as the first. Most of the cast is of South Asian descent, but Ash is UK-born ,which brings a ton of other things his way, having to explain his love for two cultures.

 

His friend John is Indian born, so they have completely different mannerisms and appearances. Where John is from, it's a reality for children to be underfed, poor, and do what they must to survive. This is not to say that this is ALL children born in India. But for John, this was his reality.

 

Parvati looks Indian. But she's also half demon. As the years grow by, she resembles a snake more and more, but I like how she's trying to fight her nature.

 

Romantically there's nothing there(yet) but I like that Parvati and Ash can be there for each other, as a tag team, and not expect anything more than friendship from each other. There's a lot of tension between them, but I guess we'll see what happens.

 

And obviously the baddie Savage is still alive. He's a white British guy, who's the villain of the entire series. I like Savage. He's what a true villain should be. Too many villains in books remind me of the guy twirling his mustache at some train tracks. He has goals, whether they be good or bad, that benefit him.

 

He doesn't necessarily see himself as the bad guy, and through a short period in the book, Ash is forced to work with.

 

Keep your friends close, but enemies closer right?

 

If the title is in reference to Lanka, well done. I love the title. The cover is really eye catching and pretty. I wish Ash's face would've been shown, but Im glad at least Parvati's is. That's basically how I saw her.

 

Since this is a sequel, the names and character descriptions are already clear, as they've already been introduced to me in the first!

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review 2014-12-22 22:15
Diverse Read for Sci-fi/Tron fans.
Dragon's Mind - Vered Ehsani

Falling a bit behind on my reviews, Im finally getting to Dragon's Mind! I highly enjoyed this light science fiction read ^_^

 

It wasn't perfect, but at the very least, it was edited well, and interesting enough to buy it as a paperback after seeing it for free via Amazon Prime.

 

Dragon's Mind was a confusing story at times, but it was entertaining. A fictional upscale resort/man-made island was the setting for this tale about an artificial mind, who learned he was actually real, and the teenager who helped created his program.

 

I'd rather break down some of the things I did and didn't connect with. Most people will be able to live with what I didn't connect with, so it is a read I'd highly recommend.

 

What I liked:

 

I had pros and cons about this fictional man-made island, created to be a type of upscale Atlantic City/Las Vegas. The entire island was run by an artificial brain named "MindsOPS" or aka "Dragon." The entire set up made it appear to be a Sin City type place for rich people, or visitors to run from their problems or normal lives, if only for a moment.

 

Dragon was a computer program/artificial brain that were the resort's eyes, ears, or all senses. The technology behind the program was to prove that scientists could create artificial intelligence that envied man, which many assumed they succeeded at, UNTIL Dragon began to remember he wasn't always an artificial brain.

 

I really liked the three main characters. Dragon, aka "MindOps" was the artificial intelligence teenager/budding scientist and prodigy Myranda Thalia aka "Myth" worked with while creating her revolutionary program. Myth was a biracial girl(half white and half black)and had a strong relationship with her mother(who was also a scientist). There was another main character of Chinese descent named Darren Cho. I liked him, but I do have a complain once I get to the diversity section.

 

All three main characters were really cool. It was nice to see a story that didn't shy away from a group of diverse kids coming together to stop a corrupt city system.

 

Most of the conflict came from Dragon, upon creating a family friendly holographic image to display, starts remembering the origins of that image. That it was who he used to be, before he became a brain. This secret has the power to bring a lot of people in high places down, so of course the baddies want nothing more but to destroy anyone involved. That included Myth, the person he worked the closest with.

 

It has a Tron feel to it, if anyone is into Computer Program-Reality type plots. I think that's what I liked about it the most.

 

I think the developmental editing is pretty good. It's not life changing, but the plot made sense throughout the book. There weren't any major issue with formatting or grammar, but I can't give it all the editing points.

 

I absolutely love the cover, and the title fits the book. I would probably pick this up in a bookstore based on the cover alone. I liked every name but I did have a complaint about a surname,but I'll explain later. I think I got a pretty clear picture of the characters, or at least the characters that had speaking lines(expect for The Boss).

 

What I didn't connect to:

 

The major detail I connected with the least, the detail that drove me absolutely insane, was the character Darren Cho. From first glance, before anything is known about him, I assumed he'd be Korean American. After all, Cho is a Korean surname.

 

Darren turned up being of Chinese descent, and that bugged the hell out of me, because it made me wonder how much research went into making his ethnicity clear. I know, I know, there are a few names, first and last, that have some relations or similarities in East Asia. 

 

But perhaps Chow, Cao or Tso would have been better choices. They would have been recognizably Chinese, and wouldn't be mistaken for Korean at all.

 

Also, as far as diversity went, it was good, but not great. The representation that is shown is good. But there were a lot of colorist ideologies in the book, be they intentional or not.

 

One character, who was saving Myth's life by the way, was described in such an unflattering light, just because he was dark skinned, physically strong and had dreadlocks. All I kept thinking was, give this dude my number XD It made me feel as though he was being judged in the same light a lot of brothers get judged right before they die by a cop's hand.

 

I didn't connect to that. Myth and Dragon were to me the strongest written characters. But even Myth's dialogue seemed a bit off, or childish, considering her high intelligence level.

 

I also didn't like the multiple narratives. Myth and Dragon I understood, because they're actually on the cover. But there were several villains (The Albino and The Boss for starters) where I thought their narrative didn't exactly help the story run smoother.

 

Albinism is lack of melanin defect(a disability of sorts) but The Albino wasn't a strong written character. I didn't think it painted her in a flattering light, and making her the villain, considering what she'd gone through didn't seem fair.

 

The Boss? Even though I pictured him South Asian, it was never really clear what he looked like. I assumed since chapters were told from his perspective, the least that could be done is have a clear picture of him. He wore "Indian" style clothing, which I interpreted at the very least as a Sherwani and slacks. But I'd be really disappointed to see some random white guy in such dignified clothes XD

 

Overall all, this book had strong points, but had some very weak points as well.

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review 2014-12-15 19:41
Dystopian Thriller for lovers of diversity
Niko - Kayti Nika Raet

I'd recently finished this book after a long stint of not finishing any books. Niko follows the exploits of "Niko" , the titular heroine. "Niko's" universe is a dystopian one, in which the world's conditions have become extremely harsh, and the world also has a dangerous threat known as a "Slither." Slithers are humanoid cannibalistic creatures, and only people of a certain grade can kill them.

 

I liked Niko. I definitely think it has a lot of potential. There were some things that I thought would've made it a stronger book, but I did enjoy the outcome.

 

What I liked:

 

I did like the world building. I think most dystopian books make clear depictions of the conditions and how they differ from how many of us live today. In "Niko's" universe, it rained acid, which was sometimes worse than being killed by a Slither. Much, much slower....

 

It made food and water that much scarcer, and often made me believe there was very little hope for the "Outsiders", or those who didn't live in a big city. Which was nearly everyone.

 

I did really like Niko. I thought she was a cool heroine, who didn't need to seek anyone else's validation, could take care of herself, and had an unyielding determination to find her lost younger brother. But I did think she was my favorite character until Norm and Lo were introduced.

 

Maybe I just don't think f/f relationships are depicted enough in fiction, especially speculative fiction. But the minute they were introduced, Niko kinda got demoted XD

 

Niko did give some awesome copy that made her a Han Solo for real XD But aint nothing like a powerhouse lesbian couple to shake shit up.

 

There was plenty of conflict. Perhaps too much conflict for just 200 pages though. Sometimes I think conflict was thrown in just to add action, perhaps even when it wasn't always necessary. But I'd rather discuss that later.

 

Not every dystopian book has given me this much diversity in one book. It was unique for that, but I'll bring that up later when I talk up the diversity.

 

I think the stronger element of the editing side of the book was the formatting. It was formatted well enough not to take a point away for that.

 

The book's strongest element is the diversity. I will most likely offend someone for this, but it was nice to see a book where people of color received more copy, and lines than the white characters. I can only think of two white characters in a sea of characters of color, and to be honest, this is where most dystopian books fail.

 

How are we supposed to believe only white people survive the apocalypse? Statistically, Blacks, Latinos and South East Asian folk tend to be more likely to suffer from poverty. Yes many overcome these setbacks, but if the world went to shit, I'd say we'd be the most likely to survive. 

 

I can't speak for all people of color, but my childhood under poverty levels taught me how to survive with very little. While I've managed to live above the poverty line since becoming an adult, I know damn well I'd more prepared than my middle class uppity white boyfriend.

 

Race was never mentioned, but there were a few characters of South East Asian descent(because their names? Clearly Vietnamese.) several East Asian characters, I think a character of South Asian descent(To be honest I though the character was Black, until I saw the author's fan cast) and four Black characters. All main characters!

 

And because my two boos were lesbians?

 

People of color-Check 

Queer-Check

Disability-Check

 

A character introduced later is partially blind, with the possibility of a character with a limp. I'd say yea, that got me.

 

There was so much that wasn't left out, that many dystopian books neglect. Guess what? We do make it to the end of the world!

 

I think the title and cover suit the book, but one thing about the cover I didn't connect with. I didn't get the impression that Niko was big breasted or dangerously curvy. Niko wasnt sexualized too much in the book. I just wonder why she was on the cover.

 

I think the character names were cool. Some names stood out more than others, but Im just like that when it comes to ethnic names. I like them better. When you have to think about their pronunciation , they command something from you, that a common name just can not. But I'd say for the most part they suited the characters well.

 

Not every character was described in the detail that Duc was. Duc was my favorite boy in the book, and I know ALOT of Vietnamese dudes, just because I really like dancers, who look like him in my head. Ari, I thought was Black, but I think she was meant to be South Asian. Ben I actually thought was white, until I saw a fan cast, so I immediately discarded my initial thought of him.

 

They were described well enough where I could make up my own mind of them, but maybe I would've liked more.

 

Things I didn't connect with:

 

I think the editing could've been stronger. The editing effects more than grammar and misspelled words. Some of the developmental editing could've afforded to be stronger as well. 

 

Many of the conflicts in the book seemed misplaced, or could have went different directions to capture the reader more. Sometimes certain situations told more than showed, so if they were meant to be super climatic, they didn't capture me in the way they were meant to.

 

I'd rather give an example, though I won't go super nitpick crazy.

 

Example: A antagonist named Phin was introduced toward the end of the book to create conflict. He was the leader of a gang that exploited people for protection. More time was given telling me he was a dangerous guy, that showing me.

 

So when he and Niko were forced with a confrontation, it made me think Niko taking care of him was unnecessary.

 

Mind you, if I'd seen some of his terror, I would've thought that was ok. But just because Niko knows he was dangerous on the outside, doesn't mean the reader will automatically get that vibe just by being told.

 

Some of the backstory on the birth of the world, and the slithers could've taken a paragraph or two more to describe. While I did like the world building, I felt as though several times, the story would unfold itself more, only to be more confused about certain aspects of it.

 

I didn't think the editing was perfect. If that doesn't bother you, I'd still highly suggest the book. You're not going to get a dystopian book that is this diverse in the traditional publishing world. 

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