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review 2016-08-24 07:42
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll,B.J. Harrison

I'm a sucker for Alice's adventures, I feel believing in impossible things is a good mantra for life in general. It was nice to revisit a childhood favourite and spend some time in wonderland, instead of the real world. 


5/5 stars

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review 2016-03-03 10:49
Cress - Marissa Meyer
Cress - Marissa Meyer

I had a whole post typed out ready to post and... lost it in transit between home and Uni.  And since it's my first week back at Uni after 3 months off, and each of my kids have been sick over the last week, I'm just too tired to try and rewrite it, so here's the condensed version.  

Devoured this in a couple of days, beginning to wonder if I shouldn't have read this weeks ago to get out of my slump, or if it was just the realisation that my free time was over and this was my last chance for some non-prescribed reading. 


Loved this book just as much as the previous two, reviews for those are here and here.  Still following with Cinder on her quest to learn more about herself and the secret identity she recently learned she had, we add in Cress, a Lunar shell imprisoned in a satellite by Thaumaturge Sybil. 


More adventure, a daring rescue, and the unfortunate loss of some of their members.  I'm dying to read the next book, Winter, but I'll have to wait until I'm not so tired at the end of the day.


Cress gets 5/5 stars.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-12-14 14:08
Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas

I picked up the audio version of this a few weeks ago during an audible sale, figuring I could listen to it during the Christmas/Summer break.  Didn't quite make it last that long...


This book really does live up to the hype, I put it on while I did some housework, and just couldn't turn it off when I was done washing dishes.  My teenager daughter, who usually listens to music while doing her chores, was also enthralled, to the point that we both stayed up til 3am (thankfully it was a Saturday) to finish it, instead of coming back to it another day.


17 year old, Caleana Sardothien, master assassin, betrayed and thrown to rot in the salt mines of Endovier.  That is until she receives an unexpected visitor, the crown prince of Adarlan, Dorian, and his royal guard captain, Chaol Westfall.  The two offer Celeana a proposition she cannot refuse, compete in a tournament to become the King's new "Champion" and after a few years her freedom, or remain rotting away in her salt mine prison, a prison she would return to if she were to try to escape, to harm her captors, or lose (assuming she wasn't killed in the process) any of the challenges thrown at her.


Brash, proud and confident, the young assassin quickly discovered that the prince needed her more than she needed him, for she had nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Knowing this she pushes the limits of her hosts patience and makes outlandish demands or behaves in a way that would otherwise have a person imprisoned, or worse.


Over the course of the tournament, several of the other competitors are discovered dead, torn apart by what seems to be a wild animal.  Though Chaol tries to solve the mysteries behind these deaths, Celeana does a little investigating of her own and uncovers a horrifying truth.


I just love Celeana, she's strong in mind and body, and not afraid to throw some figurative punches to get what she wants and needs.  She's smart and knows her mind, she's also bilingual, which it seems none of the castle's inhabitants are.  She tries not to dwell on the horrors of her past, finding her parents murdered when she was 8, raised as an assassin by the man who took her in, and the year she spent in the salt mines.  


Celeana's bond with Princess Nehemia was nice, Celeana being the only person inside the castle who could speak the princess' native tongue.  Though initially kept apart for fear the assassin would make an attempt on the princess' life, the two were soon spending a fair amount of time together while Celeana taught the princess 'English' (I don't remember whether the language was actually named, but since the book is in English that's what I'm calling it).


It was also nice to note that at 18 she was still allowed to have a childish side, the candy incident made me giggle.  It makes me realise that there are so many other YA novels that don't allow young women the chance to still have a childish side, Hunger Games/Divergent/TFioS as examples, even though the female leads are all younger than Celeana.  At a slightly older age, I still love to stuff chocolate in my mouth Christmas morning, breakfast be damned.


The romance seems just enough without going over board... Though this is the book I made my love triangle read for the Popsugar challenge, I feel her relationship with Chaol is more of a sibling bond.  While there was definite fireworks between her and Dorian, it was glad to see a character who can use her brain to take a step back from a relationship and not go completely googoo eyed over the first man who shows interest (like so many romance plots before).

All in all, as I said earlier, I was really immersed in this story. It's well written and leaves you guessing, I can't wait to pick up the rest of the series, which I hear is even better.

I gave Throne of Glass 5/5 stars.

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review 2015-12-05 14:08
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

The second installment of the Lunar Chronicles is a retelling of the story of Red Riding Hood.  The story continues directly from where Cinder left off, with the news of Cinder's downfall at the New Beijing palace.  


This story focuses on a young french girl, Scarlet, who is desperate to find her grandmother after authorities rule her disappearance as non-suspicious, believing the old lady to be mad.  Scarlet doesn't feel this is the case and continues to be preoccupied with finding her.


A chance meeting with a strong silent stranger, while making her vegetable delivery rounds, Scarlet finds herself thrown into a world of what can only be described as difficult. Learning of her grandmother's connection to the now fugitive Cinder, Scarlet is imprisoned and manipulated, only to have her grandmother die before they can complete their escape.


Another brilliant adaptation of an old classic, another I just couldn't put down.  This ties in with some of the mini-stories Meyer created to accompany her series. I'll be eager to read Cress and Winter in the new year, and of course the other smaller stories that fall in between.

Scarlet gets 5/5 stars.


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review 2015-12-01 02:46
Solarversia: The Year Long Game - Toby Downton
Solarversia - Toby Downton

I received a digital copy of this book from the author, in exchange for my honest review.


The story of a teen girl, Nova, who with her friend Sushi sign up to play a year long game to win money and the chance to help design the next year long game.  Along the way Nova is struck with tragedy when Sushi is killed in a terrorist attack on a gaming cafe.  With the assistance of her friend Burner, Nova vows to track down Sushi's killers putting herself and those she loves in more danger than she realises.


The novel is well written and quite clever, I enjoyed the gaming aspects and the augmented and virtual realities in use.  However, pacing issues with the story made it feel as though it was dragging in some places.  


I was not a fan of Nova, she really didn't appeal to me.  Her personality seemed to be somewhere between narcissist and spoiled brat.  Using people to get ahead in both the game and life.  And if anyone called her out, or disagreed with her she's have a tantrum.

Charlie is just flat. A 2 dimensional character with no interest to the reader, very little effort was put into building him into anything more than Nova's love interest.


Burner is the character I liked most, and in my opinion the true hero of the story.  He's described as the nerdy genius that helps Nova in game and out.  The closest thing she has to a real world friend after Sushi's unfortunate demise.   If anyone deserved the victory it was this guy.


I'm not writing this book off completely, like I said it was quite clever in some aspects, so if you are a fan of Ready Player One I would suggest checking this out, but don't have high hopes.

I give Solarversia 3.5/5 stars.

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