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review 2019-02-05 10:45
Ich muss hellseherische Kräfte haben
Partials (Partials, #1) - Dan Wells

Dan Wells und ich haben eines gemeinsam: wir haben beide „Die Welt ohne uns“ von Alan Weisman gelesen. In meinem Fall führte die Leseerfahrung zu der Erkenntnis, dass unser Fußabdruck auf der Erde fast ausschließlich negativ wäre, würden wir plötzlich verschwinden. In Dan Wells‘ Fall beeinflusste die Lektüre das Design der Dystopie in seiner Young Adult Science-Fiction-Trilogie „Partials Sequence“. Er orientierte sich bei seiner Beschreibung einer verlassenen Welt stark an Weismans wissenschaftlichem Gedankenspiel. Das war ihm nur möglich, weil seine Zukunftsvision nicht auf physischer Zerstörung beruht, beispielsweise durch eine Bombe. In seiner Apokalypse kam die Katastrophe auf leisen Sohlen: in Form eines Virus.

 

Beinahe jeden Tag hält die 16-jährige Medizinstudentin Kira ein totgeweihtes Neugeborenes in ihren Armen. Seit die Partials vor über einem Jahrzehnt das RM-Virus freisetzten, das die Menschheit nahezu ausrottete, wurde kein einziges gesundes Baby geboren. Die meisten Säuglinge überleben nur wenige Tage. Nicht einmal verzweifelte Fortpflanzungsgesetze können das Unausweichliche aufhalten. Ohne ein Heilmittel stirbt Kiras Gemeinschaft auf Long Island langsam aus. Als ihre Ziehschwester Madison schwanger wird, hält sie ihre Hilflosigkeit nicht länger aus. Es muss eine Heilung geben. Die Forschung muss etwas übersehen haben. Um Madisons Baby zu retten, entwickelt Kira einen waghalsigen Plan. Will sie RM besiegen, braucht sie Antworten von denjenigen, die das Virus erschufen: den Partials. Sie muss eine der biomechanischen künstlichen Intelligenzen gefangen nehmen, sie befragen und untersuchen. Sie weiß, dass sie einen weiteren Krieg riskiert. Aber ist die Zukunft der Menschheit das Risiko nicht wert?

 

Ich bin schwer enttäuscht von Dan Wells. „Partials“ fehlt genau das, was mich an seiner „John Cleaver“-Reihe beeindruckt: Glaubwürdigkeit und Originalität. Peinlich, bedenkt man, dass der jugendliche Soziopath gegen übernatürliche Dämonen kämpft, während die gesamte Konzeption des YA-SciFi-Trilogieauftakts auf wissenschaftlichen Erklärungen beruht. Ich fühlte mich zu clever für das Buch und kaufte Wells entscheidende Details einfach nicht ab. Erstaunlicherweise war es jedoch nicht die Dystopie selbst, die meine Stirn in zweifelnde Falten legte. Zwar trägt der Konflikt zwischen Schöpfer und Schöpfung, verkörpert durch Menschheit und die K.I. Partials, längst einen grauen Bart, aber mir gefiel die Ergänzung des Virus RM, dessen tödliche Auswirkungen den Fortbestand der menschlichen Spezies bedrohen. Eine interessante Idee, die Wells mit gebührender Konsequenz verfolgt. Jede Facette des Lebens der 16-jährigen Protagonistin Kira wird von RM beeinflusst. Da es bisher kein Heilmittel gibt, sieht die notdürftige Regierung keine andere Möglichkeit, als junge Frauen zur Fortpflanzung zu verpflichten. In der Hoffnung, dass irgendwann ein immunes Baby geboren wird, setzen sie das Alter für eine Schwangerschaft immer weiter herunter, was natürlich nicht nur auf Zustimmung stößt. Die Gesellschaft ist gespalten und die Angst vor den Partials sitzt vor allem der älteren Bevölkerung, die sich bewusst an den Krieg erinnert, tief in den Knochen. Mit diesen Rahmenbedingungen konnte ich mich gut anfreunden. Womit ich mich hingegen nicht anfreunden konnte, war die viel zu große Rolle, die Wells seiner Protagonistin aufzwang. Als ihre Ziehschwester Madison schwanger wird, beschließt Kira, im Alleingang und in Rekordzeit das zu schaffen, was wesentlich klügeren Köpfen misslang: RM zu heilen. Nun habe ich überhaupt kein Problem mit ehrgeizigen Ambitionen – ich verstand Kiras Beweggründe und gestand ihr einen Versuch zu. Mein Problem bestand darin, dass Dan Wells in „Partials“ niemals in Frage stellt, ob es für eine 16-jährige Medizinstudentin nicht vielleicht etwas unrealistisch sein könnte, allein innerhalb weniger Wochen ein Virus zu heilen, das die Menschheit seit einem Jahrzehnt plagt. Sie mag ja ein begnadetes Talent für Virologie besitzen, aber meines Wissens nach ist die Suche nach einem Heilmittel ein Projekt, dem eine ganze Armee voll ausgebildeter Wissenschaftler_innen ihr gesamtes Leben widmen muss. Ebenso halte ich es für sehr unwahrscheinlich, dass vor ihr angeblich niemand die Partials untersuchen wollte, besonders angesichts des hohen kollektiven Leidensdrucks. Angst hin oder her, zu Zeiten des Krieges muss es Kriegsgefangene gegeben haben. Die Menschheit ist nicht so nobel, dass mit diesen nicht experimentiert worden wäre.  Aber klar, Kira ist die Heldin, die wagt, was außer ihr niemand wagt und hat dabei natürlich auch noch echte Chancen auf Erfolg. Logisch. Durch diesen Heldinnenstatus ist „Partials“ ermüdend vorhersehbar. Ich erinnere mich, dass ich während der Lektüre eines Abends differenziert über den weiteren Handlungsverlauf spekulierte – ich lag mit jeder Mutmaßung richtig. Entweder habe ich hellseherische Kräfte, oder das Buch ist wirklich so berechenbar.

 

Ich wünschte, „Partials“ wäre überraschender gewesen. Ich wünschte, ich hätte nicht zusehen müssen, wie exakt das eintrat, was auch in der Handlung jeder anderen beliebigen YA-Dystopie hätte passieren können. Strahlende Heldin, plakative Dramatik, Verrat, Geheimnisse, große Offenbarung, bla bla bla. Zwischendrin tanzen mal blasse Nebenfiguren über die Bühne, die sich ebenso wenig wie Kira mit der präzisen, psychologisch fundierten Charakterisierung eines John Cleaver messen können. Alles ist so… gewöhnlich. Ich habe nicht erwartet, von Dan Wells dermaßen enttäuscht zu werden. Ich habe ihm nicht zugetraut, dass er einen Roman schreiben könnte, der in diesem Maße von Stereotypen und Klischees gebeutelt ist. Ich dachte, er wäre ein Autor, auf dessen unkonventionelle Ideen ich mich verlassen könnte. Tja, da hat die Young Adult – Falle wohl zugeschnappt. Ich verzichte darauf, die „Partials Sequence“ weiterzulesen.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/dan-wells-partials
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review 2019-01-29 07:33
Snow (Unbreakable Bonds #2.5)
Unbreakable Stories: Snow - Rinda Elliott,Jocelynn Drake

So damn good. ❤️❤️❤️

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review 2019-01-02 00:51
ARC Review: Seeking Solace by Ari McKay
Seeking Solace (The Walker Boys, #3)I'm a little (okay, a lot) late with this review, seeing how this was published in early November, but life gets in the way so I'm playing catch-up.

This is the 3rd book in The Walker Boys series, which are all part of the overall Dreamspun Desires umbrella, but can be read entirely as a standalone.

Devin Walker wants to be a chef, but is currently working on the Poseidon, a cruise ship, as a bartender. He flirts innocently with the guests, and bides his time until a position becomes open that will allow him to get into the kitchen.

Paul Bailey is on the ship as part of his training to take over the cruise ship company as its heir, but he's incognito, pretending to be just one of the company execs, and there's only one person on the ship who knows his real identity. He's given Devin as a guide while on board, so he can inconspicuously visit in the areas that are for employees only.

Paul has another secret - he lost his leg in a car accident and believes that he really isn't attractive to anyone anymore because of that.

Devin makes it his mission to show the exec a good time, while also giving him a tour of the ship, as well as enticing the quiet man to enjoy exploring the ports in which they stop.

Romance ensues, obviously. I really liked the characters - they were opposites in some ways, but both were complex and nuanced. I enjoyed getting to know them both, and I definitely enjoyed Devin's efforts to pull Paul out of his shell. The descriptions of the tropical locales were well done, and I had no trouble at all envisioning the beauty of these islands. With close proximity, what with being on a ship, comes a relationship that burns brightly from the start, even if Paul hesitates to open his heart again. But Devin is persistent, giving him room to make choices, gently encouraging Paul to trust. I really enjoyed watching their budding relationship bloom.

As with all secrets - eventually they come out, and as Devin finds out just who Paul really is, and his manager sticking her nose where it really doesn't belong, he runs. It's not so much a big misunderstanding as it is Devin not wanting to be anyone's toy. Being lied to breaks the fragile relationship they have built so far, and I didn't blame the guy for tucking tail and going home to lick his wounds.

This is a romance, so obviously it doesn't end there. There's the expected grand gesture, and we get to visit with some of the characters from previous books in this series. I liked that the Walker family protected their own, and that the eventual reunion wasn't "forgive and forget".

There were a couple of things primarily around Paul's prosthetic leg that I questioned - walking on sand, getting it wet, that sort of stuff. I have zero experience with these things but I wondered whether the descriptions here were accurate.

I enjoyed reading this book. It's the kind of book you want to pick up to spend a few quiet hours sitting on your back porch and enjoying your favorite drink.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

 

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review 2018-12-28 00:59
ARC Review: The Legend Of Gentleman John by T.J. Nichols
The Legend Of Gentleman John - T.J. Nichols

I seem to be in the minority with my assessment of this story. I liked it well enough, I suppose, and I was impressed with the author creating a trans (F2M) character in a historical setting. I liked the inclusion of a fantasy element with Banyn, a fae, and his backstory.

I think this book would have worked better for me if it had been a longer story. While the author created a nice timeline, there seemed to be big jumps in time, that especially in the later years of John's story would have perhaps rounded his character out a bit more. We're told of his struggles, the binding of his chest, the monthly bleeding, and the constant fears of being found out, but we're not shown much of it. The story is written with flashback scenes, while John is on the run, bleeding from a wound, and we get to see the beginning of his relationship with Banyn, the progression of their love, and how he ended up in a penal colony on an island off Australia. 

There's a melancholy undertone to the book, befitting the story, and I thought it was perhaps a bit too depressing to be a Christmas story, even if John gets his wish and his HEA. 

I also quite liked the epilogue - that was a fitting ending to this story. 


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2018-12-23 02:16
Book Review: The Art Of Falling In Love by Eli Summers
The Art Of Falling In Love - Eli Summers

There be spoilers. I'm pretty pissed off at the moment. What a waste of time this was.

CW: Homophobia, racism, cheating, and sexual assault.

I only liked Holden. And even he was an idiot. But I could empathize with this struggles - coming to terms with his feelings for another boy, figuring out that he's bi-sexual (though I'm not sure why he'd think that, since he hasn't even had a girlfriend), and dealing with being bullied at school, on top of living with an asshole father and a doormat mother, unable to live up to his Golden Boy older brother, who was much less an asshole than I expected based on how his character was initially set up. Holden's best friend of 14 years (Tiffany) is abandoning him for a boy, though I'm honestly not even sure why Holden thought of her as his friend in the first place - she was nothing but a bitch to him. 

All the characters in his book are one-dimensional card board cutouts. You have the rich boy jerkface who thinks he can throw his daddy's money in everyone's face, the bitchy-only female, the pedophile principal (ew, ew, ew, what the fuck was that shit, touching Holden inappropriately, talking about blow jobs to make a record go away, and then comparing his dick to Aaron's whose dick he presumably knows NOTHING about), and the cheating daddy fucking Holden's best friend, who's - you guessed it - suddenly pregnant.

None of the characters, including Aaron, the love interest, made any fucking sense with their actions. Not a single one. Not Holden thinking he can just go to the city and enroll in college, and find a job that will pay him enough to cover his cost of living, not Aaron, whose pillow talk was the most ridiculous thing I've ever read in a romance novel, not Jeff, the jerkface, not Tiffany, the bitch, not the principal (what the FUCK was that shit), and not Holden's parents. 

At one point Aaron's father leaves for a conference of some sort in Seattle - which, super convenient, amirite, so Aaron and Holden can have a sleepover and sex it up (virgin ass and all), and we're supposed to believe that a small town mechanic goes to a conference, leaving no one to work on the cars in the shop? 

This book was an utter mess, and I don't just mean the stilted, unrealistic dialogue and ridiculous plot. The editor was MIA, and the proof-reader took a vacation, I guess. Grammar seemed optional. 

Men don't have a g-spot. A virgin like Holden, never having even CONSIDERED gay sex, has likely not heard of the prostrate. And he sure as fuck wouldn't call it a g-spot. 

At one point, Aaron says "Open Says Me". I suppose the author meant OPEN SESAME. How was that not caught? Then a few pages later, Aaron opens the condom and puts it on, with HIS TEETH. On himself. Uhm, sure, whatever floats your boat. I guess you're super bendy. Never mind the holes you just made with your teeth, you moron, which sort of defeats the purpose of putting on a condom in the first place. 

And to top off the editorial proof-reading fuckery, in one instance HOLDEN is called AARON. 

And, and, and... there's no HEA, not even a HFN - the couple has broken up at book's end because Holden is leaving town and Aaron isn't. We get a "To Be Continued" as if that isn't something you should tell your readers up front.

Not recommended. Possibly the worst book I've read this year. JFC. Yeah, I know it's YA, but young adults would like to read good books. And this isn't a good book. 

I'm so sorry, Secret Santa. I was swayed by the blurb and the positive reviews, and I now regret putting this book on my wishlist. I kind of hate that you wasted your money on this, even though I truly appreciate you getting it for me. 

Not recommended.

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