[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]
I struggled a little to get into this book, and I admit that I skimmed over a few parts, but in the end, while clearly not-mind blowing, it was entertaining enough.
The dynamics between Mia and Jules is, overall, one that worked well throughout the novel. They have their moments of snarky banter, they peel their layers gradually to each other (sometimes because external circumstances don’t really give them a chance, and sometimes voluntarily), and they get to really look at each other, past their completely different backgrounds. While Jules was introduced at first as perhaps completely lacking common sense—seen through Mia’s eyes, of course he would come across as some unprepared, pampered rich kid who had no clue what he set his feet into, he is actually more savvy than that; and, conversely, he soon learns to see past the ‘filthy scavver’, and see the actual human being behind the mask. Both are also less ‘gender-coded’ than one would expect, which I appreciated, and make use of skills such as linguistics and mathematics to get out of various pinches, which is always cool in my eyes.
The plot itself was OKish. I would’ve liked more details about the state Earth was in and the bigger plot—in terms of the science in the science fiction part, it wasn’t developed at all, and the portal bit felt like a hasty shortcut and let’s be done with it. The puzzles and exploring and spelunking in alien temples were interesting, yet I felt a little distanced from it all, as they demanded a fair share of description to become something easy to picture. The beginning and the ending were more exciting in that regard; the middle dragged. Probably would’ve dragged less without the romance. (Yes, there is a romantic relationship, of course. It’s a young adult story, so having a bit of romance is as much a surprise here as finding a Tube station in the heart of London. I don’t have much to say about it. My personal sense of priority is much more geared towards “more escaping the dangerous situations, less snogging and finding the other person hot”, and even as a teenager, romance left me cold. I’m not a good target audience for this.)
The story picked up again in the last third, and the reveal at the end was something I half-expected and somewhat hoped for, so that’s that. I’m not sure if I’ll be interested enough to read book 2, but maybe if it’s available at the library?
So... I might have gone a bit overboard with my new purchases but hey I just recovered from a reading drought - imagine how 'thirsty' I am =P
Besides, it's not that I just pile them up like my old self: I already read some of them. Ha! Imagine that!
1.5 stars. Audiobook. Narration 2.5 stars- Quick thought: A bad remake of Indiana Jones and The temple of Doom.
Long, long and mostly boring inner dialog that made me tune out. This was a book where I just wanted the characters to stop talking, yeh not good. The female MC was so irritating, she had this uncanny ability to do stupid stuff and then talk herself into thinking it was brilliant. She's a cliche in all ways, a street rat trying to save her sister from slavery, a school drop out who is actually a mathematical genius, perfect because the male MC isn't at all and they need it to save their lives. It's not that she's smart that bugged me it was how it suddenly came up and then became her crown, and her old persona was forgotten. The male MC was the son of a famous notorious man who is on a mission to prove his daddy right. He's English, and unprepared for this planet. yes they are on another planet. So we have a street wise scavenger and rich college grad, to save them all. There is an uncomfortable bit of romance going on that does not fit in the story at all.
The adventure is them trying to solve an ancient mystery left by an alien race filled with booby traps. Oh and yes they are also being chased by evil villains armed with guns. Very Indiana Jones with out the fun entertaining parts. They are able to solve puzzles and escape traps, amazing right ? Then when danger is nearest they rest/sleep and get caught. So they out smart, dumb down and out smart back and forth till finally at the end we see what the real deal is. The doom that only these two misfit kids could figure out and just when you think things might resolve, they get caught again.
I was going to read a retelling of Sleepy Hollow, but this one caught my eye. Shiny!
A nice change to the retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
The original was never one of my favorite fairy tales - too syrupy, although part of that might be influence of Disney. In my opinion they made them fun, but basically gutted them.
This one was much better.