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Book Review: Shatter Me

Title: Shatter Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

 

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It’s been 264 days since Juliette touched anybody.

The last time she did, it led to something terrifying. But nobody believed her that it was an accident. The Reestablishment charged her with murder and locked her up. They don’t care to find out, why Juliette’s touch is fatal. Nobody cares for her because they’re all too busy with the outside world, which is completely different now.

Until someone else joins Juliette in her cell. Someone, who’s really familiar to Juliette.


This book was really hyped a few years ago but, I’m slow sometimes, so I only had a chance to pick it up this year. Maybe I made mistake and should read it a while ago when I was younger and not so tired of all YA dystopian novels. Right now, I really feel like I’m not a target audience for this genre anymore. I’m just too old.

The beginning itself was extremely boring and I struggled through the first pages (a lot of them). I was compelled to read on, not because the story simply would draw me in, but I was wondering how did Juliette become like this and what’s with her fatal touch. This is probably the only reason I read the book to the end. And let me tell you, the mystery around everything really got on my nerves.

Juliette is one of those characters I didn’t like from beginning and it was that way until the end. She is indecisive, distrustful when there’s no need for that and she’s complicating all the time and can’t make her mind. It’s good that she’s immense beauty that every guy in the book falls for her and that saves her life many times (that is, according to the book). In general, I did not like the characters very much.

Sadly, we don’t get to know much about the dystopian world. For those few information that comes to the reader, we can be sure that they are there to mislead us. This predictability slowly destroys all the stories, and here it was not different (still, there are chances that I’m wrong). There are two types of people in this “new” world, first are “bad” and the others are “good” and they want to resist the bad guys. We get to know some things about both, but we know that we can not trust anyone because everything can mislead us. I would love to get some more concrete information which would surely make the story more interesting.

As already mentioned, the idea is not bad, in fact, it seemed quite interesting to me but it was just not written in the way that would entertain me. Especially after some exceptions began to appear (don’t worry, no spoilers). I understand why this happened, but, at least to me, it completely destroyed the pleasure of reading, and also the idea the author wanted to present.

Yes, there are some chapters that keep a reader in tension, but they don’t outweigh the rest. Too much romance, too much mysteries, too much focus on relationships. And still, it was not enough for me.

Rating: 1/5 stars

Did you read Shatter Me? What did you think about it? Did you read the rest of the books in series?

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Book Review: The Passage

Title: The Passage

Author: Justin Cronin6690798

Six-year-old Amy lives with her mother. But circumstances force her mother to leave her. She leaves Amy in a convent where nuns could take care of her and disappear without a trace. Sister Lacey takes care for Amy but soon two men appear, claiming to work for Secret Service and they need to take Amy away. Special Agent Brad Wolgast and his partner had already traveled across America, with a secret project to bring twelve, to death convicted criminals, to a secret base where special government experiment is going on. Amy is their final task.

However, things go terribly wrong.  Wolgast is fascinated by little Amy and wants to do everything to protect her. But he can’t do anything against apocalyptic destruction which is a result of failed experiment.

He’s protecting Amy as he can but at the end, he’s only human who’s suffering the same fate as all the others. And then Amy remains alone. Her faith is to wander around aimlessly, while decades are passing by. The world is destroyed, full of fear and terror. But Amy has the power to restore it.


What to write about a book, which is one of best books you ever read? The Passage is a book, that I read for the third time and each time it was better. The reason is probably also, that with each new reading, I discovered new details and understood a story better.

But despite reading this book many times, it would be probably easier if I would write a review after first reading. Now, it will be probably just bragging how this book is amazing. And, I already read the second book (twice), so I know everything that happens.

As I mentioned, this book is multi-leveled and full of details that can be easily overlooked if you don’t pay enough attention to them. But precisely those details create the story, although sometimes seems as unnecessary information. There are many side characters, that Cronin devotes a lot of attention, a reader learns everything about their life and past and then they’re gone. However, this also has its charm. But despite detailed writing of characters and events, this book never becomes boring, even though is huge!

Characters are amazing! I loved main characters, Amy and Wolgast. Especially Wolgast. He’s such an amazing man, and his character develops so well through the story. I liked him even more than Amy. And believe me, it’s hard to love somebody more than her. Despite being quite and shy little girl, she has such a powerful role in this book. But still, I think, that Wolgast really stands out!

The world after the apocalypse, when a world was destroyed by the virus is creepy and horrible. Vampires are just like they should be, horrible and bloodthirsty. I usually don’t like books about vampires because they are too romanticized, but here are scary and perfect.

Reading about the world after a virus was enjoyable. Perhaps, it was little too similar to the world before, which annoyed me. After all, so many decades passed by and I would assume, some things would be different, people would act differently. But nevermind, diversity of characters is fascinating and I didn’t have any problems with connecting to them and enjoying their story.

Maybe it’s just the last part of the book, which can be confusing and I was all “what’s going on?”. But exactly this part is full of tension, action, and events.

In spite of the diversity of characters and different stories, everything connects at the end. Again and again, I was amazed, how the fates of people connect one way or another through the novel and that Cronin manages, despite detailed narration, to unite all the elements in the story.

Once again I can say, that this book is just amazing. Enjoyable characters, great background stories and gruesome vampires. Tense, emotional and frightening.

Rating: 5/5 stars

What were your thoughts about this book, if you have read it? Do you have any other vampire books recommendations? Or did you read any similar books that I would like?

 

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Book Review: The Wise Man’s Fear

Title: The Wise Man’s Fear

Author: Patrick Rothfuss1215032

On the second day, Kvothe continues with storytelling about his life. His story is written down by Scribe and Bast is keeping them company.

The story continues where the first ended. Kvothe continues with his study in University and his feud with fellow student Ambrose is still not over. Because of the circumstances, Kvothe decides, he’ll take some time off and he travels to Severen city, far from  University, where he’s serving to Maer Alveron. Soon he employs Kvothe to lead a group of mercenaries in the hunt of bandits. Kvothe hunts them but on the way back he comes upon beautiful Felurian and after that he continues his journey to an unknown country of Ademre. But wherever he goes, he’s looking for mysterious Chandrians who killed his parents.


I’ve been waiting for this book for so long! I read the first book in Slovenian translation and then I had to wait that the second one would also be translated. And finally, I had a chance to read it! But it was so worth of waiting because I liked the second book of The Kingkiller Chronicles even more than a first one.

Kvothe is still one of most likable characters for me. He’s charming but not without mistakes and so nice and funny. And precisely because of the mixture of good and bad qualities, you just have to love him! I think his character is realistic and I already miss him. But a thing I loved the most was his relationship with his friends and their (and Kvothe’s) humor. Their relations were so relaxed and full of teasing that I just wanted to be part of their group.

Wilem and Simmon are comical fellows but they’re always there when Kvothe needs them. Even in book #2, they have saved his ass more than once even though it was completely his fault to get into the mess. Oh yes, Kvothe is still reckless and he doesn’t learn anything from his mistakes.

What bothered me, was Kvothe’s relationship with Denna. I just don’t like her. With every read page less actually. For me, she’s exploitative, not serious and selfish. I think that she’s making a fool of Kvothe all the time and I just wish he would find some other girl to fool around with, haha.

This book is even longer than previous one but I finished with reading quickly. I was so joyful when I read about University, students, and teachers there. Feud with Ambrose remained but it was pushed in the background this time and I must admit that I missed Ambrose a little bit.

Language and the way of describing everything are still perfect. In more that one occasion, I was surprised how effortless was Rothfuss writing about music as its describing would be the easiest thing in the world. But it’s not just the music that’s pictured amazing, but also people, places and everything else. But I have a feeling that this is also Rothfuss’s weakness.  There was a lot of describing, many details and events that otherwise improved the story and the readers understanding of it, but sometimes while reading I wondered why was I actually reading all of this. Do not get me wrong, I enjoyed every sentence, but this was because of writing, and not because I would be so interested in plot events.

The Wise Man’s Fear is amazing fantasy novel and I would recommend it to anyone who likes this genre. But be also prepared, that you will not find out anything new, which really surprised me. I thought I would get at least some answers in this book, but I only have more questions. I guess that means, the third book will be even longer than this one.

Rating: 5/5 stars

What do you think about The Kingkiller Chronicles? Did you like the first book more than second? Share your thought with me in comments.

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Book review: Assassin’s Apprentice

Title: Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1)

Author: Robin Hobb219562191

The old man brings his six-year-old grandson to the entrance of Buckkeep Castle, where he leaves him, saying, that from now on, his father should take care of him. Nobody can’t deny that little boy is the bastard son of Prince Chivalry. Burrich, Chivalry’s stableman, takes care of him and learns him how to take care of animals. And boy soon discovers that he has the ability to connect with them – it’s a talent called The Wit.

When he came to the Buckkeep, he didn’t have a name but soon everyone calls him Fitz. He learns how to write, read and teach royal behavior. One day,  his grandfather King Shrewd sends him to his skilled assassin Chade – he will be his teacher because Fitz will become King’s man and will be trained as an assassin. Someday he will succeed Chade.

But Fitz is lonely in the castle, he doesn’t have any friends and most people despise him because he’s a bastard. In addition to his own problems, he is also faced with kingdom’s problems. From the outside, a kingdom is under attack by Outislanders and within the kingdom is a lot of intrigues, lies, and conflicts.


It’s been a while since I read such a good fantasy novel. The first half of the book was a little bit slow because a reader is getting know Fitz and his life on the court, but the other half is really tensed.

I liked Fitz from beginning and this sympathy has grown through the book. He is so likable, from beginning when he’s only a young boy who found himself in an environment where people are unfriendly. Due to similarities with his father, no one doubts that Prince Chivalry is his father, but still people are refusing and despise him and he becomes an object of derision. He finds his comfort in a friendship with animals, particularly with dogs and he even discovers that he has the ability to connect with animals – it’s an old gift which is hated by people and it’s called the Wit. I especially liked his process of growing up, where a reader can clearly see the process how an ignorant and shy boy slowly matures into an independent guy who can also use his brains.

Other characters are presented one-sided. Those who are good, have a positive impact on Fitz’s life, and those who are bad, are making his life miserable. But despite this fact, all characters are well presented and I must say, that the bad ones were presented so well that I really hated them.

I really loved and it seemed excellent to me that every chapter begins with a short presentation or “introduction” – about the world (Six Duchies), customs and tradition, politics, … That helped me to understand a story, written by Fitz himself, easier. And yes, this book is written as a memoir and Fritz himself is writing it.

About the fantasy world, we don’t get to know much. In the beginning of the book, is printed a map of Six Duchies and surroundings, so that the reader can get a feeling about it and can look what happens where. But the reader doesn’t learn much about other places. The story is taking place in two or three parts, the rest is shrouded in mystery. Probably other places emerge in next books. Like many other things. Because even when I finished a book, I still had a lot of questions, whose answers I will probably get when I’ll read sequels. And in a way, this is quite annoying because some reader can’t understand some specific connections and certain events remain unexplained.

But still I had so much fun while reading this book and I really enjoyed it. Especially in the second half of the book, where I got sucked into the story and I can’t wait to read next book.

Rating: 4/5 stars

What did you think about this book? Or the whole trilogy? Did you read any other Robin Hobb books?

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Book review: The Death Cure

Title: The Death Cure (The Maze Runner #3)

Author: James Dashner

Just a short note and advice for those who haven’t read the first and second book in this series. Perhaps is better if you don’t read this review because even that I’m trying not to include too much spoilers, here I just can’t avoid mentioning some facts which are vital for story. Any maybe you’ll find out too much which would affect your reading experience.7864437

Thomas has survived the Maze and the Scorch. Now he finds himself in a world where the disease requires more and more victims every day and people massively turn into maniacs. He and his friends are under the control of Assistant Director Janson (aka Ratman). And he claims there is a cure for Flare and he could get it with their help. That would happen faster if they would all get their memories back. Some of them decide to do it, but Thomas, Minho, and Newt decide against it. Janson wants to force them but before it happens, they escape. And now everyone is outside in a world infected with Flare and they can’t believe how chaotics conditions are.


If I loved the first book in series, The Maze Runner, and if the second left some bitter taste in my mouth, the only thing that I can write about The Death Cure is… a complete disappointment.

There were so many things that I had questions about and many things I hoped to be revealed and when I finished this book, the questions were still there and I was, even more, confused.

Let’s start with characters. I had felt that every single character in this book somehow faded. If I compare this book with The Maze Runner, where characters were interesting and well developed, here is the exact opposite. Even Thomas, the main character, faded and become indecisive and I had feeling that even he is totally confused about the lack of information and he doesn’t know what’s going on or what should he do. His friends, who in previous books played a great role in the story, are now in the background. And there were a lot (to me at least) unnecessary deaths. Like Dashner would want to include more action in the story that way.

The story itself is just…. meh. At the end, I read this book just to finish the series and I didn’t even have a lot of interest in what will happen. Because somewhere in the middle of this book, I got a feeling that many of my questions will remain unanswered. I thought that story was without head or tail. Whatever happened, I had considered it was forced, with the thought that something simply has to be done to entertain the reader and to finish it all (the story).

Many of my questions remained open and I’m still not cleared by certain things. I wanted to know more, about what was happening after the outburst of the Flare and what were actually doing in WICKED. And I believe that Dashner would easily provide us that kind of information. It’s true, that Thomas didn’t get his memories back, but Theresa did. But in this crucial moment, where she could reveal some things and information, her character was put aside and she became just some peripheral character. Like she’s unimportant for the story.

In conclusion, I can only say that this book is really frustrating. And somewhere in the middle of reading, I got feeling that also author himself didn’t know what to do with everything so he just wrote something to finish it. Too bad.

Rating: 2/5 stars

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Book review: Illuminae

Title: Illuminae

Author: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

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It’s the year 2575 and Kady and Ezra are teenagers living on a small icy planet called Kerenza. They’ve been a couple but they just broke up. However, this is their smallest problem, because one of the most influential corporations of universe decides to destroy Kerenza. After the attack, many people are rescued on one of three spacecraft which are accepting refugees. Ezra escapes on Alexander, Kady on Hypatia. Shortly after that, on third vessel Copernicus, outbreaks a virus which turns people into maniacs. Ezra and Kady are worried about each other and sudden conditions and they start to communicate with each other again. And of course, they want to find out what’s going on and find an answer to what is happening.


I don’t have to mention how high my expectations about this book were. With all the hype around this book I just couldn’t wait to read it!

The plot of this book is interesting – as mentioned before the story is happening in the universe, where war broke out between two largest corporations, one of them destroying planet Kerenza. At the beginning, I was little lost between all the names of the various characters, space crafts, etc. but after a while it was fine. The idea of the story was really likable for me and, of course, promised a lot of action.

I liked Ezra from the start but I can’t say the same for Kady. I think she’s without true character and she’s impersonal. Trough all story she’s just a brave heroine, who needs to “save the word” and that’s all. She doesn’t show any emotions and she’s overcoming all the inhuman efforts without complaining. Ezra, on the other hand, is such a nice and entertaining guy.

And what actually makes this book so special? It’s format.

This book is written as a set of documents collected by a group who wants to show what actually happened when war outbroke and wants to inform public what was going on after that. Documents include records of sound recordings, secret and hacked correspondences between different people, classified information and reports. And in such format, this book is also written. Oh, and it also includes a lot of graphic material.

And all this makes a book interesting and reading so unique.

If I would have to rate only a story, I would give this book 3.5 or maybe 4 stars. It was an enjoyable read, intense but nothing that would blow my mind. But… there is this cool unique format that makes reading experience even more interesting and special. And therefore, I think this book deserves 5 stars.

Rating: 5/5

Are you interested in reading Illuminae or did you already read it? What do you think about it?

 

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Review: Pure

Title: Pure

Author: Julianna Baggott

Pure trilogy – First Book

Summary:

After the catastrophe, the Earth is almost destroyed. People who survived are damaged and are trying to survive. One of the survivors is Pressia, the girl who lost her parents and everything else during Detonations. She lives with her grandpa and she has to take care for both of them. When she’s out there in demolished word she’s thinking about the Dome where privileged and protected people live. People who escaped Detonations, who are unmarked and that’s why called Pures. Not like her and everyone else out there who are damaged, burned and marked forever. Pures found shelter in Dome before Detonations and are waiting that Earth will recover and they could go out again.
But in Dome lives Jereb who is one of the Pures. He wants to escape from Dome and find his mother because he thinks she’s still alive and out there somewhere. He manages to escape and he meets Pressia. They decide that they would find Jereb’s mother together but during the search they discover that things are not as they seem. Things they believed were true are not and they will discover a dreadful truth.


The first half of the book was really slowly for me. Not that I didn’t like it but there was not a lot of action. It’s not that it was boring in the way that I would want stop reading it but the whole point was on presentation of the situation and conditions. I must say that although it was a slow read I still think that author made a great work. The world is presented really realistic and while I read I could imagine everything so lively. But in the second part of the book is a lot of action and situation becomes complicated.

I also liked how realistic all characters are. When I started reading I couldn’t get used to them – for me, at the start they were unpleasant in their behavior but then I got used of them. I didn’t like Pressia at beginning because she was so unapproachable and unpleasant, but later I figured out that’s not unusual that she’s like that – she became like that because of the world she’s living in. Her life and lives of others were and still are hard and if they want to survive they can’t show their weakness. But after a while Pressia shows (and again others too) her soft part and desire for better life and living.

I found out that at first this book was intended for older readers but then also younger readers were reading it and now it’s marked as a young adult book. I understand why younger readers love it so much – it’s full of action and it’s interesting. But I still think that there are many other books which are more convenient for younger people. My opinion is that this is not such a quick read full of action, but readers have to show some patience. That bothered me the most.

But surely I will continue with reading this trilogy. Probably not immediately but soon. Another thing why I liked this book is, that it has nice and completed ending. There is no cliffhanger at the end and you don’t have to pick up the sequel as soon as you finish the first book. But it was interesting enough that I want to find all the answers to questions that are still uncovered.

Rating: 4/5