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Four Stars for A Court of Mists and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas
Eventually, I got into the story and it was surprisingly good. Though the first few chapters put me off and I think they could have been improved on. Having said that, the rest of the novel was exceptional for a fantasy novel. It was the initial graphic sex sequence that put me off more than anything and fortunately, there was only one more.
The characters of Rhys and Feyre are fully realized and totally believable. They are exceptional characters and I fell in love with both of them. Though I’m not generally a fan of fantasy, I was able to suspend my disbelief and I cheered for both of them.
Feyre is a woman who graves independence over love and protection. She is her own woman and consequences be damned. I love that about her! Rhys is a man for all seasons. His evolving love for Feyre is clear and concise, and he is ready to sacrifice himself to not only save her, but to save his people. He wants to protect her, but he also recognizes she cannot be owned. She is his equal partner in everyway.
The writing is terrific, filled with emotion and gut wrenching moments. The story moved forward in a logical progression with twists and turns that kept my interest. There were times when some of it fell a bit short, logically, but all in all it was a great read. The ending is a cliff hanger with a promise for more danger and excitement in the next book. I anxiously await her next installment in the series.
The two meet on board the galactic starship, the Icarus. Lilac’s father is a mega businessman and the richest man in the universe. He is the builder and owner of the starship.
Lilac is his privileged daughter, haughty to those beneath her like Tarver who is a war hero. She must behave this way to avoid entrapment by those who seek her fortune, and to keep her father from destroying anyone who he feels is beneath their status.
The Icarus goes down on a terra formed planet that is uninhabited, or so Lilac and Tarver , the only survivors of the thousands on board, think.
While they struggle to survive, the two become close, though it is only through many travails that they come to rely on each other.
No spoilers here, but there are surprising twists and turns before the inevitable conclusion. The ending is satisfying. The characters are so well drawn I hated to see them move on. I think another novel just about their lives in the future would be worth the read.
Strange, but Interesting!
Well, I finally got around to finishing, Sleeping Giants!
Sylvain Neuvel has written an off beat science fiction story that is well founded in science, the man knows his stuff, but having said that I must say this novel isn’t for everyone.
The novel is written in a series of interviews and exchanges between the main characters and an unknown and unnamed narrator who has the benefit of knowing exactly why they have been recruited for a research study that has enormous consequences for the human population. However, he keeps this crucial information to himself. (Spoiler: there is someone else who pulls the strings, an unknown entity)
An enormous (giant) hand was found years before by a young girl who later becomes a scientist. She heads up the team. One is a linguist and the other is an army pilot. Through this series of interviews, we find out how they go about locating all the missing parts of this giant that are located beneath the earth all over the world.
The giant robot has the form of a woman, but with no eyes. This robot is 20 stories high by the time they connect all the parts. It has an energy source that is unknown to anyone on earth. It is also a weapon of mass destruction.
The team accidently engages the energy source and the result is that a whole lot of people in airplanes and part of the Denver Airport are instantly vaporized. Now comes the part, all through interview, where every nation on earth wants the robot, so the US decides its too dangerous for anyone nation and they drop it in a deep trench in the ocean.
However, one nation, Russia, finds a way to retrieve it and they are off and running again, except the controls and two control helmets will not work on anyone other an the two American researchers who first were part of the research.
There is a surprise ending, with an epilog alluding to the next book in the series.
All in all, well written and interesting, but this novel is not for everyone, though I did enjoy it because I like science, but it did lag in places. ***
The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardinge
The Writing is simply brilliant and incredibly imaginative. 5 Stars!!!!
Faith Sunderly is a young girl coming of age during the late Victorian era, so this is not your average coming of age novel. This is a time when photography itself is coming of age as is the new branch of the investigative sciences of anthropology and archeology . Darwin’s, On the Origin of the Species has shocked the ideological realm of religion. It is a new world threatening the long held belief that man inherited the world from God with all his fingers and toes place.
Faith’s father, the Right Reverend Sunderly is not only a man of God, but also dabs in the science of the Natural World. His goal is to disprove Darwin’s theory. Unknown to his daughter, Faith and family, he found a dark and mysterious Tree that is said to hold the truth of everything; it puts forth the fruit of knowledge, but only if it hears lies and the liar must present the world with this lie. The lie must be of enormous consequence. He does this by fostering a great archeological fake onto society, and as he is a man of impeccable reputation, it is taken on faith by other famous archeologists. However, the fake is soon discovered and his reputation is sullied and a great scandal ensues.
He and his family are force to flee the scandal, and they are given refuge on an island where they are not well received because of the scandal. Yet, on the island there are others who want the tree and will do anything to get it, including murder. When Faith’s father dies under mysterious circumstance, she is sure it is murder. She is not your average prim and proper young lady of the times. She is clever, and smart and incurably curious, but she must pretend to be simple minded, as all women of the time were thought to be or risk being scorned by society or worse, by being placed in a sanatorium for the mentally unstable which was quite common back then. But she is determined and uses her wiles and her guiles to ferret out the murderer at great risk to herself.
Frances Hardinge has crafted a thrilling and page turning mystery that gets the heart thumping and the pages turning. The writing is gorgeous and the reader is easily transported into the era. I highly recommend this wondrous novel for any age group, but especially to girls coming of age and to those who want a better understanding of the injustices women endured for centuries.
This is a heads-up for all you Science Fiction Fans :o)
Recommended by Pierce Brown, a riveting new Science Fiction Novel due out April 26, 2016
I read the excerpt and this is nothing like Red Rising, but lends itself to a mysterious investigation regarding a giant metal hand which was found buried. It’s estimated age is thousands of years. It has glowing sigils and symbols no linguist can decipher. It hooked me immediately. It looks like a must read. Pre ordered on Amazon, due out April 26th Can't wait to read it.
Dystopian with a Twist!
The Story line: Well, a kitchen sink full of characters
Cancer is endemic. Much of the world’s population has died or is dying. Those who linger are sent to an island to die. Many others become zombies and roam in the wilds.
The Authority rises to rule and those with money live opulent lives in a guarded, draconian society. But there is a rebellion growing, a grass roots thing. A secret military is surgically developing a new breed of superior soldiers to fight the zombies.
This is an offbeat story, but surprisingly engaging . Told from the POV of two protagonists.
Liza is a young cancer survivor who has been bitten twice by zombies and lived. More than lived. She has become incredibly strong, able to trounce big strong men. She meets The Writer, Jeremy who is a leader in the rebellion against the Authority.
Tommy is a young soldier who has been modified. When angry, he turns into a raging monster, (Hulk-ish).
The Author, Logan Keys take dystopia to a new off beat level, but it works!
The Writing: really good
The Characters: complex but inconsistent
Humor: tongue in cheek
Pacing: Fast, mostly, but meanders at times.
Sex: Some. (well, an almost rape scene)
Overall: Interesting. 4 stars because most of it kept my interest.
"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well."
And so begins the story of Karou, the strikingly beautiful blue-haired artist and Akiva, the vengeful angel who is the epitome of beauty. Karou's past is shrouded in mystery, though her present life is filled with art school and running mysterious errands for the equally mysterious Brimstone. Brimstone is, well, a chimera, a monster. But he and the other chimeras are the only family Karou has ever known.
Enter Akiva, one of the avenging seraphim angels who have been at war with the chimeras for a thousand years. Akiva has a bone to pick (no pun intended)with the chimeras. They killed the love of his life. He is moments away from bringing down his sword on Karou's head when something about her stays his hand.
Their relationship is complicated, tangled in the mists and rife with torn alliances. Will they end the wars or will they destroy each other?
Laini Taylor takes the star-crossed lovers scenario and makes it her own. Laini's use of language is magical. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and can certainly see why she was a National Book Award finalist for her novel, Lips Touch: Three Times targeted for middle and high school age groups.
“I will look in triumph on my enemies. They will scatter to the ends of the earth, and God’s righteous right hand will endure forever.” The ball of light whirls. My body tingles with power. “I am God’s righteous right hand! And I will. Not. Waver.” The Godstone is all around me now, swirling and beautiful and terrifying. My skin breathes in the energy of the earth, of the air around me, and feeds it to my Godstone.
Princess Elisa is destined for greatness or for a horrifying death. She is the bearer of a Godstone that miraculously appeared in her navel when she was an infant. Few bearers have lived long enough to fulfill their destiny.
Elisa is sixteen when she is married to the young and handsome King Alejandro who rules a country far from her home. She has been protected and indulged her entire life. Secrets have been kept from her. To ease the worry that plagues her, Elisa, from childhood, has used food as comfort. She is a very large young girl, a girl with little confidence as compared to her slender, beautiful older sister. The marriage is a political arrangement.
She travels to the desert country of Joya d’Arena to become its queen, but when she arrives, Alejandro keeps their marriage a secret, offering an excuse pertaining to political issues. His mistress eyes Elisa with narrow, suspicious eyes. In response, Elisa continues to feed her worry with food. She is looked upon by all with scorn for her appetite and girth.
But there is a will of iron beneath her softness and when she is kidnapped a transformation takes place as she learns not only to survive the riggers of the heartbreaking trials before her, but to love the country and its people.
Ultimately, this is a story about belief in faith and in one’s self. Many times, Elisa doubts her ability to fulfill her God given purpose, but her belief sustains her even against seemingly insurmountable odds.
The novel starts of slow but as the story unfolds what Elisa faces engages the reader and holds the reader’s attention. I read late into the night. I had to finish it. The sequels, which I intend to read as soon as possible, continue
A Young Adult Novel of Love and War
“Well to be fair, there is no way I’m believing any of this, being driven along on the wrong side of the road by this skinny kid dragging on a cigarette and let’s face it who wouldn’t be thinking about what a weird place England is.
And then he looked at me again in his funny doggy way, and he said You’ll get used to it. Which was strange too, because I hadn’t said anything out loud.”
Elizabeth who is called Daisy because she’s more Daisy than Elizabeth, is fifteen, awkward, a-plain-Jane and not exactly feeling wanted by her step-mother, Davina the diabolical who got knocked-up by Daisy’s father and who Daisy will name Damian if it ever pops out.
D the D (Davina the Diabolical), sends Daisy to England to live with twice removed relatives, her cousins and an aunt. So, for a girl living amid the concrete boardwalk of Manhattan her entire life, the English countryside is a wonderland and Daisy does indeed feel like she fell down a rabbit hole. And the three boys are near her age and their little sister.
Daisy becomes the object of their attention and in one case, devotion.
Not long after her arrival, the aunt goes on a business trip and then the war begins and the aunt is lost in the fog of war. Soon, the power fails and the farm becomes more and more isolated as the children fend for themselves.
Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and incredibily extrodinary. But war is everywhere and horribly intrudes on their wonderland.
Heartrending and poignant, this story delves into the human heart and mind and how love survives even the most terrible of circumstances.
This is a wonderful book for all ages.
The Ides, as marked by the Romans, was associated with the 15th of the month on their Kalends, which became our Calendar.
Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March in 44 BC
Where the Futures End is five interconnected stories with different characters that are bound by the same choices, though their worlds keep changing as each story moves bit by bit into future. A future where technology turns everyone's life into a reality show.
First, the writing, oh the writing! The words on each page just carried me away. Now, the story. It's like peaking behind a curtain as each scene moves into another and keeps the reader questioning, what next? Is what Dylan seeing real or imaginary? Is it the product of a troubled teen mind, or a crushing desire to go back to a place where he felt loved, normal and accepted that causes him to see the things he sees and feels.
Or Brixney, a young woman who is living under dire circumstances and under the deceptive view of cameras where everyone is part of a global feed and where many jostle for attention by providing the masses with exhilarating or shocking feed in order to gain lucrative advertising contracts. That's when something incredible happens, something that changes everything and gives the reader a clue about the reality of Dylan's fantasies and what it means for the future. (No Spoilers here, but it is jaw dropping)
But the best part for me was the writing. It is off the chart original, and the story is one to think about as you read and reread just to make sure you didn't miss anything.