The Memory Key by Liana Liu | Book Review

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Memory Key by Liana Liu | Book ReviewThe Memory Key by Liana Liu
Published by HarperTeen on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
two-stars

In a five-minutes-into-the-future world, a bereaved daughter must choose between losing memories of her mother to the haze of time and the reality-distorting, visceral pain of complete, perfect recall.

Lora Mint is determined not to forget.

Though her mother’s been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most importantly, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.

But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer’s, that isn’t easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora’s key, and her memories go haywire. Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother’s disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?

Lora’s longing for her lost mother and journey to patch up her broken memories is filled with authentic and poignant emotion. Her race to uncover the truth is a twisty ride. In the end, Liana Liu’s story will spark topical conversations about memory and privacy in a world that is reliant on increasingly invasive forms of technology

What I thoughtI really wanted to like this book more than I did. When I got this book in the mail I was really excited. The concept seemed great. Using a disease that many people are affected by nowadays and exploring solutions that might be possible in the future. But unfortunately, that’s also where my excitement ended.

The concept that seemed most interesting to me, the whole memory part, fell short. I feel like the main-focus should’ve been on that, but instead the story seemed to focus on the MC’s ‘boy-troubles’ and the problems she had with her BFF. Where’s the information about the Memory chips? How do they work? Why did Lora’s chip fell short after she fell? This story could’ve used so much more depth and building.

I couldn’t care much about the characters. Wendy, Lora’s best friend, came across as shallow and just plain annoying at times. I didn’t really enjoy their conversations; the only thing they discussed were boys, and who Lora was supposed to date. It was just plain frustrating at times. Lora, I don’t even know what to say about her. She was odd, and I couldn’t connect with her at all. The switches between present and past were confusing, just as her behaviour towards her ‘friends’. At some point I didn’t even understand why she was friends with Wendy. And then Raul… he seemed to be in the story solely for plot purposes. It didn’t feel like there were relationships between people, there was no depth. They characters just seemed to be there, and they felt empty.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

I don’t really know why I kept reading. Perhaps I had hopes that the book would pick up after a while, but it really didn’t and I struggled to get through the story. It’s just such a shame, because I feel like this book could’ve been so much more. I think it’s safe to say that this book really wasn’t my cup of tea…

The Boy with the Tiger’s Heart by Linda Coggin | Book Review

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Boy with the Tiger’s Heart by Linda Coggin | Book ReviewThe Boy with the Tiger's Heart by Linda Coggin
Published by Hot Key Books on September 4th 2014
Genres: Sci-Fi
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
two-half-stars

A girl raised in the wild, a desperate race for freedom and a boy with a fiercely guarded secret...

When Nona's guardian kills himself, she is immediately suspected of murdering him. In a world where nature and darkness are feared, where wild animals are killed or held captive and cities are illuminated by permanent light, who will believe her innocence? Nona must flee with her only friend - a bear who is strangely human.

In their desperate attempt to escape capture, Nona and her bear encounter two strange boys, Caius and Jay. Together, the four of them will hide, and fight, and make the deadliest of enemies in their desperate race to a forbidden place called The Edge - where nature is unrestrained, where there is light and shade, forest and mountain, and where there are no shackles or boundaries.

A poetic, haunting and unforgettable modern fable about nature, society, and what it is that makes us human.

What I thoughtThe reason this review is so late, is because I can’t really make up my mind about this book. I didn’t really dislike The Boy with the Tiger’s Heart, but I didn’t love it either. I thought about it a lot, and in the end I think this mainly has to do with the fact that I felt detached from the story. The book was completely different from what I was expecting and I just couldn’t really get into the story.

The story felt weak, sure I understood that nature and animals were considered threats to society, but I felt like I missed the message the book was supposed to deliver. I would have liked more background information to back the story up, as well as some more depth. The synopsis promised various themes (and they indeed were addressed), but they weren’t really explored. Unfortunately, it just fell a bit flat for me.

However, it wasn’t all bad! The characters were interesting. Nona was a good character, and had the potential to be a great character. Though unrealistic, I thought the idea behind Jay was very intriguing. Caius felt a bit like the third wheel though, he was there, but at the same time he wasn’t. Once again, just like the story line, it was hard to connect with them.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

I’m still not too sure what to make of this book. The Boy with the Tiger’s Heart had so much potential, but it fell flat. I don’t really dislike it, but neither do I really like it. It was a bit disappointing actually…

sigh

Cress by Marissa Meyer | Book Review

Cress by Marissa Meyer | Book ReviewCress by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 4th 2014
Genres: Sci-Fi
Pages: 550
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

What I thought

Marissa Meyer is such a gifted author. Every time I think this series can’t get any better, it does. After reading Cinder, I was hooked. I knew it had the possibility to become one of my favourite series. But Cress just confirmed that The Lunar Chronicles is one of my absolute favourite series. This book was absolutely brilliant, and definitely my favourite of the three books so far.

Characters, characters, characters. Such GREAT characters. I love how this series is extremely character-driven, they all have so much depth and that makes it hard not to fall in love with every single one of them. This book introduces Cress (well, technically she was introduced in Scarlet, but we REALLY get to know her in this instalment) and I love her. She’s a quirky hacker, a tad naïve, and just so freaking adorable. A great addition to the characters we already know (and love so much). While I’ve been gushing about the main characters, I feel the need to point out that it’s not just them, the secondary characters carry just as much depth.

Then: Cress and Thorne. I’ve said it before, but Thorne is just… he’s hilarious. He has a gigantic ego, but also something sweet that adore. It’s all a big part of his charm. I ship them! Though if I’m honest, I ship all the ships there are to ship in this series, hard. Cinder and Kai; I adore them, with all their doubts and struggles. And Scarlet and Wolf; their relationship is one of my favourites, Wolf stole my heart in Scarlet, and this couples hardship in Cress broke my heart a little. I love how these stories are based on fairy tales, and every relationship has this fairy-tale like quality.

The plot will leave you breathless. It is so intriguing. It builds, and builds, and I felt like all I was doing was living towards the next moment I could read so I could just read MORE. I read chapters in the train on my way to classes, and in between classes, and then when I got home today and finished my homework, I finally finished it. And now I need more. And Winter sounds EPIC (the wait… it’s already killing me).

Final verdict IRISJEXX!Cress was absolutely fantastic. Even more so, this series is absolutely fantastic. EPIC characters. Intriguing and gripping plot. Beautiful writing. And enough ships to ship! But seriously, if you haven’t started this series yet you really should!

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer | Book Review

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer | Book ReviewScarlet by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 5th 2013
Genres: Sci-Fi
Pages: 452
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

What I thoughtIt took me long enough to get around to reading Scarlet, right? I guess I’m late to the party again, third time this month. I realized that after reading Asti’s review of Cress a week ago. She was so incredibly excited about it, and I realized that my copy of Scarlet (the one I ordered right after finishing Cinder) was just collecting dust on my shelves. And that… that’s just plain wrong. Especially since I loved Cinder so much.

I truly didn’t realize how much I’d missed all the characters from the Lunar Chronicles until I started reading again. Cinder and Kai. And then ALL those new characters. They are all so incredibly interesting and captivating and so easy to fall in love with. Scarlet, Thorne, and Wolf. Again, characters with so much depth and it makes for such a wonderful tale. Scarlet was awesome. A tad rash, incredibly impatient, but so much strength. Like I said, she was awesome! And Thorne… sweet, snarky, and funny Thorne. He made me laugh until my stomach hurt. He’s hilarious, and not to mention the complete opposite of Kai, which made for a really interesting character. Then for the character that I absolutely adore: Wolf. He touched my heart. Made me laugh, made me want to strangle him, and made me feel all gushy inside. What’s not to love?

Scarlet picks up right were Cinder ended. Literally. There’s some subtle reminders to help you remember what happened in the first book and they help you along perfectly if it’s been a while since reading it (as was the case with me). The switching POVs between Scarlet and Cinder help with this as well. While switching POV doesn’t always work that well, it most certainly worked out for Scarlet.

I am obsessed with Marissa Meyer’s writing style and world building. The writing is addictive and it flows off the pages while reading. And then the beautifully crafted world building. So much detail. I want to read so much more about this world (and that’s why I just ordered Cress!).

The plot. I have almost no words. This is THE best and most creative retelling of Red Riding Hood I’ve ever read. It was absolutely outstanding. The plot is intricate. It leaves nothing to wish for. It’s action packed, captivating, and so original. I mentioned the switching POVs before, but the way they were written. Every storyline was well thought out. It never felt too much or overwhelming.

That ending? ALL THE FEELS.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!Scarlet was absolutely and unquestionably amazing. Perfection!

 

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon | Book Review

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon | Book ReviewThe Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season #2
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on January 27th 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Sci-Fi
Pages: 528
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

What I thoughtI was a bit late to the party with The Bone Season. This had to do with the immense hype surrounding the book, I bought it, planning to wait a little while until everything had calmed down a bit, and then suddenly it was a year after publication and I still hadn’t read it. So I read it over the summer and I fell in love with the story and its characters. What a difference this time around. Ever since I finished The Bone Season, I have been anticipating its sequel.

The world-building was as intricate and beautiful as it was in The Bone Season. Which made it so easy to get wrapped up in the storyline. The story picks up right where The Bone Season left off. Paige has managed to escape Sheol I and we’re back in the alternate and futuristic London that we only got a few glimpses of at the beginning of book one. I love how we get to know more about the Seven Seals and the Criminal Syndicate. It was something I’ve wanted to know more about since I read the first book, The Mime Order really dove into the Criminal Syndicate, it became more clear how the criminal underbelly of London works, hierarchy wise, and it was so interesting to read about.

Paige is such a great protagonist. She’s tough, smart, and intuitive. And at the same time she has her flaws and limitations. Which is exactly what makes her such a great character. I love how The Mime Order the offers an insight to Paige’s inner struggles. We learn more about her relationship with her mime-lord and other characters and we get those little insights into her childhood in Ireland (and I hope to learn more about it in the next instalment). She’s tough, but sensitive at the same time. I just adore her character. View Spoiler »

Then the romance. What I love so much is that it’s not the main part of the story. It’s always there in the back of your mind, but it’s not the main focus of the story. I pleasantly surprised when Warden made an appearance in the story. And the interactions between Paige and Warden are everything I wanted and more. Great dialogue. Sexy tension. And I am so excited to see how their love story will develop. Even though their relationship will probably know many hardships. They are such strong personalities, and I hope that their romance will survive against all odds.

Plot-wise this story is absolutely fantastic. The revolution travels with Paige from Sheol I to the world of the voyants in London. There’s lots of things going on and you want to know exactly how they will unfold. The tension between Paige and Jaxon keeps building. View Spoiler » Their exchanges are extremely chilling, filled with power-plays and political undertones. It all builds up towards one point. All those emotions build to peak and believe me, that ending… MIND WILL BE BLOWN.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

I loved The Mime Order so much. I wish there was more to read, because the thought of waiting another year for the next book is killing. Samantha Shannon did a wonderful job with this book. Beautiful world-building, a great protagonist, thrilling romance, and a fantastic plot. The Mime Order was everything I hoped it would be and more. I love this world and it’s beautiful characters. Now, can I have the sequel? Pretty please!