Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: A Million Suns, by Beth Revis

A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)A Million Suns by Beth Revis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.

It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

What I Liked: Revis brought the atmosphere of inescapable unrest and hostility to life so well that I actually felt claustrophobic. I also really liked that she asked some extremely hard questions about freedom of will, right to rule, democracy versus autocracy...and never really answers them. Honestly (and it's been two months since I read the ARC) I think back on some of the moral crossroads in the story, and...I'm still not sure what the right answers are.

What I Didn't: Forgive my being cryptic here, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers...the, er, "method" in which Amy is fed the clues seems very contrived. I found it to be distracting, because it was so out of place, so out of character. It's honestly what kept my review from being five stars.

One More Thing: I wasn't really sure whether to put this under pros or cons, because part of me loves that she did it because it makes me SO excited for the next book, and part of me wants to grab Revis by the shoulders and shake her and scream WHYYYYYYYYY???????...the book ends on one of the worst cliffhangers I can think of. Right on par with Clare's City of Fallen Angels. For realz. It's killer. You've been warned.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

What I Liked: This book is unlike anything I'm aware of on the market. The world, the twists on mythology...all completely unique. And I have a serious girl-crush on Karou. I want to BE her.

One of the most surprising things I liked about the book, though, were the "human" moments; mainly, the banter between Karou and Zuzanna. Real but zingy--think dialogue on Buffy or Veronica Mars. It endeared me to her, and made her three-dimensional, so by the time the real, honest-to-goodness scat starts hitting the fan, you really, truly care what happens to her.

What I Didn't: I only have one dislike, and it's less of a dislike and more of a concern. In the last quarter of the book, when the storyline moves to flashbacks (sorry for the vagueness, but I try to keep it spoiler-free!) the story loses some focus and starts flailing a bit, which is noticeable after Taylor's tight-as-a-drumskin narrative up to that point. It's a concern, but a minor one, because I'm sorry, but there is no danger of anyone putting the book down at that point.

Overall: All I have to say is, this is the best book I've read since I finished Anna Dressed In Blood back in August. It's been a long, thirsty dry spell...but Smoke and Bone finally broke it.

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