dystopian

Book Review: Fearless (Eye of the Beholder #2)

I may have done it again. I read a sequel without reading the rest of the series. I am so sorry. I really need to be more careful!

I was given the opportunity to review this thanks to Edelweiss+, so a huge thanks to them and the publisher/author for providing me with it.

This begins with an intro note from the narrator, Grace, which immediately set the scene perfectly. It was actually really convincing, and definitely a strong start to the novel.

It was immediately clear that I was in the dark due to not reading the previous book. However, I think the most impoprtant things were recapped in enough detail that I was still able to follow and enjoy this book. There were still references I didn’t get, though, which is a shame. I wish I had read the other book.

I’m not going to discuss the plot. What I will say is that it seemed incredibly plausible. I was taking some sociology exams while I read this, one of which contained questions on the topic of religion. This book tied into that perfectly. The future described was so realistic, and the details about secularisation and such were spot on. It was a bit too similar to my sociology books at some points, as in it almost felt like an assignment to read at times. That was only at times, though, when the political system of the rebel group was being outlined, for example.

The relationships in this book were a little inconsistent in my opinion. I thought Grace was really connecting with someone, and then suddenly she was almost falling for her ex again. I don’t know, it just seemed a bit wishy-washy to me.

This was a really clever book, and I did thoroughly enjoy reading it. There were a few things I wasn’t particularly keen on, but nothing that really put me off. 4 stars; I would suggest reading the first novel, Sinless, beforehand though.

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Book Review: Anything That Isn’t This

Well this was a surprising read. Not just a typical YA dystopian novel, but a peculiar, artistic novel complete with illustrations throughout.

For some reason, I wasn’t expecting the strange world that Priestley created in this book. The Grey is suffocating Frank, the Ministry controlling his every decision. Most people are okay with it, comfortable in the routine provided. But Frank wants more.

First, Frank is obsessed with a girl from his school. Even after they graduate, he is desperate to be with her – he believes they’re ‘fated’. But after a while, he realises that maybe she’s not quite right for him.

This combines two typical YA romance plots – the “unpopular boy gets the cool girl” and also the “childhood friends become lovers” plot. I think it’s a bit unusual to mix the two, but I didn’t find anything spectacular about this aspect of the novel.

The whole book has a very strange abstract sort of feel to it; I was unsure at times whether to actually take what he was saying at face value or take it as a metaphor. There are loads of weird myths that are thrown around, many of which play a big role later in the book. 

The friendship with Scape was interesting; it kind of just happened out of the blue and ended in a similar way. And Mr Vertex was a weird character – it was obvious there was something strange about him, and I felt he really added to the abstract feel created.

The book kind of felt grey, but not in a bad way – as in, I felt how Frank felt about his life. I was pretty shocked by how dark it got at the end, quite suddenly. The ending was a bit of a whirlwind, followed by a moment of calm. The calmness was nice, an interesting ending that left your imagination running wild.

I didn’t really enjoy this book at first but I did eventually get into it, and quite liked it. I definitely liked the unique feel it had, almost like Coraline. 3.5 stars.

Book Review: True Calling

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True Calling by Siobhan Davis (True Calling #1) – Kindle, 369 pages – Published August 1st 2014 by Siobhan Davis

This was free in the Amazon Kindle store and I thought it looked pretty cool, so I downloaded it a few months ago. Despite being just 369 pages long, it took me a shockingly long time to read…

Ariana is now a citizen of Novo, where only the fittest humans were transported after the near-destruction of planet Earth. From very early on, we are introduced to Zane through Ari’s dreams – but she has no idea who he is, or why she can see him in her sleep. We don’t discover Zane’s identity until much further through the book.

A matchmaking system is set up for all eligible young people, taking the name of “The Calling.” Ari realises her feelings for the popular Cal Remus, and is luckily given the opportunity to be matched with him. The whole deal with “The Calling” reminds me very much of books such as The Selection and Matched.

Things seem to be going pretty well (despite the fact that Ariana is appalled at the way the government is choosing who can love who) until Ariana’s father disappears and leaves behind some vital information. Suddenly, Ari isn’t sure whether Cal can really be trusted, and Zane is beginning to contact her directly through her mind.

A small section of this book takes place back on Earth, told from Zane’s perspective. He’s working for an underground resistance movement, and is still infatuated with Ariana. He gets training to try and help him communicate with her, and Ariana’s father has bestowed a dying wish upon him; to keep Ari away from Cal.

Things get pretty complicated, and the love triangle is both predictable and not at the same time. Ari doesn’t remember how much she loved Zane, but can sense that there was some emotion there. Cal’s father is clearly opposed to his son being associated with Ariana, and is also a despicable man in himself. There are even hints as to Cal being untrustworthy, which was something I didn’t actually expect.

It’s kind of a typical dystopian YA novel, but it does have some good twists. My main problem was with the lack of time-keeping; I couldn’t tell whether things happened over a course of a few days or multiple months. Even if the time-frame was specified in some places, it still didn’t feel like it passed in the intended way.

Another thing is that the characters spoke in a rather unnatural language. Extravagant words were unnecessarily used, coupled with overly-simple phrases. It just sounded wrong.

It took me a long time to read a relatively short book, which is always a bad sign. It wasn’t painfully hard to read, but I wasn’t really begging to read on either. That being said, I read a little into the first chapter of the sequel, Beyond Reach, which is included at the end of this ebook, and I am rather curious as to what’s going on. Still, I don’t know if I’m willing to spend any money on it.

So this wasn’t a great book, but it wasn’t bad. Some parts felt as though the author was trying a bit too hard to make the book seem more professional, which always irritates me. I think 2.5 stars is an appropriate rating for this.

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Book Review: Reached

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Reached by Ally Condie (Matched #3) – Paperback, 512 pages – Published November 30th 2012 by Penguin

So Reached is the final novel in the Matched series, written by Ally Condie. It’s by far the longest of the three, which can be a little off-putting to some readers. However, I managed to get through it all and enjoyed it a lot!

In this novel, the Rising finally comes into power, overtaking the Society. Cassia, Ky and Xander each play their individual parts, whilst trying to find one another again.

The Plague, designed for the Enemy, infiltrates the water of the Society, leaving thousands of people still. The Rising has a cure, and quickly gets to work curing everybody. Until an unexpected mutation develops, leaving people uncurable and even dead.

The three young people are finally reunited when the Pilot, leader of the Rising, gathers them together to begin creating a cure for this new Plague. But will they do it in time?

I’ve actually really enjoyed this trilogy. I know some people aren’t so keen on it, and I wasn’t sure how interesting this last book would be. I expected it to be a bit dragged on as it’s so long, but I didn’t find myself bored whilst reading it at all.

The love triangle between Cassia, Ky and Xander is finally brought to an end at the end of this novel. It’s nice how everyone ends up happy, and although they separate again everything is good.

They all play very important roles throughout the Rising’s takeover, and the hunt for the new cure. The book is written alternately from each main character’s point of view, giving us an insight on everything that’s happening with each person.

Condie seems to have a very unique writing style. It’s very to-the-point, yet expressive and romantic. I really like her writing, and I applaud her for writing such a long book without losing the interest of the readers.

So basically I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. It’s a nice conclusion to the trilogy, leaving room for the imagination after the last page. Everything sort of works itself out, and although there are tons of losses and problems, the characters all find a sense of peace at last. 4 stars!

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