Note: This review is spoiler free (spoilers are all marked and have warnings)!
Book: Aurora Rising
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Age: For readers 14 and up
Rating: 3/5 Stars
The more I think about this book, the more I hate it. The romance sucks, the characters are not great and the plot is forgettable. Seriously. It’s only been two months since I read this book and I already forgot 90% of it’s plot. Good thing I made notes while reading or this review would have been a big, fat blank page 😬
What I didn’t like:
3. It’s confusing: There were parts of this book where I went “What. Just. Happened.” not because I was shocked or a plot twist happened but because I genuinely couldn’t comprehend what was written on the page. Idk if I’m just dumb or if the pacing went wayyyyyy too fast in the action parts, giving no time for the reader to comprehend what happened.
SPOILERS UNDERLINED: I don’t get what happened when Aurora saw Rahamm's existence and then there was a mental war between Cat and Auri? And what were those memory demonstration scenes?
4 . Unrealistic: If these are the academy’s last picks for the draft, why is Zila so smart? She should have been picked wayyy before. Realistically this situation doesn’t make any sense because we’re supposed to believe this team is the last ranked in the school (except for Tyler). But it’s the opposite and everyone on the team is apparently a prodigy. 🤨
The tagline for this book is: “They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find.” But everyone in this book is amazing at what they do, super smart, super pretty, etc.
5. Kal: Ugh I hate this character. Not only because he was super pushy in his relationship with Aurora but because he is boring and I just don’t get his purpose in this book other than to be the romantic interest.
What I liked:
Nothing. Ok fine, I did like some things but I completely forgot what I liked. This book was just not memorable in the slightest. Maybe the second book is more likeable. Someone will have to tell me if Aurora Burning is better because I for sure, am not reading the second book to find out for myself.
I guess the book was entertaining at times but mostly it just frustrated me. But hey, I’m in the minority here since most people loved this book. Don’t let me stop you from reading this but keep in mind that it might be a huge letdown.
Note: This review is spoiler free
Book: Origins: The Source
Author: AJ Witt
Genre: Sci Fi
Age: For readers 15 and up
Thank you to the author and @paperbackdragons for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review
Summary: The Gods above have conferred upon the Dominion an extraordinary power: the Source. Yet only few are able to harness its energy. A society divided since the Dread Days clings to a relative stability that the Council of Five has been tasked to safeguard.
But now, the balance of power is threatened once more. Puzzling attacks leave villages destroyed, and two Council members are brutally assassinated. The Dominion struggles to avoid the violence, war, and terror it faced in prior centuries.
While following an eclectic cast of individuals, amid complex plots and counterplots, enter a medieval futuristic world, where the innocent and the corrupt, the wise and the ignorant, the strong and the weak, are challenged by myths and secrets of their past.
Everything about this book pulled me in at first- the characters, the writing style and just the premise of the story overall. However, as I got more into the book, I became less captivated. My main problem was that the book’s plot was just….. confusing at times. More on that later in the review though!
What I liked:
Writing Style: Right away the style and flow of writing pulled me in. It was hard to stop reading those first few chapters because the writing style was so smooth and captivated me right away!
The Plot: This book is FILLED with action packed and adventurous scenes! The author has done such a good job melding sci fi aspects along with some fantasy magic scenes that makes the book really hard to put down!
The Worldbuilding: The worldbuilding is phenomenal! The book has developed an intricate social division among the different groups of people (The Overseers, the Adepts and the Nobles). The world is really interesting to dive into and with each chapter, you slowly learn more about the world and uncover more critical information!
Parts 3 and 4: This novel is divided into four sections and once you hit the third part, it's not put downable! I read the third and fourth part in one hour because each chapter ended in a cliffhanger and then I just had to read the next one *struggles of a reader* 😅
The Ending: THE CLIFFHANGER? WHAT? I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT NOW
What Could Use More Improvement:
The Povs: I’m all for multiple povs but putting like a bazillion povs in one book is beyond confusing for the reader. There legit was a pov for every character in this story. Every. Single One. It made the plot have less flow and continuation when it was constantly switching povs from one character to another. There were irrelevant characters to the story who were getting their own povs! Did Pluto really need a pov? Did we need Sabines? (Mini Spoiler: before the three characters split up we did not need Sabine’s pov). The only povs that were needed start to finish was Edvon’s, Aiden and maybe Rex Ruga.
Kyran and Sabine’s romance: Kyran did not care about Sabine’s feelings after she went through something really traumatizing. It made me mad how Sabine just shrugged off Kyran’s nonchalant behavior.
SPOILERS: He literally marginalized Sabine’s feelings after she was about to be sexually assaulted. And then he called it a “harmless” argument. And you’re expecting me to ROOT for this ship?! And then when she was asking why she was about to be assaulted, Kyran said “because you’re beautiful”. That dialogue did not come off in the intended romantic way that it was supposed to. Instead it made Kyran look like a moron.
Overall this was a really enjoyable and fast paced read! I recommend for readers who love science fiction!
Note: This review is spoiler free
Book: Spirit Intercom
Author: Sean Adami
Page Number: 517 Pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Age: For readers 15 and up (Mature language)
Rating: 3/ 5 stars
“In order to create a world, you have to destroy a world. All solutions must have problems”
Synopsis: The year is 2053 where technology has vastly changed. New technological heights have been reached and one product is a world called Spirit Intercom. With this new revolution, a pre-registered guest could enter a whole new place, called the Spirit World, with the help of coded sensory neurons. Follow Andrew and Harriet as they venture into the Spirit World and embark on a new adventure.
I was hooked on this book (oooh that kind of rhymes) the entire time I read it! It took some time to get into and I have a few problems with it, but it was a nice read.
What I Liked about this Book:
The Action Packed Plot: The book never had a dull moment with its action packed plot! It always kept me guessing about what would happen next, especially in the last ⅓ of the book! Spoiler: My favorite part was the last few chapters where Andrew was trying to take down his father and stop him from doing more evil. This part undoubtedly had the most action packed scenes!
The Spirit World: Andrew’s journey into the Spirit World was so cool and interesting to read about! All the different aspects and characteristics of this new dimension was awesome! This is why I LOVE science fiction! I get to read about amazing new worlds!
The Scientific References: As a person who loves science, I was very happy to read about those scientific references here and there! It was also super interesting to read about the technological/scientific aspect of this future world. If you are not a science person, don’t fear! You can still understand the book perfectly fine even if you don’t get all the scientific words.
2nd POV: I thought using 2nd pov was unique! I haven’t read many books where the author directly talks to the reader and uses 2nd pov. So of course I was intrigued by this! However, at times the 2nd pov was unnecessary, especially when the author was telling the reader that the POV shifts from Andrew to Harriet. Because this book was in 3rd pov, it’s ok to just switch to different character’s point of view without any particular warning. It’s been done in many books (the main one I can think of is Cassandra Clare’s books)
The Ending: No spoilers but WOW that ending! I did not expect that at all…. Ugh cliffhangers like this should be illegal… I want to read about what happens next! SPOILER: At first when I read about Andrew’s dad just giving up and surrendering I thought: “This is so unrealistic…. A villain would never give up so easily like this, especially someone like Robert, who repeatedly time after time would not give up his evil ways. Then I read the last page and was like “OHHHH”
What I think could use improvement:
Characters were too One Dimensional: The main thing this book struggled with is that all the characters were very one dimensional and weren’t well developed in terms of personality or traits. Plus, the characters didn’t act their age at all. It didn’t seem like Andrew was an adult… I felt like I was reading about a two year old from all the petty tantrums he threw. And a lot of times the arguments between Andrew and Harriet were so random and petty I had to laugh a little.
Writing Style: There were a few grammatical errors here and there and at times the writing style seemed a little choppy. Overall it was fine though!
Spirit Intercom is a wonderful book filled with action and adventure. While there were a few problems, overall it was an amazing read!
Disclaimer: This review is spoiler free except for the parts labelled as spoiler
Author: Marissa Meyer
Page Number: 387 Pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Age: For readers 11 and up
Rating: 3.5/ 5 stars
He was the fantasy of every girl in the country. He was so far out of realm, her world, that she should have stopped thinking about him the second the door had closed. Should stop thinking about him immediately. Should never think about him again, except maybe as a client--and her prince.
And yet, the memory of his fingers against her skin refused to fade.
Synopsis: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s letumosis. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, developing a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
Reading Cinder was a very meh experience for me. After hearing everyone raving about it for years, I FINALLY started it. Though it was an enjoyable read, it wasn’t anything amazing. Yet, it also wasn’t terrible either. The fast pacing and plot of the book pulled me in, even though it was pretty predictable throughout.
Why this book wasn’t a favorite:
The Characters: Kai and Cinder are both super bland characters that have no personality whatsoever. It’s mostly Kai’s lack of personality that made me irritated. When his *spoiler* dad died, his reaction was so underwhelmed! We didn’t even get to read about what he thought about his dad’s death or how affected he was by it. There was an opportunity for Marissa Meyer to add in a childhood memory of Kai and his dad sharing a sweet moment. Instead, we got NOTHING. Like come on! His dad just died! Can we get something other than a lackluster reaction from Kai? At this point I have no idea how the relationship between Kai and his dad is even like.
I think the main thing that annoyed me is that we know nothing about Kai. We don’t know about his childhood (like memories with his mom and dad. Did he like his parents? Were they the most influential people in his life? Did they inspire him?) Those are questions which I have no idea about.
About Cinder- Just like how *Spoilers*Kai had an underwhelming reaction to his dad’s death, Cinder had even even more disappointing reaction to Peony’s death. (This leads me to believe that overall, Marrissa Meyer just can’t write about a saddening death) It’s said multiple times that Peony was Cinder’s only friend besides Iko…. But Cinder barely thinks about Peony’s death in the later parts of the book. There was also a huge opportunity to show Cinder’s frustration over Peony’s death-especially when she was seconds away from curing her. Instead we get an underwhelming reaction to her death from Cinder and Peony’s name is barely mentioned later on in the book. Like I said, Cinder is just BLAND.
Worldbuilding: It’s a super cool world but the lack of worldbuilding ruins it. I was honestly so confused on what a netscreen was until halfway through the book. And what is the deal with the Lunar people? Why didn’t Marissa Meyer write a backstory about them and why they are so driven against Earthlings? Why are they so power hungry without an ulterior motive? These are the boring types of villains. The ones who are bad without any purpose. It seems like the author just got lazy with the villain’s character development and just decided to make them evil.
Unrealistic: So you mean to tell me that the Crown Prince, who has all this important top secret national information, would just tell all that information to this random mechanic he just met? Seriously I get this is supposed to show how Kai trusts Cinder and blah blah blah but realistically it doesn’t make sense. He bumped into Cinder three times and suddenly trusts her enough to reveal crucial information about Queen Levana.
It’s also unrealistic that after seeing Cinder just two times in his life, he asks her out to the ball. Wow...you fell in love that quick huh?
The Romance: Pretty mediocre.. It’s sort of like instant love so I did not particularly like it. The romance was very juvenile and meant for younger readers.
What I liked:
The Fast Pacing: Cinder was a fast read and it had great pacing! We get right into the story relatively quickly.
The Ending: GIVE ME THE SECOND BOOK NOW!!!! I need to read Scarlett to know what happens next!! SPOILERS: “Soon, the whole world would be searching for her--Linh Cinder.
A deformed cyborg with a missing foot.
A Lunar with a stolen identity.
A mechanic with no one to run to, nowhere to go.
But they will be looking for a ghost.” AHHHHHHHHHHH I LOVE THIS ENDING
Andddddddd that’s all I liked. Sorry, Lunar Chronicles fans. I will be reading the second book and hopefully I like it!