Lately I've had the chance to read quite a few books, so I thought I'd post some mini-reviews for the week. In other exciting news, I'll actually be reviewing C. J. Omololu's new book Transcendance and hosting a short interview with her in July! As some of you will remember, I absolutely loved her book Dirty Little Secrets. So, I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to read her newest novel. On to the reviews (:
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire Book 1) by George R. R. Martin
Yes, I finally hopped onto this bandwagon. I'm not typically one to pick up large fantasy books, but the television show hooked me. Once I started this book, I found that I couldn't stop. During the week that I read the book, I found myself staying up until three or four in the morning just to see what was going to happen to the characters. I've been told not to get too attached to the characters, but for the most part I have failed at that (except for you, Sansa...). Martin does a great job of showing that his characters shouldn't be labelled good/bad. A great example of this is Tyrion, the dwarf son of the Lannister family. He is funny, and does show some genuine kindness to Bran. At the same time, however, he's doing things for his own best interests.
Surrender (Haunting Emma 3) by Lee Nichols *some slight spoilers below
I've really enjoyed this trilogy, but something about this final book felt different from the first two. I'm not sure if it was the pacing, or if it had just been too long since I had read the second in the series, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped that I would. In terms of the story, everything is wrapped up in a satisfying way. I was glad to see the old characters that I loved (i.e. Coby), and we got to meet some new and interesting characters. Nichols made the relationship between Emma and Bennett strained as he continued to use a drug to enhance his power. I appreciated Emma more as she struggled to prepare herself to take on Neos while also worrying about those around her. Still, I feel that I had a really different reading experience when comparing this book to the previous two.
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
This was another books that I enjoyed some aspects of, but it didn't quite meet my expectations. I'll start with what I liked, Angelini did a great job with the Greek mythology aspect. The plot is, for lack of a better word awesome! I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that there have been quite a few mythology-related books on the shelves lately, and hers was extremely unique. On the other hand, sometimes I was extremely annoyed with Helen. She wants to control her own destiny, which is awesome...but in some scenes it felt like she was having severe mood swings. The occasional breakdown, I get that. She's learning about her past, experiencing horrifying things, and even has her life threatened. I just think that I would have connected with her better had there been less of this happening. There's also a two plots regarding why Helen and Lucas can't be together. The first is a part of the overarching plot regarding mythology, and this worked well. The second reason I felt was unnecessary, and it has been done before. I don't want to give anything away here, so I'm going to write about it and for those that have read the book (or don't mind being spoiled), you can highlight. The possible siblings storyline has been done. I know that it's supposed to add a dramatic reason why the characters can't be together...but the reader finds out that this isn't true before the book ends. I thought it could have been easily eliminated from the story without losing anything. I will pick up the sequel, though.
Wildefire by Karsten Knight
I tend not to write about books that get lower than a C rating, but I decided to write a short blurb here explaining why this one didn't click with me. So, it again deals with mythology, but I just didn't like the main character, Ash. I found her to be annoying, and extremely ungrateful at the beginning of the book, and I don't think I was able to overcome that. It was pretty clear that she needed some anger management as Ash beats the girl who hooked up with her boyfriend. SO, because I had no empathy for the character, I don't think I was that interested in her story. I do know people who have liked the book, particularly one friend who was actually surprised that I didn't like it. Alas, it was not to be.
Spell Bound (Hex Hall 3) by Rachel Hawkins
Crossed by Ally Condie
You know, I actually liked this one quite a bit more than I liked Matched. It still had some of the same issues with world building that the first had (I would have liked more), but this book felt more interesting to me. I think that for the first time Cassia gets to see what life is like beyond what she's known, even beyond the Outer Provinces. It will definitely be interesting to see what Condie does with the final book in the series, Reached.