N.T. Embe

Look inside if ever you're lost on the outside.

 

There's a great deal one can say about one's self. Because of this, I'd rather sit silent and allow my interests to speak for me. They'll prove the loudest voice of my character, my values, my loves and vices both, amongst many other things. I hope you'll find our interests shared, my loves as equally respected as your own, and my vices understood if not accepted.

Karneval, Vol. 1 (Karneval, #1)

Karneval, Vol. 1 - Touya Mikanagi
So I recently finished watching the Karneval anime, and since it was a short release of about 13 episodes, once the last volume aired last week, I figured the natural thing to do was to combat its ending after having gotten so involved with it and its characters by reading the manga series. And boy am I glad that I decided to do so. The manga goes into far more depth than the anime does, for obvious reasons of time constraint and so forth. But I really enjoyed getting to see a lot more to the storyline.

The introduction gave us a lot more to go off of, and really brought home that far darker element that was still brought up in the anime but didn't really hit full impact until around mid-point in my opinion. The manga version made it clear to show you the darker side of things a lot quicker and fleshed it out very well. The examples were brilliantly highlighted and I enjoyed them thoroughly, even when they were grotesque or made me want to murder someone. And if you can get me lusting for blood this soon into a new series, you know you're doing something right.

In addition, I love how we're able to see a lot more of the different sides to the characters that we were introduced to in the anime. Every single one of them has such unique facets of their character that have already begun to be explored in subtle ways. And for someone who has a decent grasp of them thanks to the anime, you can pick up on those interesting little features prettily easily if you're looking to learn more about our cast's characters.

And like in the anime, they did a nice job of blending the deeper tones with the lighter humorous tidbits, or even the sweeter parts, and then some crack comedy. It's a delightful and even natural blend that balances things well enough that I didn't even notice it until I focused on speaking about it.

I also really appreciated how a lot more explanations were given us for plot points that were covered a lot more briefly, as needed, in the anime. Various facts that were just dropped on us in the anime were finally given some grounding and we get a much fuller sense of the story from the manga's side of things since we have the time and space now to explore them in more depth. There were several parts that unraveled in this first volume that were never even hinted at in the anime, which made for a far more satisfying feeling when reading this. And we got particular gems just for fans of certain characters as well, to which I was very happy.

Overall, the manga was really enjoyable. The cast of characters has just been introduced to us, but already they're a crew that I'm happy to tag along with. Their various personalities are developing at their own pace, and I'm loving the journey that reading this manga is giving us as existing fans and first-time readers. It's definitely a series anyone can get into and have no problem with understanding whether you've seen the anime or not. (Which is the point, since the manga came before the anime in the first place~)

Definitely a manga to recommend for you people looking for a mix of shounen and shoujo, action and fun, crack and cute, and some serious levels of gorgeous and grotesque from all our cast of characters and their enemies. (Though seriously; some of those enemies are so ridiculously good-looking I can't even.)

I give it a big thumbs up! Read it if you can, and check out the anime as well! It's only 13 episodes long and a nice intro if you prefer the anime side of things to manga, though I HIGHLY recommend the manga to you regardless. It's a great read! I'm sure most manga and anime fans will find something to enjoy therein. See you in the next volume!
The Water Mirror - Kai Meyer
I feel... like this book went an entirely different way by the end than it had been going towards the beginning. Honestly, I feel a little betrayed, although most people may not have the same reaction. The book started off really interesting and unusual, with two characters that were intelligent and became fast friends regardless of the oddities that they became part of. I admired both of them, Merle and Junipa, because these were girls that were willing to be friends with one another and give each other fair chances, regardless of the personality differences and resignations they had. It was a book that had its unique fantasy elements as well, with living and breathing stone lions, to mermaids that lived in the canals of Venice, our story's main stage, to a magical mirror maker that the two girls were apprenticed to.

Everything started off really intriguing and unique for a fantasy book. It had its own story to tell, and was woven with fascinating purpose and fun, haphazard interactions. Yet there was that sensation of lingering mystery and foreboding over the entire tale, like storm clouds on the horizon darkening the sky, but far enough away that you weren't certain if it would come your way at all or just blow off.

The side characters themselves were truly engaging as well, and I liked each of them for their own strange and beautiful, even sad reasons. Characters like Eft really tugged at my heart strings, and even the rambunctious boys working for Arcimboldo were good characters, if typical boys. *Grins crookedly* Serafin, too, as another main character--though we get to see less of him than Merle--really called to me with his dashing and yet mature personality, his thieving background and insatiable curiosity. Overall, the cast we have to work with was a fun one that brought out unique and enjoyable interactions and kept the book moving forward.


My issue with the book begins to arise when we get to meet a mythical entity called The Flowing Queen. She is apparently a being that has protected the city of Venice for countless decades as it lay under perpetual siege of the Egyptian empire, who to the current time in the book, still sits camped outside the city in a complete and total ring of troops. Meeting this being was at first interesting, but very soon I got a whiff of her mentality when she suggested using the forces of Hell (a real place that exists at the center of the earth in this book) to protect the city simply because she (for unspoken reasons) no longer could at that time.

It's a brave thing for any author to do, and I will not fault an author for wanting to introduce controversial elements into the book. Typically it'll result in a 50/50 split in the audiences: Those who don't mind the controversial elements and want to see what'll happen regardless; and those who will be offended and will stop reading the book because of this.

For a while after I finished this book, I was on the fence with this very decision. The Flowing Queen brought up the suggestion yet another time, and the author himself made a point of showing the consequences of making deals with Hell's representatives with a couple of characters throughout the book. At the very end, we get the prime example of how Hell and its Leaders think of the mortal beings with whom they bargain with. Without getting into spoilers, lets just say that the life of one of the characters I grew very attached to suddenly hangs in the balance, and the person who made this pact with Hell's leaders essentially seems to buckle under their demands--for obvious and good reason--to the point where not even guilt will stop him from sacrificing someone's innocent life. What really plays as the clincher is when he says, "Well, I took [this character] into my home because I was supposed to turn them over to Hell in the first place. Instead of giving them to Hell a few years from now, I'm going to have to give them over to them a lot sooner than I thought."


...yeah.


Then they try to sell you some bulls**t about "I was trying to help the children".


Well if you were trying to help the children, you would think with your talents or even just your bare bones and skin, you'd be able to make a living for them doing anything you had to instead of through A PACT WITH HELL WHERE YOU SACRIFICE INNOCENTS TO SAVE OTHER INNOCENTS.


Does NO ONE see the hypocrisy here?!


Whatever the book had going for it was essentially ruined for me with the way the book started to turn sour the further along towards the end it got. Even the introduction of another amazing character at the end chapters of the book wasn't enough to get the bitter taste out of my mouth, thinking about the characters I loved being sacrificed like animals. To be fair, the book gives signs of having a possibility of turning around in the next book in the series and not carrying through on these ideas, but by the time I finished reading this first book, I was stuck feeling sick to my stomach with the thought that I was possibly going to pick up the next book and have to read more of this treachery.

The worst part is that the very "being" of The Flowing Queen, who is supposed to be the savior of this story, is suggesting the people of Venice make a pact with the very Hell that we're sacrificing my babies to.

I'm sorry. I can stomach quite a few things, but this just crosses a line that disgusts me and which I find utterly revolting. And if I sound pompous: deal with it. I have standards, and killing off characters to make blood pacts with Hell so you can live a life that's a lie and contradiction isn't up my alley.


Honestly, I can't in good conscience recommend this book to anyone. It was ruined for me, and people will do what people want, but I won't commend it. It has too much outweighing the positive aspects right now. If I give the second book a try in the future, I'll let you know. Right now-- I recommend skipping it.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs
Wow.

Do you know how long it's been since I read a book that actually had fresh, unread-- unheardof fantasy concepts in it? It's been so long. It's been close to ten years since I read a book that widened my imagination's horizons with new ideas that I've never before heard. Reading this book felt like opening my eyes for the first time again, and seeing the world as brand new, with parts and possibilities in it that I had never before known existed or were there!

I feel like I've fallen into this mundane belief that everything that could be known in the fantasy world was already known-- that nothing new was left to surprise me.


This book changed that and blazed like a lightning bolt across the earth before my feet. I felt like a kid again reading this book. How rare is that?! I felt like I had things to learn once again about the world, that not everything was discovered, that there was still some mystery left in this planet, and still more things I had left to discover!


Suffice it to say, the personal impression aside, that Ransom Riggs did a wonderful job with this piece of writing and creativity. The unique flair, to take a series of old photographs and weave a story through, around, and from them is a great touch and no doubt what had most people really intrigued with this book when it first started coming out into the public eye. But that Ransom Riggs has the talent to take it further and not depend on these photographs as a crutch is itself a monumental achievement and what really sells this story once you get into it.

The characters really drew me in, even when I had clear and distinct problems with the main character, Jacob, at the beginning. Even though Jacob himself has the excuse of trauma and teenage hormones to write off his actions, his upbringing makes itself just as expertly apparent in his character in those early moments. As the story continues, these things become absorbed into him as a person, and while the story focuses more on the exploration and unique tale it has to tell as opposed to Jacob's issues once it makes that turning point about a third or so of the way along in the book, it doesn't detract from the fact that he's a young teenage boy who reacts believably to the situations that he's half-thrust and half-walked himself into.

The side characters prove to be just as human and intriguing as well. Most of them, apart from their natural talents, have flawed sides that distinguish them as real people who you can get down to earth with and have perfectly normal conversations with. These little flecks of personality show through in minor moments that come across as everyday in their lives, and it helps to add personality without needing to go through full narratives about each one and making the book an extensive, dragging biography. We get just enough from all these amazing side characters to be intrigued and captivated, but it plays off as normally as anyone getting introduced to a room of people you've never met before. You pick up on the tidbits and slowly begin to distinguish the character of each person and learn more about them through the small facts, their actions, and their conversations around or with you.


Ransom Riggs created an enjoyable environment with a cast of characters that we learn a great deal about just from living amongst them. Nothing drags, and the uniqueness of the tale is made the more enjoyable by the creativity of fantastic elements that Riggs wove seamlessly into this story. Each of them was a pleasure and a surprise to me, so I won't bring them up here. I'd much rather you read the book for yourselves and enjoy each one as they come.


Overall, this is a book that is an absolute must-buy to me. It's written very well, the characters are fleshed out believably and are likewise each enjoyably unique. The plot is focused and is supposed to carry on into another book to be released in about a year, which I will pick up the moment I can. It's a series that you're definitely going to want to keep your eyes on and become a part of if this level of quality continues, because it's going to be a keeper. Definitely, definitely give this book your time and attention. It's a gem amongst stones.
Eona: The Last Dragoneye - Alison Goodman
This book... can be summed up with one word: DISAPPOINTMENT.


I am so upset whenever I think of this book. I think about the amazing book that we just finished with Eon and I start to get into Eona, thinking that I'm going to be blown. away. with this book, and instead... I feel like everything was for naught.

This book had so much potential! And it all went to waste. Everything went to waste. So much that could have been incredibly amazing and monumental turned into shallow, superficial... bullshit.

Half of me is heartbroken over the possibility that was thrown to the curb with this book, and the second half of me... is engulfed with all-consuming rage.


*****
Bear with me, this is where the spoilers for this book and the last begin. If you have not read this book and do not want to have the events spoiled, turn away now until you've read it. If you feel you need to know, then read on and know you were warned.
*****



In the last book, we leave off with the escape of Eona, Ryko, and Dela from the siege on the capital city. We leave off with Ido having been healed by Eona, opening a brand new level of self-awareness and consciousness of his actions both in the past and those underway right there and then. We are left with the possibility that the man who has heralded the power hungry destruction of all the established rule and reign has been given the first chance to recognize the full extent of his actions and change. We are left off with a girl who has finally embraced herself for who she is and who has been rewarded with communion with her Dragon.

We have the makings of war and chances for glory and greatness. We have a kingdom overthrown, and a Prince who must be found and stood beside as he tries to take it back. We have allies from the first book at our side, devoted beyond compare and loyal to a fault to our lead character, Eona. We are on the brink of everything.


Instead of this magnificent book of deep, conflicting character development, of the growth of relationships and alliances, of standing for who you are through thick and thin no matter who is against you-- so that you can change the very face of the world--

Instead I get a piece of shit love triangle, in where Eona is the bitch that plays every. single. other. character. for a fool and doesn't give a rat's ass how they feel about it, because she's the Almighty Freaking Coascendant Dragoneye and "Kiss my foot or I'm going to use my brand new magical powers to literally possess your body and grind your face in the dirt, bend you to my will, and KILL YOU if you cross me and my life of Zero Accountability, no matter if you're friend, ally, OR the freaking Emperor!"



This is not what I was expecting. -_____-


The rest of the book is us following the increasingly unbearable Eona as she refuses to open up to a single person throughout the entire book. She lies to the people that have been with her from the beginning of the first book, she lies to her close friends and allies, she lies to the Prince who has now become the Emperor since the death of his father in the first book. She doesn't tell anyone the truth. She omits things no matter who she speaks to, even though she's surrounded by friends constantly throughout this book. She outright uses her friends. She twists their words. She stabs them in the BACK by doing exactly what she said she wouldn't do. If I had a dollar for every time she lied to someone or stabbed them in the back after saying she'd neeeeeever take advantage of them again, or use her magical powers against them, or tell somebody something that she had no right to tell them or promised to keep secret. Or for every time she told someone she would be honest with them and lied right in their faces. --I'd be a flipping trillionaire. -_-

Good God in Heaven. There was one point where she became the Emperor's "Naiso", which is a position of even-footing with the Emperor--a truth-bringer and distinguisher to him in order to council him--and you can fill the ocean with the amount of times she LIED to the Emperor! To the EMPEROR!

What's even more frustrating is that she is held to absolutely NO accountability for her actions. She does whatever the hell she wants AND SHE GETS AWAY WITH IT. She is DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the death of COUNTLESS INNOCENT PEOPLE AND ONE OF THE MAIN SIDE CHARACTERS AND NO ONE GIVES A FLYING SHIT ABOUT THE FACT THAT SHE KILLED HIM!

And you know what, since I'm talking spoilers anyway, let's just shout out the names because everything's coming out now. Ryko dies. Eona, after the freaking MILLIONTH time she said that she would NEVER use her connection with him against him after she'd healed him, KILLS RYKO in the end! And you'll say, "Oh no. It was to defeat Sethon and blah blah blah." BULLSHIT!

By the time the story hit halfway point, it became a sloppy, slutty attempt at having Eona fuck around with two different guys--the poor Emperor who's being played for a fool by Eona the entire way, and the absolutely awesome but completely DESTROYED character of Ido in this book. It was her whining every damn other page about some romantic problem she was having with Kygo, wanting more power, making out with Ido, going and kissing Kygo on the very next page like it didn't matter in the LEAST that she'd just nearly had SEX with Ido a few hours hour.


AND I'M SUPPOSED TO BE ENJOYING THIS SHIT!?


To make it worse, Eona is helped countless times by Ryko and Dela, by Emperor Kygo, by Ido, by every character under the sun, and she has so many countless opportunities to make right and get back on track. To confess the things she's been keeping to herself, to face up to the lies she's been spouting and to come clean, to ask her friends for their forgiveness, because they obviously care about her and want her to be alright in the middle of all of this, even though she's taken advantage of each of them and doesn't trust them in the least!

So guess what happens?



Eona:



Me:



Excuse the fuck you?


These people have literally laid down their lives to help you--COUNTLESS times--from the beginning of the first book! And you have the God-forsaken GALL to tell them to get the hell out of your life because they have no right to tell you how to live it? They have no input on how to help you out? WHO THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN COUNTING ON THIS ENTIRE TIME, LITTLE GIRL?

You think that suddenly because you can talk to your Dragon and she gives you power over the people you've healed that you run this show? You want to go out there and fight the war yourself, you little piece of shit? BE MY GUEST, EONA. GO FACE THE ENTIRETY OF SETHON'S ARMY ALONE, YOU UNGRATEFUL TWAT!


BUT NO!

Know what happens at the end of this book?!

EONA GETS EVERYTHING! Listen to me. Read that again: Eona. Gets. Ev. Er. Y. Thing.


Know what's even MORE infuriating? SHE DOESN'T EVEN TELL EVERYONE THE ENTIRE TRUTH BY THE END OF THE BOOK! She NEVER confesses everything to everyone! She doesn't even ask them to FORGIVE HER, and she NEVER APOLOGIZES for the fact that she treated every one of them LIKE CRAP.

Dela's one true love died at Eona's hands. What does Eona do? "Oh Dela looks fine. I'm sure it's not a problem that I killed Ryko right in front of her."




We don't even get to hear about the other characters that were super important to Eona in the first book and that made such a big appearance in the second one. What about Chart? What about Rilla? What you healed Chart and then we just never hear about what happens again? You make a comment about the fact that you're not sure if the others even survived the battle, but we get no confirmation if they're alive or dead?


And Sethon?



Who the heck cared about Sethon. Sethon was a joke for a bad guy. Eona was worse than Sethon with all the two-faced, backstabbing, and power-hungry actions she had fleshing out her character.


And Dillon! What about Dillon?! The poor boy was TWELVE. YEARS. OLD. He was just a BABY. And did you SEE how he died? He didn't just die from a sword wound or something simple, quick and painless. Oh no. That poor miserable little kid was TORTURED for MONTHS until he was destroyed so completely that he wasn't even HUMAN anymore. And you! You stupid MORON, Eona! You had the chance in the first book to take the Black Folio away from him. You had the choice to tell people to shoot when you saw him again in this book! YOU COULD HAVE SPARED HIM THE PAIN AND SUFFERING.




Alison Goodman, I don't know what happened to you, but this is NOT how you write a book. What you did to Dillon. What you did to Eona. And the cheap cop-out of an ending you gave us with Lord Ido almost angers me most of all. We leave off on the first book knowing that Ido is going to be a prominent and AMAZING role in Eona, where he might be more than a bad guy or a good guy, and out of all the characters, he might have the most amazing development and transformation into a fantastic person. A character that was able to live on both sides of the line of cruelty and compassion, and therefore become a HUGE part in this second story, even if he never chose a side to be on over another. He could have been an AMAZING character!!!







There was so much potential in this book. Boundless amounts of potential in this book! Why did it turn out this way? Why did it become a shallow, superficial, slut's excuse for a read? A book with no standards and characters without a backbone, ruled by this monstrous main character that became Empress at the end of the book because Ido burned at the stake because oh no-- HE was the power hungry one. Sure. He wasn't the one trying to get in bed with the Emperor and the Ascendent Dragoneye at the same time, Eona-- or, excuse me, Whore.


What a waste. What an absolute piece of crap for a sequel. How could so much good turn to this?

I'm done. And sadly, I will never revisit this duology. It was a complete let down and outrage.


Don't read this book. Just, spare yourself the injustice. It's not worth it.
Eon  - Alison Goodman
I loved this book.

So many things about it called to me. It's set in a world that's influenced by Asian culture, where the Emperor reigns over twelve Dragoneye Masters who are in touch with the twelve dragons representing the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, the individual points on the compass, certain virtues, and together have influence over the natural and spiritual world. In the midst of this fantastic world, we have Eon, who is actually a girl named Eona. She pretends to be a boy at the advice of the man who has bought her out of slavery into another form of slavery, and who trains her to compete in the annual attempts to win over that year's ascending Dragon, to be apprenticed to the Dragoneye who takes the place of the old one about to retire from his year and reign.

Everything about this story is fantastic in the best of ways. Eon herself is a character who fits a role more than she is able to control her destiny, because of the way her world is and the firm rules that reign throughout her culture. Nevertheless, she proves to be the tool through which the action all takes place, and through which the chaos that shortly unfolds is experienced firsthand. And considering how enjoyable working through this deeply cultural tale is, I found myself not minding the role she played because I was having too great a time experiencing the story for myself.


Strangely enough, though I remember I enjoyed the story thoroughly, I find it hard to pick out one thing over another to speak about to praise it. It's one of those books that is filled with enough action and unique controversial situations because of the very male-dominant and royalty-submissive culture that it's rooted in, that many of the features I enjoyed most about the book can be summed up through the desire to see Eon succeed as a woman in disguise where men rule.

The book is also littered with side characters that bring a smile to your face and make you laugh, that make you think and really consider some controversial and unusual situations in a world built to be so strict. The themes of being cripple, of what gender a person is and what roles they play regardless of their natural sex is are very unique concepts to ingrain into a book so thoroughly and prominently. It's one of the places where Alison Goodman really shines with her writing. She takes deep into consideration what living in a world like this would be like, and she plays out these biases and the problems that people face about them very well. It keeps the book interesting, and puts us face to face to situations we would never have thought about having to face otherwise.

Another huge part I loved about this book was the joy of having to face up against a truly challenging, powerful, and complex antagonist as well. It shouldn't be hard to pick his name out after you start getting a hand's breadth into the book, so I'll say the name without real concern for spoilers: Lord Ido. He is the very definition of a great bad guy, and it's his cunning and prominence that truly calls me to him as the man playing that power-hungry, but oh-so-slick role. He rules in this book as the Ascendant Dragoneye for the very year that Eon attempts to come in as his apprentice, should she be chosen by the Dragon of that year. The best part is that you know he's behind nearly all the devious events arising in this book, but he sets them into motion without ever denying that he's the one behind them, and never having to prove that he's the one behind them either. You automatically know that he's the guy that's upsetting you at every stage and turn, and so does everyone else! But he doesn't need to lift a finger in confirmation or defense since the world over acknowledges his superior skill in the role he fulfills, and the underhanded role he influences flawlessly. To further boot, there is a part at the end of the book that confirms my suspicious about his potential awesomeness as the antagonist, and also confirms my immense appreciation for his character. [No spoilers, I promise. But I will talk about this more in my review of Eona.]


Overall, though the book has it's stupidly predictable moments from the get-go, it's got a lot of rich, great world-building around it and multifaceted characters to make reading the book a breeze. I found it deeply enjoyable and fell madly in love with it, especially with the super-amazing-spectacularly-awesome-fantastic twist at the end with Lord Ido. Me gusta. Me gusta mucha.


This book gets a one hundred percent recommendation from me. However, before you pick up this duology, you might want to look to my review of Eona first. There is a great shift between the first book and the second which everyone should take into consideration, especially if you were thinking about buying this duology. It will be filled with spoilers that need to be addressed before the quality of these two books can be addressed as a whole, and whether they were a success or not.

If you go over to read that review now, a major thank you for cooperating with me on that point.
The Blade Itself - Marcus Sakey
I should probably shelve this, but it left me a little underwhelmed after many of the thriller books I've read and placing it into the category seems like putting a Chihuahua under the Dog category even though it resembles a rodent more in size. It was a bit of an underwhelming read for me, but that didn't make it an altogether bad book. The characters are solid, and the threats within the storyline are quite real. If anything, this is a realistic look at how people might have to deal with a blackmail situation against themselves and their loved ones today. It's not the happiest of books, and it's not super-espionage thriller either, but it's a solid book overall.

I have my issues with the decisions the main character made in this book, and that was the little hang-up I had for the most part, but it's nice to see that towards the closing chapters of the story, it picked up in a direction that I'd been wanting it to go for a long time. There were some tragic losses, and a good amount of tangible danger points throughout the story that could not be ignored, thus adding to their threat to the characters.

While I've been spoiled with the fancy mass-espionage, country-against-country, world-of-double-agents galore, this was a very down-to-earth take on the thriller piece. While it didn't tickle my fancy for the bigger honchos in the thriller and espionage world, it definitely played a steady, defensible part as a book in the thriller genre, taking on the flavor of crime novels as opposed to the espionage I usually like to tread in when I read the main genre.

The characters are intelligent, make realistic decisions, fit their roles believably, and make some sound, very human points by the time everything in the story wraps up. If you want a read that's a little less complex, espionage thriller and prefer an everyday guy dealing with a very believable blackmailing problem in the only way he can-- this book will suit you just fine.

While I've rated it according to my personal taste, it stands on its own well, and will probably receive higher reviews and ratings from others than myself. Definitely give it a go if anything about the book appeals to you. It'll hold its own if you're looking for the particular situation it describes in general.
The Apocalypse Watch - Robert Ludlum
What's there ever to say about a Ludlum novel except that IT WAS AWESOME?!

No seriously! What can you possibly say about a book that has this much action packed into it? Robert Ludlum's books threw me into a completely different world ever since I saw the Bourne trilogy of movies on TV and decided that I wanted to read the book counterparts. I found the movies to be barely 1% of what the books had to offer me, and thus an entirely different world of reading was opened up and came my way. It got both my mother and myself onto a binge of reading delicious espionage and countless thrillers, the numbers of which I'm expanding every year and will be reading for the rest of my life.

It's funny how much my mother always says, "These books teach you so much." I feel exactly the same way every time I pick up a thriller novel. Some teach you more than others, and The Apocalypse Watch by Robert Ludlum did exactly that. It has so many twists and turns, and even when you know what's happening on all sides, you never know how it's going to work out when all those sides come together. You're sitting there biting your nails (it's a bad habit), freaking out, on the edge of your seat, and forget the world and what it wants of you, you can't stop reading!

It's hard to say anything concrete because there's so much to say; there's so much the book gives you. And a large part of it is action over words, of countless events unfolding throughout hundreds of pages of delicious deception and a deeply rooted network of chaos, and that becomes hard to pinpoint into specifics, especially with plots upon plots upon plots as complex as Ludlum weaves them.

But this time we're talking Germans, Nazis reborn or never quite dead, and man, if you wanted a good ride, this is it. This book, right here, is it. It's got the split-second life-or-death situations at every cross-hair. It's got the humorous characters that relieve the tension even in the most dire of moments. You've got the badass ladies that you know can stand toe-to-toe with the best of the best and won't go down without taking you with them. It's classic, brilliant, deep, humorous, seven-hundred-plus pages of Ludlum goodness, and if ever you wanted a taste of the suspense and thriller genre of books, this is one of the best places to start getting introduced to it, because this is priceless and unmatched.

The characters are great, like they always are; the story is deep and dark enough to rival the ocean depths; the plot will have you more tangled up than a book worm in the library of Alexandria.

It's a great read.

If you haven't come around to this one yet, pick it up now. You won't regret it; you're gonna love it.
Graceling - Kristin Cashore
Boy, is there a lot to say about this book. For everyone's convenience, I'm going to start with the story and concepts themselves first, because this is likely to turn into a rambling rant before long.

The story idea, of individuals being born with special talents or powers called Graces, is a fantastic and timeless infusion of the supernatural into a rustic worldscape without our 21st Century hang-ups. It's exampled and used beautifully throughout the story, both in its bad ways and its good. The concept of having a female lead Graced with the skill of fighting, so that no man, army, or king is her match is the fulfilling dream of many girls and women. I know I grew up with dreams of power over my male counterparts, dreaming to be their equal, even to surpass them and be seen with and given the respect I desired in a man's field of prior expertise and dominance. I dreamed of a story and character like this all my life.

Therein lies part of the issue, some will say, when they see my following sentiments, but I'd like to place a critical eye to the story regardless because I have such high expectations.


Let's start with this: There are a lot of things that Kristin Cashore did right in this book. There's a whole banquet of things she did beautifully. From the major and side characters, to the world itself--these are points of welcome richness. Her writing style, as well, is enjoyable and easy on any reader's pacing. The plot, whatever simple fragrance of one there is for a while, is far from complex, and only has a minor development or two. Cashore relies largely on her main characters to keep the interest of the reader, and the characters largely deliver.


My problem lies solely in Katsa herself, our main character.


There are a lot of stories that I praise because of character transformation throughout a book or series. Character development, to me, is a key element to most books. The exception lies in stories such as espionage thrillers where character development isn't the focus because the characters themselves are pawns and pieces on the chessboard, and given little attention even when their actions are the ones we follow throughout. However, this is a story that builds itself up off of character relationships and the effects that the characters have on one another. From there they grow and change and become more than what they were when we first were introduced to them.

Under this guise of story and growth, even the most obnoxious, cruel, or stupid of characters can be forgiven and grow in favor, because they are developing from what they were. My fix in this story is entirely personal, and it's a pretty fantastic bet that anyone else can read it and never experience the issues that I have with the book on a whole because of Katsa herself.

But it's Katsa that is the bar and holds the spotlight. She is the one that sets the trend and dominates the book, and quite frankly, I find her a spoiled, selfish brat who can never be stopped because no one will ever get the upper hand on her and be able to put her in her place. The attempt, however, is made to do just that throughout this first book, and it's done in the kinder of the two ways: Killing them with kindness.

Unfortunately for us, it doesn't work.

The largest of my gripes comes with the relations between her and Po, our--of course--secondary and male lead. Po is the "kill it with kindness" part of this book, but Katsa is the obstinate, ungiving child who will literally kill you if you cross any line with her that she doesn't like. Now that's pretty badass in most cases. In hers it just comes off with her reminding me starkly of a child getting ready to throw a temper tantrum, who also has spineless parents that will bend to said child's will, therefore creating the pathetic downward spiral that only feeds and increases said child's selfishness until she thinks she can rule the world with a whim.

And it's not even that she doesn't have the punch to back up the threat. Her bite is immensely worse than her bark. I'll be the first to admit that. It's what I like about her most. The problem is that she ruins the stereotypical trademark of "with power comes great responsibility." She learns to use her Grace with responsibility...


...but she treats every living and breathing thing like dirt.


And I mean that about the friends she grew up with, the men she's trained with, her main love interest, the people that depend on her-- and don't even get me started on cruelty to animals, because she treats horses like they're machines, and who cares if they run themselves to death under her hand.

My problem with Katsa is that she has no respect for other living beings, human or otherwise. And this is displayed most prominently when she gets her obligatory love interest, our main male lead. That being said, her love interest is actually everything you could want in a man! Yes, he has his flaws, but like most storybook heartthrobs, he's fantastically desirable. Heck, I admit I'd marry him flat out if he was real and mine. Right there and then--done, married, mine forever. I would gladly do it.

...but though he's the one that smacks some sense into Katsa when it comes to her freedom of choice with the Grace that she's been blessed with, he does absolutely nothing to soften her selfishness.

Katsa:

Me:

The Problem:


The thing that bothers me the most is that our male lead sacrifices every comfort, every desire, every ounce of himself even up to his life, and Katsa still refuses to fulfill his most basic of requests from her. The amount that he GIVES for her, when she gives him nothing at all, is astonishing. And yet he still stays with her.

How?! WHY?! What man wants that much punishment?! What man could STAND that much punishment?!

And I'm not saying there aren't men out there that wouldn't. I know very well there are people like that because I'm one of them. But for a relationship to work, whether it's friendship or otherwise, it has to be an equal exchange. Otherwise it splinters and falls apart, and the wounds afterwards are greater than any left by mere physical punches or flesh wounds.


My gripe with this book is Katsa herself entirely. She is ungiving to the point of obscenity. There is a large chunk of the book that focuses on the intimacy of her relationship with her love interest, and yet every.

other.

line.

We get mention of how much she doesn't need him. Doesn't want him if he comes with a price. Doesn't want to deal with his Grace. Doesn't want to bend in the slightest. And you know what's the most frustrating part of this? She doesn't. She does not bend.

In any other situation I'd probably be screaming, "GOOD FOR YOU GIRL! You hold up against that man that wants you to change!" But to demand everything of him, and then give nothing yourself? When he clearly cares for you beyond the mere realm of "Like"? That's not only cruel, that's savage.


Yet all in all there is a light in this book. The characters are literal stars, and they are the ones that carry you through this book, more than anything. If you're reading it for plot, you should probably look elsewhere. But if you're reading it for the romance... well you should probably look elsewhere for that, too. However, if it's a story you want about a fantastic man and a thick-headed girl, then read it. It really does charm you, and it's really a wonderful read. It's just a shame that, yet again, the main character had to ruin everything else that was so right with the story.

Give it a shot, guys. For all my complaints, you've got a good chance of enjoying it, if only for the side characters alone.
Gone for Good - Harlan Coben
When I first moved down to Florida, now almost a year ago in a few months, I had only one book in my entire household and it was a Harlan Coben book, [b:Promise Me|43924|Promise Me (Myron Bolitar, #8)|Harlan Coben|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1361152177s/43924.jpg|14596742]. I read it, and I don't remember much of the reading process, though I remember the end above every other part of it. I didn't feel like I got much of an impact from his previous book, but that might just be the cushion of time and grand old Life getting in the way again and erasing the past from my recollections. But I have a pile of books in a box that we brought down with us, and this was one of the ones stacked in there. So I picked it up and figured I'd give the books I owned a go since I had nothing else, once again. And I didn't remember particularly disliking his other book, even though I didn't remember loving it either.

Picking up Gone for Good, it started off keeping me pretty complacent. I wasn't thrilled, and although I was kept interested, it was a book I was reading merely to have something to read. I'm not sure how Harlan Coben does it, but he has a style where he starts off slow and builds you up to the point where you're ready to break. When his story climaxes, BOY does it CLIMAX. And the closer you are to the end, the better it's getting! This went from a book that I was feeling so-so about, to one I was interested in, to one that I was invested in and knew I was going to read to the end, to one where I didn't even THINK about putting it down, and then in the end it GUTTED ME RIGHT WHERE AND WHEN IT MATTERED!

It.

Was.

BRILLIANT.

That ending! That ENDING! It destroyed me and made me a life-long fan right there at the very end. I finished this book knowing that it was one that I would have bought if I hadn't owned it already, because I wanted it in my collection. And it's one that I'll recommend to my friends, even if they don't normally go for this genre, because the ending made me that much of a fan in the end!

But the praises of the storyline aside, I've noticed again that Coben has a steady and natural talent for writing odd characters into his books that are priceless, genuine, and engaging. From characters that range the gamut like Squares, the Ghost, and even the loveable informants on the streets of NYC or the victims of the darker side of life there-- his characters are refreshingly authentic, and I enjoy reading about every single one of them, no matter who they are, what they're involved in, how they act, or what they sound like. It's rare to find a talent like his that seamlessly interweaves what are classically called "normal" people and characters, and the "freaks," "oddities," and "strange" characters. There's no line drawn in the sand that separates one from another. He treats them all equally, like everyday human beings, and I love him for it. Normally, if a character is distinctive in any way, he gets inflated to fit that distinction. In Coben's case, he takes the characters with their dramatic distinctions from the "everyday men and women" and proves that they are the everyday men and women. Even if his stories need a little bit of patience for the first few chapters, his characters never cease to draw me in.

This is a great book. Reading it as a one-shot, since the first of his works I read was unfortunately the eight in a series, I've really come to terms with the talent he has for weaving stories. He keeps you surprised right up until the last page, and in this case, the last paragraph. This book in particular has stunned and impressed me to the point where I know it'll leave a lasting impression for years to come.

If you're at all interested in suspense, mystery, and thriller novels, definitely give Gone for Good by Harlan Coben a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, even shocked. It'll almost certainly entertain you, and it'll definitely move you, no matter who you are.
Dune  - Frank Herbert
This was an interesting book to read. There's a lot that it leaves you with afterwards, and things aren't exactly entirely settled. There are more books after this one, but I'll tell you right now: Should you go into this series, prepare to read an epic. It is long, it is a story of survival and struggle for inheritance, it has mysticism and politics and things that seem like magic. Technology and the natural blur on worlds that are not earth, and you're going to be introduced to different races that will teach you a brand new culture.

It's a book you can't go into without committing to, otherwise you'll lose interest halfway through. And this book is thick, long, and complex. It has a lot of weighty stories all interwoven into one big plan, with countless characters that we get continual insight from. We're immersed in a different type of lifestyle, and if you want to get through this book, you're going to have to make it a point to pay attention. This can be a casual read, but if you don't make the least bit of effort in trying to keep track with the basic things going on here, you can get pretty lost. Things will get explained eventually, and the author's been kind enough to include a section in the back of the book that includes terminology that you're unfamiliar with, but for the most part you can pick up a basic understanding of everything that's going on just by continuing to read on.

I understand a bit why people say that this book is like the Lord of the Rings of the Science Fiction genre. Sitting down to this review, I'm a bit overwhelmed by everything that I've read. I remember everything that happened from beginning to end, but it's so large and complex a story that to even begin telling you about it would lead to me talking for pages and probably needing to spoil most of the book, which I don't want to do.

Even trying to talk about the characters is a little difficult. They exist in their own world all by themselves, and they're so self-established that to try to describe them is like trying to describe someone that you've known all your life. How do you? You know every little detail about them-- from their moods and personality to their likes and dislikes-- but all those miniscule facts isn't going to help someone understand the total of who that person is, especially to you who have known them. I can say that the main character is cool, calm, collected. He's strong, capable, and admirable. But what does that mean? Does it mean you'll believe that?

In a way, I have to say about this book what I said about the Lord of the Rings books: You'll have to experience it for yourself.

And don't get me wrong; it's not a bad book, even though it looks a little intimidating. I admit: I was a little intimidated by this complex, thick book with its small font size and its appendices in the back! A book that has things like that is a recipe for intimidation. I had no idea what I was getting into. And I still believe that: I had no idea what I was getting into.

It was a good read. It opened up an entire new world to me and took me along on a really in-depth and complicated story. The characters were alternatively amazing and intriguing, or people you didn't like but still found a lot of interest in reading about or reading the thoughts of. This book is amazing in portraying the thoughts and insights of characters. Even when we're following the perspective of one character in the story, if another interacts with them and is thinking something about the one we're following the story from now, the author seamlessly switches to that character's point of view and gives us insight into their thoughts and emotions right then and there in response. It's amazing. You learn so much throughout the book in this manner, and it makes reading the story nothing short of an adventure where you're constantly coming into contact with secrets and underlying efforts made by everyone from all sides.

This is a good book. It's very long in page count, and it's a slow read because of the information that it gives you throughout so you can be better equipped to understand the world and ways that we're involved in. If you're a science fiction or dystopian lover though, you've got to check this amazing piece of literature out. It's definitely not a book you should pass up on, and you'll find a lot of great characters (of all types; hero and villain and every shade between) to make reading this really interesting.

Hope you all enjoy! And till next time~
Skin Hunger - Kathleen Duey
I've got to admit, when I first picked up this book, it was because I got interested in the idea that one part of it was about a girl who could understand and communicate with animals. In a way, it was part of my thoughts about researching shapeshifters for my own benefit, but when I began reading, I realized the book wasn't focused on this otherwise tiny aspect; it was only the smallest detail that led to this great, huge concoction of the horrible and yet intriguing stories that melded almost perfectly together in the strangest of ways.

I've read a lot of books, and I've got to tell you-- It is a major accomplishment when an author is able to weave two or more stories together in the same book and make it feel effortless and like they're both a part of one another, no matter how different they seemingly are initially. Kathleen Duey was able to accomplish this in a stunning way.

What's even more astounding to me is that I picked up a book I thought was going to be about magic and have a little bit of the normal threats to it to make the story move forward, and instead I found a book that shocked me with how brutal, cruel, even twisted it was. I mean, it really astounded me. I expected some bad things to happen in a few cases, but when those "bad things" happened-- they exceeded my expectations and became real threats, with actual ability to induce horror in a person. And I mean that literally. Weigh it with your tongue. Mean it. Feel the actual meaning of that word in the pit of your stomach:

Horror.

It's not a joking matter. It's not even a light matter to be dismissed. I took this book and thought it was going to be a poor attempt at trying to plant something of a plot with a meaningless villain type and whatnot. Instead it was like picking up stone only to not realize there was a scorpion on the other side and getting stung. This book became something I started taking seriously the moment that first "bad thing" happened, and it was only then that I realized just how seriously I should be taking it.

It's a book that doesn't play around, and it's fantastic for it. I'm disappointed I don't have the sequel here with me. It cuts you right off in the middle of everything at the end, and now I'm certain I have to hunt down the next book. Leaving things just as they are won't cut it. This series is too good to just leave alone, and if you pick this mama up, you'll see exactly what I mean. Trust me: It's a lot more than you've bargained for, and in the best of ways.

So if you like a darker, twisted story of magic, look this book up. It won't disappoint.
Princess Nevermore (Point Fantasy) - Dian Curtis Regan
I honestly don't know what I enjoyed so much about this book when I think back on it now. I'd read it several years ago and I remembered enjoying it, but re-reading it now again, I found myself slightly annoyed throughout most of it. It's not a malicious and frustrated type of annoyance though, I'll give the book that. The main character just bothered me mainly because of her reasonable ignorance. It was a cute story, but overall, besides the couple of interesting concepts of a magical realm underneath the crust of the earth, nothing about the book calls to me to the point where I would ever want to own this story. It's a book to read, but, for me, not one to own.

And it's not as though the side characters were that bad either. I actually felt quite fond of Adam, the love interest, and I liked his sister once she stopped being a stupid, jealous idiot. I thought Mondo was touching and fantastic; plus, everything about him reminded me of the tragically beautiful story of the Tucks from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. He was one of the best parts of the story. I'm also quite fond of Cam, and Ameka, Quinn's tutor. Even the arrogant pig, Zack, had moments where I felt like slapping him because he could be a good guy, but he was too much of a haughty jerk to ever consider a change of heart. Asshole.

But the point is, all the characters were decent ones. In fact, I think they were enough to make re-reading this story itself actually worthwhile. They are charming in their own little ways, but not in a way that really calls me to any of them over too long a period of time. And yet the funny thing is that they're memorable, or the situation is somehow. Because otherwise I wouldn't have remembered this book after so many years, so clearly something about it has some value worth taking up any space in my mind.

*Shrugs*

Overall though, I've got nothing stupendous to say about this book. I'm not going to tell people to run out and grab it now. But if you come across it, and you like fantasy/modern crossovers (I guess they call that "supernatural" now, don't they?) then give this one a shot. Why not? You might like it more than I do.
Across the Universe - Beth Revis
This was an okay book. I can't say I found it very exceptional or engaging because for the most part it was pretty easy for me to distance myself from it. The book's concepts and characters themselves are nothing to complain about. In fact, I found them fairly decent. They seemed characters that were fairly well-rounded and felt real, believable, but there was a lack of substance to them. A lack, I believe, of that extra level of depth that makes characters fully engaging, makes them people you care about outside of their situations, as individuals with intriguing personalities.

This was a book that felt like it told a decent story, but which lacked the level of depth that would have made it the gripping, potentially booming creation it could have been. As it is, it swept many people into awe, but it did not do so for me possibly because of one reason:

I've read a story very similar to this before.

Perhaps not all of you have heard of The Giver by Lois Lowry, but if you've read the book, let's say this: I feel the author either read the book and was somehow inspired by it, or, Beth Revis's book is coincidentally playing upon a great idea in a new form. Unfortunately, because of my exposure to The Giver some ten or more years ago, a lot of the "plot twists" and "horrifying" concepts introduced in this book were

1. already guessed by me
2. didn't have the impact that I felt they should have
and 3. seemed overall very predictable.

I've said it before, and I'll say it for Across the Universe now, too: When you can guess most of the plot twists in the book 300+ pages ahead of their revelation, it's a baaaaaad thing for a book said to fall under anything close to a "mysterious" category. *Grimaces* And I'm not saying it to be mean or harsh. I actually thought this book was a decent read. But whether it's because I've read The Giver and so nothing was a surprise to me, or, worse, whether the book really is that obvious and predictable-- it might have nothing to do with me. Maybe it was a good read for others. Maybe. But I found it pretty dry at least when it tried to surprise me. Which is a shame, because I feel like there was a lot of effort put into the book by the author to bring about that level of surprise and the horrifying effect certain revelations were supposed to have.


That's not to say that the book didn't wind up making me feel any emotions at all either. I actually grew quite fond of the two main characters, Amy and Elder, despite the fact that I feel like I wanted to see more from them. I enjoyed the plot, even though I was able to predict a fair number of things and my suspicions were often correct or on the right track.

And! I do plan on reading the sequel to Across the Universe-- A Million Suns.

Why?

Because by the end of the book, things actually started to pick up quite dramatically. I became emotionally and (more importantly) intelligently involved with the way things were left off by the end of the book. I would go so far as to say that I believe the second book will actually be better than the first, because I feel that a lot of the environment and situations in Across the Universe were necessarily controlled and slowly unfolding. It was not until everything was finally uprooted for our main characters and the people in power towards the end of the book that you got to the point where you could sit back and say, "Now things are getting good! Now we're getting somewhere!" And I truly feel that's going to be the case. Things are going to be in potentially some major upheaval by the time you pick up A Million Suns. At the very least, I'm hoping to see a ton of chaos. Across the Universe left us with the potential for a lot to happen, and I have faith that someone who could pull off a nearly 400 page book, with a plot like ones I've read, and still keep me interested throughout it-- could pull off something fresh and exciting now that things are finally going to hit the fan in the sequel.


My advice to readers is this: Yes. Read this book. Especially if you haven't read some old beautiful books like The Giver, you may find yourself entirely surprised by this more recent sci-fi mystery and part-thriller. For the first book she's ever written, Beth Revis did a commendable job. Just the fact that she was able to keep me reading through four hundred pages when I was predicting things at every turn is a pretty decent sign. If it had been worthless altogether, I would never have recommended it to you to read.

But give Across the Universe a shot. It feels almost like it can go a little slow sometimes, but it's a promising series from what I've read so far.

I'll be looking forward to reading A Million Suns hopefully in the near future, and I hope you give that one a shot as well. I'll be seeing you there.

Enjoy your reading.
Golden - Cameron Dokey
From the moment you begin reading this book, you can tell it's different from your typical fantasy novel. There's a quality to the storytelling that is easy to fall for in its first person, conversational manner, and it similarly is a story that has a certain mysterious trait-- a hint, maybe, like the old, truly magical and special tales have to them-- a curious quality that you can't quite place your finger on and put to words, but that you know makes this book special out of all the others you've read.

It didn't take me very long to realize that if I had read this book when I was a kid, or a young teen, this book would be one of the books to forever influence me and change my life. Even now, reading it when I'm a little bit older and a smidgeon perhaps wiser in the world, it left such a tangible taste of a good story in my mouth that I'd be forever doing you a disservice if I didn't say that you should go out and pick up this book, even if you have to buy it, to read it. It's a book that not only entertains and is enjoyable, but it teaches you, too. It opens your eyes. And that's why I say, If I was younger and I'd read this book, it would have changed my life.

As it is, it still hit me profoundly, and I fell in love with the characters swiftly. They had their faults, but this is a fairy tale, my friends, and the most amazing part is that in this day and age I had the chance to stumble upon a fairy tale that was uniquely retold to make it profound and engaging. It's a book that's captured my favor to the point where I can't imagine living my life without sharing the story with everyone I know. I will make them read it, because it's this fantastic!

It's humble. It's of love in the purest and most understandable, relatable sense. It's of beauty being more than appearance. It's of selflessness even when you could lose the few things that mean the world to you. It's of patience. And the best? It's completely plausible as an addition or "what really happened" telling of the fairy tale that it was inspired by.

It's one of those old, classic fantasies. It feels utterly simple when put into words, but carries well when you're reading it, experiencing it for yourself, and means more than what a review can contain. Perhaps, it will mean different things to different people. What spoke to me out of this story may not be what speaks to you, but it has that potential to tell more than just one tale, and send more than just one message. That's what makes this one so special.

If you're a fantasy lover, if you love fairy tales and their retellings, if you're a fan of the Rapunzel character or story-- read this book. If you love romance, if you love tales of knights in shining armor, if you love books about messages concerning the physical appearance and deeper beauty-- read this book. If you love old medieval magical stories, or strong main characters, in particular strong female characters, too-- read this story.

It is so worth it. It's timeless and just as wonderful.
Bridge To Terabithia - Katherine Paterson
This book has settled me with so many strange feelings. Considering I've read one other book by the author, I expected what was going to happen towards the end of the book. By now, since the movie's been out and all (and which I've never seen), I'm sure most people have had the book's "big twist" spoiled utterly for them, but... I expected tragedy and heartbreak, because, like I've said, I've been exposed to this author before and Katherine Paterson has left me no fan of hers at all. However, since both my sister and best friend told me I should give this book a shot, I decided to sit down and read it through.

It turned out to be a far more hopeful and beautiful book by the ending than I thought Katherine Paterson had it in her to write. For the first time I saw tragedy that I expected and was greeted with the unexpected twist that joy and happiness was given afterwards. Hope was there, at the end. Promise was in the last sentences she wrote. It was a beautiful ending. As beautiful as anything I've ever read. And while I will not let up on the author for writing the hopeless, horrible ruin of The Great Gilly Hopkins, I can admit that my heart has warmed to her and found peace in Bridge to Terabithia. I hope she has grown, and I hope she will not ever write a children's book again whose last message is one of no hope and no joy, of love unreturned and unfulfilled.

Bridge to Terabithia is a book of promise and of hope even in the face of tragedy, and even when you're the last one left standing, needing to endure it for the rest of your life. It's a story that has its faults as well as any other book, and yet which can kindle the best of emotions within a person that reads it. It's a story that I would be glad to pass down to my child, knowing that while it contains cruel and terrible heartache, it also contains a path to life where that heartache can be dealt with, and can lead to joy again.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes stories of imagination and adventure, of growing up and facing reality, but of never losing touch with the magic that life offers, and which can be within each of us. Yes, it's a book that will hurt. But it's also a book that will heal.

If you haven't already read it, please do. It's one of those that's worth your time.
Destination Unknown - Katherine Applegate
I. Need. The. Next. Book. Right. Now.

I just finished this one and I'm like HNNNNG GIVE ME MOOOOORE! *Claws at empty space, wishing the book would appear* I think I'm suffering from withdrawal! DX How am I going to survive the wait until I can go back to the library and check out the rest of the series!!! ARGH. I need to read more! There's so much crazy stuff going on here! I have to read the rest! THINGS ARE CONSTANTLY INTERESTING AND CRAZY AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S GOING ON BUT IT'S ALL SO GOOD THAT I CAN'T STOP READING. If I had the entire series I wouldn't stop reading! *SOBS* Why didn't they have the third one in the library when I went? DX My agony!

Seriously dudes and dudettes. This. Series. Is. AMAZING!

YOU PEOPLE NEED TO READ IT. If you have ANY sort of interest in science fiction, you HAVE to read this series. YOU HAVE TO. It's so good! It's filled with the most disgusting and freaky and horrifying and amazing stuff! And every single time you think you know what's going on you have ten new mysteries that smack into your face, and all these weird and unexplainable things going on that are effects of who knows what yet! And it's CRAZY AMAZING!!!! *Flails!*

Seriously. Read. These. Books. Go pick up the first one and read it. It's called "[b:The Mayflower Project|781069|The Mayflower Project (Remnants, #1)|Katherine Applegate|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1178292042s/781069.jpg|557738]" by Katherine Applegate. GO. GET IT.

And if you have any doubts about the rest of the series...

DON'T STOP NOW. READ THIS ONE TOO. OH MY GOD IT'S SO GOOD. CHARGE FORWARD, COMRADES! READ THIS!!!

Man, I wish I had the third book on hand right now. Try to take out a ton of the series when you do pick it up. XD Take my advice. You'll want to keep up with this fast-paced and intense series!

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