31 May 2014

After the End

Author: Amy Plum
Series: After the End #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

After the End was... interesting to say the least.  Juneau lives in what she believes is the last remaining colony after the destruction of World War III in Denali, Alaska.  When she gets back from a hunting trip, however, to find her entire clan gone, her entire world is turned upside down and she is forced to question everything about her world.

Finding a world she thought had been discovered, Juneau has to venture through this strange, more advanced world as she tries to find her kidnapped clan.  Using her paranormal powers of sight, she is pitted with an unlikely partner who is anything but trustworthy in young Miles, which of course opens up the possibility for the young adult romantic angle of the series.

I found a hard time finding a true genre for After the End.  It's hardly a post apocalyptic, World War novel as we soon realize that part of Juneau's existence is but a farce. It isn't a dsytopian novel either, though there are some corrupt people in high power in this novel.  It is a bit of a paranormal novel, however, as it touches on the concept of immortality and being clairvoyant.

While being unique in the design of its world, Plum hardly develops a strikingly original debut for a series.  The beginning of the novel is interesting, but as the world develops the story seems to follow the normal pitfalls for being just another typical young adult novel with a touch of paranormal touches.  And while the writing is strong enough and the plot is decent enough to hold your attention the entire way through, After the End loses its main charm about the same time that Juneau loses all sense of her reality.  The building of the characters and the relationships as the novel wore on were not strong enough to make up for the drop in my interest as the plot unfolded, though I suspect that fans of paranormal romance will gobble this novel up as an original addition to the genre.  If you aren't a fan of the paranormal romance genre, it's still an interesting enough of a read for a plane ride or a leisure day at the beach, but not a series I believe I will continue or a novel I will read again.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Author: John Green & David Levithan
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Will Grayson, Will Grayson takes some time to find its legs, but once it finds its groove it is in full sprint mode to the end.  On first glance, I couldn't determine what the plot of Will Grayson, Will Grayson was.  Turns out, I just needed to keep calm and patient and keep reading, as it all came to light later on.  While confusing at first, I must admit it was refreshing for the authors to take the time to develop the characters before diving into the heart of the plot for a change.

While holding no life lessons and leaving no deep, lasting impact, Will Grayson, Will Grayson is still a charming coming of age story about three very different boys and three very different relationships.  While cheesy in some points and perhaps a little too flamboyant in others for my taste, it was cheesy in a good way and even made me laugh in certain parts.  The plot, like many of John Green novels, was a little coincidental for my taste in parts, but you can easily get past the fact and still enjoy the novel.

What I love about Will Grayson, Will Grayson is that there really aren't protagonists pitted against antagonists.  You're pulling for everyone in the story, even with all of their flaws.  My favorite relationship in the novel is between does not use capitalization will grayson and his mother, which is just so touching and heartbreaking in typical John Green fashion.  And Tiny, while more in your face gay than I am used it, is such an interesting character, especially as you get to his play and he is truly allowed to develop his character.

Sure, the songs in the musical are kind of lame and certainly not the masterpiece the characters make them out to be.  And sure, the big surprise at the ending was a little weird and a bit of a let down based on all the anticipation and anxiety going into it, but it was still sweet (although in the real world would likely have lead to a bunch of beatings but bullies later).

Perhaps not a novel I would buy for my collection (at least not in hardback; maybe, just maybe, in paperback), but it is a novel that I will probably read again down the road.

28 May 2014

The Program

Author: Suzanne Young
Series: The Program #1
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

The Program reminds me in many ways of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies trilogy, one of my favorite series of all times.  Sloane mirror Tally, who watches all her friends change as they are treated by the Program, something set up to help prevent the climbing suicidal rate among teens in their society.

After the death of her brother, Sloane clings to her relationship with James, her boyfriend and brother's best friend.  But when the Program comes for James as well, Sloane struggles to deal and ultimately finds herself in danger of being put through the program herself.  While in the Uglies trilogy, everyone is required to go through this transformation rite of passage for society, in The Program it is only those who are deemed a danger to themselves by the higher ups.

The Program could have been a heart wrenching, thought provoking novel that makes you ponder how you would cope with your whole life disappearing, memory by memory.  Instead, Young's introduction to the series follows the typical YA pattern of focusing instead on the romantic aspects of the story, while Sloane worries about losing her memories solely in how they relate to her losing James.

Even though The Program is a little too romantically driven for my liking, especially when the obligatory love triangle is tossed in for good measure as well, it is still a fun, quick read that I devoured quickly so I could start my way into The Treatment.  It could have been better, true, and it certainly could have been deeper and more thought provoking, but it definitely could have been way worse too.  Overall, it is a good introduction to Young as I have never read a novel by her before.

26 May 2014

Don't Look Now

Author: Michelle Gagnon
Series: PERSEFoNE #2
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

Noa and Peter find themselves on the opposite sides of the country fighting the same battle in this sequel to Don't Turn Around.  While Peter tends to stick to his hacking guns in Don't Look Now, Noa turns more towards a Sydney Bristow lifestyle as she and Zeke get a little more up close and personal as they try to protect the street kids from a fate similar to their own, all the while still trying to take down the Project.

While Don't Look Now expands into two love triangles which is not exactly exciting for me, it does give Gagnon a chance to expand some of the minor characters from the first novel in the series.  Amanda certainly plays a bigger role, and the new character introduced towards the end of Don't Look Now, Zeke, comes into his own role as well.  While Amanda was not one of my favorite characters in Don't Look Now after what she did to Peter, you do have to feel sorry for her as her story unfolds.

Don't Look Now also brings intrigue to minor characters that stay side characters.  I look specifically to Mason and Peter's parents at this point.  Even though they may not play pivotal roles with a lot of face time in the novel, they are certainly developed into more than one dimensional characters and Mason in particular is an interesting character as he still carries an air of mystery around him about where his true intentions and motives lie.

While some of the novelty of the teen hackers has worn off some by the end of Don't Look Now, it doesn't suffer from a sophomore slump so to speak.  The pace falls off in a few spots which caused some lag in my reading, but overall still an interesting read and fast paced and action packed in parts.  The ending leaves you wondering how the trilogy is going to end, and I for one and waiting to find out.

20 May 2014

Divided

Author: Elsie Chapman
Series: Dualed #2
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

I received an advanced reading copy of this novel from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

Dualed was an interesting surprise of an novel, set in a futuristic and rather unbelievable world where everyone had an Alt/clone and when it came of time, only one could survive in a battle to the death.  With this premise being the main motivator behind the society, I oftentimes found myself wondering in what universe this type of society would ever be able to survive, but I tried not to think too hard on it.  The writing and plot of Dualed were good enough to keep me entertained, and so I came back for more this year with Divided.

Dualed wrapped itself up rather nicely as a stand alone novel, so I pondered where Chapman would take the series with this new installment.  West has defeated her Alt, which is the main purpose in life in her society, and she even got her main man with the novel ending happily for her and Chord.  With Divided, instead of focusing on the high adrenaline, fast paced action of the kill or be killed situations with ones own Alt, West was once again thrust back into the life of being a Striker, but this time by a higher up in the society, making this dystopian society even more corrupt than it already was.

Throughout Divided, I felt that Chapman never really found her footing with the new turn the plot took.  Yes, she attempted to describe how this crazy society came to be, but I found myself questioning the plausibility of the events that occurred and the measures that were taken by the powers that be to develop this society.  After the Holocaust and the reign of Hitler, one has to believe that humans as a species would do anything in their power to prevent another crazied madman (and in this case a trio of them) from creating that type of closed off, killer society ever again.

Besides my continuing battle to believe in the reality of this type of society ever existing, I also struggled with this change in plot.  While Dualed on the whole was a fast paced and action packed novel, Divided seemed to struggle.  And when the action finally did occur and the pace quickened, it felt - on the whole - that it was the same elements from Dualed being told over again with only a few slightly changes.  Chord was still hell bent on helping West get through the trial, while West was still rather secretive about what she was actually up to.  Instead of focusing on her own life and worries, West spent the majority of the novel focusing on killing other's Alts again (all the while haunted by her brother's death).  The main difference between Dualed and Divided that I saw was the romantic aspect of the novel, as in Divided West and Chord are together from the get go.  With the issues I have with YA romance, this difference wasn't a plus to me.

With all of these faults being said, Divided was still an interesting story, though the novelty of the universe that Chapman created started to wear off.  The new characters that were introduced were interesting and unique enough to help hold my attention during the slow parts of the novel, though I did find myself skimming at times.  While Divided may fall victim of a sophomore slump for the series, it was still a strong of enough novel to hold my attention and interest until the end.  And my interest in Dualed in the first enough is enough for me to want to add this novel to my collection as well, even with its shortcomings.  Though, I have to admit, I think I would have preferred Chapman leaving Dualed as a stand alone.

17 May 2014

Taken

Author: Erin Bowman
Series: Taken #1
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Taken is the introduction of not just a new series but of a new world.  Set in a futuristic America torn apart by civil war, Gray lives in a world that no one truly understands.  Living in a closed off city, there are rules that govern their lives that no one understands but everyone follows.  No one can escape the city; anyone who is brave/stupid enough to try to get over the wall surrounding the city comes back burnt to a crisp in a body bag.  And all males disappear in the Heist at the age of 18 years old, forcing them to grow up quickly and reproduce at an early age in order to keep their civilization alive.

After the disappearance of his brother on the Heist, and after finding tales of a family secret, Gray refuses to live in the dark any longer and goes on a mission to discover the truth not just about himself but about his entire civilization as well.  Of course, he has to take his crush - Emma - along for the ride with him.  Taken is a suspenseful mystery set in a dystopian society that is both lost in the times before technology and a sci-fi futuristic novel as well.  It contains a bit too much focus on the young adult romance/love triangle aspect and can be a bit of a slow read at times, but the twists and turns in the plot are enough to keep you interested for the long haul.  Reading through Taken, I definitely saw characteristics of other young adult series as well, but it was unique enough of a story to hold its own.

The sequel seems that it might be set up to follow along a rather similar path as Taken, and thus might fall victim of repetition, but I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and try it out.

An Abundance of Katherines

Author: John Green
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Sometimes I feel that John Green's coming of age novels are a little too fantastical to relate to, yet that does not stop me from enjoying them.  An Abundance of Katherines is no exception.  Colin sets off on a roadtrip for the summer after he is dumped by a Katherine for the 19th time with his buddy Hassan, who seems rather insure with his roots/heritage.

I do love the cover of the novel, and it became clear rather early on exactly where the development for the cover came from.  After getting dumped by Katherine XIX, Colin decides to make a formula to predict Dumpers/Dumpees and the length of a relationship.  He also wants to use the formula to explain all his past relationships with Katherines as well.

For a child prodigy, Colin exhibits the stereotypical lack of social skills.  Hassam is his only friend, and when he gets in a relationship (although I hardly call some of these exes relationships as they lasted less than a day) with a girl (always names Katherine), he can't help but ruin it by becoming super insecure and worrying if she loves him.  Growing up with a teenage brother a few years younger than me and watching his relationships unfold, I can honestly say that this point of the novel seems to hold true from some high school boys.

Colin's problem is that he doesn't seem to want to be able, and his insecurities with his label as a child prodigy do not help matters.  It isn't just about his fixation on his recent breakup with Katherine either.  When Hassam decides to go cruising with his new pals from Gunshot, Colin gets jealous that Hassam wants to spend time with them instead of with him.

While Colin isn't the most likeable main character to root for, I can at least relate to him, and therefore enjoyed the novel.  Towards the end, John Green has some wonderful lines that I really liked that finally made an impact on me.  The novel even has undertones of humor, which is a different step than what I am used to with Green's normal super angsty stories.

While not a novel I would read again, An Abundance of Katherines is worth a read this summer (or next).

16 May 2014

Flame

Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Series: Sky Chasers #3
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

Spark ended with the separation of Waverly and Seth as Waverly heads back to the New Horizon after an explosion rocks the Empyrean, leaving the already scattered and battered crew even more so.  While Waverly heads back to the "safety" of the New Horizon, Seth roams around the Empyrean trying to see if anything on the ship left is salvageable, and if there are any survivors.

Waverly's return to the New Horizon brings unexpected complications as she meets the Council Members on the New Horizon that are vying for Anne Mather's position.  Waverly soon finds herself stuck right in the middle of their power struggle, while all the while still trying to figure out just how she is planning on surviving on the enemy ship.

The conclusion to the Sky Chasers series, I thought it could have featured a little more space elements in the novel.  What really stuck out about the series to me in the first place was the fact that it occurs on a ship in the middle of empty space, searching for a replacement to Earth.  And while that still plays a fundamental theme to the novel here, the plot gets so bogged down in the power struggle on the New Horizon that space rarely seems to play a factor for the majority of the novel.

Overall though, Flame is a sound conclusion to the series.  All the elements are wrapped up nicely and Ryan manages to throw a few more curve balls in for shock and awe without them being completely unbelievable.  Perhaps a bit wordy in places, I found myself scanning through the dialogue and events during certain points of the novel, especially when there was a break in the action, but on the whole still and engaging read.  The obligatory love triangle between Kieran, Waverly, and Seth is wrapped up nicely, as is the fate of all the characters that we've grown attached to over the past two novels.

While not a series that falls into my instant classics category, it is still a series I am adding to my personal collection for multiple reads against down the line.

15 May 2014

The One

Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #3
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

I will never consider Kiera Cass's writing to be masterful, and The Selection will never become classic literature, but darn it all if I still don't enjoy these novels as a guilty pleasure.  The One is no exception to the rule either.  Picking up a little while after where The Elite leaves off, America is now determined to win the Selection at all costs, even if it means dressing like a slut and trying to seduce our poor Prince Maxon.  Prince Maxon, on his part, holds firm, and it becomes a bit of a game of cat and mouse as both of them wait for the other one to confess their true feelings first.  Then Aspen has to be tossed into the mix every once in a while still as well, just to keep readers on their toes, but if anyone is still rooting for Aspen at this point, then I have just one question for you - seriously?  Come on.  For reals.

For Cass's part, she at least attempts to develop the dystopian society in The One, as the northern and southern rebels definitely start to play a bigger role in the plot, though after all is said in done I would suggest that perhaps Cass just stick with the romance side of things from this point on, as the dystopian subplot still falls pretty much flat on its butt when its all said and done.  Throughout the series, the dystopian society aspect of the plot has always been weak, and even with the attempt for development here she didn't do herself many favors.  Perhaps it was a simple case of too little, too late, but the dystopian aspects of the novel felt focused and highly coincidental as Cass weaved them into the plot during The One.

Dystopian society aside, we all know full well that the romance side of this novel is what people are looking for, and God help me for some reason I already enjoyed it here.  Perhaps it's because everyone secretly wants to be a princess or prince (yes, even America as she now realizes), so perhaps it's because Prince Maxon is so charmingly naive, but I can't help but immerse myself in this guilty pleasure.  Sure, the writing holds little to no substance and the narrative is lackluster and rather juvenile, but gosh darn it, Cass makes it work.  I found myself so engrossed into rooting for America and Maxon, that even all the contest back and forth of break up/no, I want you/no, let's forget it and fighting and the lack of substance in the material couldn't phase me.

The One still has heart, which is proven by America's father, who has been one of my favorite characters from the beginning.  And even Celeste is given a reprieve, though it seemed to happen very quickly and I found it a little hard to believe.  Cass wraps up the series nicely, yet at the same time she leaves herself space to extend this trilogy with another novel is she so chooses to milk out the franchise for more moola (or another three to ten novels in a Cassandra Clare style as well).  While I ponder more Prince Maxon in my life, I have to say I'm ready for this trilogy to end at three.  Much easier to hide my embarrassment at my obsession as I plow through the series again.

14 May 2014

Half Bad

Author: Sally Green
Series: Half Life #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Half Bad starts off with a bang of an introduction, then leaves you wondering where the heck all the excitement went.  On first introduction, Nathan is trapped in a cage and no doubt being tortured.  He plans his escape, but fails.  Even though he is beaten down again, he is still determined to break free of his pain and prison.

Then we are whisked away to the past, where the back story into the characters and world begin.  While interesting enough, the narrative drags along through this next part of the novel, as I went from hyper adrenaline push in the prologue to boring back story in almost a blink of an eye.  It was staggering, really, how quickly the pace of the novel changed and it through me for a loop.  I think this dramatic change in pace can be held somewhat responsible for my lack of interest towards the beginning of the novel as Green focused more on the development of the characters then on Nathan's escape from the cage.  The fact that a teenage love interest was introduced for Nathan also did not help hold my attention in the beginning.

Half Bad felt a bit juvenile at points for a point of view of a 16 or 17-year-old, but it was still true enough that I could buy into Green's narrative through Nathan's eyes.  And while the novel was definitely slow after the high velocity introduction, it was still a rather solid debut novel.  The characters did not feel fully developed, but they were still engaging, which I am finding more and more difficult to come by in the young adult genre these days.  And while the novel never became as engrossing as the first few opening chapters, Green held onto the plot long enough to make the ending intriguing enough for the sequel with the possibilities Green leaves available.

06 May 2014

Evidence of Things Not Seen

Author: Lindsey Lane
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

Evidence of Things Not Seen is an interesting tale, though I find it hard to classify it as a novel.  While the plot revolves loosely around the disappearance of a kid named Tommy, the story is more a collection of short stories than anything else at first glance as you start your adventure into the book.  It reminded me a lot of James Franco's Actors Anonymous, which I couldn't make it through.  Unlike AA, however, Evidence of Things Not Seen is worth the wait if you can make it to the end (about 75% of the way through is where it really picks up again for the remainder of the novel).

Granted, many of the stories woven into the novel have little if nothing to do with the missing Tommy.  Some seem added just to nclude a little sex appeal for coming to age young adults.  The story that sticks out the most is of the girl who vaguely knew Tommy from being a fellow nerd that up and decides to lose her virginity just because, and Lane felt compelled to explain the mishap in detail.  Not only did it have nothing to do with finding the missing kid - and nothing to do with him in general - but it was wholly awkward as well.  The other part that springs to mind is the entire conversation around circle jerking into watermelons.  Again, the story just seemed uncalled for and had absolutely nothing to do with the underlying themes of the novel.

If you can pardon Lane these faults, however, these seemingly unconnected tales weave a magnificently, well written novel (apart from a few loose end stories).  The last few points of view in the story are so elegantly written that I found myself on the verge of tears on the airplane as I read the last part of the book.  While the ending is rather disappointing, the last line in the story sums it up so well that you cannot be disappointed with how Lane completed it, as the final line wraps the novel up so perfectly that I had to write it into my book of quotes immediately.  The last line of the novel makes the ending so unfulfilling and yet so hauntingly fitting at the same time that it left me breathless and almost completely changed my reception of the novel (for the better).

The characters, especially towards the end of the novel, as so interesting that you wish Lane would have chosen a few less different POVs and developed some of the characters a little more, but at the same time it was rather ingenious how many of these seemingly unrelated characters are woven together by the end of the novel.  My lasting impression of the novel was to ponder if the novel was ever really about Tommy, or if he was a standing metaphor for everyone in the book, nay everyone in the world?  While perhaps a bit shaky in some parts, Evidence of Things Not Seen is still a solid book at the end of the day.

04 May 2014

Landry Park

Author: Bethany Hagen
Series: Landry Park #1
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Landry Park is similar to The Selection and Delirium series where the main focus is mainly on the romance/love triangle in the novel, but is totted as a dystopian series.  The dystopian in Landry Park, like these other series, is a weak backdrop to try to please readers and deter from the fact that the novel does not really have much of a plot.

The characters in Landry Park are interesting enough, but nothing stands out about them.  The main character, Madeline, is surprised when she finds herself attracted to David Dana, who her mother is very interested in setting Madeline up with.

In Madeline's world, America has reverted into a feudal type system where each city is its own territory and represented mainly by the rich family in the city.  Madeline happens to be the heir of her city, and as thus her parents are very interested in marrying her off to a rich gentleman, while Madeline seems more interested in going to university.

Madeline's interest in university, however, seems suddenly less important the more time she spends with David, even though David appears to be more interested in Cara, who has her own mysterious secret going on.

Not only is Madeline's world set up with heads of cities, but Hagen also introduces the concept of Rootless, where the dystopian starts to kick in.  These Rootless are essentially slaves, and their main role in society is to suffer from radiation poison from having to change the nuclear charges on the lights that power the city.  I then my biggest beef with Landry Park centers around the plot of the Rootless and these charges, as I definitely did not like how Hagen handled the evolution of that story line.  I hope I can still have enough fate in the human species to believe that humanity would not allow slavery back into the root of our civilian just for one man's profit.

While the romance was a little too much all the way through, at least in the beginning and towards the middle the plot was still strong enough to keep my interest.  But as the story progressed into the later stages, the Rootless and Uprisen plot were not the only parts that seemed to weaken as the story went along.

If Hagen has focused on either just the romance or just the dystopian, she probably would have had a better shot at developing a better novel as a whole.  But the convolution of the different elements in Landry Park unfortunately did not equal the desired product.

03 May 2014

Frozen

Author: Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston
Series: Heart of Dread #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

The world of Frozen is seemingly difficult to place, as at first place it is simply a futuristic dystopian society set in an America where an ice age has settled and left the continent, if not the world, plagued by constant winter, ice, and cold.  True to human nature, the people in Nat's world deal with their uncomfortable circumstances by wasting their lives away betting away in casinos and pleasures of the like.

But the world featuring New Vegas suddenly becomes a much more AU version of our futuristic world as fantasy elements kick in.  While I didn't follow all of them perhaps as closely as I should have, the story was interesting enough though a tad heavy on the teen romance considering the setting and plot of the novel.

Frozen is interesting enough, but not a gripping novel on the whole.  The characters are entertaining, but the way the romance is handled deterred from the great importance of the novel and thus lessened the characters in my eyes.  Though the inclusion of pirates certainly bumped up my interest there towards the end.  Frozen was perhaps marketed as the young adult version of Game of Thrones and while I couldn't make it 50 pages into the first novel, I definitely can see some similarities to the show, minus a much of unnecessarily long dialogue Thrones is plagued with.

While nothing shockingly original or impactful to its genre,  it was certainly a far cry better than the Blue Bloods novel of de la Cruz's that I couldn't finish.  In the end, Frozen was a decent enough novel that I will plan on reading the next installment in the series as a beach/pool summer read book.

01 May 2014

After Eden

Author: Helen Douglas
Series: After Eden #1
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

After Eden is set in present day England with a bit of a twist.  Before we get into the sci-fi aspects of the novel, what I noticed first off the get go was that no one in the novel seemed to sound British at all.  While Ryan seems mysterious for Eden because he is American, I have a heard time believing anyone else in this novel is anything but.  Perhaps the version I read is a dumbed down American version where all the colloquialisms are taken out and spelling is adjusted so as not to confuse our small American minds.

Right off the bat, I could tell something was off about Ryan, and it didn't take me long to guess that time travel was involved.  I figured he was from the past, since he didn't know a thing about pizza or Hitler, or other key players in history, but could quote old literature.  But readers and Eden alike soon realize that he is not from the past, but from the future.  He has come to his past to try to change something in the future.  Right at this point, the novel lost me.  I had been dragging through it a little up to then because of the young adult angsty romance, but as soon as time paradoxes abounded, I was pretty much done for.

My main issue with After Eden isn't that time paradoxes occur, but with the paradoxical way that Douglas decides to handle them.  For example, Ryan explains to Eden that time travelers actually caused the extinction of dinosaurs with a bacteria or a virus they brought back with them (similar to the Brits to the Indians with small pox if I understood right).  But then, according to Douglas, the presence of the time travelers in the past created this world so while they changed it, it was always part of history.  That time of time travel (while I am not a believer in the popular version of sci-fi time travel) I can get behind.  But then to say that Ryan and crew have come from the future to try to change their circumstances seemed highly counter intuitive to me.

If I could have gotten past the whole time paradoxes issue with the novel, I still don't think I would have fully enjoyed it.  The characters were not wholly original and spent far too much of the time worried about impressions they left on each other and relationships than on the objective at hand, which seemed pretty darn important.  For readers that like romance with just a hint of plot, then After Eden is probably going to entertain.  For readers that like sci-fi plot (or just plot in general) with a hint of romance, there are better written novels out there.

I would say I am done with this series, except I read the synopsis for the next novel, and it suggests it might have promise, as it might be sci-fi heavy and original enough to overcome the short falls of this first novel.  So I guess we shall see.