28 May 2016

The Infinite Sea

Author: Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave #2
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

"The world ends.  The world ends and the world begins again.  It's always been that way."

This book is frustrating for lack of a better word.  It feels like The 5th Wave, and yet it doesn't at the same time.  It uses the same type of narration and employs the same technique of interchanging the narrators, some first person and some third person.  Like The 5th Wave, we get a new narrator added as we explore new characters.  It's a great technique, because it allows Yancey to explore the plot in pretty much any tangent he wants, and it serves to give depth to characters that otherwise might end up stagnant.

Unfortunately, this novel kind of feels like a tangent completely.  We spent The 5th Wave trying to invest into Cassie and Ben and Evan and Sam and the dynamics woven between them.  I like that Yancey continues to explore these characters to a small extent, and I really like how he ties them all together while also showing how vastly different they are by the concept of promises.  Promises is such a huge theme in this novel/series, and there is such a stark contrast in how each person employs promises, while each seems hell bent on keeping the promises they make.

In The 5th Wave, the relationships we focused on primarily were:
- Cassie and Sammy
- Cassie and Evan
- Cassie and Ben
- Ben and Sammy
- Ben and Ringer
- Ringer and Teacup
- Ben and Evan

In The Infinite Sea, most of that is lost as we diverge the plot to primarily Ringer.  The relationships we end of focusing on primarily in this novel are:
- Teacup and Ringer
- Ringer and Razor
- Cassie and Evan (barely)
- Cassie and Ben (barely)
- Evan and that other chick whose name I've already forgotten (barely)

We also get a little insight into Poundcake... but now I'm think that was just cruel, Yancey.  Just. Plan. Cruel.

While I found Ringer one of the most interesting characters of The 5th Wave, The Infinite Sea took a lot of the wind gathered in my sail from the first installment and tossed it to the wind by focusing so much on the secondary characters from 5th Wave and throwing the main characters onto the back burner.  So it'll be interesting to see who the next installment revolves around, if I ever get it from the library (stupid wait list).

25 May 2016

The Raven Boys

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

"I've never told you to do anything before, Blue.  But I'm telling you now.  Stay away from them."

Blue is not your typical teenage girl.  Though she has not been given the gift of sight like her mother and her aunt (and the others she lives with), she has the unique ability to make their gifts stronger when she's around.  So when she's helping her mother in the annual walk of the soon to be dead along the corpse road and her mother tells her to get a young man's name before he passes by, things get... complicated.

The Raven Boys is unlike anything I've ever read.  Though I haven't had time to research ley lines to see what the truth, or at least urban lore, is about them, it certainly feels like something that someone could believe in.  Especially someones like Gansey, Adam, and Ronan.  All four characters (including Blue) are well developed and feel wholly realistic, as if they could be real people you meet on the street and not just fictional stereotypes of cliches.  Except maybe Gansey.  I doubt someone who can charter his own helicopter is going to be bumpy shoulders with you on the street.  But you might pass him by on the side of the road where his old classic piece of crap car has broken down.

While the novel seems to revolve around the prophecy that Blue will kill the man she loves when she kisses him, the novel isn't too heavily centered on romance, though it is certainly there as an undertone (and even exists as a bit of a love triangle, bleh).  This novel is more about the possibility of what if, of things we can't explain and don't fully understand.  It's also about trying to reach your dreams, and just how far you're willing to go to get them, and to make a different or better life for yourself.

Blue can be a bit annoying of a character at times, true enough.  The fact that her mother tells her to stay away from the raven boys, worried about her safety, Blue immediately decides on a bit of teenage rebellion and decides to start spending all of her time with them.  Not very original.  But even if you can't relate to Blue, there's probably at least one character in this novel, if not more, that you'll relate to on some level.  I relate with both Gansey (in not understanding most social contexts at all) and Adam (in trying to break out of the life seemed destined before you, but by making it on your own and not out of charity from others).

The Raven Boys is engaging and has more than a few plot twists that aren't completely predictable.  It also leaves enough to be explored and discovered with characters that you don't mind following into their next adventure.  I'm looking forward to the next installment.

23 May 2016

Paper and Fire

Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #2
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

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


The Burners cry that a life is worth more than a book, but we know the truth: knowledge lives on.  No single life can claim so much.

Can we just step back for a moment and admire the cover of this book?  So pretty.  So majestic.  The title and the tagline are, of course, a little more depressing.  Fire and paper do not exactly mix well, and 'Let the world burn' does not make one feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

In this second installment in the series, we meet up with Jess and gang, though they have seen better days.  Morgan is locked up as an Obscurist, and Jess is still reeling over the death of a friend.  True to his family roots, Jess is doing his best to defy the Library and save as many priceless books as possible, while also searching for answers and, perhaps, a way to take down the Library.

While Paper and Fire can be a little slowly paced in places, I think I prefer it to its predecessor.  With Morgan locked away, struggling just to find time to communicate with Jess, the forced romance isn't such an issue in this novel as I seem to recall in the first one, as Jess and Morgan never truly struck a cord with me.  And though there is still the fantastical element of the magical portals that the Library controls that can instantly zap you from place to place across the world, this fast paced travel isn't as heavily relied on in this novel.  Instead, teenage rebellion seems to be the focus as Jess fights for his morals and beliefs against a corrupt society bent on control and power.  Add in the fact that this series still revolves largely around BOOKS, and Paper and Fire is a solid second installment to The Great Library series.  The slow but steady character building of the secondary characters in this novel is an added bonus as well.

21 May 2016

Two Lies and a Spy

Author: Kat Carlton
Series: Two Lies and a Spy #1
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

My heart rolls over while Lacey makes a rude retching noise from her corner of the elevator.  And in case nobody hears that, she says, "Gaaaaag.  Seriously?"

"Seriously?" is about what I thought as well.  I think I would have enjoyed this book much more in late middle school or early high school, before I started dating and when I was around people who actually talked this way (even if I wasn't friends with this type of people because, quite frankly, they usually annoyed me).

The premise sounded awesome.  A teenage girl who goes to an elite spy school that has been covertly trained in certain areas by her parents that work for the CIA.  Young Alias type heroine?  Check!  Except... not really, it turns out.  Kari gets a text from her parents that puts her on high alert, as it is a message they use to communicate when things have gone sideways.  Kari goes to pick up her brother and when they show up at the rendezvous point where they are supposed to meet their parents, their parents never show.  There could have been a lot of suspense and mystery and intrigue build around this plot, but instead Carlton ops for teenage drama as Kari gangs up with her hacker best friend, the guy she has a crush on, the guy she hates, and her crush's sister that she thinks is a bitch.

Finding out what the heck is going on with her parents then becomes almost an afterthought as Kari tries to plan out what to do by changing disguises and trying to flirt at the same time.  There is an interesting twist at the end that was a bit original (but sort of reminded me of The Americans) that pulled a little interest back in, but by then I'd gotten bogged down in the teenage drama.  I've already got the second novel checked out from the library, so I might take a crack at it, but I'm expecting the series will stay geared toward the usual teen romance and drama, and less into the political espionage drama.

17 May 2016

Furiously Happy

Author: Jenny Lawson
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

I am furiously happy.  It's not a cure for mental illness... it's a weapon, designed to counter it.

I'd never heard of Jenny Lawson until someone posted in a reading group about this book looking for a buddy read.  It sounded hysterical, and it has a very happy looking raccoon on the cover, so of course I gave it a go.  I thought Jenny Lawson had "mental illness" like I have "mental illness"... where some days I'm giddy and dancing and jittery just to be alive, and others where it's so stressful to get out of bed that only the duty call of work forces me too (most of the time).

But Lawson's struggle is real, and so much more than anything I have ever faced or will ever face.  The fact that she's able to open up so blatantly about it, whether told through hysterical anecdotes or not, is commendable.  Most people struggle with just dealing with the issues they face everyday, much less not only talking about it to loved ones but to total strangers all over the internet and all over the world.  Lawson almost embraces her struggle and takes solace in the fact that she is not alone (and she isn't, at all).

While the non stop, snort aloud because you're laughing so hard humor begins to wear off around half way to three quarters of the way, the story is good to the end.  The epilogue even brought tears to my eyes and I leaned toward the lamp on the nightstand to finish it long after my hubby had turned in for the night.  Even if you don't struggle with mental illness, I think you can take a lot away from this novel just from the way Lawson approaches life.  I'm not saying you need to go buy a kangaroo or koala outfit to go hang out in Australia, but maybe splashing through a fountain every once in a while wouldn't kill us.

In the After

Author: Demitria Lunetta
Series: In the After #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Aliens.  It's a touch sell for me.  The fact that there would be intelligent life out there that would see humankind and the disaster we've done to this planet and think, "You know what?  Let's go invade there.  That seems like a stable planet."  I've never gotten the premise.  Wouldn't it be easier to find a planet inhabited?

And if these guys are basically blind to anything but light, how the heck did they travel through space to begin with?  Space is almost completely empty, including devoid of light.  So how did they navigate?  Where did they know where to go?

Anywho, it really doesn't matter.  I think the more concerning plot flaw I found early on in this novel is her practicing running on the treadmill.  She and Baby haven't spoken for a couple years now for fear of Them (really annoying, using a pronoun as a name BTW) hearing them, but she claims she can practice running on the treadmill in the basement because you can't hear anything in the basement from outside.  So, uh, why the heck wouldn't you just camp out in the basement and talk there?  Instead, they communicate by way of shorthand sign language, which really gets complicated when they start running into other people.

Overall, this story held my attention.  I'm not sure if I liked the first half or the second half more.  They are certainly different in the things that Amy and Baby (again, annoying using a noun as a name) have to deal with.  While I much prefer for Amy and Baby not to have to deal with horny rapists wanting Amy to lead them back to her house, I think the first half of the novel had more suspense.  The second half got a little muddled in its own plot, especially when it started to switch from the present time/future time to the past time/present time or whatever the case was.  I hardly found Amy and Baby "rebellious" as the synopsis claims, but they were likable enough.  I've already got the second novel from the library, so I'm sure I'll give it a go as well.

16 May 2016

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World

Author: Bill Nye (the Science Guy.  Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill!)
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

Science and technology are amazing things.  We live in a golden age.  Do you realize that Albert Einstein lived until 1955?  That's just over 60 years ago.  Most of what we know about science/physics/the universe/cosmology is really only a century old (at most).  And considering that a lot of people live into their 90s, just take a minute to think about what that means for the young generation right now.  Is your mind blown yet?

Okay, good.  Now keep that in mind.  Because it's time to face another reality, hopefully one you already know.  Climate change is real.  Don't go listening to Sarah Palin blabbing that she's just as much a scientist as Bill Nye is.  When she has a Bachelor's of Science degree and is the head of a science/technology non-profit we'll talk.  Until then, let's get serious.

Go outside.  I urge you to.  Seriously.  Take a walk in the park.  Take a kayak ride down a river or hike through the mountains.  Realize all that this world has to offer, and understand that it's humanity's home.  If we mess it up, we can't just go buy a new one.  We don't have the technology for that.  Every big change starts with a small step, and Bill Nye points out over and over again in this novel.  So let's be the change we wish to see.  Let's gooooo green!

I realize I probably have more of a scientific background than the average Joe, and there was still some science in here that made my head hurt (I'm talking about you, you heating and shrinking power lines and your current through, voltage across electricity).  There was also a lot of science I am already very familiar with.  But what I really like is how Nye took those fundamentals I have and transformed them to show how we can apply them (churning bubbles in the ocean to make a lighter covered surface to reflect more sunrays/heat?  MY mind is blown).

Now that we are homeowners, I'm excited to try to implement some of the ideas Nye talks about in this novel (solar panels, electric cars, water wells for our raised bed garden we just started, etc. etc.).  The book is engaging, and his own excitement about the topic is influential.  Instead of BEGLEY, I am sure my husband and I will be calling NYE as we join the competition to turn our house into a green science lab.  Though, I must confess, I doubt I'll be cutting holes in my garage to create natural convection to cool it.  The thought of busting through the concrete frame of my house is just a smidge too unsettling for me, engineering degree or not.

I do wish Nye had gone into a little more detail about reverse osmosis and the issue of brine, as well as the potential problems that can arise from large solar and wind farms on birds.  My hubby and I are both advocates for nuclear energy, and though Nye pointed out that nuclear energy could be a good solution if the technology got safer, I think it's important to note that none of the technologies we have now are completely foolproof, but that we'll never get the technology safer until we spend the time and resources to explore it as a viable option.

14 May 2016

The 5th Wave

Author: Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave #1
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

This novel started out pretty fast paced and exciting.  Cassie and her family are on the run trying to survive the Others.  Few humans remain after the first four waves and it's a struggle to survive.  When her brother is separated from Cassie and her father, Cassie vows that they will reunite.

The Cassie at the beginning of this novel I can root for.  Sure, she might be a little caught up on Ben. Parish. though she still can't seem to talk to him even though each day could literally be the end of the world (or, I guess, the end of humankind).  That little fact I could get over.  The fact that Cassie holds on to her brother's Teddy bear completely sold me, as did her snarky comments and sarcasm.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line these personalty traits seem to fall to the wayside as teen romance rears its ugly head.  Cassie meets up with Evan Walker and suddenly all bets are off.  Her promise to rejoin with her brother hits the back burner and her portion of the story seriously starts to drag.

The other thing that struck me about this novel is the narration.  We have three - no, wait, sorry it's four - different narrators.  Three are told in the first person (Cassie, Ben, and Evan), and one is told third person (Sammy).  When the narrative first shifts from Cassie to the next narrator, I was thrown for a massive jolt and had no idea what the heck was going on for a while.  And then the third person for Sam was such a diversion from the others that it also threw me for a loop.  With how slow Cassie's portion of the story becomes for a while, the other narrators were definitely a necessity, but I found it took away from her character which is probably the main reason I really didn't invest 100% into the story.

Following Ben and Sammy's arc, quite a bit of what unfolds for them was pretty predictable, but Yancey still managed to find a way to make it mostly entertaining.  I liked the addition of Ringer, though again I thought the teen angst/romance sort of took away from her character a bit.  I'm hoping we'll get some more exploration of her character in the next installment.

The only other beef I have with this book that's keeping me from being completely obsessed is the fundamentals behind the plot.  Why did the Others (dumb name and meh movie) spend all this time invested in observing the humans and planting their alien parts into babies and then waiting for them to fester?  If they have all this massive biowarfare technology, there have to be about a hundred (thousand) easier, quicker ways they could have wiped humans off the earth so they could enjoy the planet for whatever they want it for (and if they've been studying us for so long, you would have thought they would have invaded much sooner before we started completely destroying our ecosystem, unless they like a lot of greenhouse gases).

11 May 2016

Rage Within

Author: Jeyn Roberts
Series: Dark Inside #2
Rating: 2 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

Eenie, meenie, miney, moe.  Catch some survivors by the toe.  If they holler, kill them on the spot.

It's lines like this one trickled throughout the novel that make me visually cringe.  I just can't seem to take the story seriously after I read something like this.  These comments, though not exactly common, crop up often enough to deflate any sense of suspense and horror I might draw from the story.

Some of the characters' catch phrases cause an internal cringe as well.  Raj's obsessive use of the term 'babes' and orange girl's need to proclaim through the third person narrative 'Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!' just ruin this novel for me.  It actually got so bad that it made it difficult to read towards the end.

The plot itself showed promised.  Daniel's keeping a secret (which wasn't that hard to guess for me, but was apparently for the characters connected to him in the story) added a little bit of mystery.  The separation of the core of the characters built a little suspense as they worked to reunite.  I really wanted to see the siblings reunite, though the internal letters she composes in her head got a little old.  But overall, Rage Within just didn't have the goods.  The writing drags the plot down, and the cliche teenage driven angst pulled it down when it was already floundering.  I think this novel would have been excellent if written as an adult series instead of a watered down young adult series.  I doubt I'll read the final installment to the series, and yet that's what I always say but find myself doing it just for closure.

Monsters of Men

Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking #3
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

I probably could have invested a lot more into this novel and thus taken a lot more away from it if it hadn't been so lengthy.  Moreover, the length isn't the fundamental hurdle with the length.  It's the tediousness and the repetitive nature of the plot.  For the vast majority of this book, we are going back and forth between the Mayor and Coyle and their band of supporters (including Todd and Viola on opposites sides of the humans).  What's more, we also have the Spackles trying to wage war on all the humans (they aren't picky and why should they be?  The humans certainty weren't picky when they started slaughtering the natives.  Hmm, now I wonder what that sounds like....)  It's one bomb/missile drop after another, followed by a counter attack from the other side, with Spackle confrontations sprinkled it.  Which I realize is probably what war is going to be like.  A series of skirmishes.  But I don't need to sit there and read through it over and over again for six hundred pages when the results keep coming out the same.

Due to the length and repetition, I got so very tired of the Mayor and Coyle.  I got tired of the maybe trust but probably distrust between Todd and the Mayor.  I got oh so tired of the I Am the Circle and the Circle is Me and VIOLA!!!!!  being shouted in the Noise.  I'm annoyed that their really is no good esplanashun for the Noise and why the women didn't get it but the men can't escape it without medication.  And I got tired of 1017 and his single minded revenge against the Knife (though I do like some of the mortal questions Ness brings up around this relationship between Todd and 1017).  I also got tired of the Todd and Viola romance, which never felt honest or real to me to begin with.

Then we have the ending, which finally picks up some speed but left me with mixed feelings.  The conclusion to the mayor's plot line was dissatisfying and didn't make a whole lot of sense when you looked at his character, whether he was on the spiral into insanity or not.  I rather liked the end to Todd's however, UNTIL THAT LAST CHAPTER.  It was kind of ironic but fitting, and there's definitely some more commentary on mortality there.

I will give Ness credit.  He made me sit and ponder some of the odd and terrible traits that are inherit to human nature.  There's definitely some good social commentary here.  Unfortunately, it's buried under a tedious, repetitive plot.  And while I finally got used to the dialect, the short/stunted sentences that broke off mid-sentence over and over again bugged the hell out of me.  I ended up skim reading those entire sections.

10 May 2016

The Star-Touched Queen

Author: Roshani Chokshi
Rating: 1.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

What the hell happened with this book?  One minute, we are riding along just fine.  I'm interested enough in Maya and I feel for her, what with being the outcast of her clan and all.  It's not easy being the outsider and the scapegoat to boot.  But then... and then...

Honestly, I have no idea.  One minute, she is being whisked away to this weird kingdom that exists between the real world and the Otherworld.  And the ruler of that realm promises to explain everything about his kingdom during the next full moon.  Interesting, you say.  Intriguing, indeed!  And then we add distrust as another character comes along and tells Maya that perhaps she shouldn't believe everything that Amar tells her, especially since there is a lot that he still has yet to reveal.  Mystery and suspense, oh my!  What's not to love?

AND THEN THE TALKING HORSE.  I don't know what the hell happened, but a talking horse comes along and agrees to help Maya traverse the I don't even know what it is, so long as Maya agrees to let the talking horse take a few nibbles out of her arm.  Umm, what the BLEEP?  To be fair, the introduction of the horse is not a singular point on which this novel begins to spiral.  It takes a bit before that, with the forced romance between Maya and Amar.  This line is classic:

And even though vengeance thrummed in my skin, a part of me drowned in the feel of him.

Barf.  That's so messed up.  What is wrong with this girl?  Does she have no self respect?  If she is angry enough and feels betrayed enough to want to seek some serious vengeance, then she certainly shouldn't be macking with the guy.  About halfway through this novel, I started to lose interest.  By the end, I didn't even know what the heck was going on anymore, but I also didn't care.  It could have been awesome, and the cover sure drew me in, but this novel unraveled at the seams and blew apart into a million pieces.

07 May 2016

The Crown

Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #5
Rating: 1.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

"I shouldn't laugh."
"And yet you do."  I brushed the crumbs off my dress.  "It makes me feel like I was predestined to become a brat."

Oh, so that's why she's so bratty and annoying.  Good to know.

It's hard to decide who I am more upset with, Kiera Cass or myself.  After my lackluster read and review of the last addition to this "trilogy", I shouldn't even have bothered with the latest escapades in Eadlyn's life .  But then, blast it all, I saw the cover and, just like with the last book, I thought 'You know what, I'll give it a try'.  And you know what?  I think I'm finally done being a masochist when it comes to Cass.  After this novel, I believe I've officially given up on Kiera Cass.

The Selection series is a classic example of milking the metaphorical cash cow.  The first three were nothing rave worthy, but they were a nice guilty pleasure, though at times I got so frustrated I wanted to throw them out the window.  Well, The Crown takes that feeling and turns it up to eleven.  Not only do I feel like Cass is rewriting the first three novels in this series over again, but - can you believe it - Eadlyn is even more annoying that America was.  And, just like the first time around, I've reached the point in the series where the plot goes completely off the rails and Cass proves, yet again, that she can't seem to string along a decent plot for an entire series.

The Crown feels like a disjointed disaster.  We start off with Eadlyn narrowing her Selection down to six for the Elite (yes, you guessed it, JUST LIKE HER FATHER DID IN THE FIRST SELECTION).  And while it is nice to add a subplot of concerning for her mother while she acts as regent, everything about that portion of the plot feels so cheesy.  So not only is Eadlyn annoying at times, but when she's actually likable, the dialogue and inner monologue are so campy that she feels too fictional to relate to, like she'll never escape the pages of the novel.  And the rest of the novel isn't written any better.  There are a lot of cringe worthy sentences in this one, and I had to skin read the last forty pages or so because I was just over it this time.

And then, to make matters worse, Cass adds Erik and Marid to the mix.  Since she doesn't have enough romantic drama already brewing, let's throw in two more guys not even in the Selection that she can angst over.  Good grief, Charlie Brown.  And what does that remind me of?  Oh, that's right.  America and Aspen.  Seriously, I've read this novel before.  Except everything feels twice as forced and unnatural this second time around.  And I'm officially done with it.

06 May 2016

Outlander

Author: Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander #1
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Full disclosure, I tend to cringe when I hear the words "historical romance novel".  It brings to mind steamy novels with no plot and no real purpose other than written porn.  That being said, I love historical novels, especially medieval era novels.  So Highlanders in kilts running around the Scottish hillside fighting with the Brits and talking in funny accents while they slash their swords at each other?  Um, YES PLEASE.

I actually saw the first (half of the first) season of this show before picking up the novel or having any idea what the premise was.  I found the soundtrack on Amazon Prime while searching for Bear McCreary and saw the cover of a guy in a kilt and a gal in a pretty dress and decided why yes, I need to watch this.  And so it went.

This book took me for bloody ever to read.  It's one of the longest books I've ever read and even though I knew the premise of the plot by watching the television show first, it's a difficult book to speed read because I love the accents (or at least how I pronounce them in my head).  There is quite a bit of sex in this novel, and those parts I was able to speed read though for the most part they aren't too lengthy.  I think my fundamental issue is that there is all this other stuff going on!  Jamie is trying to prove that he did not commit the crime he was charged with so that the price on his head can be nullified.  Some of them are working secretly trying to overthrow the crown.  Claire is trying to figure out how to get back home to Frank.  And the Brits are constantly stirring up trouble.  And yet everyone is bonking like rabbits!  Seems like they ought to be a little more concerned about the other matters on hand.  But I guess it was the time period.  When you live your life everyday not knowing if you'll see the sun tomorrow, you'll take what you can get, thank you very much.

Copious amounts of sex aside, I rather enjoyed Outlander.  Jamie is equally parts totally adorable and utterly frustrating.  I feel for Claire as she's dealing with him on almost a daily basis.  And even the minor characters in the novel are engaging and likable.  Claire is a strong, independent woman not afraid to take care of herself and stand up for herself.  A wartime nurse, she brings a lot of knowledge and talent to her character and makes me grateful that I, for one, have never 1) gotten sick back in the day when it almost surely meant you were going to either lose a limb or die and 2) have never gone through a time portal and thrust into a world two hundred years old where I have no sodding idea what in the world was going on.

It's hard to believe, but the entire first season (SIXTEEN HOURS) of this show follows the plot of this first installment of the series alone.  And since I cut the cord with cable long ago and don't feel like paying absorbent amounts for add on subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. it will be November at the earliest before I get to see the show again (although after as much Jack Randall as I had to deal with in this first novel, I'm thinking that might be a good thing).  Until then, I'm hoping to get through the next book or so to see where Claire goes from here.

01 May 2016

Dark Inside

Author: Jeyn Roberts
Series: Dark Inside #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Roberts writes an extremely fast paced and easy to read novel, but Dark Inside does not leave a lasting impression.  As soon as I finished the last sentence, I was ready to put it down and go to sleep.  It did not keep me up pondering the tragedy of the human condition.  I didn't take away any deep, lasting meaning or feel much of a social commentary on human nature that this book is primed for.  Inside, it is a light weight young adult novel to devour in an afternoon.

The characters, unfortunately, are as swallow as the plot.  Mason is the only character that gripped me in the slightest.  Apart from Clementine's relationship with her brother, which is vastly underdeveloped but ripe for angst and tear dropping sadness.  At times, I think Roberts tries to be deep, but she misses the mark by a mile.  On the opposite side, her attempts at comic relief are also poorly timed, making the "humorous" remarks almost offensive.

Since I already have the next installment from the library sitting on my bookcase, I'll probably bang it out this weekend.  But it's not a series I'm going to gush about to a friend, or probably mention at all, especially since Roberts makes no attempt to explain what happened to cause everyone to go crae-crae in the first place, or why only a certain handful of people weren't affected.