Review: Rush by Eve Silver

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Author via YA Bound Book Tours
Series: The Game, #1
Genre(s): Sci-fi
Synopsis from Goodreads:

So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

my rambles

Special thanks to Eve Silver and YA Bound Book Tours for providing me a copy of this book for review!

Wow, Rush was an action-packed, adventure-filled, rollercoaster of a thrill ride. Super fast paced, it didn’t at all lack in the “cool” department. Unlike anything I’ve ever read before, Rush pulled me (if you’ve read the book you’ll get the pun) into an alternate universe filled with aliens and tons of excitement!

But while the action scenes were so entertaining, and a highlight of the book, I felt that other parts fell short. The first was the worldbuilding of the game. I would have loved to have learned more about the history of the Drau and their invasion of other planets. Also just their motives for their predatory nature and behaviors. What caused them to be this way? It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing about the book, but I definitely am intrigued by these creatures and the world.

Another was the romance. Originally, I thought that this book would turn into the typical YA love triangle, but thank goodness I was wrong. But, unfortunately the romance turned out to be between Miki, the main character, and the guy that I didn’t care for too much: Jackson. I felt like the romance between them was overly rushed, and I didn’t really get the chemistry that was supposed to be felt between them. I found it a bit cheesy and unrealistic. Miki’s thoughts about Jackson seemed way premature for the amount of time they spent together, no matter how emotionally difficult what they went through together was. I will admit thought, I found him to be very mysterious and very attractive…

But while these things did annoy me at some points, they didn’t take too much away from the story. I remained engaged and interested in the story. I’m excited to check out the next book in the series and really hope that we get to learn more about the Drau, the game, the committee, and just more about the story in general.

Gamers, action-lovers, thrill-seekers, and anyone who loves a fun sci-fi will be sure to enjoy Rush!

xo

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Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Pages: 452
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #2
Genre(s): Retelling, Sci-fi
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison—even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive if she does—in this second installment from Marissa Meyer.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.

Oh my gosh. This book. I actually only think I put this book down to sleep and eat. I thought that Cinder was pretty good. I read it about a year and a half ago and gave it a five star rating on Goodreads. But, looking back I would drop it down to more like a 4, because, Scarlet took me on a freaking amazing rollercoaster ride. Marissa Meyer’s story in Scarlet was ten times better than in Cinder. I flew through this book, and now I have a book hangover.

I’ll admit that I was nervous going into Scarlet. I don’t like it when authors introduce new characters after the first book in the series. You see, I get attached to the original characters from book one, and form a shield against the new additions. I’m a loyal fangirl. But after reading just pages from newbie Scarlet’s perspective I knew I was going to love her. She’s fierce, feisty, and fiery, and I loved her personality.

Marissa Meyer did an amazing job of telling the stories of both Cinder and Scarlet, gradually weaving them together, and toward the end having them cross paths, leading into the next book. The few interactions that they had together were very enjoyable to read, and I look forward to reading more of the two of them together.

Speaking of interactions, I was happy to see the return of Iko! She was one of my favorite characters from Cinder, and having her back in Scarlet was awesome. She’s so funny, and is even more so in Scarlet. Their friendship is one of my favorite ever. Along with the return of Iko, there was the introduction of a couple new guys into the story, both of which I both adored. First we have Wolf – big, broody, and smoldering. Then there’s Thorne – egotistical, amazingly good-looking, and hilarious. Wolf and Scarlet’s relationship is definitely one that made me giggle, fangirl and smile uncontrollably. *swoons* As for Thorne, him and Cinder’s banter is priceless and I love the team that the two of them make. I can’t wait to see how their friendship progresses in the next book.

As for the story itself, there were so many reveals and tons of action! There wasn’t one thing that I didn’t love about Scarlet. So, overall, if you’ve read Cinder, Scarlet is a MUST read. The story just keeps getting better and better page by page. And if you haven’t started this series yet, I highly recommend that you do! It’s retellings like you’ve never seen them before.

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

This review will contain minor spoilers, but will be marked before and after for those of you yet to read the book! 😉

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Pages: 375
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Series: The Maze Runner, #1
Genre(s): Dystopian, Sci-fi
Synopsis from Goodreads:

“If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.”

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers–boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out–and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

How have I not read this book before now?! That’s what I’ve been asking myself ever since I started reading The Maze Runner. Can I just say how awesome I thought it was?!

I was told to go into this one with low expectations, which I admit made me nervous. But even with everyone’s warnings, I couldn’t really change my level of excitement and expectations. They were already there after hearing about the book numerous times, and of course watching the various movie trailers that have been released for the upcoming film. Oh and Dylan O’brien is playing Thomas. So yeah, there’s that.

Get back to the book, Emily…

But oh my goodness, I had a blast reading this one. It was intense, adventurous and filled with excitement. The fact that it was told from a male’s POV was refreshing because I don’t read many books told solely from a guy’s perspective. I really enjoyed the interactions between the Gladers. And of course the whole idea for The Maze Runner was so unique for a sci-fi/dystopian book. It wasn’t like anything else I’ve read in the genre.

***MINOR SPOILERS***

 What I thought made The Maze Runner different than all the rest was the fact that it was more of a survival story. Sure, there is a corrupt government or group (not sure yet), but for pretty much the whole book the Gladers are just trying to survive, not battle the Creators or try to stop them.

***END MINOR SPOILERS***

I found The Maze Runner a difficult book to give a rating. I enjoyed it immensely, but there were just a few things that I wasn’t a huge fan of. The Glader “slang” kind of got on my nerves. It seemed to me like a way in which the author allowed the characters to use bad language without really using bad language. For example “shank” and “shuck,” as alternatives to other words you can probably figure out. But other than that, I found the book to be a solid read.

One thing that I heard prior to reading was that there was no romance. I was nervous about that going in. Now, I’m a romance girl, but I didn’t miss it at all. I don’t think you will either.

All in all, The Maze Runner was action-packed and adventurous, filled with a little sarcastic humor, making it a wonderful read!

Review: Some Fine Day by Kat Ross

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Release Date: July 1, 2014

Pages: 384

Format: eARC

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Series: N/A

Genre(s): Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic, Sci-fi

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist is on the verge of graduating from the black ops factory known as the Academy. She’s smart and deadly, and knows three things with absolute certainty:
1. When the world flooded and civilization retreated deep underground, there was no one left on the surface.
2. The only species to thrive there are the toads, a primate/amphibian hybrid with a serious mean streak.
3. There’s no place on Earth where you can hide from the hypercanes, continent-sized storms that have raged for decades.
Jansin has been lied to. On all counts.

Special thanks to Strange Chemistry and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

I have very neutral feelings regarding Some Fine Day. I neither loved it nor hated it, and don’t have much to say for that reason.

The author immediately throws you into the story, with very little development that is needed and that I look for in a good post-apocalyptic sci-fi book. It moved a little too fast and felt a bit rushed. The background surrounding the world, characters, government, weather, etc. is very lacking and I would have liked to read more about it. Pretty much the only hints about the world “before” were from tidbits at the beginning of chapters.

As for the character’s relationships, they too felt rushed and lacked development. I think this was partially because of the pacing problems. It’s difficult to sense just how much time has elapsed between certain events.

The second half of the book gets better, though. I enjoyed the last hundred pages or so more than the first ones. The end is where you get to the heart of the story, with the most action, better reveals and altogether better storyline and writing.

The ending was left wide open, so I’m thinking there might be a sequel?! I really like the way the book ended, and I think that this book would be better if there is a sequel. I feel like it would give the author a chance to redeem herself by developing the history of the world more. World building is a huge part of post-apocalyptic and sci-fi books, so when it’s lacking it’s easily noticeable.

This may seem like a pretty negative review, but I did enjoy the book. It’s definitely not a favorite, but like I said in the beginning of my review, I was pretty neutral. The good parts helped to cancel out the bad and developmental issues leaving me feeling pretty “meh” about Some Fine Day.

EDIT: Since reading and reviewing this book it has been announced that Strange Chemistry, the YA imprint of Angry Robot Books is to be shut down and will not be publishing any more books. I am so sad and wish all of the authors affected by this the best. You can read the official announcement here.

Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

18242896Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: April 8, 2014

Pages: 288

Format: eARC

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Series: N/A

Genre(s): Dystopian, Sci-fi, Romance

Synopsis from Goodreads:

An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world … if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. 

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. 

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves. 

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.

Continue reading “Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares”