The girl with all the gifts by M. R. Carey book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

CqdP4L3WAAA6VMk
I need to learn how to take better pictures. -_-

Initial thoughts

This blurb immediately had my attention. Short, sweet and hooked. Along with the fact, that the bookish community loved this book!

Writing

The beginning of the book was crammed with telling me stuff, I remember thinking, “I hope it isn’t like this all the time.”

Thankfully, it wasn’t. The book got into its rhythm and showed instead of told me. I liked the switches of POV between the main characters. Although, I’d preferred more in Melanie’s POV because I believed her to be the MAIN character.

The sciencey bits went over my head and some of the words choices were unnecessarily complicated.

Plot

This book is labelled as a thriller all over the book, but it didn’t read that way to me. It’s a familiar post-apocalyptic plot, told differently. I kind of wanted it to delve further into what was presented at the beginning and tension from the beginning dwindled away by the middle. 

This is most definitely a stand alone, it’s all wrapped up by the end, and it seems unlikely of a sequel, but there are a few plot threads I wanted to learn more about. The ending was excellent though.

Characters

The characters are the best thing about the novel. They are incredibly well-rounded. A few started almost like ‘cliche’ characters, but were revealed not to be. (Their story arcs were predictable though.)

By far, my favourite character was Parks. 

Overall thoughts

*Sigh* Me and Standalone’s have a love/hate relationship. I wanted MOAR. But, I find standalone’s always tell a story in a unique way with a message that always has me quiet and thinking when I finished it. 

I was disappointed that a few things were never addressed or used after being introduced, but I enjoyed the plot, the ending and the characters.


Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? Yes

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


Similar reviews

6576785  download (7) 25733548


Goodreads / Twitter

 

Weekly update

What I read last week

Mudman by James A. Hunter

29360820

By far my favourite thing about this book is the main character, Levi. Has to be one of my favourite character’s of the year. 4/6


Usually, I read at least two books a week, but, wow, I’ve had a slumpy week. I’ve not wanted to read anything. I think it’s going around. Many of my bookish friends online seem to be in slump mode! :/

So, things I do to get out of a slump:

(There are many ways to get out of a slump, but here’s a few that work for me.)

  • Go for a walk/ exercise.

Sometime being cooped up without moving makes me feel crappy. A short walk in the fresh air does wonders and I come back motivated, whether that’s to read or other stuff!

  • Re-read an old favourite/ An ‘easy’ read

Some books are knife wielding serial killers who stab you right in the feels. When I’m in a slump, this is not generally the kind of book I want to read. I want something that uses simple language and tells a light tale. Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett are those kind of author’s for me. Fun, fantasy tales. (Although, TP can lay on the angst. ;-;)

Manga’s/graphic novels are great for this too!

  • Push through it

Sometimes, if I know that the reason I’m not enjoying a book is because of a slump and not because it sucks, I push through it. Many times, I eventually settle into the story and it can pull me out of the slump.

  • Do something else creative

Sometimes I feel the need to be creative myself rather than burying myself in someone else’s wonderful creativity. 

  • Go on twitter and see how excited other bookish peeps are

Excitement is contagious. Often I discover books through people talking about them, (or talking about books I want to read.) It makes me want to read and fangirl about them!

  • Buy a new precious!

Not exactly cost effective, but occasionally just buying a new book that’s caught my eye, which I immediately begin reading and devouring is a great cure for a slump! You can always go bargain hunting in charity shops for books too! 

Hope these help for anyone in a slump. If you do something else when in a slump then let me know! 


What I’m reading this week

I have started, and would like to finish these two books: 

15758535

A sci fi, dystopian novella. A discovered this by reading this book review. It’s also christian fiction, something I’ve not delved into before, so it’ll be interesting to see a dystopian twist on that.

29409983

A middle-grade, fantasy, horror WHICH HAS A WESTIE IN IT! *Ahem* I’ve read the first chapter or two and I’m hooked so far. (Also that book cover is gorgeous!!)

I also plan to read:

2

That’s Charming is a whimsical fantasy/adventure novel with sprinklings of humour for a middle grade audience which was shortlisted for the 2012 Guardian/Hot Key Books Young Writers Prize.

This is written by fellow blogger, Heather Lawson. You can find more about the book at its own blog here(you can read the first chapter free here!)and here. (Super gorgeous art on there. Check it out.)

So far, I’ve read the first two chapters and cannot wait to get my hands on the rest! Those two chapters, have helped immensely to end my book slump. 


Twitter / Goodreads

Weekly update

Seriously, what’s up with the weather?! Today may be the first dry day of the last two weeks!

I’m having to do this post on my iPad because my laptop charger died on me. Let’s see how we do!

What I read last week

Library of souls by Ransom Riggs 

24120519

So, I finally finished this trilogy. I thought it was a solid series, but this last book was a little underwhelming. I think the climax came too soon. It may have needed another book before ending. 3/5 

Lock in by John Scalzi

21418013

This is one of those easy read were you can relax and enjoy it without having to think too much. 4/5


What I’m reading this week

Swallows and amazons by Arthur Ransome

image

I grew up watching the film and this is a very important book from my Dad’s childhood. He actually went and visited the place where it was set.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

image

I’d seen the film a long, long, looong time ago. And, after reading The fireman by Joe Hill, it reminded me of this book as Joe Hill mentions it. (I think.) It’s also part of the sf masterworks challenge I set for myself. (Again, I think.)


 

So, what have you been reading? And what do you plan to read this week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lock in by John Scalzi book review

Note: This review is spoiler free!

21418013

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent – and nearly five million souls in the United States alone – the disease causes “Lock In”: Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “integrator” – someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.

But “complicated” doesn’t begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery – and the real crime – is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It’s nothing you could have expected.

Initial thoughts

I had previously read a stand alone Redshirts by John Scalzi and, while I was disappointed by it, I liked the writing style and where he had been going with it. In the end, I kept an eye out for other books by him.

I spotted this at the library, (as I’m sure most of you know), and the blurb is SUPER interesting.

Writing

I really like the simplistic style of John Scalzi’s writing. I’m a simple kinda gal! (Although, I do like the occasional foray into more ‘complicated’ books). It’s written in first person and Scalzi does a good job of making sure that doesn’t feel too restrictive.

Plot

The world that the story is set in is it’s most fascinating aspect. It didn’t feel used to its full potential. The mystery I felt was solved a bit too conveniently and I didn’t feel the cost of not solving it. They were there, but I just didn’t feel it.

Characters

There is a diverse array of characters in this novel. They were all enjoyable even though we didn’t really get to know them. One of the most interesting to me was the main character’s Dad. He was cliche, but not cliche. 

And speaking of cliche, the main character’s partner only got away from being the most cliche character because she’s likeable. 

Overall thoughts

An interesting world with a lackluster representation of it and plot. It was entertaining enough and I liked the ride enough that I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next book. (Expected publication 2017!)

It’s one of those easy reads that you can relax into.

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


Similar reviews

13055592  6696927


Twitter / Goodreads

I am a book depository affiliate, using my link earns me a small commission! Combustible reviews book depository link.

Four books I’ve recently DNF’d and why

It’s a rare thing for me to DNF a book, not because I feel bad about not finishing it, but because, even if I’m not enjoying it, I think, what if the ending is soooo good and worth it?! And I miss out?!

So, let’s start!

Zom-B by Darren Shan

download (5)

I listened to the audio of this. (Although, I did read a few pages too because I wanted to compare as it was my first time listening to an audio book.) I got 10 chapters in and decided that I couldn’t take anymore. Here are my reasons.

 x  I really couldn’t stand the main character. Yes, I got why he acted the way he did. He’s actually a very realistic character, but, ugh, I couldn’t put up with him for one book, let alone, from what I’ve read, a very long series. He was the main reason that I went, NOPE!

x I picked this up because I love me some zombies. There was prologue, but that was it for the next 10 chapters. This book, up to that point, focused on racism. It was awful. I couldn’t deal with the character behaviours in this and, as I said, picked it up for a zombie story.

I have read that, while this book isn’t too good, (I.E. Too much setting up for the rest of the series), that the next books are good. Leaves me torn. :/


The deep by John Crowley

18215561

This is part of the SF masterworks list so I’m not 100% DNFing it, just putting it aside for a long, long…long time. I got about 40 odd pages into this 170 odd page book. And I never figured out who was who or what the heck was going on. Just thrown in to the deep end, unable to swim and no armbands.


The sandman by Lars Kepler

22336693

It’s actually is and isn’t this books fault that I DNF’d it. Crime readers who love books that build up the tension will most likely LOVE this. I, however, have learnt that I am a scaredy cat. The suspense was too much for me and it read so real, that it scared the heck out of me. So, yah, really it was my fault.


Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson

21243216.jpg

 

I got to around 30 pages in this book and I’m pretty sure it’s over 300 pages and it managed to get me to roll my eyes so many times in so few pages. The main character was irritating as well, the love interest and the plot were obvious and cliche.

It’s YA dystopian which I like, but this seemed so much like a mash up of Divergent and The hunger games. I read the first of those book series and wasn’t particularly enthused so something that was heavily inspired by them was not something I was willing to give a try. So, those who like those books may like this.


Any books you’ve recently DNF’d? Or have you read and enjoyed any of these books?

Twitter / Goodreads


Book reviews

13611052    9251500  8621462  9460487

 

Weekly update

Ugh. I’m ill. -_- Not majorly though. A cold that’s now gone and been replaced with a sore throat and cough that I started taking medicine waaay before it revealed itself because I knew it was. Lurking. What a douche. 

ANYWAY!

What I read last week

Do not disturb by A. R. Torre

18712934

Was not a fan. It took so long to get to the ‘action/conflict’, if you can call it that. It reads like a fan service to the main character. 2/6

Life, the universe and everything by Douglas Adams

823659

Third in the series. I enjoyed it. It was zany. Plot was there, but not that important, more like fun times and puns. 4/6


I also started two other books this week and then proceeded to DNF them. Jeez, I’ve had a sucky reading week!

I’m going to do a post on some of the books, including these two, that I’ve recently DNF’d and why I chose to do so.


What I’m reading this week

I still have Fool moon by Jim Butcher and Lock in by John Scalzi on loan from the library so I’ll be reading them. Although, at the minute, I’m reading Castle in the air by Diana Wynne Jones.

I also plan to read the resident evil novels, both the S. D. Perry books and the movie novelizations. Not sure which I’ll read first. If anyone wants to readalong with me, I’ll tweet out a few days in advance when I’m starting. Most likely July area. 

I also reeeeeaaaaallly want to read The hollow city  by Ransom Riggs, like, now, but I have a lot of books already on my shelves that I suppose I ought to read first… -_-

I considered doing something a little more structured, but, I didn’t know if there’d be much interested in it. Maybe, if there is, I may. Lemme know if you are interested!

Twitter  / Goodreads

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my other blog where I, along with my two co-bloggers, bring you upcoming book releases! If you know of one, or have one coming out, then let us know!

 

The life, the universe and everything by Douglas Adams book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

823659.jpg

The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads–so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.

They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vice president of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-president of the galazy; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.

Initial thoughts

This is the third book in a trilogy of five, (Although, there’s another by Eoin Colfer). I read the first and enjoyed it, didn’t enjoy the second.

I always planned to read the entire series. It’s kind of like those books that needed to be read. Still, I was wary about whether it was going to be like the second. 

Writing

No one can deny that Douglas Adams is an excellent writer,( or maybe you can and will), there is a reason why he’s so popular, so well known. I love the style of description. He uses unusual describing words. Seriously, where does he come up with them?

Plot

Honestly? There’s plot, but…it’s so zany. I  would’ve like a little more plot, but this book is more humour than plot. It’s creative and fun. I enjoyed it. It succeeded where the second failed.

While reading this, you spend most of your time reading it in the same state of mind as Arthur Dent.

Characters

I love Arthur and Marvin. Those are my two favourite characters. (I read Marvin’s in Alan Rickman’s voice.) All the character’s are brilliant. Their personalities shine through, but there’s not much development in this book. They just sail along for the ride. 

Overall thoughts

I’m not sure where this book series is going. They seem to jump from one adventure to another without a main goal their working toward/against. Still, I’m enjoying it. They’re all quick read. To me, Douglas Adams is the sci fi version of Terry Pratchett. (I do prefer TP’s books though. More plot.)

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? Yes

Would I read this author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


Similar reviews

RestaurantAtTheEndOfTheUniverse  797189  13055592

Twitter / Goodreads

Weekly update

First off, Happy Father’s day to all the amazing father’s, (and father figures), out there! Keep on being awesome. 

OK, now onto the update!


What I read last week

The fireman by Joe Hill

20927079

I think I’ve mentioned before how much of a chunker this book is. I read it for #tometopple. It’s good writing, I enjoyed it, but was also disappointed by it. In fact, along with the usual spoiler free review, I wrote a discussion post. (Warning: Spoilers.) I gave the book 4/6.

Redshirts by John Scalzi

13055592

Another book that I enjoyed, but was also disappointed by. It had a Star trek humorous take, and I like Star trek and also like humorous tones too. I’d heard good things and had been excited to read it. Expectations was given a slimy fish slap by reality. 3/6

I’ve also read Do not disturb by A. R. Torre, and Life, the universe and everything by Douglas Adams. They’ll be reviewed this week on Wednesday and Saturday.

Wow, read a lot this week! (I am two away from having read 50 of my 100 goodreads goal!) Whoot! What have you read? 


What I’m reading this week

Fool moon, Lock in, and The deep are library books so they get priority. The deep and Earth abides are part of the SF Masterworks list which I’ve set a goal to read all of them. Whether I get all these read remains to be seen. I’m most looking forward to reading Lock in. 

It looks as if I’m in a apocalyptic/Dystopian reading mood. (Besides Fool moon which is urban fantasy).

Anyone else currently in a specific genre kind of reading mood?


Similar reviews

16101128  27478956  797189  cover_rr  RestaurantAtTheEndOfTheUniverse  20640318

Twitter / Goodreads

Redshirts by John Scalzi book review

spf.png

13055592

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that:
(1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces
(2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations
(3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.


Initial thoughts

I love a bit of Star trek, nothing better than a nonsense science fiction TV show when you want to relax, so a book that takes a humorous slant on that? YES PLEASE.

Writing

I don’t know if I was in some weird mood, but I have never been so annoyed by the use of he said, she said, for every piece of dialogue, even the pieces that didn’t need it because you knew who was talking! UGH. My eyes eventually starting subconciously skipping them at times.

Other than that, it was really well written. Good description and good dialogue, (except for…well, you know.)

Plot

The set up was brilliantly done, that I was practically drooling. I thought, ‘I’m going to love this book.’ 

Wrong. 

What happened to the plot? It was a great plot and then it veered off course, becoming cliche, and wrapped up waaaaay too quickly. I read, slack jawed and in disbelief. Everything happened waaaay too fast. The ending is incredibly abrupt too. I was not impressed.

We didn’t get the chance to explore the setting or character procession and I didn’t like the shift in plot in the second half. I’m so, so, so, so, sad about this. 

Characters

I think the Author took the character’s roles too far. In the book, the whole thing is they’re redshirts, essentially extras, (like in a TV show), and that’s how we got them. There wasn’t much in-depth character building. They had their roles to play and that was it. A shame, because what I read, I liked. 

Overall thoughts

I’m so sad about this book. It had SUCH POTENTIAL! It started great and I was convinced just from the first two pages that I was going to love it. But then things started happening at warp 10 and I didn’t get a chance to explore and enjoy the view. 

I enjoyed the style and the plot idea, but the direction it took was disappointing and not fleshed out enough. It was good enough that I’ll be checking the Author’s other work out.

Was it worth the read? No

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 3 grey


 Similar reviews

1125887  833420  RestaurantAtTheEndOfTheUniverse

The fireman by Joe Hill book review

Note: This is a spoiler free book review! To see the discussion post, (complete with spoilers), go here.

20927079

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

Initial thoughts

This is the first Joe Hill book I’ve read and I was pretty excited. The plot was right up my alley! My biggest wonder was whether it needed over 700 pages to tell the story. 

Writing

I really enjoyed the writing. It was well written, simple, but with some great descriptive writing. The pace of the writing was a little slow. 

Plot

Honestly? The plot was not that unique. It followed a pretty much set pattern. The dragonscale, which is what everyone was infected with was more a backdrop for the people’s actions and reactions. It gave the scene. It’s in Harper’s viewpoint, but I think it could’ve done with a second viewpoint from someone who is uninfected, Jakob would’ve been great so we could’ve seen what was happening from their side of the pond.

Characters

After finishing it, I was surprised that, after over 700 pages, I didn’t really know the characters that much. There was enough to keep me invested in them, particularly Harper.

I loved Renee, Allie and Nick too. Some of them, while well written, felt a little cliche. You had the kindly older lady, the rebellious teen, the hero who hides his pain under a mask and a few more.

Overall thoughts

I enjoyed it. There was never a point where I was desperate to be over because it was well written. BUT. I’m struggling to see why it needed over 700 pages to tell this story. The build up often took so long that the pay off couldn’t match up to it. 

P.S Be sure to check out the pages after the book’s finished as their half a page of extra story hidden in there!

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey

Have you read it? What did you think?

Goodreads / Twitter


Similar reviews

download (3)  6576785  1204377125733548