Angels have descended to the earth and the apocalypse is here. Street gangs rule the day while fear rules the night. Fear from creatures like Angels. Penryn has one goal only, to stay alive and to help her family survive. She must be the strong one because her mother is mentally ill and her sister is in a wheel chair. Not the best of conditions to stay their ground in the angel apocalypse. Of course something happens to Penryns sister. She gets taken by Angels and now Penryn has to save her. She does this with the help of a fallen Angel who got his wings cut off by other Angels. She saves his life and pressures him into helping her find her sister.
So this premise of Angelfall by Susan Ee seems not really my thing. I mean come on an angel book? And another girl fighting for her life and the life of her sister? Not really a new thing. But the book got amazing reviews on Goodreads so I checked it out. It also helps that it is under 300 pages long. Turns out that’s a bad thing because this book could have used some extra pages. For me Angelfall was awful. I could not get into it and had a hard time finishing this tiny book. There was no world building besides the fact that Angels are killing humans on earth. That was it. All the world building is in the synopsis. Penryn is travelling with an Angel nearly the whole book and she is asking questions like: What are you guys doing here? What do you want on earth? And so on. But she gets nothing. No answers NOTHING. Well maybe all the answers will be revealed n the end, I tell myself. But that’s not the chase. There are no answers in this book, no closure and hardly any plot at all. Everything you need to know is in this synopsis. There is no character development there is just action scene after action scene that has nothing to do with this so called plot.
When I thought the book can’t get worse there it is, the forbidden love, because humans and angels do not mix. Penryn and her angel Rafe have no chemistry what so ever. They start out hating each other but suddenly they are in love? Seriously, I can’t take this. So please tell me why everybody loves this book so much? Is it because the plot is so predictable and stupid that it is easy to read? Or is it because there is only action and you do not have to get involved with the characters and the plot? I just don’t get it and I heard that there are also no explanations in the second book. Maybe I just read too many dystopian books and am now too picky but this did nothing for me. Maybe I just don’t like angel books. I hardly got through. So no, I will not continue this series.
“When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.” Goodreads
The Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken is a dystopian fiction book series about kids who are the only survivors of a deadly plaque and have now developed dangerous abilities. The gouvernment of the US has no idea how to deal with them so he puts them into so called rehabilitation camps where the kids get tortured and killed.
The Darkest Minds
Ruby is now 16 and since she is 10 she lives at Thurmond, a camp for teens who developed abilities. Ruby is a green which means she is highly intelligent. Or so it seems. One day she collapses and wakes up in the hospital wing where a doctor helps her escape. Turns out Ruby is not a green but an orange. She can manipulate people’s minds and is highly dangerous. She gets rescued be the Children’s League who want to use her in their fight against the government. But Ruby has a bad feeling and after discovering something horrible she flees from the League and finds three kids in a van. Liam, Chuck and Zu help Ruby and now they are on the run together. They are searching for East River, a safe location for kids like them. On the way their Liam and Ruby get closer and fall in love.
This was an action packed first book and I loved the characters. The best scenes where definitely the ones with the four kids together in the van. I also liked the setup of the story and I was really invested in getting to know more about the disease and the abilities. For me this was a great and fast read and even if there is not that much world building it was enough for a first book. The end was a little bit cliché because how often have we seen the heroine sacrificing herself to safe the others. But asides from that this seemed like a series I could really love. Turns out I was wrong.
Never Fade picks up where The Darkest Minds left off. Ruby is now with the League and tries to find Liam because he ha curtail information for overthrowing the government. Even if there is action in this book it was boring and long for me. There were so many new characters that I didn’t care about and it was clear that this one character would die. The writing was not my thing. I thought it was all over the place and it was hard to understand the more chaotic scenes. Not because they were so complex but because there was so much description, too much because I zoned out often. The writing was also chaotic and confusing at times. But I was still kind of invested in the story and liked Ruby and Liam. So I just hoped the third book will be better and the ending will be a fulminate finale. I was so wrong.
In the Afterlight
This novel was so long and the ending was still too quickly warped up. How can this happen with an over 500 page book? After Never Fade I hoped I was just in a bad mood when I read it but this book was so boring. There are chapters that only describe the rooms where the kids are living and who is on what duty. Who cares? I want to know how it all ends. Finally after hundreds of pages they get to recue Ruby’s camp and that were some great scenes. I loved that Clancy was back and that he screwed them over again. But asides from that the book was boring. I wanted to see what will happen after the rescue. There is a press conference that got my hopes up. There they discussing the future of the kids with powers but nothing get resolved. I get that the government will be reluctant to open the camps but why not stand up for yourselves? Instead they are going on a road trip together? I get why they are doing it but there are so many things not resolved in this novel. It would have been so much better if there were less description and less fighting between Liam and Ruby and instead Alexandra Bracken showed us what her vision for this new America would be. But she takes the easy way out and shows us only that there will be negotiations between the kids and the government. I’m sorry but this is just not enough.
The Selection is a dystopian trilogy by Kiera Cass. It is about a young girl, America Singer who has to compete in a competition to win prince Maxon’s heart. The second book in The Selection trilogy is titled The Elite and the finale one is titled The One. There is also another book soon to be released in 2015 that is called The Heir. It is set some years after the events of the three books and also deals with a selection.
In the country of Ilea a prince has to choose his wife through the selection. 45 girls are chosen to compete in the selection. One will win and this girl will be the new princess of Ilea. It is also a way to escape the life laid out for the girls by their birth. But for America Singer, being selected is a nightmare. She has to leave her beloved family and her boyfriend Aspen behind. She does not care to become princess but America’s family is not wealthy and so she tries to stay in the competition to provide for her family. When she meets prince Maxon she starts to question her plans and thinking about a much bigger future than she would ever imagine.
I questioned for a long time if I should read this books because they got mixed reviews and the synopsis did not sound promising for me. It looked like a teenage version of the Bachelor with a prince instead of a rich man. But after some thought I read the books because they are really short and I’m a sucker for a good love story. The first book was fun to read. There was some world building and the world of Ilea with the different casts was interesting enough to keep me reading. America was okay in this book. I did not love her but she was okay. Her boyfriend Aspen was just annoying. He was way too proud and just frustrating. Then there is prince Maxon who was surprisingly refreshing. He was handsome but inexperienced with woman which is realistic because he never could date anyone. So he was not a know it all which was great. My problem with this first book was that I did not connect with the characters or the story. I also thought that there would be more drama between the girls in the selection. But I flew through this book and it was fun to read.
The Selection is still running but now there are fewer girls and America is one of them. But she is not sure if she is cut out to be a princess and live as a one. She also can’t decide for whom she has more feelings, Aspen or Maxon.
After reading The Selection I immediately started The Elite and was grandly disappointed. This book was awful. I started to hate America. She was like a wining little girl. And she acted like a complete idiot, never thinking once before doing or saying something. It was so frustrating to read. I could not believe how annoying America was acting. Worst of all, she still could not decide if she wanted to be with Aspen or Maxon. America is just a spoiled and selfish child that is used to get what she wants. And everything she says and does is contradictory. She wants to change the world for the better but she does not want to become princess. Everybody kept explaining how intelligent America is but she never does a single intelligent thing. So after reading The Elite I did not know if I would continue with the series. But a lot of people on Twitter and Goodreads kept telling me that it gets better at the end so I pulled through.
After reading two books about prince Maxon’s selection I wondered if they would stretch out the whole choosing of the princess over three books. I was certain that did would not happen and that the last book in this series will deal with the events that will happen after the selection. And I was completely wrong. This book starts out with the selection still going. America finally knows what she wants and does want to fight for it.
But Americas ambitious to get what she wants soon fades and she is her old annoying self again. But this time prince Maxon has learned that it is better to communicate than sulk in silence. So this makes the book a little bit better and helps America doing less stupid things. But she still acts stupid and immature a lot of times. The book was really short and dragged on a lot. Suddenly the ending was rushed and wrapped up way too fast. The back story with Ilea did not fit at all into the plot and was highly predictable. The ending was convenient and illogical. Even if this book was not as bad as The Elite it still was a mess. The way politics are explained is way too easy and there should have been more depth to this part of the story. The Selection books read like a bad fairytale and should have needed much more world building and political context. This is a book trilogy I just can’t recommend.
This November the Unwind Series by Neal Shusterman came to an end. The forth and last book Undivided came out so it is time for a series discussion. The story of the Unwind books takes place in future United States after the Heartland War. In this civil war it was fought over abortion and youth unemployment as a big problem. To end the war a compromise was reached, allowing parents to sign an order for their children between 13 and 18 o be unwound. Unwinding means that all organs of a person are harvested and later transplanted. Technology was developed to harvest and transplant 100% of a person’s body so the argument was that the kids that get unwound are not dying but instead living in a divided state. In addition to unwinding, storking was introduced. Parents who are unable to raise their child can stork them by leaving the child on the porch of another person and the baby becomes this other persons responsibility.
The first book in this series, Unwind, starts with three teens that have been scheduled to be unwound. The first one is Connor. He is your typical bad boy who gets in fights and has a temper. Then there is Risa, she lives in a state home so she is an orphan. The state home needs to make budgets cuts which, is why she should be unwound. The last kid is Lev and he is a tithe. His family believes that 10% of everything they have should be given to God, including their 10th child. On the way to their unwinding Connor runs away and takes Lev as a human shield to get away from the cops. Risa sees her chance and follows the two boys. Now they are AWAL and have to find a way to survive and not get caught.
Unwind starts with little introduction into the world of Neal Shustermans dystopian series. It is soon clear that these books will be fast paced and action packed. There is also a love story but it is not the main focus. In the first book the main focus is on the three kids who try to survive. There are also bits of real newspaper articles about organ donating. This book sets up the whole story of this so called dystology and we get some glimpses that this story may reach deeper than it seems but for now it barley scratches the surface of what is to come. This book is griping and had me on the edge of my seat. Be prepared for a major cliff-hanger. It would be good to have the next book at hand.
If you do not want to get spoiled for Unwind, don’t read any further, because I will be discussion the next three books in the series.
The story of UnWholly sets in immediately after the events of the first book. Because of the revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp unwinding is a much discussed issue and the public cannot turn their back on the problems unwinding is causing. This book shows what a big business unwinding has become and how many corporations and powerful politicians are involved in this industry. Unwinding can’t just be stopped there need to be a lot of events to make change happen. Risa, Connor and Lev still fight for their life, they may be never safe again. And then there is Cam, he is a “human” complete made of unwound organs. The thought alone is terrifying.
UnWholly is a great second novel that starts to explore the depths of this society that is both interesting and terrifying. There are a lot of new characters introduced. Neal Shusterman accomplices to include such a variety of voices and perspectives in this book that you really get a sense for this society and for their problems. Unwinding is looked at from various angles witch I enjoyed very much. There are also a lot of ethical questions that are important for this story. I only had two minor problems with this second book. The love story between Connor and Risa did not work for me. They just have no chemistry what so ever. I also did not like Lev’s storyline. He takes a different path than Connor and Risa. That shows us other parts what other problems unwinding creates but for some reason I could not connect with Lev and did not find his story and his character that interesting.
UnSouled follows the events of UnWholly but the pace of this book picks up rapidly. Connor and Lev are on the run but for the first time they are not running away from something, they seek answers and know where they can find them. This could maybe be the key to bring down unwinding forever. Risa has to deal with Cam and Proactive Citizenry, the corporation that is behind unwinding. This book felt like a bridge between UnWholly and Undivided. Everything leads up to the grand finale. Many plots get established with this book but nearly all of them stay wide open at the end of this book. As expected I UnSouled ends with a major cliff-hanger. This made it hard for me to start with Undivided because I was still disappointed that nothing was resolved in the third book. Some parts of this book dragged and I kind of lost interest in some parts of the story. However it was still a good book and of course you should read it if you want to know how it all ends.
After losing a little bit of its grip the Unwind story had me completely hooked after the first 150 pages. It starts out a little bit slow or at least slow for an Unwind book but then the plot cannot move farther fast enough. We see nearly all characters that were in the previous books. Every character has its purpose within the fight against unwinding and a better future and every character does something completely different to win this fight. I think Neal Shusterman resolved his dystology beautifully. He gave us readers what we wanted but it was still perfectly intertwined in the plot. Nearly all loose ties were wrap up and Connor and Risa’s final challenge was so unexpected I did not envision anything like it. I loved the last scenes especially the ones that state that this is not a happy ending but also not a loss. This ending could have easily seemed to cheesy or to happy but Shusterman made sure that the ending matched the tone of his realistic and horrifying series. I loved how all came together for this ending. There may be some loose ends but for a dystopian story this conclusion was nearly perfect.
Unwind was a unique and compelling read. Shusterman’s version of the future is not at all fiction. It could very well be real which makes the books so much more shocking. Shusterman’s writing is sharp and on point. These books were just so gripping and horrifying I needed to know what will happen next. And in every book there was a lot happening. The plot kept pacing faster and faster nearly racing till the end. I was never bored and every time I thought now there would be some chapters without that much action, something unexpected happens and the action starts again.
Nein ich habe mich hierbei nicht im Buch geirrt, Shades of Grey hat mit dem überbewerteten Romanen von E. L. James nichts gemeinsam, außer die Ähnlichkeit im Titel. Jasper Fforde veröffentlichte seinen ersten Teil der Shades of Grey Buchreihe außerdem 2 Jahre vor James ersten „Werk“.
Bei Ffordes Shades of Grey handelt es sich um einen dystopian Roman, in der die gesellschaftliche Stellung danach gereiht wird, welche Farben ein Mensch sehen kann. Die am höchsten angesehene Farbe ist Violett, am Ende des gesellschaftlichen Spektrums stehen jene, die die Welt bloß in Grauschattierungen wahrnehmen. In der Welt von Chromatacia, folgen wir dem Protagonisten Eddie Russett, der immer rot sieh, und zwar viel mehr als die meisten anderen „Reds“. Eddies Vater, der eine Art Arzt ist, wird in einen Randbezirk von Chromatacia versetzt, und somit findet sich auch Eddie in East Carmine wieder, wo er sich in die „Graue“ Jane verliebt. Doch Eddie sollte eigentlich jemanden heiraten, der seiner Familie Ruhm und Ansehen bringt. Außerdem wird Eddie in eine gefährliche Expedition nach High Saffron geschickt, von wo bis jetzt noch nie jemand zurück kam.
Für mich war es mein erstes Jasper Fforde Buch, der Schreibstil des Briten ist genial, aber gewöhnungsbedürftig. Dieses erste Buch in der Reihe von Shades of Grey, ist größtenteils bloß World Building. Dafür lernen Leser eine unglaublich einfallsreiche und fantastische Welt der Farben kennen, die sehr viele Geheimnisse verbirgt. Erklärt wird dem Leser dabei nichts, man bekommt nach und nach mehr Informationen über die Welt, in die man da eingetaucht ist, und langsam kann man die Puzzelteile zusammensetzten um zu wissen, was gerade vorgeht. All diese Informationen, die anfangs so unwichtig erscheinen, sind gegen Ende des Buches umso essenzieller, um die Handlung zu verstehen. Shades of Grey ist ein ganz besonderes Buch, das Pacing ist zwar mehr als lahm und die eigentlich Handlung beginnt erst auf den letzten paar Kapiteln, aber wenn Jasper Fforde eines kann, dann ist es World Building.
Leider ist bis jetzt kein Veröffentlichungstermin für das nächste Buch in der Reihe, Painting by Numbers bekannt, bis ich dieses Buch in meinen Händen halten kann, wird es wohl noch einige Zeit dauern. Wer also lieber Buchreihen liest, die abgeschlossen sind, seid gewarnt, Shades of Grey endet mit einem heftigen Cliffhanger. Und die nächsten Bücher sind noch nicht mal in Sichtweite. Trotzdem wird dieses Buch eines der Lesehighlights dieses Jahres. Ein Buch, das ich niemals mehr missen möchte.
Veronica Roth hat mit Four: A Divgergent Collection ihr viertes Buch veröffentlicht, dass im dystopischen Chicago spielt. Ich liebe die Divergent Bücher und habe mir natürlich Four gleich vorbestellt. Das Buch ist eine Sammlung von Kurzgeschichten aus der Perspektive von Tobias. Anders als erhofft, erfährt man nur wenige neue Informationen zu dem Charakter Four. Vieles passierte bereits in Divergent oder wurde in den weiteren Büchern erwähnt. Das Buch Four ist also ein nettes Gimmick für Fans, um verschiedene Ereignisse nochmal aus Tobias Perspektive zu lesen.
Die Kurzgeschichten im Überblick:
Die Geschichte zeigt und Tobias an dem Tag seiner Zeremonie und an dem Tag davor. Es wird erläutert, warum er sich für Dauntless entscheidet.
Das Leben von Tobias als Initiant wird erzählt. Außerdem enthält die Kurzgeschichte Tobias Entscheidung, kein Anführer der Dauntless zu werden.
Dieser Teil des neuen Buches von Veronica Roth spielt in der Zeit, als Tris die Initiation bei Dauntless durchmacht und Tobias ihr Trainer ist.
Auch diese Geschichte spielt zu Zeit von Divergent, es zeigt größtenteils, wie sich Tris und Tobias näher kommen.
Free Four ist kürzer und erzählt die Szene des Messerwerfens aus Divergent aus Tobias Perspektive.
Überraschungen gibt es bei „Four“ nicht. Wie schon erwähnt, ist kaum neues Material dabei. Problematisch ist außerdem, dass Tobias Stimme sich kaum von der von Trish unterscheidet. Das war schon in Allegiant ein Problem. Sie sind sich in ihrer Art und dem Schreibstil viel zu ähnlich. Ob Veronica Roth mit dem neuen Buch an dem Divergent Franchise noch mehr verdienen wollte, kann ich nicht sagen. Dies wurde ihr zumindest von vielen Lesern vorgeworfen. Ich denke, ihr war ein Anliegen, auch Tobias mehr sprechen zu lassen, wollte sie anfangs doch die Bücher aus seiner Perspektive schreiben. Alles in allem war „Four“ ein nettes Buch für Zwischendurch. Für mich als Divergent-Fan, war das Fehlen, neues Materials, nicht weiter problematisch, ich war froh, noch einmal in die Welt von Tobias und Tris eintauchen zu können.