Tag Archives: adventure

A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

In an earlier review I wrote that George R. R. Martin writes in waves. Through his characters, he creates currents that culminate into a tsunami of rage and retribution. Hundreds of pages spent describing his characters’ mundane actions contribute to the development of their story arcs, and each detail adds to the climaxes of his books. However, this did not happen in A Dance with Dragons – for at least half of the book, I felt that I was knee deep in random, unidentifiable water, reading page after page of unnecessary information. Continue reading

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Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Light by Michael Grant

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

If there’s one series that captures my teenage years, it’s this one. I picked up Gone five years ago at the age of 13 maybe because Sam was cute, not like I knew I was into guys at the time and five books later I’ve finished the series, now as an adult. I have so much history with this series, and I doubt any sleeping aid would give me back the hours I’ve spent reading it late into the night.

If you haven’t read Light yet or the books preceding it, I’d recommend skipping this paragraph and catching up right now. Otherwise, the central story line of the last installment in Michael Grant’s epic series revolves around Gaia and her (its?) plan to destroy all who inhabit the FAYZ… and eventually, all outside of it, too. Every character joins in for the fight no matter his or her previous wounds or scars. The question remains: will it be enough to defeat the darkness once and for all?

As always, Grant’s plot grabbed me from the get go. Continue reading

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Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

Every book has its beginnings. A fresh protagonist to fall in love with, a new world to explore, a story to watch play out. By the end of the book, it’s time to say goodbye to what we’ve come to know – not only the settings that have taken root in our minds or the characters who have made their way into our hearts, but the lessons we’ve learned. With series, I find this more difficult; with several books and hundreds and hundreds of pages to entrench ourselves in, it should be more gut-wrenching, more bittersweet. But when I put Requiem down, it wasn’t as devastating as I wanted it to be… it wasn’t anything at all, really. Continue reading

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Filed under 3.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Draggon Slippers by Jessica Day George

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Creel doesn’t particularly care for her aunt – and Creel’s aunt doesn’t particularly care for her, either, considering that she tries to sell Creel to a dragon. After Creel’s parents passed away she had no choice but to reside with her aunt. But when her extended family runs into financial problems, Creel is sent to face a dragon in hopes of getting a dashing – and wealthy – knight to save her. Things take a more interesting turn when Creel walks away with a blue pair of slippers and a dream of owning a seamstress shop. She embarks on a journey that includes myriad magical things: handsome princes, annoying princesses, and dangerous dragons.

My friend got this for me as a belated Christmas gift. While its intended for younger readers, I still enjoyed Creel’s tale of heroism and adventure – it’s crazy to think about how this is acclaimed children/YA fantasy author Jessica Day George’s first book. Continue reading

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Life of Pi will make you think.

Initially, I was unimpressed. The book jacket promised a survival story about a boy on a boat who has to contend with not only the elements, but a ferocious tiger too. However, the book began with copious reflections on religion and random musings about animals. I understand that the author probably wanted to set up the story and provide some initial food for thought, but the only thing I appreciated out of the first 100 pages was the idea that people can believe in more than one thing (whether it be religion, or just conflicting ideas in general) and still be a good person. Pi practices multiple religions, but he has good intentions and a pure heart.

I liked the second part of the book. I did not love it, but I liked it. Continue reading

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Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

Cover via irisonbooks.com.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

“Oh my gosh,” I sighed in frustration,” why can’t he just shoot him already? Just shoot him!”

My younger cousin, who had never heard a pacifist like me say such a violent thing, looked up from her Etch-a-Sketch. I remember thinking – dang, if only all sequels were this good.

The Ask and the Answer is the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, and continues from the last line of The Knife of Never Letting Go. I won’t post a plot synopsis in fear of spoiling it for people who haven’t read the first book – if interested (which I hope you will be by the end of this review), here’s the link to the Goodreads page.

Let’s just say that the plot is crazy. Continue reading

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The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

On her sixteenth birthday, Elisa has become the bride and secret wife of a wealthy and attractive king. This doesn’t do anything to make her feel more affluent or powerful like it should. Instead, she struggles even more to fulfill the quest she has been chosen for – chosen by the Godstone within her, by the God who only selects one person per century. As her political and personal conflicts exacerbate, Elisa must do whatever she can to defeat her foes, or she will fail the prophecy trying.

I was not expecting to enjoy this book. Continue reading

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Fear by Michael Grant

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

There are certain books that, if turned into movies, I would never watch. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (which is a movie, actually) is one of them. Rape and torture? Not something I would like to see on the big screen. Fear by Michael Grant is another one of those books. People having their minds ripped apart and their bodies broken and bent and twisted in various ways? Yeah, throwing up is not that high on my list of priorities.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Gone series by Michael Grant. Like I’ve stated in almost all of my reviews of the previous books, they are not superbly well-written. They are not books that make me think about the meaning of life or make me want to grab a friend and discuss philosophy at my local Barnes and Noble. But they are fierce, addictive, and possess an overarching quality that commands a five-star rating. Continue reading

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Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

This is merely my opinion of the book and a review based on how much I enjoyed it. You can assume from the presence this disclaimer that I feel self-conscious attempting to critique such a renowned novel.

Moby-Dick is like the whale Moby Dick itself. Ubiquitous, colossal, grand in scope, you name it. There’s so much to learn from this book and so much to discover about life itself through reading it. It’s revered as a American classic for a reason – here’s one of the quotes I absolutely adored from the book:

“Be it said, that though I had felt such a strong repugnance to his smoking in the bed the night before, yet see how elastic our stiff prejudices grow when love once comes to bend them.” (Chapter 11, “Nightgown”)

Dang. Isn’t that beautiful? The theme of not judging one for their appearance and instead peering deeper into the depths of who they truly are… wow. There are a myriad of deep, thought-invoking themes in this book – so many that I could sit here and think of them for hours. Also, chapter 23 (“The Lee Shore”) of the novel particularly inspired me after listening to an amazing lecture about it given by my history teacher.

Unfortunately I doubt I would’ve been able to finish the book if it had not been assigned reading for school. Some parts I struggled to get through due to the sheer sluggishness of the plot, like chapter 32 (“Cetology”), in which Melville literally writes about whales. In detail. Lots of detail.

Overall I’ve learned many things from reading Moby-Dick thanks to my wonderful teachers. I’ll probably come back to it once I’m older and have a decent amount of time to invest in it… because this book takes up a lot of time. A lot of it.

Here is a snapshot of my annotations of "The Lee Shore." What can I say? It was a phenomonal chapter.

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Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Death Cure by James Dashner

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Have you ever experienced something spectacular, only to look back on it and think “wait a second… why did I like that so much?” That roller coaster or spicy Thai food you loved but then caused you to suffer serious stomach aches? That’s how I feel about The Death Cure and the Maze Runner series.

Just like the first two books in the series The Death Cure delivers a fast-paced story filled with adrenaline-inducing action sequences and thrilling twists. While Dashner’s writing isn’t beautiful, it possesses an exciting energy that sucks the reader in and doesn’t let them go. The sheer suspense of the series kept me content despite other issues that arose. Until this book.

For those who have read The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials, you probably know that there were a lot of questions that needed to be addressed in this novel. The first two books in the series acted as an action-packed snowball that gathered unaddressed plot issues as it rolled down the hill of total exhilaration. To me, this third book was supposed to be when the snowball finally hit a huge brick wall, sending all of its fluff flying and revealing its true core. But it didn’t exactly live up to that expectation – everything felt too nice and neat, sort of like if the snowball simply melted instead of erupting like a volcano.

I also would’ve preferred if Thomas reflected on what had happened to him instead of just accepting it and moving on. A little more introspection would’ve been nice – what has he learned from being tortured and manipulated by this evil group of people? How will it influence his actions in the future? I wanted Thomas to grow tremendously throughout this series, but especially in this book because he finally learns the truth about his life. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, at least not to the level that would’ve earned this book five stars.

However, you can tell by my solid rating that I liked the book overall. Maybe I’m biased because of the main character’s name or because this series as a whole impressed me, but, I gave The Death Cure a much higher rating than I’m sure many other people would. I could just be a nice guy.

I recommend the Maze Runner series if you’re searching for exciting and somewhat mindless entertainment. It didn’t change me or make me think extraordinarily hard, but it provided me with a gripping plot that had me eagerly awaiting each and every book.

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books