Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Call (The Call #1): A Review


Imagine a world where you might disappear any minute, only to find yourself alone in a grey sickly land, with more horrors in it than you would ever wish to know about. And then you hear a horn and you know that whoever lives in this hell has got your scent and the hunt has already begun.

Could you survive the Call?

My Review:

I will have to say this book was one of the creepiest I have read in ages. Which made me super excited. It's hard to find a good creep-tastic book.

In this world, fairies are to be feared. To hear their death horn blow means you will most likely end up dead or mutilated or both. *Shiver* I can't give this book justice with my own words, but if you like creepy then this is a book for you.

The fairies are angry the humans have taken over their world and now are taking revenge on their children. Creating Changelings wasn't enough anymore, it wasn't making enough difference. So the Call became something to be feared of. Hardly any kid makes it to adulthood anymore. Kids are put into their schools and still taught life skills, but most end up dead before they can graduate. If you survive the Call, you're changed forever and not necessarily for the good.

We get glimpses into the fairy world and just how these mutilations come about and I have to say there were times I had to stop reading and steel myself for what was to come. It's all gruesome, yet fascinating. It's a trainwreck that I can't run away from. I'm excited to read the next book to see just how the humans are going to hold onto the world they call home.

I give this a 3.5 out of 5!

Content Warning: foul language, gory scenes, sexual innuendo

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Paper and Fire (The Great Library #2): A Review


Let the world burn.

With an iron fist, the Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion and, in the name of the greater good, forbidding the personal ownership of books.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower, doomed to a life apart from everything she knows.

After embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, and the Library, which is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control…

My Review:

It's always so curious to me when people dabble into what life would be like if something significant in the world's history had been different.

We will never know what we lost from the Great Library of Alexandria, but I feel that Caine has made a fairly believable world.

Jess and his friends are back. They have separated somewhat into their respective occupations, but of course, fate would have them be reunited. Some time has passed as they all have learned what it really means to serve the Library--and of course, it's not what they all thought it would be.

They have all learned that if you think outside the box you either die or get imprisoned and tortured until you die. That's not exactly what I would call an open-minded government.

As Jess's and his friend's eyes are opened to the harsh realities of those in charge, they finally start making their way around the rules to try and make knowledge free for all.

Yet, knowledge comes at a steep price. Jess questions again and again if it's all worth it. The fact that he keeps saying "yes" despite the literal fire raining down on him makes me love him. He is someone who realizes that this suppression will only further harm the world. It's already in flames, so why not make it hotter by fueling the public with knowledge?

I am so excited to read the next book.

I rate this a 4.5 out of 5!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Wonder: A Review


I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

My Review:

There are a few books that I'm compelled to read because I happen to see a movie trailer for them. Wonder is one of those books.

As I started reading, I loved the various different POV's. Books like this--books that focus on the need to treat everyone with kindness no matter what their situation--need to highlight everyone's POV. Yes, Auggie has a facial deformity which unfortunately makes him prime for bullying. Yet, when we see the trials everyone else is going through as well... well, it puts things into perspective. 

Auggie's story, as well as the stories of his friends, teaches us that life is hard for everyone. That if we would just be a little more kind and a little more understanding, we would be able to see the wonder in all.

I'm grateful books like this are written and are written well. Not only do we have a good story here, but we have been taught a life lesson that we should carry with us always.

Never lose the wonder, and never lose sight of the wonder in others.

Follow Mr. Brown's advice. He's a pretty smart guy.

We also all need a friend like Summer who won't let us pull our "woe-is-me" crap (because we all have those moments).

The movie did okay. The only thing I didn't like (and this was mostly due to time purposes) was it didn't focus much on Auggie's positivity after his short bouts of negativity. In the book, I kept getting the impression he was a super positive kid and the movie just didn't highlight this amazing aspect (and frankly crucial part of his character).

I rate this 5 out of 5!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1): A Review


In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time...

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…
My Review:

Jess is a teenager who has grown up in a world of really rich thieves. He has an immense love for books in a world where books are outlawed. If I lived in his world, I would probably be in his line of work as well. Stealing books.

He is sent by his family to become part of the Great Library of Alexandria (to steal books and stuff). Yes, that library. This book is one that occurs in a world where the Library never burned down. It's a fascinating world. The technology is advanced and yet people don't read actual books (they read them, just on fancy tablets). It's clever.

I found Jess to be relatable and a good person. He makes choices based on what he believes to be right, not necessarily what his deranged father has led him to believe. In this book, he has a lot of growing up moments as he learns to make friends in a highly tense situation. His friends are great too. Rachel Caine was able to invent believable and loveable characters who were full of life. It was as if I could reach out and touch them.

I know the whole outlawing books sounds like Fahrenheit 451, but the lesson continues to be an important one. Our ability to write what we believe as well as the discoveries we have made is something worth fighting for. And oh, do Jess and his friends fight for it.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy alternate universes based in the real world, and science fiction.

I do have to say this book made me think about what the world would be like if we hadn't lost all that knowledge from the Library.

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5!