Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blackout - Mira Grant

If you could…would your rise?

“Rise up while you can. -Georgia Mason
The year was 2014. The year we cured cancer. The year we cured the common cold. And the year the dead started to walk. The year of the Rising.
The year was 2039. The world didn't end when the zombies came, it just got worse. Georgia and Shaun Mason set out on the biggest story of their generation. The uncovered the biggest conspiracy since the Rising and realized that to tell the truth, sacrifices have to be made.
Now, the year is 2041, and the investigation that began with the election of President Ryman is much bigger than anyone had assumed. With too much left to do and not much time left to do it in, the surviving staff of After the End Times must face mad scientists, zombie bears, rogue government agencies-and if there's one thing they know is true in post-zombie America, it's this:
Things can always get worse.”

Oh Mira Grant: Thank you so much for making me wait with baited breath for Blackout. And it was so worth the wait. This book is pitched as a post zombie apocalypse tale, but for me, it’s a tale of freedom of the press and free speech and political conspiracies that just so happen to be in the world of zombies. It is in fact, not the end of the world. We have rebuilt society with zombies in mind: protocol and safety measures. The people who say we are safe and secure are really the ones who are lying to us.

Grant does great in creating a complex world filled with conspiracies and moments filled with emotion and action. Not wanting to give too much away, just know that this story is filled with twist and turns and “what the hell?!”type moments and moments that made me want to cry. We lose a beloved badass chick and learn that with sacrifices, small and big, are to be respected and cherished.

I cannot get over how much I love this series. And can I say how happy it’s a trilogy and it doesn’t drag out? This series was the perfect in length. There are not wasted words or space and every character is important and moves the story along to the climax point where they bring down the Man.

This zombie series was not one of shot guns and bullet wounds, it was of whispered conspiracies and the power of the written word. A nice change of pace in the world of zombie tales. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Missing Ink - Karen E. Olson

A book that isn’t an urban fantasy or young adult in classification? I know. I was kinda surprised myself.

“Brett Kavanaugh is a tattoo artist and owner of an elite tattoo parlor in Las Vegas. When a girl makes an appointment for a tattoo of the name of her fiancĂ© embedded in a heart, Brett takes the job but the girl never shows. The next thing Brett knows, the police are looking for her client, and the name she wanted on the tattoo isn't her fiancĂ©'s...”

This book is a case of cover love…and it was free for my Kindle. And I know, I tend to get myself in trouble when I judge a book by its cover, but I’m glad I got this book. It was actually a really interesting read. And that always makes me a happy camper.

I really enjoyed the character of Brett. I felt like get a tattoo from her and then have a couple beers afterwards. She was a well rounded character that didn’t feel forced. Her personality and sense of humor seemed to be natural. The supporting characters played really well against Brett. I did feel that some characters were a little more flamboyant than others, but that was probably just to show that the Ms. Kavanaugh is pierced and tatted up, she’s the most normal and level headed person in the whole damn book.

I did enjoy the mystery story element. A woman who makes an appointment but then never comes. Another woman turns up dead. Finger being pointed at any and everyone, including Brett. Oh! The twists and turns! The twists were well place and each chapter seemed to have cliff hangers, which of course, made me curse and keep on reading. I couldn’t put the book down!

I only really have one issue with this book. I did feel that the set up for Brett’s ex-man that seemed to fail. Though he is not fully introduced in the book, I’m hoping that the ex at least makes some kind of appearance otherwise, I feel that is a waste of reading time.

Though this book had it’s cutesy factor to it (i.e. Me and My Gholefriends), I could handle it because Brett is well written and strong protagonist and the plot twists were well placed. Good job Amazon store for putting this on my Kindle as a recommendation to read and thanks for being free. Though to be honest, I would pay for it now knowing how awesome this book is. Here’s hoping the second book is not a letdown…

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

You know…not as action packed as the first two. In fact…it’s a bit of a downer.

My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.
“Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding. It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plains--except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost.”

So I had awesome expectations for this book. I mean, super high. The first book was amazing, and so was the second book that followed suit, but this one…this one left me feeling a little “meh.”

This book was beautifully written. It was poetic and sad and tragic. We see Katniss at her most venerable and her most real I feel. We see her shell-shocked and broken, different from the scheming and do anything to survive Katniss from the previous two books.
To me the book read like one of my dad’s old war novels with the sneaking behind enemy lines and the comrades falling to crazy mutant creatures. Okay, minus the crazy mutant creatures, but still dead nonetheless. The body count and bloodshed was impressive for what is supposed to be a young adult novel. Hell, I forgot from time to time to that this was supposed to be a book for teenagers, which in my mind, is always a plus.
With all the lovely things that I have said about this book, I still found it intensely boring at most parts. There is only so much of the ins and outs of Katniss’s depression and mindless complaints about being in District 13 that someone can take. I found myself struggling through sections of the book where she was in District 13 and being upset with how fast the action went by when it was over.
I did enjoy this book, I really did. I just felt that it was lack luster in comparison to the first two books. It was beautifully written, it was heartbreakingly tragic, and left me with a bittersweet taste in my mouth when I got to the end and was left thinking that the epilogue was totally not needed.
So in the end: should you read the Hunger Game series? Absolutely. It is an epic tale that is not for the weak of heart.