Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Faults in Our Stars - John Green

 Title - The Fault in Our Stars
Rating - 4 Stars
Author - John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

I have always loved John Green, not his books, I have been warned off of those years ago but I loved him and Hank on their many forms of internet presence. Yesterday I decided to break my ban on John Green books and announced to everyone that I might need emotional support and delved into The Fault in Our Stars.

The verdict is  - I hate John Green! 

I hate his odd narrative that's too smart for a sixteen year old but still manages to have that sulky teenage touch.  I hate the fact that one moment I am laughing and the next thing I know I am crying into my pillow. I hated the clever humor and characters that made me feel I was part of their lives.

I hate John Green but as I read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once [see what I did there!].

I have read better books, books with better characters or better narratives but I have never read a book that made me sit up and think about love, friendship, and mortality. At my age, it is very rare for me to think about death and the implication of knowing that you are going to die and for a brief moment in time,  I really understood what it was like to look at your own mortality in the face at the very grand age of 16. It makes you value your own life through the look at those who might lose it at any moment. This is an amazing feat for a YA book.

This book is thoughtful, clever, heart wrenchingly painful and beautiful. Although it made me cry harder than that incident with Noughts and Crosses a few years ago, I still appreciate it's existence.

In light of everything, I give it four out of 5 stars.  

p.s. I still hate you John Green.

Product Detail 
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Penguin (3 Jan 2013)
Language: English
Author's Website: http://johngreenbooks.com/
Purchase: Amazon | Barns & Noble 
Extra Detail: COMES WITH A SIDE OF EMOTIONAL PAIN

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Silent Blade & Silver Shark [Kinsmen #1 & 2] - Ilona Andrews

Title - Silent Blade & Silver Shark
Rating - 2.5 Stars & 3 Stars [Respectively]
Series - Kinsmen
Author - Ilona Andrews 

Ilona Andrews has been one of those big names in the urban fantasy genre that I have been meaning to read for years so when I got my hands on the Kinsmen series, I pretty much devoured them in one sitting.

The world of the Kinsmen is not entirely unique as such but was different enough to keep me interested. The characters were descent and I had no major issues that made me want to stop reading but the one reoccurring thought I had while reading both books was that, these stories could have been so much more than just a short distraction. They had a relatively good premise and if Ms Andrews put a little more effort into them, they had the substance to be a full scale novel rather than a long anthology.

Silent Blade [Kinsmen #1]


ld hatreds die hard. Old love dies harder.
On Meli Galdes' home planet, the struggle for power is a bloody, full-contact sport--in business and on the battlefield. For years her lethal skills have been a valuable asset in advancing her family's interests. She's more than earned her right to retire, but her kinsmen have one last favor to ask.
Kill the man who ruined her life. 
And when she's sure he belongs to her, she will finally repay a decade's worth of pain--in a single, brutal dose of reality
Celino Carvanna's razor-sharp business acumen--and skills with a blade--won him the freedom to do as he pleases. There's only one thing he can't seem to control--his reaction to the mysterious woman who tantalizes his senses. Her eyes alone set his blood simmering, stirring ridiculous adolescent fantasies about breasts and honey. With a few words she dissects his soul. Who is she? And how does she slide so easily under his well-guarded skin? 
It's almost too easy to draw Celino within the kill zone. Meli plans to revel in him. Drink him in. Wring every drop of pleasure out of every moment.

Review

A deadly female assassin failing to assassinate her target because they had passed history, not exactly the premise of a very original story but there was other aspects of fantasy and sci-fi elements that it made it readable. I especially loved the new take on powers, there was quite a brilliant merge of sci-fi elements with very human cultures which flowed quite well.

Overall it wasn't a terrible story but it failed to execute a very good ending, in fact I can go so far as to say the ending felt like Ms Andrews got bored of the story half way through and just decided to end it.

So I give this 2 stars.


Product Detail 
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (2 Jun 2009)
Language: English
Author's Website: http://www.ilona-andrews.com/
Purchas: Amazon | Barns & Nobel

Silver Shark [Kinsmen #2]


Claire Shannon is a killer. She uses no weapons, only her mind.
Born on a planet locked in a long war, Claire is a psycher, a woman with the ability to attack minds and infiltrate a biological computer network where psychers battle to the death. But when the war abruptly ends, Claire must hide her psycher's ability to survive. She is deported to a new planet, a vivid beautiful place, where she meets Venturo Escana, a powerful psycher, whose presence overwhelms both her mind and her body.
She thought she had left war and death behind, but now she must fight for her new life and this battle might just cost her everything...


I gotta say this one had a decidedly better plot line, characters, setting and basic readability. I really loved the heroin in this book. She was strong, powerful, resourceful and risked herself for others. She was not bent on some weirdly nonsensical revenge plot unlike her counterpart from the previous book.

I'm not saying this book was prefect, far from it really since it fell for very cliched character descriptions such as 'she wasn't classically beautiful but she set his veins on fire', paraphrased of course but if I had a penny for every time I've read things along those lines, I might just have enough to buy a Sherrilyn Kenyon box set. It also suffered the same bad ending as Silent Blade, making me think that perhaps Ms Andrews just has a very short attention span when it comes to her stories and finishes them half way through a writers block.

Overall a better book than the first so I will give it 3 stars but I can't say that I am blown away by Ilona Andrew's writing skills. I will however give her other series ago and see if they are any better.


Product Detail 
Publisher: NYLA (14 Sep 2011)
Language: English
Author's Website: http://www.ilona-andrews.com/
Purchas: Amazon | Barns & Nobel