Monday, 26 September 2016

The Sway- Book Review

Title: The Sway
Author: Ruby Knight
Published: May 17th 2016
Pages: 230
Series: Classified #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 3/5

Her mission is to get close to him for inside information.
His mission is to kidnap her for a supernatural militant group.
Recruited in her teens for a life of espionage, Julia Caldwell, now 19, is the youngest CIA agent on record. Her mission is simple: get close to Cole Thomas for intel on his father, a known and dangerous weapons dealer. As she grows closer to Cole, something is off. He might not be who she thinks he is. And worse, his mission will put an end to hers.
Always believing the government’s story that her purpose in life was to keep the world safe, Julia doesn’t know who to trust or who to believe. But now, THE SWAY has a different story—a different purpose for her—that goes well beyond all she ever imagined. -Goodreads
I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

I think the best way to describe this novel is disappointing. The plot description in the blurb made it sound really intriguing,  a spy novel is always a positive in my mind, but unfortunately the novel didn't live up to its promising blurb.
The writing style of this novel was difficult to read: at times it wasn't clear exactly what was going on or which character was carrying out the action. Sometimes it read like the author had missed out passages of the text and that these missing lines would've made the whole novel read better. 
The main character in this novel, Julia really irritated me. She started out really well, she seemed mature and kick ass and in control in the beginning of the novel. I was excited to read more about this character, and I was hopeful that she would be one of my favourite characters of the year. Unfortunately these positive characteristics seemed to disappear when she met Cole (our insta-love, good looking side character), she became a giggling teenage girl who was prone to swooning and having to be carried around in Cole's arms!! Something in the plot about her getting her emotions back (??) turned her into some sort of emotional dramatic crying mess who really irritated me!
Another thing that really annoyed me about this novel was the relationship between Julia and Cole, there was so much insta-love (or more like insta-lust in this case!) and very little actual information and descriptions to base their "love" for each other on. There was very little evidence in the novel of these feelings for each other, and this really irritates me! They spent most of the novel making eyes at each other and blushing, which got on my nerves really early in the novel. I also thought the novel took place over a very short period of time (maybe this was only me!), which makes their relationship even less realistic and even more like insta-love!
I really enjoyed the beginning of this novel, that's actually what rescues it from an even lower rating. The partnership between Julia and Mickey was real and based on their time spent together, and I wish the whole novel had been about them as partners. Knight's writing in the beginning is very good, her development of the story and her character building is very impressive, somehow she is unable to continue this very far through the book.
Some of the speech was very clunky to read, it was stilted and didn't read how teenagers would talk to each other of how World Leaders would address each other either!!
This novel is quite short, its only 230 pages, and I believe it could have been greatly improved by being lengthened. Further explanations of "The Sway", the different "superhero powers", the falling in love and finding your soulmate thing, and a number of other things. This demonstrates just how many questions I had at the end of the book, and I realise that there are other books coming in which some of these questions will be answered, but I really had more questions than I had answers. I wasn't even sure what the big "world destroying event" was, and it was the driving force behind most of the action in this novel. 
Overall this novel was ok, it had an interesting, fast paced plot, but it was sadly let down by poor writing and really irritating characters. 

Happy reading!!

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Thursday, 1 September 2016

Book Review- Allegiant

Title: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: October 2013
Pages: 526
Series: Divergent #3
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

Rating: 3/5

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered - fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend to complexities of human nature - and of herself - while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. -Goodreads
This is a review of the third book in the Divergent series, for my review of the second book in the series, Insurgent click here. There are some spoilers in this review, just a warning!!

I gave this novel 3/5 stars, I thought it was an ok novel, but if this hadn't been the final book I probably wouldn't have bothered to continue the series. 
In this novel we continue following Tris' search for the truth about the world she lives in, and exactly what the factions she grew up in were for. 
This novel is written in two points of view, we continue hearing Tris' voice, but we are also introduced to Tobias' voice too. I was very excited to get this insight, as he was one of my favourite characters in the previous novel, and I couldn't wait to hear more of his thoughts. Unfortunately, Tobias' voice sounded almost exactly identical to Tris' and I spent the beginning of too many chapters trying to figure out exactly whose POV I was reading. This was disappointing, Roth had made Tobias into quite a well developed character through the novel so I was expecting her to be able to carry this over to his narrative voice too.
This novel is very long, it's 500 plus pages, and it really doesn't need to be in my opinion! I feel that this novel could have been condensed into about half the pages, while still keeping all the relevant info in it. This meant that the storyline really felt like it was dragging the whole way through! There also isn't a great deal of action in this novel, for the final novel in the trilogy, I wanted an action packed and thrilling end, instead I felt this novel was a bit of a damp squib! 
I also have a problem with the science in this novel. I'm no scientist, I'm doing an English Lit and Psychology degree, but I feel like I have some grasp of Biology, and I'm sure that isn't how genetics works! If you were able to manipulate people's genes in the first place, and ended up making them worse, why not just manipulate them back? Just undo any changes you made? Also wouldn't the faction system make it harder to get "genetically fixed" offspring, because if the members of the factions have faulty genes, and they are having children with people with the same faults, their offspring will surely have the same genetic flaw as genes are hereditary? 
I mentioned in my review of the last book that I had a lot of unanswered questions, and sadly quite a few of these questions weren't answered in this novel either. I still know nothing about the rest of America or the rest of the world, call me self-centered, but I would have liked to know what the situation was with the UK! Also certain characters' actions were never explained; what was the point of David, or the full story with Tris' mum. Some of the questions which were answered had such ridiculous answers that I rather wish that they hadn't been answered at all. Genetic manipulations!!?! I mean, come on!!!!
I also need to draw attention to the ending of this novel. I know from reading reviews that everyone has a different opinion of the ending of this novel, but personally I thought it was very disappointing! It felt like a cheat from the author, in fact the whole resolution to the faction system felt like a cheat (it felt like the whole "and it was all a dream" cliche). Roth had spent over 1000 pages creating a complex world with complex developed characters, and she wasted them with a rubbish and limp ending.
Overall I am really disappointed with this series. I will watch the rest of the movies (no idea how many more there are!) because I am interested to see how they do it, but I'm in no hurry to pick up any more of Roth's books, and I think I'll give YA dystopian novels a break for a while!

Happy Reading!

Twitter | Goodreads

Friday, 26 August 2016

Bout of Books Update #4

Currently Reading: 

The Sway- Ruby Knight
Lieutenant Hornblower- CS Forester

Books Completed:

The Monsters Inside- Stephen Cole
This Is Van Gogh- George Roddam

Pages Read Today: 138

Total Pages Read: 464

Thoughts:

I'm pleased to have managed to finish another book this week, hopefully I can keep it up over the weekend!!

Happy Reading!!

Twitter | Goodreads

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Bout of Books Update #3

Currently Reading: 

The Sway- Ruby Knight
Lieutenant Hornblower- C.S Forester

Books Completed: 

The Monsters Inside- Stephen Cole

Pages Read Today: 73

Total Pages Read: 326

Thoughts:

I'm a bit disappointed by this total today, I had a 7 hour shift at work which left me with very little time to read. Hopefully Thursday will be more productive!

Happy Reading!!

Twitter | Goodreads

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Bout of Books Update #2


Currently Reading:

The Sway- Ruby Knight
Lieutenant Hornblower- C.S Forester

Books Completed:

The Monsters Inside- Stephen Cole

Pages Read Today: 111
Total Pages Read: 253

Thoughts: 
I'm really pleased to have finished my first book this early in the week. Fingers crossed I can get some good reading done on Wednesday!

Happy reading!!

Twitter | Goodreads

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Bout of Books Update #1


Currently Reading:

The Monsters Inside- Stephen Cole

Books Completed:

0

Pages Read Today: 142
Total Pages Read: 142

Thoughts:
I'm a bit disappointed with only reading 142 pages, but I was busy all day, even though I wasn't working! Hopefully Tuesday will be more productive as I'm not working again!!

Happy reading!!

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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Bout of Books '16

This is going to be my second time doing a Bout of Books read-a-thon, and I can't wait!


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

My goals for this time is to read 4 books. I'm using this week as a chance to read some books I own that aren't novels, including a book about an artist and a short novella.





 The Monsters Inside- Stephen Cole










Lieutenant Hornblower- C.S Forester












This is Van Gogh- George Roddam, Catherine Ingram, Slawa Harasymowicz











A History of the Universe in 100 Objects- Steve Tribe and James Goss










Happy reading!!

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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Shelf Control 02/08/16


This is a weekly feature that I will be posting on a Tuesday, where I will be spotlighting a book that I have on my shelves that I haven't read. This is a great idea for a weekly post, as I have loads of unread books, and i find it really interesting to read why others have purchased and want to read certain books!! This is hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.


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This Week's Book:



Title: Enigma
Author: Robert Harris
Published: 1995
Pages: 372


Synopsis: A gripping World War II mystery novel with a cryptographic twist, Enigma's hero is Tom Jericho, a brilliant British mathematician working as a member of the team struggling to crack the Nazi Enigma code. Jericho's own struggles include nerve-wracking mental labor, the mysterious disappearance of a former girlfriend, the suspicions of his co-workers within the paranoid high-security project, and the certainty that someone close to him, perhaps the missing girl, is a Nazi spy. The plot is pure fiction but the historical background, Alan Turing's famous wartime computing project that cracked the German U-boat communications code, is real and accurately portrayed. Enigma is convincingly plotted, forcefully written, and filled with well drawn characters; in short, it's everything a good technomystery should be. -Goodreads
How/When I Got It:  
I bought this novel in a bind-up with Archangel another of Harris' novels from a charity shop about 4 years ago. 

Why I Want To Read It:
I bought it because I wanted to read some of Harris' works, and it has sat untouched on my shelves for 4 years. However now that I've read the blurb again, I definitely want to pick it up soon, who doesn't love a WWII mystery novel!!

Happy Reading!!

My Last Review

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Saturday, 30 July 2016

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56- The Bone Season

On Fridays I will share excerpts from whatever I am reading that day. First, Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader  then The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice.

First share the opening lines of your novel, then turn to page 56 (or 56%) and share a few lines!

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This week's book is The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.


Beginning: "I like to imagine there were more of us in the beginning. Not many, I suppose. But more than there are now."



Page 56: "The first stain of dawn had touched the spires. The voyants came out after their keepers, three or four to each group. I was the only one with an individual keeper."


Thoughts: I bought this novel a couple of years ago, but only just felt like picking it up now. The ending is quite intriguing, and any fantasy novel featuring magic is always a winner with me!






Happy reading and have a lovely weekend!!

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My Last Review