Review: The Murder of Adam and Eve

The Murder of Adam and Eve
The Murder of Adam and Eve by William Dietrich
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Man… I almost didn’t finish this book, it was that boring. The idea behind it was great. Going back in time to save Adam and Eve. The writing was not half bad either. Quick, concise and not too much explaining.

However, the book failed to stand up to it’s potential. Pointless padding, and endless walking and finding food dragged the book for the first 150 pages out of 200 pages. We don’t get any action until the last few pages and these two main characters are complete boring shits when it comes to following their lives.

What the book also fails to acknowledge is that Africa is HUGE and finding a single tribe of humans with no help is possibly close to impossible.

How did they just happen to head in the right direction without any help? If anything, this is a MAJOR plot hole in the story. Granted, we find out afterwards that Ellie isn’t human, but that’s not enough to explain everything and it’s really thrown at the reader hard. We’re given not much foreshadowing of this AT ALL and then we get not much explanation.

I was left thinking WTF.

Really, asides from it’s readability, this book was pretty headbangingly bad.

View all my reviews

Review: Hungry

Hungry
Hungry by H.A. Swain
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What is this book?

Asides from the fact that H. A. Swain has properly proven to the reader that she can write readable prose, I don’t think there’s anything else in this book that’s good.

The biggest issue? The entire goddamn concept.

We live in a world without food.

Food is supposedly illegal. After some massive great war that killed all food and shit, the government’s made it illegal to consume food and instead everyone drinks nutridrinks instead. Which means – 1. you never get hungry and 2. no one goes to the bathroom, because no waste products are produced at all.

But, hello? Without your goddamn plants, where’s the oxygen coming from? Where’s the nutrients for these nutridrinks (which are called Sythamil) coming from? Also, where the hell did weather go? What would you do if say, there was a hurricane or an earthquake?

Not to mention, why would you allow for people to keep their food related last name if you’re actively trying to forget food? (*cough*Apple *cough*)

The boundaries are not patrolled.

We have a super controlled environment, where everyone is fed nutrients so they don’t have to eat. But the people on the Outer Loop of the city can’t afford the nutridrinks and thus… starve? Why haven’t they rebelled yet? Why are they just sitting there like idiots?

Right outside the Outer Loop are the Hinterlands, which should be patrolled since they’re technically the boundary of One World (the corporate company that basically controls the government), but Thalia and Basil simply leave and there’s nothing to stop them. They don’t even go all that far to start finding plants. What’s preventing these people in the Outer Loops from just leaving?

Not to mention, even if you’re not trying to keep things in, border patrol is also good for keeping things out. Especially since it seems like One World isn’t the only populated city area.

One World controls it all.

And leading to my next argument – One World is described like a world dominating system, as if the entire world were controlled by them. But it seems that One World only actually controls the city area that Thalia lives in. There are apparently other population areas. Too bad it’s all too vague for us to know if it’s also One World controlled or independent.

Not to mention, One World seems to fail greatly at being a very uptight system. They can’t even get guards competent enough to chase down a few fucking clueless teenagers. Call up a squadron of people! Surround them! They’re unarmed inexperienced teenagers! Do you have to chase after them like an idiot and lose them because you didn’t use the technology that was available to you the fucking whole time.

They also failed to used the “Thalia is simply an incompetent teenager looking for attention.” argument when they tried to denounce her. Don’t you realize the more you put her face in the news saying that she’d being a rebel against the government, the more power you give her? The most simple and effective way to stop the whole ordeal is to claim her a delusional teen simply being stupid and that people should just calm down.

Games are the major source of entertainment.

Where are you getting the electricity to power all these entertainment arenas? Wouldn’t you think that the last thing the government wants to do after fighting an awful war is to make all of its citizens complete gluts by letting them sit around spending most of their time playing mindless stupid games?

Not to mention, not everyone likes games. What about the people who don’t like spending their time staring at moving pictures on a screen? Are they all going to become the next Thalia Apple? Not everyone is just going to dying their skin pink and play games all day no matter how suppressed their hormones are.

Asides from that, many other issues remain…

This book was not a bad read. It simply was stupid and the characters immature. If you don’t mind repeated headdesking, I say give this book a go. Because it certainly has some up points.

The worldbuilding however, makes it suck more than it should.

View all my reviews

Review: Between

Between
Between by Dora Hilburn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received an ARC vis Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Aggghhh. This is another one of those books where I feel kind of awful saying how much this book sucked because it seemed like the author really did tried, but at the same time, this book kind of sucked.

The writing in this book was no bad, it was a solid read, but there were many things that were way too rushed and quite awfully corny.

1. WTF world building?
I think the biggest issue with this book is it’s lack of worldbuilding. There isn’t even all that much world to build, but just a bit more explanation about how the weird energy world works and why there’s evil and what the heck this portal thing is would have help anchor the whole story down a lot more. The first time this “evil” was introduced, I was wtfing so hard, because, what the hell? Where did any of this come from?

I can understand the whole ghost and chill thing because that’s pretty much common knowledge. This whole portal and evil ghost wants to kill you thing was just a little too much. Not only so, we never quite find out why it had to be Anna the evil thing wanted to go after.

2. Insta-love-triangle?
I can kind of understand the insta love between Wyatt and Anna if we just completely push it off as paranormal romance. That being said, I still thought it was awful. Insta-love is never a good idea.

At one point, Anna was sporting a love triangle, being in love with Wyatt and Eric in love with her. Somehow she’s strangely fascinating. I, however, cannot agree to such “fascinating”.

The love is also so corny. Multiple times, I’ve had to stop and stare and try to remind myself that I was reading the same book that moments ago was perfectly un-cringe worthy at all.

3. The Dialogue
I could not deal with the back and forths between most of the characters. Wyatt is just constantly sad, but somehow sarcastic, but then he feels awfully out of character and such… Anna is supposedly a fascinating person, but I’m not sure how. She certainly talks and acts like a normal person. Eric… is just Eric. Something about him is weird. He’s too happy go lucky, too unrealistic and way too insta-love.

It’s hard to explain but dialogue just feels like a jumbled mess of corny.

4. The Characters
I usually complain about the characters first, but for this book… I’m not sure what I feel about the characters since their dialogues’ been botched so badly. I have to say though, Wyatt is technically at least 50 years old (I forget when he died, but doesn’t matter, he’s old). Even if he lurked around the house for that many years, he should at least have the maturity of a whatever years he’s been around year old. Not a 19 insta-love boy.

Conclusion
I would not recommend this book. Unfortunately, there’s too much corny, a little too cliche. That being said, I think the author definitely has the potential to write better books and I’m interested in reading more of her books in the future.

View all my reviews

Review: Catch Me When I Fall

Catch Me When I Fall
Catch Me When I Fall by Vicki Leigh

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book via Net Galley in return for an honest review

This book was a solid read. The writing, overall, was pretty good (with a couple exceptions I’ll mention later). The storyline was interesting. The concept was pretty cool. However, this book failed to take in a few very important elements, which causes the entire story to self implode on itself logic-wise.

One of the biggest issues? It’s worldbuilding.

1. Buggers, I should be 200 years in age!
I’m going to say right now, the biggest problem with this book isn’t even the rather quick and badly done insta-love, but the fact that these Catchers are 200 years old and have experienced multiple lifetimes through other people, yet still act like they’re goddamn immature teenagers. If there’s one thing that’s most wrong about this book, that would be it.

I would have understood slightly more it if their brains stayed in a biologically underdeveloped stage, but 1. the author never states that and from the idea of being not physically alive, I don’t think brain development really is all that important anymore and 2. that still gives no excuse to acting and talking like a teenager and unnecessary insta-love that could only happen to an inexperienced teenager. Fuck, they all act like teenagers. I would never want the fate of my dreams to be rested in the hands of a bunch of immortal not-quite-dead teenagers.

2. Insta-Love!
That being said, the insta-love was awful and probably just one of the many “typical YA” features that appear in this book. Others include Mary Sue characters (though, thankfully, they aren’t as blatantly bad in this book as compared to most others. They do still exist in this book, unfortunately.)

3. Flawed worldbuilding
The worldbuilding in this book is flawed. There’s nothing to be said about that. When every person in the world has a dreamcatcher and a weaver plus the catchers have understudies, that’s a shitload of people who need to sacrifice themselves. In fact, that’s saying that at least 2/3 of the human population would have to have sacrificed themselves to others, which obviously isn’t the case.

Not only so, we have Catchers killed off left and right and other than the typical, “Oh, so-and-so died, I’m so sad.” there’s nothing else. No “fuck, we’re going to have a shortage of catchers.” or “who’s going to catch [person’s] dreams now?”

Apparently Daniel’s the best fighter they’ve got, so I’m assuming that most of the people before him are dead. So, where are the abundance of Catchers coming from?

The Catcher idea was cool, but once the Magus got introduced, I was a little eh about the worldbuilding. The Magus aren’t portrayed enough and they make Catchers look like weak little shits. Kayla is super OP even though “I can’t control my magic! I’m going to kill someone!”. We’re not quite informed of the mechanics behind Magus and their magic other than that one very short and skimpy lesson which we learn about nothing.

4. Fight Scenes
The writing was good. Until the fight scenes.

I’ll admit, as someone who does creative writing in my free time, writing a good fight scene is hard and some authors just aren’t good at it. The fight scenes in this book weren’t necessarily complete pieces of shit – they were decent reads – but after the first few, the rest all sound almost the same. Daniel hits this Nightmare, dodges the other, throws a knife and then gets hit. Curses in pain but continues to fight. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Not good enough.

Conclusion
This book is not awful. But I can’t forgive it’s gaping flaws in worldbuilding. I actually would recommend this book. It’s a decent read. Just, not the type of book I would ever read and then obsess over for the next 6 months and be warned of it’s plot holes.

View all my reviews

Review: Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A good idea ruined in execution. It’s really a shame.

Rarely do you pick up a book that based so much on ancient Asian culture, but Goodman’s writing is so god awful and her characters are so irksome, this was almost a DNF.

1. Annoying characters
Probably one of the biggest problems with this book is that it wastes half of it’s words describe its lovely main character, Eon(a), moping around about how much she sucks as a human being and how much she totally doesn’t deserve this life, but also if she didn’t live this life, she’d have to work as a salt laborer or something similar so she’ll just have to deal with this life.

Goddamn, if you think something’s wrong with your life then so something about it. DON’T JUST SIT ABOUT AND MOPE.

In any case, I was also awfully repulsed by the fact that Ido thought it would be ok to rape a girl, who at least to his knowledge, was probably 12 and prepubescent. I don’t think that’s a want for power anymore, that’s just being a pedophile. (Also, not only did he want to rape her, it was like he was completely infatuated with her.)

Everyone else in this book felt like a sadistic ass and honestly, I hate everyone in this book. Except for the weird cross dresser ladyman. Whatever her name was (not Eon(a)).

2. Those Fucking Names
Ok. I understand the whole thing with Asian names being hard to translate because they’re usually named after objects in Asian culture and that just kind of sounds stupid in English, but as least TRY to make them sound more normal. Was there any reason to name a gate like… concubine gate?

I’m Asian and I’m still awfully annoyed by these shitty names.

Also, couldn’t you at least shorten the names of the stances so that they’re not such a mouthful? Wouldn’t someone have noticed that by now?

3. God awful prose
There is so much fucking padding in this book, I almost put it down because it was so slow. The amount of padding makes me want to shoot myself. The book doesn’t even pick up pace until the last 50 pages. Not only so, Goodman writes in such a roundabout way, it’s just absolutely awful. There’s no flow, no plot. None of the characters are likeable. Wtf?

“Ever since my body had first betrayed us six months ago, my master had kept a supply of soft cloths and sea sponges locked away, in his library. Safe from prying eyes.”

Modern Translation: Ever since I got my period, my master started hiding pads and tampons in his library to make sure no one would see them.

TMI and honestly, I don’t give a crap.

4. Fucking Woman Script
FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. This part of the book pissed me off so much. WOMAN SCRIPT WAS CREATED SO THAT WOMEN COULD CONTACT EACH OTHER WITHOUT MEN KNOWING WHAT THEY WERE WRITING. YOU DON’T JUST FLAUNT IT TO A MALE. YOU DON’T EVEN TELL THEM OF THE EXISTENCE OF WOMAN SCRIPT. IF YOU TELL THEM, THEY’LL FIGURE IT OUT THUS DEFEATING THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF WOMAN SCRIPT.

YOU GOT IT WRONG. WRONGGGGGGG.

Conclusion
The end picked up a little. Everything else sucked. If you’re willing to plow through a couple hundred pages for a mediocre ending, this is the book for you.

On a side note, it seems that the second book is better than the first one, so maybe, just maybe, I’ll give it a try.

View all my reviews

Review: Undertow

Undertow
Undertow by K.R. Conway

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received an copy of this book from Net Galley in return for an honest review of the book..

This book had so much potential.

The writing was not half bad. The idea was pretty interesting, but the gleaming flaws, the world building or lack thereof, the immense amounts of info dumps, padding, telling rather than showing and petty cliches ruined this book for me.

1. The Cliche Characters

Ok. I can’t deal with this anymore. I get the whole “we’re attracted to each other because paranormal romance” thing, but it is just so LAME. It would make some sense if there had been any prompted reason, but no, Eila and Raef are just randomly attracted to each other like opposite ends of a magnet. Plus, Raef is goddamn 100 some years old. That is just plain creepy.

But not only so, the biggest problem I have with this romance is the fact that it’s a total “plain Jane meets her Mr. Rochester” romance. There’s not a single point of originality in it besides that.

I barfed at the moment Nikki and her minions were called “barbie dolls”. Way to perpetuate a cliche. Do all high school bullies have to be over the top idiots who are only on the top of the social hierarchy due to their sexy sexy bods and rich parents? So no fat people can be up there? No emo asshole could also be bully as well? Wow, this school is so damn unrealistic.

MJ, Ana and Eila are made from basically the same mold. MJ is just a slightly more goofy version of Eila and Ana is just a slightly more emo version of Eila. They share almost the same type of jokes and sarcastic remarks. It’s like they’re the same person born into three different bodies. Every time they talk to each other, I get that weird feeling in my gut when someone talks to themselves. It just feels so unnatural.

Let’s be honest, the whole Raef, Mr. Hot Sexy Dude hanging out with little Plain Jane newbie over there rather than hottie Barbie Doll is so cliche, I almost put the book down then.

Right, you’re slightly fat and you’re not the least bit suspicious of Raefs intentions of sitting near you?

Good god.

2. The Lack of World Building

There was an attempt at world building in this book, and it was executed pretty decently, but not quite well enough. The entire premise of the book – the world, the different humans – literally gets blurted out in 2 chapters and it’s mentioned in such a way that makes it feel like you’re just suppose to take it in like it’s nothing all that big, but I can also tell the author was trying to get readers to feel mind blown.

Except for, 1. You were not very subtle in foreshadowing things. I suspected the Eila would be special the moment the book started. 2. If you want readers to be mind blown, maybe Eila’s reaction should have been more like “You guys are talking a bunch of bull! What the hell have all of you been smoking lately?” rather than “OMG! I’m special? I’m not going to question that at all, because as a normal human being, I will just simply accept the fact that I am not technically completely human without much of a second thought.”

The whole concept of Lunaterra and Mortis is really cool and different from the typical crapshit that is called vampires, but the concept isn’t explained well enough and I’m left with many questions about both races that feels much more like plot holes rather than a withholding of information on purpose.

Also, maybe next time, try not to info dump your entire world onto the reader in one chapter.

3. The Not So Good Writing

The writing style of the author was not bad. It was very readable and not at any point was I seriously bored, but the dialogue is completely unrealistic and awkward. Some authors have a knack for writing dialogue. Unfortunately, it seems like Conway is not. Don’t get me wrong here. There are some moments where MJ cracks a joke that is completely hilarious, but most of the time, they’re prompted incorrectly, so after I laugh I go ahead and think “but no real human would actually say that”. Plus, there are lots of moments where Conway should’ve used contractions, but doesn’t, which makes the dialogue sound stupid.

There’s a lot of padding, especially in the beginning where we’re informed of things that no one particularly cares about.

There’s a lot more telling than showing, which is “cleverly” hidden as dialogue, but that doesn’t actually work (the most extreme example being Sophie’s World, literally a textbook written in dialogue form).

And then the author’s use of cliches bothered me to the extreme.

Conclusion
While this isn’t one of the worst books I’ve ever read, I can’t say it’s very good either. Would I recommend it? Probably not. Would I read the second book? Maybe.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Scorched

The following is a review for the book Scorched. Please note that this contains spoilers. 

Rating: 2/5

It’s alright.

The heroine is weak. She’s just as annoying as Katniss from The Hunger Games, but the difference is that Katniss, while she’s annoying, has a reason to be annoying. All reactions fit what kind of person she is and what circumstances she was thrown in. I don’t like Katniss Everdeen, but she’s a very good 3-D character, whereas here, Trinity is nothing more than an typical teenager thinking that she’s atypical. In other words, she’s terribly cliche. Her reactions are extremely weak and there are plenty of places where I cringe as I read her reactions. You’re holding a dragon egg that about to end the world, there’s a kid in front of you who’s from the future and his mission might very well to be to kill you and all you can think of is your Fields of Fantasy expansion pack sitting at beneath your Christmas tree, probably going to be put to waste? Wow. There’s a random stranger boy who was invading your mind a moment ago and all you can think of is how cute he is? Please shoot me now.

What really really annoyed me, was the fact that Trin’s Grandpa consistently used “kiddo”. There’s nothing wrong with a jolly old grandpa who seems really chill, but he acts nothing like an old man who’s lived 60 years on earth. In fact, he’s so fleetly you could have taken him for a rather goofy 30 some year old. There’s nothing of the aura of knowledge that a museum owner would have. He’s silly, he’s a flat character and he makes no sense. If not given the title grandpa he could easily pass off much younger. If you’ve read Gamer Girl, by Mari Mancusi as well, you’ll see that Grandpa in here is almost an exact replica of Maddy’s Dad. Maybe I’m thinking too much, but is this how Mancusi views men, particularly men who watch their kids? Goofy, erratic, irresponsible and never ever growing up. There’s an issue here.

Following the same lines, and going back to Fields of Fantasy, this same game appears in both books as well. Nothing wrong with that, but really it makes everything feel really weird, because all of a sudden, these two totally unrelated books (one about a girl surviving a new school and bullies and one about a girl saving the world from fire breathing dragons) are somehow connected when the only thing they have in common is being written by the same author and both taking place on Earth. (If you really had to, I guess you could say they both contain humans.) But the similarities end there. Why couldn’t you have just come up with a new name for this game?

I feel like adding the game into the book did nothing more than make me wrinkle my nose. The world’s about to end and dragons are going to burn up the world and you’re worried about some RPG game that you play? Not only was it random, it felt quite out of character and also petty. Yes, it did play into part of the plot later on, but it was such a minuscule addition that the very same effect could have been achieved with another thing just as well. It was a small detail about the Trinity that we really didn’t need to know. Just like how no one would ever just randomly state what a character’s favorite color or favorite type of pasta is unless it was really important to the plot.

(On a side note, in both books, the friend’s name is Caitlyn and both times she doesn’t do much more than act as a side character. Coming up with new names really needs to be worked on.)

The twins were somewhat better character wise. They were goofy, and they really made me laugh. The contrast between them wasn’t as big as I would have like though Caleb certainly is more cocky than Connor on many different levels. But not all boys wear “slouchy jeans”. The fact that these boys seem so comfortable in current clothing even though they came from the future doesn’t make much sense to me. Do they wear “slouchy jeans” where they live as well? Also why “slouchy jeans”? Why not just “jeans”? Did I miss something and just not realized that they’ve been there before or for a while or something and are adapted to these “slouchy jeans”? And if so, maybe that should have been made more clear.

A points, there really was a nice build up of suspense. I was fooled, along with Trinity when Grandpa “died”, (though, I have to say, I felt like I knew there was a plot twist coming up, and he death was gleaned over just a little bit too fast). The horrible mutated dragons truly boiled up some emotion, and I really like Essie.

I felt though that the book was rather predictable as to where it was going. The moment Caleb was introduced, I knew that a love triangle was going to happen (and to be honest, I’m not loving this triangle right now). Something was going to go wrong the moment Trinity found out that there was to be no internet and that everyone was an orphan of some sort.

The orphan kids were really creepy though. It was like they were in a brainwashed cult. I didn’t like the feel of it. It’s funny though, as horrible as I thought the book was, Mancusi really has an enticing style of writing that makes you want to read and re-read the book over and over again.

I was really looking forward to this book, because I really loved Gamer Girl, but this was a disappointment… I think I’ll keep reading the series though. Essie is interesting and I think she has lots of potential.

The following review was written following the rules for One Book One Review. Kind of, almost.