storytimewithbuffy

Archive for October, 2014|Monthly archive page

Rogue: The Clone Rebellion 2

In Book Reviews on October 26, 2014 at 3:21 pm
Titan Books 2013

Titan Books 2013

Hello there! So, I’ve had to take a few weeks off from blogging. If you have a blog, you’ve probably suffered at some point from a severe lack of motivation. That’s what I’ve been dealing with the past few weeks. It’s certainly not from a lack of books to write about. I’m still reading like crazy and now I’ve got a stack of books to write posts about. I’m not really sure what has prompted this reluctance to write posts, but the way I figure it, if it isn’t fun what’s the point? I went from being like “Oooh, I’ve finished a book so now I can do a blog post!” to “Ugh, I’ve finished a book and now I have to do a blog post.”.

I’m going to do this post and see how I feel about getting back into the swing of things.

I’d like to start off by saying that I love the covers for these books. I know that it’s a pretty superficial thing, but there you go. I love looking at them in the bookshop when they’re all displayed together. Here’s what the first 4 look like together, so that you can get a feel for my book cover love:

I love bright colours!!

I love bright colours!!

Nutshell blurb: We follow Lt Wayson Harris as he travels the universe and decides which side to fight on while he simultaneously struggles to overcome his conditioning.

This is the 2nd book in this series. If you would like to read my post on the first book, you can find it here.

As I suspected in that post, the first book was all about setting the scene for what was to come in subsequent books. That’s kind of a risky tactic as I found that the first book lacked focus.

This book was much better. I actually knew what was going on and never felt confused. I love the universe that Mr. Kent has created with the exception of one thing…

Where my girls at?????

Again, this story suffers from an extreme lack of estrogen. I guess that with so many clones, there isn’t as much of a need for procreation which has perhaps lowered the birthrate in the galaxy? I don’t know. I’m speculating. There is a real, living, breathing, talking female in the last 1/3 of the book but I found her to be unsatisfactory as a character.

And this might be spoilerific, just so ya know.

My problem with her is that she’s a love interest who belongs to a society of religious people who don’t take advice when someone trustworthy says “Oh hey, I think that the military are coming to exterminate you.” and they’re like “It’s ok because God will protect us.”. So, unless Mr. Kent decides to surprise me (and I kind of have the feeling that he won’t with this part) I think that she’ll end up being killed with her kin which will spur the main character on to great feats of heroics as he’ll have lost everything that he loved etc etc…

I think that my biggest problem with not having any interesting females in this story is how it makes me feel when I read it. I love the story and the main character but as I read I know that I am not the demographic for which this series was written.

It makes me really sad and I feel left out. Sort of like being the last person picked for dodgeball in gym class back in school. WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME, STEVEN L KENT????

I’m really hooked on the stories though, so I’ll probably carry on reading them. I want to read what happens with this woman and find out if I’m right or if I’ll be surprised.

Oh, and if you’ve read the next book, please refrain from spoiling it for me. Thanks! 🙂

 

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Zoo City

In Book Reviews on October 5, 2014 at 10:28 am
Angry Robot 2010

Angry Robot 2010

“You play golf now as well as Blood Skies?” Des says mockingly.
“No, I hate golf. It’s the genteel version of seal-clubbing, only not as much fun.”

Nutshell blurb: Zinzi December is a criminal. In this particular society, criminal are lumped with animal familiars and have certain powers. Zinzi’s power is that she can find lost things. She ends up on a mission to find a missing person and from that point everything goes wrong.

I fell in love with the writing style of this book. Lauren Beukes has a wry sense of humour as well as a knack for description, both of which greatly appeal to me. I put the golf quote up there, incidentally, because that’s exactly how I feel about that particular sport. There were so many lines in this book that I could relate to which made my reading experience that much more fun.

The main character isn’t a very likable person. She actively participates in email scams. You know the ones. Some tribal princess is in dire need of help. She can’t access her vast fortune and needs your help (and money) to do it. Of course, you’ll get a cut of her considerable wealth once she has access to it. That sort of thing. However, Ms. Beukes somehow makes her likable. It was very easy to overlook her criminal activity and sympathise with her. That takes skill.

The animal aspect was very cool as well. (A lot of people have likened the concept to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. I’m not going to do that here because I’ve never gotten around to reading those books. I just wanted to let you know that in case you decided to say ‘Oh hey, this sounds like Philip Pullman’s books.’) It was interesting that only criminals get ‘animalled’. I would love to have an animal that went everywhere with me. Zinzi has a sloth, which is pretty darn cool. Bad things happen to you if your animal gets killed, though. It kind of reminds me of this (skip to 1.30):

Not very nice.

Overall, this was a really good book and as I said, I love her writing. However, the ending was a bit much for even me. I can sum it up in two words: BLOOD BATH. Now, I read lots of zombie, dystopia and horror books so I have a pretty high tolerance for blood, guts and gore but this exceeded what even I find acceptable. I found myself cringing quite a lot, but not in a good way. The violence was excessive, wanton even, and I didn’t think that it served the story in any way. It left me with feelings of disappointment and sadness when I finished.

It is a good read and I definitely don’t regret spending my time and money on it, however, if you are at all squeamish, approach this book at your peril. It won’t deter me from buying any of her other books, though. She is very talented and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.

Poppet

In Book Reviews on October 1, 2014 at 10:20 pm
Transworld Publishers 2014

Transworld Publishers 2014

I saw advertisements for this book all over the Underground when it first came out and the cover freaked me the heck out. I love it. I knew that because of the cover I would eventually read this book. I was talked into reading her first book in the Jack Caffery series (Birdman) and did so first. While I did enjoy it, I had more negative things to say about it than positives so I refrained from doing a blog post about it. This book was much much better than that one.

Nutshell blurb: Jack Caffery is called in to investigate some disturbing events which happen in a high security unit for the mentally ill. And then bad stuff happens.

I can’t help but compare Ms. Hayder’s writing in both of the books that I’ve read. It’s interesting to see how her style has progressed from book 1 to book 6. (I’m trying to ignore the fact that I’ve skipped from book 1 to book 6 but now I’m looking at it in black and white and I’m horrified. I actually skipped four other books. How could I let this happen????) Anyway, her style has improved.

I’m not sure if I like Jack Caffery very much, though. I found the other characters, particularly A.J., a nurse in the nut house, much more interesting as he has more personality and isn’t under a lot of pressure to be a super cool detective with lots of secrets.

Being cool is totally over-rated, by the way. I realise that I’m biased on this statement as it points in my favour. I mean, I’m pretty much the opposite of cool. Perhaps this is why characters who try really hard to attain a sense of mystique annoy me. I can’t relate. I could never imagine myself as a gritty, hard-boiled detective. I would be out with my friends, having cocktails and I’d say something like ‘Oh my God, you guys. I have to tell you about the awesomest case I’m working on. So, I was visiting this looney-bin, right…’

Yeah, so I have a really hard time with the inscrutable mysterioso who suffers from extreme emotional poverty yet whom all females seem to be attracted to. This archetype doesn’t work for me. However, as I just mentioned, the other characters are pretty interesting. I was intrigued by the woman who thought that she could unzip herself out of her skin to make herself invisible. I mean, who doesn’t want to do that sometimes?

Ok, actually I don’t. It was pretty freaky.

I must admit that I saw the plot twist coming from miles away (and I’m not really one of those people who says ‘I saw the plot twist coming from miles away’) so that was a bit dissatisfying.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was difficult to put it down and even though I don’t particularly like the main character, I would be interested to see how his story unfolds in other books.

Plus, I have to read at least 4 of her other ones because I skipped them and that just isn’t the done thing. And yes, I’m a little bit obsessive about these things. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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