This is the second 'slow burn' YA title I've read/listen to this month. But unlike Matched by Allie Condy, this heroine's langour isn't boring nor does it create a flat character. That's because protagonist Nikki has spent 100 years away from her 17 year old life, trapped in a purgatory. She has to regain emotions lost during that time - and she does over the course of the book. The character development is palpable.
I enjoyed Everneath - there were plenty of mysteries and the 6 month Persephone myth added impetus to the story. As with many YA stories of late, the hero was a bit too good to be true. Although author Brodi Ashton attempted to give him some foibles, they weren't really believable and we didn't get much in the way of his characterization as a result. The same could be said of her best friend, who is almost a cardboard cut out throughout.
But that said, the story flowed smoothly and I enjoyed the ride. I will be purchasing the next title as well.
The audible performance was very good and added to, rather than detracted from, the story.
These Broken Stars is a well written YA science fiction novel that does circumvent a lot of the cliches in the genre. What begins as a "Titanic" type disaster turns into a survival story with the characters slowly bonding over the course of their ordeal.
Lilac LaRue is the daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the galaxy. Tarver Merendsen, son of a teacher and a poet, comes from humble origins. When Lilac's father's flagship unexpectedly fails, both are forced to use each of their unique talents to survive the disaster - and then find help on the oddly empty terraformed planet they've been stranded upon. But things are not as they should be and both are going to be forced to find inner strengths in order to solve the mystery of the planet and the disaster.
Lilac is a strong character and brings as much to the plate as her male counterpart. What I feared would start out as a 'big misunderstanding' (which would be yet another endless bickering between the two) ended up having a good root cause and quickly overcome by the very real dangers they face together. There are very few deux ex machina to make their journey easier and the mystery at the end justified the middle survival story.
I especially liked that throughout, they each have to save each other and both are more than they seem on the outside.
The Audible version has both a male and female narrator and both did a very good job with the characters.
Champion was a satisfying ending to a solid dystopian trilogy - one of the most underrated in the last few years, in my opinion. Author Marie Lu manages to sidestep a lot of the cliches of the genre and end with a satisfying but not pat ending. But she also stays true to the Les Miserable inspiration as well.
June has returned to help Anden run the Repulic as a Princeps Elect while Day grapples with a tumor slowly destroying his brain. Separated by situation, both are grappling with the deaths and grief in their lives. But Anden is losing control of the government, the Colonies have a new, dangerous ally, and everything begins to fall apart as one of the previous plagues mutates. June has to hold the government and senate together, Day has to hold his own failing health and small family together, and the only cure to the plague could very well cost him the last family member he has left alive - his younger brother Eden.
Champion is a slow burn - much more about the politics and the pathos than in action (though the finale offers quite a punch). Both June and Day have matured greatly and I really appreciated that author Lu kept their voices unique and distinct (June's obsession with numbers, Day's gutter-rat colloquialisms) yet also gave them further depth as befitting what they went through in the first two novels.
Thomas, Jameson, Tess, and others all make appearances and their stories are discretely finished in addition to Day and June's emotional arc. This really is a layered book - a study in loss, grief, hopelessness, and at the center, hope. Both Day and June ended up being very against the cliches of the genre and the depth of their journey is extremely well written.
I listened to the audible version and both narrators were excellent - really giving life and energy to the characters.
One of the best books I have ever read. I started it years ago and couldn't get into it. Now, after learning a lot more about the French Revolution, I got it. Dickens is hard to beat as an author - so beautifully written! But the moral of the story is just so powerful. I recommend this to everyone who has any idea about the Fr. Rev., and if you don't, find out so you can enjoy this book. It is a classic for a reason.
I love Frank Muller, one of the best narrators out there. But I also have this book read by Martin Jarvis who is also very good, and actually has a little lighter quality to his voice, which is sometimes helpful in this rather dark novel..