I'm not one to usually write a review on the books I listen to, but this one has been so bad that I've to write something! Ok, the series haven't been outstanding or anything like that. They've been fairly entertaining and I found the original concept of the books to be interesting enough. But, in the last book, the main character goes from mildly annoying to completely and utterly ridiculous. Everyone's attention is focused on this girl who for some unexplained reason is repeatedly told: "you're the only one that matters" and is absolutely adored and defended by everyone around her. It's not like she's some female Harry Potter or Frodo, which I think is what the author is aiming to create, but the plot fails to be relevant enough for this girl to be the savior/protector of the magical, or human, world. Also, I'm sorry, but I fail to see how a 17 year old virgin can possibly know more than her own grown adult teachers about sex and contraception to the point that she is the one everyone goes for advice on this topic and she becomes so weirdly involved in the sex life of all those around her while her own love life is such a joke! I couldn't be bothered to listen to most of this book, I ended up falling asleep, and skipping to the end to know that much at least, but even then was mostly meh!
Ok, there's some magic this lady is able to achieve in her stories that I'm close to believing that the world she's portraying can easily be real. Amanda Ronconi adds her voice to put the cherry on top of Harper's works. A great quote: "...Forget dragons. Here there be giant pissed-off wolves. And they are not happy with you."
Although this novel got my attention at first and I'll admit I enjoyed some of it... the ending was so devastatingly unsatisfying I felt tricked and really, really annoyed at the author. I don't want to ruin the ending in case you decide to read it, but as a reader I felt betrayed for having invested my time in listening to a so-so story only to find a pretty bad ending, in my opinion.
So, I haven't been lucky lately when I've taken risks using my credits to get books from unknown authors, particularly first timers. Although a bit annoying at the beginning (dialogues and situations a bit forced), I quickly found myself liking all of the characters and although you could say that flashbacks don't really work with the rest of the narrative, overall I found the story really had a good pace. You come to understand most of the characters' motivations, weaknesses and feelings. I'm yet waiting to see how that sequel goes. My guest is that it'll be on Eric, I hope!
I think the author of this book started off with a great premise: a frozen post-apocalyptic world in which vampires have tried to preserve their food source (humans) by creating farms where they'd be protected, but in doing so, they weaken the gene pool and humans are now in the way of the dinosaurs. In comes a girl who escaped these camps and who grew in the wild for 10 years. She's fresh blood, literally, that could save her weakened species. Now, tell me you wouldn't bet one of your credits for a story like this? Unfortunately, the book fails in two basic aspects: dialogue and character development. It's hard to imagine a girl who supposedly has lived most of her life in the wild, isolated from most of other humans for so long, and is yet able to not only speak her mind with such expressions such as "bff" and also can read people's intentions so clearly, without any kind of culture shock or real inability to cope. The author to create the appropriate conditions to make us believe this contract, like when she sees a human boy for the first time or not having a mother to explain about the birds and the bees to her... yet, these situations are completely wasted by the author never truly exploited as they should have been. The ending is very abrupt. It's not a cliffhanger as much as a sink hole. I'm not sure if this is the author's first attempt at novel, because there's a great deal of potential, yet she's still unskilled as a writer.
I found the first book of this series to be engaging and original, a dystopia that stood above many other books of the same genre. I anticipated the sequel and now that I've listened to the whole book almost nonstop, it doesn't disappoint. There are many poignant moments, especially the ending. I found it to be both hopeful and devastating, which is a running trend throughout the book - you're happy the character has survived one more close call, but you just know that in the background the world is changing irreparably. By the way, if you haven't read the first book, I suggest you do before listening to the sequel, or otherwise some situations won't make as much sense. I can't see how there could be a third book in this series, though, the ending felt quite definite, which is kind of sad. The narrator does a great job!
I have to admit that this story reminded me a little of The Host, which I enjoyed. I find the concept of having these two voices in your head, battling to have control of one body, to be an interesting plot line. However, I think for such a story line to really work, you need to think of a clear logic for the why, what and how this situation comes to be. So, you have a parallel reality in this book, in which everyone is born with two entities inside. By a certain age in childhood, one of these entities is expected to disappear, leaving only the more dominant entity. However, this concept has many holes like Swiss cheese! What should we think these entities are? Personalities? Twin souls? Then why in a world where everyone is born with two entities, would all humans be forced to accept only one entity, rejecting those who happen to keep both, considering them freaks? Wouldn't it be more natural that both entities remain and only those born with only one entity would be considered the odd ones? I'm sorry, I know there's a certain belief suspension that one is required to experience when reading sci-fi or fantasy novels, but this one leaves too many questions unanswered to fully let myself be engaged by it. Other than that, the writer does a pretty good job describing an alternative reality and the characters in the story are interesting enough. I just hope the second book provides more logic behind the laws of this world.
I enjoy this kind of fiction and this book by Druga doesn't disappoint. However, I disliked how the male narrator did all the voices in such a way that most of the characters sounded like old men or women, with very little distinction among them, so sometimes I wasn't sure who was talking. With many characters to follow this detail is very important since the story can get confusing after a while.
This book broke my heart. I was at first completely hooked: in the beginning, middle and almost to the last few minutes of the narration, you're truly enjoying the story, and then wham! Everything goes horribly wrong so quickly and you're left wondering, what?? It hurts, because this story has it all: there's action, romance, humor, tragedy, mystery and magic. The main character is likeable, for once you get a strong female lead who doesn't wimp out easily, while she's also a real girl with real insecurities. Now, I understand that the writer might be trying to prove a point at the end: how an impulsive, desperate move might change your life completely, and maybe how courage can't make up for inexperience when one's opponent is someone much older and powerful. But the lesson is brutally learned, in my opinion, and although there were hints all along that something bad will happen, it still took me completely by surprise by its harshness. Mostly, the cliff-hanger left me with a frustrating, uncomfortable feeling that was completely out of tune with the rest of the story, which is too bad, because the majority of the book is very enjoyable and well written.
The story in this book intrigued me from the summary I read here at audible, and once I listened to the book, I believe it manages to ask ethical questions that are relevant and thought provoking. Unfortunately, I found the love story a bit overwhelming and difficult to swallow. You have this character who's completely set against genetic manipulation of the human gene, but once faced with love interest who represent all of what he's expected to hate, there's no real resistance or struggle. In that sense, I felt a bit disappointed, since the book falls short from truly developing all the drama and reflection that could have created with a little more character development, and less focus on the romance and passion that in comparison to the larger picture seems to have very little impact.
I found this to be one of the best dystopia narrations I've read or listened lately. It reminded me to the Stand, minus the fantastic elements. You get to care for the characters, and the situations are realistic to the degree that you feel immersed into the reality they're living. There were only a few times when I found myself saying to the main character "why would you want to go there???" but other than that, the whole story gets your attention and doesn't let it go. Worth the credit for sure!
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