Tag «Science Fiction»

Movie Mondays: I am Number Four

Movie Mondays: On Mondays, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this week’s offering:

Book: I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore | Movie: I am Number Four (2011)

Which did I read/see first? the BOOK

Book Cover | Movie Poster

The Book:

Series: Lorien Legacies or I am Number Four Series
Author: Pittacus Lore (Fun Fact: This is actually the name of a character in the book!)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Action, Aliens, Romance
Point of View: First Person (this book is just one character’s POV, the rest of the series has multiple)

Thoughts:

When I am Number Four was about to hit theatres, I decided to read the book before I went to see it (I don’t like having my books spoiled). But I wasn’t able to finish the book before my library loan was due and thus, I never got to see it in theatres. However, I did eventually finish the book.

My feelings on I am Number Four are mixed. Since reading the other books in the series, this one is a definite oddball in terms of its delivery and plot line. As I said in my review of the series, I am Number Four follows the typical Young Adult Science Fiction plot line formula: main hero is in hiding, discovers his special powers, falls in love with a human girl and has to save the world. It wasn’t anything overly new to me and that made it a tad boring to read. John/Four isn’t my favourite character in the series and because this first book focuses solely on him, it gets a little tiring putting up with his teenaged angst all the time.

So I could understand why people would drop the whole series based on their experience reading this book. It’s really a shame the rest of the series truly blows this book out of the water in terms of everything. It has better characters, more plots, great twists and reveals as well as a lot more action and suspense.

But the fact of the matter is, you have to read this book to get on with the rest of the series so if you want to read this series, you have to just tough it out a bit.

Conclusion:

Don’t judge the series by I am Number Four. I like to think of I am Number Four as one big prequel novella for the rest of the series. Those who love science fiction and stories with lots of kickass action, you will enjoy the rest of the faster paced books in the series! So while it is important to read I am Number Four, don’t let it dissuade you from reading The Power of Six. But if you don’t enjoy The Power of Six, then you won’t like the rest of the series because that is what the rest of the series is like.

Rating: 3/5 for I am Number Four, but 4.5/5 for the series as a whole
Series Review: Full series review here!

Similar Reads: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux Series #1)

The Movie:

I finally managed to watch this movie a little more than 3 years after its theatrical release when I was traveling home from school this fall.

While it has been 3 years since I read the book, I knew that they had made dramatic changes to the plot despite not remembering every little detail of the book. I’m not one of those book fans who can’t fathom why book-to-movie adaptions make plot changes–because I completely understand why–so it didn’t necessarily bother me that they changed the main events of the book a bit. With the exception of one MAJOR plot aspect, what they did in the movie got across what the book was trying to achieve.

However, what I don’t appreciate is the little details they forgot to mention. Like the importance of the “kill order” and all the fine print associated with it. Or what John’s powers actually do. I just felt like the key aspects of the book, which make the series so much fun to read and add so much depth to it, weren’t utilized as much as they should be. It just felt like the writers went “meh” that shit isn’t important–WHEN IT IS!

Though I think it is important to note that the second novel in the series, The Power of Six, hadn’t been published when the movie was released. Maybe not completely know what happens in the sequel attributed to some of the dismal plot changes but at the same time, I’m sure they must have consulted with the author so really, I don’t see any legitimate excuse for why things were done as they were.

In terms of casting, I think it was very well done. I have a little bit of a crush on Alex Pettyfer so I have a little bit of a biased when it comes to him. However, he played John very well–I disliked watching that character as much as I disliked reading about him so I consider that a win 😛 All joking aside, he does angsty well (which is why he was my ideal pick for Jace Wayland in the City of Bones movie adaption even though he turned the role down) but he can also pull off the action scenes well so I think he was cast very well. I loved Teresa Palmer as Six and I loved Callan McAuliffe as Sam (both Six and Sam are two of my favourite characters in the series) as well as Timothy Olyphant as Henry, though I wish that role was expanded upon more.

Overall, the movie was ok. Nothing really wowed me about it but I enjoyed watching these characters come to life on the big (well, my tablet) screen. While plans for the sequel were shelved after the disappointing box office reception of this movie, there may be hope yet for a sequel. Apparently, the director of the movie still gets asked if a sequel will be arriving and I think the fact that the books continue to sell well gives the impression that a sequel might not be a complete waste of money. I personally think this would be an option worth exploring because the rest of the series is on a whole other level than the inaugural book and would be much more appealing to audiences.

So, which is better: the book or the movie?

In this case, the winner is the BOOK. While it isn’t my favourite book in the series, I did enjoy the more complex plot we get in the novel. The movie took out too much of what makes this whole series so interesting to read and it missed the mark with me.

Do you agree? Leave a comment below!

Synopsis for I am Number Four (from Goodreads):
In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now. The Nine had to separate and go into hiding.

The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I AM NUMBER FOUR is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.

Trailer:

Movie Mondays: The Maze Runner

Movie Mondays: On Mondays, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this week’s offering:

Book: The Maze Runner by James Dashner | Movie: The Maze Runner (2014)

Which did I read/see first? the BOOK

Book Cover | Movie Poster

The Book:

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Biggest Disappointments 2014
Series: The Maze Runner Trilogy
Author: James Dashner
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Suspense, Apocalyptic, Mystery
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: Third Person

Thoughts:

I didn’t totally love The Maze Runner when I read it. I think I made the mistake of watching the movie trailer before I read the novel and let the trailer create my expectations for the novel.

I was expecting a fast-paced adventure novel with lots of twists and turns (and I don’t just mean turns of maze itself) and high doses of suspense. Instead, I got a dry, overly descriptive novel that took a very long time to get exciting.

Part of the problem is the third person narration–it’s just so impersonal for a story that is supposed to be suspenseful. I wasn’t able to connect with the characters like I wanted and that made it hard to read it.

There also wasn’t a lot of action either until the very end of the novel–and that’s when the plot gets a lot more interesting as well.

Conclusion:

This is one of those “cool concept–poor execution” novels. Read it if you enjoy longer Young Adult reads that slowly build up to the climax.

Rating: 3/5
Series Review: Full series review here!

The Movie:

Despite not having an overly good experience reading the novels—I was SUPER excited to watch the movie! Part of the reason is my massive crush on Dylan O’Brien (who plays the lead Thomas) but part of the reason is that when I was reading the book, I could definitely see it as a movie. James Dashner is very descriptive so I had a very clear picture of the setting in my mind when I was reading and if you got rid of the overly descriptive parts and just took out the highlights, it would have everything that a good movie needs.

I have to say, this was a great adaption–my crushes on the respective actors aside. I really loved the direction they took this movie in terms of what they cut and kept.

First, the cast was great! And I’m not saying that in a biased way 😉 They really did a fantastic job bringing the characters to life and I definitely connected more with these characters in film than novel form. O’Brien was exactly what I pictured Thomas to act like–fantastic job!

The set was also really, really well done. Not hard when the movie is adapted from a book as descriptive as The Maze Runner but still important nonetheless.

As for the story–this was exactly what I expected The Maze Runner to be: fast-paced and suspenseful! Even knowing what was going to happen, I still had goosebumps anytime a griever appeared on screen or they entered the maze. The main plot points are pretty much the same from what I remember but only a few minor changes are made. I think it’s a good thing that they changed what they did. There is just one thing that they reveal that seems a little premature to me but I think for the sake of the general audience (who has probably never read the book) it needed to be done.

I’m SO happy that this adaptation was successful at the box office–because a sequel deserves to be made. The Scorch Trials was my favourite book of the trilogy and I can’t wait to see it brought to life. I also won’t lie: I want more of Dylan O’Brien in my life 🙂

So, which is better: the book or the movie?

In this case, the winner is the MOVIE…hands down. It was everything I wanted the novel to be and was very well done. Fans I think will be happy with the result. I encourage those who didn’t like the book to actually watch the movie at some point because I have a feeling you too will also really enjoy it!

Do you agree? Leave a comment below!

Synopsis for The Maze Runner (from Goodreads):
“If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.”

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers–boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out–and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Trailer:

Series Review: IFICS by Julia Crane

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
IFICS series By Julia CraneReview

Freak Fractured

Series: IFICS Series
Author: Julia Crane
# of Books: 3 (Freak of Nature, Fractured Innocence, Fatal Abduction)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, Fatal Abduction is to be published
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Science Fiction, Romance, Action
Heat Rating: really warm (for a young adult novel)
Point of View: Third Person

Thoughts:

PLEASE NOTE: This review is a part of review blitz for the IFICS series put on by Julia Crane’s publicist. I was contacted by her assistant publicist to do a review on the first two books of the series.

My previous exposure to Julia Crane’s work was with the Keegan Chronicles and that wasn’t a totally positive experience. The writing was choppy and the story just didn’t grab my attention the way I was hoping. But I am all for second chances and when I read the synopsis for Freak of Nature, I knew this book was more my tastes.

The writing in Freak of Nature is much smoother than it was in Coexist. It was easy to follow and more importantly flowed smoothly. While third person narration is not my favourite POV form, it works well for this series. I think it would be hard to read the series as a first person POV from Kaitlyn given that she doesn’t fully think like a human. Plus, it added to the story to get a feel for what was happening around Kaitlyn when she wasn’t there. This was especially important in Fractured Innocence–and one of my favourite parts of the book.

Freak of Nature was interesting, just slow to me. It seemed like an extended novella of sorts because it really set the stage for the world the series is set in. The plot was very singular in its delivery: there really isn’t much going on other than Kaitlyn learning the truth about her human past.

While reading Freak of Nature, I kept drawing parallels to Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza. Both are extremely similar novels but I found that Freak of Nature focuses more on the romantic side of things and more on Kaitlyn’s relationships with other people while Mila 2.0 focuses more on the action and what it means to be human. Two completely different takes on a similar Science Fiction element.

To me, Freak of Nature seemed to be struggling with identifying itself as a Young Adult read or a New Adult read. At first I labelled it as a Young Adult read but it was a much more mature Young Adult read in terms of sexual content. With Fractured Innocence, it was more obvious to me that it was more a New Adult read; it deals with some heavy content that not everyone will be comfortable reading.

Fractured Innocence touches on a subject that not a lot of Young Adult/New Adult books do. I enjoyed reading that aspect of the book because I think it is a subject people need to be more aware of. I felt like it was handled in an extremely mature and realistic way which I always appreciate. Though, as I said before, it might make some people uncomfortable reading it because it is a hard thing to stomach.

I was hoping Fractured Innocence was going to be faster paced and more action focused: it wasn’t. At the halfway point they were still sitting around doing nothing and the characters even complain about it in the book. When we do get the action, it lasts for 2-3 chapters and the remainder of the book it coming to terms with everything that happened, which isn’t that much. It kept my attention though because of the added POV and the anticipation that something was going to happen; but nothing ever really did. I was alos expecting more character development but it didn’t seem to happen either.

I’m undecided about whether or not I will be reading Fatal Abduction. It sounds like it will be more exciting and reviews I have seen have all been very positive so maybe one day in the future I will pick it up.

Conclusion:

This series reminds me a lot of the CW TV show Nikita (one of my all time favourite shows) just with a teen aged cyborg as the lead instead. However, it’s slower paced and not as action focused as I personally like when reading this type of genre. Nothing really blew my socks off but for those who like singular plot lines or want to dabble in Young Adult Science Fiction, this might be a series that is worth your time.

Rating: 2.5/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: Probably to a younger friend who wanted a taste of SciFi.

Similar Reads: Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza (Mila 2.0 Trilogy)

Synopsis for Freak of Nature (from Goodreads):
Donate Body to Science. Check.
When seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn checked the box, she never suspected she’d have her life–and her body–stolen from her. She awakens one day in a secret laboratory to discover that her body is now half-robot and is forced to hide her own secret: that she still has human emotions and a human mind. If the scientists who made her find out, they’ll erase what remains of who she was.

 

Freak

FIND IT ON GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/FONGR

FIND IT ON AMAZON: http://bit.ly/FONAMAZON

FIND IT ON BARNES AND NOBLE: http://bit.ly/FONBNB

Fractured

FIND IT ON GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/FrInGR

FIND IT ON AMAZON: http://bit.ly/FIAmazon

FIND IT AT BARNES AND NOBLE: http://bit.ly/FrInBN

~*~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~*~

Julia crane is the author of the Keegan’s Chronicles, IFICS. She has a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Julia has believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Growing up her mother greatly encouraged reading and using your imagination.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/juliacraneauthor

WEBSITE: www.juliacrane.com

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/JuliaCrane2

Series Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Legend (from Goodreads):

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Series 2014, Favourite Couple 2014, To-Watch Author
Series: Legend, Legend Trilogy
Author: Marie Lu
# of Books: 4 (Full Series Reading Order)

There are some novellas.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Adventure, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Political
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: November 2011 – October 2019
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

**This post has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

My Expectations/Why I Picked it Up:

I’ve wanted to read Legend since it first came out in 2011 but I could never get my hands on a copy from the library. I also let it slip to the back of my mind and read other, more “popular” dystopian novels. But after reading the first novel, Legend, I’m upset with myself that I waited this long!

Review of Legend (#1):

Legend was everything I love in a novel. It has strong lead characters (especially a strong female heroine), suspense, mystery, a dash of romance and action. I was sucked into the book the moment I started it and couldn’t put it down. Like most dystopian novels, it has many layers to it. You have the overall political issues, the class divisions and then the main plot for the individual novel. There were some great twists and turns along the way and I found that the suspense never died.

What I also loved was that this book wasn’t like other dystopian books out there. Yes, it had similar elements but I found the story to be very refreshing. It is definitely on the darker side in the sense that it isn’t afraid to talk about death or feature killing. It might make some readers uncomfortable but I thought it really added to the story.

June was great on her own as was Day but I loved the chemistry they had together. They weren’t immature despite being only 15 years old and they didn’t grate on my nerves like some teen leads can. I felt like I was reading about 17 year olds and I almost wish that they were older just for the sake of what they have to go through but it really isn’t a big deal. June does do a few things that irk me a little later on but overall I really do like her character.

Review of Prodigy (#2):

Prodigy never slumped in its delivery. It was fast-paced from start to finish and I loved the character development we get along the way. It’s one of the best middle books of a trilogy that I have read. I find a lot of novels in a trilogy, especially a dystopian series, really struggle with the sequel book. But this one was strong throughout and I loved every minute of it!

Review of Champion (#3):

Champion started slow (compared to the rest of the series) but picked up quickly. The last third was super intense and I couldn’t get enough of it. Dystopian authors take note, this is how you write the conclusion to your trilogy: it was perfection. It had action, character development, a dash of realism (which I really, really appreciated) and a thorough wrap-up. Just well done.

When to Read #0.5 Life Before Legend:

Just a quick note on Life Before Legend. The title is slightly confusing in the sense that it gives the impression that you should read it before you read Legend. DON’T! It really won’t mean anything to you until you read Legend and have met the characters. And it’ll have some spoilers.

Life Before Legend isn’t anything spectacular. To be honest, I mostly skimmed through it. It’s a cute little extra that fans will enjoy but it’s nothing to worry about as it really doesn’t add anything to the story. I recommend you read it after book 2, Prodigy, just because one story refers to a particular scene in Prodigy so it will have more relevance than if you read it after the finished series.

updates

–November 18, 2019– Book #4: Rebel

I was both nervous and super excited when this book was announced. While I wouldn’t say I LOVED the ending of Champion, I respected it. But that didn’t mean I wouldn’t read any future novels set in this world.

What an amazing way to return and wrap up an amazing series. Honestly, it’s been years since I finished Champion but I felt like it had been days.

Everything you want and need is here. Powerful character moments; a strong plot.

And I have to say that I love the idea that the solutions to problems aren’t always so clear and that the world is ever changing. Perfection.

Series Rating: 5/5

Legend 5/5 | Prodigy 5/5 | Champion 5/5 | Rebel 5/5

overall

I devoured these novels! I would sit down and find that an hour had past and I had made significant progress reading. I highly recommend you read them as close together as possible because you will need to know what happens next. Marie Lu has become an author I plan to read a lot more from. If you loved Divergent and want a book with a similar vibe, this is the series you need to read. If you like action, a splash of romance and suspense in your young adult novels, pick this series up!

Read if You Like: dystopian, fast paced novels, rebellion
Avoid if You: dislike science fiction

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Series Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Biggest Disappointments 2014
Series: The Maze Runner Trilogy
Author: James Dashner
# of Books: 3 (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure)

There is a prequel novel called The Kill Order and novella that is listed between books 2 and 3 called Thomas’s First Memory of the Flare.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Suspense, Apocalyptic, Mystery
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: Third Person
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

Thoughts:

I had heard about the Maze Runner series before I heard about the plans for the movie and had put it on my to-read list. But with the movie approaching, I decided to read it before the movie was released in September.

The first book in the series, The Maze Runner, was very slow and dry. I was expecting the action to happen right away and I found that the plot really didn’t pick up until the last third of the book–which is quite far into the novel as it is a longer novel. I just felt like the little pieces of the mystery took too long to be revealed; because once more pieces were revealed, it got really interesting. But until you know more it is quite dull. Part of the issue is that it is very descriptive–which isn’t bad because I have a good idea of what the world looks like–when it doesn’t really need to be.

I could see why a lot of people didn’t enjoy the novel as it isn’t as intense or action packed as, say, the Hunger Games were. I think the movie will do well though because they will speed through the exposition quicker and focus more on the few action scenes we do get in the first half of the book and expand upon them.

Up until the halfway point or so of The Maze Runner I wasn’t entirely sure if I would be reading the second novel, The Scorch Trials. I didn’t want to have to put myself through another round of dry, overly descriptive chapters.But when everything is finally revealed, I really got into the story and was excited to read book 2.

The Scorch Trials does what I wish The Maze Runner did, and that’s hitting the ground and running (no pun intended). There isn’t an inflated exposition to sift your way through. Instead we dive right into the next scene and watch the mystery unravel around us. I did find that some chapters were slower than others but overall, The Scorch Trials is a vast improvement over its predecessor and I understand why people love these/this books/series because it is quite the ride when it wants to be. It makes the task of reading The Maze Runner almost worth it.

Unfortunately though, The Death Cure, the third and final book of the series, drops the ball. It was more “death” than “cure”. Like the inaugural book of the series, it was super slow. It got to a point where I was just skimming the text because I really didn’t need to read every detail to get an idea of what was happening–because there wasn’t really anything happening! That was why it was more like “death” because it was a chore to read it–though the last 40 pages really picked up. However, I missed the “cure” part. I really didn’t feel like any of my questions about the entire series were answered and the ending leaves a little to be desired. As a concluding book in a series, it was a fail.

I’m undecided about reading the prequel novel (it is a full fledged novel, not a novella), The Kill Order. It is very important that you don’t read this novel until after you read the trilogy because it will have spoilers about the world that is unveiled as you progress through the trilogy. However, the characters in the Maze Runner do not appear in the Kill Order (from what I understand). I might read it in the future, but after finishing the Death Cure, I need a bit of a break from this series.

Conclusion:

A cool concept for a series but not the best execution. It’s a slower series that does have its higher points but overall drags out throughout the novels and the entire series. I was very disappointed but I am looking forward to the movie–I think if it is executed well, it will be what I expected the series to be. If you like slower, longer stories told from the third person, this is a young adult series for you!

Rating: 3/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: No – unless I know that they love overly descriptive books. I would actually recommend that they watch the movie instead…find out why here!

Similar Reads: Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Across the Universe Trilogy #1) and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for The Maze Runner (from Goodreads):
“If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.”

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers–boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out–and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Series Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Series: Across the Universe Trilogy
Author: Beth Revis
# of Books: 3 (Across the Universe, A Million Suns, Shades of Earth)

There are a few short stories published about various characters. See the list here.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Mystery, Dystopian, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Alternating

Thoughts:

I almost didn’t read this series. I had never heard a lick about it and when I saw the title and cover for Across the Universe, I thought it was a book about the 2007 movie of the same name. But, my curiosity got the better of me (thanks to that colourful cover) and I clicked on it, read the synopsis and borrowed the eBook.

And I am so ever thankful that I did!

This series really blew my mind away. Just when I’d think I had an idea of what was going on, something else was thrown into the loop–something that had been carefully hidden all along–and would change everything. In each and every book I got sucked into the story and simply devoured them. They were very unique and unlike anything I have read before and I applaud Beth Revis for crafting such a creative, plot-twisting, fun series.

However, Across the Universe did start a little slow. Part of the reason is trying to navigate exactly what the situation/setting is for these characters. There are a lot new “terms” because the series is set so many years in the future (and language and humans evolve over this time). Another reason is that Amy is a harder character to like at first. She’s a little annoying and vain so that grated on my nerves a bit. But when I let myself think about it, I really came to understand why she acted that way. How would you feel if you woke up on a ship, 100s of years in the future because someone tried to kill you and then found yourself surrounded by 1000s of strangers? Probably a little defensive I would say :p So While Amy isn’t my favourite literary heroine of all time, I did grow to like her as the series continued. Elder, the male protagonist I loved from the get-go so no issue there.

The series, like most recent dystopian Young Adult reads, doesn’t focus on the romance rather on what is really going on inside Godspeed. There was a lot going on and as I said before, the plot twisted constantly so it made for a very exciting read. The romance element is there, but if you are planning on reading this because of a “love out of time” maybe find something else or stay for the mystery of Godspeed because it’s so worth it!

Conclusion:

If you love plot twists and Science Fiction reads–this is a Young Adult Series you should read. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this impressed with a trilogy!

Rating: 4/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: YES!!!

Similar Reads: Legend by Marie Lu (Legend Trilogy #1) and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Across the Universe (from Goodreads):
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone – one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship – tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

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Series Review: Matched by Ally Condie

 

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Matched (from Goodreads):
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

breakdown

Series: Matched Trilogy
Author: Ally Condie
# of Books: 3 (Matched, Crossed, Reached)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single (Matched), Multiple
Publication Dates: November 2010 – November 2012
Source & Format: Public Library–Hardcover

thoughts

PLEASE NOTE: That I have not fully read the final novel, Reached. I was approximately 25% through when I decided to stop. Find out why below.

My Review:

I read Matched right when it came out–right when Young Adult dystopian novels were just coming into popularity. However, compared to its peers it just didn’t stand up quite on par to them. It had everything else they had: a love triangle, tyrannical government, mysterious human history, rebels–but it just uses it all in a lackluster way and does that for the whole series.

Part of the problem is Cassia. It doesn’t get much duller than her folks. Nothing about her excited me and because the first two books are told solely from her perspective I just couldn’t get into them.I can’t even say that I hate her: I’m just indifferent.

What I did hate was her love triangle. While this is probably one of the only series where the love triangle is actually necessary to the plot, I would have appreciated better components than Cassia, Ky (who I never liked at all) and Xander (who I actually liked). Ky always seemed to be paranoid about his relationship with Cassia (especially in the final novel Reached) and I didn’t like that. Xander is the proverbial best friend of Cassia but who doesn’t get a whole lot of screen time in my opinion–I think its obvious whose team I was on for this one.

Matched and Crossed mostly focus on Cassia coming to terms about the world around her and where she fits in with it all. The only reason I gave Crossed a 4/5 is because of the awesome twist we get at the end. A twist that made me super excited to read Reached…

But then I actually read Reached and nearly cried because of the boredom. It took me 7 months to finally come to terms that this was a series I was probably never going to finish. I’m sure part of the problem is that it’s been nearly 2 years since I read Crossed and I’ve just lost my interest in a series that I was indifferent to. But part of the other problem is the length and the details. I can appreciate the fact that Ally Condie wanted to give the 3 main characters adequate screen time in the big finale but I just felt like everything dragged because of it. The worst part is that I didn’t even care how the series ended–I just read the last two chapters to read get a conclusion to the love triangle, how sad is that?

Reached reminded me a lot of Requiem, the last book in Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series (another slow, poorly executed dystopian series). It’s the final climax of the series so you expect a lot of action but instead you get a lot of vague dialogue, zero action and a blah conclusion. It makes for a slow read and in turn becomes a let down to readers who watched as the series built up to this final piece. And the actual ending is not something that all fans of the books agree with or like. From other reviews I’ve gathered that the ending of the Matched Trilogy is a little dismal with only a few people actually liking it.

However, if you have read Reached, I wouldn’t mind a brief synopsis of what happens 😛

Series Rating: DNF

overall

For me, this series is one where I loved the concept but not the execution. For those who like slower, more character development focused stories, this series might be worth your time. Otherwise, pass!

similarreads

  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium Trilogy #1)
  • Fever by Lauren DeStefano (Fever Trilogy #1)

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Series Review: Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout

book2 book2

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Author
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout (Other pen names: J. Lynn)
# of Books: 5 (Obsidian, Onyx, Opal, Origin, Opposition)

There is a prequel novella called Shadows.

There is also a New Adult novel set in the same world that slightly crosses-over into the series in Origin but is completely unrelated to this series called Obsession.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance, Action
Heat Rating: warm for a Young Adult read (some may not find it appropriate for younger teens)
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

I discovered Ms. Armentrout after finding her Covenant Series but at the time it was not available for purchase in Canada. However, these books were at my library so I decided to read them instead.

A Young Adult series that deals with aliens wasn’t something I had come across at the time I started to read these books (I later read the Lorien Legacies but they are two completely different types of series). It was a change from the vampire and fallen angel romance stories I had been reading so I found it was super refreshing in that sense.

One of the reasons I really found it refreshing is because of Katy. I really liked her as a heroine. She was funny and quirky in a non-irritating way. She was also independent and didn’t need a man to define her–which in and of itself is a nice break from the usual Young Adult paranormal heroines. I also really liked Daemon–he is definitely swoon-worthy in every way. After reading Ms. Armentrout’s other works I have to give her props because she writes great heroes <3 Overall I felt like they were a good pair for each other.

Obsidian to me followed the typical Young Adult story in terms of the romance but the plot had an interesting spin to it. This science fiction spin carries on through the rest of the books and I really enjoy that aspect of it. And the characters really make the story as well. Onyx was a good follow up to its predecessor.

Opal was a rocky read for me. Having loved Katy in the first two books, she really grated my nerves in this book. I felt like the strong, independent girl we were introduced to lost a bit of herself because of Daemon and I really didn’t like that. I also found the plot slow and not overly interesting. This book read much more like the second book in a trilogy where it was needed to bridge the plot for the final climax of the series. It ended on a good note so I was really excited to read Origin.

Origin to me picked back up on the charm of the first two books and I enjoyed reading it much more than Opal. Katy redeemed herself in my eyes and I like where this series is heading into its last book Opposition.

I just have two important notes:

1) It’s important to note that Armentrout is an adult writer so the sexual content in this book is spicier than most young adult novels. I wouldn’t recommend younger teens reading it because of the content. This isn’t to say we get full out descriptions like in adult novels but it is more descriptive than the occasional make out session in other novels. From my understanding, Obsessions, a New Adult spin-off, has much more spice to it (though I have yet to read it).

2) Shadows is a prequel novella in the sense that it takes place before the first book in the series. However, it isn’t necessary to read and I would actually recommend that you read it after you read the first novel, Obsidian. I think it gives away too much about the mystery we get in Obsidian and it’s a nice way to wrap everything you learn in the first book together.

UPDATED (October 21/14): Opposition was everything I wanted for a finale for this series. I thought we would get a little more physical action scenes but we didn’t; and that isn’t a bad thing either. Everything was well done and fans of the series will like how everything wraps up.

Conclusion:

If you are looking for a young adult paranormal romance but are tired of fallen angels and vampires, this is the series for you. It is geared for older young adults in terms of the romance but has action, humour and swoon-worthy heroes. The characters are always entertaining and the plot follows some interesting twists along the way. Overall, a great read.

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer (Elemental Series #1) and Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins (Sweet Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Obsidian (from Goodreads):

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Series Review: Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Series: Breathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
# of Books: 2 (Breathe, Resist)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Survival, Adventure, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Multiple

Thoughts:

Breathe was a random read I found in my library’s eBook collection. The cover is what drew me to it but it was the concept that made me read it. I’ve never thought about what it would be like not to have air or have it controlled in such a way and I was also on a dystopian fiction kick so it seemed like a good choice.

Breathe was an interesting read. I didn’t particularly love it but I didn’t hate it either. It occupied my time and I enjoyed reading it but it wasn’t my favourite book ever. It moves really slow–same with its sequel, Resist– but once it gets going its pretty easy to read. Again, it’s the concept of the book that fascinated me the most and it was interesting to see how science fiction element of Breathe was carried out and then continued in Resist. I would say Breathe is more dystopian-survival-esque while Resist is more science fiction based which made each book interesting in their own ways. I’m glad that there are only the two books because I’m not sure how you would make this into a trilogy without dragging everything out.

I think the main reason I didn’t love this series outright is because of the characters. Given the odds that there are 3 main characters (and a fourth in Resist) the odds that I would like someone should be pretty high. Unfortunately, I just didn’t connect with any of them. I would say that Alina was my favourite for a long time but then she became a little annoying to me and I started to like Bea better because her story got more interesting. But in the end, I was pretty indifferent to both of them and Quinn. I’m not sure exactly what it was about them that made me feel that way but I just didn’t really care for them and that dampened my reading experience.

Conclusion:

The books are well written and they are thought-provoking as you read them. They aren’t the greatest reads ever but if you want to read about a world where oxygen levels are controlled by the government, they might be worth your while.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky Trilogy #1); Mystic City by Theo Lawrence (Mystic City #1)  and Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Breathe (from Goodreads):
Inhale. Exhale.
Breathe.
Breathe.
Breathe . . .
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

Alina
has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

Quinn
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

Bea
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

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Series Review: Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore

Series Review: Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for I am Number Four (from Goodreads):
In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now. The Nine had to separate and go into hiding.

The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I AM NUMBER FOUR is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Science Fiction Series, Top Series #17
Series: Lorien Legacies or I am Number Four Series

There is a spin-off series: Lorien Legacies Reborn

Author: Pittacus Lore (Fun Fact: This is actually the name of a character in the book!)
# of Books: 7 (Full Reading Order Here)

There is an entire set of novellas that provide background info and other stories. The complete list can be found here Lorien Legacies: The Lost Files

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Action, Aliens, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person (I am Number Four); Multiple (Power of Six onwards)
Publication Dates: August 2010 – June 2016
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook; Hardcover
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

thoughts

Like most people, I only read I am Number Four because it was about to be released as a movie. I tried my best to finish before the movie but I wasn’t able to read it fast enough before it was out of the theatres. I still haven’t seen the movie but once I find a copy of it, you’ll be the first to read my review on it!

I know the movie bombed at the box office and this book isn’t particularly a hit with readers either. And that’s a damn shame because the rest of the series is far superior and so fantastic that lots of people who probably would enjoy reading it probably dropped it after reading I am Number Four.

I am Number Four isn’t anything special. It’s actually pretty mediocre and follows the typical Young Adult Science Fiction plot line: boy is in hiding, discovers his special powers and falls in love with a human girl. It’s very formulaic. It also doesn’t help that Four/John isn’t the easiest person to like. He’s kinda whinny and has a bit of righteous attitude that rubbed me the wrong way. But I loved Sam (his sidekick) and I loved the concept of the story. And by the end of the book, we get a bigger and better plotline that makes reading the next book so awesome.

The Power of Six was absolutely fantastic! After I finished reading the book, I even said so to myself. I really really enjoyed it. There is a lot more action and more about the purpose of John & company is revealed. I think it helps that we get a few more characters to read about so you don’t get John-overload. It was just a lot of fun to read about and had everything I love in a good series novel.

The Rise of Nine picks up right where The Power of Six leaves us (and thank goodness for that!) and it keeps going with the faster-pace action and has lots of twists and turns. It was hard to put this one down as well.

The Fall of Five is much slower than The Rise of Nine action wise in the middle of the book but I also devoured it. This was more a book about plot development but I never found it dull because of the multiple perspectives and the twists always had me thinking. I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to see where the next two books go in the series because the building up of the story has been fantastic in the last two novels. The wait until August is probably going to kill me 😛

As for the novellas, I’ve only read one or two. You don’t really need them to appreciate the world and I find that Pittacus Lore is good at reiterating the little facts about each character as you go between the books so things are always fresh on your mind. But they do make for a good way to pass the time while waiting for the next novel 😉

updates

–October 9, 2014– Book 5: Revenge of Seven

Words cannot describe how excited I was to read to read the Revenge of Seven. August has become synonymous with the release of these novels to me so I was absolutely dying to get my copy from the library. While Revenge of Seven wasn’t what I was entirely expected (I thought we were going to get a certain character’s perspective but we didn’t) I loved every minute of it. This book was really about building up to the final climax so I found it wasn’t focused on the physical action so much, though don’t get me wrong there was plenty of action just not as much as previous books. I really loved how everything is coming together and I can’t wait to read the final novel!

–November 19, 2015– Book 6: Fate of Ten

I was probably halfway through Fate of Ten when I realized that it was NOT the final book of the series. That irked me a little because I had opted to pay a late fine at the library in order to finish it thinking I was getting the grande finale.

Despite that, this book was good. Again, not as action packed as the previous novels though it does increase as you reach the end. It helps link up all of your questions and has some interesting developments that have me on edge to see how everything is going to wrap up. Solid book overall.

–August 22, 2016– Book 7: United as One

I loved and hated every moment of this book. Loved it because it was everything I wanted the ending to be but hated it because I am seriously going to miss this cast of characters!

I thought this book started slow–then again, it’s been so long since I read the previous novel. Everything started to come back to me the further I got and I found myself once again drawn into the struggles of these characters.

I really, really liked this ending! The journey is finally at a close and what a wild adventure it has been!

Series Rating: 4.5/5

I am Number Four 3/5 | The Power of Six 4/5 | The Rise of Nine 5/5  |  The Fall of Five 5/5  |  The Revenge of Seven 4/5  |  The Fate of Ten 4/5  |  United as One 5/5

overall

Don’t judge the series by I am Number Four. I like to think of I am Number Four as one big prequel novella for the rest of the series. Those who love science fiction and stories with lots of kickass action, you will enjoy the rest of the faster paced books in the series! So while it is important to read I am Number Four, don’t let it dissuade you from reading The Power of Six. But if you don’t enjoy The Power of Six, then you won’t like the rest of the series because that is what the rest of the series is like.

Read if You Like: slower starts, world-building, aliens, YA Science Fiction
Avoid if You: want more romance, dislike science fiction

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