Sunday, 23 September 2012

"The Knife Of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness

The Knife Of Never Letting Go is the first book of the Chaos Walking trilogy. Before I read this book I heard a variety of different opinions, ranging on awful to brilliant, and because this was widely talked about on both spectrums, I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about.

Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant overwhelming never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets. Or are there? Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence. Which is impossible. Prentisstown has been lying to him. And now he's going to have to run...

This book is written in the first person from the perspective of our protagonist Todd Hewitt, and due to the fact he was never properly taught to read or write it's written quite phonetically at time. This was a struggle to read and even though there was reasoning behind it I didn't think it was quite necessary - however, I did get used to it after the first fifty pages or there abouts. But the 'swearing' in the book became a bit tedious at times with the way he would write 'effing' when he was actually swearing. I found this unnecessary and even though he is going on being a teenager I don't think it was natural for him to be swearing as much as he did.

The idea behind the book was a brilliant one but I don't think the way the plot played out did it any justice. The whole book was a bit jolted (which wasn't helped by the writing style) and seemed to be quite simple, in simpler terms it was like, and I did this, then I did this, then I went here, etc. There was no true development on anything and the fact that a lot of the story was witheld from Todd and the reader, until pretty much the end of the book, made it slightly boring. This big secret about Prentisstown throughout the book was made out to be something life changing and shocking, but in fact when the truth finally came out into the open I was very underwhelmed and even found myself thinking, 'was that it?'

The characters were nothing. I appreciate Todd a little bit more because, as like the reader, he didn't know anything whatsoever and was running blindly, but he was boring as was his dialogue. Viola was nothing, Manchee was annoying and I felt his existence in the book was only helpful at one point - there was only one point where I actually felt sympathy for him, other than that he was just a hinderance I found. Last but not least, the most frustrating of all was Aaron, the crazy priest, who was so unnatural and inhuman it was just ridiculous - I read somewhere someone describing as the energizer bunny that just keeps on going and going and going and after a while his part in the story just became very predictible.

I found the end 70 odd pages of the book to be the best; it was fast paced, action packed and full of drama and the realisation of something that wasn't predictable was a first. I felt myself reading the last 70 pages the quickest out of the whole book and the twist at the end I did not see coming in a million years. However much I disliked the rest of this book I really want to see what happens next after that cliff hanger of an ending.

I found myself getting easily distracted reading this book, and I found myself wanting more to finish it than to read it. It wasn't an awful book but it wasn't a brilliant book either, and the ending made up for the predictable yet annoying majority. I will be reading the next book to give it a try but I'm not holding high hopes and will only give this an average three stars.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

"Clockwork Angel" by Cassandra Clare

'Magic is dangerous - but love is more dangerous still'

This is the first book of Cassandra Clare's that I have read and after hearing some wonderful things about this book my expectations were pretty high and I was truly looking forward to getting into it. To say that I was blown away by this novel would be an understatement and despite my original refusal not to fan girl over books I have found myself guilty of doing just that.

This book is centred around New Yorker Tessa Grey in a Victorian London on a search for her brother Nathaniel. Upon her arrival in London from the states, it is not Nate that is there to greet her with open arms, but the dark sisters - a deadly duo who claim to be doing her brother a favour in returning her but instead keep her captive until shadow hunter William Herondale rescues her. She is then thrown into a world that is not quite like the one she once knew where she finds out things about herself that she never dared even dream about.

I found myself instantly hooked on this book from the first page through to the very last and although a fantasy I almost felt as though the book was real life and that I, myself, was part of the book. The descriptive writing was wonderful, and I could instantly picture every place that Clare guided me through without any problem - the atmospheres and differences between the down worlders haunts and the institute being the main source.

With it being set in Victorian England I found the speech of characters to be a little bit too modern for the era but this was counteracted with the steampunk futuristic spin the Cassandra Clare put on the book as a whole. The dialogue between characters was to die for, the witty sarcastic retorts of Will in response to everybody and anybody no matter what their relationship was a pleasure to read, and I found myself almost looking forward to the next encounter between himself and his next victim. The way Tessa could almost counteract, if not put Will in his place with her take on witty remarks was also funny to read as his reactions to her were priceless with him being the kind of person he is.

The characters were enchanting and ever so addictive and were by far the heart of this book as they should be in any book in my opinion. James Carstairs, better known as Jem, is Will's companion in the shadow hunter world. He is sweet, charming, caring and has a tendency to know what to say and when to say it in certain situations - he puts people at ease and is the lighter of the two. Will, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. He is witty, sarcastic and always has a retort to things said - he always seems to find amusement out of any serious situation. Will and Jem, although they are two different entities as people, have a very strong relationship. Both of them care for the other deeply and this is seen most in Will due to his usual brash behaviour seemingly calming down upon serious matters with Jem which is quite soothing to see that he does have a soft gentle side after all.

Tessa is the main protagonist, and I found her to be quite boring. She is very relatable in the way that she is bland and could be any girl - I like to call it the 'Bella' syndrome. A character is that poorly described that, as long as the male lead is endearing I find, that everyone wishes to be her as they are almost jealous and can see themselves as her in a sense (I have probably poorly described this, which I apologise for). Contrary to that, she is witty and intelligent but sometimes throughout the book I found her to be too trustworthy and quite naive which I didn't think made her seem quite realistic.

This books definitely has the shock factor when it comes to twists and turns, throughout the book I was thinking of possible outcomes for different situations and some of the things that Clare came up with I did not even think of. I don't know whether it's me or her amazing inventiveness (I like to think it's the latter) but I found myself always wondering what was going to happen next. In line with that, the pacing of the book I found to be brilliant - a mixture of slow and fast at the correct moments, and I found this to be almost perfect for this book.

I am thoroughly looking forward to reading the rest of this series and I will definitely, regretably, be fan girling this book and probably this series in the near future - a very big five stars from me.

Monday, 17 September 2012

"Gone" by Michael Grant

'Suddenly it's a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes' 

Michael Grant's Gone is, I guess you would call it, a supernatural dystopia novel which had me completely hooked on the very first sentence. 

One minute Sam Temple is at school in Perdido Beach, the next minute his teacher disappears. As it happens, it appears that every child and adult over the age of 15 has also disappeared along with the use of the internet, phone lines and televisions. These kids are left to fend for themselves in a world without adults or a way of communicating with anyone outside the strange border that, since the phenomenon, has been erected around the town. Alongside this strange happening, some of the children seem to have found a supernatural power within themselves which will be the life of death of them, and they will have to form bonds between each other or risk losing it all as a fight for power is at stake.

Grant's novel is a fast paced, action packed, whirlwind of a book that had me gripped through every page. Although there are a lot of characters in this book I didn't find it hard to keep up with all of them and I thought he made every single one of them relatable, natural and for some of them you even felt sympathy for - the way he delved into the back story of almost half of the characters in the book as well as maintaining a fast paced storyline was in my opinion incredible and he deserves a ton of credit for that alone. Every single person in the FAYZ, as they liked to call the area, reacted in a different way to the situation they were put in and that's what made the setting feel so lifelike. You had children that were scared, ones that wanted to protect other and the younger ones, ones that wanted to take over and ones that didn't quote know how to feel to name a few. 

The twists and turns in this book I felt were not predictable at all and as I was turning the pages I was shocked as to where the story was taking me next and wondered what the future held for these children but the ending however seemed to be a little bit of a let down as it seemed to fade slightly, but not enough for me to give it anything but a five star review.

This book is a modern day Lord of the Flies with a paranormal twist which will have you wanting more and I'm definitely looking forward to purchasing the next book in the series.


"The Knife Of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness

The Knife Of Never Letting Go is the first book of the Chaos Walking trilogy. Before I read this book I heard a variety of different opinions, ranging on awful to brilliant, and because this was widely talked about on both spectrums, I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about.

Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant overwhelming never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets. Or are there? Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence. Which is impossible. Prentisstown has been lying to him. And now he's going to have to run...

This book is written in the first person from the perspective of our protagonist Todd Hewitt, and due to the fact he was never properly taught to read or write it's written quite phonetically at time. This was a struggle to read and even though there was reasoning behind it I didn't think it was quite necessary - however, I did get used to it after the first fifty pages or there abouts. But the 'swearing' in the book became a bit tedious at times with the way he would write 'effing' when he was actually swearing. I found this unnecessary and even though he is going on being a teenager I don't think it was natural for him to be swearing as much as he did.

The idea behind the book was a brilliant one but I don't think the way the plot played out did it any justice. The whole book was a bit jolted (which wasn't helped by the writing style) and seemed to be quite simple, in simpler terms it was like, and I did this, then I did this, then I went here, etc. There was no true development on anything and the fact that a lot of the story was witheld from Todd and the reader, until pretty much the end of the book, made it slightly boring. This big secret about Prentisstown throughout the book was made out to be something life changing and shocking, but in fact when the truth finally came out into the open I was very underwhelmed and even found myself thinking, 'was that it?'

The characters were nothing. I appreciate Todd a little bit more because, as like the reader, he didn't know anything whatsoever and was running blindly, but he was boring as was his dialogue. Viola was nothing, Manchee was annoying and I felt his existence in the book was only helpful at one point - there was only one point where I actually felt sympathy for him, other than that he was just a hinderance I found. Last but not least, the most frustrating of all was Aaron, the crazy priest, who was so unnatural and inhuman it was just ridiculous - I read somewhere someone describing as the energizer bunny that just keeps on going and going and going and after a while his part in the story just became very predictible.

I found the end 70 odd pages of the book to be the best; it was fast paced, action packed and full of drama and the realisation of something that wasn't predictable was a first. I felt myself reading the last 70 pages the quickest out of the whole book and the twist at the end I did not see coming in a million years. However much I disliked the rest of this book I really want to see what happens next after that cliff hanger of an ending.

I found myself getting easily distracted reading this book, and I found myself wanting more to finish it than to read it. It wasn't an awful book but it wasn't a brilliant book either, and the ending made up for the predictable yet annoying majority. I will be reading the next book to give it a try but I'm not holding high hopes and will only give this an average three stars.

"Clockwork Angel" by Cassandra Clare

'Magic is dangerous - but love is more dangerous still'

This is the first book of Cassandra Clare's that I have read and after hearing some wonderful things about this book my expectations were pretty high and I was truly looking forward to getting into it. To say that I was blown away by this novel would be an understatement and despite my original refusal not to fan girl over books I have found myself guilty of doing just that.

This book is centred around New Yorker Tessa Grey in a Victorian London on a search for her brother Nathaniel. Upon her arrival in London from the states, it is not Nate that is there to greet her with open arms, but the dark sisters - a deadly duo who claim to be doing her brother a favour in returning her but instead keep her captive until shadow hunter William Herondale rescues her. She is then thrown into a world that is not quite like the one she once knew where she finds out things about herself that she never dared even dream about.

I found myself instantly hooked on this book from the first page through to the very last and although a fantasy I almost felt as though the book was real life and that I, myself, was part of the book. The descriptive writing was wonderful, and I could instantly picture every place that Clare guided me through without any problem - the atmospheres and differences between the down worlders haunts and the institute being the main source.

With it being set in Victorian England I found the speech of characters to be a little bit too modern for the era but this was counteracted with the steampunk futuristic spin the Cassandra Clare put on the book as a whole. The dialogue between characters was to die for, the witty sarcastic retorts of Will in response to everybody and anybody no matter what their relationship was a pleasure to read, and I found myself almost looking forward to the next encounter between himself and his next victim. The way Tessa could almost counteract, if not put Will in his place with her take on witty remarks was also funny to read as his reactions to her were priceless with him being the kind of person he is.

The characters were enchanting and ever so addictive and were by far the heart of this book as they should be in any book in my opinion. James Carstairs, better known as Jem, is Will's companion in the shadow hunter world. He is sweet, charming, caring and has a tendency to know what to say and when to say it in certain situations - he puts people at ease and is the lighter of the two. Will, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. He is witty, sarcastic and always has a retort to things said - he always seems to find amusement out of any serious situation. Will and Jem, although they are two different entities as people, have a very strong relationship. Both of them care for the other deeply and this is seen most in Will due to his usual brash behaviour seemingly calming down upon serious matters with Jem which is quite soothing to see that he does have a soft gentle side after all.

Tessa is the main protagonist, and I found her to be quite boring. She is very relatable in the way that she is bland and could be any girl - I like to call it the 'Bella' syndrome. A character is that poorly described that, as long as the male lead is endearing I find, that everyone wishes to be her as they are almost jealous and can see themselves as her in a sense (I have probably poorly described this, which I apologise for). Contrary to that, she is witty and intelligent but sometimes throughout the book I found her to be too trustworthy and quite naive which I didn't think made her seem quite realistic.

This books definitely has the shock factor when it comes to twists and turns, throughout the book I was thinking of possible outcomes for different situations and some of the things that Clare came up with I did not even think of. I don't know whether it's me or her amazing inventiveness (I like to think it's the latter) but I found myself always wondering what was going to happen next. In line with that, the pacing of the book I found to be brilliant - a mixture of slow and fast at the correct moments, and I found this to be almost perfect for this book.

I am thoroughly looking forward to reading the rest of this series and I will definitely, regretably, be fan girling this book and probably this series in the near future - a very big five stars from me.

"Gone" by Michael Grant

'Suddenly it's a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes' 

Michael Grant's Gone is, I guess you would call it, a supernatural dystopia novel which had me completely hooked on the very first sentence. 

One minute Sam Temple is at school in Perdido Beach, the next minute his teacher disappears. As it happens, it appears that every child and adult over the age of 15 has also disappeared along with the use of the internet, phone lines and televisions. These kids are left to fend for themselves in a world without adults or a way of communicating with anyone outside the strange border that, since the phenomenon, has been erected around the town. Alongside this strange happening, some of the children seem to have found a supernatural power within themselves which will be the life of death of them, and they will have to form bonds between each other or risk losing it all as a fight for power is at stake.

Grant's novel is a fast paced, action packed, whirlwind of a book that had me gripped through every page. Although there are a lot of characters in this book I didn't find it hard to keep up with all of them and I thought he made every single one of them relatable, natural and for some of them you even felt sympathy for - the way he delved into the back story of almost half of the characters in the book as well as maintaining a fast paced storyline was in my opinion incredible and he deserves a ton of credit for that alone. Every single person in the FAYZ, as they liked to call the area, reacted in a different way to the situation they were put in and that's what made the setting feel so lifelike. You had children that were scared, ones that wanted to protect other and the younger ones, ones that wanted to take over and ones that didn't quote know how to feel to name a few. 

The twists and turns in this book I felt were not predictable at all and as I was turning the pages I was shocked as to where the story was taking me next and wondered what the future held for these children but the ending however seemed to be a little bit of a let down as it seemed to fade slightly, but not enough for me to give it anything but a five star review.

This book is a modern day Lord of the Flies with a paranormal twist which will have you wanting more and I'm definitely looking forward to purchasing the next book in the series.