Friday, March 28, 2014

Review - The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She's content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry's mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother's past in order to save herself and the one she loves.
I had a little issue with The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan. The issue being that it disappeared on me for about a week and I couldn't figure out where it had gone so I couldn't read it. I actually went out and got another copy and then lo and behold, my original was found. So now I have 2 copies. Word.

This installment of the series finds us in the beach town of Vista following Gabry who we find out is Mary's daughter (Mary from The Forest of Hands and Teeth). It starts off with action as Gabry and her friends climb the barrier separating them from an area where Mudo (zombies) roam. Several of Gabry's friends are bitten (including the boy she likes) and Gabry runs back to the safety of the lighthouse she lives in with her mother, only to find out later on that the friends who WEREN'T infected by the Mudo are being sent to the Recruiters. Something that seems to be a fate worse than a death sentence to them.

Gabry goes out in search of Catcher, the boy she likes, but meets Elias who also seems to be searching for someone. He helps her out in more ways than one and she discovers something about her friend Catcher that no one else can ever know, or else they won't ever let him go. Gabry gets herself in a lot of trouble in this book and ends up having to flee Vista, but with several people in tow. She goes out in search of her mother, who left before her, and a world away from Vista where she can be safe with her friends instead of hunted by the Recruiters.

This book seemed younger than the first in the series. Gabry seemed younger, although according to Mary she was about the same age that Mary was in the first book. Maybe it's because she was kept in a more protected area and hadn't been forced to more or less mature beyond her years the way that her mother had.

The city they were living in didn't seem like a place I would want to be. I think I'd much rather prefer the village that Mary grew up in even though it wasn't as well protected as Vista. Both places had their drawbacks though I reckon.

Oh my gosh, the love triangle. How I hate them. Why oh why must EVERY novel with promise have a stupid love triangle? First Gabry is in love with Catcher. Then she forgets Catcher when Elias is around. Then she forgets Elias when Catcher is around. Then she.... well, you get the picture. I want to pull my hair out. I like the story but not EVERY BOOK IN THE HISTORY OF BOOKS now a days has to have some stupid Edward-Bella-Jacob-esque love issue. It really doesn't. It just... it doesn't.


Ok, where was I?

If you read the first story, I suggest reading this one. They can almost be read as stand alones if you're not interesting in reading book one, but I would suggest that if you HAVEN'T read The Forest of Hands and Teeth you do so, just because it helps a bit. I enjoyed the first one MUCH more than I liked this one, but I wouldn't totally count it out. I do plan on seeing what happens in book three because I hate mysteries and unfinished stories.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review - Feed by Mira Grant

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will get out, even if it kills them.
Fantastic story. I loved Feed by Mira Grant. Completely different than any zombie/post-apocalyptic story I've read and completely awesome.

Georgia, Shaun, and Buffy are journalists. Georgia is strictly news, Shaun is action and opinion, and Buffy is what they call a Fictional. She writes poems and stories and stays away from field work and the grim bits of reporting. The trio are picked to accompany a new presidential candidate along his campaign trail and end up with so much more than they bargained for. More than anyone bargained for.

This was definitely a unique story in that, while there were zombies and there was a plague that destroyed most of the world it seems, it did not cripple it. If anything, in the not so distant future, technology is more advanced and things are more or less running business as usual, just with zombies on the side. There are schools and blogs and newspapers, there are presidential elections and corrupt politicians and publicity stunts galore. There is also an actual disease behind the cause of the change. A disease that they tell you from the beginning that everyone has (animals included) but that stays dormant until death (with the exception of some situations).

I found myself jealous during most of the story of all of the high-tech gadgets that they had and their ability to record and display and just get their stories out to the world almost immediately. I was also jealous of George's relationship with her brother. I wish me and my brother could have been that close. Best friends.

Their parents made me angry though... this is where the publicity stunts come in. That seems to be all they wanted George and Shaun for. Publicity. After the death of their first child when a dog over 40 pounds "amplified" and bit him, you would have thought that being in the spotlight was the LAST thing they wanted. But no. They used it to their advantage. I guess if they hadn't, though, Shaun and George would not have had the opportunities that they did.

Buffy disappointed me though. Turning on her friends the way that she did. I wasn't sad when she bought the farm. Maybe I should have been, but I wasn't.

Another story where I hated the ending. Absolutely hated it. I cried, I won't lie. It was so sad. I picked up the second book to start reading it, not long after I finished the first one, but I haven't been able to bring myself to actually open it yet.

I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a different kind of zombie novel. Again, it's for an older crowd, but you won't be disappointed for giving it a go.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review - The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan reminds me a lot of the movie The Village. Which, weirdly enough, is one of my favorite movies. Add a few generations and some zombies and there you go.

The Sisterhood knows the truth but won't share with anyone, especially Mary. But Mary, who has lost her mother and her father to the Unconsecrated, is not content with just becoming the wife of someone she's not sure she loves and having children to repopulate the village. She's heard stories of the ocean and she dreams of seeing it one day. Unfortunately, she gets her wish. I say unfortunately because it came at the cost of 99% of the people she knew. Totally not her fault, but devastating all the same.

I liked this story. It was interesting and I enjoyed the fact that it wasn't like your normal zombie story. Like I said, it reminded me of The Village so that made it a little easier to picture the setting and the types of people that would have lived in that particular place.

I couldn't stand the Sisterhood. I hate liars and manipulators and they just rubbed me the wrong way immediately from the beginning. They knew about what the world was like before the Rising but kept it from everyone thinking that was the way to keep them safe. They all died anyway.

I didn't like the love triangle. I never do. I especially didn't like it because once Mary got the one she wanted, she treated him like dirt. Completely ignoring him and just wallowing in self pity. And yet, he still sacrificed himself for her. I also did not like that she was just dragging everyone along with her, seemingly to prove to them that she was right and they were not. And then after they'd been through so much together, she just LEAVES them.

The story made me angry. I'm not going to lie. But I reckon that's a good thing. I hated the ending though. I just couldn't believe it ended that way. So sad.

I'd recommend this story as a good read for any zombie fan though. It's different and it's interesting. I enjoyed it. Perhaps for a bit of the older crowd though. Definitely not a read for kiddos.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review - The Kill Order by James Dashner

The prequel to the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series.

Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease.

Mark and Trina were there when it happened, and they survived. But surviving the sun flares was easy compared to what came next. Now a disease of rage and lunacy races across the eastern United States, and there’s something suspicious about its origin. Worse yet, it’s mutating, and all evidence suggests that it will bring humanity to its knees.

Mark and Trina are convinced there’s a way to save those left living from descending into madness. And they’re determined to find it—if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some, you’re worth more dead than alive.
Reading The Kill Order by James Dashner was interesting. I expected more like the other books in the series but was pleasantly surprised that I liked how completely different it was. I was also pleasantly surprised that even though I'd gotten so used to reading about Thomas and Newt and Minho and the rest of the crew, I didn't miss them at all going through this story.

The sun flares have come and damaged much of the earth. If the heat didn't kill you then more than likely the flooding would have. Still, there are always a few who survive. But not without the help of others. Mark and Trina were lucky when they ran in to the old bear of a military retiree, Alec. The trio, along with several others, set up sort of a little village in the mountains where they've been surviving since escaping after the sun flares and flooding.

One day, though, the Bergs arrive. And start firing darts at people from the sky. Not just any dart... but darts that we find out are full of a virus that makes you feel like you've got bugs crawling around in your brain. Ick. Some it affects immediately, some take a little bit longer to fall ill. But eventually... everyone is going to succumb.

Mark, Trina, Alec and co. travel out in search of answers and stumble across a lot more than they bargained for. Including a little girl they take under their protection. And then everything goes wrong. Some of their group is taken. Mark and Alec learn that they're infected and don't have much time. They need to rescue their friends and get them somewhere safe before they, too, fall to The Flare.

I will say, again, as with the other three novels in the series, I thought I had figured a certain character out. But I hadn't. Thought that maybe what he was going through was simply a figment of his own imagination.... I hate being wrong. Although I'm not sure why I expect any different when it comes to these books. I haven't been right about any of them.

I really liked reading this. I won't say I enjoyed it, because how can you enjoy a book with the subject matter being what it is. But it was a good read. It was full of action and excitement (maybe just a little TOO much action for poor Mark).

My favorite character would have to have been Alec. He was a secondary character to Mark, but he was fantastic. He was their rock. The one who could hold everything together when it all threatened to fall apart. The one you could always count on to get you out of a tight spot. Even if he wasn't quite sure how he'd accomplish it.

I loved reading the flashbacks as well. You get a better glimpse in to Mark's and Alec's character. I do believe that they're really the only characters in the story who are fleshed out enough to really invest in their outcome. I felt sorry for Trina, and DeeDee, and Alanna, etc... but losing or almost losing them didn't really bother me. For me it was all Mark and Alec. But mostly Alec, if I'm being completely honest.

The twist there at the end was something I DID expect (yay me! one right finally) about 3/4 of the way through the book. So I was super glad when it came out how I'd thought it would.

I've read through a lot of reviews on this novel and a lot of people seem to be disappointed in it. They thought they'd be getting more of Thomas and Teresa and co. But really? You can't judge a book based on expectations like that. If they'd read the back of the book or even past the prologue it would have been completely evident from the start. And I will say that I vehemently disagree with all the negative reviews that are based SOLELY on the lack of Thomas and his friends.

I would recommend this if you've read the Maze Runner series. But I would warn you that if you're just reading it to get answers to questions the other three books have raised... don't. If you want more of Thomas (even if it's just a little bit) read Thomas's First Memory of the Flare. Just go in to this expecting action and a bit of heartache and you'll be fine.


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