Category: Two stars

Awaken is like waking from one of those dreams you instantly forget

Awaken is like waking from one of those dreams you instantly forget

★★☆☆☆

(1.5 stars)

I have a small confession to make: I went on vacation the day after finishing this book, and am only writing this review now. While I take a few notes, much of my reviewing is done on pure inertia, and in the last two weeks I’ve forgotten almost every detail of this book.

Rather than chide my memory, I’m going to make a point: Awaken is such a non-event I’m not confident there was anything for me to remember in the first place. Book three of a trilogy, it delivers on the typical era thoroughfare- a long fight at the end, happy ever after endings, obligatory promise of marriage and children- and contains little else. There’s a bit about a Greek god possessing a family line and how his give away is based on polo shirts, but that’s about it.

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A strong start can’t shake the letdown that is Crown of Coral and Pearl

A strong start can’t shake the letdown that is Crown of Coral and Pearl

(2.5 stars)

I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Even the tagline of this book is at war with it’s concept: Steal the crown, save the kingdom. Dramatic, bold, and entirely unrelated to both the pitch and actual plot.

This was a book I asked for and was semi-surprised I’d received. It sounded interesting and the cover was gorgeous, but I didn’t know what I was stepping into. The pitch is fantastic, and at first I thought I was getting into a solid 5, or 4.5, star book: the first 100 pages are slow moving, but also have fantastic writing, emotional beats, and story elements. Then the rest of the book happens.

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In a past life, maybe Rapture was an okay standalone novel

In a past life, maybe Rapture was an okay standalone novel

★★☆☆☆

(2 stars)

Rapture actually has a lot of things going for it: lovely descriptions, vivid images of international locations, interesting angel lore, neat magical concepts, and a few raised and slightly discussed deeper themes. The problem is that all of these positives are beaten over the head with the fact this is book four, and the final book in a quartet, of an extremely uneven series.

The Fallen quartet is perhaps the most diverse series I’ve read in that every book is decidedly a different genre and story-type to the next, as if the author had a checklist of things she wanted to try and decided to use the same paper thin characters to act each one out.

So, while I enjoyed some aspects of this too-long book, it was always hampered down by the fact it was the last book, and thus needed to provide a conclusion and tie-in to the ones before it. The treasure hunt for ancient angelic relics to solve a mystery about the fall is a fine idea and easily could have been the plot of a different, better novel, which didn’t also have to weave in a whole ton of characters, revelations, and confusing reincarnation gimmicks in as well.

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Can we go back in time and ensure Passion is never written?

Can we go back in time and ensure Passion is never written?

★★☆☆☆

(2 stars)

Frankly, it’s unclear why this book exists.

The Fallen series is a quartet, slightly unusual for an era of para-ro trilogies. Typically this genre of book from the early 2010s has a very formulaic pattern: in book one they meet, fall in love, and learn the supernatural elements. In book two not much happens (this is the worst book of the series). Book three is some apocalyptic showdown event.

Maybe it’s good Fallen drove to break ties to that, offering seemingly an entirely different subgenre for each book: book 1 was incredibly boring romance, book 2 was fun adventure, book 3 is time travel, and book 4 is a fetch quest. Still, narrative wise, Passion does not need to exist. This is a book about time travel. Exclusively about time travel.

Ultimately, I can’t fault much concrete grit: the writing is fine, the settings are diverse and have been researched, there’s some degree of character and world building… but from a story arc point of view, this book could have easily been a chapter or two. It did not need to be over three hundred pages of, broader story speaking, nothing.

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Let’s not get too meta: The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project

Let’s not get too meta: The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project

★★☆☆☆

(2 stars)

(I received this book for free for an honest review off of Netgalley)

I’m a little stumped on writing this review, hence my lack of attempt at coming up with a more snappy title. This is a very tricky book to review, on account of it being extremely meta about… books. And itself. Is it satire the plot, world, and characters are lacking? Is it on a winking purpose that the romance and story arc is so predictable and simple? Is the writing style meant to lampshade the meta nature of the story?

What I can say for certain is my own levels of interacting with it, and I didn’t end up liking this book much. The meta nature makes it far harder for me to say ‘this ain’t a great book’. We’ll see how I can best talk about this.

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Unearthly could use a few more angels

Unearthly could use a few more angels

★★☆☆☆

(2 stars)

Oh, you know me by now: I love angels, and I read books about angels, and they pretty much always let me down in one way or another. That way being, primarily, a real lack of luster angels. Unearthly is an honest step above a lot of the angel genre, especially for an early 2010s para-ro piece, but like a lot of that era (and the YA genre), it spends too much time on teen problems, not angels. And I’m here for the angels.

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Pulp Binge: The Silicon Man isn’t the real deal

Pulp Binge: The Silicon Man isn’t the real deal

★★☆☆☆

(2 stars)

THRIFT STORE WHY: The back text seemed interesting- the cover or title sure aren’t. I suppose I was expecting something a little ‘black mirror’ esque. The back text promises a ‘deep in the future people upload their brains into machines to live on forever, but must die in the real world for this to happen’.

BACK COPY LIES (what the plot really is): In a retro style future of about 2050, an FBI agent stumbles into a secret, illegal project to copy human brains into a computer. He tries to shut it down, but is murdered and put into the machine instead. There isn’t a lot to the plot beyond this, and him dying is pretty much the only plot point.

WOULD I RECC TO READ: No. It’s generally engaging, but overall a let-down that leads to a befuddling ending.

Review:

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