Book Review – Ender’s Game (The Ender Quintet #1)

endersgame

TITLE: Ender’s Game
AUTHOR: Orson Scott Card
PAGES: 324
PUBLISHED: July 15th 1994 (first published 1977)
PUBLISHER: Tor Science Fiction
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure and Dystopia

MY RATING:

Rating - 5 Bird

SUMMARY:

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

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MY REVIEW:

I liked this novel a lot more than I thought I would! I was worried it may be over-hyped and it does have some pretty bad reviews on goodreads but I just clicked with it in every way. I loved Ender and all his crazy emotions. He felt real to me…maybe not the age he was suppose to be but a young kid nevertheless. The worldbuilding was spot on, even though I had some trouble picturing the battle stations when Ender first arrived. It wasn’t hard picturing a bunch of kids floating around in zero-gravity but the actual image of the battle rooms themselves was a bit hard to understand. But the game world that Ender played with the giant and wolf/children was awesome. That was probably my favourite part of the whole book which was made even better at the end of the novel (which took me by surprise! and who doesn’t love a good ending?). And yes I admit it is strange how a bunch of six years old are suddenly mega genius’ with no explanation other than that the government ‘made’ them but that never really bothered me until I read other reviews that pointed it out after I was finished reading.

This might not be for everyone but I think it is a classic that everyone should at least try out (especially if you like sci-fi). Now lets see how well the movie does…

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Book Review – The Road

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TITLE: The Road
AUTHOR: Cormac McCarthy
PAGES: 241
PUBLISHED: September 26th 2006
PUBLISHER: Knopf
GENRE: Dystopia, Post-apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Horror, Contemporary and Classic.

MY RATING:

Rating - 3 Bird

SUMMARY:

A father and his son walk alone through burned post-apocalyptic America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

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MY REVIEW:

I enjoyed this novel but there was something missing from it that just made me emotionless towards the two main characters and their fate. The lackluster dialogue was a bit hard for me to comprehend. I can understand little talk at this time (when things look so utterly bleak there isn’t much to say) but the one-liners really got to me after a while. I think I would have relished my time being with someone in my final days. I wouldn’t have long conversations but I’d hope they would be more meaningful then just the simple ‘yes’ ‘no’ ‘okay okay’ that this novel had repeatedly.

I was also expecting something else from the ending. Nothing grand or completely optimistic…just different. Again it felt a little lackluster to me. And a bit too convenient. I would have been more content if the book just ended with them still struggling and keeping on and nothing else really happening. Although I think that would have pissed off a lot of people haha. I did enjoy the writing of the last paragraph, it kept things very mysterious but other than that I liked it but it wasn’t a favourite. I understand why it would be considered a classic, it has very Hemingway. Some reviews said people cried at the end but I literally felt nothing so I wouldn’t take my review to heart and try reading it yourself!

Waitin’ on Wednesday – Panic by Lauren Oliver

This is an event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, where each week you post a summary about a book you’re really looking forward to read in the future. Mainly I will write about books that haven’t been released yet, but I may throw in some oldies that I haven’t gotten around to read yet.

I am very excited for the release of Panic by Lauren Oliver which comes out in March 4 / 2014.

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SUMMARY:

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

MY THOUGHTS:

Lauren Oliver is the author of big YA hits such as Delirium and As I Fall so I have high hopes for this novel as well. The summary sounds really intriguing and a little bit like Divergent and the Hunger Games with the whole “legendary game” played by seniors but I really liked those two novels so it night be good thing. I find the name Panic for a place really neat as well. It may end up being another cookie-cutter dystopian novel but Lauren Oliver delivered an original idea with Delirium (even though it was a bit far fetched).

What do you guys think? Sounds interesting or just another dystopian novel?

Review – Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)

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TITLE: Angelfall
AUTHOR: Susan Ee
PAGES: 283
PUBLISHED: May 21st 2011
PUBLISHER: Feral Dream
GENRE: Young Adult, Dystopia, Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.
MY RATING:

Rating - 5 Bird

SUMMARY:

The world is in shambles after an angel apocalypse. Gangs rule the streets while avenging angels rule the sky. Penryn is just trying to survive, as well as watch out for her disabled sister and crazy mother. When her sister is taken hostage by a group of warrior angels, Penryn makes an unlikely alliance with the enemy, a wingless angel named Raffe. He is anything put grateful for being saved by a half-starved girl but realizes he needs her in order to navigate this world.

Together they scour California, each in search of different things, but bonding on the need to survive. When they are tested and put at risk will their uneasy alliance grow to something more? Or are humans and angels never meant to be together?

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MY REVIEW:

This might be my favourite read of 2013! I devoured this book in only a few hours, I couldn’t stop reading! The novel starts off fast-paced, as we follow Penryn, her disabled sister and her psychotic mother as they scavenge in a strange new world. Earth has been destroyed by angels, not the sweet ones you’ve always known, but evil avenging angels who stop at nothing to destroy humans (even though we made the first shot by killing their leader Gabriel). When Penryn sees a single feather floating in the sky, suddenly everything changes, and with an unlikely partnership with the enemy begins she fights to get her sister back.

Penryn was amazingly strong and badass (just how I like ’em!) but also sweet and funny as hell at times. Raffe was one of the best male leads I have read in a looong time and Obi is certainly going to be interesting in the next novel, where I assume he will play a bigger role. This was a perfect balance of action, romance, creepiness (cannibals, scorpion-demons, bat wings oh my!) and post-apocalyptic drama. I hope more people get to read this novel, it is just fantastic! And as a side note, this came from an indie author and had no grammatical errors, run on sentences etc. It was damn near perfect, so those who have sworn off reading self-pub should still give this a try!

Review – The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)

2767052TITLE: The Hunger Games
AUTHOR: Suzanne Collins
PAGES: 374
PUBLISHED: September 14th 2008
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press
GENRE: Young Adult, Dystopia, Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Romance.
MY RATING:

Rating - 5 Bird

SUMMARY (from goodreads):

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender.

If she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

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MY REVIEW:

I absolutely loved this. I understand and believe the hype. Katniss is just badass all around. I find the hardest reviews for me to write are the books that I absolutely love. Sometimes when I am reading something I really, really enjoy I have a hard time putting my ‘blog-brain’ on (the hat I put on to make sure I am catching specific things I either liked or disliked about a novel) and instead I just go for the ride. And then when it is all over and I am feeling either overjoyed or sad (depending on the authors ending) I sit back and think, now what? I almost feel like gushing about such a huge novel is counter-productive. I know it, you know it, you’ve read the reviews, you’ve seen the movie yadi-yadi-yada. Sooo I am going to give a little rant about something that bothered me and I will admit it is more apparent in the movie than the book.

For anyone interested in physics, this book might piss you off. I saw this movie with my brother, a Physics Alumni who specializes in Quantum Mechanics (read: big mistake). We had a good discussion after about the whole movie for hours. Basically you cannot make matter out of nothing. I don’t care how far in the future this is but it is impossible. The Hunger Games is a system designed by creating something out of nothing. If you don’t understand what I mean I think answering my hypothetical questions might make more sense. Or maybe it will just confuse you further. Sorry in advance if my ramblings make no sense today.  Too much physics talk with the bro…first it started with the Hunger Games and then it lead to him explaining black holes, Hawking radiation, and what-not.
Q: What if the game is just a hologram? It isn’t because the Game has real visible touchable objects with taste, smells and sounds. When Katniss touches the butterfly in the movie isn’t that proving how “real” everything is? And Foxface dies by eating a berry. The berry can’t be more real than that.

Q: But what if all the objects are real life materials that in the future we can just move around at our will (like in the movie when they moved the tree over in front of Katniss and made it fall)? In the movie the dogs literally appear out of the ground though. Everything is created out of nothing in the Hunger Games, which again is impossible.

Q: What is the problem with having matter created out of nothing in the future, if it was possible somehow? Essentially this is the BIGGEST problem. If the Capitol can design a whole game that creates matter out of nothing then why don’t they just create infinite food? Why don’t they create all the materials they need that they are getting the districts to mine/gather for them? It just doesn’t make sense.

Collins could have made the exact same book without having this “futuristic” gaming system. She could have just made a crazy game that was completely rigged with booby traps and movable trees but all of this done by intricate mechanical systems. Even the dogs could have been bio-engineered using the DNA from the fallen kids which would have been just as cool, or more so, than having these dogs appear out of no where.

So to sum this up it was a little irritating that Collins didn’t think this through. She could have put a little thought into the implication of this all-powerful game.

P.S- The only reason I didn’t give it lower than 5 stars even after this rant is because while I was actually reading the book I was completely enthralled. All the physics problems didn’t even cross my mind until after I closed the book and months passed and I watched the movie. So no, it didn’t take anything away from the book but is just an extra thought.