Monday, February 22, 2016

Audiobook Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

 So, you know how people think most fantasy/dystopian  YA is just a  thinly veiled allegory for high school ?  Well the Red Queen on it's surface is pretty much that.

We've got Mare Barrow another brunette YA heroine who hates her hair and wishes she was more like her sister Gisa who is pretty, talented and basically put up on a pedestal.

In Mare's world what separates the oppressed Reds from the elite  Silvers. . . is their blood. The Silver's blood silver blood gives them abilities like controlling elements, strength and mind control.

Mare soon discovers that even though she is Red, she has abilities like a Silver. A threat to the Silver way of life, The Silvers  whisk her away to live among them until they can figure out what she is.

On the flip side The Scarlet Guard, a resistance group fighting the Silver's oppression, is starting to rise and Mare just might be their way to victory.

Living among Royals, Mare is basically a  fish out of water trying to fit in with all the cool Silver kids while avoiding the mean girl whose boyfriend she is crushing on.

One more thing about this book:

I mean there are so many to choose from. We have the fierce warrior and future king, Prince Cal,  Or the reserved and charming second son, Prince Maven. Plus there's Kilorn,that guy-next-door-best friend AND Lucas the understanding bodyguard.

One of the things that bothered me about this novel is that the women characters were either Mare's enemy or put on a pedestal. There wasn't a rang there. I would even argue this for the character of Farley, the female leader of the resistance.

This was my first Amanda Dolan audiobook and she is a very subtle narrator who lets the story come through. She's not obtrusive with her performance.

With all that said I found this to be a popcorn audiobook for me. Yes, it's cliched, yes we've seen it before but Aveyard throws in a few plot twist and leaves the ending open to new adventures. This kind of feels like it could be more than a trilogy.

By the time I finished this book I'd pre-ordered the next one just to see where we go next.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Audiobook Review: An Ember in The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The popularity of this book seemed to come out of nowhere. I just remember seeing it on an endcap one day in Barnes and Nobles and the next things I knew is was blowing up.

Ember in the Ashes takes place in The Empire,  a vaguely middle ages fictional land with some vaguely Arabic influences. Elias (who by the way is 20 years old….which feels oddly old for YA) is a student at Blackcliff, a ruthless academy that trains Masks, the Empire’s deadliest soldiers. Laia is a Scholar, the conquered class, who is goes ndercover as a slave at Blackcliff for the Resistance to help her brother.

I don't really have much to say about this book, which is weird since the audiobook is over 15 hours long. It wasn't bad, it just didn't click with me. I finished this book and I wasn't amped for the next one. Thinking about the only other YA fantasies I've read; Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Young Elites, I think what this book is missing is characters with skin in the game. Elias and Laia are just kind of going with the flow all the time.

I am honestly not sure why this particular book is so popular. This world seems like the worst. I get that dark books are popular, but they always have a hero characters can root for. I don't think this book does that.

The narrators of the audio are Steve West and Fiona Hardingham, both narrators have super British voices. I mean Super British. And I do mean British because a few characters have Irish and Scottish accents. The narration added a lot to this book and I found both their voices pleasant. Although West did get a little extra in some of the fight scenes towards the end. I need West and Buckingham to do some regency romance novels--there is a flirty scene in this book that they do perfectly.

So, I guess I'll join the unpopular opinion club on this YA fantasy.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

My Mixed Feelings About Harry Potter #8: Gif Reaction Post

So this happened 

And the bookish Internet was like

The Cursed Child is a script book print edition of the play coming to London this summer about Harry's son. But we're all just calling it HP #8

Now, I'm a big Harry Potter fan

But. . .I feel like every time a new Harry Potter (Wizarding World) book comes out it's just about generating more revenue. Like, with The Cursed Child fans can either buy the Special Rehearsal Edition script before the play debuts or the Definitive Collector's Edition after the debut.  

On the other hand I do like that they've taken a premium product, the play, and packaged in a way where more people have access to it.

So I have mixed feelings. But I know I'll eventually read it. I really hope it lives up to the hype 

P.S  If you haven't seen A Very Potter Musical. . . The other Harry Potter musical you must ! It's a little quirky but the music, dancing and writing  is amazing. They know HP fans ! It's on YouTube. GO GO GO



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