Book Reviews

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Book Reviews

Postby stripy_tie » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:29 am

A thread for people to review and share their opinions of non-discworld books. Spoiler free s'il vous plaît.
Last edited by stripy_tie on Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby stripy_tie » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:33 am

Thought I'd start this off with my review of "Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins.

This is the third in the "Hunger Games" trilogy, it was a massive disappointment and there were a number of things that lead to this rather than one overriding failure.

Firstly i think this is the only book that's managed to make a violent revolution dull, something i couldn't imagine before reading it. The plot during the first two thirds was boring, self indulgent and overcomplicated.

The main character is unrecognisable from the first book, the strong, independent and fairly likeable girl becomes whiny, selfish and faintly pathetic (think Bella from twilight). The "love triangle" something I've disliked from it's first appearance in the original book goes from the background to firmly in the foreground of everything.

The poor quality of the writing isn't confined to just this book but the dull plot and bad pacing make it glaringly obvious to the reader where before it was concealed.

There's the very occasional example of what it could have been but it doesn't come close to making up for this hatchet job of a dystopia.
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby pip » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:38 am

Shame. Sounded like you were enjoying the series and then it all fell apart :cry:
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby stripy_tie » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:52 pm

pip wrote:Shame. Sounded like you were enjoying the series and then it all fell apart :cry:


I really was, the first one was so good. How she managed to get from that to this one I don't understand.
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby pip » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:39 pm

Happens too often sadly
'There is no future for e-books, because they are not books. E-books smell like burned fuel.'
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby LilMaibe » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:29 pm

Did it get preachy?
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby stripy_tie » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:36 am

LilMaibe wrote:Did it get preachy?


Not really no, at least the author had the self respect not to preach at her readers even if she didn't have the skill to fully realise her ideas.
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby author3 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:25 am

This may be a strange question but can other people post reviews up here or is it just you? as I would like to do some book reviews as well.
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby stripy_tie » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:05 pm

author3 wrote:This may be a strange question but can other people post reviews up here or is it just you? as I would like to do some book reviews as well.


That's why i made it :lol: everyone's welcome to review whatever books they like, sorry if that wasn't clear. I'll change the thread header.
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby author3 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:31 pm

Okay thanks for letting me know.
My book review number 1 is going to be
SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT BY DEREK LANDY.

Basically this book is about a twelve year old girl named Stephanie Edgely.When her uncle dies she inherits his entire estate in his will.After the reading of the will Stephanie and her mother go back to her uncles house to look around but then Stephanie's parents car breaks down so stays alone in the house.That night someone breaks in and tries to murder her.Then Skulduggery Pleasant saves her life.Afterwards they go on an adventure to stop the villain Serpine resurrecting the ultimate weapon The Sceptre of the Ancients.

I guess I would give this an 8/10.
The characters are quite interesting and the storyline is intriguing but the main annoying thing is that in places it is quite hard to distinguish who is speaking.
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby pip » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:25 am

Someone else started one before that i added a few too but it drifted away. Good page to have :D
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:56 am

Here's a link to that other thread for future reference. ;)
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby pip » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:13 am

Cheers Tony' You're a gent :D
'There is no future for e-books, because they are not books. E-books smell like burned fuel.'
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby stripy_tie » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:15 pm

My review for "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green. It's a literary novel from the POV of Hazel Lancaster, a 16 year old girl with lung cancer. Despite the premise it's probably one of the funniest and simultaneously saddest books I've ever read.

if I were to recommend only one book this year it would be this one. I genuinely think it's a classic in the making.

"This is John Green at his best and oh is that good. The characters are beautifully drawn and heartbreakingly realistic, Hazel Lancaster doesn't represent anything and her suffering and that of her peers isn't meant to make any kind of point. It's just what it is, suffering. Equally so Hazel is simply Hazel, a girl who watches really trashy TV and loves long novels and poetry.

In being just an ordinary teenage girl she really fancies a boy and here is where we come across Augustus Waters, the boy who clenches death itself between his teeth just to prove it doesn't own him.

Through these two characters we are shown every agonizing moment of living with cancer and the fight not only to carry on living but to stop it from consuming your mind and your personality. The book seems to pose the question, if your entire personality has become nothing but the need to fight and survive cancer and there is no longer room for joy or even love, then in what way is that living?.

A large part of this struggle takes place within family circles, the parallel desperation and monotony of having a child with cancer is skilfully and subtly made evident by Green.

Ultimately Green strives to portray his characters not as those fighting cancer are often shown, forced into playing the role of brave and wise soldiers stoically enduring untold suffering. He shows them as they truly are, just people, people who have no choice but to keep fighting because they are given no other option and because to admit defeat means death.

It is not their struggle that defines them but who they are in spite of it, managing to live and to love and even have fun and laugh. They use every moment given to them in the most beautiful way possible and that is what makes them exceptional."
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Re: Book Reviews

Postby stripy_tie » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:16 am

This is my review of "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" by Laini Taylor. below is the blurb taken from Amazon and below that is my review.

"Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.

When Brimstone called, she always came. In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought."


There was so much promise and potential here, old stories and new concepts blend together effortlessly. Teeth, the magic shop, the Chimera, the hierarchy of wishes, the girl who doesn't know who she is.

The first 160 pages are great,even excellent in places.

Characterization is good, the plot moves along at a nice pace and the writing is of a high quality; then the whole thing quite suddenly devolves into every bad romance novel ever written. From that point it is simply an exercise in dullness.

Every third sentence becomes a description of the main character's love interest or his description of her, the plot is completely abandoned. Almost nothing happens for the rest of the book, at all. Chapter after chapter is surrendered to another seemingly unending flashback to characters I don't care about and the author never tries to make me care about.

The quality of the writing drops too, a paragraph is even closed with "all hell broke loose" a cliché I thought had been consigned to the realms of poorly written fan fiction years ago.

I don't understand why the romance is even included let alone why it needs to consume half of the book. When used correctly it should enhance the story and deepen the characters but here it beheads the story, leaves it bleeding to death in some back alley in Prague and proceeds to reduce the characters to shallow, dull facsimiles of their former selves.

Why do some YA authors put so much effort into creating complex rich worlds, stories and characters and then gleefully throw them away on the wind in favour of tired storylines that weren't interesting when they were new? it's "The Hunger Games" trilogy all over again and I'm baffled by it.
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