Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2)'Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.'

I loved The Immortal Rules and how fast paced and action packed the plot was, so I was really excited to continue on and see where Julie Kagawa would take the story.

The plot, as before, was fast paced and full of action, but I did feel at times as if the actual story was being undermined by the constant arguments and fight scenes, which began to grate on me after a while. I also felt that this book was a little more predictable than the last one, and that certain revelations that the reader was supposed to be shocked by were a little anti-climactic and fell a little flat. Not nearly as much happened in this book compared to the last one, but I did enjoy the story nontheless.

The characters were a major aspect of this book that I really enjoyed. Jackal, as evil and twisted as he was, was a character who I took to straight away; his constant sarcasm and vile sense of humour really lifted the book up for me, and I liked how this time round, he played a major role in the story. I also enjoyed Zeke and how strong he remained throughout the book. Kanin was a character that was a little irritating at times; I did not take to his defeatist, self-pitying attitude and  felt like he could have helped the others a lot more than he did. I was a little disappoined in Allison as our main character; I still loved her fesity nature and can-do attitude, but her constant surprise at mundane things such as Zeke saying 'dammit' were really irritating, and her inner struggles with being a vampire also became a little annoying as well.

I felt that there was less character development in this book than in the first, and that both literally and metaphorically the characters did not travel as far, but some aspects were developed more than they were in the first book; we get a more detailed back story to everything that happened with the scientists, and Allison and Zeke's relationship came a long way from the start to the end of the book. I loved how their relationship was not superfluous to the story, but didn't overshadow anything else that was going on either.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Was it better than the first? I wouldn't say so, but it was still exciting and the cliffhanger at the end was to die for! I can't wait to continue on with the series and move on to some more Julie Kagawa. 4/5 stars.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I want to start off this review by saying that I was really reluctant to start this book. Whether that was because I was scared Insurgent would have typical second-book-syndrome or whether I was just a little tired of the similar patterns in dystopian YA, I couldn't say. But, despite my reluctance, once I was past the first few chapters, I started to get into the writing and really flew through it.

I enjoyed the characters in this book. Tris, our main protagonist, was feisty and outgoing in every way possible, and I really enjoyed the insight we got into how her Divergence was affecting her choices. However, sometimes she could get a little reckless and it seemed like everything she was told not to do, she was immediately determined to do as if to show that she could not be controlled, which started to grate on me after a while. There is also a certain matter concerning Will - which I won't go into due to spoilers - that bridged the gap between the first and second book, and was, I felt, a little too dragged out during this book. I understood that it needed to be there, but after a while it did start to annoy me.

The plot was crazy; there's lots of running around and jumping on trains between factions, and there never seems to be a time when a character stays still. I really enjoyed learning about the members and customs of other factions, although sometimes I felt that there was a little too much running around with not really too much purpose. The build up to the ending was absolute chaos, but I loved it; the last few chapters of the book, with so much happening, were really exciting to read. However the ending, I felt, was slightly underwhelming; this may have been because I had been told so many times about how mind blowing it was, and although it was interesting and offers some explanation on the factions and how they came about, I still didn't feel as if it was anything too revealing.

Tris and Four's relationship throughout the book is turbulent, and I enjoyed how it wasn't too simplistic or perfect as it made it more realistic. There were times when I wanted to scream at them to just be honest with each other, and times when I didn't feel like they would last, but I was happy with the last we saw of their relationship before the end, and am interested to see how it develops further in the last book.

Overall, I gave Insurgent 4/5 stars. Was it as good as Divergent? I wouldn't say so, but it was certainly a fast paced sequel that didn't have too many symptoms of second-book-syndrome. I am really excited to see how the last book unfolds, and to see how Veronica Roth will wrap up the story.