Review: The Fireman by Joe Hill

25816688** spoiler alert ** This book started out fantastic! I mean I seriously loved every single minute of it! Then I hit the 60% or so mark. It was all downhill from there. The camp, the items that went missing, the tension between the players…all of that was fantastic. However, somewhere along the way Hill seemed to get lost. For starters, where did the love interest between two main characters come from? I mean, we saw the Fireman at the start…and then he just kinda disappeared for a good portion of the book…then when he reappeared there was this relationship that was going on…there just wasn’t a foundation for it. I also have to say that the husband and wife thing…it really pissed me off…it was so cliche…she was madly in love with him…then he turned on her….then she realised that she hadn’t loved him for years and he had never really loved her. Seriously? Like THAT’S never been done before in a book. Stuff like that really pisses me off…but regardless of that, I tried to ignore that let down and got on with enjoying the book…but then we have the whole no relationship thing until in a blink of an eye we have a serious relationship thing….no….I don’t like it when I feel an author is taking me for granted and expecting me to suspend reality…

The storyline was fine…I was even excited about the thief and who it turned out to be…

Then we have the escape…and wham bam….the author expects me to suspend reality again and believe all these miracle close calls…

Yep…there will be a second book…and the Fireman will be the lead (without even being in the majority of the book again, I bet) once again…

Joe Hill, I love your writing…NOS4A2 was simply amazing…it kept me up at night…this one? I was just well and truly gutted that a book that started out so fantastic just took an easy way out at the end…It totally seemed that Joe Hill was simply writing to finish the book and not to finish the story…

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

Buy it now The Fireman by Joe Hill

Review: Sugar Scars by Travis Norwood

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Before your eyes glaze over at the word “apocalyptic” just wait.  It’s good. Really.  Yes, I know the genre has been way overdone the last several years. And I myself have strategically avoided many books described as such because I was just that burnt out on end of the world stories.  But this one caught my attention.

A virus has wiped out most of the population.  Only a handful (relatively speaking) of survivors remain, trying to forge their way in a new world.  But there’s no scavenging to be had in this story.  You see, humankind was wiped out so quickly that unlimited resources remain for the survivors.  Grocery stores are fully stocked, gas tanks are full, houses and cars are available for the taking.  But there’s one thing that isn’t as easy to come by…

“Sugar” is nineteen, without family, and a loner at heart.  So a world without people suits her just fine.  As a diabetic, however, a world without the insulin she needs to survive is a death sentence.  There’s enough for the immediate future, but what about after that?  So she sets out on a journey to save herself.  And she’ll need the help of others along the way.

Parts of this story, heck most of this story, were so unbelievable.  But isn’t that what fiction is?  If I’m being completely honest, the main character wasn’t even particularly likable due to her lack of emotion.  For some reason, though, I kept reading.  And at the end of the book I realized that it really was a pretty good story.

So go ahead, suspend your disbelief and your sense of rationality for the duration of this story.  It’s just different enough to be enjoyable.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Sugar Scars

Review: The Casualties by Nick Holdstock

23014701I have so many great books on my TBR list that it’s not often I read books I don’t like. However, that doesn’t mean I limit myself to well know authors or sure fire proven winners. Some of my best reads were books that no one I knew had read. Glancing at the blup of this book I thought it had real potential.

What can I say….this will probably be my lowest rated book this year. Damn it! I hate it when that happens…when you read a book and you just know it will be the low point of the year. I’ve spent some time trying to figure out why I disliked it so much. Really, dislike is a strong word. I didn’t dislike it so much as I just didn’t care for it. It was a very flat read for me. It didn’t excite me. It didn’t leave me wanting to rush through it to find out how it ends. It didn’t have me wanting to slow down and savory every word. Once I bonded with a character they would do something really strange that weirded me out and I couldn’t get past it enough to like them or be interested in them. Then there are the characters I just didn’t get enough insight to even feign interest in them.

After reading the book and being somewhat disappointed I rushed to read the other reviews to see why they loved it so much. Hmmmmmmm….nothing to enlighten me there either…Granted, there aren’t many out there as the book has yet to be published at this time….but what I saw gave me no insight as to why they rated the book so high….

Alas….I guess that’s just how it is sometimes….as really, I can’t give much insight to why I didn’t enjoy it as much….nothing in it made me passionate to hate it either (I sometimes love books that I hate! Just to know they can get such raw emotions from me is something!)….there just wasn’t much inspiration in this novel for me….it was like mushy potatoes….yes, you can eat them….but you neither love them or hate them…they are just something to fill you up until the next great meal comes along….

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now The Casualties by Nick Holdstock

Review (revisited): The Coldest Gril in Coldtown by Holly Black

12813630I really enjoyed this book. However, I must warn you, it is predictable….and although I Black has said that this is a stand alone book….well I just don’t see her leaving it as it ended…there is just so much more she can do with the storyline….

This novel centers around a teenager named Tana. She lives in a world were vampires live in walled “Coldtowns”….when Tana wakes up after a party and discovers her and a friend might be infected she ventures into Coldtown, knowing it’s her only chance for survival but also knowing that once you become a resident of Coldtown there is little chance of ever leaving….

This whole vampire/paranormal//teenager/love triangle/save the world thing has been done over so many different ways and times…well it’s hard to get really excited and feel like you’re reading something new and different….

Having said that, I really think Black has taken the best of all of those numerous books out there and meshed them together to form a really enjoyable read. You have bloggers connecting the vampire world with the outside, human world. You have vampire fans that would do anything to be turned into a vampire…you have a love interest….you have revenge….you have betrayal….you have family issues….and Black does an excellent job in laying all those out to make a fast paced read…..

But at the end of the day….you still know what’s gonna happen….so if that doesn’t bother you….well I say read on! If you like a book full of surprises and an ending you can’t imagine….well…..perhaps you should move ahead and skip over this read….it might not be for you….

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Review: Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

PerdidoHard to rate this one. I loved the story. I hated the main character of Isaac. I found him flat, boring, and a coward. However, Garuda is the one that I spent the entire book wondering about. I so wish this story had been told through his eyes. Garuda is one of the most complex characters I have encountered in a book. His story begged to be told. His voice demanded to be heard. If only Isaac had been the one in the background instead of Garuda…my entire thoughts about the book would be completely changed. Even with the shocking ending, I still love Garuda. Now THERE is a character worthy of his own entire book. I found myself only reading the parts of the book to reach the end of a part to just hear Garuda’s thoughts. Every moment I spent bored by Isaac was triple rewarded when I reached a part that I could hear Garuda’s thoughts. If Mieville had written as he did when Garuda spoke it would have been an all time favourite book…as it was, I’m just glad it’s over…

The ending of the book, which some would say, should have changed my opinion of Garuda and of Isaac did nothing but make me 100% sure….Garuda is a deep, multi layered character….Isaac is a f*cking pillock….that is all……

After reading this book I have no doubt at all that Mieville deserves all the recognition he has received for being a brilliant writer that no one else can match…based both on his voice, storytelling skills and originality….however, after reading this book I also have no doubt that he is just as deserving to all the criticism he has received as well…I don’t think I have every read such a brilliant book that was also made up of so much rubbish….

Until next time….

Urania xx

Buy it now Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Book Review: Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

station elevenI won’t lie. It took me a while to get into this novel but at the end of the day I have to say I really did enjoy it! I’ve heard a few friends mention that they didn’t care for it because they kept waiting for something to happen….maybe that’s why I did end up enjoying it so much…I finally stopped trying to figure out any surprises or to look for something to happen….let’s face it…the story itself is what is happening….from start to finish life and the end of life is happening….this is one of those rare books that you don’t have to look for the unexpected. You don’t have to follow a storyline of ups and downs…you just need to sit back and follow along in the life of the day of survivors of an epidemic that has wiped out the majority of Earth’s population.

However, if you think this is a novel about a post-apocalyptic world you would think wrong. This is a novel about what it means to be human. About what it means to remain human in the face of adversity…

I believe that with the success of this book that there will be a second novel….it would be wonderful if we are lucky enough for Mandel to grace us with another…I would love to hear more about Station Eleven. I would love for all the characters to meet up at some point…having said that, don’t go into this feeling you might be disappointed with a storyline that didn’t end….remember! This isn’t that type of book….

It’s well worth the investment of your time….

Until next time…

Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Review: The Remaining by D.J. Molles

the remainingDo you want a zombie book that is a bit different? Well here it is! I was a bit surprised just how much I enjoyed reading this one. At no time did I feel like I just wanted to hurry up and finish it! Sadly, that is often how I feel with tons of books….and books with zombies are usually a sure thing….even if I enjoy them, I also get a bit bored with them too….YES….at the SAME time…..that’s just how I roll…..

Anyways…this is about The Remaining and not about my weird personality quirks!

Here we have US Army Captain Lee Harden. Harden is one of 48 Army members that very few people know about. They have secret bunkers under their homes. His mission is to go out after an US Government collapse and try to bring people together and reestablish law and order. Of course this means he spends several weeks at a time down in his bunker to only be told it’s a false alarm and to come out like nothing happens.

However, when this novel starts Harden hasn’t heard from his contact at the appointed time. As one day goes by he knows something is not right. After 48 hours he knows there is trouble.

When he finally comes out of his bunker, he is in for a great shock. The world as he knew it is no longer. He is amazed at just how fast a government can fall. How quick mob mentality can take over. How soon people forget about others and look out only for their own. Yes, we’ve all seen examples of this in this life. The riots after verdicts…..the looters after natural disasters. But that is one city….something that can be contained…what if mass chaos happens world-wide?

I really liked Harden as a character. What he lacks in discipline he makes up for in heart…..it can also be said that what he lacks in heart can be made up in discipline….and NO….they are NOT the same thing….

Harden soon finds out that he can’t carry on with his mission as he hopes BECAUSE of his mission. He is to gather survivors together and try to control blatant violent crimes. He is supposed to protect the innocent whilst at the same time trying to control the non-innocents. His mission would be much simpler if he did not have survivors such as young children and women to worry about. He could move much faster and get more done if he could just leave them somewhere safe…but as the hours go by he is realising that no place is safe.

This is a fast-paced, action-packed read that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The only complaint I can voice is that at some points Molles seemed to make it too easy for Harden…at other times he seemed to make it too hard.

There are several more books in this series and I look forward to reading the others soon….

Until next time….

Urania xx

Review copy provided by NetGalley

Buy it now at only $1.99 it’s a steal of a deal! The Remaining by D.J. Molles