Spoiler Free Zone:
I truly enjoyed this book. As a sequel, it served really well and the character development which occurred in this book was fantastic. However, most of this book served as a transition between the first and third books. Therefore, I give this book a four out of 5 stars because it was still entertaining though it was obviously a sequel. All in all, I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 and can’t wait to continue on with this series since it’s just so good.
This book, I felt, was a lot about the growth of the characters and the setting up of the plot for the following book. I loved the ways in which Kiera and the boys changed in this book. They were made stronger (literally and figuratively) so that they were able to handle themselves better than before. I was excited when Lilly finally got powers because she is such an amazing character to begin with and I enjoyed seeing her able to fend for herself in the face of magical enemies.
I also enjoyed the way in which Eligos fit into the group. His relationship with Kiera is important and exciting (though I wish the relationship had been the only one since Tyler and Lucian didn’t seem to stand a chance in the competition and I felt too much of the book became about this struggle for Kiera’s affections.) However, his position goes beyond just his relationship with Kiera as he makes friends with the boys, especially Danny. He develops from an all powerful demon from hell into a person in this book and I loved every minute of it.
Tyler’s evolution as a character both excited and infuriated me. His betrayal seemed extreme and juvenile compared to the reason and I honestly wanted to smack him upside the head majority of the book. However, that was the point. He was designed to infuriate a reader and the fact that he succeeds shows great writing on Lindsey Anne Kendal’s part.
The addition of new characters was interesting. I felt that the addition of all the demon characters (like Crystal) added to the story but also detracted from it in the sense most of them didn’t make it to the end. However, I did appreciate the way in which those characters added in the development of a potential war since it takes a large number of individuals to make up and army. The addition of the Beth and Marley aided the story. It added to the range of power the group had and introduced the idea this group of boys and girls are not the only people in the world with power. Not to mention, it made the idea that they would be taking on an army a lot more believable because it meant they could accumulate their own (outside of Eligos’ army of demons, of course.)
I was fascinated by the fact that this is supposedly not the first war between heaven and hell to occur on Earth or other planets. It is an interesting twist to a lot of mythologies I know and also gives possible explanations for a great many of mankind’s tragedies. However, I started to feel there was a lot of back story being added which might not have been entirely necessary, even if it were interesting.
Finally, I enjoyed the mother-daughter dynamic which builds in this book between Lilith and Kiera. I think Lilith is trying so hard to be a good mom but Kiera doesn’t make it easy for her. However, when the two do manage to get along and agree, they are a great pair and their relationship warms my heart.
I also enjoyed the way in which Hell was depicted in this book coupled with the fact that these ancient and classical forces of magic are occurring simultaneously in this modern society. This book is set up perfectly and is executed with skill and precision. This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
Spoiler Free Zone
Talented has been one of my favorite reads that we’ve done as a group so far. I found the plot to be interesting and the action to be thrilling. There were a few things I found difficult to take in this book, particularly the occasional info-dump and the main character’s overwhelmingly childish personality but all in all, I give this book four out of five stars.
So, my main issue with this book is the main character Talia. I felt she whined way more than she should have and was extremely needy. I do understand that a lot of this was because of her past and her age but I still felt it went above and beyond the average teenage girl. Furthermore, I felt that, as a girl who has devoted her life to avenging her parents’ death, she sure seemed to get distracted from her goal easily. She seemed so boy crazy with her obsession with Donovan in the beginning (and basically even all the way to the end since, as Erik said, she was always comparing everything with Erik to her relationship with Donovan) and then Erik after “the incident.” She’s supposed to be training to be a hunter. Even she knows she’s not supposed to let her emotional connections interfere with her missions. Yet, they do. I don’t think I would have minded her character faults as much if there had been some major character development with her throughout the book but, to my disappointment, there wasn’t.
The rest of the book however was entertaining, well written save for a few repetitions and the occasion info-dump (like the one that occurs right after the opening scene,) fast-paced, and had an awesome cast of characters (Talia not included.) I loved that the book opened with a scene of pandemonium and action. It dragged me as the reader into the world immediately as I, like Talia, tried to figure out what the heck was going on. I thought Penny was the most interesting and fun character around. Despite being a bit of a side character, I found the depth of her character development intriguing and I just plain liked her. I want her to be my friend! Even Donovan was well written because he was designed to be an unlikable character and he was exactly that. This book was fun and I look forward to continuing the series.
The safe zone:
Run was a terrifying but interesting book. It was a quick read (I finished it within two sittings and would have probably done it in one if my professors didn’t demand my full attention during class.) I give this book a four and a half out of five stars and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a thrilling, creepy, fast-paced read.
All are Spoilers that Reside Here:
I enjoyed Run because of the way it analyzed the psychological effects of being hunted. Each child in this novel reacted differently to the pressure. There were the ones who became very animalistic and let their panic control their actions (needless to say these people died quickly) and then there were those characters who chose to bargain with their pursuers in the attempt of gaining favor and safety at the cost of other people’s lives. Not to mention the pack mentality developed by our merry band of heroes as they fight to survive. I enjoyed the realistic ways in which characters either broke down or fortified themselves and, honestly, felt that was the main purpose and strength of this novel.
Reid was an interesting character and I enjoyed his ingenuity and ability to survive. However, as much as I liked his character, he wasn’t my favorite character. Drew was, which is why I was devastated when he died. I felt Drew had the most character growth in this novel and I connected with him immediately because in normal society he would be the shy, bullied nerd but when push came to shove he was strong. I mean, how many people, as they are lying there bleeding out, have the courage to blow themselves up for the sake of either taking out a hunter or delaying them enough that your comrades can escape? My experience has been not many since the last moments are usually spend agonizing over the fact that person doesn’t want to die. Drew was such an awesome character and I wish very much he could have carried on.
The hunters were interesting in their own right. I loved the way they hunted in a pack in the same way wolves do but that also terrified me and gave me nightmares. The fact that these hunters are not human fascinates me because it begs the question of what are they and why are they here in this fenced in zone eating kids. What’s also interesting about the hunters is that they are actively toying with their prey and therefore show an immense amount of calculation and conscious thought in every action they make. This makes them even more dangerous than most predators because they are capable of great cruelty. I found this most prominent and most pee-in-your-pants scary when, after eating two kids, the hunters turned and grinned at Reid who had been hiding nearby. They had not only known he was there but chose not to kill him and taunted him. This is behavior not commonly seen in animals who are hunting for survival. It is as though someone took all the things that make animals deadly and powerful and crossed it with everything that makes humans deadly and powerful to create this creature with the skills to take down two armed special forces in the blink of an eye and the forethought to make pacts with some kids for easy meals. To me, that makes them fascinating to consider (and also makes me afraid to go out in the woods alone.)
I’m extremely curious where the series can go from here since the ending left the kids sealed into a mine. I don’t believe they have seen the last of the hunters but now the dynamics of the story must change with the new territory and I can’t wait to pick up the next book to see how it turns out. I recommend reading this book and the rest of the series in the day, for those who are as easily freaked out by scary things as I am.
Typically, I wouldn’t have picked up this book of my own volition. While I enjoy science in my every day life and intend to make a career out of it, I don’t particularly enjoy reading about it on a general basis. However, The Martian by Andy Weir pleasantly surprised me. While the book is science heavy in some sections and can be slowed down in pace at those science-laden bits, it was a fast paced read. Initially, this was due to the activity of the plot (there is always something going on in this book) but after a while the plot seemed repetitive. However, the choice of main character made the book far more enjoyable and drove the story onward. This character driven novel was a pleasure to read and I give it a four out of five stars.
The movie, however, I give only three and a half out of four stars. This is because I felt that there were unnecessary changes to the plot that ultimately didn’t serve any time saving process. While I understand that a movie must eliminate some details from a book for the sake of time, I am also a stickler for details. I felt there were changes made in the movie which drained it of some of its energy though what it lacked in energy it made up for in amazing graphics.
Let me start of by saying that Mark Watney has made into my list of favorite book characters. Honestly, his sense of humor (ie sarcasm) and tenacity made him an enjoyable character to follow and is the main reason why I enjoyed the book. Where any other human being would have been guaranteed to die, he was able to use his engineering and botany skills to good use. The fact that he was able to grow hundreds of potatoes on Mars is one of the most impressive skills any human being can even claim. I practically cried for the death of the potatoes farm when the tear in the hub caused them all to die because, after a while, the potatoes felt like characters themselves. The other impressive thing about Watney was that he was able to take apart other machines to improve on the ones he had. This man was able to do so much with so little because he knew how things needed to work and how to make them work that way. I loved that about him. Had he been any other character who couldn’t do any of that, he would have been boring (not to mention dead.)
I was worried at first when I noticed the absence of other characters for the first few chapters (after all, he was alone on Mars) but was relieved when the point of view shifted to also incorporate the rescue efforts being done on Earth. While at times I found the continuous shifting a little annoying because I was so engrossed in what Watney was doing that I didn’t care about the Earthlings, I also found it added a new dimension to the story that helped in understanding many of the events and made it more enjoyable. Not to mention, one of my favorite comedy moments of the book occurred when everyone on Earth realized Watney still lived and someone pondered on what a person who thought they were abandoned to die on Mars must be thinking at the moment, only to pan to Watney’s point of view to discover he was concerned about the logic of Aqua Man commanding sea mammals. I laughed so hard at this point that I dropped the book and received looks of concern from the people sitting around me since I happened to be outside of a classroom waiting for my class to enter.
As I stated earlier, I felt this was a character driven book and that I felt a lot of the events that occurred were repetitive after a while. What I mean by this is that every new chapter, something would go wrong when it had been going right before, or something would occur to Watney that would again put him in danger of dying. After two hundred pages of this continuous struggle, no matter how life-like and realistic it is, it gets tedious. Especially since everyone is rooting for Watney’s survival. It becomes discouraging after a while and I feel that the book would have been one I’d have been unable to complete except that, despite his struggles, Watney wasn’t discourage or defeated. He pressed on and lathered each bad situation with a commendable sense of humor. He kept the reader from wanting to quit by not quitting himself and I greatly appreciated that.
The things that I enjoyed about the book, however, were things that I felt were changed or cut from the movie. The movie was listed as PG-13 which meant that Watney’s otherwise colorful vocabulary – he drops more f-bombs in the book than I do when I stub my toe on a chair – was limited to one use of the f word. While the movie rectified that in a few instances (such as having him mouth the word inside of his land rover where the audience couldn’t hear him) I felt a lot of his character was dulled down by his inability to remain true to himself as he was written.
Also, for the record, the book says everything starts on Sol 6. So tell me what purpose the movie had in changing it to Sol 18?!?!
However, there were instances in which I applaud the movie. For starters, in the book, Watney describes his stitching the wound he received from the antenna piercing his suit in a clinical manner. This is because the book is in the form of his journal log and by the time he describes what has occurred, much of the emotion is lost. I highly doubt anyone recounting what they did to mend themselves would think to add that it hurt like hell and was messy. The movie, being able to show the log as a video log in which he could film things as they occurred, managed to show this scene perfectly. You could see the sweat rolling down his forehead and the sunken in look of his eyes people get when they are grievously injured. It was brilliantly done!
I also enjoyed the way in which the movie was able to show how Watney becomes emaciated throughout the extent of his stay on Mars because of the amount of labor he does and the rations he is forced to impose on himself to make the food last as long as possible. While the book didn’t touch on this, I imagine for a similar reason that the way the surgery was described was done so clinically, it was great to see Hollywood take advantage of the medium to show it. Again, brilliant.
I highly recommend the book and movie to anyone who enjoys science-heavy science fiction (by the way, 99 percent of the science involved, was accurate – which was impressive in itself.) I also recommend it to anyone who loves strong, sarcastic characters and a bit of adventure. All and all, this was a great read and I am highly grateful that being a part of this amazing book club gave me the opportunity and push I needed to expand my reading horizons to incorporate the Martian.
Talk about holding your breath because the suspense and intensity is too much!.. This is basically how I spent my time reading this book!.. Patti made me soo afraid of the woods I don't want to go if it's not daytime!..Perfect read if you are looking to jump at any sound around you while reading..lmao
Alone, Reid gasps in one deep breath, another. It hurts his ribs, his lungs. He manages to roll over on his right side and regrets it. His shoulder screams in protest. Still, he is finally able to wriggle his numb hands loose from what holds him and claws at the cloth around his eyes.
Darkness. But not complete. The moon is up. Trees loom over him, the smell of spruce and fresh air so sharp it almost hurts. He jerks at the plastic ties around his ankles while. his vision swims through a veil of pain-laden tears. He manages somehow to force his screaming hands to work the ties loose and he is free.
Sixteen-year-old Reid thinks life is back to normal. His sister Lucy pulls herself together and cuts him free from a year of foster care. She promises to take care of him, that her new boss and her new life are what they both needed to start again. Until Reid is taken in the middle of the night, dumped in a wild stretch of forest far from home with no idea why he is there. Lost and afraid, he learns to run from the hunters who prowl the darkness, their only pleasure chasing down kids like him. And killing them.
This book was our book club's latest read. Run was similar to many books. The main book I would label this with is The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell.
Run by Patti Larsen was satisfactory. Run is an ideal book to read if you are seeking a gripping and fast paced story. However, the writing felt lacking and awkward.
Overall, the book was an okay read that obtained many unanswered questions. Do not read this book if you do not want to commit to a whole series. However, this book is perfect for advocates of action in books.
Synopsis: Keira has been through Hell, literally..... But now she’s back, and stronger than ever!
In this second gripping installment of the Bloodlines trilogy Keira and her friends – Lily, Lucian, Tyler, Jake and Danny – continue to try and understand their elemental powers, and protect themselves from their enemies, whose ultimate goal is to destroy them.
This time, the stakes are higher – what seems to be a demon rebellion has broken out in hell and the Earth is plunged into chaos. Their problem is, no one – not even Lucifer himself – knows who the rebel leader is. It seems only Keira, her frightened but determined friends, and a new ally – a demon named Eligos - can find out who this person or thing is, why they are suddenly causing so much bloodshed, pain and upset for everyone, and destroy them.
Bloody awesome battles, amazing feats of magic, and a stronger-than-death passion, make for an intoxicating, unforgettable read in this powerfully imagined fantasy
For our book club's recent read, we read and discussed Torment by Linsay Anne Kendall. Torment is the second book in her Bloodlines series. I loved this series and thought Torment was an incredible sequel.
My favorite aspect of this book was that it was not like many sequels that fall flat compared to the first book. I didn't feel that it was irrelevant. In fact, this book complimented the series beautifully! I felt that Torment gave the characters more depth and had developed the characters well. Some of the characters changes surprised me!
One of my favorite parts of Torment was Lindsay's depiction of hell. Though I do not believe in Lindsay's version of hell, I liked the concept and creativity of it. Her version of hell was unique and was interesting.
The plot was captivating as well! Full of intense battles and magical elements, you will not be disappointed. However, there were a few slow parts between fights.
Finally, I must talk about the ending. Lindsay left us on a cliffhanger that has me dying to read the next book! The last part of the book went extremely fast and then just ended. I NEED ANSWERS!
Overall, I love this book and highly recommend it!