Review Rendezvous: 8/19/17


The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
Book stats:
Genre(s): Dystopian, science fiction, fantasy
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 416
Publish date: November 1st, 2016
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

DiabolicNemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire.

This particular book has been on my to-read list for some time. I always thought that the concept was quite interesting, so I had to read it. Fortunately, I finally got the chance, and it was just as entertaining as I’d hoped.

We open the book with Nemesis in her “training” period when she’s being raised as a Diabolic. It never really does explain if they were human to start with (as I suspect), but they’re genetically engineered for rage. Yet, they are attached to one singular person, and would do anything to save that person.

The downside to this is that eventually, her kind are outlawed, but the people who own her (as diabolics are property, not people) keep her safe and hidden. Of course, the family she is employed by are not the most respectful citizens, barely threading the line between outlier and insubordinate. The emperor knows this, so he calls the daughter away to the court. Of course, the family isn’t going without a fight, so they send Nemesis instead.

Nemesis journey throughout this book is highly intriguing. We see her go from completely subservient to thinking and acting on her own. She also befriends some interesting people at court, and though there is a lot of backstabbing going on, she manages herself not terribly bad.

I will say, the very ending had me so conflicted over who was telling the truth and who wasn’t. Kincaid keeps you guessing, which I liked very much. There wasn’t a specific ending I could pick up halfway through the book, as I’ve been known to do that before. Definitely give this one a try, you’ll enjoy it.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


If you liked this book, check these ones out:

Linked

A girl discovers she has a twin, and both end up fleeing their planet’s government

cinder

It’s Cinderella, but as a cyborg in SPACE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Review Rendezvous: 8/12/17


The Step-Spinsters by Madina Papadopoulos
Book stats:
Genre(s): Fantasy, romance, young adult
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 238
Publish date: August 15th, 2017
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

SpinstersOnce upon a time, in a land far, far away…

…(actually, in Medieval France, to be exact) there lived Cinderella’s stepsisters, Fredegonde the tall and Javotte the small. They wake up the morning after the legendary ball to learn that they each still have a chance to be the bride—all they have to do is make their feet fit into that tricky slipper. Alas, these two damsels under stress never quite seem to fit in anywhere. But that doesn’t stop them from wishing and hoping as they set upon a quest for grooms and grandeur of their own.

This one is quite interesting, as instead of focusing on Cinderella, like most fairytale retellings do, you get to see her step-sister’s point of view. The novel begins the morning after that fateful ball, and after the magic has worn off, you’ll see that things are not always what they seem. Cinderella’s sisters and mother are struggling to keep their house. Because they are women, they cannot inherit property, and one of the daughters must marry before the end of the month if they are to keep their land.

Of course, once Cinderella is plucked from obscurity and brought to the castle, she no longer cares for her family’s plight, which leaves them in quite the desperate situation. We also realize that the prince isn’t quite a princely as he would seem, and duke is a conniving old man, and a troubadour may not be all he’s crack up to be.

I loved the fact that we got more of a realistic setting here, as it is based in Normandy in the medieval times. There’s so many different conflicting storylines here, but at the same time Papadopoulos manages to weave them together very well. There’s also the question of if true love really exists, or if people only get married to further their own interests.

I quite loved this book, the only thing that occasionally tripped me up were the french words sprinkled throughout. However, I believe that you could reasonably understand what they are referring to from context. All in all, quite the lovely retelling, I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the medieval period or fairytale retellings.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


If you liked this book, check these ones out:

Cinder

A cute romance featuring a version of the Cinderella story.

cinder

It’s Cinderella, but as a cyborg in SPACE!

The Selection

Beautiful dresses, political intrigue, and a rags-to-riches story!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Review Rendezvous: 7/29/17


Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Book stats:
Genre(s): Dystopian, young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 326
Publish date: April 26th, 2011
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

BumpedWhen a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

Just in time for sci-fi and fantasy week on Goodreads! I think what intrigued me enough to read this was the stark contrast between McCafferty’s world and our own. In Bumped, teen girls are actually encouraged to become pregnant, because no one older can do so since the virus that swept through. The contrast between Melody and Harmony also seemed particularly interesting.

At first, I was slow getting into this book. I don’t know if it was because I was distracted or the book took a bit to get off the ground, but that’s how it was. Once I got into the middle, however, I was definitely more intrigued. I will be honest though, While I liked this first book, it was really the second in the series that endeared me to Melody, Harmony, and their world.

There is a lot of discussion on worldview and how where you’re raised shapes what you think. The girls wonder how life would be like had they each been in the other’s spot. Then of course there is the problem of mistaken identity just at the end of the book that hooks you in for the second story.

I enjoyed reading about the growth of the girls. At first they just blindly accept whatever they were taught, but slowly they begin to open their eyes and really see the world around them. In the second book they become even more rebellious, but I won’t spoil that for you, you’ll have to pick up the book yourself 🙂

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 7/22/17


Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, fantasy, paranormal, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 332
Publish date: January 2nd, 2007
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

 

VALissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires—the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

I picked up this particular book while I was in Orlando as a WDW intern. Originally, I had picked it up because I wanted something to read on the bus rides to work and it seemed interesting enough. Boy was I underselling it. Normally, I’m not the type to go for vampire novels, and while I wasn’t particularly hooked after the first one, I continued on with the series and by the end, it had become one of my favorites.

The thing that I love reading the most in this series is the growth of the main protagonist, Rose. When you meet her in the beginning, she’s rash, stupid, selfish, and rebellious, mostly without justification. She does care very much for her best friend and does things with good intentions, but they usually blow up in her face.

Without spoiling information about the series, I can’t explain much about how Rose grows up in the later novels. There’s a big theme of duty and sacrifice as well, which is an interesting sub-plot. I accidentally spoiled myself to the ending of one of the side issues, although I’m not too worried about spoilers so it’s fine.

There is a movie adaptation of this first book, and while it is interesting and well-produced, it’s not entirely true to the source material. Of course, that goes for most book to movie adaptations nowadays, so I suppose slight inaccuracy can be overlooked in some instances.

All in all, yet another amazing series that I have stumbled across. Makes me lad that I picked up the first book to begin with. There is also a second series, the Bloodlines series, that I just recently finished. I’ll post a separate review of it on a different day, but that one was almost as good as this series, so it’s well worth the read!

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 12/24/16


Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, fantasy, science fiction
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 395
Publish date: January 3rd, 2012
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

cinderHumans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Holy cow was this a good book. A great opening to an even better series. This is the Cinderella retelling that I had no idea I wanted. I love the Disney classics, but there is something about throwing Cindy into a whole new world (pun very much intended) that I love!

Cinder goes through such great character growth in this book, and she has plenty of room for more. I hate when authors build their character up too far or flesh out their problems too much and then do not have anywhere to go in the coming additions to the series. But seeing how Cinder isn’t the perfect Cinderella (she’s none to quick to forgive her stepfamily, she isn’t particularly the best dancer, although there’s a logical reason for that) makes the story just that much more realistic. I don’t know how realistic you can get with a futuristic society involving moon people, androids, and old fairytales though.

The fight she has between herself, her duty, and her current situation makes for such a good read. I was afraid that she was gonna ditch everything and we were going to be left with a terrible conclusion, but that evidently did not happen. I was right there with her, feeling the anger at her terrible life circumstances. She certainly didn’t choose them, after all.

Then in the end there is also quite the revelation that completely turns the tables. Meyer has done a great job of interconnecting the fairytale but also throwing in her own twists and changes that keep everything fresh. I loved the fact that it was Cinderella, but Cinderella as you’ve never seen her: kicking butt as a half-human, half robot android.

I would one hundred percent recommend this book. I’m waiting on a hold at the library so I can read the last book in the series, and boy am I excited!

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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