Handbook for Mortals: Spoiler Filled

I received a copy of an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  As always, thank you Netgalley.

What book is this you ask? Well, I got my hands on a copy of one of the most controversial books of 2017: Handbook for Mortals by Lani Sarem. While I know this book is low rated on Goodreads and Amazon due to the scandal(s) surrounding the author, I tried to read this book for a true and fair rating. Honestly, this book got a bit more than a fair reading from me, as if it had been any other book, I would have marked it as DNF a short time in.

So if you are reading this to see me talk about the scandal, I most likely won’t. If you are assuming this is an anti-Lani Sarem article just because she did something stupid, it’s not.  I’ll try to backup how I feel about this book with actual quotes from the book, so expect lots of quotes (because I highlighted a LOT in this book.) I’ll also try to find some nice things to say about this book. But…..this will mostly be a rant.

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Book: Handbook for Mortals

Release date: August 15, 2017
Format: e-Book 
Rating: candy-corn-moose 1/5 Moose

 

 

 

 


The first nice thing I’ll say about this book, is that this is the calmest I’ve probably been with a 1 star book. I’ve only 1-starred three books this year: one made me angry, one annoyed me, and this one. I went in with no expectations, and thus I wasn’t let down. So, Kudos?

Let’s start with the characters.

Scheherazade “Zade” Ester Holder: That’s Zade as in Z-aide, not Zaad….despite the fact that Scheherazade is zaaad. She’s named for two Queens (Scheherazade is not a princess and never was and I have been studying Arabian Nights for 2 months now so I feel pretty confident saying this?) and is the story’s main character. She’s pretty and beautiful but not to herself — she sees herself as cute and nothing more. She is able to do magick (with a k, so we hear repeatedly). She has anger issues (thinks of punching her mom in the 0 chapter, and then uses her magic to get revenge whenever she doesn’t like something done to her.) And that’s…..about all you need to know about her. You learn more — like that she is “dyslexic” — she used to write everything backwards — but this has nothing to do with the story other than background dumping.

Clark “Mac/Macgyver” Kent: First and main love interest, not to be confused with Cam, who is the hottest guy ever. (And since Zade won’t date someone hotter than her, Cam is not a love interest.) They start out hating each other, eventually bond over superficial things like loving red vines and “crotch rockets” (okay that’s a bit harsh, except they ONLY bond over superficial things?) and while there is a love triangle the entire story, Mac is clearly the more important and obvious guy. Also because he’s a tool and jealous and possessive and that guy always wins.

side-eye

Also he was in love with a woman name Clara Faust and like…if you are going to commit to a literary theme for your name, commit?

Quote about Mac:

Either way, I noticed that several guys in their show blacks were handsome; one in particular caught my eye for some reason. He wasn’t the most traditionally handsome one of the bunch but there was something really striking about him. […] I’ve always paid attention to [how people walk] and it’s astonishing how accurate it really is — and how few people walk with a confident stride and step — but this guy did in spades, though he also seemed closely guard, which is an odd combination. (Most of the time, super-confident people are much more open and free.)

He was slender and tall, definitely six feet if not an inch or so more, with just the right amount of muscle in his arms. You know, just enough to grab you and hold you tight — but not enough to look like he was stung by a bee and allergic. 

Charles Spellman: Can you guess what his job is? He’s the head illusionist in the Vegas show Zade goes to join. He is also *SPOILER ALERT I TOLD YOU THERE WOULD BE* her dad, we come to find out, in case no body could see it coming. He’s dating a woman much younger than him, and comes across as calm and chill and no one intimidates him. Outside of that, the only other explanation given is

Charles was older, but still a very handsome man. I would describe him in a similar way that one might describe Harrison Ford.

….which Harrison Ford? The 70 year old man today? Outside of occasionally singling out Jade to his girlfriend Sophia and Mac’s discomfort, he kind of just floats in the background.

Jackson…….Something. (Milsap, if anyone cares): As Zade and Mac both have names that are borrowed, Milsap is probably a “nod” to Ronnie Milsap, a country singer if you don’t know who that is. And I’d almost bet money on this, as Jackson is the head singer of the house band and the rock band they are outside the stadium. Where Mac is tense and jealous and quick tempered, Jackson (the other third of the triangle) is calm and collected and super chill. He’s also the fictional singer of the very real band, the Plain White Ts.

Charm just flowed out of him the way most people sweat in the sun on a hot August day in Tennessee. It got hot in Vegas, like 124 degrees hot, but it was a dry heat and let me tell you it was not as sweltering as a humid ninety degrees in Tennessee. You will sweat buckets without even lifting a finger the moment you step outside. 

Dela Holder: Zade’s mother. She’s also magick, makes a living telling fortunes to people through tarot cards, used to be apart of a traveling circus, and apparently has RUINED ZADE’S LIFE (as she makes it clear in the 0 chapter.) She’s gorgeous and the best at magic and everything Zade has to live up to.

Who else? Well, there are a myriad of dudes who all literally stop whatever they are doing when Zade walks into the room:

Zade walked by on her way to the main stage, moving too quickly to notice the group of men who had all stopped to stare at her. 

“God that girl is beautiful! It is beyond that, there is something unique and special about her.” Drew said nudging Mac with his elbow. “Wonder what my chances are. Is she dating anyone?”

The mean girl, aka Sophia aka Charles’ girlfriend, Zade’s mom, the costume woman who annoys Zade because she’s SUPER CHATTY, and the strange girl who randomly attacks Zade with Magick at the mall (who is clearly an overall antagonist but is completely pointless and useless in this book). Basically, it’s full of guys who like and want to date Zade and other females. None of which are important.

Oh, and Wayne Newton and Carrot Top make an appearance that makes NO SENSE. But probably more on that later.

How is the Plot?

Here’s a quick summary of the book, including spoilers:

Zade leaves her home in Tennessee to move to Vegas and join a Vegas illusionist show. She auditions with an amazing illusion, which she cannot tell anyone how it is done because it’s not an illusion, it’s real magick. She then meets two guys who both fall for her and 90% of the book is which guy will she end up with. Then, about 65% of the way through, she attempts a dangerous illusion (magick) and falls into a coma, where the next ……30% of the book is told from Zade’s point of view of the memories she “pulled” from people’s brains. She eventually makes it out and her parents remarry.

The end. Only not, because my book had the first 4-5% of the next book. (I couldn’t finish it. I now believe this isn’t a first draft, but that sneak peak is most definitely an earlier draft.)

Thoughts:

  • Zade is a Mary Sue, almost to a textbook definition. From Fanlore, a Mary Sue is as follows:
    • Unusual hair or eye color, general attractiveness Multi-hue colored hair with perfect bangs, every guy finds her attractive, only she finds herself “cute” so CHECK
    • Exceptional abilities, even in a “verse” such as Star Trek where exceptional people are the norm Well, she has magick that has essentially no rules or specialties other than “it does what she wants,” and she’s the best Illusionist ever so CHECK
    • An exotic pet No pet, I will admit. 
    • Being a confidante of one or more main characters Hmm. Everyone loves her, Charles confides in her, Mac confides in her, Riley confuses in her….Check! 
    • A detailed description of the character There is an entire 0 Chapter that is a description of her….Check!
    • Here’s a quote from when Mac stared at Zade while she was getting measured:
    • Mac could see Zade standing in nothing but her lace underwear and bra as Lil pulled a measuring tape around her narrow waist. Both pieces were black and nude with lace trim and the panties, which were high-waisted cut, framed Zade’s body nicely and showed off her curves and small waist. Lil made a note in her pad of the measurement and moved down to Zade’s hips. Under the bright lights, Zade’s skin looked porcelain white. She was beautiful. She wasn’t supermodel hot but there was something about her that just made her stand out. Mac couldn’t quite put his finger on it but there was something there. 

  • Zade is also a vindictive and mean Main Character, who never has a character arc and uses her magic to punish people she feels have wronged her.
    • The biker flipped upside down as if he’d hit a massive pothole that came out of nowhere, or at least to anyone else it probably looked like that. He landed pretty hard on his back, and made a few loud sounds of shrieking pain as the bike crashed into a bench, sending a few pieces in different places. I was fairly certain he wasn’t permanently injured, but he also wasn’t going to be riding anymore today; that’s for sure. 

    • This is because he hit her on accident and didn’t say sorry. Seriously.
  • Can we stop books where all women who aren’t the main character are competition, bitchy stuck up princesses, or obsessive and “too obnoxious?”
    • Or they are too vapid and only talk about clothes.
  • This book changes point of views frequently, and it’s made visible by italics. However, you’re going to have the entire time she’s in a coma be told from her perspective….of the memories she took from other people…..rather than from THEIR POV?
    • First of all, with it from her POV, there is no tension of will she survive. We know she’s alive.
      • Which really helps as the entire time she’s in a coma, it’s about how her parents met. Which is apparently SUPER IMPORTANT TO HOW TO SAVE HER LIFE. For…..reasons.
    • It’s confusing as fuck because of the tenses changes.
  • The love triangle is really Mac — Zade — We-need-someone-who-is-opposite-Mac. But Opposite-Mac (aka Jackson) might still be her love interest overall you know. He likes tarot! He likes music! There is really no depth or spark to either relationship other than “we both kind of like things!” Also no sex, which might have made this book better. Or at least solidify it as a romance novel.
  • I’ve mentioned it with another book this year, but man can we stop with the constant “I gave him a look that said ____.” “His look clearly said [insert paragraphs of what he could have said but the look cannot get this in-depth people.]”
    • I stared back at him with the best “Go ahead, I’m nice. Ask me.” look I had.

  • Randomly, Carrot Top and Wayne Newton show up. They know who Zade is, she talks to them like they are the oldest of friends. Yet there is no mention of ever meeting them, there is no mention of  them again, there is no context as to why this was needed or necessary.
  • The beginning of this book makes it seem like the important thing of this book is Zade finding a “normal life,” by being in a Vegas show. Yet there is no mention of the first time she performs for an audience; she’s just automatically famous. In fact, for about half the book I was convinced they were still practicing for her first show. This changed with the mention of her creating a new illusion with Charles.
  • You cannot convince me that the author isn’t in love with someone in Plain White Ts and this is a fan fiction of her eventually ending up with the lead singer.
  • Are there rules of magic? I don’t know. Can ….someone with magic …..marry a …..mortal? It’s practically a law they can’t. So who makes these laws? Who enforces them?
  • This book needs some serious editing. There is randomly a mention of a camping trip that Zade and Mac fight about because Zade planned the trip but can’t go. Two lines later, the camping trip is over and she’s making dinner for him as he’s back in town. Did she do nothing? No. Because Mac gets mad about her going to dinner and a show with Charles. So like, why? It’s like the author wants to put clues and hints (i.e. Zade is spending time with her father) but doesn’t know how to actually incorporate them.
  • When Charles admits to Mac he’s Zade’s dad, he literally SENDS THE ER DOCTOR OUT OF THE ROOM WHILE THEY HASH OUT THAT HE’S HER FATHER. Who cares that she’s bleeding internally and from every hole and just what. Also, what doctor tells the family “I don’t know what she has but only House could solve this.”

Quotes That Drove Me Nuts:

The theatre is “in the round” as it’s called, meaning the seats circle the whole state (that is also round) and the seats closest to the state are basically level with the stage. The rows get bigger as they go up and the farther from the stage they are the higher they are, which means the stage is at the bottom of the room.

My editorial note: Stadium. You are describing a “stadium.”

And, as much as I wasn’t always completely accepted by everyone in the town, I still belonged. It was home. I also really loved helping people and guiding them through difficult hardships and to a new place in life where they could be happy. My mom and I had enlightened some people in town and taught them to understand that not everything we are brought up to believe in the world is true. 

This comes after a few pages of basically talking about how much she needs to get out of her hometown because it’s not right. Make up your mind, honey child.

He jammed his hands in his pockets, rocked back on his heels in a very “Tad” sort of way, and blushed. 

Upon meeting Tad, she knew exactly how Tad should always be.

It almost seemed like it had been planned that, at that exact moment, Mel, another girl Mel, who worked for the show, walked around the corner with a large cake lit with candles.

…..I don’t remember meeting another Mel, never mind the first female Mel.

I felt my right eyebrow rise as I looked into his eyes and my eyelashes bat unconsciously. 

Honey, if your body parts are moving on their own, it’s time to go see a doctor.

I instantly looked up at the clock on the wall and realized the clock said five til seven on it. This whole time we had been talking I should have been getting dressed but I was so caught up in the conversation that I had completely lost track of the time. Here I was, not dressed at all.

Just an example of the frequent round about wording of saying the same thing, multiple times. I just can’t imagine an editor looked at this.

“I’ll stop if you let me do this.”
And then he kissed me. 
The next day, I had to go into the theatre early to work on the new illusion.

Another example of transition and time issues.

With that he kissed me passionately while bending me back like they do in the movies until my knee popped, which anyone who’s ever seen any romantic movie would know, is a very good thing.

Honey, your foot should pop. If your knee is popping, you’re probably in PAIN.

Final Thoughts:

Lani, you had a good idea. An illusionist who can do real magic? Sure why not!  You might have had a good rough draft. But you needed someone to tell you to pick a novel type, and who would tell you no and what to edit.

I don’t fault the people who like this book, just like I don’t fault those who like the other books I’ve one-starred this year. But I also don’t recommend this book.

Finally, you weren’t at Book Con. if you’re all about selling on the convention trail, that should have been a major stop for you. So please, let’s just own up that you messed up on the whole trying to make it seem like you’re a best seller. I guess bad publicity is still good publicity though.

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Book Review: Follow Me Back

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I originally chose this book due to a quick read of the synopsis, as well as my love for silly stories about celebrities falling in love with a fan in strange ways. Especially when they have a mystery twist.

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Follow Me Back

By A. V. Geiger

Published Date: June 2017

Format: ebook ARC
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Romance
Ratingmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md 4/5 Moose

Synopsis

Synopsis taken from Netgalley:

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts Follow Me Back is the  first book of a new duology. Written for the online generation this thriller  will keep you guessing right up to the shocking end.

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murder at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Characters

Tessa Hart: An agoraphobic  18 year old, whoose lif has become all about her twitter world.

Eric Thorn: A famous singer who has become paranoid since another singer has been killed by an obsessed fan.

Rants, Raves, and General Thoughts

I’ll admit, I submitted for this advanced reader copy because I might have been watching It Follows on Netflix. I was a little disappointed that this isn’t a weird ghost/demon story, but it still was right up my alley. I secretly kind of love books where celebrities genuinely fall in love with one of their fans in some way.

I also tend to really love epistolary novels….which this isn’t entirely. It’s a good combination of pros and documents. I found Tessa to be incredibly relatable, even without not knowing what caused her paranoia until much later in the book. The author also doesn’t try to sell her as a drop dead gorgeous girl who is just slightly flawed — she feels real.

This book also makes me as a Twitter user feel wonderfully uncomfortable. I have never randomly confessed my love to a celebrity….I honestly am more likely to yell at a corporation I feel has wronged me. But still, I do see the people that respond, saying anything to see if they’ll get a reaction. And I will like/retweet things people say….especially authors.

This book is well written and fairly straight forward, though it has a nice twist. I found I related with Tessa’s anxieties, and that they were written with just enough tension but not over the top at all.

Final Thoughts

I don’t find too many young adult thrillers that are great — Harlan Coben has a great miniseries worth checking out ahem — and I would also recommend A.V. Geiger. I have started following her on Wattpad too! Though I doubt the sequel to this book will be published there. And be advised — this book has a cliffhanger ending. I cannot wait to see what happens next!

….oh I have to wait a year? REALLY? Sigh.

Book Review: Ensnared

I received this advanced readers copy by Netgalley, in exchange for an unbiased review.

I initially picked this book out as the cover is beautifully done, and the concept of a futuristic, sci-fi Beauty and the Beast sounded wonderfully fun.

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Ensnared

By Rita Stradling

Publish Date: Dec. 2017

Format: ebook ARC
Genre: New Adult, Retelling, Romance, Sci-Fi
Ratingmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md 3.25/Moose

Synopsis

Alainn is the youngest daughter of Connor, a brilliant robot creator with a massive gambling problem. When his newest creation, an AI made to look like Alainn named Rose, isn’t ready for the man who commissioned her, Lorrcan. In order to keep her father out of jail, given his massive gambling debt and fraud, Alainn agree to Rose’s plan to pretend to be the robot until it is ready.

But instead of the life of servitude and living in a tower, Alainn finds her life to be very different than originally imagined.

Characters

Alainn – the “Beauty” of the story

Lorrcan – the “Beast” of the story

Connor and Colby – Alainn’s father and brother

Rose, Rosebud, and Rosette – AIs of the world

Rants, Raves and General Thoughts

Initial thoughts: Great retelling idea (especially given the renewed love for Beauty and the Beast) and thank god it’s not a retelling of Alice in Wonderland because aren’t we all sick of those yet? Plus the cover is GORGEOUS. 

After looking at the reviews on Goodreads: Maybe I made a mistake with this book, oh dear.

I’ll admit, looking at the reviews caused me to look at this book with an unfortunate biased at first. I thought I was going to DNR this book, especially as I was concerned it might take a 50 Shades of Grey fake BDSM turn. Thankfully, it doesn’t. The “Beauty” and “Beast” are loose terms, and thankfully the author doesn’t describe Alainn’s beauty in great depth. In fact….I don’t know if Alainn is given much of a physical description. But it works well.

This is a fairly light read that could do with another edit or two (particularly in the beginning.) The story is a little predictable in some manner — who the bad guy is going to be at least, but as for the reasoning, it was a shock for me. I feel Alainn and Lorrcan’s back story could have more punch — there’s a lot of hinting at bad, but the actual background stories happen fairly late in the book. At one point “Mrs. Miller” is interviewed for Alainn’s character, but I had no connection at to who she was or why it was important.

I loved the monkeys and want a robot cleaning monkey.

The book could use some more world building — why are all the jobs done by robots? How does anyone make money? And this would help build up some of my issues with the book. Also more character building of her father and brother — I didn’t understand the latter’s personality until 75% of the way into the book.

I found the romance believable, and while Lorccan is dealing with some serious anxiety and phobias and can we please get him a damn therapist, he didn’t seem to be a controlling asshole. I mean, he’s fucked up and needs some help asap. But he’s also not the one keeping Alainn/Rose/Jade in the house.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed it, and it’s a light quick read. I hope the final has more world building, allowing for the plot to breathe more. And I’ll keep up with the author and THANK YOU for not being an Alice in Wonderland retelling.

ARC Review: Pretty Wicked

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review. As the daughter of a cop, and an advocate for YA horror, I was intrigued by the book concept. This is Kelly Charon’s first book, making it (I believe) my third book of a new author in the past month?

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Pretty Wicked

Kelly Charron

September 2016

Format: Kindle ebook
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Thriller
Rating:moose-mdmoose-md 2.5/5 Moose

Synopsis

Ryann is the fifteen year old daughter of the local police detective. She’s lived her life in the shadow of her older perfect sister, feeling the pressure and observing the ins and outs of how crime is handled in her small town.

And she’s decided her one way to be better than her sister: she’ll become the perfect serial killer. She wants to be responsible for death and the fear in her small community.

Carving out her own murderous legacy proves harder than she predicted. Mistakes start adding up. And with the police getting closer, and her own father becoming suspicious, Ryann has to prove once and for all that she’s smarter than anyone else—or she’ll pay the ultimate price.

Rants, Raves, and General Thoughts

Goodreads made this book sound so much better than it actually was, unfortunately. Even still, most of the reviews are incredibly positive. This isn’t the worst book I’ve read, but …..it could use some work.

This story is….fine. I can’t decide if I disliked the book or if I disliked the main character. Instead of reading as sociopathic or psychotic, she just read as bratty the entire book. Definitely more narcissistic than sociopathic. The author seemed to have several different stories going at once, but none of them were done amazingly well? It reads a bit like the author did most of her research by watching crime shows, rather than anything substantial. She had the main character doing research on computers that could clearly be traced (everyone has a library login — why keep researching serial killers? So many people can see that information.)

Introducing the Unknown Secret Admirer so deeply in the third act (yes there were hints of it in the second, but it was so understated) read more like the author couldn’t figure out how to end the book, so she added the Admirer in later.

I feel like the author has potential, but could use a good editor and/or feedback. At the very least, there is a point where the author said “night in shining armor,” rather than “knight in shining armor.” I mean, I get things are going to get missed, but this just could have used a few more pass throughs.

Final Verdict

I AM SO BUMMED I DID NOT LIKE THIS BOOK. But I can’t recommend it either. I am, however, going to keep an eye out on the author for her future work.

Book Review: Chained

With my journey to New York City mostly complete, I had plenty of time to read books while I was on my way up. The first day was a wonderful (ha!) 12 hours drive, and the second day consisted of a much shorter 3 hours drive. I was able to catch up on most of my ARC books that I’ve had lying around, so expect a few updates this week.

The last one I finished is the first one I’m reviewing. It is called Chained, the first book of the Cage of Lies series by Susanne Valenti. I am not 100% sure how I first started following Susanne, but I have been for awhile. She’s a pretty amazing author, and you should definitely go purchase her first two books: Chained and Linked. Links are for the Kindle additions, which will cost you $6 total. Susanne posted about advanced copies of her books, and I was one of the lucky ones to take her up on it! I just bought her second book on Amazon (TOTALLY didn’t know it was out, and now I’ve started another book. Alas!)

I started Chained the second morning of our drive. It was a refreshing change over the other two books I read in the car, both of which I found weird. I was expecting my whole ARC experience to be weird and didn’t have my hopes set too high on this book. I was pleasantly surprised.

I feel that I should state upfront that this book is a YA Dystopian book, and if you aren’t a fan of that genre, this isn’t going to be a book for you. There are some minor spoilers below, but nothing too major. So without further ado….

Chained by Susanne Valenti
Published October 2015
Part of the Cage of Lies series

moose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md 3.5/5 Moose

Overview:

Maya, an intelligent teenage orphan trying to find her place in the new world population behind The Wall. After overpopulation and humans abusing the Earth, they accidentally created something that allowed the Earth to fight back. Fearing extinction, they hid in cities behind walls and burrowing into the ground. Hundreds of years later, the population is just beginning to be able to explore the wasteland around their cities to see if there is a possibility of expanding.

Maya has always held a fascination in the Old Ways. Cars, green trees and water have a strange hold on her, while the constant grayness and surveillance of Harbour City drive her nuts. When her only friend Taylor suggests that she join the group going to explore the outside to see if it is contaminated, she immediately jumps at the opportunity.

Unfortunately, this opportunity leads to accidental contamination, causing Maya and Taylor to be punished and sent to SubWars as messengers for 3 months. Maya’s life is never the same after that.

Things I Liked:

Susanne, you’ve got a way with descriptions. I could feel the forest around me, especially in juxtaposition to the city and the potential “contamination” site. I love the slight guilt feeling I got about the huge house that only fit 4 people (as I move into my tiny NY apartment!)

I actually like Maya for the most part, though she seems too stubborn at times and needs to be saved too often. I had to remind myself occasionally that she had lived in the City, not learning how to fight. My favorite characters are definitely Alicia, Kaloo and Laurie— I love badass girls that don’t need a boy to save them I guess. Coal and Taylor were fine — I really don’t care for Taylor yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing how he grows.

The thing with convincing dystopians lies in how civilization fell. It’s got to be convincing — you’ve got to make me feel like this could start happening at any moment. Chained successfully gives a terrifying possibility. M. Night Shyamalan should have used this for his really terrible movie The Happening. I can imagine that Earth will fight back against us one day, especially if we accidentally give them the tools to do so.

Things I Didn’t Like:

There are parts of the book that had me confused from the beginning. Did Maya witness her parents’ death? Why was she near the labs then? Taylor and Laurie seem pretty open to leaving the city too — I’ve never read a book where everyone in a breakout of some sort seems okay. I’m also weary of the potential love triangle that’s been set up by the book — I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will resolve quickly. (Seriously — my main love for the Divergent series is that there wasn’t a love triangle).

Everyone seems a bit even keel most of the time. No one really fights, no one stops to ask why they’re so willing to help out these strangers. And I wish there were more backstories to the characters. Maybe not backstory — maybe depth is the word I’m looking for?

And while I really liked the idea of SubWars, I clearly didn’t understand what they were at first. So when Maya, Evan and Taylor end up in the SubWars fighting for their lives, I seriously got confused. I think I just need a visual map of the SubWars’ layout to help me?

Conclusion:

If you like Dystopians, give this one a go. It’s a quick read and a decent one at that. I definitely would have loved it more if it had been longer with certain aspects more detailed ( i.e. life in the city, the different class systems, the suffocating life, why everyone shuns Maya). I’ll let you know if I’m still enjoying it after I finish the second book!