Genre: Sci-Fi

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Segdwick

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I received this book for free from Roaring Brook Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus SegdwickThe Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
Published by Macmillan Children's Books, Roaring Book Press on January 6th 2015
Genres: Historical, Sci-Fi, YA
Source: Roaring Brook Press
Buy on Amazon

A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.

Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet's obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book's final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick's gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.

This is one of those books that I really have no clue how to review. The writing was beautiful and lyrical, and the stories were intriguing and kept me interested, but I feel like maybe I wasn’t smart enough for this book. Now, I’m not a stupid person (I don’t think anyways), but I just didn’t get it. I liked how we start way back in time with the first story, and progress through time and even into the future in the next three. I enjoyed seeing how each previous story tied into the next. I just didn’t quite get it all. I can’t really explain it. I understood what the spiral means and signifies, but how the stories were told had me scratching my head.

The first story in the book was told in verse, which is a bit harder for me to really get into. It was a bit disturbing to be honest. I am not quite sure in the time it was set, but they are back way before modern technology, but perhaps past the caveman era. There is much death and darkness in this particular story. The girl is quite intuitive and brave, but I was very disconnected by the verse way of telling this story.

The next I actually really enjoyed. The girl was very independent and refused to do things that she didn’t want. Even if it meant a better life. She cares a lot about her brother as well and it really was a huge part of the story. This takes place in a time where people hanged people they believed to be a witch. I loved how strong the girl was though. Even though she was scared and felt like an outcast, she was a really good character.

The third story didn’t suck me in quite as much, but I loved that it was set in a mental hospital. I did like the doctor, but I especially liked Charles. (At least I think that was his name) He was a very interesting character with many layers to uncover. It was undeniable that he did have some mental issues, but I don’t believe that he was really crazy. Although, some might think he was out of his tree. I really wanted to know his story. Especially how he ended up in there. I really liked that the doctor took the time to try to help him, while the others had written him off as a lost cause.

Now the last story had me a bit baffled. I thought it was all really cool with how they did the future thing, but I just didn’t get some of the things that happened. I mean, I had thoughts about it, but wasn’t sure exactly what was happening. It was really cool to think about these people being transported to a whole new planet that is similar to Earth to start new due to over population on Earth. I was fascinated by how they were being transported and how everything was controlled. It was a very neat story, but a lot of it was much over my level of understanding I think.

Overall this was a very well written book. It is easy to get immersed and want to keep going, but at the same time I also was feeling totally lost like I was missing something. Everything was so suggestive and thought provoking, though I don’t think I was able to get that deep into my brain to have full understanding. I can’t say that I have ever felt stupid after reading a book until now. It’s like it was so beyond my comprehension that it made me feel like was 5 reading something meant for the smartest adult. I can appreciate the beauty of it, but I really just didn’t get a lot of it. I did enjoy it, I just don’t quite know what to think.


3 Hot Espressos

Review: Stitching Snow by R.C.Lewis

Review: Stitching Snow by R.C.Lewis

Posted by on 12/11/2014 • 12 Comments

Well, this is awkward… another review for a retelling from yours truly. I swear I am not seeking them out; they seem to find me, not I them. In any case, this one is extra special because it’s a retelling in spaaaaaaaace. And anything set in space is automatically “cool beans” in my eyes. I mean, usually. You know. *fidgets*

Now the only problem is… where to bloody start.

You see, Stitching Snow and I have quite a complicated relationship. I liked it for the most part, but I found a lot of problems along the way, and I for one never forget these things. Once I spot one, they become even more glaring after a while. Surely now, if ever this book were sentient, it’s probably regretting it had to be read by…

Interview with Amy K. Nichols + a Giveaway!

Interview with Amy K. Nichols + a Giveaway!

Posted by on 12/03/2014 • 24 Comments

The Now That You’re Here tour stops by the blog today for a convo with Amy K. Nichols and a giveaway! In case you haven’t seen this book around yet, here’s a bit of info on the book first:

Interview with Amy K. Nichols

Hi Amy, Thanks so much for dropping by the blog today! I’ve heard great things about your book and I’m happy to have you stop by and chat about it! 🙂

Thank you for having me!

What made you want to write about parallel universes?

I didn’t set out to write about parallel universes, though I should say that time travel and parallel universe stories have been my faves since I was a kid. Early on when I started writing, I wrote a…

Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Posted by on 12/01/2014 • 10 Comments

Having really enjoyed the first book, I couldn’t wait to read this one. I am a big sucker for companion novels too because I love getting to know other characters in the same world, and knowing that I will get a glimpse of characters from the previous book or books. I adored the two main characters in this one and thought that they both had really strong personalities. They were also very loyal to their people and even knowing that they both will very likely die, instead of taking the easy escape, they want to make things right on Avon. The writing is fabulous too. I could easily visualize the world and feel the tension. This was a very pleasing companion novel.

Jubilee Chase is tough as nails. She is…

Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Posted by on 08/14/2014 • 22 Comments

Whoa! Having had no luck with witch books lately this was a nice surprise. It’s unique and well written, with a quick pacing that turned it into an unputdownable read.

Trial by Fire starts with the introduction of Lily, a sickly girl who has had a rough life of weakness and fevers. I knew right then that this was going to be a great read. This girl was funny, awkward, easy to connect to, and with a compelling narrative voice. Plus you just knew this constant sickness was something witchy and had you craving to know more. Wanting to get away from all of it, Lily finally gives in to the voice inside her head that, unbeknownst to her, is from another world completely. When she suddenly finds herself in…

Review: The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

Review: The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

Posted by on 08/06/2014 • 8 Comments

With a highly unique premise and complex world building, The Aftermath easily stands out in its genre. It’s very well thought-out with a lot to love for gamers especially, but it did fall flat in character development and plot progression.

In few words: Claudia is a character in a post-apocalyptic game, being controlled by the person playing her (who is most likely a psychopath). Cool, right? I thought so. This concept is really intriguing, but how it was executed could have used a little more… oomph. It didn’t take long for me to grow frustrated with our heroine, Claudia. Not her personality itself, but how easily she clued into this wild concept we’re thrown in. After only a few clues, Claudia puts it all together, even asks herself how she…

Review: Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke

Review: Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke

Posted by on 07/18/2014 • 19 Comments

Incredibly well thought-out with fascinating world building, Dissonance is a really good sci-fi with a heavy dose of romance.

Delancy is a Walker, she has a genetic ability to manipulate matter and visit alternate worlds created by the choices people make. Walkers monitor and fix anomalies that affect the key world. I was wary of this premise at first, it’s something that could have been a huge flop if the world building was lacking, fortunately it’s anything but. It’s clear that a ton of research – not to mention creativity – went into crafting the world inside Dissonance. It has an impressive amount of detail, it’s ambitious, and, more as a warning: it’s also hard to grasp. Kinda like the Tempest series by Julie Cross; it’s a series I…

Review: Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

Review: Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

Posted by on 07/09/2014 • 25 Comments

Thought provoking and compelling, Between the Lives is a story about a girl with two lives. One is seemingly perfect, but the other has him…

At first this novel reminded me quite a bit of Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz and Ron Bass which I loved, but it ended up standing on its own. While Lucid was more about the mystery, this one is more about big choices and love and life. Often throughout this book I would stop and think about what I would do if I had two lives. Imagine the possibilities! Being able to basically get an extra 24 hours every day to be a different person, yet the same. I just loved this idea, although I could also understand her wanting to give one up, to…