Genre: Sci-Fi

Friday, May 02, 2014

Review: Renegade by Debra Driza

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

Review: Renegade by Debra DrizaRenegade by Debra Driza
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 13th 2014
Genres: Sci-Fi, YA
Source: HarperTeen
Buy on Amazon

There is no one left for Mila to trust. Except for a boy she barely knows.

But Hunter has no idea who—and what—Mila really is. She can’t bear to reveal her secret, even though he’s unwittingly joined her search for Richard Grady, a man who may know more details of Mila’s complicated past.

Yet the road to the truth is more dangerous than ever. With General Holland and the Vita Obscura scouring the earth for her whereabouts, Mila must rely on her newfound android abilities to protect herself and Hunter from imminent harm. Still, embracing her identity as a machine leads her to question the state of her humanity—as well as Hunter’s real motives.

Perfect for fans of I Am Number Four and Divergent, this action-packed and heart-wrenching second installment of MILA 2.0 will leave readers breathlessly awaiting the series conclusion.

When I finished Mila 2.0 last year I was left quite eager to get my hands on the novel’s sequel. Mila 2.0 was action packed from beginning to end and quite possibly the most fun I had reading a book in 2013. Upon finishing Renegade I am left wondering “what the hell happened?” Where was the action and fun that I loved so dearly in the first book? It must have gotten lost somewhere because this book was a nearly 500 page yawnfest with 3-4 action scenes max.

We catch up with Mila and Hunter in Renegade as they are on the run from both General Holland and the Vita Obscura. Well, Hunter doesn’t know that they are on the run and the first good chunk of the book is spent showing us how Mila is struggling with telling him the truth. I mentioned in my review of Mila 2.0 that I had a hard time buying into the relationship between these two and that didn’t change in this book. At so many points in the novel she came so close to telling him the truth, maybe not about what she is every time, but at least where they are going and what happened before they left. It would be right on the tip of her tongue and then she wouldn’t tell him. This got really annoying fast because I wanted the focus of the story to be on Mila figuring out the truth not dealing with this “relationship” crap. Another thing that became quite bothersome is when Mila starts to question whether or not Hunter is working for the V.O. Exactly what was going on with him and what the big twist was when it came to his character was so glaringly obvious and yet this highly intelligent android didn’t even think of it at any time in the book. So suffice it to say that this relationship didn’t work for me again and that was really annoying because it felt like it took centre stage here.

For most of the novel we watch Mila and Hunter chat as they are on one long, seemingly never-ending, road trip. The first place they get to on this trip they basically find out nothing and that all encompasses the first third of the book. I was trying so hard to get into the story but I was just far too bored to even care by the time something finally happened at around the halfway mark. I’m not sure if this whole story felt like such a lull to me because it was suffering of middle book syndrome or what but I feel like what actually does happen and the truths we find out are just not enough substance to carry a 450 page book. I am left with a feeling that this is going to be one of those series where the first and last book are awesome but the middle book just feels like filler that could have easily been added into the other two.

We do get some excitement and a good twist to leave us off at the end of Renegade but I am sorry to say that for me it was simply too late. I felt disconnected to this novel and the twist didn’t even leave me wanting to get my hands on the next instalment because I was just too excited that the book was finally over. I’m beginning to think that maybe I need to start reading a lot more standalones because so many sequels have been leaving me underwhelmed lately. I do hope that other people who enjoyed Mila 2.0 end up liking this one much more than I did and I think the key to that may be getting your expectations in check. Renegade is not an action packed thrill-ride like it’s predecessor was, it’s more like a boring road trip with people you don’t really like where you try to plot ways to jump out of the moving vehicle the entire time.


2 Hot Espressos

Review: After the End by Amy Plum

Review: After the End by Amy Plum

Posted by on 05/01/2014 • 25 Comments

With an incredibly exciting premise and a unique magical twist, After the End could have swooped me off my feet, but instead I found myself getting increasingly bored as the book went on. What started as a fun adventure involving a girl who finds out that her whole life is based on a lie, ended up being nothing but a dull road trip with flat characters and an artificial romance.

I admit to being compelled at first, however. It begins on a high note when we learn all about Juneau’s way of life as a “survivor” after WWIII – or so she thought. Even though it only lasted a few pages, the survivalist lifestyle they had been living was intriguing, and the inclusion of a magical aspect made it…

Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Posted by on 04/25/2014 • 17 Comments

This is another of those books that are fun and entertaining, but just don’t have that spark that could have made them truly memorable. At least I have plenty of fun during the ride.

With an engaging start, The Taking pulls you right into its plot full of mystery and wonderment. Imagine being blinded by a light, and the next thing you know your world and everyone you know is 5 years older… except you. You’re still sporting a bruise left from a game just that week, your phone is still fully charged, your clothes and appearance are exactly the same, yet 5 years have apparently passed. This is what happened to Kyra as she brings us along into her baffling story that leaves you dying for answers on every…

Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Posted by on 03/21/2014 • 25 Comments

What a disappointment. And an unexpected one since I was such a fan of her Sisterhood in the Traveling Pants series (which rocked my socks off!). I didn’t dislike this one right away; at first I was very much into it. We start by learning of their dystopian-like community that has formed in the past (our present), after having escaped from a plague ravaged future. A future that is, quite frankly, not at all unrealistic, making it all the more terrifying. Once we get down to business, though, things go downhill fast. From underdeveloped characters, to random – often boring – plot detours, to unemotional insta-love romance.

Prenna starts out as a great character – stubborn and determined. She’s from a future where touching meant death, and is now controlled…

Review: Nil by Lynne Matson

Review: Nil by Lynne Matson

Posted by on 02/27/2014 • 30 Comments

Survivor meets Lost (pre epic fail) in this exciting survivalist story set on a bizarre island filled with monstrous beasts and only one way out, and if you miss your chance to leave, you die. Imagine walking to the store when this heat wave comes, and suddenly you find yourself naked and having to rough it out in this unnatural wild with countless death traps and no supplies or food other than what you can find on the island. Luckily, Charley found others in the same predicament. I found it rather ingenious, the way these kids built a kind of society where everyone does what they can, pulling their own weight to survive this alternate dimension of sorts they were all unfortunate to land into. As a result, the book…

Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Posted by on 02/19/2014 • 40 Comments

Does it bother you to think about being covered in bugs, bugs that eat your flesh and blood? Then prepare yourself because this book is nightmare-inducing! I’m not sure what it says about me to know that this is part of why I enjoyed it so much. I guess a book that can prompt such horrific images in my head to the point of making me shudder is up there with the awesome. Or maybe I should be on medication. That’s up for debate.

Fire & Flood surprised me in many ways. At first it had a lot of similarities with The Hunger Games, which for me is a complete turn-off, so it’s with pleasure that I can say these parallels fade early on, leaving us with an original,…

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Posted by on 02/05/2014 • 22 Comments

When I read Cinder in 2012 I came out of it feeling like we had a rocky love/hate relationship. In the end I rated it 3 stars and then bumped it up to 4 stars a few weeks later. Then Meyer put out Scarlet and the novel came into my life like a wrecking ball (cue Miley singalong here) and tore me apart. Scarlet completely immersed me in the character’s lives and it literally had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I believe I ended up rating that one 5 stars x1000 on my blog. Now that I have read Cress I am sad to say that the reading experience was much more like the one I had with Cinder rather than the completely perfect one…

Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Posted by on 02/04/2014 • 35 Comments

Alienated brings us a good mix of humor and romance. It’s easy to read, and touches on serious themes including discrimination and tolerance. What I enjoyed the most was how Landers describes the aliens; from the physical to the emotional, they differ very much from humans. The L’eihr culture is described as emotionally cold for the sake of survival. They’re cloned from the best, born and raised without parents, affection, or even touch. Their government system would make many of us fear their ways. Aelyx’s perspective allows us to experience our own culture through his foreign, often overwhelmed, eyes. We get to see his reactions to certain stimuli like our apparently overpowering flavors and colors. Then their difference in thought process for things like affection and modesty – the latter…