Posts Tagged: Adult Fiction

Friday, January 24, 2014

Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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

Review: Red Rising by Pierce BrownRed Rising by Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising Trilogy #1
Published by Del Rey on January 28th 2014
Genres: Adult, Dystopia
Source: Random House of Canada
Buy on Amazon

Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the planet livable for future generations. Darrow has never seen the sky.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow and Reds like him are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

What an intense thrill ride! Red Rising gives us one meticulously built strategy game with a large cast of colorful characters who represent social status in a whole new perspective.

Ultimately, the Red Rising Trilogy is a story of rebellion, and this is its first chapter. Set on Mars, we’re introduced to an intimidating oligarchy government where your color decides your fate. Darrow, a Red – the lowest of the lows – is surgically enhanced to look like a Gold, and here’s hoping he can successfully infiltrate and beat the system. This whole color classification did not have me completely convinced, I will admit. Pinks for pleasure, Golds for “gods”, Reds for slaves and so on. No question that it’s fascinating, even not so far from the racial disparities that we have in our own history books, but I don’t see how such an extreme could be the result of evolution. I was hoping to get a more thorough look at the history behind this new world. Red Rising, however, is really just the beginning.

Darrow has a truly interesting character arc throughout this story. We start off with this grief stricken person who has just about given up on life. Someone who had simple desires and a reluctance to fight. Then we see him transform into this all-empowering force to be reckoned with. An aggressive, yet respected leader. But this is not done without suffering and a few mistakes. For someone to change so drastically you can be sure that there are a lot of ups and downs, pain and hardship. This novel is not for young readers (it’s marketed as adult fiction despite having a teenage MC). It’s violent, harsh, merciless, with brutal lessons learned along the way. What sacrifices would you make to save your people who are suffering unjustly? To avenge a loved one, even? This is a cruel journey that demonstrates a very dark side of humanity. However, it also touches on dignity and loyalty, on what it takes to be a powerful leader with true followers. I found this aspect to be quite thought provoking, even inspiring. Like a cult leader, really. Emotionally, it’s hard to go through Darrow’s journey at times. To see the terribly hard choices he has to make. To see his shell harden – both mentally and physically – because of an act of brutality he was forced into. It does make you really feel for the guy.

This novel is basically a game of strategy. These people are thrown onto a gameboard created to destroy the weak and breed powerful would-be leaders. Don’t plan on going into this mindlessly; this book is intricate with a lot of pieces to keep track of. It involves an abundance of characters, plenty of twists and turns, and a regular change of alliances and allegiances that keep modifying our perspective of certain characters. This is the tricky part that I found to be inherently complex. Many times I had to stop and think through the timeline of events to re-situate myself with a certain character, but its carefully plotted intrigue kept my head in the game. Furthermore, the relationships that develop between each character range from amusing to monopolizing, but all of them are highly compelling. It’s a very character oriented story, which is impressive seeing as how much gameplay it also entails.

Intense, well crafted, and clever, Red Rising is an addictive dystopian that is doused in secrets and betrayals. It’s kind of like a deathly game of Capture the Flag. Also, I loved the map that was wonderfully drawn up to help us visualize the battleground:


4 Hot Espressos

Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Posted by on 12/17/2013 • 27 Comments

-This novel was listened to via audiobook-

This is one series I have been meaning to try out for so long! Like usual, it will likely take me 2 or 3 books to fall in love with it. As far as urban fantasies go it’s a really decent read. Great action, an awesome protagonist, a steamy romance. Overall it’s your average story: A protagonist with a unique power and/or advantage, gets trained to be better at what she does, and starts on an action-packed journey that’s meant to have a lot of life or death moments and risky situations.

Even though I’ve read plenty of Urban Fantasies, my list still doesn’t trump dedicated fans of the genre. Still, I’ve read my fair share, and while this one might not have…

Review: Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Review: Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Posted by on 12/02/2013 • 20 Comments

Omen is very much the first in its series, it is also very much a Kelley Armstrong book. Not to say it’s anything like her other work as it’s actually quite different, but in terms of wonderfully crafted characters, a world you can see yourself walk the grounds of, and an all-around compelling story, its got the Kelley signature on every page. This is what I’ve come to expect of her novels, and Omens was not an exception.

Omens tells the story of a young woman with a seemingly perfect life; wealthy, career-driven, intelligent, about to marry a man with an important political career ahead. She had an incredible life ahead of her. Then she – along with the whole world – finds out who her real parents are:…

Review: The Plague by Lisa C. Hinsley

Review: The Plague by Lisa C. Hinsley

Posted by on 11/11/2013 • 27 Comments

I guess I should have expected it, but Plague was a lot more… grossly detailed and harder to read than I expected – and not in a good way. I knew I was in for a heartbreaking read, but this is really nothing but a short story of a family’s harsh misfortunes during a plague epidemic. Which, I admit, sounds like it could be a good read, except it was simply too… graphic. Too quick of a disturbing tale and not enough depth to balance it. It’s an explicit story of a dying family. Period. We don’t ever get out of this boarded up house to see how the world is fairing other than just the knowledge that everyone is dying. The few technical details we do get are fuzzy…

Review: Bold Tricks by Karina Halle

Review: Bold Tricks by Karina Halle

Posted by on 10/24/2013 • 16 Comments

*Spoiler free for the series*

Gah this book almost killed me! What an incredible finale! Bold Tricks ends The Artists Trilogy in the most action-packed, emotional way. Some of it is bittersweet, most of it will make you hold your breath in anticipation; I couldn’t have asked for a better ending. *Bows to Karina*

This is the road to the end, and like all endings should be, this one is a page-turner like no other. Intense moment after intense moment, Bold Tricks brings us into a whirlwind of emotion, passion, and disbelief. In other words, it’s a bloodbath! But honestly, what else would you expect from Ellie, Camden, and Javier together on the run? The biggest drug cartel is on the hunt for them, while they’re on the hunt…

Review: Vicious by Victoria Schwab

Review: Vicious by Victoria Schwab

Posted by on 09/10/2013 • 18 Comments

With such an addicting writing style I can see why this author has made a ton of fans from her previous books, Vicious was my first by Victoria but it definitely will not be my last. In fact, I already have The Archived on its way to me!

First to note should be that this book is not YA, it’s Victoria’s first adult book. Characters are in their 30s and you can tell by the maturity of the storytelling (which is ruthless and violent). Personally, I was pleasantly surprised as I was well overdue for an adult book, particularly a merciless paranormal read such as this. Vicious is ultimately a story of revenge. It’s told in an unusual time lapse, where we don’t have a story from A to Z,…

Review: Shooting Scars by Karina Halle

Review: Shooting Scars by Karina Halle

Posted by on 08/09/2013 • 28 Comments

*Spoiler free for the series!*

I don’t think I could ever tire of this series. Shooting Scars is an epic sequel and an impressively satisfying follow up to Sins & Needles, which I would have thought impossible.

Sins & Needles ended on an intense note that made the wait for this sequel brutally long. It felt like I’d been holding my breath ever since, and it was an amazing relief to finally be back into this world of scams and betrayals! In the voice of both Ellie and Camden, this book is thrilling through and through. We’re thrown into an action packed chase towards trouble on Camden’s side, and a plan destined for disaster on Ellie’s. Even though Camden and Ellie aren’t together for much of this sequel – which…

Review: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Review: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Posted by on 07/01/2013 • 18 Comments

Within the first 5 minutes of this audiobook I was sure I’d made a very bad decision. The narrator was so extremely into conveying what she was hearing next door that I closed my window fearing the neighbors would hear what I’m sure sounded like crazy sexcapades. But then the meowing started, and I almost peed my pants! Yep – you have my heart if you can make me laugh!

Wallbanger is, well, about a wall banger <– some genius deductions at work! Caroline who has just moved to this new apartment is quickly finding out that her neighbor is a little… this guy can make a girl meow, that’s all I’m saying! This book is more a comedy than steamy romance, though. I mean we hear some craziness going…