27 Jun 2013

Plethora of Reviews #1

Welcome to the first installment of Plethora of Reviews, where I post a handful of short book reviews all in one post! This time I will be reviewing four books I have read recently and wanted to pay tribute to.

Review #1: The Collector by Victoria Scott
Quick Synopsis:
Dante Walker lives, well, down there. Hell. His boss? The lord of Hell. His job? Collecting souls of human beings, tagging them each time they sin. Once they rack up enough tags, their souls are sold to Hell, where they will go once they die. Dante loves his job; he just doesn't like the tie he has to Hell. He wants to be free, and the chance has come. His boss offers him a promotion that will allow him to live on earth. The catch? He has to collect the soul of one girl, Charlie. The bigger catch? Charlie is a saint (she started her own charity, for goodness sake)! If trying to turn a saint into a sinner was hard enough, someone else is trying to collect Charlie as well. Dante's got a lot on his plate between Charlie, the mysterious competition, and ... what? Developing a soft spot for Charlie? Surely not...

My Thoughts:
This book was fun. Dante is one frustrating guy. He's obnoxious, intimidating, seemingly heartless, extremely bad ass, and worst of all, incredibly good-looking. I'm sure he has stronger words to describe his looks, but he's not here right now (err, unfortunately). I really enjoyed the premise of this book and the way Victoria Scott brought Dante's story to life. The book was witty, but also dark.
I could not relate to Charlie, but the book was not written from her perspective, so I was not bothered. Dante's internal dialogue about her was pretty hilarious, and if that makes me an awful person, well, at least Dante is on my side. Well, until he fell for her, anyway.

If you're looking for a fun read with an interesting twist and intriguing plot, I recommend this one. If anything, you'll enjoy Dante's narrative. I don't usually laugh out loud when I'm reading (I internally emote most of the time), but this one had me snorting many times throughout.

Rating: 4/5 stars. I loved it, and cannot wait for the sequel, The Liberator, which is out this coming August (yay for short waits - I read this one back in June).

Review #2: Origin by Jessica Khoury
Quick Synopsis:
Pia, our main character, is going to live forever. She has been bred specifically for this, in the hopes that what made her immortal can be passed on to the rest of humanity. But what if Pia doesn't want to be the scientist they want her to be? What if she wants to be free? One day she leaves the compound she has grown up on and been prisoner in (though it never felt like a prison until she gets out and meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village). Slowly Pia begins to discover that the lab she thought she knew so well is full of secrets, and she is at the heart of all of them.

My Thoughts:
I loved everything about this book. The premise, the setting, the pet jaguar...
So far Origin is the only book I've read that has done the genetic manipulation of humans right. And by right, I mean it was well done. Well-written, well plot out, well delivered. The characters were fascinating and had me questioning who I actually liked and who I actually hated.
The premise by far was my favourite part though. It really makes you question how far humanity would go to preserve itself. Do we humans need to know how to bottle immortality? Could someone be working on that research right now? Could the events in the book happen one day? Probably. If the boundaries of ethics are pushed and bent the right way, anyway.

Rating: 5/5. And there will be a companion novel called Vitro, which is due out January of next year. Should be interesting!

Review #3: Proxy by Alex London
Quick Synopsis: 
Similar concept as The Whipping Boy (which I've not read, but know the premise of), Proxy is the story of two teenage boys, Knox and Syd. Knox is rich, and Syd is his proxy. When Knox does something bad, be it getting a bad grade or accidentally killing a girl, Syd takes the punishment. Now Syd is on the run, not wanting to serve the life sentence law tells him he has to do when he did not even do anything wrong.
Knox knows something is not right, so when the two accidentally find each other, Knox joins his proxy in evading the authorities and Knox's father, who will stop at nothing to get his son back. Or is that what he's after them for?

My Thoughts: 
The concept of this book, as you might have guessed, is really fascinating. I've been told it's remembrant of The Whipping Boy, a story where when the prince misbehaves, a boy takes his punishment instead and is whipped, because a prince cannot be whipped. This story is less fantasy and more futuristic sci-fi. And it's great.
The story is told from the alternating POVs of both Knox and Syd, who are very, very different. Knox is difficult to like, until the very end whereareallycoolcliffhangerhappens and damnitIneedthenextbooknow, but I won't get into that for spoiler's sake.
Might I also add that this book is a great LGBT read, especially since the matter of Syd's sexuality is not the focus of the story. It's a non-issue, which made me smile to discover that the future in Proxy's world, while incredibly mucked up, has at least advanced as much to have accepted people's sexualities. Finally.

Rating: 4/5 - Great book, well-written, hard to put down. I received an e-copy from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review, and bought the hardcover immediately once it was published.

Review #4: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Quick Synopsis: 
It's finally happened. Contact. With 'out there'. Except not the kind of contact humans were hoping for. An alien race who won't show their faces (or any part of them, really) have reached earth and are taking over. That's right, they aren't here to make friends. They're here to eliminate us and take out planet for themselves. And they're doing a good job of it. First they take away our technology. No hydro, no internet, no transportation except by foot. Then there is a virus, which only a small perentage of the human population is immune to. As for the immune? They don't know who to trust, because the enemy is hiding among them.
Our main character has lost everything and is on the hunt to find her younger brother when she is incapacitated and dying. But then she is rescued and she has to figure out if she can trust her saviour, Evan, especially since he might be her only hope in getting her brother back.

My Thoughts:
The story is told from a few point of views, but it never gets confusing, as each point of view is its own 'part'.
I don't really know what to say about this book. It was just so amazing that I'm not sure my words can do it justice. But I will say this: I think this is going to be the best book of the year, guys. This is it.

Rating: 5/5 - Book of the year, guys. I'm calling it. (And from the other reviews I've seen, I'm not the only one!)


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