29 Nov 2014

Mini Reviews: November Edition


It has been far too long since I have posted on here, but sometimes I just want to read books without feeling the need or pressure to review them, hence my disappearance. However, I am currently in the mood to review some books, hence my reappearance. That's the wonder of having a no-strings book review blog. I recently posted a full-length review of a book I finished, but I have a handful of others I've read during my previously unannounced hiatus from here that I'd like to give mention to. Perhaps more reviews will come later, but I cannot allow myself to make any promises. However, here are the three I'm mini-reviewing today:

The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

The Aftermath is a game played by humans living in a futuristic world. The characters? Real human beings. I don't want to spoil too much so I won't go into why people play or how people end up as characters, but I'll say this: the characters do not realise they are that. Except somehow, miraculously, our protagonist does. Slowly, as the book begins revealing, main character Claudia realises she is not in control of her every movement, and as she eventually discovers hints at what is going on, seeks out full control of her own body and an escape.
Not to sound cliche or anything, but fans of The Hunger Games will enjoy this book. The genres are similar, though the details not. I personally loved this book. There were so many times where I felt like I was in the game with the characters. The writing helped me imagine everything perfectly. If there's one thing I love in any genre, but especially in my sci-fi and fantasy, it's great world building, and Jen Alexander did just that with The Aftermath. This one was a page turner, and the little plot twists thrown at you are great. The closer you get to the end, the more suspenseful it gets, and the ending, well. I won't spoil, but my basic reaction was WHY, CLIFF-HANGER, WHY (in a good way, of course). Do I recommend The Aftermath? The game, no. The book, heck yes. I look forward to book two.
4/5 stars.
The Aftermath on Goodreads.

Defy by Sara B. Larson

A land where sorcery is banned, a female forced to disguise herself as a male in order to survive, and a kingdom in corruption. Defy has everything I love in a fantasy debut. Protagonist Alexa is a member of the prince's elite guard, and has sworn her life to protect him (spoiler alert: the prince has the personality of a rotten basket of fruit - or does he). When Alexa and the prince are captured by the kingdom's enemy, both of their secrets risk being revealed just as a common enemy lurks closer.
This book was so great. My kind of fantasy. So many great characters and such a solid plot. There's a love triangle but I have to say, I loved it so much. It was well done and there's nothing wrong with a good love triangle, to be quite honest. I cannot wait to see what the sequel has in store for all of these characters. And just for fair warning, this book gets dark. It's a great 'females rising up from oppression' read as well (to give you an idea of that and the darkness I mentioned: female orphans are forced to be impregnated against their will by males, and their children taken from them to become guards for the kingdom. They're basically broodmares, and just what Alexa is trying to avoid by disguising herself as a male). Book two is out the end of December, and I cannot wait! Fans of Tamora Pierce and Sarah J. Maas will love Defy, guaranteed. Solid 5/5.
Check out Defy on Goodreads.

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

A little out of my genre comfort zone is this humorous contemporary read. I've Got Your Number is about about-to-be-married Poppy, who is robbed of her phone shortly after losing her engagement ring, and is about to short circuit when she finds a phone in the trash. This phone belongs to a business man's assisstant, who chucked the phone when she up and quit. Poppy, desperate to have some sort of life line (her cell was her life, you understand, her everything!), manages to convince said  uptight and reluctant businessman (Sam Roxton) to allow her to keep the phone until she gets a new one and her ring turns up, with the promise that she will forward all of his emails to him. And she wouldn't dare pry into his personal life, nor he into hers... Full of footnotes, emails, text messages, and some humorous snooping, I've Got Your Number is a hilarious read that I honestly could not put down (I read it in a day. I was on vacation, but still). This is one of those 'chick lit' novels that would make a fantastic rom com film - seriously, I could see it all play out in my head. Although if a film could actually do Kinsella's humour justice, I am not sure. The book was great, and it's a perfect light, funny read. For me it was a break between heavier genres, but I enjoyed it just as much. This book was my introduction to Sophie Kinsella's writing (I'll admit I've seen the Confessions of a Shopaholic movie - it was all right - but have not read the books), and I've her newest, Wedding Night, sitting on my shelf ready to be picked up the next time I'm ready for a break between by fantasy and sci-fi reads. 4.5 stars.
I've Got Your Number on Goodreads.


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