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Book Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #2)

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Raven Boys (#1) ended with Ronan confessing to his buddies Gansey, Adam, Blue and Noah that Chainsaw, his pet raven was in fact a construct of his dreams brought to life when he awoke. And yet there it was alive and kicking as any living creature ought to. The second book in the series, The Dream Thieves, is centered around Ronan’s terrifying magical dreams where ancient trees speak to him in latin (and another strange language). He also talks to a strange girl and battles nightmarish creatures intent on killing him in his sleep. Continue reading “Book Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #2)”

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up The Raven Boys on the advice of a new friend I’d made, who swore by the series. Coming off a shaky start, Maggie Stiefvater soon realises that this whole teenage YA rulebook just won’t do. Matter of fact, the first few chapters of The Raven Boys were nauseatingly cliche, I seriously wondered if there was any benefit to continuing. An excerpt:

“My socially inhibited friend Adam thinks you’re cute, but he’s unwilling to make a move. Over there. Not the smudgy one. Not the sulky one.” Blue, largely against her will, glanced to the booth he pointed to. Three boys sat at it: one was smudgy, just as he said, with a rumpled, faded look about his person, like his body had been laundered too many times. The one who’d hit the light was handsome and his head was shaved; a soldier in a war where the enemy was everyone else. And the third was — elegant. It was not the right word for him, but it was close. He was fine boned and a little fragile looking, with blue eyes pretty enough for a girl…”
(Chapter 6)

Continue reading “Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater”

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Paper TownsPaper Towns by John Green

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Methinks John Green might as well have hacked away the first two thirds of Paper Towns. The story had no rhythm. It was tired. And Clumsy. And so Cliche. You want a Magical Negro who’s only role is to help the white kid? You got him. You want your Jock? You got him. You want your issued girl who’s the center of attention? You got her. Name it and check, check check: You got it.
Also, Paper Towns is eerily familiar to Finding Alaska. Only not as awesome for the most part. I only perked up when Quentin and his buddies hopped into the minivan for the ride of their lives. The last bit of Paper Towns should have worked nicely for Finding Alaska instead.
I know John Green writes a mean story when he means to. I don’t care that lots of people have loved Paper Towns. As for me, John Green GO HOME!

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Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here’s a little confession: I had no idea Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children even existed until I watched the spellbinding trailer for the movie adaptation. I knew I had to read the books before I could settle down for the movie (saving the best for the last). And what I have discovered is that the movie takes certain liberties and in a way, you would say, the general theme in the book is divergent from what the movie shows. Which is a good thing.

I found Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children a morbid read at times and the feeling stayed with me throughout. I couldn’t shake this foreboding in the pit of my stomach. This starts when Jacob’s Grandpa shows him the black-and-white pictures of the circus freakshow that made up his childhood friends. The pictures were quite depressing and horror-inducing, not with the creepy children in outdated attire. Jacob follows his Grandpa’s direction to this supposedly magical place where Jacob will be safe. Continue reading “Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs”

Book Review: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (Checquy Files #1)

The Rook (The Checquy Files, #1)The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First things first. Kudos to the author for casting a female character in the lead. Myfanwy Thomas kicks some serious ass! She’s not some masculine male wannabe on steroids and neither is she a shying doe-eyed damsel in distress. No, not her. Maybe that used to be the Myfanwy Thomas of old, you know, before the sinister amnesia that would eventually wipe out her entire personality. When her mind reboots, she’s someone completely different and not so shy about preserving her new existence. She hits the ground running and never stops until she feels safe. Imagine waking up one day and my mind is a clean slate with no memories whatsoever. Of course the motor functions remain otherwise it would be awkward to learn how to walk and wipe your butt afresh.

Dear You,
The body you are wearing used to be mine. The scar on the inner left thigh is there because I fell out of a tree and impaled my leg at the age of nine, The filling in the far left tooth on the top is a result of my avoiding the dentist for four years. But you probably care little about this body’s past. After all, I’m writing this letter for you to read in the future.

How’s that for an intro? The Rook is like a hybrid of Kinsman: The Secret Service and X-Men all rolled into one ensemble. The Checquy’s organisational structure is based on the chessboard pieces with two exceptions: The King and Queen are named Lord and Lady so as not to affront the actual British royalty. Continue reading “Book Review: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (Checquy Files #1)”

Book Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don’t know. Such a highly rated book. Such imagination. I was reminded of the Discworld universe by Terry Pratchett. I believe the style is somewhat similar, thought not quite. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is jam-packed with so many made-up words and has such a convoluted plot you wouldn’t know which way is up if it hit you in the face with a flying saucer. But oh man, it was such a doozy. It was more like, here I was already reading the damn book, so I might as well finish it. Nothing much in the book stands out, not even those strange words. The ending alone made it worthwhile for me. Quite the twist. But yet not enough to raise my rating to 3 stars. 2 will have to do. Just not my cup of tea, I am afraid

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Book Review: The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin (Earthsea Cycle #2)

The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2)The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read Ursula K. Le Guin’s classic fantasy, A Wizard of EarthSea about a year ago. It was actually during the same 6 hour long upcountry journey by bus from Kampala to Gulu which I just took. Back then as now, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Le Guin’s oh-so-wise afterword as much as the book itself. To have highly-acclaimed author tell you her thought process as she wrote a fantasy series 50 years ago is something special. She puts so much soul into her craft, so much thought into her characters, what they stand for, how they look and she was a rebel in her time who worked towards diversity in her literary universe. Continue reading “Book Review: The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin (Earthsea Cycle #2)”

Book Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane EyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jane Eyre is categorically divided into three parts (at least my copy was). One was the self-titled character’s life under the roof of her Aunt Reed. Another phase in her life happened at Lowood School as both student and teacher. The third and last part in this amazing read saw our Jane Eyre installed as Governess and later School Mistress.
Jane Eyre is a somber tale for the most part, traversing the trials and tribulations of a poor destitute orphan girl tormented so by her cousins and aunt. We are taken through her rise from an enfant terrible of great infamy to a respectable learned young lady.
Her turbulent love for a worldly man twenty years her senior casts her hitherto carefully structured life into upheaval, births passions in her breast that she never knew to possess. Continue reading “Book Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë”

Book Review: Calamity (Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Calamity (Reckoners, #3)Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Calamity had sparks of brilliance which made me love Books 1 and 1.5 (Steelheart & Mitosis respectively). A few inspired action scenes were palpable in their execution, so much so that my current reality fell away and I was fully enveloped in Sanderson’s dystopian Calamity universe. Sad to say, but I did not experience a similar feeling reading Firefight (Book 2). Overall, Calamity was much more refined, and even David’s horrible metaphors started making some bit of sense.

In Calamity, the last book in the trilogy, the surviving members of the Reckoners are without much needed resources, are experiencing a serious chasm in leadership on top of which are fighting for their very existence against an enemy possessing of almost godlike powers. Continue reading “Book Review: Calamity (Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson”

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