Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Audio Book Review - Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Why did I read this book?
One of my partner’s co-workers gave us a bunch of audiobooks on an external hard drive. I had heard of this book as some sort of young adult book. It sounded futuristic/dystopian so of course I thought I’d give it a try. It actually took me two attempts to get into this book. I was listening to the death cure at the same time and was getting the two confused so I stopped this one and started it again a couple months later.


What is it about?
As far as Aria is concerned, her world in her pod is all she knows. They live almost entirely in a virtual world where they can visit all kinds of different pods and experience almost any situation they want. She knows there is an outside world but is only taught to fear it.  When she unexpectedly land in that outside world (without protection from the aether) she is sure she will die immediately. When she doesn’t, she finds there are savages who live on the outside and ends up realizing that she has a common goal with one of them and they embark on a journey together (even though they really don’t like each other).


Why you should read it!
This is, yes, another young adult dystopian start to a trilogy. So if that’s your thing you’ve probably heard of this book. If its not your thing, I can give you a couple reasons why this book is different than other dystopian YA trilogies. This takes place in a far enough future that you don’t hear much about the collapse of the world. It also focuses a lot on the relationships between the characters and not so much a war or the setting (which could be coming in the rest of the trilogy). There is a bit of a fantastical side to this story with some of the characters adapting to the new world and having a heightened senses or other abilities (I wouldn’t consider them powers, but one step above current humans). If any of these sound interesting, I would recommend this book. Although I do have to say the writing felt very YA, and when reading it next to actual adult books the difference was very noticeable, so if that kind of thing bothers you, I’d steer clear.

Book Review - Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Why did I read this book?
I had put this book on my christmas list after hearing so much about it on various podcasts and book award lists. And my Grandma gave it to me! I was super excited to read it, but what had me pick it up almost immediately was the fact that it was our book club’s pick for January.

What is it about?
It starts in the near future at a local production of King Lear. That is the first night of a disease outbreak that kills most of civilization. The book jumps forward to years after the disease took over and follows a group who still performs Shakespeare as a traveling symphony. It goes back and forth in time following different characters, storylines, and how they got to where they are now.

Why you should read it!
I loved this book. Yes, it is in my genre of futuristic/world collapsing, but it focuses more on the characters instead of the state of the world. It makes the whole ending of civilization seem very simple (which is quite terrifying) and the survivors stories seem to be believable. But I think my favorite part of the book is how art was woven through it all, from theater, to music, to writing and drawing they all seem to be a common tie throughout. I love that the author portrays art as still being a focus after the world falls apart. Now, I will admit that not everyone in my book club loved it as much as me. They thought it was OK and a bit weird. One of the issues they had was there wasn’t a main character to follow and they kept getting attached to minor characters. And the jumping back and forth in time made things altogether confusing. But, I loved it and think almost anyone should take a chance on it!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Audiobook Review - Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Why did I read this book?
I’ve read a couple of Ken Follett’s books, and I usually enjoy them. This was an audiobook I got from a co-worker. Whenever Rob and I take a long drive we usually have a couple audiobooks, ones to listen to together and ones to listen to while the other person is sleeping, this was going to be my latter. I didn’t know much else about the book except Rob had no interest in it and that it took place in Europe.


What is it about?
This book follows a couple different stories about individuals that eventually interact at different times. You start to learn about all the individuals just before WW1 breaks out. Some of the stories you follow are of miners and some are of princesses so you get different points of view of the war and how it affected all of them.

Why you should read it!
I really like Follett’s historical fiction, however this one got a bit to historical and military for me. I was very interested in all the individuals stories but them a lot of the book turned to how the different armies were moving and what they were trying to take over and certain battles that happened. This was all very boring to me, and I probably tuned out a lot of it. The book also didn’t quite resolve but I think there are some follow up books. I might try and read those, but if it will be more military information I might just pass.