Imogen's Typewriter.

Specials. Scott Westerfeld

Specials. Scott Westerfeld - Scott Westerfeld What I really admire about this series is that it shows most of the point of views of the world within one character. In Specials Tally is, you guessed it, a Special. The only point of view not covered is the older pretties and the little kids, so it shows the problem with this dystopian world, and all it's problems, from almost every side unlike others. The writing evolves on a little but not by much. And we finally get an answer for the love triangle, admittedly one that I hated but still.

I want to talk about a couple of things here.
I really didn't get the whole ego thing. Maybe that says something bad about me but it didn't seem like Tally had much of an ego as Shay kept saying, as much as bad things kept happening to her and she did the best she could in the situation she was in. Does anyone else feel this way or?
Shay, oh my god. I loved her at the beginning of the first book because she challenged Tally's ideas about the whole pretty society and was the voice of reason- but it really went downhill from there to the point where she became the villain to me. Dr Cable and the society were the obvious villains but Shay was something worse- a really poisonous 'friend'.
Zane, just- Wah!
I do worry about a negative effect, there's really nothing in these books that says- hey, some people get plastic surgery and really, that's okay too. The whole pretty-head thing could be seriously skewed.


Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter. <3

Pretties

Pretties  - Scott Westerfeld Again, the writing was nothing special; more great imagery, and a few really poignant moments but pretty simplistic throughout. It reflects the intended audience. The story was as strong as the first but despite a similar plot line, it wasn't tired. A pretty strong second book, I can say with almost certainty that if you liked Uglies then you'll like Pretties. I marathoned right through these books quite happily.

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter. <3

Uglies

Uglies - Scott Westerfeld This is a really strong start to the series, the world is set up easily and the story is fast-paced with our main character, Tally, denied the 'pretty' surgery until she goes and fetches her friend Shay from outside the city. There's a lot of dilemmas in this that are a more dramatic version of what happens to teenagers. It's a lot of high school drama but on a different scale which I loved, a lot of it is familiar as things most people go through at that age- friend loyalty, a relationship getting in the way, standing up to authority.
I wasn't much of a fan of the writing, it wasn't bad by any means, but it didn't really impress me although I have to mention Scott Westerfelds great use of imagery. The sky is the colour of cat vomit and the squeaking of shoes is like a herd of panicked mice was amazing.
Overall though, this book really impressed me, I can see why my friends loved it.

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter. <3

Empire

Empire - John Connolly, Jennifer Ridyard In short, I loved this book. The premise of the series is that an alien race, the Illyri, has gone around the galaxies conquering planets, and decided Earth was next. This was not a popular decision and in the first book we meet the Resistance, a group that is constantly trying to get these aliens to go away. Syl, a Illyri teenager meets Paul, a human that is part of the Resistance in the first book and throughout the drama the two of them get close. But that's not all! At the end of book one we discover that there's an infecting parasite type thing inside certain members of the Illyri, and the witch-y people of Illyr known as the Red Sisters have something to do with it. Oh and there's robots.

This book leads us away from Scotland (dang) and into the galaxies beyond. We follow Paul and Steven into their forced enlistment, Syl and Ani to the Marque and even get a section from Meia, my favourite character.

I can't honestly begin to explain the series in a way that would do it justice. But there are three things that really stood out to me; Firstly, there's a review on the back by SFX that describes it as 'densely plotted' and I find myself agreeing with that wholeheartedly. The threads that weave the stories together are strong and go way beyond what is expected from a YA book.

The descriptions made the places, the people, the horrors and the victories really come alive. For example; one character "always seeked the insult she believed lay buried at the heart of any compliment." And another "wore the happy but confused look of a man who won a lottery but couldn't remember buying a ticket." The writing doesn't falter with the busy plot, which makes this book stand out among others.

And lastly, the mistakes the characters make because as I was reading I agreed with what the characters were doing until the mistakes were pointed out. Mistakes are something characters, and people, do all the time but in books, especially YA, I find myself noticing these mistakes and not understanding why the characters do stupid things. This book made me follow the characters way of thinking so much that I was blinded to ways things could be done better. It was very impressive.

I love this book. I love this series. I need the next book ASAP. This is my first ✮✮✮✮✮ book of the year and I was so sad when it was over.


Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.

Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime Story

Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime Story - J. Jefferson Farjeon It's a book to pick up around that time if you want some festive scenery description and a mysterious crime that spread over 20 years. A trail is stopped by snow and several of the passengers leave to walk to the station, only to get lost and come upon a house where the tea is set and the fires are burning but nobody is home.
It took me quite a while to read, half because it was a busy time and half because I wasn't really gripped by the tale. The writing is a reflection of the time it was written and it was a lot less dark than modern crime stories. I'm not quite sure about it even now. I did like the characters though, there was a pretty wide range and they were all well developed and sometimes quite funny!

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.

Three Bedrooms One Corpse - Aurora Teagarden Book 3

Three Bedrooms One Corpse - Aurora Teagarden Book 3 - Charlaine Harris This series continues to be great in the third book when Roe finds a corpse in the main bedroom of a three bedroom house- I'll admit, I kind of expected it to be... divided. But hey. This was preferable. This series is what is called cosy crime but always manages to surprise me about who the murderer is amongst all the normal life and romance and family talk. I normally finish these books super quickly and this was no exception as I read the whole story over a very bust weekend.

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.

Red Rising

Red Rising - Pierce Brown Oh my goodness. I don't know what I was expecting from this book but oh my goodness. I'll admit it took me a while to get hooked in this book but once it got it's claws it, it really got it's claws in. Simply, this book is about a young man called Darrow who is a 'Red' and works under the surface of Mars as a miner of a terraforming substance so Mars can become habitable for humans. But, plot twist, Mars is already habitable and Reds are just slaves constantly working away with nothing to show for it. This book is crazy, there's so much going on and so much action and drama that it's a punch in the chest feeling every chapter. I was so impressed at this that I immediately needed to read the second book, published 6th January, and I'm just- speechless.
I was talking to a friend and described this as 'everything a lot of YA books could be if they were a bit better', and I stick by that. If you're a fan of the Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Chronicles of the Invaders, heck- even if you're not you need to pick up a copy of this book. Incredible, I'm itching to read the second book.

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee Amazing. Amazing! To Kill A Mockingbird is the story of a girl named Scout growing up in Southern America in the thirties during the depression and deals with racial inequality and rape and the roles of women and men all while being a really lovely read. I saw the play of this tale in Manchester a couple of years ago and loved in, and the book really stood up to that. It took me a while to read- a little under three weeks- because of how rich the plot and writing was and I found myself, for the first time, wanting to draw out the read but oh I adored it. The characterisation was dead on, the development of the characters and the overlying story of Boo Radley was just so heartwarming.
It's one of the best books I read in 2014 and definitely the best classic, I feel like it really taught me a lot. I'd urge everyone to pick up this book and I really feel like re-reading it soon. It makes me sad that so many have been put off by reading this in school- I know school put me off a lot of books that maybe I need to give a second chance..

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.

I Am Legend

I Am Legend - Richard Matheson I think this book is one of my favourite books. I'd put it in my top five books and it's so re-readable, every time I read it, I get something different from it. Of course, it's Richard Matheson's 'I am Legend.'

It has a few flashbacks but this book is mainly split into 3 times between 1976 and 1978. And I think what this book does better than anything is character, it focussed on one guy- Robert Neville. He's dealing with alcoholism, depression and the end of the world and I feel that this gives you a real insight into what the end of the world and being alone for a long time can do to a person.

Although this book is technically about vampires, Matheson will always be the grandfather of the zombie genre in my eyes with this book. I think I love it so much because so much of it is surviving. You go through the motions with him of everyday survival, finding food and gasoline, researching into the science side of what is happening and this is something glossed over in a lot of these books, much to my annoyance. It's not easy to live in the apocalypse, literally or psychologically- this book truly shows that like no other.

Unfortunately this is not the case of the film, but that is a completely different blog post!

A ✮✮✮✮✮ book. Now and forever.

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, José Marzán Jr. I cried. I admit. I cry every dang time I read this volume and I'm not talking just the one time. There are two distinct points in this that make me tear up.
In general, I'm not a fan of endings. Mostly I'm left unsatisfied or annoyed compared to how I felt about the series as a whole, (looking at you Lost) but this comic ended the way it did and I might not be happy in the sense of- not crying, but I'm happy by the way it ended because it was the ending this amazing series deserves. The whole run of Y: The Last Man is five stars in total.

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 9: Motherland

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 9: Motherland - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Goran Sudžuka, José Marzán Jr. Back to four stars, I went straight into this volume from the last and preferred it. There was less backstory but more explanation as we finally find out what caused the plague and it's not a bad explanation. I don't want to give away spoilers so I'll just leave this by saying that Yorick is one of my favourite comic book characters.

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Goran Sudžuka, José Marzán Jr. I don't know if it's because I took a break from reading this series or maybe it's just me but this volume felt a little- off. A lot was happening, a lot of backstory was put in, but it managed to feel like too much and not enough at the same time. Don't get me wrong, I love this series but this volume didn't wow me as much as the others. My least favourite of the ten but still worth reading.

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Kitty Norville #5)

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Kitty Norville #5) - Carrie Vaughn This series had a bit of a dip with the second and third books, coming back up into greatness with the fourth and continuing in this. Set in Vegas we deal with more werewolf hunters, magic, were-things and that extra bit of romance too. The characterisation is dead on because while Kitty made some choices I would definitely not make in my own life, I completely understood why she did. And oh was there drama!
Also, this was the first of the Kitty Norville books to end on a cliffhanger and the only time that I didn't have the next book to dive in straight away! Sods law! But I had a £10 voucher for eBay and the remaining 3 books were quickly on their way to me.

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.

A Bone to Pick

A Bone to Pick - Charlaine Harris I read the first book of this series last month and loved it. It was a five star book and this series continues to be strong in the second book. In fact, exactly like the first book, I read this in one evening as part of my Hallowreadathon as I predicted in this post!
The story continues an untold amount of time later but I'd put it at about 6-8 months after the last book ended, and Roe has just inherited a house. And a skull.
The mystery in this story is just as gripping as the last although there was less immediate danger and less of the thrill that comes with danger. However, I think that Harris has done a great job of keeping it realistic and I enjoy reading about Roe's life even without the drama. That's a good sign in my book.
I got the first three of these books from The Book People so I have one more to read before I have to buy the rest at full price, but I'm fairly sure I will!

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.

Kitty and the Silver Bullet

Kitty and the Silver Bullet  - Carrie Vaughn This book convinced me to continue with this series. If Kitty Takes a Holiday was a four star book that was nearly a three star book, then this is a four star book that was nearly a five star book.
Without getting too much into the plot, we return to exploring the werewolf pack dynamics and radio show setting that I loved so much in the first book. The romance followed on well from the third book. All while adding some vampire politics.
The writing continues to be strong, the story carried through the whole book and there was none of the kind of writing that put me off the second and third book.

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.

Conquest

Conquest - John Connolly The premise of this book is that an alien race similar to humans has gone around the galaxies conquering planets, and decide to conquer Earth. As you can imagine, not a popular decision and there is a Resistance that is constantly trying to get them to go away. That's the base, now imagine a huge amount of other stuff on top like teen romance, robots, witches...
Trying to explain this book simply is a challenge but I really really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the sequel, Empire, that I tweeted the cover of. I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover but- pretty. It's being published on the 1st of January and I'm all over that.
The main character is totally loveable even though she's an alien, the romance is believable- no love at first sight in sight, and the plot is thick and way beyond what I expected for a YA book. It is a long book, and it takes some getting into but I really like the world and love that it's based in Scotland.

Review originally posted on Imogen’s Typewriter.