In the After & In the End
YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Published: June 25th 2013 & June 24th 2014
They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you’ve ever seen.
And They won’t stop chasing you…until you are dead.
Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.
After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.
I really enjoyed this duo! It wasn’t what I expected at all and I’m really happy that I tried something out that I hadn’t heard much hype about. The first half of the first book was fantastic and then I took a turn that I hadn’t quite expected in the end and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first but have decided I really liked the plot twist. It sets up the next book pretty well and overall it was a face paced and enjoyable read with a fairly complex story plot for a YA novel.
Baby was a great character, I found her interesting and at times really frustrating because even after finishing the series I feel like I didn’t get to learn enough about her, or at least learn everything I wanted to about her backstory and why things turned out the way they did for her a little more. She was very strong willed and seemed very adaptable, and again there were aspects of her character that I really wish had been delved into a little bit deeper.
Amy was a strong female character, independent from other people; which was refreshing. I really liked that she could hold her own, and that she fought every step of the way for what she believed in and for those who she cared about. She was 100% focused on her mission and despite distractions she kept on a one way track to get to her end game.
It was fantastic that not everything was what it seemed and that we got to travel so much in this new world with Amy as she set about getting things done. Demitria did a fantastic job creating a world that was vivid and easy to imagine. Those creatures were terrifying and I’m very thankful I’m not having to deal with them on a regular basis.
There were some aspects to this duo that I wasn’t a huge fan of, like all the unanswered questions and plot holes. There were a lot of things that were mentioned and never really explained or touched on again. The side characters sometimes really blended into each other and I lost track of who was who a couple of times, though that may have been my fault as I was reading so fast because I was so excited to find everything out. The science was a little weird but realistically it also made a little sense so perhaps most of my issues with that was the fact that it was done so poorly but they did/do have limited resources.
The ending of this duo was really open, and I feel like if the author wanted to write another book or write another story that took place in the same universe she certainly could just because there were so many unanswered questions and blank spots in the plot line. It could be really interesting having a story revolving around baby when she was older perhaps.
Over all a very fantastic, quick paced and action packed read. Really easy to follow plot line and development. I highly recommend binge reading this two books!
Crown of Midnight
Sarah J. Maas
Young Adult Fantasy
Published: August 2013
After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.
Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.
Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?
Crown of Midnight was a prime example of how fantastic a sequel can be. Where other sequels fall flat, Crown of Midnight takes this complex story to new heights. It is possible that perhaps Crown of Midnight is even greater than Throne of Glass.
Celaena develops and becomes considerably darker than she appeared in Throne of Glass and I was eternally thankful for that. With the life that she had lead up until this point it seemed strange to me that in the first book that she was so footloose and fancy free. She starts to develop and question things that she had already known, and we find out a whole lot of things regarding her past that I actually hadn’t seen coming. She falls in love, she is betrayed, she is lost at times and finds strength to continue on even when everything becomes bleak. She amazes me with her ability to forgive but not forget, to let go but to still hold others accountable to their actions.
The romantic encounters are more realistic, and at times made my heart swell up with intense happiness and other times deflate with sadness, it’s clear to me whom I want Celaena to end up with if she does indeed choose either Dorian or Choal. She’s a complicated character and so are both of these men, and no matter who she chooses in the end, I’d be happy just knowing that she’s found love, peace, and acceptance with someone.
Crown of Midnight switches point of view within the chapters and normally I don’t enjoy that very much but I felt it was important and needed and kept me captivated despite by previous grievances with novels that do this. Sarah J. Maas did an absolutely fantastic job integrating characters and giving everyone their own personalities and voices, no one person sounded too much like the other.
The book ends on a bit of a cliff hanger as Celaena embarks on a completely new quest and her story continues to grow. I’m eagerly anticipating the third book in this installment and this is definitely turning into a series I wish was already completed and published because I’m biting my nails with need and want for the next part of the story.
Magic Knight Rayearth 1 & 2
Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki, Fuu Hououji are on a field trip to the Tokyo Tower with their respective schools. The girls are blinded by a flash of light and hear a voice calling for the Legendary Magic Knights to save Cephiro. They fall through the sky into another world, Cephiro. Once there, they meet Master Mage Clef. Clef explains, “In Cephiro, one’s will has the ability to change reality for better or worse. The dark fears in people’s hearts become monsters, while a well-intended wish can do miracles. One person, the Pillar, whose will is stronger than anyone else’s, is responsible for maintaining through her prayers the well-being of Cephiro.” In the first story arc, the current Pillar, Princess Emeraude, has been captured by her high priest, Zagato. The three girls are charged with the task of saving the Princess. Magic Knight Rayearth follows Hikaru, Fuu and Umi along with their friendly sidekick, Mokona, on their quest to save the mystical planet of Cephiro.
Hikarua, Umi, and Fuu are all from different walks of life and all attend different middle schools, however one fateful day each of their respective schools and classes take a school trip to Tokyo Tower where they are suddenly blinded by a great flash of light and a voice calling for the Legendary Magic Knights to save Cephiro.
Once the girls are transported to Cephiro they find themselves falling through the sky and somehow they land on a giant flying fish that takes them safely to land where they meet the Master Mage whose name is Clef.
Clef explains to Hikarua, Umi, and Fuu how the world of Cephiro works, how one’s ‘will’ has the ability to change the reality and even the landscape of the world forever, and that it can be changed for the greater good, or it could be used selfishly for dark intentions.
The Pillar whose will is stronger than anyone else’s and who is responsible for maintaining through her prayers the well-being of Cephiro, however she has been compromised and has been taken captive and it’s up to the Magic Knights to save her and restore peace to the planet Cephiro.
This is a fantastical tale, it moves very quickly and your attention is definitely needed for every page and picture screen otherwise it would be easy to miss information and quickly become confused. I think this series had a lot of offer and I found it very disappointing that it didn’t have more details than what was given to the reader; there are a lot of unanswered questions and plot holes that could have been easily resolved with even one more omnibus I believe. There were also some fillers that I found were unneeded as the story progressed so quickly and it would have been considerably more enjoyable to have solid story line instead.
The artwork contained in this series is beautiful and your mouth will water in your desire for more. You’ll not be disappointed with a single panel. I really wish this series had continued on for longer so I could have continued to be immersed in the strange and lovely world of Cephiro.
Magic Knight Rayearth is one of my favourite Manga’s that I’ve read so far, and it’s a story from my childhood that I’ll treasure for a long time.
What’s your favourite manga series? Would you recommend it to me, if so, why?
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
April Genevieve Tucholke
Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.
Is River just a crooked-something liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?
Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery… who makes you want to kiss back.
Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight and that’s just how River likes it.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a captivating gothic paranormal romance, set in a sleepy town full of interesting, lively characters with bizarre names. With a gorgeous cover and captivating blurb it would be hard to pass by this delicious book without the urge to pick it up.
Like with most wildly popular books there are two sides. There are those who are going to love the book, there are those who are going to severely dislike the book. As with everything else in life, there is no such thing as a perfect book. They’re all flawed because we are all flawed and no one ever will be able to please everyone.
For me personally this book had a lot of elements that make an engaging, enjoyable young adult novel. I’ve noticed recently that Young Adult fiction isn’t often doing it for me, the more I pick up the more I am putting down and I’m okay with that, fiction tastes change as you change and what you liked last month or last year doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it in this moment.
I wouldn’t say that Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is necessarily a case of insta-love as I’m often not a fan of those, but at the same time realise that insta-love does happen, in real life and in fiction. I knew that my Husband was the one within a week of dating him. It happens and when magic, and paranormal elements are involved I’m more likely to go with the flow of the story than stand there and judge it. I thought that April did a great job with the paranormal, fantasy elements of the book and that she wrote a story line that was both believable in their universe and a joy to read.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue sea was very fast paced and I really wish it were double the size, largely in part of the fact that I didn’t want it to end so quickly and because I felt that the story could have used more back story, more pages of explanations and more time to develop the plot and the twists. This is the first book in either a trilogy or a series so I’m willing to let that go and allow myself to be filled with anticipation for the next books.
This story is not complicated, it’s simple, it’s dark at times and light in other times and though a few questionable things happened I still felt myself suckered into it enough to sit down for 2.3-3 hours and finish the whole book in the same sitting despite having a super serious lack of free time right now.
What Story have you read where those who read it either strongly enjoy or dislike the novel? How did you feel about the story in particular?
Wow, June was an absolutely busy month for me. I was gone for the first week of June and then my best friend had her wedding on June 22 so up until then I was a pretty busy girl plus with the addition of our heat wave I didn’t read nearly as much as I normally do. At least I don’t feel like I did. This month I read 7 books and one of them I had already read over half a few months ago so honestly it’s more like 6 books.
I am hoping July will be a better month in regards to reading but I have a lot of exams this month to finish up school so not sure and August is also very busy. I’ll be in vacationing for over half of it and away from home and celebrating my 1 year wedding anniversary on September 1st, so we’ll be leaving a few days before that!
Anyways, without further delay, here is the list of books I’ve read this month with links to their reviews.
1. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (apparently I didn’t write a review for this book but it was good)
2. Wake by Amanda Hocking
3. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
4. Joyland by Stephan King
5. The Death Cure by James Dashner
6. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
7. Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti
Wow! What a month in books for me! I think I have received more books this year than I have ever received in a single month before!
I won’t lie; I’m extremely excited and extremely thankful for all the goodies that will fill my mind with other worlds and lives! I won’t have to buy books for a while, which is excited! So I guess I’ll start!
- Glow (Sky Chasers) : Amy Kathleen Ryan
- Graceling (Graceling Realm #1): Kristin Cashore
- The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1):
- EON: Alison Goodman
- Insurgent: Veronica Roth
- Divergent: Veronica Roth
- The Secret Keeper: Kate Morton
- A Dance with Dragons (song of ice and fire series): George R.R. Martin
- A Million suns (Across the universe #2): Beth Revis
- Across the Universe (#1): Beth Revis
- The Scorch Trails (Maze runner #2): James Dashner
- The Maze Runner (#1): James Dashner
- Ash: Malinda Lo
- Black City(#1): Elizabeth Richards
- Delirium(#1): Lauren Oliver
So as you can imagine! 15 books! And that’s not all of them either! I have a few non-fiction books too! So spoiled am I! = ) I actually cannot believe all the books and gifts I got! (I even got to go to the Ballet with Matt!! I love him so much… He’s such a wonderful kind man! So lucky he’s mine, mine, mine!)
Hope you all had an amazing Christmas as well and got everything your heart could have wished for!