Monday, April 27, 2015

Life Update

Okay, so, in case you wonder why I've basically dropped off the face of the Earth over the next few weeks, I will explain beforehand.

I've got end of course tests (EOCs) coming up. They are legit a week away from today.

Not only that, the tests happen to be in Algebra and Biology-- two classes that I struggled a lot in this semester. The first because, hello, it's Algebra + new material to learn, and the second because my teacher is horrible.

On top of this, I take a Gaming 1 class for extra credit, and over the next couple of weeks I am supposed to be planning and creating my own custom game. (The type of games I have been creating are platform (think Mario) games and scrolling shooter games). At the beginning of the semester, the only class I had taken before that had anything to do in Gaming was an online college class that was more about designing games than actually creating them. So, yeah. Having to churn out one game each week has been very stressful.

School is officially out for me May 15. So that's probably around when I'll start getting back into blogging semi-regularly, doing more link-ups, etc.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Reviewing: War of the Fae (Books 1~3) by Elle Casey

First things first, I've been super busy recently. I have a ton of school piling up, end of course tests to study for, etc., etc.

This means, as it always does, that I will posting a lot less. I already have been, but I'm about to practically fall off the face of the blogosphere.

However, I do have some things planned! Huzzah for plans!


I had never even heard of the War of the Fae quartet until it popped up on the YA list at 9 Novels. (Which is where I find most of the books I read. Seriously. Go check it out.). Unfortunately, only three books are listed on Goodreads. I read all of those three in one day and never got to the fourth. (And it's been a while, which is a little embarrassing).

Jayne Sparks, a potty-mouthed, rebellious seventeen-year-old and her best friend, shy and bookish Tony Green, have a pretty typical high school existence, until several seemingly unrelated incidents converge, causing a cascade of events that change their lives forever. Jayne and Tony, together with a group of runaway teens, are hijacked and sent into a forest, where nothing and no one are as they seem. Who will emerge triumphant? And what will they be when they do?





Follow Jayne Sparks, the (still) potty-mouthed seventeen-year-old and newly changed elemental fae and her friends - an incubus, a daemon, a green elf, a water sprite and a pixie - as they struggle to find their places in the Light Fae community of the Green Forest and prepare for the upcoming battle against the Dark Fae.






The animosity between Darkness & Light continues to grow, as do Jayne's supernatural, elemental abilities in the Green Forest. Long-lost friends arrive, new friends leave, passion burns, and mysteries abound. What is Light and what is Dark? Who can the Light Fae trust? Who will be left standing in the end and whose side will they be on? Nothing is ever as it seems, and all is fair in love and War of the Fae. 






It says that it's not meant for readers under the age of 15, but if you're familiar with the general partying, cursing, and violence then you should be more than okay.

Since I read all three books so jammed together, it would be nearly impossible to review them separately. ("No, they totally kissed in book one...right?") That would be a mess.

Characters:

As the synopsis states, Jayne Sparks and Tony Green are best friends. (Although I began to question that, but I'll talk about that later). The story starts with them being your average high school students-- Jayne being the "rebel" and Tony the "nerd." Their roles change very much throughout the series, so much that they can no longer have just one label. (Which is awesome).

And then you're introduced to a bunch of people who later become super important. There's Samantha, Spike, Becky, Chase, and (later) Tim. 

Each of them play an important role (but some of them start to fade, which is disappointing), and their charms turn into either bigger charms or become annoying. (I'm looking at you, Spike.). 

A whole bunch of other people come in at various times (it can get super confusing) but just focus on the main people. Trust me-- some people who get named don't show up more than once.

But Jayne. Dear, dear Jayne. The one you look out of the eyes of throughout the entire series (or just the first three books). At first, her humor was, well, hilarious. I was laughing a lot and thoroughly enjoying the book. And then book two happened. And book three. And... it got old. Her sense of humor is kind of immature and inappropriate. She makes fun of everything and everyone. Seriously. The more it happened the more ticked off I got. She has no respect, and that bothered me almost more than anything. 

(Tony's my favorite character. Go Tony.)

Also everything is super convenient. Seriously. For a group of clueless teens in a deadly forest, everyone survives very well. The characters deemed as "important" are not going to die. They're not even going to be in danger of dying (it may seem like they are, but nah).

Setting:

It is complex. It hits you kind of out of the blue, too. I mean, they get sent to a forest? And whoever dies just... dies? 

How kind.

There are a ton of names regarding places, too. It's nearly impossible to keep track of everything. 

But, yeah. 

Everything happens in a forest so there's not much to say.

The Magic:

Yes, we know, Harry.


The only thing that bothered me in this area is how very easily Jayne gets her powers. She stands in a forest and suddenly BAM. She is overflowing with magic that she can use with her mind alone.

This frustrated me so much, and the explanation the books offer never fully satisfied me. 

She should at least struggle to manifest her powers, not just have instant ability to control them. Wouldn't it be a little chaotic at first? Why didn't she panic? Why is she able to do everything on the first try? Why is everything so convenient? 

Hnghghh.

There are also a ton of magical powers. This also gets confusing and is a bit of an info-dump. "Oh, hello, yes, you are a magical being. Here are the names of all the other magical beings in existence. Remember them all because we will constantly use these names throughout the series and only explain what they actually are once or twice in the series."


Now, I feel like maybe I covered what the book is pretty much about and what goes on. (This has already become much longer than I meant for it to be.)


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Reviewing: The 100 by Kass Morgan

In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.

*Do not read the spoilers unless you have read the book and watched the show or just don't care. Spoilers are between these: [  ] Highlight to read.

If you've been around for a month or two, you should know that I love the TV show The 100. Love it. I love the characters, the intensity of everything-- ALL OF IT.

So I started this book feeling really optimistic. 

I ended it feeling confused and mildly annoyed.

How did they get the TV show from this book? They are nothing alike. Nothing. Right from the first chapter, I could tell that this was very, very different, mainly because [Clarke's mom and dad were BOTH dead] and later you learn that [Wells DID tell his dad when Clarke had begged him not to] and also [Octavia was not arrested for being born, but rather for stealing pills].

There are four POVs. Clarke, Wells, Bellamy, and Glass (a girl who escapes the pod and stays on the Ark).

Also, Finn and Raven don't exist. Instead, there are Luke and Glass. No Jasper or Monty either. 

I'M SORRY I JUST REALLY LOVE RAVEN AND MONTY.
Instead of being called Privileged, like Bellamy was yelling about in episode 1 or 2 ("She's one of the Privileged. She had it good. Don't listen to her." *queue rebel leader rampage*) there are a bunch of other names of the units of the Ark, which I'm not sure I have all sorted out. To my knowledge there are three, but there are probably lots more. There's the Pheonix unit (which equals Privileged) and they get more oxygen, better food, etc. for some reason. Yeah. The Council (totally didn't see that name coming) is made up of jerks. 

There's the Wanden or Warden or Something, and it's a lower class unit. And then there's something that starts with an "A" that doesn't get mentioned a lot. Possibly something that starts with a "C." 

I read somewhere that Finn and Bellamy in the show were actually Book-Bellamy split into two, taking one of his personalities with Bellamy and the other with Finn. If that's the case, then I could tell. Book Bellamy is so much different from Show Bellamy that they might as well have been two completely different people. The only thing they have in common is their fierce need to protect Octavia. 

Who is FOURTEEN in the book.

Now, if you've watched the show, then you know that First Few Episodes Octavia was very flirtatious and quite stupid. (Who strips off and jumps into a weird lake right after seeing a two-headed deer?) Book Octavia flirted a little bit, but it was more teasing and innocent. 

Let me put this very simply: The 100 is basically the show's first episode.
  • they come to the ground
  • they discover that it is not, in fact, toxic anymore
  • they do stupid things
  • The Council continuously confuses me
Where is the logic? They make these super strict laws but then are super lenient when the characters need them to be. [Glass was SUPPOSED TO GO TO EARTH. She was supposed to go or DIE. But then they suddenly let her off the hook? Why?]
  • Bellamy hates everything
  • Clarke hates Wells
  • Clarke/Bellamy are basically:
  • Bellamy hates everything (except Octavia)
  • Bellarke shippers die with happiness
Octavia was the only person in the world who truly knew him. There was no one else he really cared about ever seeing again. But then he glanced over Clarke, who was leaning over to breathe in the scent of a bright pink flower, the sun catching the gold strands in her hair, and suddenly he wasn't so sure.

This is all great and wonderful. But if you're reading this book only because of Bellarke DON'T DO IT. Yeah, you'll freak out over some of the stuff that happens. But they are such different people that I had to get to know them all over again and it just wasn't as magical as the show.
  • Things happen that DO NOT MAKE SENSE
[Wells takes leadership. WELLS. Why would they listen to the Chancellor's son when the Chancellor is the one that basically gave them a death sentence? The show makes much more sense-- Bellamy is older and knows about survival + he's good at getting people pumped up to crush the empire.]
  • Relationships develop very quickly
Too quickly, in my opinion. These 100 delinquents (seriously, whose idea was this?) are down on very, very different Earth that they don't know anything about and they're making out and sleeping together in moments??? Where are the kids with the adventurous streaks that want to explore?? Where are the logical ones that try and keep everyone together??? 

In the book, there are only two or three teenagers who actually try and think about the situation. The rest either blend in or make trouble.

I feel like too many adults just assume that a bunch of teenagers in one place are going to only care about making out and doing sexual things and not actually about surviving. 
  • And then it ends with a cliffhanger
If you've watched the show, you know what this cliffhanger is. [GROUNDERS. BOOM.] But for those who don't know, it is quite the good cliffhanger. It does makes you want to read the next book.

The writing style is good. It's poetic. There were moments when it seemed to be not really well-placed, but for the most part I liked it. It brought a depth to the book that was hard to see past the romance and other drama and reminded me of what I really, really wished this book was 100% about: Teenagers coming to a harsh, transformed Earth and seeing the brutality of what it had become. 



Goodreads for The 100 + Day 21 (Book 2) + Homecoming (Book 3)