Sunday, 24 June 2012

Review // Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris

Published - 26th September 2006
Published By - Berkley
Format - Kindle
Goodreads Synopsis - Harper Connelly has what you might call a strange job: she finds dead people. She can sense the final location of a person who's passed, and share their very last moment. The way Harper sees it, she's providing a service to the dead while bringing some closure to the living - but she's used to most people treating her like a blood-sucking leech. Travelling with her step-brother Tolliver as manager and sometime-bodyguard, she's become an expert at getting in, getting paid, and getting out fast. Because for the living it's always urgent - even if the dead can wait forever.

As a fan of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books, I decided to give the Harper Connelly books a try. To cut to the chase - i'm not sure about it.

I had a lot of ups and downs whilst reading the first book in the series Grave Sight. It took me a while to get into the plot due to the lack of character development and no background history to either the characters personally or their lives in great detail. The relationship between Harper and Tolliver is never fully explained and it frustrated me a little. The book eventually picked up in the middle and I found myself excited when the action kicked off and my suspicious mind started analysing the characters for the answers I was looking for.

Unfortunately it didn't last too long. It became repetitive and rather than answering any questions it just raised more. The boring descriptions of Harper's time in motel rooms was unneccessary and I was disappointed with how the answer to the mystery was crammed into a few pages at the end when it could have been more elaborate and interesting.

That said, as a basic read, I did like it. I'm interested in seeing if Harper and Tolliver's characters are developed more and that there is a story involved regarding their sister Cameron. I think I will read the next books in the series but I won't be rushing to pick them up any time soon.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Review // Slated - Teri Terry

Published - 3rd May 2012
Published By - Orchard Books
Format - Paperback
Goodreads Synopsis - Kyla’s memory has been erased, her personality wiped blank, her memories lost for ever. She’s been Slated. The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

I spotted Slated in the local supermarket and was intrigued by the synopsis  so when it was bought for me, I couldn’t wait to get into it – and I really did!
Immediately what I liked about the book was that the world wasn’t explained straight away. It took quite a while to build a full idea of what Kyla’s world was like which fit perfectly with the topic of the book. I learned along with Kyla as she discovered what life was like. I particularly liked the references that I could identify with in today’s world such as mobile phones being banned due to rioting (London, anyone?) For me, Slated raised the question of what it means to be a criminal. Does a certain type of crime have to be committed? Or is a person a criminal just because someone doesn’t agree? 

Like many I’m sure, I’m interested in the terrorist group in Slated. I struggled with taking Kyla’s side to making up on my own mind. I still don’t really know if such a group are actually terrorists or whether they are in fact the good guys.

The characters in Slated were likeable (Kyla, Ben, Amy, Jazz etc..) and even more so when their personal stories were looked at a little more closely. I became attached to Kyla very quickly, and felt like I needed to protect her but at the same time I knew she was strong and capable of looking after herself. The less likeable characters in Slated (such as Phoebe) were also well written and I found myself struggling to dislike them even though their characterisation suggested I shouldn’t!
Dystopian literature is becoming more popular and some have even suggested that the popularity of dystopia means a lower class type of book but in my opinion this isn’t true, especially in the case of Slated. New topics are raised and it gave me a lot to think about. I’m excited for the release of the second book in 2013 as the ending of Slated had me shouting for more.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Review // The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff

Published - 21st September 2010
Published By - Simon & Schuster
Format - Paperback
Goodreads Synopsis- Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie comes from a world of tunnels and black, murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattoed princess. He is a replacement - left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago when it was stolen away by the fey. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world. Mackie would give anything just to be normal, to live quietly amongst humans, practice his bass guitar and spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem, where he must face down the dark creatures and find his rightful place - in our world, or theirs.

I had been looking forward to reading The Replacement for a while as the synopsis caught my attention and it sounded excellent and different. When you read a lot, finding new topics is always interesting. However I was disappointed with this book. 

The story idea really was great but it didn't feel fully explored. The actual story felt rushed and not explained. The character development was also quite poor. Considering that Mackie is the main character, we never actually learn anything about him. The most interesting character for me was Tate but again, the reader never really learns anything about her, just her sister. 

If I remember rightly, this is Yovanoff's first novel and so I will keep an eye out for other works she may do in the future as I keep repeating, the idea behind The Replacement was wonderful. It is a quick read and easy read though if you're looking for something to just pick up and finish in a couple of hours and although the story didn't really seem to go anywhere, the writing wasn't really bad. I can't seem to find many other reviews on this book so if you've read it, i'd love to know what you think.
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