Friday, December 18, 2015

First Light: (The Red#1) Review

First Light The Red #1

Linda Nagata

Saga Press

June 30, 2015

4/5 Stars

   This book is about Lt. James Shelley.  He is a member of the US Army but not really by choice but because he is doing his time from a protest march.  I think the book was very interesting given that most of it deals with both near future technology and a near future world where DCS’s basically run the world.  It’s quite interesting how Linda Nagata has weaved two very futuristic concepts and making them very realistic and tied into the world we have going on now.

    While I really loved the majority of the book.  I have to say that while James Shelley comes off as a realistic army officer most of the time.  I found some of his reactions to some of the events, odd.  Also, the way that some of the officers in his squad are portrayed sometimes borders on stereotyping.  Which I understand that the book is set in only the main character’s point of view might actually make this more likely.  I have to say that considering how long the squad as been together that the majority of them should be more than just a name and a sentence.

    I have to admit that having the entire story in one book and having it be the first book in a series is amazing.  I have to hand it to Linda Nagata for this.  Very few authors can pull off a one hundred percent self contained story in a any kind of series.

Court of Roses and Thorns Review

Court of Roses and Thorns

Sarah J. Maas

Bloomsbury USA Childrens

May 5, 2015

3/5 Stars

    So since I read the Throne of Glass, I decided I would give Sarah J. Maas’s other book series.  Which is much different but kind of similar.  Different is that the book isn’t about assassins with hearts of gold in strange love triangles.  Similar in that the main character is a woman and the book IS essentially a romance.  The story however, is MUCH better than the Throne of Glass series.  I was immediately more interested in this slightly pat theme of a Fae world crossed with the mortal world.

     The problem with that, is the story IS basically pat.  Until the end, which is a whole lot different and quite a bit better than most other books of it’s ilk.  While this excellence does appear a litlte eariler it never really rears it’s head until then.  The worst part is that the pinnacle part of the book is actually a rather old and well worn riddle.  I don’t know why the author thought it would make anyone think twice but perhaps it’s my vast reading knowledge, but I don’t think so.

      What I will say is that I didn’t hate this book as I did the Throne of Glass’s starting novel.  Hopefully this book is a sign of better things to come.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Throne of Glass
Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
 (August 7, 2012)
2/5 Stars
       So I just finished reading the first book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas.  She is a very popular Young Adult author.  Not on the level of Suzanne Collins or even Cassandra Clare.  But she is quite acclaimed.  I mostly decided to read this book due to the fact that Goodreads had given the third book in the series the Best of Young Adult Fantasy on Goodreads.  Which I thought interesting considering that Uprooted by Naomi Novik lost to it.  Which was odd to me considering that Uprooted, in my opinion is hardly a Young Adult book.  The main problem with the book is that the main character is supposed to be a renowned assassin.  A cold blooded killer.  She is none of those things.  She probably should have just been some girl that had some warrior training.  After all that she had been through in life and considering what an amazing assassin she was supposed to be.  She seemed little more than an inexperienced girl in all things in life.  And quickly gets embroiled in a love triangle with the Crown Prince and the Captain of the Guard.  As much as most people don’t like the cover above, it’s much more accurate than the cooler, more attractive cover.

        Why did Sarah Maas decide that the main character need to be an assassin?  Why is the Prince such a weakling?  I don’t hate the book, except that in principle the book is lazy.  There are so many inconsistencies and things that make the characters seem to be caricatures not characters that have depth and interest.  There are certainly good examples of books where the main character is female, strong, interesting, etc…  Without making the mistake descending into the pat of love triangles and artificial affectations like trying to make a 19 year old girl an assassin.  Not that, I don’t think this is possible or even a good idea.  In fact, the summary for this book sounds absolutely wonderful.  But in execution, it seems more an exercise in girly drama rather than action. Being an assassin really doesn’t lend itself to being a pretty princess, which is exactly what the main character seems to want to be.  She even gets a puppy during the book.
       So Sarah Maas seems to want guys, to want to read her book; But then when they discover that book is 2/3 romance novel and 1/3 everything else.  They are immediately turned off.  The interesting part, is that a lot of women seemed unimpressed and rather repulsed by the main character.  I was more or less fine with the main character’s attitude which is what women mostly seem to hate about it.  But let’s try at least making sense if we are to make a story where an assassin is the main character.  Like maybe making the main character as interesting in chapter 1 as in chapter 30.  Which is one of the main issues I have with the book.
       There are two more books in this series and apparently the second book is much better than this one.  But I really can’t bring myself to bother considering how much better stories there are out there.  But I will give Court of Thorns and Roses a try.  Perhaps that will be better, but I don’t have high hopes.  But one never knows…