The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon

13636400I really wanted to like this one … but I simply couldn’t. Too long, too much information, too much talking and recounting of past events and not enough action. At 45% into the book I almost reached the point of dismissing it. Unfortunately the promising story remains clouded by bad execution.

I’ve got really bored by all the explanations, descriptions and retellings of the past while waiting for the action to finally start. The first half of the book nothing really interesting happens. Not only I was sitting around waiting but Paige too, although technically a slave does nothing else but sitting around and listening to other people’s stories. Paige has really nothing to do, no chores; no training … It is so boring being a slave that you simply have to miss curfew and get in a brawl just so that your Master can heal you. But you hate him so much, really he is so bad! What with all his help, and good looks, taking care of you and letting you sleep in his bed. That is such a hard life, that you have to remind him every time to kill you and “get it over with” … really girl get a grip!

Part of why I didn’t like the book was because Paige as a character simply annoyed the hell out of me. She is so inconsistent. She saves Warden’s life several times, but in the next instant she hates him so much and wants him to die or him to kill her. If she isn’t preoccupied with herself she might remember that she has friends she wants to help, or not. Paige as main character was horrible and not at all a compelling heroine. She practices her power as a dreamwalker for years with the help of the criminal underground lords and still doesn’t know anything. But with two training sessions under the supervision of her new master Warden, she learns to harness her powers … Yeah right! I so believe this! But what really destroyed that character for me was her constant reminder: “Please kill me and get it over with!” … Because really her new life as a slave is soooo hard. I swear this girl just sits around while other people explain or tell her what happened. The only time she takes something into her hand is when she saves Wardens life. But 5 minutes later she wishes him dead again. I didn’t even get what her power really meant. It really is not that awesome in my opinion. She can’t even possess a butterfly. How pathetic is that! And killing with the mind, yeah well I’m sure there are better and much more efficient non-voyant ways to kill someone. And by the way: She is no mind reader. She said so herself. So she doesn’t really “scout for information”. Also why should a several hundred years old alien entity like Warden fall in love with her? I didn’t get it. There was absolutely nothing romantic going on throughout this book, apart from a scene at the end of the story where he kisses her. Because of the kiss, she now wants him to come with her and be with her and stay with her and … yeah right: Now she trusts him. Not because he saved her life, or helped her with her friends, or trained her or been there for her … No because he kissed her.

One other problem I had was imagining the world. The world was original enough, slightly dystopian (the political order in Scion), a little bit magical and steampunkish at least in my imagination (Oxford and the world of the Rephaim) as well as futuristic sometimes. But as hard as I tried I couldn’t put those pieces together. There was no harmony in the whole: You have hunted and enslaved clairvoyants, dictatorship and a totalitarian regime, the mafia / criminal underground, aliens with vampiric traits and the blue-blooded lifestyle of the middle ages, etc … It was too confusing.

Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong

16101040First of all, I loved reading this book. It’s the perfect book for a rainy Sunday, when you make yourself a hot chocolate or a big cup of tea. You can cuddle up with a blanket on your favorite reading couch and spend hour after hour grinning and anticipating and fevering with the characters in the book. It so good, that you can’t put it down. This book is made for your imagination. It is easy to visualize the small town of Cainsville with its Gargoyles and the mysterious natives.

What I really enjoyed was how KA integrated supernatural into the overall story. It reminded me of the movie The Devil’s Advocate with its effective blend of supernatural thrills and character exploration or the erudite suspense novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown with Robert Langdon embroiled in a quest for the Holy Grail with mostly accurate descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals. The novel is full of esoteric references and reminded me also a little bit of the novels of Umberto Eco, specifically Foucault’s Pendulum and The Name of the Rose. Omens is not an Urban Fantasy, as many reviewers already indicated, but a well-crafted mystery thriller with a touch of urban fantasy elements. If Urban Fantasy was a child this would be the grown up version of it. I really enjoyed the use of references to real life historic events (The FBI mind control programs) and literature references (Arthur Conan Doyle).  It adds to the story and its creep factor making it more substantial but also I think it is something special if an author makes you look up the historic hints.

Oh this book was awesome … And I personally think the Kirkus review is totaly amiss.  The missing romance part: It is a great strength of the author making her readers anticipate, raising the hopes of something more intimate to happen in the next book.

Life As We Knew It (The Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

213753I don’t think I had high expectations for this book but I was affronted on so many levels at the end of the book and especially after reading a few chapters of the third book in the series.

First of all what would happen if a large asteroid did strike the moon? Could it knock it clear out of its orbit? Objects hit the moon quite frequently, creating new craters on its surface. A meteoroid hitting the moon on May 2, 2006 created a crater about 14 meters wide and three deep. The rock that collided with the moon was only about 10 inches across. It would take another nearly moon-sized object to actually move the moon. If that were to happen, the moon wouldn’t survive the impact. It could send chunks of the moon hurtling toward Earth, and potentially jeopardizing life on Earth as a result of disruption to the lunar cycle. Fortunately, no known nearby asteroids come anywhere close to that size. There is a much bigger chance that the Volcano in Yellowstone might erupt because it felt it was time to do so. And as for this scenario it was way more plausible and better told in Ashfall. If a moon sized object would happen to just spontaneously enter our solar system, targeting to hit our moon at the same velocity as its trajectory, but on an opposite direction to knock it out of its orbit, than I sure as hell can’t believe that no astronomer or scientist or some professionals from the NASA or any other aeronautics & space institution couldn’t have predicted it???

I mean this book basically tells you that all scientists are dumb; it tells you several times that the president of the USA is an idiot and it turns religious belief into something perverted. Believers starve themselves to dead while priests gorge themselves on the charitable donations. Basically the pillars of our society: Education, Religion, Government are being rendered obsolete. It rubs me the wrong way. I can understand the need for survival but not one of them tries to even help someone else. They turn down every call for help that comes from somebody outside of family. They don’t look out for neighbors or friends. But isn’t that the means of being humane?

What majorly pissed me off to no end: Not once do they take their survival in their own hands. They basically sit in their warm house and ration their hoarded food. They have a library near them, they could have borrowed books about how to build stuff (e.g. a fucking greenhouse), or how to make medicine; books for survival. Noooo they borrow romance books and keep learning French instead of trying to find food in the nearby woods, or go hunting for animals or trying to trade with other survivors. They meet with 20 other survivors on Christmas to sing on the street and not once do they cross over their neighbors to trade stuff or ask for any news they might have?  Is this what we are supposed to learn? That in times of trouble you should keep to yourself, relinquish or erroneous belief in religion or government but accepting every good deed as sheer luck? I simply cannot accept that.

And last but not least, I really hoped at some point that at least one person in this family should have died. But miraculously all survived, even their dad, his new pregnant wife and the cat. In the end this whole book is a manifest to the belief in FAITH. Have faith and thou shall prevail. Matthew 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for.”

I so want to be like this family: Have a few hundred dollars on my bank account when the world ends to go shopping, hoard my food and not help anyone and keep my faith that the old lady from across the street will conveniently ASAP so I can have her food and fresh laundered towels. Ha ha …