Mini Reviews – January 2019

Title: Gemina
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Rating: 3/5

I’m not the biggest fan of the Illuminae series in general. I liked the first book enough to read the rest of the series, but there’s just something that this lacks that I can’t put my finger on. The formatting is phenomenal and unique and the story is fascinating and, at times, keeps me on the edge of my seat. But there’s so much unnecessary tech talk and background information that it takes away from the main story. Illuminae was certainly better, this just seemed like a forced sequel with new characters that I had to decide whether or not I cared about them. Overall, I found Hanna to be the stereotypical “tough girl” where she puts herself in gradually more dangerous scenarios to make herself seem more strong and independent (almost like Kady…hmm).

Title: The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm
Series: Tales from Alagaësia #1
Author: Christopher Paolini
Rating: 3.5/5

Eragon is not only one of my favourite series, but it’s also a very beloved book of mine that I hold close, so when this popped up in my inbox I just knew I had to buy it. The relief of being in this world again was amazing. The first portion, the Fork, was probably my favourite of the three stories. It showed where some of my most loved characters ended up after Inheritance so long after its release. The Witch was almost equally as good but dragged enough that I felt I was just going through the motion of flipping through pages, not really immersing me in the story. I could have done without the story of the Worm simply because it felt like a fairytale, which it essentially was. With this book, I had hoped for more actual stories of Eragon and Saphira, but I’ll settle for these short stories just to relive the experience and be inside the world of Alagaësia one more time.

Title: Dark Matter (ARC)
Author: Blake Crouch
Rating: 5/5

Sci-fi is one of my favourite genres and every time I read a book like this I remember why. Dark Matter is exactly the book I was looking for. From interesting main characters to heart-stopping thrills to scientific concepts that blow the reader’s mind, it has everything a sci-fi reader is looking for and more. Crouch shows that, with the advances of modern technology, the amount of possibilities we have at our fingertips is infinite, but that we need to exercise caution as well. With great power comes great responsibility, as they say, and the main character Jason can relate to that completely. After being torn away from his wife and the life he has always known, Jason enters the world of the multiverse theory. For those of you that don’t know, essentially this is the belief that every action we make splits us off into another, alternate universe that is completely or only slightly different from our own. This is the story of fighting the possibilities to find the life he loves more than any other, no matter what it takes.

Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Rating: 4/5

I have always had this fascination with sirens. There’s not really a reason behind it, I just think they’re cool and remind me of Greek mythology. I’ve heard that this is supposed to be a sort of retelling of The Little Mermaid but darker, which I can certainly see, but also kind of an insult considering how unique this whole concept is. The dynamic between narrators Lira and Elian (love the name) is refreshing and really helps build their relationship from the bottom up. The look at what a bad ruler/overlord/queen can do to their kingdom is quite frankly earth-shattering and almost disturbing to look at, but it’s the reality. Lira is sassy and doesn’t just take no for an answer, she goes and gets what she wants but without having the cliche tough girl act that drives me up the wall making her easily my favourite character in the book. Elian, while a somewhat typical prince that just wants to escape his duties, manages to add his own twist to the world by being a pirate! A pirate prince! That’s cool guys, come on. I’m so glad this was a standalone, though. So many books these days get dragged out into series and having this one story tightly bound and finished in just around 350 pages is exactly what I needed for an interesting, fast read.

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