Tag Archives: fantasy

[Review] Zeroes — Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti

Book Title:        Zeroes (Zeroes, #01)
Author:               Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti
Number of pages:  560


zeroes - scott westerfeld - book coverEthan, aka “Scam,” has a way with words. When he opens his mouth, whatever he wants you to hear comes out. But Ethan isn’t just a smooth talker. He has a unique ability to say things he doesn’t consciously even know. Sometimes the voice helps, but sometimes it hurts – like now, when the voice has lied and has landed Ethan in a massive mess. So now Ethan needs help. And he needs to go to the last people who would ever want to help him – his former group of friends, the self-named “zeros” who also all possess similarly double-edged abilities, and who are all angry at Ethan for their own respective reasons. Brought back together by Scam’s latest mischief, they find themselves entangled in an epic, whirlwind adventure packed with as much interpersonal drama as mind-bending action.

(re: Goodreads @ Zeroes – Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

— The superpowers in this story aren’t all otherworldly. There’s a human quality to many of their abilities that exudes a magical realism vibe
— Cultural diversity seen through a multi-POV narrative that seamlessly jumps from one voice to another in building perspective
— Limited world-building is not problematic as readers are on the same knowledge playing field as the characters themselves
— Writing is wonderfully paced; 560-pages feels easy breezy
— The romance subplot isn’t too heavy although there’s a cautionary love-v/triangle happening; there are ships you can jump aboard on


Initial Thoughts

This book is incredibly fun. I will now proceed to hype this book up.

Full disclosure: I received an advanced reader copy of Zeroes from the Book Blog Ontario Meet-Up. I extend thanks to Simon Pulse for providing me with the opportunity to review this book.

Continue reading [Review] Zeroes — Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti

[Review] Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard

Book Title:                  Red Queen (Red Queen, #01)
Author:                         Victoria Aveyard
Number of pages:   383


red queen - victoria aveyard coverThe poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

(re: Goodreads @ Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

— Takes the memorable of other [dystopian] worlds and mashes it all up into a new story
— World building is superficially superb but lacks context to really bring the grit of caste societies full circle and feel urgency toward
— Though it is High Fantasy, it feels as though Romance eclipses all other genres. Fundamentally a love-triangle/V but can be seen as a love-pyramid (there are that many suitors…)
— Blends engaging action sequences with morally ambiguous conflicts seen through characters who stand taller by themselves. Developmental-wise, it’s a solid showing for a first installment
— Rating: 2/5


Initial Thoughts:

After months of promising that I would read this…you have all been gifted with a stream of vomit under the cut.

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

Continue reading [Review] Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard

[Review] Messenger of Fear – Michael Grant

Book Title:                  Messenger of Fear (Messenger of Fear, #01)
Author:                         Michael Grant
Number of pages:   272


michael grant - messenger of fear (cover)I remembered my name – Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, faced with the solemn young man in the black coat with silver skulls for buttons, I could recall nothing else about myself.

And then the games began.

The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear.

But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out.

(re: Goodreads @ Messenger of Fear – Michael Grant)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

— POC protagonist; first-person, unreliable-ish POV due to amnesia
—Narrative unfolds using anecdotes reinforced with philosophical undertones engaged through bullying, violence, suicide, and death
— Writing is succinct but reads overly descriptive at the same time
—There isn’t really an umbrella conflict or motivation in part of the protagonist to drive this story forward. With The Messenger in the driver seat, he chooses not to tell Mara (and the readers) details that would help in understanding
—There is no romance but there is a hint of a possible romance
— Rating: 2.25/5


Initial Thoughts

The Messenger of Fear is my first Michael Grant book. It was only okay; perhaps, below okay. So much promise and hype…only to be let down. Le sigh.

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

Continue reading [Review] Messenger of Fear – Michael Grant