Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review Wednesday: Kepler One - The Choosing by T.P. Keane

Indication of continuation of the series

Goodreads Blurb:
"The radiation on Earth is killing everyone Zoe Ruthland cares about. After winning the Lottery, she is the only tier five citizen given a chance to start over on a new planet. Seen as unworthy, a criminal, many want her to fail. Zoe must survive training, and the other cadets, to secure her place on the Kepler One spacecraft. But something sinister lurks behind the Government’s plans to save humankind and Zoe has no idea that she is an integral part of it; that she is chosen for another reason."

Thank you to the author, T.P. Keane, and their publicist for gifting me with a copy of Kepler One - The Choosing in exchange for an honest review!

I really enjoyed this book!  I read in all in one sitting in just 3.5 hours which speaks for itself.  It wasn't completely flawless but enjoyable nonetheless.

1.  The characters.  This is the only complicated element for me.  On one hand, the author has taken steps to develop each character.  Their background, their personality, their actions, everything.  For the most part, this effort was entirely successful.  The characters jumped off the page which is a wonderful testament to the author's skill and their dedication to editing.  On the other hand, there are several prominent instances where this failed.  The main character, Zoe, had more lapses than the other characters (and they are more prominently displayed as the only POV is her perspective).  Especially near the end, she acted out of character in a spectacular fashion on several occasions.  She would randomly get angry and barge in places without thinking and would act incredibly irrationally.  This did not line up with her background of growing up in the toughest sector (the world is separated into five sectors, the fifth being the most dangerous, and Zoe grows up in the fifth).  You'd think growing up with that type of environment, you'd learn to temper yourself just a bit or at least have a more critical mind to pick apart situations and assess but Zoe doesn't seem to have any of these traits.  I did enjoy her character, nonetheless, and she provided some interesting discussion on leadership (more on that later).

2.  The plot.  As I mentioned above, I read this all in one go and was entirely engrossed.  This is 75% due to the plot and 25% due to the characters and my interest in their development.  While the characters are fascinating, the plot truly shines in this novel.  Taking a cue from all other successful novels, the author made sure to include an overarching plot line (the goal of getting to a more habitable planet) as well as secondary ones (Zoe and Nathan's exploits, Zoe's journey, and the little tests along the way).  Think a combination of The Hunger Games, Throne of Glass, and Passengers (the movie, not the book).  There is a selection process to determine who will be among the 15 people to go on the ship and travel to the selected planet that is hundreds of light-years away.  This selection process isn't exactly friendly but isn't to the level of The Hunger Games.  This provides tension which drives everything allow that much more smoothly.

3.  The romance.  Yes, there is a romance and yes, there is a love-triangle.  I'm pleased to report, however, that the romance doesn't overtake the plot in any way and the love-triangle itself isn't made too apparent until a couple of occurrences near the end.  Nothing to fret about.  I do hope that the author will keep in mind that romance is a secondary plot line in the next book as well.  The romance doesn't develop all that much because of Zoe's character which I loved as it stays very true to her personality and thought process.  All in all, I think the author is very good about sticking to the limitations of his characters in this instance.

4.  The writing.  I truly enjoyed this author's writing style.  They included some lyrical language but were also careful about making sure everything flowed well.  I can appreciate metaphorical language but there's definitely a time and a place for it and I think the author took the proper steps to ensure this was the case.

5.  The concept/idea.  This is also something I enjoyed immensely.  I loved how the author took the time to go through some of the science (I am by no means an expert in space travel and the bending of space-time in the creation and exploitation of worm-holes by the way) to make everything seem that much more believable.  The author also took the time to really flesh out the pressures of the mission (basically the survival of humanity).  I haven't read too many books related to space travel that I've enjoyed (basically The Martian) so this was a lovely read for me.

The Final Verdict:
All in all, a truly enjoyable novel.  While there were several distinct instances where characters acted extremely strangely for themselves, they were developed well and the plot shone.
4 stars

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Review Sunday: Poisoned Iris by Cindy Mezni

The Red Era #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"Athens was once the cradle of civilization. Now it's slowly but surely becoming the tomb of humanity.

The Red Plague, a violent virus which had run rampant decades ago, left its imprint on the planet and the flesh of men. All that remains of the modern world is an endless wasteland of ruins—Erebos—and two cities—Elysion, the obscure island of the Non-Infecteds about which no one knows a thing, and, Tartaros, the crumbling town of the Infecteds where despair, hatred, violence and poverty are the operative words.

And at the heart of this universe lives Irisya, a sixteen-year-old Non-Infected girl, staying recluse in her home to be safe and relying on her brother, Memphis, for everything.

But then, one day, he disappears without a trace.

Irisya has no choice. To save him, to survive, she will have to brave all the dangers of the outside world."

Friday, May 19, 2017

50/50 Friday (33): Character Whose Life You'd Want/Not Want to Live

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Goodness.  For all my fellow Blogger users, do you ever have those times where the formatting simply REFUSES to work??  That has been me for the past 3 days.  You may have been wondering where this post has been hiding and it's all the HTML's fault!  I would fix the code and then when I would preview it, it would revert back to whatever hinky formatting it had before.  Links refused to be links, blue text felt like being red, the world ceased to make any kind of sense!  I had posts scheduled before hand (all my reviews), thank goodness, but not this post and look where that got me.  In any case, I've given up and there are no links in this post because why not.  I'll put them in later when the world isn't so against me.

Today's Topic: Character Whose Life You'd Want/Not Want to Live

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Author Post Thursday: Fred Holmes (ft. adventures in the Congo and other cool places)

Today I have something special for y'all!  I recently reviewed The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes and he graciously agreed to do an author post!  Fred Holmes has had the experience of adapting a screenplay into a book and has many years of experience in the film field.  We in the bookish community often talk about the struggles of adapting a book into a film but rarely is it ever brought up about the opposite!  Fred has had the unique experience of going through the process and has shared his process and what he learned below.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review Wednesday: Come Home by Lisa Scottoline

Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter's lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her---though it is stressful---and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.

But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own."

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Review Sunday: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses #3

Goodreads Blurb:
"Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all."

Saturday, May 13, 2017

50/50 Friday (32): Character You'd Want/Not Want to Meet

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Character You'd Want/Not Want to Meet

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