January 27, 2014

Champion by Marie Lu

Book three of the Legend Trilogy. this review of Champion has some spoilers, so if you haven't read book two, Prodigy, stop reading now!
After the failure of the assassination plot to kill the new Elector, Anden, Day is now even more beloved by the republic and provided a high level military assignment. June has integrated back into the politics of the nation, by serving as  a nominee for the Princeps position. On the brink of a peace treaty with the Colonies, negotiations fall apart when the Colonies claim that the Republic has intentionally infected them with a plague. The Colonies have joined forces with Africa, and are breathing down the neck of the Republic, demanding a cure or face attack. The Republic needs to use Day's brother, Eden, to find a cure, but Day will not allow it. Anden brings a team to the technology rich Antarctica to appeal for their help in resisting a combined attack from the Colonies and Africa. Intertwined is the relationship between Day, June, and Anden. While the ending is satisfying with some surprises, for me, this was the least satisfying book of the trilogy. The writing at some points became trite for me. The voice given to Day became less believable for me. The narrative that internalizes June's love for Day, and Day's for June was a distraction. I enjoyed the sections that were science-fiction in nature, especially the sections taking place in the technologically superior Antarctica.
Reed Reads Score: 3

January 4, 2014

Best Books 2013

Well, I just read last year's "Best Books" and with disdain, did not meet my resolution of reading more. In fact, I read less. Where does the time go? Having read less, my list is shorter. Again, science fiction/dystopian dominate but there are two standouts one realistic, and the other so unique, it can't be categorized. I have fun with this end of the year exercise, and I'm sure you have your own opinion, which is what this is about; exchanging our thoughts, ideas and spreading the word about what we love!

Posted March 2, 2013
The second book in Marie Lu's Legend Trilogy doesn't disappoint. Plenty of action, some romance, plot twists and some surprising social commentary make this an unusually good middle book of a trilogy.

Posted April 18, 2013
The interweaving of fairy tales with science fiction is unique, but Marissa Meyer handles it deftly in her Lunar Chronicles series. Scarlet, Little Red Riding Hood reincarnated, is a head strong, saucy character that I loved reading. 

Posted June 8, 2013
The best realistic fiction tackles a problem in a way that makes it real, but not preachy. Wonder takes the issue of disfigurement, and how people treat and deal with the issue from many different levels. It will tug at your heart, but will not manipulate you. 

Posted August 3, 2013
While yet another dystopian novel, this one has a strong female protagonist, yet no romance. This one is purely about survival and will leave you wondering where it is going and could this happen?

Posted November 17, 2013
For years House of the Scorpion has been one of my go-to science fiction novels, with rarely a student disappointed. There must have been pressure for a sequel, and so we have Lord of the Opium. Even with many years between books, this picks up Matteo's story flawlessly and tells his story as only a master storyteller can.

Posted December 31, 2013
Saving the best for last, but unfortunately you can't read this until March 2014, when it is officially released. This story will slowly pull you in, and then with beautiful writing, takes you to places you never expect to go.

January 2, 2014

Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman

A brother and sister are left at home under the care of their father, as mum attends a conference. Dads are often portrayed as bumbling idiots that haven't a clue as to how to care for their children, and one might think that this is another blatant example of that, until you get to the end. A father leaves the kids alone, so he can fetch some milk for their morning cereal. As he is returning home with milk in hand, he is abducted by an alien spaceship. This leads him to a series of encounters and adventures,  as he attempts to get home with the milk.  A light, quick read, that for me was a bit ho hum. Bring this home to read aloud to your younger brothers and sisters...add a little drama to it, and they will really get a kick out of it! The illustrations by Skottie Young are fun pen and ink drawings that are integral to making the story a humorous romp.
Reed Reads Reviews: 3