Okay, I have quite a few mini reviews for November, but I also have quite a few FULL reviews for November, so I don’t feel bad. But anyway, this time I decided to break the post up a little bit, since I have two different categories going on here.
Full Books & Audiobooks
Revealed (House of Night #11) by PC and Kristin Cast
I mean, gosh, you know. This series. Is it ever going to end? This book was basically just as you’d expect it to be, if you’ve read any of this series at all. Neferet does evil things, drama happens, relationships are formed, relationships are challenged, pop culture references are dropped left and right, Aphrodite does something bitchy… Like, I don’t even know what to say about this book. I was actually surprised by the smart and rational statement that Stark made at one point, though. He didn’t want them to all idolize a certain person who died, simply because they were now dead, because that person wasn’t all good and they needed to remember that. Anyway. You know. Not much else to say.
Once We Were (Hybrid Chronicles #2) by Kat Zhang
After the interesting premise — yet lack of explanation — in What’s Left of Me, I was really hoping for some expansion in the sequel. Unfortunately, I was a bit underwhelmed with the whole thing. Some interesting moral questions were raised (or rather, pushed) in this book, and I did enjoy that. But unfortunately they weren’t really delved into beyond making me uncomfortable, and those were probably my favorite parts of the book. I mean, not that it’s bad. It just felt kind of … typical, predictable, and uneventful? I guess I just wanted more of the interesting parts and less of the stuff-happening-to-move-the-plot-forward. Shrug.
Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth
Hey, look at that, I didn’t hate this book! True, it’s my lowest rated book in this series, but I have good reason. And honestly, the only reason I bumped it up to three stars is because of the ending. Gripes: the science — or lack thereof — was just SO bad. Like, it really kind of makes me sad because it made me feel like either Roth didn’t do enough research or didn’t respect the intelligence of her audience enough to realize how much nonsense she was spitting out onto the page. Sorry, but no. I was also confused by Tris and Tobias. View Spoiler »The whole time they seemed to be wanting to break up with each other, and then the next thing I know they’re making out or having sex! « Hide Spoiler I did feel that the ending was VERY true to each of the characters, their history, their situation, and their world. Some people might not like it, but it was the ONLY thing in this book that felt RIGHT to me.
Novellas & Short Stories
Night of Cake and Puppets (DoSaB #2.5) by Laini Taylor
You see those five stars up there? Pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever handed out five stars to a novella or short story. And I shouldn’t have been surprised at all, because it came from Laini Taylor. This novella was everything I was hoping for and more. You get to peek inside Zuzana’s mind (which is just as adorable and hilarious as expected) AND you get to see things from Mik’s perspective, which is just so sweet. This story is the perfect example of a satisfying novella: fantastic writing, humor, magic, mystery, and a complete story. What continually impresses me about Laini Taylor’s writing is that she makes every story feel so very REAL. This didn’t feel like a “deleted scene,” like so many other novellas. This felt like I was experiencing a night with Zuzana, a night with Mik, a night in that magical world — and it felt like home.
Brooke (Under the Never Sky #2.5) by Veronica Rossi
Learning more about Brooke was… interesting. I never really cared for this character much, but I wanted the opportunity to find out more about her past so I picked up this novella. What I learned was that she’s very confused, emotionally. I’m not sure it really helped me to empathize with her any more than before. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to, but I’m not sure what it was supposed to do then. Most of the events seemed unnecessary, except for one that almost seemed too canon to be included in a supposedly optional novella. I guess I’m kinda undecided on this one. Take it or leave. I’m hoping the suspiciously-canon scene is explained well enough in Into the Still Blue that reading Brooke isn’t required.
The Most Precious Memory by Beth Revis
I found out that Beth Revis had written this short story for the Merry Fates blog a while back and of course I had to read it! Seriously, I love this woman’s imagination. At first I was wondering if it was going to be tied to the Across the Universe series somehow, but I don’t think it is. No matter, because it captured my imagination very quickly; anything involving memories and dreams fascinates me. I love when a short story is conclusive enough to be satisfying, but still open enough to leave me thinking “this could be more!” I have no idea if she plans to write more involving this world, but if she does, I would be ALL over it.
The Turing Test by Beth Revis
Another short story by Beth Revis, this time published in a sci-fi magazine (and available to read for free online!) — I couldn’t resist. I love mind games and research studies, so this story was right up my alley. It was fun trying to figure things out along with Elektra, and while I guessed somethings correctly, I was pleasantly surprised by others. This was such a fun story — definitely recommended for anyone who wants a quick sci-fi read!