November Mini Reviews (2013)

November Mini Reviews (2013)
Mini Reviews

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

Revealed by PC Cast and Kristin Cast3 Stars
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

Once We Were by Kat Zhang 2 Stars
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

Allegiant_audio 3 Stars
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 » 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

Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor 5 Stars
Badge-Comfort-ReadYou 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

Brooke by Veronica Rossi 3 Stars
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

4 Stars
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

4 Stars
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!

Read 16 comments

  1. I quit house of night series like at book 6 or 7. It was getting too ridiculous and way too fake (as far as teens act). It also seemed the series was never going to end… and it’s still going??? Really??? WHAT!

  2. I haven’t picked up the HoN books since ninth book. It seems like nothing ever changes. I loved The Turing Test, but I didn’t read The Most Precious Memory. I’ll have to check that one out. Great mini reviews!

  3. Sorry you didn’t like Once We Were more. I gave it four stars, but when I think back to the book I can’t actually remember that much about it. And yes, Tris and Tobias were so weird in Allegiant. I know so little about science so I didn’t really think too much about that while reading Allegiant, but I did think some of it seemed a little off or weird, but I didn’t think much about it until you said it just now.

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  5. Oh the pile of House of Night books that I have. I really hope I end up liking them.. lol

    Also Laini Taylor!!! I sooo cannot wait for the third book to come out this year. Like I might be dying for it. I need to read this novella though because <3 Zuzana!

    And I'm happy to see you also like the end of Allegiant. It really wouldn't have been true to the other characters any other way and by the end of it I was kinda thinking.. eff Tobias, he's being a whiner about everything. I didn't want them to be together in the end. But did they have sex? I think they did.. D:

    • lol I forgot you haven’t read all those House of Night books! They’re very… teeny. I really do like the novellas much better than the actual series, lol. And you TOTALLY need to read Night of Cake and Puppets! It is THE BEST! <3

      Yeah, Tobias, blah. I liked him a lot in the first book, but he just kinda kept going downhill from there. I'm pretty sure they DID have sex, which is just... BLAH.

  6. Euw to pop culture references in Revealed. Is the entire House of Night series like that? If so I’ll be staying away from it, since that’s one of the things (other than typos) that can kill my reading enjoyment super quickly.

    That’s a shame Once We Were didn’t get into the meat of how things work, because the mechanics would have been the most interesting thing about the series. I mean the first book was pretty good, but like you I was really craving some explanation beyond “this is how things are.”

    I completely agree with you about Night of Cake & Puppets! I absolutely adore everything I’ve read of Laini Taylor’s so far, and she did an excellent job making that novella feel like its own thing. It only made Zuz & Mik’s relationship all the more adorable in the full-length novels, but wasn’t necessary to enjoy them together in the first place.

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