Can’t-Wait Wednesday: “The Fever King” by Victoria Lee

Can't Wait WednesdayCan’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted Tressa at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted Jill at Breaking the Spine.


Happy mid-week! Today for CWW I will be featuring one of the many books I’m looking forward to next month.

39897058Title: The Fever King
Series: Feverwake #1
Author: Victoria Lee
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: March 1, 2019
Pre-order: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Amazon

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39863498-the-gilded-wolves

 

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

I’m pretty excited for this one, so excited that I pre-ordered it last December. It’s only a couple of weeks now ’til The Fever King‘s release and I’ve been hearing nothing but great things about it. I’m sure I’m going to be setting aside everything else once my copy arrives. Good luck trying to reach me while I read.

💗💗💗

Rachel

let's chat

What book/s are you excited for this week?

Review: “The Similars” by Rebecca Hanover

39109661
Title: The Similars
Series: The Similars #1
Author: Rebecca Hanover
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire/Sourcebooks
Publication Date: January 1, 2019
Rating: ⭐⭐
Get it: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Kobo | iBooks

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

ARC provided by publisher through Edelweiss.

 

 

Boarding school mystery with a sci-fi twist. Rebecca Hanover’s debut and series opener delves into a future world, one where clones and cloning exist.

When six clones join Emmaline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class.

The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. Who are these six clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? Who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emma couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and all she can think about is how to get through her junior year without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA replica and one of the Similars.

Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper and deeper into their clique, uncovering dark truths about the clones and her prestigious school along the way. But no one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for who has Oliver’s face.

I don’t remember exactly when I requested for this book, but I do remember reading the summary and being instantly hooked. Clones? You got me! Ethically, the issue of cloning is a dubious one, but it was fascinating, the thought of a world where clones existed.

Sadly, an interesting premise doesn’t always mean a good story.

With the hook of its contemporaries and none of the bite, The Similars fails to make good on what could have been a complex and intriguing plot. It wasn’t really the writing that threw me off because that aspect of this book was okay. The execution, however, was a different story.

There were just too many things happening all at the same time: there’s Emmaline, the main character, still reeling from grief after her best friend Oliver died from an apparent suicide, then the arrival of the six clones, The Similars as they were collective called, at Emma’s school Darkwood Academy, then there’s also The Ten, the anti-clone movement, dubious school administrators with hidden agendas, a mysterious benefactor, a message from beyond the grave. It was just one subplot after another subplot after another subplot. Of course, it’s possible to tackle all of these in a single book, but it just wasn’t handled well in this one. The storytelling felt disjointed and repetitive, and suspending my disbelief felt harder the deeper I delve into this book.

The big cast of characters also didn’t help The Similars‘ case. An over-the-top, one-track villain, an underdeveloped love pairing, the characters were shallowly drawn and poorly utilized. The characters themselves were, for lack of a better word, forgettable. I didn’t get to know much of the many characters who ran around the pages of this book and because of that, without forming any attachment to anyone, I just didn’t care about what happened to any of them.

Overall, though The Similars did have some parts that I enjoyed, this one just didn’t work for me. The fast-paced narrative may draw in readers into this book, and I definitely could see some even sticking through with this series because of that  cliffhanger of an ending, which is great, but, just being honest, this is it for me for this series. There are other books, other trilogies and series that worthy of my time.

About the Author:

050318_0047_edited-1-223x300REBECCA HANOVER is a young adult author and television writer. She earned a bachelor of arts from Stanford University in English and drama and won an Emmy in 2008 as a staff writer on the CBS daytime drama Guiding Light. Her debut novel The Similars is a BookExpo 2018 Editor’s Buzz Pick.

Rebecca lives in San Francisco with her husband and two son, where she enjoys matcha lattes, hoodies, and complete lack of seasons. She aspires to attend an actual hot Pilates class one day.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

(DNF) Review: “The Death Code” by Lindsay Cummings

Title: The Death Code (The Murder Complex #2)22836576

Author: Lindsay Cummings

Publisher: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins

Publication Date: May 26, 2015

Rating: ⭐

With short, fast-paced, alternating point-of-view chapters, The Death Code starts several weeks after The Murder Complex ended. Zephyr keeps the secret about Meadow close—that if she dies, The Murder Complex will be destroyed, too. Meadow, desperate to find her brother, father, and little sister, is determined to fearlessly fight to the end, even if it means sacrificing herself and her friends, new and old. The Death Code introduces a memorable cast of secondary characters and delivers a vivid and scary thrill ride read

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I didn’t recommend The Murder Complex, the first book in Lindsay Cummings’ debut duology. But that one ended in a cliffhanger and the curious part of me still wanted to know how things turn out for Meadow, Zephyr and the rest of the characters still alive at the end of book one, so I picked up The Death Code.

I did not finish it.

The Death Code was, more or less, like its predecessor in that both books had the same problems. Though there were definitely more effort put into worldbuilding and character development, it still felt patchy and half-cooked.

The first part of TDC was the best part of the whole duology. Continuing where TMC left off, we find Meadow and Zephyr separated – Meadow captured and, together with Sketch, imprisoned and tortured by the Initiative; Zephyr, meanwhile, found safety with the Resistance. Things became more interesting when Lark’s twin sister, Sparrow, finally surfaced.

However, in the second part, things started to get weird.

After being rescued by the Resistance, Meadow, Zephyr and Sketch venture out of the Perimeter. They are captured by a group of outsiders who, because of lack of food, eats human flesh (😲‼️ 😲 ‼️) Just before being cooked, the trio were (again) rescued. The man brings the trio to the New Militia – a group built upon what remained of the US military (at least that’s how things seemed to me).

Getting a short history lesson from the General, one of the NM’s leaders, Meadow finds out more about the world her mother ruined. The general then asks Meadow to join the NM and fight with them. She agrees seeing this as her only way to rescue her family who are being held captive by the Initiative at the Ridge, another experimental site which was said to be more brutal than the Shallows.

I stopped reading 66% into the book. The weak writing was just too hard to ignore. Add to that the stilted character development and the wonky worldbuilding.

I really wanted to like this duology because the idea behind it was interesting and I honestly think Lindsay Cummings could have done more with it. Instead, she gave readers something unoriginal. Both TMC and TDC strayed too close to the lines drawn by earlier YA dystopian series -The Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium, The Maze Runner – almost to the point of copying them. It was just something I couldn’t ignore.

This duology was a big let-down for me.

Review: Lindsay Cummings’ “The Murder Complex” (The Murder Complex #1)

13576132Title: The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #)

Author: Lindsay Cummings

Publisher: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins

Publication Date: June 10, 2014

Rating: ⭐

 

 

 

 

I remember the hype this book garnered pre-publishing. A bloody, survivalist futuristic thriller — I was all for it.  I quickly added it to my Want-to-Read shelf on Goodreads, but somehow I kept pushing in down my priority list.

Now, I see why my gut told me to hold off.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Goodreads

The Murder Complex is the problematic love child of every other YA dystopia.

“Kill or be killed.”

That is the running idea backing The Murder Complex. Set in a futuristic Florida where murder is used to control a burgeoning population, TMC tried to be unique and edgy, but only ended up being a confused, hyped-up mess.

This book has a lot of problems, starting with one of the most basic part of any story — worldbuilding.

TMC gives up bits and pieces of its world thru the narrative of both main characters, Meadow and Zephyr. In hindsight, this could have worked upping up the intrigue factor and pushing any reader to continue turning the page if only to find out the what, why and how of the protagonists’ world.

This method, however, fails to work for the author and this book. Instead of setting up a fascinating world, the scattering of information necessary for worldbuilding only created a disjointed and incohesive- sometimes outright confusing – telling of things.

Another major problem I had with this book were the characters. They were both unrelatable and unbelievable, especially the female MC, Meadow. She was written as this badass teen-aged ass kicker trained by her father to kill. Strong, mentally tough, always succeeds, and, if her male counterpart Zephyr is to be believed, beautiful. In short, she’s an impossible character, and I just couldn’t find it in myself to care for her even after I finished reading.

There are a lot more, but I won’t go over the rest. Overall, The Murder Complex disappointed. From the worldbuilding to its characters down to the romance, TMC is so fraught with problems that, sadly, I cannot recommend it.

 

 

Book Music: Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” Playlist

It’s just, what? Six days, five days before the release of the third and the final book in Veronica Roth‘s Divergent trilogy, Allegiant. A lot of people, myself included, have been eagerly (also, impatiently) waiting for it. We all know it has to end but, still, it’s bittersweet. It’s hard to say good-bye to all the characters in the series. We’ve been with them from day one, accompanied them through their struggles, grew to love them. So, as a sort of “saying good-bye” to Tris, Tobias, Christina, Uriah and the rest of the Divergent gang, here are the songs that, in a way, inspired the books.  This is for the first book, Divergent.

Personal note: My faves from the list are Again and Arise by Flyleaf, and Come Alive by Foo Fighters because it really captured the feel of the book. Give it a listen. NO, strike that! Give all of these songs a listen.

Divergent hc c(2)

1. Starts with One – Shiny Toy Guns (We Are Pilots)

This song gets me in touch with the good aspects of Beatrice’s chosen faction

2. Chasm – Flyleaf (Memento Mori)

And this song gets me in touch with the bad aspects of Beatrice’s chosen faction.

3. Come Alive – Foo Fighters (Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace)

This is the love interest’s song for Beatrice.

4. Again – Flyleaf (Memento Mori)

And this is Beatrice’s song for the love interest.

5. Help I’m Alive – Metric (Fantasies)

Beatrice’s initiation song.

6. We Die Young – The Showdown (Temptation Come My Way)

This might as well be the theme song for Beatrice’s chosen faction—it’s what they would choose for themselves.

7. Canvas – Imogen Heap (Ellipse)

This is the “riding on trains” song.

8. Running Up That Hill – Placebo (Covers)

The tone of this song matches the tone of much of the book, for me.

9. Sweet Sacrifice – Evanescence (The Open Door)

I was listening to this song when the first scene I wrote (in chapter 6) popped into my head. That scene led me to the world of the book and its basic plot.

10. Arise – Flyleaf (Memento Mori)

A powerful song that’s perfect for chapters 38 and 39.