August 10, 2012

Review : Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Title : Retribution
Author : Sherrilyn Kenyon
Reading Dates : 15 Jun - 17 Jun 2012
Total Pages : 416

Dark-Hunter, Were-Hunter, Dream-Hunter, Hellchaser series
From Amazon :
Hired gunslinger William Jessup Brady lived his life with one foot in the grave - until the day he finally found a reason to live. In one single act of brutal betrayal, he lost everything, including his life. Brought back by a Greek goddess to be one of her Dark-Hunters, he gave his immortal soul for vengeance and swore he'd spend eternity protecting the humans he'd once considered prey. Orphaned as a toddler, Abigail Yager was taken in by a family of vampires and raised with one belief: Dark-Hunters are the evil who prey on both their people and mankind, and they must all be destroyed. Brought together by an angry god and chased by ancient enemies out to kill them both, William and Abigail must find a way to overcome their mutual hatred or watch as one of the darkest of powers rises and kills both the races they've sworn to protect.

Book Review of Retribution.

It is a bad sign when I think the best part of a book is the bonus scene at the end. And one which has no relevance to the story being told at all.

Retribution was a poorly executed recycling of past plots in the Dark-Hunter series. Like some of the characters in the story, it appears I’ve been through one apocalypse too many. No wondering at the lack of panic shown by the powers that be, be they of the supernatural or ordinary kind. Really why bother sending in the cavalry for a couple of plagues. Why none of the characters thinks to look up one of their many omnipotent allies to stop the end of the world is beyond me. Surely, they can’t all be expectant fathers, can they ? And forgiveness being divine and all that, why should the heroine be punished much less chastised for causing the death of untold hundreds right ? “Oops, I killed the wrong people. And now I’m causing hundreds of innocents to die. I’m really sorry”. “Don’t worry about it. We all make mistakes. The important thing is to move on.” Maybe I’ being vindictive here, but there are some things which should not be so easily forgiven. What do you think ? Am I being too harsh or are the justifications given too simplified ?

But I digress. The plot and the characters are poor imitations of the earlier books in the series. I kept wondering where have I read that before every time the main protagonists start to describe their thoughts on each other. Even the relationship between Sundown and his squire felt like it was copied from a standard protocol of how a Dark-Hunter and his squire’s relationship should be. The jokes made by the main characters felt tired and used. The only laughs came from Sasha who barely played a part here.

As a fan of the Dark-Hunter series who has invested a lot of time and money, I can only say what I’m feeling right now is despair. I definitely need a break from the series or to revisit my favourite books in the series. Just to remind me of the reasons I fell in love with the Dark-Hunter series in the first place.

My conclusions :

  • Would I re-read the book ? Not for a very, very long time.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series ? I'm not sure. I don't want to give up on the series yes, but this book makes me want to just toss it.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? Only because its part of the series.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Not really.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it.

Review : A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix

Title : A Confusion of Princes
Author : Garth Nix
Reading Dates : 10 Jun - 15 Jun 2012
Total Pages : 337

From Amazon :

You'd think being a Prince in a vast intergalactic empire would be about as good as it gets. Particularly when Princes are faster, smarter, and stronger than normal humans. Not to mention being mostly immortal.

But it isn't as great as it sounds. Princes need to be hard to kill—as Khemri learns the minute he becomes one—for they are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Every Prince wants to become Emperor, and the surest way to do so is to kill, dishonor, or sideline any potential competitor. There are rules, but as Khemri discovers, rules can be bent and even broken.

Soon Khemri is drawn into the hidden workings of the Empire and dispatched on a secret mission. In the ruins of space battle he meets a young woman called Raine, who challenges his view of the Empire, of Princes, and of himself.

But Khemri is a Prince, and even if he wanted to leave the Empire behind, there are forces that have very definite plans for his future. . . .

Book Review of A Confusion of Princes.

While A Confusion of Princes doesn’t compare with The Abhorsen Trilogy or The Keys of the Kingdom series, it was still an enjoyable read.

The story doesn’t have many highs and lows but it wasn’t predictable either. Garth Nix simply laid a lot of groundwork so that I was able to see the connections and make a pretty good guess as to the end halfway through the story. Still, I wasn’t completely sure until the end.

As for the world building, the author never fails to amaze me with his imagination. Each of the world his books are set in are so different and incredible that I don’t know how he does it. The 3 teks on which Khemri’s world is built on sounds pretty simple on the surface but a lot of work went into defining them and their uses. The Empire too was a profound construct. The power behind that civilization is both huge and restrictive. While it dominates the universe A Confusion of Princes is set in, it also severely limits the roles of its citizens.

As for the characters, the only one we truly get to know is Khemri. While he is both arrogant and selfish at the beginning, I found it hard to dislike him. Perhaps because he knows he is and sometimes even acknowledges to himself how ridiculous or foolish his behaviour is. And as he survives the situations and challenges put before him, he does grow and learn from his experiences. Most important though, he doesn’t suddenly become selfless hero at the end. He may have grown a heart and come to care for those around him but in the end his goals are still for his own benefit. The only difference being he no longer equates power with happiness.

To sum up, basically I enjoyed reading about Khemri’s adventures as he explores the worlds he lives in.

My conclusions :

  • Would I re-read the book ? Yes
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series if there were one? Probably.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? No. If I had it I would re-read the book but the story wasn't so good that I'd be wanting to re-read it frequently.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Science fiction and space opera fans.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it.

August 7, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays : The Red Pyramid and The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted at Should Be Reading.

Teaser Tuesdays

Share 2 teaser sentences from your current read. Be careful not to include spoilers.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

From Page 39

I just love family meetings. Very cosy, with the Christmas garlands round the fireplace and a nice pot of tea and a detective from Scotland Yard ready to arrest you.

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

From Page 10

Falling in love for the first time had been hard enough. But when the girl you like turns out to be ceramic and cracks to pieces before your eyes - well, it gives 'breaking your heart' a new meaning.
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