Category Archives: Science-Fiction

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter

Mad Scientist's Daughter

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Genre: Science-fiction, Romance, Adult

Expected Publication: February 7th 2013 by Angry Robot

The Plot.

“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”

He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task now is to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion… and more.

But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

The Review.

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a novel that moved me to tears. I truly did not expect to feel so emotional about a robot. I mean a robot to me has always been metal pieces controlled with complicated electronic circuits inside and sometimes, occasionally the robot may have a system that allows responses. However, Finn is a robot like no other. He was human, he felt human to me and ultimately I couldn’t displace him as not being human and this humanity that surrounded Finn made his story all the more heart-breaking because whilst our protagonist is following Cat growing up from a very young age to her later years which works surprisingly well across the novel, I felt that there was a strong focus through the novel on Finn and that viewing the world through his eyes would have really changed the workings of the novel because I would love to get into his mind and delve further because he has a complex character that is still hard to pinpoint by the end of the novel. I am frankly enamoured with Finn and this is probably why I sobbed quite a lot when reading The Mad Scientist’s Daughter.

“His eyes loomed steadily in the buzzing light of the porch. His skin was much too fair, sallow beneath the swath of black hair that flopped across his forehead.”

Don’t get me wrong, this novel is far from being faultless, but I did really enjoy the novel. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a gritty novel that whilst it delves into the world of science-fiction, it touches on friendship, relationships, loss, grief and a changing world. It isn’t full of flowers and happiness, Clarke shows her versatility as an author as she takes on loss of close family relations, abusive relationships and coming to terms with your feelings for others and the meanings that truly lay behind these. I think the cover perfectly encapsulates the kind of desolation that The Mad Scientist’s Daughter delves into and the moon that becomes a very vital part of the story. If you are looking for a happy novel, then The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is not it and I suggest you run far away. However if you want something that’s gritty, emotional and an all around rollercoaster, but still manages to end of a moment of hope and love then pick up The Mad Scientist’s Daughter because I don’t see how it cannot fail to wow.

Cat is the protagonist of this tale and she’s a very complex character. Her relationship with her parents is rather turbulent, but I am thankful to say they are not absent. They show concern for her and whilst they aren’t always present they genuinely care for her welfare and their actions dictate that they only endeavour to give her the best with pushing her. Despite all of this, Cat is not a happy character and she comes with her fair share of her problems. Personally, her isolation as a child with only her robot tutor, Finn, for company and then her friendship group of rather unstable, gothic junkies through high-school lead me to say that this clearly influences Cat’s rather wild behaviour. She’s not an easy character to get along with and whilst I can’t say I liked her, I could connect with her and I found her issues and feelings moving and turbulent. She clearly felt conflicted throughout the novel about Finn and what he can actually be to her, after all, he is a robot and she can’t fathom his nature. It’s rather sad their relationship and the pushing and pulling that takes place and it’s always one of my favourite aspects of a romance to see a rocky path to love and these two take a real roller-coaster. Cat through the end of it, manages to stick to her beliefs after being a very flighty and indecisive character throughout particularly when she lost herself. I did like that she seemed to have matured and found a semblance of who she truly was by the end of the novel and this allowed me to like her more by the end.

“You’re welcome.” He regarded her with his dark eyes. Cat crawled forward on her bed and reached across the chasm between them to pull the chair, with him in it, closer to her.”

The one thing that I didn’t like about The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is that we had very little background to the state of the world and what had happened. Clare seemed to skip straight  over this and I was always hoping that we get some idea of what this “destruction” was and the extremes temperatures they had which all led to the robots being brought in to rebuild the world. I felt we had a great lack of world building for the past and this was Clare just seemed to drop. Everything else about the novel excelled because it was so character driven with fantastic, primary and secondary characters, but the history of the world seemed to vanish. For me, with this, Clare’s novel would be in a whole other league, but nevertheless I still enjoyed it immensely.

Finn is a robot and that will not change no matter how much humanity you apply to him and this was an interesting concept to deal with. I can see how this may make some people uncomfortable in reading because of that, but if you look at the perspective of his behaviour and his feelings then he’s not just a hunk of metal. You need to push aside him as a robot, and look at the romance and Finn as a person because he can be moving and he raised emotions in me. He was a character I grew to respect and love and he’s the reason I kept crying. If it were not for Finn, I do not think The Mad Scientist’s Daughter would be quite the same and I’m afraid my favourite Star Wars robot, C-3PO has been replaced by a new one who’s after my heart. Clare clearly excelled with Finn’s character and I think she worked wonders on the angle of the robot. She also followed this up with protests and underground groups working to gain rights for robots and the changing environment of the world meant that robots were being accepted and I liked the political aspect of the novel and Finn’s character because he was clearly entangled with these elements.

“I can’t tell you what it means to be the only one of my kind,” he said. “I can’t… There is a lack in myself. But your thesis almost filled it in. It was… a start.”

Clare does a fantastic job of building up secondary characters and relationships outside of Finn and Cat because the novel does focus on their relationship it does not solely revolve around it. Clare builds a world up around Cat, so we can only see the world and the people that she connects with. Outside of this we are blank, but because Cat seems to run into lots of people it actually works surprisingly well because we don’t feel confined to just a few characters. The strongest characters I feel are Cat’s parents and in particular her father who plays the strongest secondary character in the novel, but this is probably important because he is the “Mad Scientist”. I didn’t think this aspect of the novel was played on strongly enough about him being the “Mad Scientist” because whilst Cat dealt with issues from other teenagers it was never truly explored. The meaning of this name is implied, but it’s never stated obviously and I think Clare could have explored it a lot further to a greater advantage of her novel.

Through The Mad Scientist’s Daughter Clare presents her versatility of an author to broach both into Young Adult fiction and Adult fiction as you may more commonly know her as the author of The Assassin’s Curse and this novel is incredibly different. I like that the two novels were very different and reflected two entirely different meanings and that she didn’t try to apply the style of The Assassin’s Curse to The Mad Scientist’s Daughter because she made them two entirely different things. If I’m honest, I enjoyed The Mad Scientist’s Daughter more because I thought it was more developed in meaning, but that The Assassin’s Curse has the stronger world foundations. Either way I recommend both novels without reserve, but suggest if you prefer young-adult that you stick to Clare’s The Assassin’s Curse.

Overall, whilst I can nit-pick at The Mad Scientist’s Daughter and I do not see it as a perfect novel, it is one that I could connect and enjoy despite my emotional outbursts and this is what makes it one of my favourite releases of the year so far. Perfection does not always equate to enjoyment in my opinion, so I think despite the few points of contention that you may have with The Mad Scientist’s Daughter or people’s queasy reaction over Finn as a robot, you shouldn’t disregard this novel because it is definitely a stunner in the making. There are lots of brilliant elements that The Mad Scientist’s Daughter manages to encapsulate with the emotion, the characterisation, the politics and the pacing that whilst this novel pushes being quite lengthy keeps it moving and kept me reading. I’ll be looking out for more works from Clare because she’s an author to watch out for.

*quotes taken from an uncorrected arc e-copy provided by Angry Robot via NetGalley.

5 books 



Filed under 2013 Publication, 5 Books, Adult, Angry-Robot, Cassandra Rose Clarke, E-book, Romance, Science-Fiction

Katya’s World

Katya's World

Katya’s World by Jonathan L. Howard

Genre: Science-fiction, Young-Adult

Series: Russalka Chronicles #1

Published: November 6th 2012 by Strange Chemistry

The distant and unloved colony world of Russalka has no land, only the raging sea. No clear skies, only the endless storm clouds. Beneath the waves, the people live in pressurised environments and take what they need from the boundless ocean. It is a hard life, but it is theirs and they fought a war against Earth to protect it. But wars leave wounds that never quite heal, and secrets that never quite lie silent.

Katya Kuriakova doesn’t care much about ancient history like that, though. She is making her first submarine voyage as crew; the first nice, simple journey of what she expects to be a nice, simple career.

There is nothing nice and simple about the deep black waters of Russalka, however; soon she will encounter pirates and war criminals, see death and tragedy at first hand, and realise that her world’s future lies on the narrowest of knife edges. For in the crushing depths lies a sleeping monster, an abomination of unknown origin, and when it wakes, it will seek out and kill every single person on the planet.

My Review:

Katya’s World is a novel unlike most I’ve read recently. I’ve been agonising over this review for a while in how to phrase the experience of reading. This novel isn’t perfect, but I don’t think anything truly can be; it’s an ideal that doesn’t exist, but it’s a brilliant concept! It blends the young-adult genre and the technicality of science-fiction into something that’s enjoyable, understanding and engaging.

Russalka. A world inhabited by descendants from Earth who are Russian. Sounds simple enough, until you add into the fact they are no outer space, long estranged from Earth and their original culture and all they hold is the name. Howard creates an entirely new race of people, with a different system and a very different form of survival. Submarines are not our common commute method, but Russalka is basically water with different communities built on these platforms. The world building is pretty fabulous and all this background built around it really impressed me. Howard really makes his writing an craft rather than an art.

“The first act of the thousands selected was to name their new home. They looked to folklore and chose the name Russalka, after a race of mermaids, beautiful and mysterious. If they had looked deeper into the myth, they might have changed their minds – a Russalka was a predator that would use her charms to draw men to the water, where they would be drowned and fed upon.”

Our main character is Katya Kuriakova who certainly has her share of turmoil. Katya to us seems rather young and this makes her all the more astounding as a main character. She’s forced to grow up quickly and she shows all the intelligence and maturity she shows reflects the harsh, gritty reality of Russalka. If you’re looking for a tale of flowers and happiness, don’t expect to find it here because whilst Katya’s World isn’t without hope, it’s not one for the fainthearted. I liked Katya as a character and I thought she was intuitive and caring, however my one criticism of the novel would be that we didn’t get to know her. The novel is seen through her eyes in first person, and I think Howard kind of forgot to tell us about her. What she looks like and her personality. It unveils rather slowly and not entirely by the end, so I’d just like to know a little more about her as a person that seeing the world through her eyes because when she talked about herself I really visualised her in my head.

“Her damned nose. She  was just going to end up looking sweet and, in all likelihood,  adorable. It always happened. She could drown a hospital and they’d still let her off for being in possession of a button-nose.”

Then there is Kane. I’ll not tell you a lot about this guy because there is so much to learn about him and be unveiled as you go along and he’s pretty mysterious. I wouldn’t want to ruin that for you, but he’s a very rugged, surprising character that has a lot of depth and a lot of skeletons in cupboards. He really didn’t turn out to be who I thought he’d be and I really appreciated that fact that he was different. I’ve been tired of the mundane male characters that have to sweep the heroine of their feet. He wasn’t dashing or noble and don’t expect to be finding romance in Katya’s World because this does not focus in the novel. It’s a tale about friendship bonds, mysteries, betrayals and loyalty that allow it to bumble along and blossom.

“Kane raised his hands. “Sorry. She’s armed and a bit nervous. I should shut up.”

Ultimately, something that sold Katya’s World to me from the beginning was the fact that it was so unique and engaging. I didn’t expect what happened in Katya’s World at all. It was entirely unpredictable and all the more fabulous because of it. I felt that at every turn a new twist was being thrown in and we were exploding both literally and figuratively in a whole new direction. It was most impressive.

Then we add in the plethora of secondary characters from Uncle Lukyan, The Chertovka and all the Feds, martials, pirates really round the novel off. This is where Howard flourished with his characterisation, and I felt if this depth had been added to Katya this novel might have just gone above and beyond.

Katya’s World might lack romance, but that should never go against the novel because at the moment it really isn’t needed. At all. The novel has so much to offer on a plot basis that doesn’t need a romance to fill its pages and detract from the story which makes it truly refreshing and engaging. I urge each and everyone of you to go out and get yourself a copy of this novel because hoping on the Russalka Chronicles train that is set to be a trilogy I’m sure is not going to disappoint you.

Look out for my interview with the author Jonathan L. Howard where I tackle romance, science-fiction and the YA genre and the all important what does he have in store for us next?

5 books

Thank you to NetGalley and Angry Robot for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for my honest review.

* Quotes are taken from and uncorrected proof copy and may change in the final draft.


Filed under 2012 Publication, Jonathan L. Howard, Science-Fiction, Strange Chemistry, Young Adult

Degrees of Wrong

Degrees of Wrong

Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett

Genre: Romance, Science-fiction, Adult

Published: August 28th 2012 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

This time, the straight-and-narrow path could be the road to ruin. Dr. Elyse Morgan’s mission: find the cure to the HTN4 virus. The compensation, courtesy of the United Nations: a lab stocked with hi-tech goodies, limitless resources and enough chocolate to make her rear look like a cellulite farm. Bonus: she gets to live.

Rescued (kidnapped) and secreted (imprisoned) on an undersea warship, Elyse adjusts to her assumed identity as a cadet with the finesse of a toeless ballerina. Her sulfuric temper and blatant insubordination capture the unwanted attention of the ship’s captain, the gorgeous, infuriating, engaged Nicoli Marek.

Elyse would rather perform her own autopsy than become the other woman, but Nicoli—who’s as full of himself as he is of secrets—regards his impending marriage as a mere political transaction. And Elyse as fair game.

As Elyse’s suspicions about the UN’s true agenda mount along with her attraction to the relentless, chronically shirtless captain, she must choose between the murky path to everything she’s ever wanted, or the squeaky-clean path of self-sacrifice—which could mean taking the secrets of the virus with her to the grave.

My Review:

Honestly, my first impression of the cover—which  honestly is my selling point of a novel; fickle I know—is that this book was about mermaids or underwater creatures. Truthfully, it’s pretty far from the truth, we’re set in a world that’s riddled with secrets and corruption and a new disease released by a terrorist group that is striking down the population. However, I was so glad to find all this along with a romance that is scorching, but sadly seemingly doomed from the start. Our protagonist is wily, determined and intelligent and to throw into the mix we have the shirtless smooth captain who ties you up in riddles. I loved it!

HTN4 is a virus strain that’s a more modern version of the ‘Black Plague’ and is striking down the population quickly and it’s deadly. Not only that, but a terrorist group released this virus and they’re using it as a biological weapon to up the intensity. The novel clearly drags in politics in the future setting of 2053 with the UN needing to find a cure, and the terrorist group closely on their heels. In the middle of this all, we have our protagonist Elyse and she certainly has a lot of problems to deal with. However, she’s not about to break so easily, but she gives us some entertainment along the way.

“This must be the Information Extraction Room. Pushing back fear, I examined my surroundings, searched for the torture devices. The concrete walls were a stark, institutional white. No tools or straps hung from the ceiling, no eerie hooks protruded from anywhere. Of course, I couldn’t see behind me—maybe everything was placed out of sight, in case they could get me to talk without torture. I had, after all, confirmed my name without so much as a paper-rock-scissors.”

Elyse from the moment I met her had wrapped herself around my heart and refused to let go because she was such a character. She’s not the perfect Mary-Sue nor the moulded cliché protagonist for the romance genre, she had an individual personality to her. She’s clearly highly intelligent and her efficient planning and work ethic really push the novel in multiple directions quickly to keep our attention engaged. She also has the most unhealthy addiction to chocolate—a quirky characteristic that really rounds her character. Ultimately her relationship with the other characters of the novel is what makes her truly entertaining because she maintains this professional distance, but then slowly and not always with her consent they slide under her skin and into her system. It really builds the novel up the different directions the story gets drawn out into and the plethora of secondary characters behind her and The Captain really sustain an entertaining romance read.

“Captain Marek made me forget my name by catching me when I fell—at a time when I was emotional, vulnerable, kidnapped, for God’s sake. It didn’t mean he could undermine my ability as a doctor. Besides, I didn’t even like the man. He was about as compassionate as the flu. And like the flu, I’d get over him and his feverish touch. Right?”

Elyse comparing a man to the flu really had me. If Captain Marek was my flu, I’d want him all year around, because he certainly makes you hot. He’s an educated, well-versed man of authority who’s bossy, smart-ass and his use of persuasive methods are clearly the way to go with the opposite sex. From the moment he is introduced I was a puddle at his feet. His back story begins to unravel and Elyse’s total ignorance to his background really adds to the novels twists and turns that make it so much more than just a romance. Captain Marek may be a hot body, but he’s also a smart brain. And he makes an impression upon his introduction.

“Instead, my cheek smacked against Captain’s chest, forcing him to wrap his arms around me to hold me  steady. There, pressed against him, I wondered if the dock wouldn’t have been a softer landing. Everything hiding under his shirt was solid, hard, planed. I tried to convince myself that the heart ripping through me was just from embarrassment. But myself didn’t believe it.  Gentler then I expected given the circumstances, he pried me from his chest and peered down at me, his deep brown eyes smoldering in what looked like disbelief.”

Anybody else want a fan? I know I need one. He’s just so serious. However, not everything about him is serious, we see this as the front of him, but then you get to know him and he’s one of those men with two sides. The front he has to show to the world and then who he actually is and seeing this unveil is really sweet.

“Oh!” I said, infuriated anew. I tried to grab the papers from his hand, but he stood and held them over his head. Even jumping, I couldn’t reach them.

“This behaviour is not very becoming, Dr Morgan.” He laughed as I punched him in the gut.”

Two fabulous characters are then added to by the developed, complex plot that draws in the reader from the very first moment with it’s fast pace, and unique ideas. There is so much to uncover and I don’t want to spoil it, but you get a little bit of everything. I think romances, fantasy and science-fiction lovers alike can find something to enjoy from this novel. I found the strengths in the characters and the dynamics and the political correctness of this novel between characters clearly had me smiling at the social structures. I think this book has so much to offer, my only complaint was the ending. It was too soon and rather unexpected. I wanted further development into some of the loose threads the author had about some of the other characters, so I do hope we get a second novel (which I haven’t seen any plans for at this moment) to explore some of the secondary characters.

4 books

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 4 Books, Adult, Anna Scarlett, E-book, Romance, Samhain Publishing, Ltd., Science-Fiction

Eve and Adam

Eve and Adam

Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

Genre: Science-fiction, Young-Adult, Romance

Expected Publication: October 2nd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, Emma-ose, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible.

While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything… until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and Emma-Rose may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely.

My Review:

The expectations I had for this novel were high! The premise of Eve and Adam leaves one undoubtedly excited and when I got hold of this I couldn’t wait to start. However, when I started reading things just seemed to trickle down hill from there. I wouldn’t label this book as bad or rubbish, it just didn’t blow my mind like I expected it to. There were no little intricacies or details of the genetics. The explosions of action were rather sedate and expected almost. At times I even felt like the plot was a little too predictable. However, this story does manage to be well-written, enjoyable and engaging. It hooks you from the first moment to keep reading on, for whilst it may not have a accelerating, heart-wrenchingly fast speed, it does have a unique direction and one that has left me wanting to read the sequel.

Evening is the main character who predominantly narrates the story. There are interludes of Solo and then even Adam when he appears, but not nearly enough to ramp up the pace. Evening’s narration seems to follow at a more sedate pace and is far less interesting than that of her male counterparts. If only we’d witnessed more changing of perspective to Solo and Adam, I think the novel would have stood to substantially gain more excitement. For in the first part of the novel much of Evening’s narration is spent character building and learning about her. This isn’t a bad thing, I just felt like there was too much focus on this and not enough on the plot which seems to take a back seat in this story.

The character building I would say is worthwhile because the connection that Evening and Aislin—her best friend—form is one that’s easily understood and allows you to fathom much of Evening’s actions throughout the novel to aid her friend. I think it holds a strong point for the novel and it’s something I could reflect into the real world the type of friendship they have is unwavering and problematic, but a friendship nevertheless.

The cover states “Eve and Adam” which is very interesting for Eve is the first named and actual the name Evening takes on from Solo. The relationship between Eve and Solo is interesting to witness. It takes a very rocky road and was rather unpredictable. At times I was unsure in which direction Evening was going to take and it frustrated me, but at the same time, finding the romance a little unpredictable was engaging for the plot was a little more predictable at points.

“Stop projecting your feelings on me,” Solo says.

It’s a breathtakingly effective put-down.

However, the cover and the title are rather misleading because we have very little focus on Adam really in this novel. He is present, we just know very little about him and the sequel which is to be “Adam and Eve” makes things even more frustrating for the novels direction sounds very changeable.

Moving on to focus on the plot, there is very little information on the genetics of the story. I can understand the apple on the front with the jigsaw pieces and we even have Evening focus on an apple for the first part of the story, but overall, I felt there was a lack of the “science-fiction” element in this story and much more could have been done to push it into the story without overfilling the storyline with biological terms none of us understood. Things were rather just seemingly placed and happened. And whilst Evening claims to adore genetics and be smart, there seems very little evidence of this, throughout the story.

“Genetics. I like genetics, the rules, the order. My best friend, Aislin, says it’s because I’m a control freak.”

Nevertheless the plot pushes on and there are unexpected moments at the end where things move on more at the end in several different directions that I found entertaining. It would have been much better if the whole novel had contained this kind of anticipation and excitement the first half lacked.

Another point in favour of this book is that the romance doesn’t overshadow the plot and it is there enough to keep you interested and smile, but not too much that it becomes sickly or annoying. Be prepared for the fear of a love-triangle if you don’t like them because I know at moments it looks as though there may be a love triangle in this story, but really when you look closer into things, it doesn’t look quite possible. I hope the foundations of the relationships in this novel will be developed more in the sequel, which I will be looking forward to hoping it invigorates me much more than Eve and Adam.

3 books

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* Quotes are taken from and uncorrected proof copy and may change in the final draft.

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for my honest review.


Filed under 2012 Publication, 3 Books, E-book, Feiwel & Friends, Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate, Romance, Science-Fiction, Young Adult


GlitchTitle: Glitch

Author: Heather Anasasiu

Series: Glitch #1

Genre: Young-Adult, Dystopia, Romance, Futuristic, Science-fiction

Expected Release Date: August 7th 2012 by St. Martin’s Press

Plot: In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network. When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers. As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse. In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.

Review: I thought this book was very unique!

The idea of lacking emotions was a concept I struggled to understand and fully comprehend to how it could work in this situation of a society, never mind a love triangle. However, once I began reading the book, the story begins to unravel and the situation becomes clear of how emotions can develop and the innocence behind it is really profound!

My main issue with the emotion came when I realised the novel was from a first person narrative. I didn’t understand how a lack of emotion could be interpreted through a first person narrative, but surprisingly for the moments where emotion is not present or at the back of Zoe’s mind, it works effectively with the clean cut, and factual statistics of the surrounding area.

The novel takes a real look into society and its hierarchy and how we realistically can move to this direction. I felt the novel distinctly set up a history that could provide the resulting society and its functioning. The idea of a V-chip to control the people and how their history has been manipulated is much more believable than certain dystopia novels and although the idea does border on science-fiction it works effectively to balance the two.

The characters: Zoe. Zoe is the girl we follow through the novel and we’re fully centred into her mind. I liked how we managed to uncover more than Zoe did about herself. Despite being in first person narrative, it works and it added to the excitement that Anasasiu created. I’ll admit I’ve yet to read a first person narrative where we’ve known more than the main character in the sense that Glitch allows us. Zoe is a character we watch mature and grow into her own self and kick-ass heroine by the end! She stands for what is right and what she believes, something at times we fear she may allowed to be trampled down by the bossy boys who surround her. However she pulls herself back from teetering on the edge where at times she’s in fear of being swallowed up by the commandeering presence of other characters.

The boys. They were interesting enigmas on their own and each offered very different traits that gave a good contrast. I felt despite the society they were from, we could still place them within our society as everyday people we know and this allowed the book to drop again to a realistic level. They added to the excitement and twist and certainly added an ever present friction and tension in the books that built the anticipation. However, having said that Max is a character I found I could not like in any way, shape or form (literally!). I tried to like him and he even seemed like he would hold redeeming qualities, but by the end of the story all hope was lost on his character.

The love triangle is something I think some people may feel like its been overdone before. To me, the love triangle was not what I expected and it’s made clear once you get into the space of the characters and understand the way they work, it becomes much more clear why the love triangle is required in this situation. I immediately sided with one of the boys, which cleared up any conflicting emotions one can sometimes feel with a love triangle.

I have to admit this story made me a little weepy in places because the turbulent emotions Anasasiu takes us through are certainly extremes and they had me clutching the edge of my seat and reaching for a tissue over the situations Zoe managed to get herself into. This book manages to play on all the emotions and never allows you to fall into a sense of comfort. There are twists and turns at every corner! Predictable this book is not!

The only other dystopia novel I’ve read is ‘The Hunger Games’ and this was nothing alike! However I enjoyed this book with equal vigour and devoured it eagerly. I will very much be looking forward to buying a copy to install on my book shelf! So while I urge you to flock and pick up this book, stick with the book because certain parts are better than others!


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Filed under 2012 Publication, 4 Books, Dystopia, E-book, Futuristic, Heather Anastasiu, Romance, Science-Fiction, St. Martin's Press, Young Adult

The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale

The Twisted Tale of Stormy GaleTitle: The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale

Author: Christine Bell

Series: Stormy Gale #1

Genre: Steampunk, Historical-Fiction, Adult, Romance

Published: April 2011 by Carina Press

Plot: I’m a time pirate—born in 1810, now a 21st-century woman. I travel through time trying to right wrongs without disrupting the fragile balance between what is and what can never be.
That’s why it’s vital that I go to 1836 and find the man who conned my brother out of his Time Travel Mechanism as quickly as possible. If the technology falls into the wrong hands, it could change the world as we know it. The notorious Duke of Leister definitely qualifies as the wrong hands. An amateur scientist of the slightly mad variety, he’s bound to figure out how to use the TTM sooner rather than later.
I knew this wouldn’t be easy. But I wasn’t counting on him being as sexy as hell. Or winding up chained to his bed…

Review: I thoroughly enjoyed reading this short story.

First we’ll start with the two problems I had.

One was the length, I felt it was too short to really get into the story and enjoy the creative characters and depth that was just on the verge of being accomplished, but was then brushed over too quickly for my liking. I feel this book would have been utterly mind-blowing if the author had just taken the time to describe the situation a little more and elongate the ending. Normally some books over-do the ending by dragging it out, but this was not enough for me to wrap everything up so quickly in a short, quick, couple of pages. This just didn’t work for me.

Secondly, the background detail to the time and characters for this story to be ‘Steampunk’ or even historical fiction was sorely lacking. This frustrated me because I wanted to know where Stormy came from, not just London and a street urchin. I wanted the full gory past with all the horrors and hardship. I wanted to feel like I’d been transported to 1836 to witness the time and feeling. It just lacked in that department a lot for me. I still got the idea of time and setting, but I felt like the author teased us with the idea and failed to offer all that she had promised.

Despite this, the book filled in on the romance, which is surprisingly different to what I expected. From reading the blurb it appears to be a ‘kinky’ kind of book, but in fact, it’s nothing of the sort. If you’re looking for kink, don’t delude yourself by reading this in hopes of finding it. However, if you’re looking for a touching romance with ups and downs of the human mind conflicting.

I came to adore the ‘Loony Duke’ because he’s not all that he appears to be. I only wish we’d had more time to get to know him. His character entirely not what I expected and he had a very emotional and touching side to him that I grew to adore and cherish. He was smart and witty, and certainly not one to be trifled with. I’m excited to hear that he will be present in the sequel to this novel.

Overall I felt this book had a lot to offer in the context of escaping an hour or two in reading. It lacked in certain departments, but I can only hope the sequel will follow through on even more excitement!


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Filed under 2011 Publication, 4 Books, Adult, Carina Press, Christine Bell, E-book, Historical Fiction, Romance, Science-Fiction, Steampunk