Thursday, 29 May 2014

Prodigy - Marie Lu (2013)

3.5 stars

After loving Legend I immediately ordered this and Champion, the next in the series, but I think it's really hard to enjoy a sequel when the first book was so good.

I know sequels in trilogies are hard because you're over the initial plot of the first book and you have to set up the final book, and this book dealt with that really well, I just found this book a lot less enjoyable than the first for some reason that I can't quite work out. This book is narrated in the same way as the first, with alternating chapters from June and Day, which I actually find more intersting when they're together and experiencing the same things opposed to when they're apart, which for this book is about half of it. I really like how they discover in this book that there is no perfect utopia that they can have if they let one side win over the other, they have to change their republic to make it a place of hope and safety to live in a place like that. It's a really nice change from the books that have the protagonist rebel against one government so another can take it's place, or books where they take down both the rebel governement and the existing governement and just expect everything to work out fine. Day has a line at one point which is "I don't wamt to see the Republic collapse. I want to see it change." which made me realize how much I liked them doing that rather than starting a war. My favourite character in this book is June, I want to be her. She learnt from her mistakes of letting Jameson manipulate her in the last book and she is now the smartest, boldest warrior, who is flustered around boys and her wit around Day, even when she's collapsed with fever is one of the best things in this book. I would recommend this series to fans of dystopian novels.

June and Day have made their way to Vegas to try to contact the patriots to get them to help with Day's injured leg, make sure Tess is okay and then help them to get Eden. Once they are taken in by them they tell them that they will get Eden free if they help assassinate the new Elector which they agree to do. The head of the patriots, Razor, is a commander in the army and tells June that she has to turn herself in and then get an audience with the Elector to tell him that she learnt of a patriot attempt on his life, that will be a lie that is played out by the patriots to get him to trust her, they will then get Day to kill him and braodcast it when he changes route. June manages to get a meeting with Anden and convince him of the fake attack on his life, except he tells her of his plans to free Day's brother to try to make an alliance with Day so the republic will trust him and the changes he wants to make like getting rid of the trials. June signals Day on the cams that the patriots have recording her that something is up with the assassination and when the time comes they stop the assassination and escape into the colonies. Once there they learn that their society is just as bad as the republic in some ways and that Razor was a double agent recruited by the government to assassinate the Elector and blame it on the patriots. Kaede then steals one of the colonies jets and flies Day and June into Denver but gets killed in the process. Day then publicly announces his support for Anden and is then reunited with Eden. However after Day is treated for his injuries the doctors tell him that the testing they did on him after he failed the trials should've killed him and now he is dying. Anden offers June the highest position in government that isn't Elector and she tells Day she won't do it because they'll have no time together and he breaks up with her and tells her to do it, but doesn't tell her about his diagnosis.

Monday, 19 May 2014

The Scorch Trials - James Dashner (2010)

2.5 stars

I read The Maze Runner last year and although I didn't really enjoy it that much, the end left a lot of cliffhangers and after seeing the trailer for the upcoming movie I was reinvested in the storyline and decided to read this, but I was once again disappointed.

This book was really similar to the first book, plot-wise because they had to go through insanely dangerous situations they knew nothing about, but also the way it was written because although I was interested there was nothing driving me to read it for the majority of the book, until the last fifty or so pages when it got really intense and then ended on another cliffhanger. Although I like some mystery in a story, this series is a bit ridiculous with it, I hate not knowing what all the patterns are for, I hate not knowing if WICKED is actually good and if the next book (the last one in the series) doesn't answer all the questions that this book and the previous one posed I will really regret reading this series because at the moment that's all that's keeping me involved. I don't really like any of the characters so I'm not invested in what happens to any of them, especially in this book because I don't really like Thomas or Teresa and all the other Gladers aren't really mentioned or important in this book so it's hard to even distinguish between them like I could in the last book. I think if you read the first one and just wanted to know why everything was happening you could probably jst skip this book and go to the last one, but if you enjoyed the first book you'll definitely enjoy this one.

This book picks up right after the end of the last book and during the night when they are sleeping Teresa is taken away and replaced with a boy, Aris, and they learn that he was part of the other group which had a different glade and maze and was full of girls and one boy. The next day a man shows up and tells them that the next day they will have to walk through a flat trans and they will then have to travel 100 miles north in two weeks and they will reach a safe haven where they will be given a cure to the flare, the disease which they all have (along with the rest of the world). Once they travel through the falt trans they are in some underground tunnels that contain killing metal blobs that kill two of them before they get out into the Scorch. It is a giant desert where the sun is so blinding and hot they need to be covered at all times in daylight. After a day or two they reach a town that is probably the halfway point, it is full of Cranks, people who have th flare, and two of them help the Gladers get through the town if they can have the cure as well. Thomas gets shot as they're moving through the town and that day a hovercraft from WICKED comes in and doctors perform surgery on him and give him antibiotics to make sure he does not die from an unplanned variable. Once they are almost at the safe haven point, the group of girls ambush them and take Thomas because Teresa wants to kill him. Once he is tied up by the girls, Thomas talks to them and they all decide that Teresa is hell bent on killing him for no reason at all so they let him free and they travel to the safe haven together. Teresa then takes Thomas away from the other girls and tells him that her and Aris are in love and Thomas was going to be their sacrifice. Thomas fights them off but they trap him in a small hole for a night. The next day Teresa lets him out and says that WICKED told them they had to do that to make him feel betrayed, if she didn't do it they would kill him and she accepted that she would rather lose what they could've had than lose him altogether. They eventually reach the safe haven point where both groups have arrived with a few hours to go. About an hour before the allocated time, a group of new creepy creatures erupts out of the ground and they have to fight them off during a massive lightning storm before another hovercraft comes to collect them. Once on the ship all of them fall asleep and Thomas awakes in a separate room to the others and Teresa tells him that they said he had already succumbed to the flare and he had to be taken away. The epilogue is another letter from the director of WICKED saying that the second trials went well and they'll see what happens when they all get their memories back.