Tag Archive: post apocalypse


Review: Fragments by Dan Wells

fragmentsFragments by Dan Wells

Published February 26th, 2013 by Balzer & Bray

Buy this book at: B&N / Amazon / Books A Million / Book Depository

 

Synopsis:

Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence—it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what’s left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira’s journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn’t even know existed.

The second installment in the pulse-pounding Partials saga is the story of the eleventh hour of humanity’s time on Earth, a journey deep into places unknown to discover the means—and even more important, a reason—for our survival.

 

Rating: 4 star

 

Review:

I cannot guarantee that this review won’t contain spoilers for book 1, but should be free of spoilers for this book.. So if you don’t want to read spoilers only read this first paragraph please. I loved this book. I was kid of lukewarm on the first book but was interested enough to continue, and boy am I glad I did. If you get nothing else out of this review, read this series. Now stop reading or else it’s your own damn fault if you get spoiled.

Like I mentioned a moment ago, I was pretty lukewarm on Partials (book 1). I thought it was decent but nothing out of this world. But the ending piqued my interest and so I wanted to see what happened. That brings us to Fragments. From the beginning of this book you know the stakes are high. Kira has discovered a cure for RM but apart from that one child they haven’t been able to replicate it. Samm is off to parts unknown and Kira has run off to find answers that Nandita sent her after at ParaGen. And this is where our second story begins.

Kira was still such a good character. I found her to be tough, real, gritty, and has a real soft spot to her as well. At times she got on my nerves a little bit with her whole, “OMG I’m a Partial, but I love the humans!’ routine but overall I had few complaints with her. I will just say that I loved the interaction with her and Vale. I won’t say anything else about that because it would ruin it, but it was fantastic! I felt just as confused and conflicted as Kira did just reading that part.

Samm and Marcus are officially my book boyfriends. I love them both so much I can’t even put it into words. They are so different but both so awesome at the same time. I think if I was forced to choose who I like more it would have to be Samm because he made me cry in this book, but that doesn’t diminish my love for Marcus. Although Marcus did get a bit reckless in this book, but it was all for the right reasons and that was important.

The plot moved along rapidly but it was well structured so it wasn’t too hard to follow. I really liked the introduction of Afa, he was a much needed and useful character. I really liked how many answers we got in this book. But at the same time those answers created more questions so it was a good balance. I LOVED the descriptions of this world so much in this book. It felt real and raw and I could see it in my head as we went along.

And the ending…whoa, is all I have to say. Even though I finished the book hours ago I can’t get over the ending. It took me by complete surprise and made me cry. I ended up putting the book down and just sat there with my mouth hanging open for a few minutes before I could wrap my head around what happened. I am already salivating over the idea of the final book and it causes me physical pain that it isn’t coming out until 2014. I am sold on this series, completely and utterly sold.

Not very often do I do movie reviews, I leave that to my husband who does plenty of them at the dinner table. But we got both of these movies as RedBox the other night and the contrast between the two was astounding so I had to comment. And let’s just get one thing straight right out front, Side Effects was my pick. Oblivion was my husband’s pick, I am not a fan of Tom Cruise and made quite the face when he suggested it. Oh and there will probably be spoilers, so walk away now if you don’t want to be spoiled. Anyway, onward!

 

Side Effects

Side Effects is a psychological thriller released earlier this year. It stars Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherina Zeta-Jones, and Channing Tatum. The film centered around a young woman who was prescribed a brand new, and fictional, drug for her depresion called Albixa. She experiences some rather intense side effects from the drug and ends up murdering her husband while sleepwalking. If you are like me and not a fan of Channing Tatum you’ll be happy to hear that he plays the husband, so he’s not around for long. This movie did a great job in making me feel sorry for poor Emily. She had everything and it was all ripped away from her. She miscarried a baby, her husband is imprisoned for insider trading, then he gets back out and she can’t bear to tell him how depressed she is because she wants to start fresh with him. She drives her car into a brick wall in what appears to be a suicide attempt and thus our story begins. This starts her on a rocky path to find the right medication with minimal side effects and she insists on continuing to take Ablixa even after she starts sleepwalking. Unfortunately for everyone it is in one of those sleepwalking episodes that she stabs her husband to death and is put on trial for his murder. But everything is not as it seems in this world.

This was a very devious little plot. Admittedly I found myself getting a bit bored in the beginning because it seemed like not a lot was going on. But once the story got started, holy crap did it get started. After that, the plot twists and turns were thrown at you quicker than you can process. Even though part of the plot was a teensy bit predictable I think it was meant that way. We were supposed to be yelling at Jude Law that she’s a lying sack of garbage and not to listen to her. That kind of predictable little plot point made it so that the real twist was totally unexpected. At a certain point in the film my husband and I just turned to each other and raised our eyebrows in unison as if to say “well that was different!”.  It didn’t even end there either. It got weirder and darker after that turning point too.

This has a current score of 84% fresh on Rotten Tomatos and I think that it is richly deserved. This was a delightfully dark little film.

 

 

OblivionOblivion is a sci-fi post-apocalypse flick starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. It occurs in the year 2077 where the earth has been attacked by people/creatures they have dubbed “Scavengers”. The “Scavs” blew up the moon which sent the Earth into chaos with flood and earthquakes destroying half the planet within hours. After those initial hours it turned into all out war with the world eventually turning to the only logical solution…nuke the hell out of the other half of the world. All remaining humans have evacuated Earth to Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. Tom Cruise stars as Jack Harper who is a technician (Tech-49 to be exact) that is tasked with repairing the drones that are protecting the ocean borne fusion power generators before he and his partner will finally be evacuated to Titan as well. At least that’s what I thought the plot was. Then I read a synopsis and apparently the people of Earth have evacuated to the Tet, a space station orbiting Earth, and the generators are only to be used until they have enough power to make the trip to Titan. I honestly don’t know which is correct, the story was so convoluted that my husband had a completely different third idea of what the plot was. So this one might have to remain a mystery.

I hated this movie, it was SO BORING! Tom Cruise’s characters is a whiny bitch through most of the movie. Seriously, stop reminiscing! I get it, you miss old Earth but it ain’t coming back pal so get over it already. I was immediately suspicious that things were not as they seemed when Jack Harper says it had been 60 years since the end of the war….yet he remembers Earth from before the war and doesn’t appear to be older than say 40. Yeah, something was not right about that. But the movie was so horrendously boring that I quickly forgot about that bit of dialogue until I thought about it after the movie had ended. Here’s the things that bug me about this movie:

1. Jack Harper is a clone, yes a clone. There is no colony of human beings and there are no attacking Scavs. What attacked the Earth was the Tet, which appears to be some kind of artificial intelligence complex. They captured Jack Harper and his partner (the red head, can’t remember her character’s name) and cloned them. The Scavs are actually the only remaining human beings on the planet who are trying to bring down the Tet. Okay, with me so far?  Apparently Jack Harper was recreated as thousands of clones and those clones are the ones who launched and won the war on Earth.  Now they have new clones of Jack and what’s her name to keep everything in order and try to exterminate the rest of the humans. Still with me? Don’t get too cocky, it gets worse.

2. If they have thousands of clones of Jack who were, and I quote, “mindless killing machines”…why did they not continue to use those clones? They were apparently perfect mindless soldiers. Where did they go? Humans lost the war so they couldn’t have killed them all, where are those clones now? And since they were so effective at taking over Earth there would be no reason to deactivate them or kill them so I repeat, where did all these clones go?

3. The Tet tells Jack that he and his clones have a “history of insubordinanation”. Okay, that explains why he goes rogue all of a sudden but why didn’t he before? Some might argue it was because in this case his old wife from Earth was back and it prompted him…well then what history of insubordination could there have been? And if Jack keeps rebelling, why is the Tet, which was smart enough to annihilate Earth, not smart enough to alter the clone so that this doesn’t keep happening? If Jack keeps tapping into the original Jack’s  memories then why not make the next Jack clone a “mindless killing machine” like the old ones?

4. At the end of the movie we see that Jack has impregnated his wife before he killed himself for the greater good of humanity so they have a daughter. Why do clones need to reproduce? He was created to maintain the drones, and we know he was screwing the red headed clone so how were there not more little clonelets running around? Why did the Tet create the clones with the ability to reproduce? Why is that necessary?!

5. Oh hell, I don’t even know what five is because I’ve gotten so pissed off about numbers one through four.

6. If the Tet can create clones and had thousands of drones that are not in use, wouldn’t it be more logical to just replace the drones that are getting attacked? Why do you even need the clones to repair them? Just make more drones and then you don’t have to worry about Jackclone and his “history of insubordination”! Complete and epic logic fail.

7. This movie borrows 95% of it’s plot from sci-fi movies that are much better than this one was. I suggest watching Tron: Legacy, Blade Runner and Planet of the Apes instead of this crap..just to start.

In closing, the 54% rotten rating from Rotten Tomatoes is all you need to know. Believe the 54% they are not lying.

Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

poison princessPoison Princess by Kresley Cole

Published October 2nd, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Synopsis and cover photo from the Goodreads book page

Buy this book at: Book Depository / Amazon / B&N

Synopsis:

She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

Rating (out of 5): 3 star

Review:

This book and I had a love/hate relationship throughout the course of it and it disappointed me.  But let me back up a second.  I haven’t read a Kresley Cole book before.  I have heard a lot of really great things about the books and have several of them on my TBR list, but just haven’t gotten to them yet.  Then I saw this book and I fell in love.  The cover on this book is simply amazing.  It is so gorgeous that I can hardly stand it.  Since the premise sounded interesting too, I pre-ordered it sight unseen.  Then I noticed that it had a blurb on it from PC Cast and I thought “Oh God, what have I done!”  This is the woman whose book I had to put away because it made me want to vomit so much, and she’s recommending this!?  I considered that perhaps I had made a very serious mistake.  But I persevered and overall I am happy about that, but not entirely.

I liked Evie for the most part.  I found her to be kind, sweet, plucky, and determined when she needed to be.  But typical YA heroine stuff started leaking into her personality and I didn’t like that.  As soon as Jack got into the picture she was whiny, annoying, dependent, and stupid to the point of being suicidal.  I shouldn’t agree when another character calls her useless, but I did…often.  I got so angry with her for fawning over this stupid boy so much that I wanted to shake her.  However, her character redeemed herself in the end by finishing the book in a serious kick ass fashion.  If only we didn’t have this stupid, silly little love triangle in the book it would have easily been 5 stars.

Now let’s turn to Jack.  Was I supposed to like him?  Was I supposed to see him as a sweet and romantic love interest for Evie?  Was I supposed to giggle at his cuteness?  Because I didn’t, not to any of that.  I found him to be an absolute asshole.  I’m really hoping that at some point YA will figure out that “bad boys” are NOT SEXY!  Someone going to jail and being suspended from school and leering at girls is not cute or romantic or sexy or sweet!  It is creepy and the pinnacle of douchebaggery.  Jack is a drunk, I can’t even call him an alcoholic because he doesn’t think there’s a problem.  There isn’t a single time he’s mentioned where he’s not knocking back the booze.  He is crude and sexually inappropriate constantly.  He sexually pressures Evie on multiple occasions, several of which were while she had a boyfriend.  He leers at girls constantly and makes inappropriate comments when he hardly knows them.  And he is just downright horrible to Evie so often that I stopped keeping track.  He calls her names all the time, he puts her down, he belittles her opinions or feelings, he is passive aggressive to the extreme, and is a complete man slut.  I mean, for God’s sake, at one point he threatens to throw Evie onto any available horizontal surface and bang the living daylights out of her…for touching his stomach while riding on his motorcycle!  Apparently that means he can’t control himself anymore.  How is any of this romantic?!  I wanted to take a long hot shower with liberal use of bleach and then file a restraining order against this creeper!  But the other love interest, Brandon, isn’t much better.  He tries to pressure Evie into having sex as a reward for what a good and faithful boyfriend he’s been and he deserves it.  Yet at the same time as trying to get in her pants, he shows a total disregard for her feelings and is much more interested in leering at other girls in her presence.  Luckily he wasn’t around long enough to enrage me as much as Jack.  I just have no more words for any of this.  Do I have to get out the signs of domestic abuse again?  I REALLY think I do.

Let’s move on to the plot now, shall we?  I was fascinated by this plot, as much as the characters infuriated me it was the plot that kept my interest alive.  I LOVED the idea of these people representing the Major Arcana of the Tarot.  Now, as a pagan, I am fairly well versed in the Tarot and so I was acutely aware of what everyone’s role was and what their presence probably meant once I learned what their card was.  It is such a unique idea and I loved it very much.  I also was enthralled with the way this plot started out with Arthur because he was royally creepy.  I wanted so badly to know more about Arthur and how Evie got to be in his presence.  The one big downside to the plot was how much time we spent on Evie’s issues with Brandon and Jack at school prior to the end of the world happening.  How exactly were Evie’s text messages relevant to the overall plot? Why did any of these people matter at all since most of them ended up dead by the middle of the book?  We spent way too much time on that and it frustrated me, I wanted to get on with things.  Once we did move on with the plot I loved every page.  I didn’t know what was coming next and I adored the twists and turns to the plot.  Then I reached the end and was left with my mouth hanging open and the only words I could muster were, “Holy fuck, I didn’t see that coming.”

I would recommend this book to almost any fantasy or post-apocalypse fan.  It is a worthy edition to the genre once you get passed the annoying stereotypical YA parts.  The plot alone is worth the investment.