By Andrew Smith
Rate: 3.5 / 5 stars
What I Thought:
This book was a doozy.
So it was definitely far from perfect. At times the main character annoyed the ever living shit out of me, and the story in itself just seemed totally unbelievable. To be honest, the whole novel was like a mediocre version of John Green’s Looking for Alaska. The plot line felt unbalanced, the most of the characters were bothersome, and the story just had no drive.
I did manage to read the 400+ page book in about 24 hours. I absolutely fell in love with Joey. Even the main character Ryan Dean won me over by the end. Actually, the ending saved the entire book for me. I found myself attached to the story enough to cry at the end, and I even did that book hug thing where you just sit and grieve while clutching the book to your body for like five minutes after finishing it.
I just wish that some of the magic that I loved at the end was more evident throughout the entire novel. It did feel like it was being written by an immature 14 year old, and although I guess that was what Smith was going for, it was a bit of a turn off for me. Regardless, I made it through to the end mildly amused, and ended up liking the book and appreciating the ending.
So there you have it: nothing spectacular from this one, but likable enough.
P.S. We’re just not going to talk about how long ago my last post on this blog was. You get it. Life is hard.
Rate: 3/5 stars
This book was nothing fantastic. It did its job, which was basically filling the space between the expositionary debut novel and the conclusion in the last novel. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t phenomenal or anything.
It took me a while to really get into the book, despite that I already knew all the characters and everything. The writing just wasn’t drawing me in. The dynamic between all the characters just seemed really off to me and it was throwing me out of the book. I did, however, find that the individual characters were written really well. The character growth seen in the main character Ember was one of the saving graces of the novel.
What bothered me the most in this book was probably the execution of the action scenes. They were just excruciatingly hard to follow, and once again, I found myself getting thrown out of the book a lot. You know when you’re imagining a room and then the author includes something that makes you have to rearrange the entire scene in your head? Well that happened multiple times with literally every action scene. Things weren’t set up and explained well and it really screwed with the experience.
The plot was pretty good, especially the ending. This book left me wanting more story, so I’ll definitely be reading the next book, the writing just left something to be desired. I did find myself having an emotional attachment. I was most engrossed in the book during like the middle 200 pages. And I did cry a bit at the end. (I cry at everything though… like literally every book I will at shed at least one tear.) So yeah, not fantastic, but definitely not terrible. I’m still looking forward to the next installment.
The Kill Order by James Dashner (The Maze Runner Prequel)
(Disclaimer: I wrote this review a few minutes after finishing the book. I usually do that. I’m sorry if it seems a bit scatter brained, but I like to get everything out while it’s still fresh. Maybe one day I’ll take my time and write and edit a real review, but for now have some scattered opinions. Enjoy!)
Ok so this book is literally non stop from about page 100 until the end. Literally. Non. Stop. No breaths to catch up and understand until about the second to last chapter and then THE END. I just can not even think straight. I really wanted to have a well thought out intelligent review but I just can’t give that right now. The last 50 or so pages are soul-crushing and revealing and I feel like I was just punched in the gut. It fits so perfectly with the series and my brain is just buzzing out of control right now.
Let’s try to make some sense of this review. Now that I’ve blabbered. So the ending basically killed me emotionally, but it worked so. well. with the rest of the novels. What got me with this book and the entire series really is the way it made me think constantly and critically even when I wasn’t reading it or focusing on it. My brain has been consumed with those too-deep topics that we hate bringing to the front of our consciousness because it makes us too dizzy and self-consumed. I’ve been wracking myself with thoughts of humanity and the future and the ideals of existence and holy crap on a cracker I don’t even know how to end this damn review.
Just read the series. Then read this prequel. Just do it. It’s a great read and it really makes you walk away with a sparked sense of being that we all have but needs to be ignited every once and a while.
I have read other reviews about this saying it was mindless action with no plot. But it is COMPLETELY THE OPPOSITE. Just like those who didn’t like the 2nd book in this series, The Scorch Trials, they are looking too much into the side details that were meant to be just that, side details. The cult and sacrificial references were not meant to be so strictly criticized. They were more there for the pure fact that humans go a bit dark side when their brains are rattling inside their sick, bruised, and bloody skulls.
Anyway, I say stop worrying too much about the details and focus on the big picture that Dashner was trying to draw out. Let your mind wander and freak out a little bit on you. I promise it won’t hurt as much as the Flare does.
Here are some of the other books that I am going to read next and hopefully review. I’ve already started The Power of Six, which is the sequel to I Am Number Four, and it is already really good.
What are you reading right now?