February 12, 2012

The Reading Files - Brave New World

You certainly know the phenomenon of wanting to have certain books straight away and once you have 'em they end up spending substantial amounts of time on your TBR piles. Being too lazy to dust off one particular towering pile, where I've stacked all kinds of dystopian books, I did the next best thing. Pick them up, and read.

Enclave (Ann Aguirre)
#1 Razorland
Source: gifted
Genre: YA Dystopia / Post-Apocalyptic

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.
As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.
Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.
As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.

Title & Cover: Mehhh!
Story: Born into a world with strict rules, Deuce is outcast and soon finds herself in a strange world above ground where her battle for life continues.
Narrative: Gripping!
Characters: I liked Deuce as she's a real kick-ass heroine, and Fade really grew on my too. Everyone else sadly remains quite one-dimensional.
Thoughts: Captivating premise, yet the book lacks detail and depth! So much potential but due to its shortness it remains flat and unsubstantial which is a real shame.

Ashes (Ilsa J. Bick)
#1 Ashes Trilogy
Source: won
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic

It could happen tomorrow . . .
An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.
Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.
For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.
Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

Title & Cover: There are several different, and better, covers out there, yet this one's mine and I am a little underwhelmed!
Story: The EMP kills some, and changes others. Some develop strange new abilities while others morph into really smart zombies.
Narrative: Fast paced and adventurous, it kept me on my toes all the way through!
Characters: I loved Alex from page 1. She's certainly not easy to get along with, but she's got edge. Ellie on the other hand I wanted to strangle with a passion. And Tom, well he rocks!
Thoughts: Open end, anyone? This was such an engrossing read and then one killer open end and so many questions that remain unanswered. What about Ellie? And Tom? Argh!

Wither (Lauren DeStefano)
#1 The Chemical Garden
Source: won
Genre: YA Dystopia

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.
When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can't bring herself to hate him as much as she'd like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband's strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?
Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

Title & Cover: Absolutely gorgeous!
Story: Girls get abducted to be turned into brides for the rich. Add a dystopian society. Stir.
Narrative: Drab!
Characters: I couldn't connect with any of the characters and for the most part I blame it on the dreary tone of the novel.
Thoughts: I really wanted to like this book, but it literally bored me out of my mind. No ups or downs, it just went on and on before it eventually ended. And don't even get me started on the whole girls die at age 20 and guys at age 25 premise - there's no chance in hell that genetics will make you drop dead on your exact birthday. Is asking for a bit of leeway in that regard too much?

Well then, for the first time this year (day 43 of my book buying ban) there won't be an IMM post. Seeing how I'm waiting for two books I've won and some for review as well, this might only be a brief interruption in Birgit's non-self-bought-book-haul-presentation! See you again next week! Hopefully ...


  1. Oh, I really want to read Enclave! I have Wither and Ashes sitting on my shelf. Thanks for reminding me to get around to reading them!

    Stephanie @ Stepping Out of the Page
    Drop by & enter my International Giveaway

  2. I have Ashes and Wither to read. I was attracted to Wither by the cover but ended up getting a 99p Kindle copy in the sale. Saw it in the shops and it's missing some of the design elements I really liked so don't mind the electronic edition now.