Monday, 21 May 2018

#48 Our Dark Duet

Our Dark Duet by V.E. Schwab

This is the sequel and final part of the 'Monsters of Verity' duology. These 2 books have completed restored my faith in YA, there was a few months there when i thought oh god, im too old for this now but after reading these 2 beauties ive realised that im not too old for YA when its done right!

I haven't liked any of Victoria Scwabs writing since i read Viscous... I know her 'Shades of Magic' books were massively popular and i did read this first one but it just wasnt for me every chapter felt like an absolute chore and i just couldnt get into it at all even though id pre-ordered it and it was my most anticipated read of that year (sorry for the tangent) but this book blew my mind, it was paranormal which im normally verrrrrry sketchy about but i managed to read both books in the duology and simply put, i loved them!

Our Dark Duet picks up roughly 6 months from where This Savage Song leaves off. August has joined the FTF to somewhat make up for the loss of Leo and Kate has become a monster hunter in a different territory after leaving Verity. Kate makes a few blah new friends that seem to be a big part of the story up until half way through and then you never hear about any of them again... its a good thing i didnt get attached to any of them! Augusts storyline is a bit more complex, he no longer has the desire to be human and has instead imbraced being a monster. He spends all his time hunting and trying to make Verity a better place by ridding it of the sinners.

The premise of this sequel is that SPOILER ALERT Sloan is alive and out for revenge and that there is a new monster that seemingly is impossible to catch and makes humans turn violent towards each other. There is also another monster that Kate created at the ending of the first book called Alice and she basically follows Sloan around like a lost puppy. She wants both Kate and August dead.

Normally im not a massive fan of sequels and i thought that This Savage Song ended like a stand alone, it cleared everything up nicely so i had no idea where this story would go but it surprised me! it was actually really good and a very worthy sequel. What i loved most about the first book was that it was a YA with NO romance which literally never happens! There was a brief moment in this book where i thought ohhhh godddd shes making it into a romance but luckily for me it was only 1 page of the 400 odd page book.

All in all very enjoyable and it has reminded me why i love Scwabs writing so much. One bad series does not and will not put me off any of her future work :)

Monday, 14 May 2018

#47 Illuminae

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This isn't my usual go to genre or book generally, its the sort of thing i would have picked up and enjoyed in my early 20's but ive heard so much about this trilogy? so i thought why not! The cover art is very pretty which made it a very easy decision to buy a physical copy as lately ive been trying to read more kindle versions of books to save space

Right, so this story is a sort of sci-fi apocalyptic romance YA mash. At the very beginning of the story the protagonists Kady and Ezra a teen couple who have just split up are attacked by a war ship run by the corporation Bei tech and they must escape together to safety.

The unique thing about this book is that its told in a series of instant message logs, emails, memos, announcements etc. I enjoyed this style and layout as it broke up the story really well especially as the book is just short of 600 pages. If this was written in the usual YA novel  style i probably wouldn't have got through it as its a tiny bit generic.

There was a few twists and some enjoyable villains, most notably Aidan who is the computer artificial intelligence system. Aidans monologues were very well written and i enjoyed the dry humour of it. Kady and Ezra were a bit meh as characters and Kady was portrayed as your typical pink haired heroine that is pretty bad ass which is fairly standard in YA these days (and which i actually dont mind, girl power) whereas Ezra is a love sick puppy who would do anything for Kady (zzzZZZ) he had little to no substance at all and was generally quite difficult to like or even care about. There wasnt very many other notable characters really... So if you didnt like Kady or Ezra you were pretty screwed.

All in all it wasnt bad. A fairly average sci-fi YA book, they only thing that saved it for me was the layout which i found to be fairly unique. Im not sure if i would read the second or third book. Possibly but id probably have to nap them from the library as im not interested enough to splash any cash for them.

Friday, 11 May 2018

#46 This Savage Song

This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab

where do i even begin with this? It was amazing! It was back to the V.E. Schwab that i know and love and none of this Darker Shade of Magic crap. 

This book follows the story of August and Kate in a weird dystopian Romeo and Juliet like vibe. August is a monster and Kate is a human, they live on opposite sides of the city of Verity which currently have a truce meaning no war or violence. 

There are 3 types of monsters the violent harrowing Corsai, the blood draining malicious Malchai and the soul stealing Sunai. There are only 3 known Sunai in all of Verity, August being the youngest and his sister and brother making up the other 2. 

Kate's father Harker runs the north side of the city whereas Flynn who is Augusts human father runs the south side. Kate is desperate to prove to her father that she has his blood running through her veins and that she is a worthy successor. 

August is desperate to help his father maintain the truce and order within the south side and although he has been hidden for years and not allowed to leave the safety of their walled compound he has become restless and his need to want to help the way his older brother Leo does is too great. When his father plans for August to attend the local school in Verity Colton ultimately to spy on Kate and to get close to her so that they can potentially use her as leverage if the truce breaks.
This plot is obviously not the most original in the world of YA but the writing is outstanding! The characters are so diverse and life like you can imagine them all in your head. This would make an excellent movie (if it was done right)

One of the main high points for me was there was no romance at all! how unusual is that in YA, i applaud you Victoria! 

Im very much looking forward to reading the next book. I had no idea this was a duology as this book ended like a stand alone and didn't leave many loose ends which strangely makes me even more intrigued as to where the story will go next!

Watch this space!