Friday, April 22, 2011

Book Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare


Everything is assumed as finally over. Valentine is dead and so does his real son, Jonathan Morgenstern. Everything as if has gone back to normal and there are some who made it to amend what they did in the past. But as for Simon Lewis, being a vampire is still a fact that hardly to sink in into him, much less the ability of his being a daylighter. When he knows that despite that there are creatures that are after him as an ally, there are still people who are after him not for him to be on their side but to kill him, he must figure out then who’s behind it, for almost everyone knows how reckless is it for any creature to harm him.

Clarissa Fray is now on training as a shadowhunter under Jace as his teacher. For almost two months has passed since she has used her talent, she thinks that her power has gone off by any chance until in the middle of mysterious killings of shadowhunters it returned to her immediately. The return of her power only affiliates one question: does it mean also a return of a major, past enemy?

The death of Valentine Morgenstern had sunk in already. But as nightmares hunt Jace Lightwood everynight, he still couldn’t drop the idea that in any angle of his life, the reality of his memory still lingers that he had been raised by Valentine and in the sixteen years of his life being with him, the darkness that Valentine had brought into him couldn’t just be put off eventually. And that no matter how right that he’s still not his biological father, it terrifies him to know that he still a silhouette of Valentine and in any time he will kill his beloved ones. Even Clary.

It’s been as if a million(kidding) times I was told not to expect too much; and does read in some discussions and reviews a billion(again) times not to expect too much again. For my part, expecting not too much on a book, except the ones I haven’t heard yet, is like preparing a match that in anytime a certain book suddenly disgusts me, it’ll be too way easier for me to burn it.

I must admit that I really liked this series and I am very much vocal about it. A very good YA book that suits not just to girls but to boys as well. In the first place, I like to bring up what I noticed that made me liked from the first series—the last three books—is the balance of femininity and masculinity approach of the book. A person who feels suicidal about romances in a novel will hardly notice the romance in it, and if they do, they won’t consider as worth throwing up like other books are. However, Clare manages to put a concrete characterization in every character in the story. Everyone has its own special personality with them that would make an easier way for them to be identified separately from each other.

It’s been a year already since I finished reading City of Glass. Some of the information in the last book has been forgotten already but when I read the first page of this book, everything returns in a flash. Quite odd, isn’t it? I was not really thirsty for this book because I was contented at how City of Glass ended. Imperfect, yet it was the nearer thing to perfection—in reality.

To be my rating specific to you, it is 3.7 and don’t dare ask me with my basis because it’s another long story. Yes, apparently it declined on me. I wouldn’t say that there were plot holes because I haven’t seen one or I wasn’t just able to observe it. The main thing that it declined for me I think was the absence of balance that I admired the series before. The declaration of love isn’t really comforting at all that it almost consumed half of the book without some slashing of swords in it. The secondary thing I disliked about is the villains, though I don’t want a further discussion about it because I’m sure it’ll be inevitable not to insert some spoilers. And the last is how the book ended. It wasn’t an ideal ending I was hoping for. It was an ending that will just drown the readers into depression.

On the other hand, there are really things I pretty liked about this book. Though the twists weren’t surprising as her last books did, she did still able to put enough ideas to catch readers’ attention and keep reading. Clare posted several, I mean trillion(kidding again) times that this book is all about Simon. Fortunately, Clare put Simon’s story into more interesting one than the character itself. However, I might totally disagree that this book is all about Simon.

Mortal Instruments dying fans weren’t just excited about this book because some of them are frightened too of what might be the feedback of the sequel series: would it shine like the three or start to slide downhill? One thing to admire about Clare, she said she weren’t supposed to make this book, and yet out of complication I could see with the story, she has able to pass the tiniest hole ever in her story just to make the problems in this book sensible.

One thing to end this review, I liked her writing style. Hardly metaphors in it and this book somehow becomes an easy read. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Book Review: Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

Xenocide by Orson Scott Card


After thirty years, Valentine and her family arrived in Lusitania. But instead of expecting a happy reunion with her long-time-no-see brother, she gets a depressing reunion with a problem she once set aside.
The Lusitania hasn’t yet resolved the problem of killing descolada. It’s still undecided if it’s a raman or a varelse.

At the same time, the Lusitania fleet is coming and every species in Lusitania is preparing for it.

A planet has dwelled by people who are genetically altered by Starways Congress.

Among the problem rising, Ender should choose which he must resolve first regardless of the problem of imminent death of Jane.

The concept of the last two books was different from each other. Thus it is not shocking to know that this book has a different shift of aspect from the previous books. Unfortunately, Card wasn’t able to make up or to elevate what the two previous books have achieved. Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead won the Nebula and Hugo Award. Though this book has been nominated, yet the fact that it hadn’t won the title shows how this book declined from readers’ interest.

The story in Xenocide has been dominated by studies of DNA. If Card had just focused on DNA, this could have been better. But because this book is a sequel of a sci-fi book, the sci-fi-ty of the Ender’s Game and Speaker for the dead had been dragged into this book. And it caused complexity and complications into the stories. The science terms and theories that Card made up weren’t able to stand perfectly. Furthermore, it deepens into reasons that are hardly understandable. A perfect example of biopunk.

When Card introduced Lusitania in his Speaker, he did somehow give a sense on why should they be introduced. But when Card did the same introduction in this book with People of Path, the world becomes complex and confusing. A complete failure. It’s also undeniable that his characters in the last books were likable but reading this one, Card made sure that some characters here are meant to be dislikable. The reader may burst into tears but mostly erupts into anger.

The twist Card made at the near end was intended for the story to be more interesting. Unfortunately, it leaves the readers disgusted.

I rate this book not through how I feel on this book but how this book evoked my loath and disgust. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Book Review: Obsessed by Ted Dekker

Obsessed by Ted Dekker
4-star Rating


From the beginning, I am very much curious about this book. So I really searched first its author and found out that Ted Dekker—the author—is known for his book entitled Three. However, since the copy I only saw from Dekker is just this book, I searched first for readers’ feedbacks. Honestly, I’ve been picking books up safely these days because eventually, I don’t want to go bashing and ranting some poor books just because they hadn’t made my taste. I’m glad that the feedbacks I’ve read were all so far positive that it got me pursue to read this book.

Stephen Friedman is normally living as a realtor. He inherited a big amount of money from his foster parents to make it way enough for his living. When the rich old woman Rachel Spitzer died and reveals a note that she’s searching for her son while she was alive, Stephen’s life changed. No matter how he denies that he’s the son of the old rich Rachel, gravity as though pulls him towards the house of his late mother. In just a single visit, he didn’t think that he would discover a safe in the house’s basement nor does he know how much it will change his life forever and turn him as obsessed as he never could imagine.

Roth Braun is living as a serial killer. Knowing a Rachel Spitzer died in a newspaper, he is soon requested by his father, Gerhard Braun, who’s also a killer to search for the relics which Rachel had stolen from them. Roth did follow his father’s request, but the main reason he goes for it isn’t for the relics that stolen, but for Stephen whom he has waited for a long time.

Let’s have this straight, I don’t know if I’m just being generous on giving stars these past few weeks since I hadn’t encountered again a book worth bashing. Probably, my safety picking of books has indeed worked. I liked this very much if that’s again you want to hear from me as what I said from my other book reviews.

I rarely read a suspense fiction books and if I do, I’m really much into praying that I’ll be able to read the book through all the way. At first, I thought this was a horror kind of book or a fantasy one. As I make it halfway through, it was impossible for this book to make up for either fantasy or horror and obviously, I still continued reading. Many suspense books had tried me, but they aren’t worthy as putting in a suspense genre. However, when it comes to this book, I assure you one-hundred percent that this will terrify you to the bones; oh-uh not because there are some ghosts in it, but this book has a super strong factor of suspense. There was one time that this book (Obsessed) really made me laugh to the point that my mom asked me if I’d gone nuts and while in the motion of laughing, I immediately closed this book and stopped reading because I’m very much terrified of what might happen next.

Books nowadays have apparently nice titles. But my question is: do the titles of those books make sense to its story? Obsessed is a catching title and fortunately it really gives so much justice to the story. If obsession is what you’re looking for in this story, this book will give you what you’re looking for. I really liked how this book offers different kinds of obsession, how this book gives a connection between fear and hope and how this has been influenced by bible.

Dekker tells different story from different time. And the both stories are really interesting that I kept waiting when the story of either time will be continued. The main thing that got me interested between these stories is how the both stories will cross and make sense after all the turns and confusions it has given me.

This book offers a different kind of love story; a different meaning of destiny. I can’t really imagine how a man finds his destined-to-be out of his obsession. I really enjoyed Dekker’s concept of this book, purely matured but definitely suits to any kind of age. This book has a very impressive writing style—won’t let you bored (as for me). One thing to complete my list, for my whole life of reading, this is one of the books I’ve read that indeed stunned me with its unpredictable twist. I never really see the twist coming that it really amazed me to the point that I’d never almost finished my lunch just because I reached the point of the twist and that made me ponder how it’s gotten there under my nose.

I’m totally not obsessed of this book but I promise to look for Dekker’s other books.