Book Review: Dreamer’s Pool

4-star

Title: Dreamer’s Pool

Author: Juliet Marillier

Rating: 4/5 stars

Series? Yes

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I was in a bit of a book slump so I had to run back to a tried and true favourite author: Juliet Marillier. I love the unique characters and the lore used in this book – though my favourite Juliet Marillier remains The Sevenwaters Series.

The story follows three point of view, each character distinct and complex. Their tale is intertwined, though they were each pushed the story forward via different personal agendas.

Book-Review-Dreamers-Pool

USUAL MARILLIER THINGS THAT I LOVED:

I. Strong Female Characters

Compelling female characters are the hallmark of Juliet Marillier’s writing. Her ladies can be strong, they can be maternal/nurturing figures, they can have a touch of magic, or even a physical handicap: but they’re always intriguing with an untameable spirit. I love them, and the protagonist of Dreamer’s Pool is definitely one of those classic Marillier heroine. Continue reading “Book Review: Dreamer’s Pool”

Book Review: The Accident Season

The Accident Season

5star

Title:  The Accident Season

Author:  Moira Fowley-Doyle

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Series? No

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The Accident Season was a bit of a surprise for me, I didn’t expect it to bowl me over and delight me in EVERY way possible. I eagerly read every beautiful, haunting sentence. I craved its slight dark and off-kilter spin on reality. I laughed, cried, and loved along with all of the main characters. It’s a story about a family curse, with a big fat highlight on the family, identity, and the memories which define us.
Review-The-Accident-Season

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

Every October, Cara and the rest of her family suffers through the inexplicable accident season. Around every corner, tragedies of every size awaits them: from the little, such as a landslide of hardbacks (being a book worm is, as you are all aware, a deceptively dangerous hobby) – to the large, such as the passing of their beloved uncle, Seth. This year, Cara also discovers that Elsie, a childhood friend she has lost touch with, lurks in the background of all her photos. The mystery that is the Accident Season and Elsie seem intrinsically linked, and this book follow our protagonist as they unravel the truth. Continue reading “Book Review: The Accident Season”

Book Review: The Three Body Problem

4-star

Title:  The Three Body Problem

Author: Cixin Liu

Series? Yes, 1 of 3.

Rating: 4/5

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I received this book from Harper Voyager Australia in exchange for an honest review.

One of the first things you’ll learn about me is that I detest physics and maths, I have absolutely no mental aptitude for it.  This is one of the first things you’ll see when you Google The Three Body Problem:

{\ddot{\mathbf{x}}_\mathbf{1}} = -\frac{G m_2}{\left(x_1 - x_2\right)^3}\left(\mathbf{x_1} - \mathbf{x_2}\right)-\frac{G m_3}{\left(x_1 - x_3\right)^3}\left(\mathbf{x_1} - \mathbf{x_3}\right)

{\ddot{\mathbf{x}}_\mathbf{2}} = -\frac{G m_3}{\left(x_2 - x_3\right)^3}\left(\mathbf{x_2} - \mathbf{x_3}\right)-\frac{G m_1}{\left(x_2 - x_1\right)^3}\left(\mathbf{x_2} - \mathbf{x_1}\right)

{\ddot{\mathbf{x}}_\mathbf{3}} = -\frac{G m_1}{\left(x_3 - x_1\right)^3}\left(\mathbf{x_3} - \mathbf{x_1}\right)-\frac{G m_2}{\left(x_3 - x_2\right)^3}\left(\mathbf{x_3} - \mathbf{x_2}\right)

I.e. DO. NOT. WANT.  However, I found that the book was surprisingly engaging and accessible despite its deep rooted background in theoretical physics.  Here’s why!

3body

NON-LINEAR PLOT:

The book follows two protagonists and timeline:

  1.  Ye Wenjie, a physicist who watched her father persecuted and murdered during China’s Cultural Revolution during the 1970s, and
  2. Wang Miao, a scientist researching nanofibre technology in present day.  He’s recruited by the police to investigate a group of scientists.  The reason?  Many scientists around the world have started committing suicide,

Ye’s story is the driving force of this book, watching her father’s execution for the crime of intelligence and progress has changed her fundamentally.  Her narratively examines humanity and the price we pay for scientific progress, it questions whether it’s all worth it.

“It was impossible to expect a moral awakening from humankind itself, just like it was impossible to expect humans to lift off the earth by pulling up on their own hair. To achieve moral awakening required a force outside the human race.”

Next to Ye, Wang is a slightly duller protagonist.  Through his eyes we are able to slowly uncover the rest of Ye’s story, as well as immerse in the titular Three-Body Problem.  Unfortunately, Wang is a bit of a blank slate, however, I did enjoy slowly seeing how he i) goes through the Three Body Game – I found myself cheering for him whenever he advanced in the game and ii) his story (and really, the story of the larger world) connects to Ye’s narrative. Continue reading “Book Review: The Three Body Problem”

Book Review: Snow Like Ashes

5star

Title: Snow Like Ashes

Author: Sara Raasch

Series? Yes. 1 of 3.

Rating:  5/5

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Snow Like Ashes to the second YA fantasy I’m reviewing this week that’s likened to Game of Thrones.  I don’t agree, I think it’s more similar to The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta, which is another of my favourites.  Snow Like Ashes also manages to be unique with characters that I can root for, I LOVED it.  Here’s a few reasons why.

snowlikeashes

1.  Vivid Setting

Oktuber was a maze of rickety barns and tents in maroon, azure, and sunshine orange, with the crystalline blue sky gleaming above, a sharp and beautiful contrast to the kingdom’s earth tones…Their skin glistened the same coppery brown as the leaves on some of their trees, only where the leaves were crinkled and dry, the Autumnians’ faces were perfectly creamy

There are 8 kingdoms in this world.  Four are Seasons:  with close links to magic that grants them only one season a year, thus they are named for these seasons.  Hot, dry Summer that are uninviting to our protagonist.  Cool, vibrant autumn with citizens of copper skin.  Spring, though lovely in name, is ruled by a dictator named Angra with powerful magic.  Finally, Winter, the lost kingdom of eternal snow – utterly destroyed by Angra 16 years before the start of this novel.  Furthermore, there’s four Rhythm kingdoms that undergoes the normal seasonal cycle.  We mainly got to see Cordella, a prosperous kingdom who’s chief exports are lavenders and princes that steals your heart.  All of these settings are described in beautiful clarity and reading about them was akin to a cinematic experience.   Continue reading “Book Review: Snow Like Ashes”

Book Review: The Girl With All the Gifts

The Girl with All the Gifts

5star

Title:  The Girl With All the Gifts

Author:  M. R. Carey

Rating:  5/5 stars

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Book Review, Read at Midnight

This is one of the rare instances where I started reading a book I knew next-to-nothing about.  All I knew about the book was: Melanie is a 10 year old girl who’s been locked in a cell for as long as she can remember.  I thought it was going to be a bit like Ender’s Game.  However, what I ended up reading was, dare I say, far better than Ender’s Game.  Here was a dystopia with a familiar premise, but it felt fresh because of how character-centric the writing was.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Girl With All the Gifts”