Current Contests/Announcements

The story of the Orange Cake Click here to find out more.


Check out the NKOTB Book Tag Meme Here!

Having trouble leaving a comment? If you have trouble commenting then please click on the refresh button, this usually fixes the issue. I also use comment moderation for new commenters to the blog.

Posts Categorized: Rebecca Soler

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Audio Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Winter by Marissa MeyerWinter by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles,
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest
Published by Macmillian Audio on 10 November 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Futuristic Romance, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 23 hrs and 30 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Heartless

Place(s) Traveled To: Atemesia, Luna

First Line(s): Winter’s toes had become ice cubes.

Sometimes I wonder why I acquire a print version of a book because if I start a book (or book series) on audio then I typically like to finish in that format. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that despite my wonderful secret sister giving me a signed copy of WINTER by Marissa Meyer I ended up buying the audio version from audible. WINTER is a long book (824 pgs) and as such the audio seemed to take me forever to get through. For me, I think that WINTER could have done with another round or two of editing as there was a lot of repetition and things that just weren’t really relevant to the story at hand. The bulk of the story also took place over just two days so it just seemed overly drawn out.

I also think that WINTER suffered from too many POVs. I can see if it stuck to the main cast but there were many that were one off and to me that just comes across as lazy story telling. I love multiple perspectives to get a well rounded story, I hate a switch in POV just because it makes something a little easier to tell. My heart also wept for all the mangled science in this book. Oh my poor poor scientific heart and just when I’d become able to ignore (kind of) the antidote/vaccine issue too. But poor science aside, I do think that WINTER was a decent end to a series. There were many a heart achy (because emotions not bad science) that kept me invested in this story and the characters. I also adored Winter and Jacin and was glad to see things from their perspective this time around.

Winter Quote

 

I did have some issues with the narration as it seemed liked it was Rebecca Soler’s first time out of the gate and not the fourth book in a series. Soler would confuse voices that had been around since CINDER and the scene transitions were bad. Which made it difficult to follow along with the story. I often found myself hitting the rewind button to figure out what I’d miss and I’d also consult my physical copy (thank you secret sister!) just to verify what was going on when and who was the main POV at that time. I wouldn’t have thought that WINTER would have been a more polished audio than it was. And while I don’t entirely regret my choice to listen to this one over reading the print there were times I considered switching over before the book was done.

Now that the Lunar Chronicles is over I can say that I am glad that I read the series even if I didn’t fall head over heals in love with it. I do like Meyer’s take on all the different fairy tales and how she set them in a dystopian back drop. It was a fresh take on them and entertaining read. Though I will admit that Cinder wasn’t my favorite character of series and I lean more towards, Winter, Jacin, Cress and Thorne. Those are all characters that I would love to know more about and ones that I hope we’ll see in the anthology STARS ABOVE. Now I just need to find the time to read it and determine if I want to go print or audio. Oh, who am I kidding…I’ll most likely go audio.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Cinder

 

Add Cinder by Marissa Meyer to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-half-stars
Divider

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Audio Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: Fairest by Marissa MeyerFairest by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles,
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 27 Feb 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Family, Friends to Lovers, Futuristic Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Short Story / Novella, Young Adult
Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Traveled To: Luna

First Line(s): She was lying on a burning pyre, hot coals beneath her back.

FAIREST is a novella in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series that was published between CRESS (my review) and WINTER but chronologically comes before CINDER (my review). FAIREST tells the background of Levana from her days as a teenager in her sisters court until not long after she becomes queen of Luna. Its a prequel story and can act almost as a standalone and for me its a book that I wish I had skipped. In the Lunar Chronicles books Levana is the big bag, the character that is the most feared and the ultimate evil that Cinder and her merry band of misfits has to beat. But in FAIREST Levana comes across as a paranoid, obsessed, and not quite on her rocker. She’s more pathetic than terrifying and as such she looses something in my eyes as a result.

What was interesting about FAIREST was the background it gives of events that happen before Cinder and company are born. Its interesting to see Luna’s side of the conflict with Earth and the origins of the idea behind Letimosis. There are seeds in this story that turn into story lines in the main series books and its also interesting to see some of the characters before they were teenagers. As a whole though I don’t really see the point of FAIREST in the series and if you aren’t totally in love with the Lunar Chronicles then you might want to skip it as I wish I had done.

The narrator for FAIREST is the same as in the other books, Rebecca Soler, and I almost wish that they had chosen a different voice for Levana as a way to separate her from the rest of the characters. FAIREST is the darkest of the Lunar Chronicles books and Soler’s voice is almost too light for the story. Though as a whole I do always enjoy what Soler brings to this series and its part of why I keep returning to the audio versions of the book. Especially since I tried and failed many times to get into the print version of FAIREST.

irishdarkblue Fairest Quote
three-stars
Divider

Friday, January 22, 2016

Audio Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Cress by Marissa MeyerCress by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles,
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Fairest, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 14 Feb 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Futuristic Romance, Love & Romance, People & Places, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Survival Stories, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Fairest, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Traveled To: Earth’s Orbit // Luna // Sahara Desert // New Beijing, The Commonwealth // Africa

First Line(s): Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixteen hours.

CRESS is the third book in Marrissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series which are all dystopian sci-fi stories that are loosely based on fairy tales. CRESS is the story of Rapunzel and mainly follows the character of Cress and Captain Thorne but as with the other books in the series the story ARC often shifts POV to include all the main characters we’ve met so far. Cress is Lunar but unlike most from Luna she has no gift and is referred to as a shell. She’s feared by those on Luna as the Luna gift doesn’t work on her and she can’t be manipulated that way. However, she was taken as an infant form her family and raised in seclusion and so can be manipulated in other ways as she’s starved for love and affection.

But even though Cress wants to be liked and to please her Luna guardians she’s not a weakling. She isn’t the strongest of the characters, physically, but mentally she can blow most away and her talent behind a computer knows no equal. She is courageous when she decides to defy her country in order to help Cinder and sets off a chain of events that frees her from her satellite prison and brings her closer to the merry band of misfits. Of all the books in the Lunar Chronicles series I’ve enjoyed CRESS the best. I really liked her relationship with Thorne and I liked how she changed and grew over the course of the book and learned just how strong she truly was. My biggest disappointment was that because the POV is so divided now we didn’t get to spend as much time in Cress’s POV as I would have liked.

Cress Quote

In terms of plot, there is a lot of movement but not a whole lot of concrete action. Things happen and its not boring but there is still A LOT of ground to cover in the final book, WINTER, in order for this motley crew to overthrow a kingdom and save the people of Earth from the wicked queen. I’m worried that the next book will be rushed and convoluted especially after some of the reveals that happen in CRESS. I still get frustrated every time they refer to needed an antidote and my eye gets a little twitchy but I am trying to move past that though I don’t think I will succeed until the series is over.

For me, there weren’t a ton of crazy big reveals and I was able to predict many things before they happened. Heck, there are things that were revealed in this book that I was predicting in CINDER (my review) so in terms of mystery its not the best for an avid reader of mysteries. That said I can see the appeal of this story and the fun that people have with it. The series does get better as the story progresses even though I think the author relies too much on switching up the POV. When things get a little difficult to explain Meyer’s just has another POV take over and so at 75% in there is a whole new voice to learn. Its frustrating and unnecessary and probably my second biggest complaint of the series.

Rebecca Soler returns to narrate CRESS and I love what she brings to the table with her narration. Of all the characters in this world her voice seems best suited to Cress and she really helps bring that character to life. Cress is young and innocent as a result of being so sheltered and Soler really breaths life into her character. I’m not sure when I will read WINTER, its a heafty book weighing in at 824 pages and I’ve enjoyed listening to these on audio and am currently waiting in line for a copy to come in at the library. This series started off rocky for me but I am looking forward to seeing how it all ends and if my theories are correct or not.

irishdarkblue

IR - Cinder

 

Add Cinder by Marissa Meyer to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-half-stars
Divider

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Audio Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Scarlet by Marissa MeyerScarlet by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles, Book 2
Also in this series: Cinder, Cress, Fairest, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 05 February 2013
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Dystopian, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 11 hours 19 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Cinder, Cress, Fairest, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Travled To: Rieux, France // Paris, France // New Beijing // Earth’s Orbit

First Line(s): Scarlet was descending toward the alley behind the Rieux Tavern when her portscreen chimed from the passenger seat, followed by an automated voice: “Comm received for Mademoiselle Scarlet Benoit from the Toulouse Law Enforcement Department of Missing Persons.”

When I finished CINDER by Marissa Meyer (my review) I wasn’t as pleased with it as many others that I know. I expected more from the story and always hate when science is done so unbelievably and I was a little reluctant to pick up SCARLET. But I was told that SCARLET is a favorite read from fans of the Lunar Chronicles series and the hold I’d forgotten I’d placed at the library came up so I decided to give this audio a try. Walking into the story I was wondering how Meyer would connect Scarlet and Wolf’s stories to Cinder since they were set half a world apart and that’s when I quickly learned of the crazy POV switches. Oh my stars does this book shift POVs. SO much so that it gets a little confusing at times and not all shifts seem to have much purpose. I did enjoy seeing more scenes with Captain Thorne but Scarlet often bored me. There wasn’t a whole lot of things happening in this book and things just felt off.

There were facts that didn’t seem to mesh well and distances in Paris that were just wrong. I get that this is a dystopian world and that buildings have crumbled and become abandoned while the city center shifts to allow for the newer more futuristic world. But there were locations that were mentioned in the book that as far apart  as described in the narrative. (Google people…its your friend.) ANd yes, I am the sort to map things out when mentioned in a book but I was also in Paris last year so things are still pretty clear since I walked all over that city during the week that I spent there. Though I’ll take miscalculated distances over poor science any day so was glad when not mentioned was mentioned about Letamosis and the need for an “antidote” (*cringes*).

Scarlet Quote

I found the plot to be really predictable and so very repetitive not to mention how everything always seemed to fall right into place just at the very right moment. My eyeballs sure did get a work out from the frequent eye rolling that I did at some scenes. I was also frustrated with just how obtuse these characters could be much of the time and yet were supposed to buy that they are all geniuses because they finally figuring out that the x on the map meant there was treasure thought they’d been staring at the answer key for hours.

Listening to SCARLET on audio was a slow slog and often tried my patience. I did enjoy Rebecca Soler’s narration, mostly, but felt there were times when she’d confuse her voices. Especially when she was reading another POV when the character voices getting mixed up weren’t sharing the page. And IKO…my stars…is there a more annoying voice? I don’t think so. Or maybe that’s just the character who was just like nails on a chalkboard. As a whole I wasn’t all that more impressed with SCARLET than I was with CINDER and I don’t get why so many love it. I really didn’t buy the new romance or thought that the story moved forward all that much. While I will probably read CRESS at some point, because now I’m sort of invested in seeing if my theories from CINDER come true, I know that this will never be a favorite of mine.

irishdarkblue

IR - Cinder

 

Add Cinder by Marissa Meyer to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
Divider

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Audio Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles,
Also in this series: Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 03 Jan 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Futuristic Romance, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 10 Hours 6 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Traveled To: New Beijing, The Commonwealth (Future)

First Line(s): The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.

Small fact about me. I have issues reading the last book in a series so there are times when I’ll wait to read a series until all the books are out (and yes, this totally is a trait of my mother but we won’t share that with her, right friends?). Another small fact, hyped up books and I don’t always get along. So its because of those two small facts that I waited until now to give CINDER by Marissa Meyer’s a shot. Because even though I know that hyped books and I are like oil and water I still get pulled into the buzz around them and right now everyone seems to be all aglow over the upcoming release of WINTER (Goodreads) which is the final book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I thought to myself, if I start CINDER now and liked it I can then bounce from book to book and get to WINTER around publication and therefore not end up with yet another unfinished series on my plate. For I do hate to say goodbye to a beloved story.

Unfortunately, CINDER and I didn’t really get along as well as I would have hoped. First, there were just too many things that happened for convince. Like Cinder’s net-link in her brain so that she can easily look up anything that she could ever possibly think of so it makes getting out of tight situations so much easier. CINDER was also highly predictable. I pretty much knew very early on just how this whole book was going to go and not just the book but the rest of the series too. This is not something that a reader should be able to guess at only 20% into a story. Friends on Twitter tried to feed me red herrings but seriously folks that just frustrates me more than the predictability of a story. If I’m right just say I’m right and no cryptic bullshit…because I am not a fan of the cryptic. I was also bored throughout most of the story because once again in a YA fantasy/sci-fi book nothing happens until the tale end of the story. I get that CINDER is the first in a series and since its a futuristic world that there is more setup and world building involved than your typical contemporary read.

Cinder Quote

I get it I do and if the world building was there I may have enjoyed things more as I unearthed the treasures of this futuristic Earth. But the world building was just not there. There was very little detail given other than the very basic of things. We’re in the future…ok so flying cars! And internet everywhere. Hmm…what else can we toss in robots? OK! Oh and aliens who aren’t really aliens but lets give these former humans POWERS because why not?  Yup…OK we now have a futuristic world no more details. Oh wait…in the future things must get worse before they can get better so lets give this one lots of dystopian qualities because dystopia is HOT HOT HOT now. It was just all so very generic and as such made it hard to visualize this world that Cinder lives in. And then we get to my other least favorite part of CINDER. This is probably the part that I disliked the most in the book and turned me off the story more than anything else. The virus that was quickly spreading and killing off the world’s populace. The virus that seemed to change from person to person in the blink of an eye. The virus that had no clear means of how it was spread. That no one could figure anything about despite being so technologically advanced.

Another small fact about me. I am a science nerd and at one time thought about becoming a Virologist. So if there is one thing I know about its viruses and this book just things wrong on so many levels. But the most basic of which was how throughout the book they were all looking for an antidote. It was said over and over and it just made the science nerd in me cringe each and every time. Why you might ask? Well, I’m glad you did. Let’s do a quick google search on the word and see how antidote is defined.

ANTIDOTE: an·ti·dote / ˈan(t)iˌdōt/ noun

1.  a medicine taken or given to counteract a particular poison.

Do you see the world virus in there at all? No? Now lets do another quick google search:

VACCINE: vac·cine / vakˈsēn/ noun 
  1. a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease

Now of these two words which is the most likely to use to combat a deadly virus? If you said vaccine then you get a gold star. I could have forgiven and overlooked so much on CINDER and how terrible its plague was written if Meyer had just gotten this one small word right. Ok, maybe not but this incorrect use of the word antidote really made my eye twitch and just grated on my nerves in its wrongness. And because I listened to CINDER on audio I wasn’t able to change the word in my head everytime it came up because someone else was reading the story to me. Which just made it all the more pronounced.

Even though there was much about this book that annoyed me, I did enjoy Rebecca Soler’s narration of it. I liked how she breathed a little bit of life into a dull story because this is one that I’d tried in print several times over the last few years but I kept putting it aside as it never grabbed my attention. Soler was Cinder and I liked what she did with the story. However, CINDER is a book that often jumps POVs and in that head-jumping way that I dislike so much and so there are several times when we are in a male POV and as such I would have preferred a male narrator. Granted since CINDER is filled with head-jumping this wouldn’t be an easy thing to do but Soler didn’t do the best with male voices and it was often hard to tell who was supposed to be speaking since they all sounded alike.

In the end I was left with a feeling a disappointment there was nothing about this book that had me dying to move on to the next book in the series SCARLET (goodreads). Other than the fact that my Lunar Chronicles obsessed friends on Twitter say that SCARLET is their favorite and its better than CINDER. I just wish that I felt the love of CINDER that they did because the premise was interesting it just fell apart throughout its execution.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Cinder

 

Add Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
Divider