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 Tagged: Sci-Fi

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, June 2, 2016

Audio Review: The Remedy by Suzanne Young

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: The Remedy by Suzanne YoungThe Remedy by Suzanne Young
Narrator: Rebekkah Ross
Series: The Program,
Also in this series: The Program, The Treatment, The Epidemic
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on 21 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: The Program, The Treatment, The Epidemic

Place(s) Traveled To: Corvallis, Oregon // Eugene, Oregon // Portland, Oregon // Lake Oswego, Oregon

First Line(s): It’s time to say good-bye.

When it came to Suzanne Young’s book THE PROGRAM (my review) I fell hard and I was sad when the series was over as I just loved this world that she created. When I heard that Young was writing a prequel duology I was both excited and scared and sad. I was excited because I wanted more of this world and I was scared because I wasn’t sure if THE REMEDY would live up to its predecessor and I was sad because our old friends wouldn’t be in this one. I should not have worried though as Young totally knocked things out of the park with this creepy origin story to how The Program came to be. THE REMEDY is told from the POV of Quinlan McKey who is a Closer. That is she is a girl that pretends to be girls who died in order to help grieving families move on.

Quin’s life is never fully her own due to the work that she does and its something that her father has had her do for the past 11 years. Which is far far longer than the recommended time to be a closer. In THE REMEDY she’s sent out on a long term assignment not long after coming off a job and as a result she begins to lose herself a little. Quin has never lived a normal life but in this role she gets to experiment with what may have been if her life was different and she likes it. Quin also begins to uncover some shocking facts and learns that all may not be what it seems with the company that she works for and with the world in general. There seems to be an epidemic starting and if she isn’t careful she might get sucked in.

The Remedy Quote

I didn’t think that I would like a character more than Sloane from THE PROGRAM but Quin totally wins the reader over with her actions. She’s smart and vulnerable and as a reader you just want her to find peace and happiness. You want to shake her father for making her do this work and you want to slap Deacon for some of the things that he does. I was totally invested in THE REMEDY and found myself coming up with reasons to drive around town just to listen to more of this story. Its twisty and turny and there are just some things you can’t see coming until after they’ve happened. Rebekkah Ross is a fantastic narrator and her voice just totally sucks you into this story and won’t let you go. Ross *is* Quin and you can’t ask for any more than that when it comes to a books narrator.

THE REMEDY was a total emotional roller-coaster ride for me and just when I thought I had things all figured out Young would toss in some new fact or detail to totally surprise me. THE REMEDY left me in awe an amazement and I just don’t understand when everyone isn’t totally buzzing about this story. Its realistic and stunningly written and I love trying to find all the connections between THE REMEDY and THE PROGRAM. Its a book that can be read independently of the other series but I think it just becomes all the richer for reading in the order that it was written in. THE REMEDY is one of the best books that I’ve read so far this year and I can not wait to see where Young goes with this series next.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - The Remedy

Add Altered by Jennifer Rush to Goodreads (Click here for my review.)

Add The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

five-stars
Divider

Friday, February 26, 2016

Audio Review: Armada by Ernest Cline

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

Audio Review: Armada by Ernest ClineArmada by Ernest Cline
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Published by Crown on 14 July 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Dystopian, Friendship, Sci-Fi, Survival Stories, Suspense, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Beverton, Oregon // Unknown, Nebraska // Moon Base Alpha

First Line(s): I was staring out of the classroom window daydreaming of adventure when I spotted the flying saucer.

When I went to BEA last spring there were only a couple of books that I needed to get and one of those was ARMADA by Ernest Cline. I loved his first book, READY PLAYER ONE (my review) and was so excited to see what he came up with next. But then I became torn because it was announced that Wil Wheaton would be narrating just as he did with READY PLAYER ONE and I decided to wait until I could get my hands on the audiobook.

The wait for the audio was a great decision because, as always, Wil Wheaton was most excellent in his narration. I just love Wheaton’s reading style and the energy and life that he brings to a story. It especially helped with ARMADA because I found the actually story to be a bit slow and hard to get into. There was a lot of repetition to the story and the story was a little bit too similar to READY PLAYER ONE mixed with ENDER’S GAME mixed with WARGAMES.

Armada Quote

There were no surprises in ARMADA and each big “twist” was just anti-climatic and predictable. The build up was overly drawn out which left very little time for the big climatic battle. Which left the ending something to be desired. If I’d been reading this one in print than I may have DNF’d this one or just ended up skimming to the end to see how it all turned out. The only reason why I didn’t was because of Wil Wheaton.

I’m still a fan of Ernest Cline and I am looking forward to his next book but sadly ARMADA just wasn’t the book for me. The writing was ok it was just the plotting and the pacing and even some of the characters that really didn’t mesh with me.

irishdarkblue

IR - Armada

Add Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer to Goodreads.

Add The End of All Things by John Scalzi to Goodreads.

three-stars
Divider

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Passenger by Alexandra BrackenPassenger by Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger,
Published by Disney-Hyperion on 05 January 2016
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Fantasy, Love & Romance, People & Places, Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Suspense, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Bhutan (1910) // New York, New York (1776, 2015) // The Atlantic (1776) // London, England (1940) // Angkor, Cambodia (1685) // Paris, France (1880) // Damascus, Syria (1599) // Palmyra, Syria (1599)

First Line(s): As they ascended, retreating farther from the winding trails that marked the way to nearby villages, the world opened to him in its purest form: silent, ancient, mysterious.

You may have heard of PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken as it gotten a lot of hype in and around the blogging community. I am always wary of hyped up reads but I loved Bracken’s BRIGHTLY WOVEN (my review) and while I still need to read DARKEST MINDS I was curious about this one. The basic plot of PASSENGER involves time travel and that is one of my favorites in books so I was eager to see Bracken’s taken on it along with how she wove in the history of the various time periods. Sadly, for me, PASSENGER didn’t live up to my expectations. I found it to be very slow and it took me forever to get through it. I found it likeable enough when I was reading it but it was really easy to put down. And once I put it down there was nothing driving me to pick it back up again.

With the exception of Nicolas and Etta all the characters were pretty one dimensional especially the big bad and I just found it really hard to care about Etta’s mission. The rules of the world also seemed to be pretty fluid even though they were supposed to be set though maybe that was just a result of my reading an ARC as opposed to the finished book. I often found myself rolling my eyes at the cliches in this book and there is this one moment when Nicolas and Etta are discussing the future and I wanted to throw my book across the room at what Etta revealed as important. That in her time she and Nicolas would be able to kiss as a way to show how far things had come from his time period when you’d think the fact that there is an African-American President might be a stronger indication of progress.

Passenger Quote

The ending of PASSENGER is also a bit of a cliff hanger but by that point in the story I was rolling my eyes more that I was gasping in shock. I found much of the book to be slow and predictable and I was just happy for it to be over. I thought that events at the end were rushed in comparison to the rest of the book. I also found the story to be overly descriptive on matters that had no importance and then very cryptic on things that were. It was a very uneven story telling and while it was prettily written there was nothing about PASSENGER that wowed me as I longed to be wowed.

Even with all the pretty words that filled PASSENGER the world building wasn’t really there and I just didn’t really see the point of it all. PASSENGER isn’t a bad book but its just not a book that will stay with me nor is it a story that I will re-read. At this moment in time I’m unsure if I want to devote the time and energy it would take in order to read its conclusion, WAYFARER, when it comes out next year. If I do it will be something that I borrow from a friend as I don’t know if I’d be able to read it in time from the library. Although maybe WAYFARER will surprise me and be a faster read than PASSENGER was.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Passenger

Add Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-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

Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. SchwabA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Series: A Darker Shade of Magic,
Published by Tor Books on 24 February 2015
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Historical, Mystery & Detective, Parallel World, Politics & Intrigue, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Witches & Wizards
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To:
Red London: Arnes
Grey London // Windsor // Eton: England
White London: Makt

First Line(s): Kell wore a very peculiar coat.

Not long ago my Twitter was all a buzz with VE Schwab’s A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC and even now, months after its release, there is still a lot of chatter about it. Since I love a good fantasy I decided to give this one a shot and was immediately intrigued by the blend of magic and parallel worlds. On its surface, A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, seems like the perfect book for me but I found it incredibly easy to put down and difficult to pick back up again. When I was reading it I was absorbed but it was fleeting and when I had time to think about it something about the story just fell flat for me.

While I get that this world is new(ish) and so there is a lot of set up to be done I found it to be very repetitive with its content. There was no reason for all to be resaid over and over and over it again. It got old and frustrating and I would find myself skipping some paragraphs just to get things moving along in the hopes that new facts would appear. Only not much happened for most of this book. Again I know that there is a lot of set up to be had to set the rules of these worlds that Kell finds himself traveling through but it was slow and boring and suffered from too many POVs. That’s right, there was that dreaded headjumping that I really can’t stand in a book. I don’t mind when perspective shifts in a book but I do take exception when its for a paragraph or two and into random heads on a one off basis just to make it easier to move the story along. This just frustrates me to know end and I know it made me roll my eyes and sigh with every new instance.

Darker Shade of Magic Quote

There was also a mystery element to A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC that I found to be really predictable and while I don’t always dislike a story for its predictableness it does make things more interesting when things aren’t so in your face obvious. Especially when the characters seem to actively turn a blind eye to things that are crystal clear to the reader. The characters themselves were all a bit two-dimenstional. There was noting super special about any of them and I often found myself wondering why I should care about what they were doing or the trouble they were getting themselves in. Not to mention the forced love interest between Kell and Lila and what could be a potential love triangle forming for the next book. #blergh

Despite all of this though I really didn’t dislike A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC but I didn’t love it either. I’m in no rush to see what happens next and am on the fence on if I’ll read that book or not. For me, this story is forgettable and there is nothing that really sets it apart from other stories. Though I do think that with a little fine tuning it could be a story with a most excellent premise. I think that maybe this read was just another instance where I let myself get pulled into the hype and as such had higher expectations for it than I should have. As such, I found A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC to be more of a mediocre read and didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

irishdarkblue

 

 

IR - Darker Shade of Magic

 

Add A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris to Goodreads.

three-stars
Divider

Monday, May 11, 2015

Audio Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Audio Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia GrayA Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Series: Firebird,
Also in this series: Ten Thousand Skies Above You
Published by Harper Audio on 04 November 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Parallel World, People & Places, Sci-Fi, Social Issues, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Length: 9 hours 18 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Ten Thousand Skies Above You

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England // St Petersburg, Russia // San Francisco, California // Coral Sea (Future)

First Line(s): My hand shakes as I brace myself against the brick wall.

Its no secret that I can be picky with books and so I was a little wary of Claudia Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You as it was a book a lot of my friends were talking about and hyped up books and I don’t always get along. Since I do like audiobooks I thought that I would try A Thousand Pieces of You in that format and was a little unsure of it at first. I didn’t trust one of the main characters and then there was that learning curve of trying to figure out just what was going on. A Thousand Pieces of You thrusts you right into the action and while I liked it I just wish there was a little more explanation at the start on what was going on.

By the 50% point though I was totally hooked on this story. I mostly loved the events in Russia and I think that was in part because they were Theo-less. I just got such a creepy vibe from him and that was in part due to the age difference between him and Marguerite. What I did like, was Marguerite. She was a strong character who was just trying to find the truth about what happened to her father. I liked how she wasn’t boy crazy and that she made the best of all the various situations that she found herself in. I didn’t always agree with her choices when she was living the lives of other Marguerite’s but I do understand why she made them.

Thousand Pieces of You Quote

Overall, I did enjoy A Thousand Pieces of You. Once the story got going I couldn’t listen fast enough though there were moments where things seemed to contradict themselves and I found that frustrating. There were things that happened that certain people shouldn’t have known. However, things got to be a bit shaky at the end with hints of WTF-ery that just made me roll my eyes. There were things that happened that made me roll my eyes and I think it took away from the story a bit as it pulled back some of the earlier punches that this novel threw.

The ending of this also starts to set the stage for things to come in the next book in the series and while I get that the seeds need to be set I do think that there were times they were a bit distracting in A Thousand Pieces of You. That said though, this is a book that I would recommend as overall it is a fun and unique read. If you like audiobooks then you might want to check this one out as Tavia Gilbert did an amazing just bringing this book to life. Gilbert didn’t have it easy either as there were many accents that she needed to cover throughout the length of this story. Accents can always be such a tricky thing in an audiobook and Gilbert nails them every single time.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Thousand Pieces of You

Add Hourglass by Myra McEntire to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (Click here for my review)

four-stars
Divider

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Movie Thoughts: Avengers – Age of Ultron

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Movie Thoughts, Review2 Comments

Avengers-Age-of-Ultron-PosterTitle: Avengers – Age of Ultron (Official Site)
Release Date: 01 May 2015
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 141 min
Genres: Action , Adventure, Sci-Fi
Series or Standalone: Series
Where Seen: Movie Theater
Production Company: Marvel StudiosDistributed By: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Director(s): Joss Whedon
Writers: Joss Whedon (screenplay & story ), Stan Lee (comic book), and  Jack Kirby (comic book)
Stars: Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), James Spader (Ultron), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Don Cheadle (James Rhodes/War Machine), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch), Paul Bettany (Jarvis/Vison),  Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon), and Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Avengers – Age of Ultron is the newest release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and continues story lines that were Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron..Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) ..Ph: Jay Maidment..©Marvel 2015 begun in previous films. Age of Ultron starts off right in the middle of an action scene and it confused me a bit because it felt like I had missed something. I love a good action scene but I also like to have a little build up to it, an explanation for it, and not to be just tossed in the middle of it with no warning. Not that it wasn’t a good action scene, because it was. The Avengers team are working really well together and have found their grove. They use their weapons and abilities in tandom and are able to trade snarky one liners throughout and so while things start off with a bang and some confusion there is also banner and laughter as well.

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron..Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen)..Ph: Jay Maidment..?Marvel 2015Age of Ultron also introduces a few new players to the world, including Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Along with the baddie of the film, Ultron and also Vision. Most of what I know about all of these people are what I learn in the movies. I was never a huge comic reader growing up and there is just so much lore that I’m lucky there are people on the internet who can help fill me in on everything. But boy can it get confusing at times. That side I really liked the new characters and what they brought to the film. I like the banter between Quicksilver and Hawkeye as well as most of Ultron’s lines. James Spader is the king of delivery in this one and even when he was trying to kill the Avengers he did it in a way that makes you laugh in the process.

Age of Ultron goes by quickly but it lacked something for me that prevents me from loving it fully. While there was a lot of action there wasn’t a whole lot of depth or character development. Well, aside from several scenes devoted to Avengers-Age-of-Ultron-Black-Widowone character who I loved seeing more about. Though, while informative, they were manipulative at the same time and I don’t like to feel like I’m being manipulated. This is part of why I don’t read John Green or Nicholas Sparks as both of them love to manipulate the reader. I also wasn’t a fan of Black Widow’s character in this movie. She is the total badass and yet it seems in the last couple of movies that she’s been regulated to sidekick and then love interest. In the first Avengers it seemed like she had a thing with Hawkeye, in Winter Soldier with Captain America, and this time around it was Bruce Banner. While there was also funny banter between Thor and Tony Stark on who was the better girlfriend, Jane or Pepper, they got to shine as heroes and fighters while Black Widow gets captured. Granted she does have some good fighting moments it just seems most of her dialogue was romantic in nature.

Overall, I enjoyed Age of Ultron and am glad that I saw it in the theatres but I don’t think its my favorite film in this Captain-America-Thor_612x380franchise. Unlike many in my social media friends lists I don’t have a burning desire to see it again. Though maybe if I did I might like it more. I don’t know. There’s just something that felt a bit flat for me with this one and there is lots of set up for that ultimate battle which will be coming with Infinity Wars. I wanted to love this one and I think maybe I just built it up too much in my head after my unexpected love of the first Avengers. That said, it is worth watching if you are a fan of the series as the action scenes are totally off the hook. I just want a little more from my action movies sometimes and this one didn’t fully deliver on that though I am curious to see how events in this film affect other Marvel Cinematic Universe storylines.

 

My Recommendation: Worth seeing in the theatre if you liked the first film. If you were just meh on it then you might want to wait for DVD.

Click here to read some funny lines from the movie – Spoilers abound!

irishdarkblue

Divider

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mini Reviews: Forged & Betrayed by Jennifer Rush

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Forged

 

Forged by Jennifer Rush 
Published by Little Brown on 03 December 2013
Series: Altered, Book 0.5
Pages: 32
Format: eBook
Source: Library

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Michigan

First Line(s): The bed beneath me was thin as paper, though not as thin as the cotton gown still tied around my naked body.

I really enjoyed the Altered series by Jennifer Rush so when I saw that my library had digital editions of the two novellas in the series I knew that I had to check them out. The first novella, Forged, takes place before the start of Altered (my review) and is the origin story of one character, Dani, and gives a little background to another. I was initially excited for this one but just didn’t care for it. It felt like a different tone than the rest of the series and I just didn’t care for any of the characters. Despite this on weighing in at just 32 pages it was a bit of a struggle to read. To me, this one didn’t really add much of anything to the overall story ARC of the series.

Betrayed + Forged Quote

Betrayed

 

Betrayed by Jennifer Rush 
Published by Little Brown on 26 August 2014
Series: Altered, Book 1.5
Pages: 32
Format: eBook
Source: Library

Place(s) Traveled To: Sarasota, Wisconsin

First Line(s): Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

While I didn’t really enjoyed Forged I did really enjoy reading Betrayed! I just loved reading Trev’s story and devoured this short little novella quickly. For a short story this one had a lot to it and my only real complaint was that it wasn’t longer. I still have hopes that one day Trev and Cal will get full length books as I really want to know more about them both. Though Betrayed does do a good job in filling in some of the gaps of Trev’s story. This one I think adds value to the overall story and one that I think is worth the read. Though at 99cents and only 32 pages you may want to check to see if your library has it in its digital catalog.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
Divider

Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: Twist by Karen Akins

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

Review: Twist by Karen AkinsTwist by Karen Akins
Series: Loop, Book 2
Also in this series: Loop
Published by St Martin's Griffin on 07 April 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Time Travel
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Loop

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England (1666) // Washington, DC (23rd Century) // Chinocteague, North Carolina (2016)

First Line(s): There are forty-seven rules every Shifter must obey. I’d broken all but two of them.

Twist by Karen Akins is the sequel to last year’s Loop (my review) and the conclusion of the duology started in that book. Twist was a book that I was really excited to read beause I loved Loop so very much and I was really looking forward to more Finn and Brie snarky goodness. Only what I was hoping for and what Twist actually was never really meshed in my head. Twist quickly falls into the ‘lets separate the happy couple’ trope and I, for one, hated that. So much of what I loved in Loop was missing in Twist because there wasn’t a whole lot of time with Brie and Finn in the same place. Instead Brie was almost always with Wyck who she was pretending to date and then getting the occasional clue from future Brie just as now Brie was about to end things.

*pauses for a big sigh*

Future Brie.

Oh my stars did this annoy me more in this book than in the first one. So much crypticness that lead to so many misunderstandings when everything could have more easily been resolved if the characters just TALKED TO EACH OTHER. Regular readers on my blog know that lack of communication as a plot point is one of my biggest pet peeves. Head banging against the wall inducing even. And since much of Twist relies on this trope, well, lets just say that it wasn’t a quick read for me. I wasn’t as engaged in this book and kept putting it aside in favor of other books.

Twist Quote

Despite my annoyances I still got invested in the story…just not as much as I would have liked. My heart still broke but it wasn’t until around the 80% mark that I felt things really take off in the story. Up until then I may have been fine just putting this one aside forever and never reading it until the end. I still liked Brie and her snark but I wasn’t a huge fan on where Akins took her characters in this one. Which is always a danger, I suppose, when characters in a series find their happily for now at the end of the first book. But with all the other things going on in Brie’s world, what with the changing timelines and all, why did we need the added drama of a separation as well. For me, Twist would have been stronger if Finn and Brie spent the book working together and becoming stronger as a couple. Not spending most of it apart and having to deal with bad characters from the fist book getting a redemption story.

Then you have the ending. An ending that I’m still trying to decide on if I like it or not. I mean I get it, I think it fits with the story. But at the same time its a little unsatisfying to me as a reader. I just wanted ALL THE THE THINGS and I didn’t get them. At least, not in the way that I wanted them to be. I still think that Karen Akins is a strong writer and I loved her world building. I will still eagerly pick up her next book but while I will re-read Loop I don’t think that Twist  is a book that I will pick up again. It was hard enough to finish the first time and I don’t think I want to put myself through that again.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Twist

Add Pivot Point by Kasie West to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

three-stars
Divider