Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Review: Sentinel (Sentinel Trilogy, #1)

Sentinel {Sentinel Triology, #1}/ Joshua Winning

I have complicated thoughts about this book. Some are good, some are bad; and this review is going to uncover everything.

Young Nicholas Hallow's life is turned upside down: his parent's death, the weird whispers dreams and the hidden world from the eye.

Join the fight between the Sentinels and the Dark , as good battles evil, sacrifices and torn apart families will unite in this fantasy novel.

Plot:
Well, that was an interesting... okay, I'll stop joking around and say the truth. I was really bored with this book; I felt as if the book was standing in one place, there was pretty much no action or actual danger to it. I felt like all the scenes were like an unedited YouTube video, where the person didn't even do cuts between talks.

Also, I felt like this plot was really inspired by the Harry Potter series. Pretty much every character was a less interesting and cool than the characters in the HP series. I found many similarities- a dark lord with an army, some old man who's known by all with his greatness; and there's so much more to it.

I also hated that the 'love triangle' was with a boy and two much older ladies. Don't get me wrong, I hate all types of love triangle and I'm cool if the girl is older than the guy, but this is pedophilia, no matter what angle I look at it from. It feels really wrong for young audience novel.

Also, many claim that the book is dark and scary, but I felt it was just something to drive the book by. I didn't feel like it was actually having something dark in it or even something to make me shiver by.

Still, I loved how there's different types of Sentinels and that the evil lord takes fully over a corpse, not just goes and sticks to some human like a leech.

Still, nothing is really explained, who are the Sentinels and if are those demons? 

Writing:
I don't hate third person point of view, but I felt like it made the novel much slower. All the scenes that doesn't include Nicholas were fillers and unneeded because most of those scenes feature one million characters that I didn't give a damn about.

I also think first person perspective from Nicholas would put more colors to the story and maybe even include some humor, which is always appreciated in any type of novel to keep the reader do his job-reading.

Also, the writing is really deep and sometimes it made me forget that the story was in the twenty first century.

Nicholas (Harry Potter):
Nicholas is really angry about the death of his parents and is really childish. Even for a guy, he acted like a kid; and from his actions I couldn't see him older than twelve. I was actually surprised anyone really considered him mature because he wince like a baby.

Sam (Albus Dambeldor):
Sam is the father figure of Nicholas after the death of his parents. Sam is described as about sixty years old who acts like he's in his thirties, both mentally and physically.

I know that this is a fantasy novel, but I do like to make some sense. How can an old man mover faster than a youngster? You need some serious magic for this, and I mean in writing.

Tabatha (Molly Weasley):
Tabatha takes care of Nicholas like of a son, and she barely can let go of him when he's out on his way to the journey. She was kind of spineless and wasn't much but someone who would ask 'what are you doing there Nicholas?'

Malika (Belatrix Lestrange):
I did like Malika and I felt like she's the only one who actually was a person/demon. She's not just my favorite character but also the only one I fully liked, except for Jessica.

Malika is wicked and chaotic evil, but really loyal to her God Diltraa (Lord Voldemort). She sounds really pretty but in the same time, poisonous. She's kind of more Poison Ivy than Belatrix, actually, when I think about it.

Jessica:
I didn't find any parallel character for her, and I was happy she felt original.

Jessica always acts mature, wise and confident, knows what to do. Most of the time. She felt real; her act was human like and charming. I only wish we knew more about her.

Overall:
Unfortunately and fortunately, I got into a love-hate relationship with this book. It drives me wanting more and to see what the next book, Ruins, holds in this series. It is slow, but the writing has an old styling and some side characters can be lovable.

2 STARS

Recommended to:
-patient readers
-fantasy lovers
-contemporary fantasy setting fans

Liked:
-world building
-HP like
-Malika
-Jessica

Disliked:
-basic plotline
-Nicholas
-Sam
-most of main and minor characters

This book was an exchange with the author for a honest review in the R4R (Read for Review) program.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars/ John Green

Want to hear someone who speaks up his negative mind against the best book of 2012? Look no further, my friends! Because it's ranting time!

Hazel Grace has survived lung cancer with a miracle.Yet, she still has weak lungs and she's depressed for most of the day. Due the depression, her parents think it's a good idea to send her to a support group that takes it's sessions in "the heart of Jesus". Also known as the basement in a church/convent. There she meets a young boy by the name of Augustus Waters.

Plot:
Before I start talking about the plot in general, I want to talk about the fuel of a story: the conflict!
Did I miss something? Because every time I try to find something that drives the story, I find only... okay, you know what, I find nothing.
Some of you may say: "but she has cancer, and he has cancer! It's a huge conflict!" but let me explain something;
Cancer is not a conflict. The effect after the cancer is a conflict.
I know, you would say that the depression and all the love drama is a conflict, but not in my opinion. I'm sorry. Not.
But despise this, I really loved how the story had a structure (you don't know how many stories I've read that didn't use time lapse right) and the romance was really cute!
I also love the funny moments between Hazel and Gus;
"I failed my drawing test three times." "You don't say."
I think that the romance itself is what makes this story beautiful.

Writing:
I don't hate the writing, it's just that many times in a dialogue, after quotes, you could see;
I said- she said- I said.
He said- I said.
The word 'said' was mentioned over nine thousand times, and that was annoying.
Hazel Grace:
I actually really liked Hazel personality. She was witty, sarcastic and overall, a cutie-pie. Need I say more?

Augustus Waters:
Okay, I know that many of my friends are in love with him, and I still don't get why. One of my problems is: he's much more stupid than most people disclaim.
Here's an example: he puts a cigar in his month on the plane. He doesn't lit it up ("it's a metaphor. You put the killing thing in your mouth, but you don't let it kill you,") but he was let go only with a warning.
Also, when they need to pass hand bags in the security, they would take the cigars and throw them away!

Minor characters:
I didn't like any of the minor characters. They also felt really blend to me.

Overall:
The story could have been better with a conflict, a strong male lead character and more flushed out characters.

2 STARS

Liked:
-Hazel

Disliked:
-Gus
-Plot
-swallow minor characters

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Review: Akaya Akashiya Ayakashi No vol.1 (あかや あかしや あやかしの, #1)

Akaya Akashiya Ayakashi No vol.1 {あかや あかしや あやかしの, #1}/ HaccaWorks*
 
I usually don't review mangas, but this one is special.
 
The story of AkaAka begins with a dream filled with red camellia and the passing of a strange mask. The owner of this mask is a young boy named Yue who lives at a temple populated with rather unusual residents. The nearby town Utsuwa is holding a winter festival. Kurogitsune, his fox spirit friend, decides it’s the perfect opportunity for the sheltered Yue to experience the sights, sounds, and most of all–the food! Even though Yue is forbidden to ever leave the temple, they sneak into town, not realizing what they’ve set into motion…(from MangaHere)
The manga is also bassed on a visual novel with the same name.

Plot:
As to tell the truth, the plot of this manga is actually a bit in haze. Actually, we don't even know for sure if Yue is human! We do have some clues that are given that makes it look like he's actually a demon, but those are not formal and nobody says, "yes, this person over here is a human/demon!" but more on that later. I do love how everything is mysterious(even without the mystery inside the story). Every person can see the plot differently, and I really recommend to those who like Japanese demons/myths/literature, this is for you.

Writing:
As I read the manga in both Japanese and English, I must say, the writing of the dialogues is really good. There's never too much information, and it's really nice to the eye. I'm currently reading a manga called Kamusari, and let me tell you, when there's an overdoze of text, it makes you wanna put down the book. Seriously.

Art:
AkaAka's art can be described in one word: gorgeous. It's not drawn by the same person as who created the art of the visual novel, but the drawing style gave the same, amazing atmosphere: the feeling of the Japanese supernatural motif. For some people, the drawing of the body might not appeal, as some see it too 'slender' and 'bone showing', which in my taste, is not bad. It's actually in the right place.

Hero- Yue:
Yue is the hero of the story. He's friendly to other and sometimes even naive, carefree and going by his own pace. Yue can't see people 'normally'- he sees them as simple shadows(that are illustrated in a shape familiar to a fox). Except for two people. Those are Tsubaki and Akiyoshi.
The story isn't like 'yes! Yue is a demon!' but it does gives us hints that  he is one of them. Huh.

Tsubaki:
Unlike Yue, Tsubaki is not the happy go around person. He's serious and has a grim expression on his face. Actually, he hates everything. Even the camellia flower he was named after (Tsubaki= Camellia in Japanese). He's a loner and keeps his distance from everyone, like a true Emo.
 
Akiyoshi:
Our fellow stalker who is sensitive to the supernatural. He sees himself as the protector of the city, when in reality, he's an asthmatic boy with a mask over his face and runs around with tissues.
Kurogitsune:
He's Yue's guide/friend. He's a Kitsune, a Japanese fox demon, who always saves Yue's ass. He's also the one who drags him out into the human world and makes them both get into trouble in the first place. If not him, nothing in the novel would happen, and believe me, Yue would be dad without his foxy friend. But he can be kinda like this:

Overall:
If you want a mysterious and beautiful plot and world setting, this is the manga for you!

5 STARS

Liked:
-Plot
-Characters
-World setting

Disliked:
-A bit too mysterious 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Update: The ShadowHunter Chronicles

I only started half-way through Clockwork Angel, and I'm in love already with this world! Just look at it: