& Review: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. Science Fiction/Fantasy. Publisher: Tor Books January 2016

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. Science Fiction/Fantasy. Publisher: Tor Books January 2016

The Book Itself: I really like this cover. The crazy bird pattern, made to look like its an overwhelming flock, the bold font for the title. YES.

My Review: Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.

But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s every-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.

On the surface, the description of this book matches quite well that genre title “Science Fiction/Fantasy.” One of our main characters is a man of science, and the other is a girl gifted with a little bit of magic. They meet as children and come back together as adults with disastrous consequences. It is an awesome concept: one person steeped in logic, in the mechanics of how things work and the logistics of everything going wrong in the world. The other is focused on the metaphysical, the almost spiritual components of the world – the unexplainable.

It’s just that the execution comes off a little fuzzy and rather clumsily.

First: their childhood. Patricia has a magical encounter with a tree in the forest and many talking birds. Her parents are inexplicably abusive: she acts out at school and they immediately jump to locking her in her room and periodically feeding her under the door – what? Perhaps if they were fleshed out more as characters, I would buy their awfulness. I would at least be able to hate them accurately. But as it stands, I don’t understand them just being terrible, one-dimensional people. Patricia meets Laurence. Patricia freaks Laurence out and then thinks she is, in turn, a freak. Ahh, youth angst.

Laurence is a smartypants, creating a two-second time machine from bits and pieces he finds online. He becomes obsessed with witnessing a rocket launch and sneaks away from house and school to do so, only to meet kindred spirits who may or may not have their own two second time machines. He sees Patricia do magic and his poor little logic brain can’t take it.

Also at some point they help create an Artificial Intelligence together. Because that always works out well.

Now: their adulthood. Patricia has attended a magical school with two brands of magic: healers and tricksters. Annnnd that’s about all we get. The magic school sounded really incredible: an avenue ripe for storytelling. The book could have been all about Patricia Goes to School and that would have been a good story (but perhaps Anders didn’t want to write another magic story about a magic school). She also has a group of magical friends who are also inexplicably horrible to her. She reaches out to those in need around her, righting small wrongs like a modern day superhero (as cliché as that sounds, I liked this bit – I think it also could have been expanded on and explored more). Every time she does this, her fellow magic-doers call her selfish and egotistical. They tear her down and in general are terrible. It makes me not like the magic people.

Laurence is a rich bigwig because of his science know-how. He has a girlfriend whom he doesn’t particularly seem to enjoy, nor does she seem to enjoy him. She is also a flat character to me, delivering rote lines and in general making me say over and over again “wait, why are you here?”

Really, I think, the plot and secondary characters bothered me most. There is too much not explored, not fleshed out here. At one point a serial killer is after the two of them as children. And towards the end, the message feels like an environmental, only-magic-can-save-us-now effort that is still very confusing. Our supporting cast: Patricia’s parents, Patricia’s friends (poor Patricia, jeez…), Laurence’s girlfriend, and basically every authority figure is just kind of…awful. They don’t have redeeming qualities, and I don’t feel sympathy for them or what happens to them, or any good moment they have with our main characters.

I liked scenes in this book. Where Laurence meets other two-second-time-machiners. Where Patricia helps out the less fortunate in her neighborhood. Even the banter Patricia and Laurence develop as adults. But everything hanging around the two of them, and acting on them, wasn’t clear enough for me, or convincing enough for me to love it.

My Grade: C-

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& Review: One More Thing by B.J. Novak

One More Thing by B.J. Novak. Fiction. Publisher: Vintage

One More Thing by B.J. Novak. Fiction. Publisher: Vintage

The Book Itself: It stands out for it’s crazy lack-of-cover cover. It’s a white background. Scrawled title. It is difficult to keep this book clean (smudgy fingerprints and wear from sliding in and out of a purse already mar my copy), but it does make the book more intriguing. What’s it about? Was there no cover perfect/poignant/adequate enough to capture the essence of these stories??

My Review: B.J. Novak’s One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut that signals the arrival of a brilliant new voice in American fiction.

A boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes—only to discover how claiming the winnings might unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins—turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A new arrival in Heaven, overwhelmed with options, procrastinates over a long-ago promise to visit his grandmother. We also meet Sophia, the first artificially intelligent being capable of love, who falls for a man who might not be ready for it himself; a vengeance-minded hare, obsessed with scoring a rematch against the tortoise who ruined his life; and post-college friends who try to figure out how to host an intervention in the era of Facebook.  Along the way, we learn why wearing a red T-shirt every day is the key to finding love, how February got its name, and why the stock market is sometimes just . . . down.

Finding inspiration in questions from the nature of perfection to the icing on carrot cake, One More Thing has at its heart the most human of phenomena: love, fear, hope, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element that might just make a person complete. Across a dazzling range of subjects, themes, tones, and narrative voices, the many pieces in this collection are like nothing else, but they have one thing in common: they share the playful humor, deep heart, sharp eye, inquisitive mind, and altogether electrifying spirit of a writer with a fierce devotion to the entertainment of the reader.

Woah. That’s one doozy of a synopsis.

This is perhaps one of the most eclectic short story collections I’ve read. There were one sentence stories, ten page stories, straight fiction pieces, and magical realism.

But it felt like quantity over quality. There are 64 stories here. Sixty. Four. That’s a lot. A bunch are flash fiction. Really brief, bites of stories. And shorter did not mean better. For the most part, stories a page or less were not deep, meaningful, or even funny. They seemed like fluff, like filler material.

I did like a few pieces, mainly:

The Something by John Grisham” — John Grisham, the famous author, wakes to news that his latest book reached the bestseller list. Except…it gets published with the placeholder title. A funny take on fame and how a writer’s/artist’s intentions and true wishes get squashed sometimes.

“All You Have to Do” and “Missed Connection: Grocery spill at 21st and 6th 2:30 pm on Wednesday” — Several of B.J. Novak’s stories are interconnected. The subject of “The Girl Who Gave Great Advice” returns in a different story as a friend of a different protagonist. These two interconnected pieces made me go “awwww,” aloud. You don’t realize they’re connected until the end of the second piece. And it makes you smile 🙂

“Sophia” — A man orders a sex robot, and returns it when it falls in love with him. No joke. It sounds tawdry, but it’s actually quite touching and heart-wrenching. Is he also in love with his sex robot/”Sophia”? How did Sophia learn to love? Could it ever be a thing that lasts? The last line makes you want to weep a little.

“The Best Thing in the World Awards” — The tale of a fictional awards show emceed by none other than Neil Patrick Harris. The nominees? Nice feelings like love and kindness and charity. This year’s surprise contender? Nothing. A surprisingly chilling, interesting look at how we look at and evaluate what we consider “the best” of things.

Most of the other stories weren’t so memorable. I read the table of contents now, and I couldn’t tell you what half of them entailed. So, overall, a great many forgettable pieces, and only a few really poignant ones that felt like they were aiming for something.

Many of them felt kind of like Novak heard a phrase and then concocted a bizarre, pithy flash fiction piece about it. Example: “the stock market is down.” Why is the stock market so depressed? Why doesn’t someone cheer it up? “Why is February spelled the way it is?” The guy who invented the calendar just made a typo.

Overall, an uneven, cluttered collection with a few shining points.

My Grade: C

& Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Book Title: The Bone Season
Author: Samantha Shannon
Pages: 466
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Date Published: August 20th, 2013
Date Read: September 2nd, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Cover Love: It’s a great, bold cover. Very ominous and important looking. 
Given Synopsis:
It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut”
What I’d Add:
It’s Sorta Like:
My Grade: D
Review:
I was REALLY excited to read this. It got great reviews in my usual review sources – my work, magazines, media, etc. The plot sounded intriguing. And the (vastly premature) comparisons to J.K. Rowling were promising.

So I was therefore so very disappointed when it turned out so poorly. I am slightly baffled by the glowing reviews. Flawed worldbuilding and story holes aside, I didn’t find it to be well-written – a vital requirement that was this novel’s damning downfall.

Some reviews complain of infodumping – explaining away the world and the magic involved at the expense of story action. While I agree that this is the beginning of The Bone Season‘s problem, the larger problem is that this infodumping doesn’t then tell you anything. You get snatches of unimportant details about Scion and Scheol I – like the new cultural trend of oxygen bars, and this weird historical twist where King Edward was really Jack the Ripper AND the first clairvoyant – and then leaves out ginormous chunks of hugely important information about the actual clairvoyants and what they do and how they do it. The heart of the problem is that there is just SO MUCH information to include, TOO MUCH going on in the story and the plot and the background that I am sure Shannon has memorized. But the reader cannot possibly memorize it as well.

So Samantha Shannon plops us in this world and expects us to figure stuff out. That’s cool. Plenty of other authors have done that. But they helped out a bit – allowing you to infer by context or gradually giving you telling details making up this new world. But not Shannon. You live in Scion London now. Here’s a ton of made-up vocabulary, a new system of government, society, culture, and a new race even the main character didn’t know existed. Good luck, because you’re not getting any more help understanding any of it.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Time is very fluid in Shannon’s storyline. So fluid, in fact, that I have no idea how long any character is doing anything. How long are they in Scheol I? How long between this event and the next chapter has passed, because everyone seems healed and in on some secret plan that is never explained? It’s impossible to say.

You have to work so hard to deal with this world. And maybe that effort is working for some people. Maybe they just get Shannon’s vision. I just don’t see how they can, with the narrative the way it is. This story is too large, too inclusive of too many things, to be successful. The characters show little emotion, little depth, and there’s too much information force-feeding without giving actual story to make this enjoyable. The only reason I might continue the series is if other skeptical reviewers such as myself read and review the second installment and it turns out to be a complete 180 from this one.

& Review: The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon

The Word Exchange - Alena Graedon

The Word Exchange – Alena Graedon

Book Title: The Word Exchange
Author: Alena Graedon
Pages: 384
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday
Date Published: April 8th, 2014
Date Read: April 24th, 2014
Format: Hardcover, borrowed from work
Cover Love: I love me some ombre (letters). And the background looks like a word search!
Given Synopsis: “In the not-so-distant future, the forecasted “death of print” has become a reality. Bookstores, libraries, newspapers, and magazines are things of the past, and we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication but also have become so intuitive that they hail us cabs before we leave our offices, order takeout at the first growl of a hungry stomach, and even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called the Word Exchange.

Anana Johnson works with her father, Doug, at the North American Dictionary of the English Language (NADEL), where Doug is hard at work on the last edition that will ever be printed. Doug is a staunchly anti-Meme, anti-tech intellectual who fondly remembers the days when people used email (everything now is text or videoconference) to communicate—or even actually spoke to one another, for that matter. One evening, Doug disappears from the NADEL offices, leaving a single written clue: ALICE. It’s a code word he devised to signal if he ever fell into harm’s way. And thus begins Anana’s journey down the proverbial rabbit hole . . .

Joined by Bart, her bookish NADEL colleague, Anana’s search for Doug will take her into dark  basements and subterranean passageways; the stacks and reading rooms of the Mercantile Library; and secret meetings of the underground resistance, the Diachronic Society. As Anana penetrates the mystery of her father’s disappearance and a pandemic of decaying language called “word flu” spreads, The Word Exchangebecomes a cautionary tale that is at once a technological thriller and a meditation on the high cultural costs of digital technology.”
What I’d Add: I mean, doesn’t that just sound so freaking cool?!
It’s Sorta Like: The first thing that springs to mind is Wall-E. You know, where all the people on the ship live their lives in those hover chairs and never actually talk face to face. There’s some Steve Jobs/Apple stuff going on here too.
My Grade: C-
Review:
This is a book written by someone who loves words, and the intricacies of language. That sounds both promising and incredibly ambitious. But where Graedon cleverly tricks the reader into examining our relationship with language today, and our dependence on technology with a few tricky turns of world building, there are greater flaws in the big picture.

People are dependent on devices called memes in this book (so tempted to write this review completely in memes, like Grumpy Cat and cats that want Cheezburgers, but that would require too much work). But I don’t really know what a Meme is. Or what it looks like. There was mention of a circlet like device once, and I assumed throughout the novel that there was a cell phone-like screen linked to a shell-like ear piece that ostensibly made it easier to call people. But if you put a device that is essentially the eye of the storm for a huge, sweeping epidemic that encompasses perhaps the entire world by the time the novel closes, I should know what it looks like.

And I should know what it does. There were constant mentions of what the Meme is capable of: it orders food when it realizes you’re hungry, gives you information, downloads books, calls for a cab, etc. etc. etc. But only some people opt to get a chip implanted in them so that the meme can better suit their needs. I don’t really know how the meme tells its owner is hungry if they don’t have a chip in their brain. It is an All Powerful Device that can and does have powerful implications on the world it exists in. But it seems almost magic based rather than technology based. And the book blatantly cautions against relying on technology…with a device that doesn’t seem driven by feasible, logical technology.

So the science part of this science fiction-y book (this is in the fiction section of my store, technically, but it walks a fine line) is very flawed.

The characters and writing style are inconsistent. I mentally noted a lot of quotes in this book. Jotted them down in this journal I keep of great passages from novels. But I also feel like big swaths of text in the middle of the book could have been missing and I would not have missed them. It lagged. It dragged me through the main character’s terrible sleuthing and terrible mystery (clues seem to suddenly come to her, and the later explanation of their creation is not convincing). I didn’t find most of the action compelling. The author’s clear devotion to language bogs down real action and movement of plot.

But about that love of language. I did find its use and symbolism in this novel like no other novel I’ve read. People catch “word flu” from their dependence on technology and begin to use words that don’t really exist and forget commonplace words. One such character comes down with this word flu and at first the discrepancies are annoying. Needling, but passable. But as soon as you start to be able to ignore the slips (as everyone in the novel seems to do – seriously, the people in this society are clueless and lazy if they aren’t alarmed until catastrophe having to do with this erasure of language occurs. It’s a slow. Moving. Disease. They could have totally caught it early and the rest of the book would have been moot), they pop up more frequently. Finally, not a paragraph goes by without an annoying little slip. But Graedon is clever, forming language in the novel like that. At first we ignore it, until it becomes un-ignorable. Then its pervasive. You can’t get away from it and it gets a little spooky (the first time it happens I literally got chills).

Graedon also likes her words. Big words. Sometimes in need of a quick trip to a dictionary (I see what she did there, seeing as the characters work for a dictionary). But for the most part, I did think it was a nice touch: flourishing vocabulary in a world where it is a dying art.

It is such a patchy book, and I so wish the whole was more like the little bits I liked so much. The premise is amazing. The relationship to language wonderfully crafted and developed. But the characters fell flat for me, and the situations lacking in both plausibility and tension.

& Review: Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Book Title: Me Before You
Author: JoJo Moyes
Pages: 352 e-pages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Date Published: December 31st, 2012
Date Read: January 17th, 2014
Format: ebook on my nook
Cover Love: I’m a sucker for those simple, bold covers! And this is almost as simple as it gets: just the title, on a solid color background. Some covers stand out to me as a reader because they’re bright, loud, extroverted. This one really stood out to me from the other covers on the shelf because of its sheer simplicity. I like it 🙂
Given Synopsis: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.”
What I’d Add: Short, simple synopsis. I prefer this to the ones that give a lot away before you even crack the cover. The information it gives is pertinent and just enough to bring you in.
It’s Sorta Like: Those cute British films that can get really serious, really fast.
My Grade: C-
Review:
Did this book elicit an emotional response in me? Yes, definitely. Was it well-written, and for the most part well-constructed? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Not really. And my main problem, my main bone to pick, is with the main character, “Lou.”

Lou is annoying. She is an incredibly immature twenty six years old, having fights with her older sister that sound more like two little children squabbling. Yes, she has a very sheltered upbringing – she has lived in the same few-block radius her entire life and she only desires to live down the street when she eventually moves out of her parent’s house (with her boyfriend who is so clearly not interested in this relationship anymore). To some degree, that small town upbringing, that closed off mentality, and lack of dreaming and desire does explain away some of her cloying immaturity. But it doesn’t make me, as a reader, like her or root for her. I had to drag myself through this book because I couldn’t stand Lou. A tragedy from her past, revealed later, seems out of the blue and tacked on, as if to justify her annoying behavior even more. I’m still not buying it.

I also wasn’t a fan of the random chapters from the perspective of other characters. They were unnecessary! I didn’t feel like I learned any additional insight from these people on the periphery of the story.

I did feel for the characters when the story closed. I did shed some tears over the beauty of some of the words. But I didn’t like the characters and some of the story choices, which, overall, lessened my opinion of the novel.

& Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

redrising

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

“Personally, I do not want to make you a man. Men are so very frail. Men break. Men die. No, I’ve always wished to make a god.”

Book Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Pages: 382
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Publisher: Del Rey (Random House)
Date Published: January 28th, 2014
Date Read: February 2nd 2014
Format: Hardcover
Cover Love:
This cover is pretty decent. There are some hokey, cheesy sci-fi/fantasy covers out there. The simplicity of this one is nice in comparison. I can only assume the wing has to do with the genetically altered appearances of the “Gold” members in society.
Given Synopsis:
“Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable – and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda…”
What I’d Add: When beginning this book, I thought this synopsis was pretty spoiler-y! It kind of spells out the losses, disillusionment, and sorrow of the book’s first hundred or so pages. But then a new kind of action picks up, that “command school battlefield” briefly mentioned, but which is the setting for the bulk of the novel. Quite a sly trick, ruining the first portion of the book while only hinting at the bigger picture ahead…
It’s Sorta Like: It’s got definite nods to Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games/Battle Royale (whose plots are incredibly similar). But with a Blade Runner-y twist. And Game of Thrones! There’s definitely something to the warring houses motif in there.
My Grade: B+
Review:
I described this book to someone as “Ender’s Game meets The Hunger Games with a really, really angry narrator.” It’s got space games, it’s got a violent competition between teenagers (who don’t act at all like teenagers, but I’ll touch on that later), and it’s got anti-government/authority figure feelings all over the place.

I’m wary of a book with such hype behind it. As soon as someone says “it’s the next insert-wildy-popular-franchise-here,” I bristle. Even the cover of Red Rising says “Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow” (comparing this book to those two Big Name Series I mentioned above). Add to that, several major magazines have pegged it as worthy – Entertainment Weekly, People, etc. And usually when I read books lauded like that, I end up being majorly disappointed. The Bone Season is a notable example.

In the span of the first 100 pages or so of Red Rising, I resented it. Darrow’s voice is overly dramatic and incredibly angry. The whole fight the machine, stick it to the man, I’m a downtrodden peon of society is already a pretty tired literary trope nowadays. And Darrow takes it to an acidic level. He’s never happy in this book. Even when he has a pleasant moment, he drags himself down and shakes his fist at the world. I became frustrated with him and the formulaic progression the plot seemed to be taking early on.

It’s been a while since a book changed my mind so drastically.

The thing with Darrow’s voice is that it becomes so immersive. The plot puts Darrow in a situation where his overwhelming anger makes more sense, where he can put it to better use than floundering around elsewhere on Mars. The action gets faster, the characters steadily more compelling (I do hope that secondary characters get more round in the next installments, though. I want to know more about them). I gobbled up the book once it got to a certain point because I really didn’t know who was going to do what next. My complaints about formula were, for the most part, addressed.

This situation Darrow is thrust into is a fight-to-the-win (not necessarily death, although some do not survive), majorly bloody capture the flag battle. And it lasts years. The houses have to survive through winters without food and summers without water if they cannot find or steal these resources. First, the members of each “house” fight to be the head of their respective houses (they have to fight to get into a house in the first place, but that’s another story), then they must fight the other houses to claim flags and slaves (who become slaves by being sealed on the forehead with the staff of the flags). Brown is skilled at writing action scenes, and there are plenty once the fighting gets good. And it’s well balanced with political agenda: the people vying for rule within the houses backstab and make backdoor deals with one another. It’s a veritable roller coaster. The winners of this war game are given top picks of sponsors for the next phase of school. It’s an insanely cool idea that Brown pulls off really well. The world-building is awesome.

Darrow’s voice, and the voice and actions of his fellow characters do seem a little advanced for their age. Yes, I get that they’re in a different society, where people live shorter lives and thus sixteen-year-olds take on more mature roles and ideas, but I mostly imagined Darrow as a twenty-something going on thirty for most of the book. This didn’t necessarily harm my image of him, though, so I guess no harm done.

And Darrow himself is somewhat of a Mary Sue, a hero who can do no wrong. In anything. Ever. This seems to bother other readers much more than it does me, but I’ve never had too much of an issue with Mary Sue heroes. I tend to notice the adventure and action rather than the exact measure of flaw a hero possesses. And really, Darrow screws up a lot – he just miraculously recovers and learns vital lessons much faster than anyone else. This sounds like the same thing, but I like to think that it’s different. Work with me here.

I found Red Rising to be an interesting, well-written start to a promising series. It is unique in voice and compelling in plot. I recommend it for major fans of dystopian fiction, like myself 🙂 The second installment, Golden Son, is slated for release January of 2015 (SO FAR AWAY!)