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Old 06-06-2013, 05:42 AM
  #61
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I read the tie-in novella for the Enclave series: Endurance, I believe. I suppose it's nice to have as a closure to the first book as to what happened after they left. Otherwise, I liked the message, that you don't have to be everything, that everyone comes with their own set of skills and that that is fine.

I'm reading Birthmarked now, so far I like it about 80 pages into the first book. Thank you for insisting on your recommendation! What annoys me in books is usually when the hero/heroine turns out to be this stubborn person who cannot admit that s/he may not know everything and we are supposed to like it. So this is a really nice surprise that Gaia is able to admit to her ignorance and that it bothers her. I'm looking forward to reading more.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:16 AM
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Ah. I never read that novella.

Yeah. I really like Gaia, she is a pretty good heroine.

So I finished Variant. Wow.. what a ride. That was pretty amazing. I need to order the 2nd book, which seems to be the final one.

I'm now reading (not Dystopian) Team Human.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:02 PM
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Glad to hear your book was good. I might give it a go then!

Quote:
I need to order the 2nd book, which seems to be the final one.
Sometimes I think they are drawing things out to three books when two would have sufficed, so I take that as a good thing: It's probably not a filler but will get interesting.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:26 PM
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I was reading reviews for the 2nd book, and while some people liked it, some didn't.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:44 AM
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What's Team Human about?

I am done with Brthmarked, the first book anyway... I don't know, in the end I think it asks for too much suspension of disbelief from an adult reader. Oftentimes things change so fast you don't understand when and how that happened: For instance, why did Sergent Bartlett help her suddenly without knowing she was sister. Honestly, whlle I understand that the author probably thought the book and its successors will need a hint of romance, Leon's helpfulness would have made more sense if he had been Gaia's brother. Then I think the author has thought up her idea of the whole genetics dilemma well enough to make sense, yet she undermines that totally when she lets Gaia and Leon run into his adoptive father who on top of it all is basically the head of state. As such I would have thought that after all the reasoning the author did before, he'd be the first person to acknowledge that an acquired scar was rather a sign of physical strength than worry about Gaia's appeal as a bride (especially since they'd have to assign people to each other anyway for the scenario to make sense... so if your partner gets assigned to you then really it doesn't matter one iota how s/he looks, it's not your choice). Then of course the whole final escape is asking for a lot of logic to put asside to be able to acknowledge it. At least the author was able to make the main character sympathetic so far, which is why I'll read on...
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:55 AM
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This is what Team human is about:

Quote:
Mel and Cathy and Anna have passed vampires on the street, and sat near them in cinemas, but they don’t know any. Vampires stick to their own kind, and Mel and her friends hang out with other humans—until a vampire boy in a bizarre sun-proof suit shows up at school and captures Cathy’s heart.

Mel is horrified. Can she convince Cathy that life with a vampire is no life at all? Should she? And then all her assumptions about vampires are turned on their head when she meets Kit, a boy who makes her laugh—a boy with a very unusual family history.

Will Mel’s staunch anti-vampire stance jeopardise her closest friendships? And where does Kit fit in? In the end, who will choose... Team Human?
I think her brother helped her out intitially because I think he believed in her innocence, or didn't quite believe what they were telling them about her.
There are two novellas out. Both set in Leon's POV. The first one, Torchured, is set just after Birthmarked, as you discover what happened to him. It's meant to be read in between book 1 and 2.
Another one is Ruled, which is set after the 2nd book and before the third.

If you need any ebooks, feel free to let me know.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:01 PM
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So I'm starting this book..




When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from? A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart.
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:25 AM
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Thanks for your offer - I'll get back to you on that!

So I made it through Tortured and Prized. With the novella I was confused: Leon was constantly refusing the morphine and then at some point Myrna said that the morphine should kick in now. It's oversights like that that make me nitpicky. However, I did like that Geneviève was not painted as the evil step mum which could have easily been done, after all the first wife chose to get Leon before she died with her husband, yet Geneviève as the second wife taken up the role as his mother to the best of her ability although it was never her decision to adopt. I liked that.

About Prized - over all it was fine for the most part. There were just a few things that really threw me (a) the author has gone to such an extended explaination of genetics and environmental toxins that it seemed rather odd she'd kick that to the curb for demonstrating these hypocritical "no sex before marriage, marriage is sacred" values. I say hypocritical because it's obviously nothing everyone can or wants to abide by yet people were threatened by oppressive laws... also hypocritical because it makes no sense whatsoever: They want to sustain the population with the little females they got - well, in that case, it would be desirable for a female to have offspring by different males (in addition to a certain number) to keep the gene pool diversified. Yet with the marriage policy all they did was bring inbreeding on themselves because the pool of people NOT related to each other gets smaller and smaller all the time. It didn't make sense, especially not after reading in Birthmarked about the enclave's desperate attempts to stop interbreeding. So Gaia saying at the end of Prized that the enclave might be interested because they were fresh blood... highly unlikely. They might be new to the area but their gene pool should show some defects by now.

I wasn't taken by the whole Matriarchy thing. Here is why: It depicted such a misogynistic regime and it was in the hands of women. I found that insulting. Like Malachii beating his wife to death but then everybody sympathized because his wife was abusive: Not that I don't think it doesn't happen that way around on occasion but a man abusing his girlfriend or wife is much more common. I felt uncomfortable with this: Painting a society run by women as horrible and oppressive. While the author made some good arguments for certain customs once in a while (she never left us hanging completely), the whole "man being suppressed and women can be horrible too" message made me uneasy. No doubt women can be horrible but as I said, that is really not the norm statistically speaking. It's like whenever I read about sexual harrassment in the workplace and they make a big feature on the one guy that was a victim while we hardly talk about the 1000 women who were victims too because the latter is something we got so used to, and the former is making headlines because it's exotic.

And I agree with what the author had Gaia say, it's an insult to every woman who has really been raped. On the other hand, I understand the rule more or less - it must be scary to live in a community where the ratio is so skewed and people have little to do and no chance to get out.

The love square made me raise my brows. It's true that Leon showed an interest in Gaia when she was only the ugly girl from outside and he had all the privileges. Whereas Peter and Will do not have a big pool of women to choose from. Yet Leon is a very needy person (you see that when he accuses Geneviève of not standing up for him more, although he knows if he is honest that she must tread carefully): I think sometimes he just wants Gaia to do things for him like she did for their parents and everything that doesn't show this crazy passionate impulsive committment disappoints him. On the other hand I think Peter just wants a mate. Will wants a bit more than that as he has clearly an interest in exploration and finding out new things like through the autopsies, hoping him and Gaia could learn from each other and then advance together. Usually I like this kind of thing, when a boy is also interested in the girl's intellect but this whole love thing is getting so crowded and tangled, I don't think I care much for any possibility at this point.

I was disappointed - since from the first page I thought this story would be more about family - that Jack didn't make it to Sylum. That I would have found interesting: Gaia getting to know her long lost brother, him learning to deal with having two sisters all of a sudden, also still wondering what made him runaway, what his life was like before.

One thing that can be sad for the author, she doesn't forget at least about such things, so despite the lack of presence, at least she remembered the brother situation every now and then and other stuff like that.

So while I found a lot of things not very reasonable, I'll see that I read the rest soon.

Okay, Breathe sounds interesting. Tell me more!

ETA: Through with Ruled and thought it was very cute. I think the author should play more to her strengths and develop things slowly. On to Promised. It has a picture on how the town looks. Sadly not a map for a map would need a scale and a north arrow (when will people finally learn that... )
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:12 AM
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You raise very good points. I don't think about those kind of things when I read. So it's interesting to see it from a different stand point.

Promised is more about Gaia becoming a leader and how that is progressed.
You do see Jack again, I believe in Promised, so there are some interesting moments to be had there.

The love square didn't bother me too much. I am a very avid supporter of Gaia and Leon, so if anything, their relationship is one of my favourite things about the series, and it's interesting to see how it develops over the course of the series.

I also didn't agree with the whole no sex before marriage thing, or having a female leader. I think there should have been a shared responsibility. Kinda reminds me of a kings and queens royalty thing. That only one of them rule, while the other sits back and lets the other take charge.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:21 AM
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Sometimes I suspect I might be thinking too much but I can't help it, it's how my mind is working - always investigating and questioning. So I don't want you or anyone to think that I hate things just because I find some things questionable, I don't. Like with this series, if the author didn't manage to make some things intriguing and did well enough portraying an interesting protagonist, then I wouldn't be reading the whole series. Just for clarification purposes.

Well Promised sounds indeed promising then. It is for sure interesting to see how a sixteen year old would take on such a huge burden. That was also something that was good and realistic: When the author made a point of Gaia picking advisors.

Glad to hear Jack will be back. I hope it will be good.

I can take Leon a bit better now after he stopped being emotionally abusive. As I said, the second tie-in novella was very cute. I still hope that she can stay platonic friends with Will - he strikes me as a keen mind and I like people who are interested in science and investigate things.

Sex before marriage - the thing is it happens. And even if you do not believe in it, if you try to restrict it even for more or less good political reasons - it's still not going to happen. So all you do is instill fear in people and ask for transgressions and eventually a rebellion. But as I said for me it was mostly not logical because with that little people to choose from you'll have very closely related people marrying each other and having children in only a few generations. As for having a female leader... I don't think that was the problem per se, I think the problem is obviously that you cannot exclude one large group of the population from voting, that will inevitably lead to unrest and discontentment. I see why they need one leader with a final say in an extreme situation like described in the books but ultimately I do believe in democracy and I do believe that you can't exclude groups of people from voting. It's like history hasn't taught anyone anything. French Revolution for instance etc. etc.

Okay, going on with Promised now.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:31 AM
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Promised does in a satisfying way. It's not all roses. There are things that happen.Sacrificed. But all in all, I was pleased with the conclusion.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:17 PM
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I have started The Selection. It's amazing!
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:12 AM
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I'm halfway through Promised. So far I think it's better than its predecessors (not that they were really bad, I'm just saying). I hope that holds for the rest of the book.

I never cared much for The Selection but it I thought its sequel was worse. Mainly because it made me like Maxon a lot less. In any case I found this on youtube... brilliant: The Selection in 4 Minutes (with Barbies!) - YouTube
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:18 AM
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I will see it soon.
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:24 AM
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Yeah, watch that AFTER you've read the first book. Not that there's much suspense to begin with but it might still give things away you don't want to know. But it's hilarious.
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