Bluescreen by Dan Wells
Series: Mirador #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by Balzer + Bray (2.16.2016)
eARC, 352 pages
Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.
Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.
Oh my god, this book was slow as shit. As in, painfully slow. Watching paint dry would be more exciting I’m afraid. I made it through 110 pages, and I had to finally come to terms with the fact that this book is just not for me. Which is sad, because I looooved Partials. LOVED it. I was really looking forward to this one.
There was little to nothing happening. Actually, in those 110 pages, it feels like nothing did happen. There was WAY too much mundane stuff…like seriously, I don’t care what the characters are wearing, or eating, or the local gossip. There was a lot of drug lord and gang related stuff, too, and it wasn’t holding my attention. I didn’t care.
I really wanted to like this one. I wanted to stick it through in hopes that it would get better, but I can’t be bothered to waste any more time sadly. Maybe Dan’s next book will work out better for me…
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
Series: The Elemental Trilogy #1
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Balzer + Bray (9.17.2013)
Hardcover, 464 pages
It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.
Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she’s been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.
Guided by his mother’s visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.
I got this book for review way back before it came out. I actually tried to read it once before and couldn’t get into it, so it’s just been sitting in my review pile for almost three years.
The second time didn’t go any better. I made it to page 120 before I had to admit that things weren’t working between us. Again.
I found the writing style to be very sophomoric and dry, and I couldn’t get into the story. I was bored out of my mind, so I was struggling pretty bad to push through. I found things to be cliche and cheesy, and was rolling my eyes quite often.
The world building is abysmal. First of all, I wish there had been a map. High fantasy is hard to follow without one. Second, things are either a) not explained at all, or b) explained in mind numbing info dumps. There were footnotes marked with numbers throughout the story, paired with explanations in the back of the book. The citations in the back were like reading a freaking textbook. I confess that after reading a few I gave up, as my eyes were crossing from how dry and boring they were. I still don’t have much of a grasp of Atlantis – they are just some faceless, evil, ruling entity. Maybe there was background in the footnotes, but I feel like Atlantis should have been set up much better than it was. It would have been nice to know who they were, what they did, and how they came to be instead of just a vague impression of “they’re bad mkay.” There were a lot of things that weren’t explained, so I couldn’t get a feel for the world or the magic. If things had been explained in bits and pieces as we went along, instead of in giant textbook info dumps at the back of the book that nobody wants to read, I probably would have enjoyed the world. I would have been able to understand it better.
Another issue I had is that I found some of the dialogue/interactions to be ridiculous and juvenile. For example:
[When Iolanthe is disguising herself as a boy, Titus hands her a strip of sheet.]
“For…resizing your person,” he said as he rehemmed the sheet with another spell. How else to describe something meant to bind her chest?
Um, ‘something to bind your chest?’ It’s really not that hard. He’s a Prince for crying out loud, and it’s something practical. I found that to be way too immature for the situation, and the reaction just wasn’t appropriate. Maybe if he were 12.
I skimmed some of the book, and ended up reading the thorough recap on Recaptains to find out what went down. I didn’t miss much.
Glad to know I wasn’t the only one who didn’t finish Bluescreen. I tried, but thought maybe someone who was more into video games might like it better.
I’m not surprised you DNFed Bluescreen. I was really excited for that one, but it was SO BORING.