Series: Chronicles of the One #1
Published by St. Martin's Press (12.5.2017)
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Audiobook, 419 pages
Length: 12 hours, 20 minutes
Narrator: Julia Whelan
It began on New Year's Eve.
The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed--and more than half of the world's population was decimated.
Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river--or in the ones you know and love the most.
As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.
In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.
The end has come. The beginning comes next.
This book was SO BLAND. There was really nothing special about the writing or the characters. The concept was interesting, and was about the only thing this book really had going for it. But honestly? It just felt like a straight rip off of Darkest Minds. An adult version, and not nearly as good of one. The characters are all flat with no personality to speak of, and I didn’t care about any of them or anything that was happening. Color me disappointed, as this was my first Nora Roberts book. As popular as she is, I really expected more, especially with the considerable hype surrounding this book. I won’t be bothering to continue this series and I’m not even sure I would want to try any of her other books in the future.
Writing style: 2.5/5
Overall rating: 2/5
House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Series: Matteo Alacran #1
Published by Atheneum (1.1.2002)
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Audiobook, 380 pages
Length: 10 hours, 43 minutes
Narrator: Raul Esparza
With undertones of vampires, Frankenstein, dragons' hoards, and killing fields, Matt's story turns out to be an inspiring tale of friendship, survival, hope, and transcendence. A must-read for teenage fantasy fans.
At his coming-of-age party, Matteo Alacrán asks El Patrón's bodyguard, "How old am I?...I know I don't have a birthday like humans, but I was born."
"You were harvested," Tam Lin reminds him. "You were grown in that poor cow for nine months and then you were cut out of her."
To most people around him, Matt is not a boy, but a beast. A room full of chicken litter with roaches for friends and old chicken bones for toys is considered good enough for him. But for El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium—a strip of poppy fields lying between the U.S. and what was once called Mexico—Matt is a guarantee of eternal life. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself for Matt is himself. They share identical DNA.
The concept was actually quite interesting, but overall this book fell very flat for me. I thought the premise was cool – the main character is a clone grown for spare body parts. But that’s about where my interest stopped. The characterization is awful, the prose is dry, and I just straight up didn’t give a crap about anything that was happening. The characters were like cardboard and there was no emotion whatsoever despite horrible things happening to the main character. I was bored throughout most of the novel. Which is a shame, as this book had a lot of potential.
Writing style: 2/5
Overall rating: 2/5
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Flatiron Books (10.8.2019)
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook, 459 pages
Length: 16 hours, 21 minutes
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang, Michael David Axtell
Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?
Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.
I read this back in April and I honestly can’t tell you a damn thing that happened in the whole entire book. I remember exactly NOTHING other than I was pleasantly surprised! I haven’t had good luck with Bardugo’s books in the past (I DFNed Six of Crows TWICE, oops), but this one worked for me. Even though I can’t remember anything about the book itself, I know I enjoyed it while I was listening to it. The narration was quite good and probably saved the book for me – I remember it being kind of slow paced, but I wasn’t really bored because I enjoyed the narrators.
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 3.5/5