Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What I've Been Reading

I realize it has been quite a while since I've done any book reviews, but I'm a little sad to say that I just haven't been reading very much. With finals and trying out a new experiment called "attempting to have a life," I just haven't had the time to read as much as I normally do (i.e. all the time).

But, there are a few books I read that I wasn't planning on reviewing so I thought I could lump them all together in one post.

1. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible.

And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside—she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don’t realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye, and escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know.

Because Incarceron is alive.
This book pretty much had me at hello. A dystopian futuristic prison that's alive? I could barely contain myself. This is one of those books that reminded me why it is I like to read so much. I thought the ending fell a bit flat, but since this, and every other book on the planet it seems, is going to be a series it's not so bad. You can read a more in depth review from The Book Smugglers here.

Rating: 8

2. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown.

But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets.

Or are there?

Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence.

Which is impossible.

Prentisstown has been lying to him.

And now he's going to have to run...
I have no idea why I decided not to review this book. I freggin loved it, but for some reason I decided not to. Weird. Anyways, in the post "My best reads of 2009" I said The Inferior was my favorite book of last year and The Knife of Never Letting Go is a lot like it. Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if The Knife of Never Letting Go makes my 2010 list. It's by far the best book I've read so far this year. You can read a more in depth review by Dannie here.

Rating: 10

3. Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham

Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, has inherited generations of apparent peace and prosperity, won ages ago by his ancestors. A widower of high intelligence, he presides over an empire called Acacia, after the idyllic island from which he rules. He dotes on his four children and hides from them the dark realities of traffic in drugs and human lives on which their prosperity depends. He hopes that he might change this, but powerful forces stand in his way. And then a deadly assassin sent from a race called the Mein, exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north, strikes at Leodan in the heart of Acacia while they unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to their separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father's death and restore the Acacian empire–this time on the basis of universal freedom.
This book appeared to have everything I could possibly want out of a more epic fantasy story. George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice & Fire” series is one of my all time favorite series and since Martin is some sort of sadist who must get off on making his fans wait decades for books, I've been on the lookout for something that has a similar vibe. Acacia definitely fit the bill. Yet, for some reason I can't explain I never finished this story. Even though I liked the characterizations and I don't mind multiple POVs, there were almost too many characters being thrown at me. For that reason, it made it easier to put the book down instead of plowing through.

I'm not saying this is a bad book obviously. For whatever reason I just couldn't get into the story though. From what I read Durham's writing is quite lovely, but I'll just have to give it a go at some other time in the future. You can read a more in depth review here.

Rating: Didn't finish.


  1. Alana,

    Sorry Acacia didn't hook you the first time around. Thanks for the respectful discussion of it, though. I'm happy to say that some readers that didn't get into it on the first try have come back to it later and enjoyed it. I'm hoping that's a possibility for you.



  2. I definitely give it another shot. Sometimes my heart just isn't in it and this was one of those times.

    Thanks for your comment!