The Chase Is On… (The Gunslinger – A Book Review)

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1)
Author: Stephen King
Published: 1982

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

Rated M for a complex, multi-dimensional mindfuck that you just can’t put down because you really want to figure it out more than that puzzle box from Hellraiser.

 

“The man in black fled across the dessert and the gunslinger followed.”

In a desolate reality that mirrors ours in horrifying ways. A lone gunslinger going by the name of Roland makes his way across the desert land with Jake from our reality. As a gunslinger, Roland is charged with protecting good, or whatever is left of it. His world has ‘moved on’ and the only way to salvage what’s left of it is to catch the man in black.

While the journey has been a long one already, Roland knows that the man in black has all of the answers and secrets that will guide him. See, this is only the beginning of the gunslinger’s journey toward the Dark Tower.

 

The Dark Tower series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 1 of 7 (technically 8, but I’m not including The Wind Through the Keyhole, though I will be reading it.)

 

How do I begin with this one?

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This really was a complex mindfuck. With the utmost originality that can only come out of the mind of the King, this is a series of some epic fantasy. It doesn’t touch Lord of the Rings or any other fantasy series because it’s a league of its own. I don’t say that because this is better than them. It’s not. It’s on the level. I say it because it lives on a plane all its own with its own mythology, language, world. It has a universe all to itself that doesn’t touch anything else. It’s an original work.

I both enjoyed and disliked The Dark Tower. When I finished it, I decided that this came across as a primer/prologue than it did a book in series. You spend more time getting to know Roland and his world and what his journey will entail thden you do actually moving in any form of progression.

So, here comes the downside. While taking in what this series would entail, I found the book to be drawn out in detail. There were times where I thought I could fall asleep from boredom because it was so lengthy. I love attention to detail. It makes the story extremely immersive, but it felt overdone, like a burnt piece of barbeque. It comes across as dull at times and I just wanted to move forward.

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Racing to catch up with the man in black proved to be tricky for Roland. There were many obstacles, some of which were put in place by the man in black. Dark and totally on the mark, Roland didn’t let anything get in his way to get to his objective. For me, it was haunting. I wonder if everything he did was worth what he got.

Side Note: I have seen the film for The Dark Tower and I must say it didn’t live up to what I imagined. One day, I hope to see this picked up by HBO or Starz or even Netflix so it can receive the amazing glory and following of that like GOT. It deserves to have the time it takes to tell an intricate tale like this.

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Consequence of Sound

 

Overall

Reading this book was like starring at a piece of artwork, in a museum, that you don’t understand. But, you’re going to stand there and stare at it until you discover it because it’s beautiful and it whispers some kind of secret and meaning. That’s kind of how it went down. Not a bad read, but damn if I wasn’t enthralled with semi-glazed over eyes. Don’t mistake that for me thinking this book royally sucked. It didn’t. It was fantastic. It’ll definitely need another read though.

 

Quotables:

 “Nineteen would open the secret. Nineteen was the secret.” (p. 56)

“While you travel with the boy, the man in black travels with your soul.” (p. 141)

“Time’s the thief of memory.” (p. 177)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Aron Wright.

 

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Are There Polar Bears On This Island? (Echoes – A Book Review)

Echoes
Author: Alice Reeds
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

Echoes

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

Rated: T for teen with mild themes that barely approach a teenager’s actual hormone level.

 

Trust no one.

Fear everything.

Fiona and Miles wake up on a deserted island with no memory of how they got there. These two high school enemies will have to work together to survive. As they move forward toward finding a way to escape the island, they discover that they’re not alone. There’s something out there and it doesn’t want them to leave.

 

Both intrigued by the blerb on the back of book and enticed by the cover, I plucked this book up, excited to read. Sadly, this book didn’t fully live up to my hopes.

It started out pretty good. I was dying to discover why Fiona and Miles were missing their memories and what the important reason for them being put on the island was. Miles was the rich kid with the credit card and no real survival skills while Fiona is graced with epic kickboxer skills that she’s extremely proud of, but also feels like it’s a burden. For those of you who have read this, I can’t be the only one who got some MAJOR Lost vibes.

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So I kept reading. But as I read I started to lose interest. After the reason for Fiona and Miles becoming enemies, but not really, was revealed I was left deadpanned. He’d called her pathetic. It wasn’t some shaming kind of name calling or even a physical altercation. He just called her pathetic. It seemed so much less than what she made it out to be. More so, I was getting major whiplash from her. It was like flipping a light switch really fast to create that strobe light effect. One second she was scared the next she was fiercely declaring how fearless she was. It really drew me away from the characters. Their chemistry felt forced and otherwise non-existent.

But I kept reading! I wanted to freaking know what was up because I was beginning to get a little lost! Their memories of everything that came right before their mysterious crash was bit by bit revealed. I give the book kudos for keeping me intrigued. However, the big Ta Da wasn’t so Ta Da.

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After the build-up and all, I felt let down a bit.

The world-building was very nice with the little sprinkles here and there, divulging the main plot. This was also a fast read, but I can’t say that it was because I was so engulfed in this book that I couldn’t get enough. It was just a fast read because the attention to detail was lagging. So, it was quick because there wasn’t much.

 

Overall

While I lost interest in the characters, I still wanted to know what happened. The characters made me cringe on and off as they spun me around in the chair of confusion. Now, this is my own personal review. This book just didn’t really garner my attention the way I hoped. For those of you who did enjoy it, I’m glad. Truly. I wish good books on every reader.

 

Quotables:

“We are going to die.” (Fiona, p. 1)

“Own your fear; don’t let them own you.” (Fiona, p. 73)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Blurry by Puddle of Mud.

 

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Bringing 2018 to a Close – My Top Ten Reads of the Year

My bookworms!

2018 is coming to its official close. I don’t know about you, but it’s been one long ass year for me. I wish I could say it had been a good one, but more than anything it’s been a struggle. There have been many up and many downs.

The New Year is upon us though! Soo, I wash away 2018 and welcome 2019.

While doing that, I have my big wrap up of the year where I give you my top ten reads! There were quite a few good books, but here are the ones that drove me crazy, made my heart explode, made me rage in the cage, made me drink (and 1. I’m talking about you), made me fall into puddly love.

Starting at 10…

 

10. We All Looked Up
Author: Tommy Wallach

We All Looked Up

 

9. The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

 

8. Summer of Fear
Author: Lois Duncan

Summer of Fear - SR

 

7. 1984
Author: George Orwell

1984 - flavorwire

 

6. Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone

 

6. Ender’s Game
Author: Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game

 

4. Smoke and Iron
Author: Rachel Caine

Smoke and Iron

 

3. The Darkest Star
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Scarlet Reader - The Darkest Child

 

2. Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber

Caraval

 

1. Dark Calling
Author: Kresley Cole
Dark Calling

 

My Year in books on Goodreads: Here.

 

2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

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You’re Not You (The Darkest Star – A Book Review)

The Darkest Star (Origin #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - The Darkest Child

My Rating:Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

In the world of the Lux

secrets thrive

lies shatter

and love is undeniable.

Evie Dasher knows the devastating consequences of war between humanity and the otherworldly Luxen. The world has been forever changed. Both humans and Luxen struggle to live in harmony. Fellow classmates are protesting Luxen. Luxen are disappearing everywhere. Laws are threatening to segregate them.

When Evie meets Luc at a club known for its partying with Luxen and humans, she decides she can’t stand him. He tells her he isn’t human, but isn’t Luxen either. Then her life is threatened by someone from his past? She discovers that he’s hiding something…about her? It doesn’t add up since he’d never met her before. Her mind is overloading with endless questions and her growing feelings for Luc leave her in a tailspin. The most complicated one yet: Who is she really?

Everyone seems to know but her.

This is a spin-off series from LUX. It’s not a series you have to read in order to understand this one, but I do HIGHLY recommend it because one, it’s really good, and two, there are throwbacks to it in the book. Many made me ridiculously giddy. There were character cameos that I was squealing like a moron about. So good to have a throwback.

Armentrout’s style and vocabulary is fun and spunky. I loved it! I also found it eerie like I did with her LUX series, because a little over ¾ of it is how I really speak. It was loco nuts. There were some lines I had to reread because I couldn’t believe words and phrases that I use every day were actually in this book. I’m sure many people are mind blown with an author that captures you like a Pokémon in a pokeball. It’s like meeting your book doppelgänger.

The book reflects on weirdness and that good ol’fashioned teenage drama and is clear and present and that’s always enticing.

Ink and Bone

Much like its predecessor, the story takes place in a smallish town with close-knit friends. One of the great things about this, is that if you’ve read LUX, you already have the lowdown on the thrifty-nifty abilities these luscious Luxen have as well as the abilities of the mysterious Origins. If not, it’s an awesome surprise. Everything is original and unique. I was pretty shocked as I got further and further into the book because I didn’t know what to expect. Diving back into the LUX universe was exactly what I hoped for. Fresh, yet reminiscent. Completely new, yet you know nothing’s truly changed in a kind of satisfying way. mindblown

I really enjoyed getting an in-depth look at a storyline I had always been curious about. Luc and his best friend. The struggle between species is at the forefront of themes as is revenge and identity crisis. Each are pretty big issues today, though a couple are more personal and others are worldwide. Each broke my heart in different ways. These themes broke into my emotions and really got them pouring out into the real world, especially Evie’s great struggle with everything she thought she knew. Truth bombshells hurt no matter what and figuring out that you’re not really you is a nuclear mushroom-cloud-sized one.

I got some odd looks and even the occasional, “Are you okay?” from people while reading. I get very into books.

Luc and Evie, the main characters, are such opposites, except that they aren’t. Armentrout playing around with that was so much fun. She’s paranoid, kind, and loyal. He’s sarcastic, bold, and determined. Both are extremely caring and have this undeniable magnetism toward each other. I enjoyed their banter, and especially loved when Evie would start talking to herself. She’s pretty funny. The tension between the two of them could vary and only from the reader’s POV honestly. It all depends on if you read LUX (so you probably should). If you have, you already know about EVERYTHING and therefore their chemistry is far more intense. And I biting my nails, waiting anxiously for that epic moment. If not however, it’s possible that they come off as overdramatic.

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Overall

I won’t say this story reached some deep level, thought-provoking spot with me. It didn’t. It touched on some real world issues that are important, sure. Rather, this brought some phenomenal entertainment and spectacular sci-fi and fantasy and adventure with a decent sized side of sweet and sour romance. That’s okay. Not every book has to propel me into super intense issues. I’ve once again been swept away into the LUX world and am quite okay with that. This was fresh and brand new. I really enjoyed this and look forward to rereading it in the future. I can’t WAIT to read the next installment!

Side Note: I’m still hoping a television show gets made for LUX.

Quotables:

“You just took creepy to a creeptastic level of unknown proportions.” (Evie to Luc, p. 33)

“Sometimes the truth is worse than the lie.” (Sylvia, p. 101)

“The world is your oyster and I’m your pearl.” (Luc to Evie, p. 136)

“Good people do terrible things when they believe in what they’re doing.” (Luc, p. 178)

“Sometimes the truth is hidden as a form of protection.” (Zoe, p. 335)

More to come soon…

-K.

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P.S. Song today? Paper Thin by Astrid S.

Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Getcha Head in the Game (Ender’s Game – A Book Review)

Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1)
Author: Orson Scott Card
Published: 1985

On Goodreads

Ender's Game

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

17/25

“I’ve watched through his eyes. I’ve listened through his ears, and I tell you, he’s the one. Or at least as close as we’re going to get.”

Andrew “Ender Wiggin, a Third, is chosen to go to Battle School for the I.F., the international fleet at the ripe age of six. What he believes are just games that he’s engaged in with other kids is actually much bigger than he knows. He hasn’t met a soldier he can’t mold or a battle he can’t win. Originally a part of a grand experiment that’ll save Earth, he becomes the top soldier in his class, advancing quicker than anybody else in history.

Ender being a part of an experiment to create soldiers and fleet generals isn’t all of it. The buggers have been attacking the Earth since long before Ender was born. If not stopped, the next attack made on the planet will end it altogether.

This book marks 17 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve heard about the movie and that the book was a genius and conqueror in the Sci-Fi genre.

This blew my mind! Nuclear. BOOM. Orson is a master storyteller and this is only book one of a saga. So much happened and he did a splendid job of spanning it over years. It was a journey that was trying and it chipped away at not only Ender, but his sister, Valentine, and his brother, Peter. All three of them had a large part to play, proving that age doesn’t really matter when it comes to power. Rising up to their has shown both heroism and jealousy. They show that Ender isn’t the only brilliant one, but emphasize how scary it is. It was mind-blowing to see children rise up in power and scary.Scarlet Reader

Ender had so much pressing down on his shoulders. For a six-year-old, Ender was such an incredible character. So many times, he was ready to give up, but he had so many by his side. Petra and Dink guided Ender to become a better shooter. Alai and Dwarf became his closest friends in a place where friends seem impossible because everybody is against him. This isn’t just some game though. It’s more. Bigger.

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I became intrigued with Ender’s name the further I got in the book. He became responsible for hurting people and dominating in Battle School. I never thought to question the nickname until I was well over halfway through. Ender and how it relates to his actions and determination. He ends every simulation, battle, and fight on top, winning. Realizing this was chilling.

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The writing and style was amazing. Engrossing and not a detail amiss. Orson really captured a whole new frontier in this novel. It reached deep into a place that pulled at one’s humanity. He really grabbed at emotions, rocking them, and getting them to feel the pressure that Ender felt. Just captivating. And I really liked the dialogue at the beginning of each chapter from the head of the I.F. and how it gave accounts of progress with their war against the buggers. They knew what they were doing and it was great, haunting foreshadowing.

Overall

This book was engaging from page one and so entertaining. So in-depth. I was so sucked in that I felt like I was in the book. And that ending! I teared up big time. I really just want to cradle Ender in my arms after everything he went through. A phenomenal book that surprised me. The writing swept me away into this galactic world with many disguises. Everything was just perfect. I loved this. I hope to read the rest someday.

Quotables:

“The battleroom is ready. Petra’s hands are steady. The enemy is deadly.” (Petra, p. 82)

“We aren’t just ordinary children, are we? None of us.” (Valentine, p. 240)

“I’ll tell you something. If you try and lose then it isn’t your fault. But if you don’t try and we lose, then it’s all your fault. You killed us all.” (Valentine, p. 241)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Titanium by Sia.

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The Black Tidal Wave (The Hatching – A Book Review)

The Hatching (The Hatching #1)
Author: Ezekiel Boone
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

The Hatching

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

 

There is no waking up from this nightmare…

An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake. A nuke is dropped in China. A strange  and fatal plane crash is investigated by the FBI in America. Strange earthquakes in India. As the series of events increase, they come to a head.

A species thought long dead wakes up and begin swallowing the world, turning into a horrifying  apocalypse that’ll haunt waking dreams.

 

First, the cover art is wicked. Webbing over a black cover really gave a great idea that the book was about spider and that it would be creepy. I got a copy that actually came with a slip on case that enhanced the ominous vibe. It really got my hopes up! Which kind of sucked.

This book straight-up comes off as a SyFy (or if you still remember the original tag-SciFi) movie. No joke. The terrible graphics and bad puns, all done on purpose, and completely unbelievable. Come on, guys. You know what I’m talking about. Sharknado. Lavalantula. And this one, of course, is about ancient spiders waking up, ready to take over the world.

the hatching - The Scarlet Reader - tumblr

I found this book unrealistic and not as scary as I was hoping. It wasn’t scary at all actually, and I’m jumpy around spiders. With how the characters came off—overly vulgar and over the top—I couldn’t take this book seriously. It dimmed my interest.

This book jumped all over the planet. From where the ancient spiders breached the earth in South America and devoured a tourist group to a nuke drop in Asia to the oval office, the book really circulated around the important parts, tying them together in a unique way that seemed random, but wasn’t. Was it clear all of the time? No. Did it seem pointless sometimes? Yes. But it wasn’t. It was just incredibly expansive, showing how dangerous this ancient species had and in such a short time. That a shoe wasn’t going to be enough to stomp them out.

the hatching -The Scarlet Reader - tumblr

 

Overall

This was not what I excepted. I just couldn’t get into this book, but I started it and then finished it. Now I will go ahead and donate it, because maybe somebody else will enjoy it more than me.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Pinch Me by The Barenaked Ladies.

 

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The World is Changing (daughters – A Book Review)

daughters
Author: Stuart Land
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

daughter

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

There are no terrorists, only mothers.

Young girls all over the world are suddenly becoming pregnant. First thoughts are, who are the fathers. But then more strange news. They’re virgins. Doctor Sam Enright is the father of one of these girls and takes it upon himself to help them as they come from the far reaches. This worldwide epidemic keeps growing with grave consequences that leaves humanity’s existence in question.

 

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

The book had a slow start. It felt kind of drawn out, so I was pushing through it some, but it got really good! I was getting strong X-Files vibes as I read. Even had the theme song going on in my head. There weren’t any aliens, but this would be a case for Scully and Mulder. The 11 to 12 year-old girls getting mysteriously pregnant was mind boggling and crazy. And it didn’t stop there. Births came to term quickly. And the children born were anything but ordinary.

x-files theme - The Scarlet Reader

The plot was very intricate and detailed. Wonderful imagery. There wasn’t a beat missed. The multiple POVs was nice! Very refreshing. There wasn’t just one person involved or focused on. It was the whole world, so I was stretching from the United States to Russia to Africa and many other places. The diversity is one of my favorite parts. Dr. Enright, the father of Kimber, one of the girls that became pregnant, did become more central than other characters at times. The way he struggled to handle this worldwide situation was so remarkably human. While angry and confused, he’s scared. Anybody would be scared. It was realistic. I love it when a book can do that.

The down side, I couldn’t get a strong emotional touch on these characters. I wasn’t feeling anything for them. I would’ve been more into this if I could’ve gotten a stronger emotional pull.

 

What I found son interesting was that this came across pretty realistically. I could imagine something like this happening and causing a worldwide, apocalyptic worthy, riot and panic. The controversy of young pregnancy and how it effects people differently. Whether it’s an abomination or a miracle. The things that followed as aftershocks tested the world, and since I’m not privy to too much spoiler-y you’ll just have to read this book someday.

 

Overall

This was a book that stretched my mind. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this. The concept is original and really got me thinking. This book allows the reader to be open about a subject and others that are difficult. I do wish I liked this more, but it came across more as something of a theory than something I could enjoy.

 

More to come coon…

-K.

 

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P.S. Song today? A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay.

 

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