The Infinity Ring by James Dashner

Middle Grade

Hello and welcome to my first ever post for Middle-Grade Monday! So, I just came from an awesome time at BookCon 2017 and as my Instagram posts probably show I had a blast! I won’t bore you with the details but I’ll probably post a link to our Book Haul sometime soon either to Twitter or Instagram. Now to get started on the review for The Infinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time by James Dashner.

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I’m Alive and Well

I LIIIIIVVVEEE!!!

 

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It’s been a literal year since I last posted on my blog and for that I’m truly sorry! Depression is a hell of a drug! (insert sad laugh track here). But don’t you worry, my lovely book aficionados, I am once again back at it! This time I have a schedule and a theme going for more consistent posting. Read below to see what my schedule will look like starting June of this year!

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May Wrap Up

Even though May isn’t over I’m going to post the wrap up before I forget to do it. This month has been ridiculously productive for me and I’ve managed to read a lot more than my usual.

May, it seems, was the month of audiobooks for me. I managed to listen to a total of four books and loved all of them! I didn’t think I would actually enjoy audiobooks because every other time I’ve listened to them in the past I’ve fallen asleep. It turns out that if you’re one of those people that needs to be sitting down to read a book that maybe audiobooks might be best while you’re doing something productive like cleaning or working out.


I actually listened to Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters within four days while on the bus and walking. These were fairly quick and I liked the voice actor for it; my only complaint is that the voice actor changed the way he pronounced Thalia’s name from one book to the other. As a Spanish speaker I liked how he pronounced it in the first book: exactly how it’s spelled. In the second book he pronounced it as Thay-lia and it messed with my head a little. I won’t be doing reviews for any Percy Jackson book because they are my ‘for fun’ books– no note taking, no analyzing, no figuring out what the ultimate goal is… though it should be noted that Percy is as much a sass machine as advertised.


I started Magonia as I decided to clean my bookshelves on Wednesday and so far I like it though I don’t know how I feel about it because the premise is so good (magical bird people!), but the delivery is a little iffy. I love the main characters and I’m hoping (probably in vain) that there isn’t a love triangle between Aza, the human cutie Jason, and the bird-boy cutie Dai. Aza started off so strong and now that she’s being introduced to a new world she seems like a shell of her former self. Well, I have another four hours of listening to look forward to as well as the sequel so I can form my opinions on Aza and the others then. Look out in the next two weeks for a review of Magonia.


I got this book on a whim last month mostly because I follow the publishing company on Instagram. I absolutely loved it and won’t say more on it because I will be putting up a review of it within the week. I will be reading the sequel to this book, New World: Ashes, on my flight to Minnesota since it comes out on the same day.


Delirium by Lauren Oliver was from the beginning a good book but I felt that the more I read the longer this book seemed to get. Pretty soon having to read this turned out to be a chore and I stopped reading it (that’s when I became obsessed with the audiobooks). This is the first book of the year that I’ll have to DNF but not permanently; I think I’ll pick it up again (either in audiobook format or the actual book because the Ebook isn’t doing anything for me).

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Here’s a look at what the summer will look like for me:


Happy reading!

Carleny

Book Haul Addiction- A Confession

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This might not come to a surprise to anyone but I absolutely love buying books. I’m aware that I can only read so many books and that I only have so much space in my corner of the room for only so many books…. but it’s like an addiction I can’t get rid of. As it is this post is going to be image heavy and full of my latest book shopping frenzy the last couple of months. It’s not as bad as other people’s book-buying addiction but it’s certainly a little daunting considering what little space I have for the books I currently have let alone more.

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Bookburners Episode 1 by Max Gladstone

This is my first time reading a serial and I’m so glad I started with something like this. Bookburners brings back memories of watching the TNT Librarian movies along with reading the Robert Langdon books. It reminds me of eating lunch at my grandma’s house while listening to the soap operas on the radio (we lived in Dominican Republic and radio serials were a big deal when I was seven years old and living in the countryside). It reminds me of watching a really good episode of a tv show that I really loved and being upset I couldn’t watch all the episodes one after the other (thank you, Netflix, for making that possible for binge-watchers!).

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The Martian by Andy Weir

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I generally don’t start off by giving away the amount of stars I give a book but let’s get that out of the way for now; I give this book 5 stars out of 5. I had very little complaints about this book and the story or of anything that was going on throughout the three days that I read it between work and laundry and general house cleaning.

Weir starts off by pointing out that the main character of the book, Mark Watney, astronaut, botanist, and mechanical engineer to Ares 3 (the third manned mission to Mars, is not dead. He is very much alive and very much stranded on the red planet due to a dust storm that was strong enough to detach an antenna from the communications array and impaled him with. All the rest of his teammates saw was Watney get impaled and blown away by the dust and wind. If getting impaled hadn’t killed him then probably losing pressure on his suit would have so there was no point in endangering the rest of the Ares 3 crew when they too could be stuck on Mars.

Watney comes to the realization that he’ll have to live long enough for Ares 4 to come pick him up in five years’ time. For that he has to stay alive long enough for that to be possible. He needs food, water, and other things in order to survive and it’s a lucky thing that he has enough food from the rest of the crew since they won’t be eating it. He begins to log all of his experiences (what the reader is reading) in order for some future archeologist or NASA mission to be able to learn from him and what it was like for him before he dies on the planet.

I went through a roller coaster ride as Watney tried everything possible to just survive one more day in a planet that seemed to be so set on killing him every single step of the way. A good chunk of the science I couldn’t wrap my head around and I was super glad that Watney dumbed it down enough so that the common folk that weren’t NASA engineers could know what the hell he was doing on Mars. The book kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it and I don’t know how Watney just kept his cool the entire time he was going through all this considering that everything just seemed to go wrong whenever he fixed it.

I’ll be watching the movie (and reviewing that, too), to see just how Hollywood imagined the characters in this book. It was so amazing and I don’t want the big screen to ruin all the images I had in my brain for it.

I would recommend this book to any space enthusiast. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good edge of your seat story where you don’t know whether they’ll be a happily ever after or not (after all, rations can only last so long before they run out and you have to start thinking about eating your hand or something). I would recommend this book to anyone that judged it by its cover (like I did). I would recommend this book for everyone and anyone that just wants to sit down and be immersed in science that’s explained in such a way that you understand exactly what’s going on without feeling dumb.

Complaints about this book:

  1. Andy Weir/Mark Watney, I don’t think ghetto means what you think it means. It’s irritating and jarring to see it in the middle of my reading when Mark says “I’ll have to build a ghetto whatever.” Bro, not cool.
  2. Would have liked to see more reactions from the public and not just NASA and other scientists.
  3. WHY WOULD YOU EVER TAKE SHORTCUTS IN NASA? SEEMS LIKE A RECIPE FOR DISASTER!

Things I’ve noticed and loved:

  1. Teddy’s OCD and how he had to have all his papers and books aligned with his desk.
  2. Mitch Henderson’s total devotion to the Ares 3 crew and keeping them in the loop at all times and being the guy that wanted to rescue Watney.
  3. China National Space Administration
  4. Rich Purnell is a genius
  5. Mindy Park being a space paparazzi/interplanetary voyeur. She’s obviously the hero in this book. Without her no one would even know about Watney. She was shy once upon a time but then she became the go-to gal for Mark Watney updates.
  6. The names of the places on Mars as well as the names of the equipment. I loved the map at the beginning and I loved knowing exactly where Mark was at all times and how exactly he was going to get from one place to the next. (Map blatantly taken from Google images).

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10/10 would totally read this again. I suggest you read it as much as possible and then lend the book to your friends so that they can understand the awesomeness that is this book.

Eighth Grade Bites (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, #1) by Heather Brewer

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If I could leave a review that was only heart shaped emojis and happy faces I would. Alas this is not that kind of review blog. The Bookcove had to read this book for the middle of September and I’m so glad that I waited so long to read this book. If I had read it in high school when it came out I probably wouldn’t have appreciated it as much as I would now.

The book started out with an action scene that immediately grabbed my attention and introduced the bad guy vampire. Then it goes straight to introducing the main character, Vlad Tod, an 8th grader at Bathory Junior High/Middle School, his best friend Henry, and Vlad’s legal guardian Aunt Nelly. Vlad is a typical pre-teen and I absolutely loved the fact that the author didn’t write him like a tiny adult that didn’t cry or felt jealousy or any of that.

This book was a breath of fresh air and a super quick read. I literally read this in three hours between doing laundry and going to the post office right before work. It spans approximately seven to eight months, from Halloween night to the end of the school year. I would say more about the book but it’s so short that I feel that just summarizing little bits would give so much away.

I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5, only because it was short and sweet. I’ve already planned to read the rest of the series and I look forward to see how Vlad handles being a vampire in high school and how his relationship with his friends and family develop. This was such a fun read and I recommend it to anyone that’s having a hard time getting back in the groove of reading or if you have three hours to kill (it’s probably less but I’m a slow reader).

Bloodlines by Lindsay Anne Kendal

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I’d like to thank Lindsay Anne Kendal for offering us the book Bloodlines for our club to review in September.

The book started off introducing us to two of the main characters Keira and Lily. Keira is in Salem, Mass in order to find some more information as to the origins of the magical power she got when she was ten years old. She goes around Old Salem and immediately the locals hate her and Lily because they’re new comers and the town is basically still superstitious about all the witchcraft days. They manage to find the house of Keira’s ancestor and only Keira is able to go in. She’s pretty fearless and manages to go inside and then immediately the door closes behind her like a scene from a horror movie. I was a bit annoyed and yelled a little about the fact that it seemed like she’d never seen a horror movie and did all the wrong things that always got a character killed in them, but then I later figured out that Keira is pretty badass and can take care of herself just fine without anyone to rescue her. We get introduced to Jake, Lucian, Tristan, and Danny, who turn out to also have magic powers and had been the ones that were calling Keira to come visit Salem in the first place in order to get her to help them cure their fathers from some mysterious illness that had befallen all of them.
I absolutely loved the story. Once I ignored that it did sound a little British here and there and once I paid attention to what was going on I rather liked the story and how it was going. Lily is the kind of friend everyone should have in their corner. She’s supportive and so full of love for her friends that it’s hard to imagine how a person could live without someone like her in their lives. Keira is the strong-willed person that protects everyone and wants to keep everyone safe no matter the consequences to herself.
Overall I enjoyed the action scenes and would like to see more fight scenes in the later books. I’d give this book a 4/5 and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys strong female characters, a little romance, a little magic, and jaw dropping scenes that would make you question why certain things happened when there’s still a good chunk of book left to read. You know not to think that everything is rainbows and unicorns when the book still has fifty pages left or to think that everything is over when you’re still rooting for something to be different.

Gone by Michael Grant

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Gone by Michael Grant was a particularly fun read for me. I, personally, wouldn’t have picked it up at a bookstore or library because the cover wasn’t the least bit interesting to me. The library copy I got was a paperback with a green background and black silhouettes, and the ebook copy is of two teenagers (whom I’m assuming are the main characters). And it’s a shame that I hadn’t picked it up before just based on the cover alone!

Gone is like a cross between the TV show Under the Dome and the TV show The 100. It’s about teenagers, all under the age of 15, being alone under a domed force field of a sort. It starts off with Sam Temple, the main character being in class when all of a sudden the teacher disappears, along with anyone that was 15 or older all over the town. The students at school don’t notice at first but they all begin to step out of classrooms and notice that things just aren’t what they’re supposed to be. Pretty soon Sam and his friends notice that it wasn’t just some random occurrence in the classroom and that everyone was gone.

Just the fact that everyone over certain age had disappeared had hooked me in the story. But then Sam’s best friend, Quinn Gaither, was introduced and I wanted to gouge my eyes out and I ended up yelling a couple of times at the book. Quinn was decidedly one of my least favorite characters in the first hundred pages of the book. He’s a huge jerk and is totally unapologetic about it and he just grated on my nerves so bad. Then there was the introduction of Astrid Ellison, whom Sam is in love with. Astrid, for me was both an awesome character but also kinda iffy. She reminded me a lot of me with her responsibility of being an older sibling and having that one shameful moment of ‘I wish he was dead’ towards her autistic brother. I completely understood her feelings and I didn’t even think twice about it when the same thought popped up into my head. Now I don’t want anyone to think that I’m a callous person but being the oldest of five siblings has taught me a lot about responsibility and how the adults always have this weird expectations about being an example as an older sibling and how you’re expected to help raise this other person as well. I never enjoyed being a ‘second mom’ to my siblings and I’m pretty sure neither did Astrid but she had to stick by her guns and try anyway because her brother was the only family she had left.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that there are so many awesome characters all of a sudden the plot picks up. Sam confesses that he might have some weird power that produces light (and burn) and when that’s figured out all I could think about is how awesome it would be if Sam was an alien space baby.

Then the antagonists come to town, the kids from the prestigious Coates Academy, where Sam’s mother worked before every adult disappeared. I wasn’t a big fan of the confrontation, but that’s mostly because I’m not a fan of any kind of confrontation, but just having these kids roam around a town doing nothing would have made for a pretty boring book. The antagonist, Caine Soren, (and that should be a clue that he was going to be evil), drives into town and basically proclaims himself the new leader of the town. Astrid and Sam are suspicious of him from the getgo and it’s probably because they dislike smarmy people that are obviously manipulative.

It turns out that Caine knows about the powers that some of the kids from the town have (and proclaims himself the strongest mutant of the town) and hatches a plan to kidnap Sam and Astrid. He also discovers something even more awesome than the fact that people have powers and it has to deal with Sam and it was such a plot twist that I yelled a couple of times.

This book is an easy read and straightforward. I’d recommend it to anyone who is into scifi and fantasy or anyone who ever wished to have some kind of mutant power one day (alas, my desire to have Jubilee’s powers from X-Men shall remain a dream). I would rate this book a 3.5/5 (because I hated so many characters and they made so many stupid decisions and because I wasn’t very receptive to the book cover). I will more than likely pick up the next book soon and continue with the series at a later date.