Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Reviews- Black, Goliath, & The Iron Knight

(From Goodreads) Enter an adrenaline-laced epic where dreams and reality collide.
Fleeing his assailants through deserted alleyways, Thomas Hunter narrowly escapes to the roof of a building. Then a silent bullet from the night clips his head...and his world goes black. From the blackness comes an amazing reality of another world-a world where evil is contained. A world where Thomas Hunter is in love with a beautiful woman. Then he remembers the dream of the chase as he reaches to touch the blood on his head. Where does the dream end and reality begin? Every time he falls asleep in one world, he awakes in the other-both facing catastrophic disaster. Thomas is being pushed beyond his limits...even beyond the limits of space and time. Black is an incredible story of evil and rescue, betrayal and love, pursuit and death, and a terrorist's threat unlike anything the human race has ever known. Some say the world hangs in the balance of every choice we make. Now the fate of two worlds hangs in the balance of one man's choice.
So I actually got all four books in the series as one giant volume form my teacher this year and although I was only able to finish this one, I enjoyed it. My Christian Lit class actually gets to read this book for it so I'll be ahead this year. Anyways, one of the things I like about my teacher's reading tastes is that he picks these fantastic, action packed christian books. 
This book probably deserves a longer review, but I'm going more mini reviews until I'm caught up with all my books. Anyways, I enjoyed this story. The characters were for the most part, realistic and interesting. It was also mind bending and it raises a lot of questions. 
One of my favorite things about this story is the Christian elements in the story. Thomas Hunter starts out not believing in God, but then he mysteriously ends up in an alternate universe where good and evil become physical objects and beings. Its a very interesting, well thought out world that is simplistic in a way, yet mind blowing at the same time. There were many times I found myself making connections between something in the story to something in the bible. It was cool to make those connections. 
One of the complains I have about this story is that when Thomas Hunter ends up in the world that is in our future (yet doesn't seem like it... I don't know, its confusing) the characters there are all more the most part, 2D characters. Sure they were, realistic enough, but at times I wasn't impressed with them. Not with the people in our world, I was impressed with them because they truly were realistic in terms of our world. 
The story was filled with action and had a bit of romance to it. I enjoyed it although at times I was massively confusing and my mind was boggled. 
On Goodreads: Black
Website: Ted Dekker
(From Goodreads) Alek and Deryn are on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim Alek’s throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love. The first two objectives are complicated by the fact that their ship, the Leviathan, continues to detour farther away from the heart of the war (and crown). And the love thing would be a lot easier if Alek knew Deryn was a girl. (She has to pose as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service.) And if they weren’t technically enemies.

The tension thickens as the Leviathan steams toward New York City with a homicidal lunatic on board: secrets suddenly unravel, characters reappear, and nothing is as it seems in this thunderous conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s brilliant trilogy.
First off, Scott Westerfeld is one of my favorite authors and as with the last two books, I was mightily impressed with this one. The world is richly developed and fantastic, the characters are realistic, and the story is filled with action, adventure, danger, and bits of romance. 
I enjoyed their trip to Russian to find the erratic Telsa who's a complete madman and is quite interesting. It makes me wonder somewhat what he was like in our universe. The other characters from history portrayed in this story were interesting as well. I enjoyed seeing Deryn and Alek's relationship develop even more and I loved how realistic it seemed to be. 
As a historical fiction in an alternate universe, I still enjoyed the history parts when they were there and I loved how the author could mix history with fantasy and still have something totally believable. 
I wasn't thrilled with the ending that Alek had although I understand it and but I also enjoyed the ending. For a book with pictures and everything, it was a wonderful conclusion. Deryn shall always be one of my favorite female characters from Scott Westerfeld's books. 
On Goodreads: Goliath
Website: Scott Westerfeld

(From Goodreads) Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought. Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive. With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side. To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale. And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
So I had high expectations for this book. I really enjoyed the last three books in the series, and I was excited to finally see a story from Ash's pov. All in all, I've been an Ash fan and I was thrilled to finally be seeing more of him. The pitch sounds amazing, does it not? And the beginning was really swell. 
But as I progressed further and further into the story, the more disappointed I got. To let you know why, I'm one of those realistic people who thinks that couples should be able to have lives away from each other and that your life SHOULD NOT revolve around your boyfriend or girlfriend. No matter how awesome they are. 
So when I realized just how obsessed with Meghan Ash was, I was really disappointed in him. I knew from the start that this was what the book was about, how far Ash's devotion went, but when I finally got to see it...instead of a romantic quest to defeat the odds and destiny, I found a love sick obsessed boy.  At one point, it even reminded me of Twilight. 
Not to say that the story ins't good. It is good, but I was just really disappointed for some reason about this. It bothered me. But alas, I continued the story and I liked it. There were some really great passages and the writing is really good. The land of the Fey is wonderfully imagined and ordinal, I'll give her that. 
All in all, its a great story, but I was just really disappointed with Ash. Its a great story about not giving up despite the odds. 
On Goodreads: The Iron Knight
Website: Julie Kagawa

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