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Saturday, January 15, 2011

ARC Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium Trilogy, book 1
Genre: Fiction, Teen, YA
Publisher: HarperCollins (02/01/2011)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book

“A stunning novel, set in an alternate present in Portland, Maine.

Love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called "the Cure," in Lauren Oliver's stunning second novel, DELIRIUM. Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She will be evaluated by the government, which will choose her husband for her. But then she meets Alex, a boy from the Wilds who is living under the government's radar, and she falls in love, threatening both their lives.

In this world, affection is prohibited. Touching and hugging are suspicious behaviors, even among family members. But despite government obtrusiveness, people find ways to connect and to be together. Hana finds like-minded people through embedded links on websites. And after meeting Alex, Lena understands that an emotional connection to another person is something she's always been missing--and now it's something she won't live without.”

The publisher description of the book summarizes pretty well what the book it’s about.
Is set in United States in the future, in a society where love is forbidden and seen as an illness call “amor deliria nervosa”. A society in which every bad thing that ever happened in the world is blame on the deadly decease that Love was. 

In the book we meet Lena, who grew up in this society and is eagerly awaiting for her procedure, The Cure, that will cured her forever of getting infected by Deliria (Love), taking from her all her emotions, feelings and anything related to love and affection. The procedure is always done at the 18th birthday, she’s 3 months away. After the surgery all past experiences will lose importance, all friendships and relationships will become like blurs of the past, but she will be cured and will live a life of happiness, order and stability.

All teenagers before graduation are also submit to an Evaluation in which a panel of evaluators decide what you are going to study, who are you going to marry and how many kids you can have. During her Evaluation Lena sees Alex for the first time, who would become her romantic counterpart. 

In the book we also meet Hana, Lena’s best friend, and also a product of that society, but with a little bit more curiosity than Lena. Hana infiltrates the world of non-cured, invalids and sympathizers, showing us an underworld society that lives parallel to the general population of Portland. 

The novel is a little bit stereotypical and predictable, girl (Lena) meets boy (Alex) and of course Alex is an Invalid or not cured. As expected Lena gets infected of deliria (falls in love) and starts to reevaluate all her believes and defy society.
This is a dystopian Romeo and Juliet novel. Two young characters that fall in love but their love is prohibited, in this case not by their families but by a repressive social system, with a total lack of individual freedom.

The world Lauren Oliver creates is good but not enough; there were more things that should have been explained about the world that were not. The romance between the main characters is not well developed and their relationship lacks deep. I didn’t get a real sense of who Alex really was and what they (Lana and Alex) love about each other.

Ms. Oliver’s writing is impeccable; but in the first third of the book the pace was very slow, nothing was happening and it was hard for me to get through it. After that point the pace starts to pick up, towards the end pages it becomes a page-turner, ending in a cliffhanger, that will leave you wanting to get your hands in the next installment, “Pandemonium”.

The book is good but it could have been amazing, I hope Ms. Oliver continue with the pace of the last past pages in Pandemonium, I’m sure I’ll read it. I want to know what will happen to the characters and how are they going to be develop. I also expect to know more about the world and see more of the supporting characters.

If you like dystopian novels you would like this one, I also recommended it to YA readers.

Favorite Quotes:

• I carry your heart, I carry it on my heart.
• I press my hands against my chest, wishing I could somehow be even closer to him. I hate skin. I hate bones and bodies. I want to be curl up inside of him and be carried there forever. (creepy I know, but I like it.)

Verdict: 3 ½ Paws.

Other books in the series:
Delirium (02/01/2011)

Other reviews: Goodreads 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Review: Firewalker by Allyson James

Title: Firewalker
Author: Allyson James
Series: Stormwalker, book 2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Berkley
Format: E-book

“Janet Begay's Crossroads Hotel has attracted the supernatural ever since it opened. But a new, dark power is rising, this time inside Janet herself. Her boyfriend Mick, a sexy dragon shapeshifter the Navajo call a Firewalker, know what terrifying magic is threatening to overwhelm Janet and her Stormwalker powers. He watches over her, ready to fight for her, to do anything to keep her safe.
But then a mysterious corpse is found near the Crossroads Hotel-and Janet becomes the main suspect. Now Janet and Mick must uncover what really happened, and their investigation leads to the most perilous decision of their lives...”

Firewalker is the second book of the series Stormwalker by Allyson James.
This books starts couple of months after the end of book one (Stormwalker) with Mick been trapped inside a mountain by the dragons for breaking the dragon law when he didn’t kill Janet. Janet rescue him with the (force by blackmail) help of Nash Jones.

Little after their return to her hotel a body is found, super pain in the ass Sheriff Jones starts his investigation and of course Mick and Janet are the primary suspects.

Janet is trying to find out who was the killer, while dealing with all the stress of the Dragon “court date” that will decide Mick’s fate. Also her Beneath magic that was latent in the previous book is awaken after her visit to mommy’s land (Beneath); this is a dark magic that is trying to control her, she needs to learn how to deal with it and with her Stormwalker magic inherited from her father.

In this book we see previous characters as Maya, Coyote, Nash, and of course the devilish mirror and new ones as Cassandra a witch with a past that Janet hired as the hotel manager, Pamela a shapeshifer and Cassandra’s love interest and other dragons.

Janet is stronger and is not waiting for anybody to rescue her. She is growing up magically and emotionally. Mick, oh my God Mick (Can I have him?), he’s a kick-ass dragon when he needs to be and the loveliest man when he’s with Janet... Oh my! The things he said to her, the way he talks to her...Wow! 

The mirror had me cracking up, “it” is a great supporting character. I love its wittiness.

My favorite quotes:
  • My magical cherry had been broken at age eleven (Janet)
  • Nash stare at me. “That thing was your mother?”
“We are not responsible for our parents” I tried to joke. (Janet)
  • “Shit, Mick. I don’t want this. I don’t want any of this. Why can’t we just have a normal relationship?” (Janet)
  • “You really don’t know what he was?” (Janet)
“No, hot pants. Sorry” (Mirror)
“Well, if you remember anything else, let me know.”
“Sure thing. Tell you what, give me a little tongue, and I’ll see what I can think of.”
The thing never stopped “You’re a mirror.” I reminded it. “You don’t have body parts.”
“Hey, honey. I can dream.”
  • “Because I love you. And because I want to feast on you whenever I see you.” (Mick)
  • I put my hand over the glass. “What is it with your obsession with sex?” (Janet)
  • “I’m a mirror. I can only be a voyeur, so I have to go for it.”

In general I really like the book, it was a page turner for me and can’t wait to read book 3 of the series “Shadow Walker.”

I strongly recommend you read Stormwalker before getting into Firewalker. You won’t regret it.

Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other books in the series:
Shadow Walker - June 2011

Other Reviews Goodreads 
Visit Author's Website

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