Review of “Into the Fire” by Pittacus Lore

Title: Into the Fire
Author: Pittacus Lore
Series: The Legacy Chronicles #2
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 113
Published: 2018, HarperCollins
My Grade: 4 out of 5 puppeteer

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

After escaping from their sabotaged plane and avoiding a crash, Six, Sam, and their new charges manage to make it to the Human Garde Academy and meet up with Nine. Instead of continuing their investigation, though, the Garde decide they must take on the dangerous new foe who has abducted their friends and allies.

But the trail has gone cold, and the only way to find their enemy is to infiltrate his organization. Against Six and Sam’s better judgement, they send Rena and Nemo undercover. But things take a frightening turn when the two young teens are forced to play a deadly game, and Six and Sam may not be able to reach them in time.

 

MY REVIEW

Another action packed story by Pittacus Lore. Like I have said in my previous reviews of books by the Loric Elder, it is as good as the long novels, except that all the stuff happens in only 100 pages. What differs this side-story series compared to The Lost Files that accompanied the original I am Number Four series (The Legacy Chronicles follows Lorien Legacies Reborn, a series which follows the new Human Garde at the Academy rather than the original Loric who had numbers), is that this is not stand-alone novellas in the world describing events that take place alongisde the main events of the main series. This is a story with cliffhangers. A whole new side-story which I guess could be put into a full book. But it works perfectly when the short novellas are released in between the longer books. Otherwise it could be confusing to which order to read them all.

It is a very exciting story and we get to follow Six and Sam more who didn’t have too big roles in the first series. It’s great. But I do miss following John Smith. He is pictured as an almighty god now in the aftermath of the war on Earth between Lorien and Mogadorien.

So to sum up, this is not a standalone novella in this side series. Read Out of the Ashes first. After reading the full Lorien Legacies series. And The Lost Files. And probably also Generation One. Read them all, they are great! 4 out of 5!

 

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Review of “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Series: –
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 358
Published: 1953, Ballantine Books
My Grade: 2 out of 5 phoenixes

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television ‘family’. But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people did not live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.

MY REVIEW

I have had this book on my priority to read list for quite some time now but have been postponing reading it until I really felt like it. I got in a classics mode after finishing Ready Player One and thought this might be a good read next since it is coming out as a movie later this year. I tend to move books up on my to-read list when I learn that they are being converted to the screen. However, I am disappointed. Maybe disappointment is the wrong word. Perplexed perhaps as to why this became a classic is more accurate. I strongly like the idea of this dystopian future where books are illegal and firemen start fires instead of putting them out. But it was just too weird for me to understand why it got so big.

One reason why I didn’t like it, might be because I am part of this problem Bradbury describes. And that is one scary thought! And nothing I can’t really help either. In Bradbury’s world it was decided that the free thought was what made everyone depressed and the world a bad place. By reading, everyone was more aware of the world and all the sadness and bad things in it. Why read about things that aren’t real? Why read about things that can lead to depression and suicide? Why read at all when you can surround yourself with screens as walls that contain your “happy family” who tells you how to be and live. How to be controlled. It really reminded me of 1984 by Orwell. This could have been the first stage to that extreme controlled big brother society. Anyway, where I come into this whole scary scenery is that I am controlled by what I read. I do read. I read a lot and I am proud of it. But I read as my leisure time. I don’t watch TV, I much more prefer to read and have the world grow in my head instead of just being an image projected there. I can read on the bus with tons of people around me, sure I have music in my ears, but I can read and understand what I am reading without really thinking about what the meaning of it all is. That is how books nowadays are written. And I guess that can kind of compare to the braindead people in Fahrenheit 451 where they do the easy thing where the least amount of brainpower is needed, something leisurely. Now when I wrote that theory down, it sounds stupid, I might not be the person who discards all books to watch the walls, but many others today sure are.

The real problem with what I just wrote I think comes down to this: It is an old book. It is written in a different way from books are nowadays. I get the feeling that back then, it was as important how it was written as what the text was actually saying. And I just don’t see how that is an entertaining text where you don’t even understand the meaning behind the words. How am I supposed to get a world in my head when nothing makes any sense? When so many paradoxes are used to described the story, when there are more metaphors describing every action? Perhaps if you spent some time analyzing the text every other page or so you might understand and get the deep meanings behind every word. But like I said, I like to read leisurely, so this was clearly not for me. I might be the wrong person to write this review then?

More things that bothered me, the dialogues. Extremely weird and didn’t make any sense at all. Like they randomly took thoughts from their heads while watching the big screens and throwing them at each other where they did not quite fitted. Was it because they were more real than any other dialogue in a book because all the characters usually always says the perfect thing?

 

Last but not least, the ending. I got the feeling from it, but it was just so strange that I had to read it several times to make sure that I wasn’t hallucinating or something while reading it. Super weird.

I have my idea of what a good book is. I know what types of books I like, and even if I feel like being a little cultivated every now and then with something from the row of books behind my favorites, I rarely get this disappointed. Yet, I don’t regret reading it But I did expect more. I have now made myself a personal opinion about another classic. Maybe next time I will go even further back in time and finally read something of Jules Verne?

Fahrenheit 451 gets a 2 out of 5,  it was a book which I didn’t enjoy very much, but I don’t really regret reading it either.

Review of “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Series: –
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 374
Published: 2011, Crown Publishers
My Grade: 4 out of 5 simulations

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

MY REVIEW

During the first chapter or two, I didn’t believe that I would see the charm that everyone 10 year older than me does with this book. Then I realized that it probably wouldn’t have mattered even if it was about the geek-culture of the 90’s. I don’t think I would have recognized as much anyway. Or maybe I would have. But the fact that I was born in the early 90’s didn’t make me understand any less. I have the geek within, even if it is not on such a detailed level and I think that was what made me understand anyway. I know how all of that works, I lived through a decade of incredible technological developments and understand why Halliday (the deceased creator of OASIS) had such an obsession with the 80’s, which was even more extreme than the 90’s. The author is also very good at describing everything, so even if you might not get the exact image in your head while reading, you still clearly see it all in front of you. The part about the book being about geek culture in the 80’s doesn’t take over the main story, even if it is present all the time.

I think of myself as a technology-loving person and of course wonder how this whole virtual reality world works. Like do they talk out loud while talking to people in the game? Wouldn’t that be very annoying for everyone around on that bus for example? Do they have earplugs to snuff out the sounds from the real world? How much do they actually have to move in real life order to move in the OASIS? I wonder if the author had anything to say about the movie that will be out in 11 days.

 

The plot was kind of predictable and took the usual turns where we first meet the main character who falls in love, screws it up while everything else around him turns bad as well just to work everything out and give the book a happy ending and not a surprising one at all.

It was a very good book and the predictabilities doesn’t lower the grade, but the fact that I don’t understand the 80’s does unfortunately. So it gets a 4!

Review of “Out of the Ashes” by Pittacus Lore

Title: Out of the Ashes
Author: Pittacus Lore
Series: The Legacy Chronicles #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 115
Published: 2017, HarperCollins
My Grade: 4 out of 5 puppeteer

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

In the aftermath of a thwarted alien invasion, teenagers across the globe have begun to develop incredible powers known as Legacies.

Most are sent to the Human Garde Academy, where they can learn to harness their powers for the good of humanity. But there are still countless others who slip through the cracks, who prefer do things their own way, or who are being kept from attending the Academy by people with very different plans for these gifted teens.

That is where Six and Sam come in. They’ve just joined a convert group tasked with investigating suspicious incidents around the world which might be Legacy-related. Their first mission has them looking into the connection between a string of disappearances—but as they dig deeper into the mystery, they stumble upon an unexpected and dangerous Human Garde underworld.

 

MY REVIEW

 

It’s amazing how Pittacus Lore can spit out book after book and fill out his science fiction world with so many details. Since the first book, I am Number Four, I have loved this world and that it is always expanding with new main stories but also small side stories like this, Out of the Ashes.

It revolves around Six and Sam trying to fit in this new world of humans with Legacies. Six is against forcing kids to go to the Human Garde Academy but get another opportunity to help the kids.

I really liked that it mostly took place in New Orleans. It was easy to visualize the places since I was there a few years ago.

Lots of action like usually. Nothing that deviates from the previous books and short novellas. It gets a 4.

Review of “Generation One” by Pittacus Lore

Title: Generation One
Author: Pittacus Lore
Series: Lorien Legacies Reborn #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 416
Published: 2017, HarperCollins
My Grade: 4 out of 5 glowing stones

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

The war may be over—but for the next generation, the battle has just begun!

It has been over a year since the invasion of Earth was thwarted in Pittacus Lore’s United as One. But in order to win, our alien allies known as the Garde unleashed their Loric energy that spread throughout the globe. Now human teenagers have begun to develop incredible powers of their own, known as Legacies.

To help these incredible and potentially dangerous individuals—and put the world at ease—the Garde have created an academy where they can train this new generation to control their powers and hopefully one day help mankind. But not everyone thinks that’s the best use of their talents. And the teens may need to use their Legacies sooner than they ever imagined.

 

MY REVIEW

Pittacus Lore sure knows how to poop out books. And I am so glad for that. Lorien Legacies (also known as the I Am Number Four series) was really good and contained a lot of side stories in addition to the 7 original books. The ending of United as One (#7) was good and open. It could have ended there, but it was great that he decided to continue. Generation One takes place more than a year after United as One and focuses around the new Garde. I thought I would miss the original Lorien Garde, but I didn’t. The characters were all different and vivid and you connected with each of them.

It was easily written, making it an easy but very enjoyable read. The story was good and didn’t feel too spaced out and it didn’t leave any loose ends (except that the ending was a huge cliffhanger obviously).

It was very similar to the other series and if you enjoyed that one, you will enjoy this too! And no worries, the original Garde is in it a little too. It gets a 4 from me.

Review of “Champion” by Marie Lu

Title: Champion
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #3
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 369
Published: 2013, Penguin Books
My Grade: 4 out of 5 airplanes

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

MY REVIEW

This series was definitely getting better and better and had a strong ending. Very predictable but still very fitting for the story.

The main thing about these books is the way Lu is writing and I feel that her way to connect to the characters are getting stronger and stronger with each book. She does it in a great way, but I am also feeling that it kind of gets too much, if that makes any sense? She paints a great picture of the environment and I feel that the characters feelings and analyzes take words from the story. Or maybe I am just jealous that I can’t write like that, haha!

It is hard to read when you are writing yourself. But that is good, because now I know that I want to use her passion and emotional engagement in her fighting scenes, in my own (way way way in the future).

It’s a good book, a four for sure!

Review of “Prodigy” by Marie Lu

Title: Prodigy
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #2
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 371
Published: 2013, Penguin Books
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 paper clips

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

MY REVIEW

I am not sure why exactly this got a slighty better grade than Legend. It might have been because I listened to Legend as an audiobook and I did it in two sittings so it felt like nothing happened. Or perhaps because this one was slightly better. Maybe they were as good? I got a good impression of it anyway. 3 feels low, but according to my scale, it was a good book so I guess that is accurate.

What was good about it? First of all, it was very intimately written. I got the impression that this book’s focus was the development of the characters and their point of view rather than the story. The story is good, but the closeness to the characters really make it pop.

Second, any type of realistic dystopian story intrigues me. Well, it doesn’t even have to be realistic, but this is. More of the backstory to why it became the Republic of America is revealed in Prodigy and it is so cool that the author sits on so much information that never really gets out to the reader. This is something I have definitely learned since starting to write myself and Marie Lu has drawn up a very colorful (maybe vivid is the more correct term since her future is really really grey and dull) world.

Definitely better than the first. Is perhaps Champion (the last in the trilogy) even better? We will have to wait and see.