I've been wanting to start a book blog for a while now but I just can't seem to get it right. Honestly, I suck at it. I couldn't find the strength to pull that nerve and work on the graphics. But hey, I was browsing through random book blogs while stalking looking at a few of my favorites, I discovered BookLikes. Turns out, it's a website for book blogging. And for reviewing. I hope this gets better with all its Tumblr-ness!
I shall warn thou that mild spoilers are scattered on almost every brink of this review (except for those huge revelations to which I tagged as spoilers).
“But there’s a difference, isn’t there? Between saying goodbye and death.”
Have you ever been in love with a series that just hits you incorrigibly in the heart and you just stare at the cover with a myriad of perplexed thoughts? Finishing Shades of Earth was disorienting and unbelievable but at the same time relieving. It started right off where A Million Suns ended and it went on from there. There was definitely a whole lot of action going on within the characters, most especially after learning the truth that Centauri-Earth was just within their reach and the story itself invest on another huge world-building (after landing on Centauri-Earth) miens. It was fast-paced and every chapter ended with a bunch of cliffhangers hence I found it very hard to take a break whilst reading this lest another cyclopean clandestineness might be disported. There were also a lot of revelations being divulged in the book. Most of them had a part in connecting to what was really the exact mystery, however, there were still a huge number of the revelations that just didn’t fit and a majority of them were just fillers. But even so, the plot didn’t fall flat. Although it wasn’t that horrific since there were still moments wherein I indulge myself in the new world they had discovered, but it wasn’t appealing to me as much as the first book did. I could say though that I had shared a few frustrated moments within the story as well as the insensible and terrifying silent scream I let out after reading the whole Elder-Amy hormonal kick-ins. They had sex. OH GOSH.
The reason why Shades of Earth forced me to push my decision of giving it a 3.5 rating instead of a 4 or a 5 that I was kind of expecting:
The love triangle. Right along the lines of Across the Universe, I already knew (and accepted that mere fact) that the series wasn’t going to dive headfirst into a sea of love interests. While there were some circumstances wherein Elder and Amy beholds their love for each other discreetly and protectively against each other as if they’re afraid one wrong step forward might crash the foundation they had already built upon the walls of their so-called “friendship”, it didn’t really affect me as much as the other contemporary romance would. But comparing the two genres might be a different story.
In Shades of Earth, Amy had found another companion, a young military dude who might just be a few years older than Amy. Now, what was interesting about this character (at least, to Amy’s perceptions) was his eccentric blue eyes. They were bluer than the bluest of the blue. UGH. And I hated the fact that this was the reason why she was easily attracted to him. Was it really that necessary for the author to add another character when the main protagonists themselves weren’t even sure about their incongruous feelings? It didn’t make sense, really. The whole point of trying to distract the readers by using this love triangle adage didn’t work out as what the author might have expected. It came out depthless, shoal and weak. There wasn’t a connection between Amy and that annoying blue-eyed guy named Chris. (How unfortunate because every time I read his name, I keep imagining Chris Hemsworth and it’s not fair. A guy named Chris is supposed to be a good guy.)
It only frustrated me at its most and I just can’t bear to look at the dreadful attraction that Amy and Chris. I was glad it didn’t happen in the end. Above all, it was totally unnecessary.
What I did love about the story however was the tension going on in the new planet. From the moment when they sank deeper into Centauri-Earth’s atmosphere, it was as if you could sense something was going wrong. Even when the story was just beginning to take a toll into the whole new world-building fiasco, there was already an epic-ness to its existence. I loved the mysteries and the puzzles and everything in between.
Apart from that, I also loved the bit where Elder took a turn for things and decided to break his promise to Amy. I had felt every raw emotion coming from Amy’s point of view. It was such a heartbreaking, not to mention a heart-stopping phenomenon, that it made me shed a tear or so. I think it just made my eyes water. WHATEVER. For a moment I thought it was the end. That Elder wasn’t coming back. That this was going to be just another last book of a good series that the main character dies. If it weren’t for the last chapter, the one where I hoped I’d see Elder again, I don’t know what to do. So, thank you, Beth Revis, for considering how awful it is to get your main character to die all of a sudden. I LOVED THE TWIST!
Amy and Elder had grown so much over the past books and I adored their love for each other, the way they handled every situations and get on with it as the day goes by. The faith that they had was unbelievable. It struck me the most to realize that after several―probably a hundred or so―castigations and hindrances, they still had each other.
While the series wasn’t perfect, it was definitely fast-paced, full of action and everything was just ready to pounce at a certain moment. The tension it brought me was enjoyable all throughout and that, for me, was a factor to a successful series. There wasn’t a moment in this ground-breaking trilogy wherein I found myself bored and unenthusiastic. It threw me off into a whirlwind of excitement and the lusting power of incredibility.
It is pretty sad to see the series come to an end. Unfortunately, nothing is permanent. But I know, deep-down, that my obsession with the series isn’t comparable to any other. It’s just…I can’t say more without thinking of missing everyone.
The ending was sweet, totally uplifting and cute. At first I was like, “WHAT? THAT’S IT? NO MORE ‘WE’RE PUSHING YOU TO A BATTLE, YOU FREXING FRX LUNATICS!’? WELL THAT’S FULL OF SHITE―” but when I reread the chapter again, I told myself that it didn’t matter if a war breaks between the two opposing planets. It didn’t matter at all. Because I know that with Elder beside Amy, nothing was going to stop them.
Now, excuse me as I unload a whole box-full of tissues and pretend to cry, just so I have these feelings of disheartened disposition after reading a good trilogy with a happy ending.
WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD. IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT YET, MAKE SURE YOU DO BEFORE READING THIS REVIEW. YOU MIGHT KILL ME. SOMEHOW.
Rating: 4 Stars
"And here we are, in the middle surrounded by a sea of stars.
A million suns.
Any of them could hold a planet.
Any of them could hold a home.
But all of them are out of reach."
My Rating: Honestly, it took me quite a while before I got to reach the second book for the trilogy. It was back in 2011, I think. Mainly because I didn't have my iPad then and I haven't really been introduced into the World of Kindle which is such a pure disdain. Sigh. So, there were times when I literally forgot some terms that had been used, like Frex and Phydus (which is probably the most important element in the story that I so carelessly forgot). But whatever. I didn't care about anything, just that it's a book and I fell in love with the first one.
The Cover: It would do. Nothing much to say here since I wasn't that merrily impressed by it or that horrified by its existence. But I love the galaxy pinch to it though. It reminds me of Tumblr and all its epic glory-ness. Oh well. Moving on.
Overall Plot: To sum things up, a lot of ruckus had been going on and on in circles in my head and I've been sitting pointlessly, staring at the ceiling right after I finished the last chapter, practically losing my breath. And suddenly, the magical realms of my bedroom ceiling looked appealing. I was unable to write a coherent review for this one. Apparently, a lot of stuff happened. And I have no idea where to start.
Let's see. There's this thing inside the Godspeed that is all about:
But then, here goes the saying:
Sometimes it gets really-amazing-OMG-I-can't-stop but the consistency of its grandiloquent emprise gets frustrating at times that I get to have these bush-league sessions wherein I indulge myself in lubber pleasure (translation: I don't like the mean guys, at all). So, when the bad people came out to show off their pleasantries, I have to gradually drag myself over the pages. It was a begrudging journey, nonetheless.
A Million Suns (or Across the Universe, for that matter) is a kind of book that doesn't converge in the melancholy and serendipity of love affairs. IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR A SCI-FI/YOUNG ADULT LOVE SHITS, IT AIN'T HERE. BETTER SAVE YOURSELF THAN SORRY. IT DOES, HOWEVER, DEPICTS A JOURNEY THAT GETS YOUR THIGH-HIGH BOOTS KNOCKED UP ABOVE THE NOTCH. The love story that happened here wasn't one of those kiss-deprived characters (which I undeniably like) that usually flaunts about in a certain story (okay, in most stories) but it contained itself shut in a tiny container, only letting out tidbits of fluffy moments. Although it did have some weak points from time to time, the vast expense it travelled, taking the time knowing each other better, and the expostulation they both had to unravel and decipher was not only a piece of an ice cake perfection but rather that tiny cherry on top -- which, in other words, convey undisputed love that would remain true and intact forever.
However, as I humored myself deeper into the plot, I thought that it was a bit tad predictable to know Doc was doing inexplicable. Probably among the lines of enigmatic chastism and retribution. There was no surprise there for me. In Across the Universe, he already proved his worth and how unlikely he was to be trusted above all other things.
I knew Orion was just as rotten as Doc. I hadn't really believed him that much as he sent Amy out on a crazy game, sorting out the mems and floppies he set aside for her, only then to be discovered that they had been tapped by Doc which in turn remained to stay loyal to Orion. It was confusing but as soon as the revelation (I'm guessing it's not yet the final lie) went out, I hadn't realized I had been holding my breath. And made me look like this:
Which by the way looks like someone who just got chased by ducks.
That was how the story got me. Especially when it got really intense and I got the kick for the thrill it offered. I really fancied the idea of each clue that Orion gave and that Amy and Elder had to run off and seek out answers.
And now that they finally discovered that they were just orbiting around Centauri-Earth made me lose (just a bit) my edge. I HAVEN'T BEEN THIS FREAKIN' EXCITED FOR A BOOK ALL MY LIFE! Excuse me while I *sniff* *sniff* grab a box of tissue.
Characters: I appreciated how the characters were strong but at the same time weak and that they needed dependence. What I liked the most about them was that they weren't superfluously described in between chapters. They weren't called as hot or God-like or heavenly. They weren't called for perfection. They were flawed, they created mistakes and they weren't proficient. I was satisfied enough knowing what her hair color was like, how red it was or how it shined against the solar lamps, what Elder looked like, not bothering to overlook those layers of space clothes just to know if he had a six-pack. The idea alone that the two characters instantly clicked right at the beginning was a great remnant of what a real story was about.
On the Alternating POVs: I don't usually like these kind of chapters as to how easily I get confused when the characters started talking. Like say, for example, the Allegiant book by Veronica Roth. (But I'm not about to compare the two as I hate discriminating another piece of work). Although this book wasn't near to accuracy (since I still get confused between POVs), the dangling perfection is there.
Who needs a perfect book anyway? Just as long as you sit there, begin reading and see how it all unravels, you witness the energy it gives off, judging by its cover alone. If I like it, I stay completely glued. If I don't, I close it.
ON THE CLIFFHANGER CASTIGATION:
SCREW IT. BARNACLES!
I shalt thou proclaim my peace and move on with the last book.