I think it's impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.
-Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
-Phillip K. Dick

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Genre: Dystopian / Apocalyptic / Romance / Young Adult / Government / Survival

Before you read this review, if you haven't yet, go read my Hunger Games review.  Make sure to read the first book cus it's good.

The capitol is angry about Katniss defying them.  In retaliation they round up previous tribute winners for the 75th Annual Hunger Games. Unknown to Katniss and Peeta, a rebellion is about to break out.  Katniss is known as the Mockingjay...which is a sort of catalyst symbolism.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sparks are igniting, flames are spreading and the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol-- a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before... and surprising readers at every turn.

What did I think of this book?  I thought it started out pretty slow.  It only starts to get better around 66% of the way through.  After that it gets good enough to be worth reading.  The ending caught me off guard, even though I didn't have any expectations.  It definitely makes me want to read the third book.  I know that I will!  I can't wait to see the second movie too, even though it probably wont be as good as the book.  If you liked the first book I suggest giving this one a shot.  Like I said though, it starts out slow but gets better around 66% of the way through.  The beginning is just sort of a set up for what's to come.

Shame on anyone who thinks evil of this.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel

Genre: Historical Fiction / Prehistoric / Romance / Adult / Fantasy

First, if you haven't yet, read my reviews of Clan of the Cave Bear and The Valley of Horses, which are the first 2 books in the Earth's Children series.  If you've already read those books and/or my reviews of them proceed.

This is the third book in the Earth's Children series by Jean M. Auel. In this book Ayla and Jondalar find themselves in a new group of people.  Ayla has found a baby wolf cub which she raises, she names him Wolf.  Jondalar is finding it hard to express is feelings, and Ayla is too.  They've become two people of the same world, yet so separate from each other, despite their desires that everyone sees but them.

ONCE AGAIN, JEAN M. AUEL OPENS THE DOOR OF TIME TO REVEAL AN AGE OF WONDER AND TERROR AT THE DAWN OF HUMANITY. With all the consummate storytelling artistry and vivid authenticity she brought to The Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequel, The Valley of Horses, Jean M. Auel continues the breathtaking epic journey of the woman called Ayla. Now, with her devoted Jondalar, Ayla boldly sets forth into the land of the Mamutoi--the Mammoth Hunters, the Others she has been seeking. Though Ayla must learn their strange customs and language, it is because of her uncanny hunting and healing skills that she is adopted into the Mammoth Hearth. Here Ayla finds her first women friends, and painful memories of the Clan she left behind. Here, too, is Ranec, the dark-skinned, magnetic master carver of ivory tusks to whom Ayla is irresistibly drawn--setting Jondalar on fire with jealousy. Throughout the icy winter, Ayla is torn between her two men. But soon will come the great spring mammoth hunt, when Ayla must choose her mate and her destiny--to remain in the Hearth with Ranec, or to follow Jondalar into a far--off place and an unknown future.

I have to honestly say this book irritated me...I didn't dislike it really, so much as I just hated the whole idea of Ayla and Jondalar not knowing what the other was feeling, and being unable to express how they do feel for each other. The entire time I just kept thinking "God dammit just tell him/her how you feel." If people really struggle with this kind of crap in real life they need to seriously quit that shit.

I actually chose to read this for a project for my English 201: Critical Thinking Through Literature class. I don't know if having it be a project for class made it harder to read, or if it was just the content of the story that bothered me so. I think maybe it was a little of both.

I can't honestly give this more than a 3 out of 5. It had elements that I liked of course, like Mamut. I also liked the little wolf cub and Rydag. Most of the characters though, I couldn't really connect with. I did sort of like the relationship between Deegie and Ayla, but I wished there was more to it. Also, I seriously hated Ranec just about from the beginning. By the end, I practically loathed him.

If you've read the first 2 books, and aren't much for turmoil between two people who love each other, you might not enjoy this book. It's still worth reading to lead into the next book. If you've enjoyed the series so far, you should keep reading. If you enjoy Ayla's connection with animals, this will not disappoint in that aspect. She also learns a few new techniques, so if that was something you enjoyed in the past books, you will probably enjoy that in this one also.

Here are some quotes/lines I enjoyed:
She loved him, more than she could ever find words for, but this love he felt for her was not quite the same. It wasn't so much stronger, as more demanding, more insistent. As though he feared he would lose that which he had finally won.

“You weren't being punished. You were waiting for me.”

Ayla just didn't seem like a woman who was about to join and establish a new hearth with a man she loved. There was no joy, no excitement. Something was missing. Something called Jondalar.

Shame on anyone who thinks evil of this.