Showing posts with label piper verlag. Show all posts
Showing posts with label piper verlag. Show all posts

Thursday, May 28, 2015

[Review] Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy #1) - Jennifer Estep

In TOUCH OF FROST Mythos Academy student Gwen Frost is thrown out of her everyday routine when one of her fellow students is getting murdered. With her ability to find lost objects and learn about the owners of said
objects, she might be the only one that's able to find out who killed the student.

What intrigued me: I wanted to read this book in the first place because I was looking for another series to fill the void that the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead left in my heart. The premises are very similar, except that the school Gwen goes to isn't full of vampires, but full of descendants of mythological warriors.

Stereotyping Is the New Black?

It's written very, very opinionatedly. The main character Gwen doesn't waste a second to label everyone. Every student in her school gets a label that most often times isn't only really sexist, but also extremely narrow-minded and offensive. Gwen parts all students into groups like "the jocks", "the sluts" or "the mysterious guys" who just about do the same things as "the sluts", but yet somehow it makes them cool and mysterious instead of trashy, simply because they're guys.

Gwen herself doesn't really have a personality, she's just going around judging everyone. She's the typical nerdy heroine that doesn't have a lot of friends and is special because she isn't like everybody else. Multiple times she puts emphasis on the fact that she doesn't belong and what's even more baffling to me is that she doesn't, at no point in the story, take interest in the fact that she's surrounded by mythological beings.

For every other person this would be exciting and interesting, but Gwen just thinks that the stories about Greek and Norse gods are bedtime stories, despite the fact that she has magical powers herself. I found it so frustrating to listen to her and to watch her ignore all the magical and super interesting things that are happening around her. She's a very exhausting and oblivious character.

Black & White Thinking Everywhere

It's so frustrating that you have this brilliant setting and this unique world, but yet Estep ruins it all by not making an effort to build her characters properly. The big antagonist in this novel are Loki and all his worshipers. There is no explanation as to why they would want the world to end in chaos, but they just do. They aren't afraid to kill everyone who comes in their way, no matter whether they're students or grown wo/men. The equivalent and therefore the good ones are the soldiers-in-training from Mythos Academy.

I always have a problem dealing with novels that portray a clear line between good and evil. Obviously, there are shades of grey as well, but Estep makes no effort to try to make that clear to the reader. Just like Gwen labels everyone into either saint or sinner, her world is divided into black and white.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

I love the setting, I love the idea, but I absolutely hated the protagonist for the narrow-minded non-sense she says. I wouldn't recommend this to young impressionable readers exactly because it fuels stereotypical thinking and this is not what we need in a world that is already filled with hatred and the suppressed need to label people.

I tried to look over it all and just focus on the story, but it's hardly possible if you're bombarded with sexism in every other chapter. Estep had the chance to write a brilliant novel judging from the premise, but she ruined it through Gwen's attitude.

"My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy; a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest. 

But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. 
Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why; especially since I should have been the one who died..."

What Do You Think About Sexism and Stereotyping in Literature?

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

[Review] Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest - A. Lee Martinez

In HELEN AND TROY'S EPIC ROAD QUEST , minotaur Helen and her coworker Troy accidentally walk in on their boss performing an ancient ritual.

Very eccentric

This is the second novel by Martinez I read, and if I'm really honest, I'm going to admit that his style isn't my cup of tea at all. Martinez writes about absolutely abstruse things in a very eccentric way. His writing is somewhere between the hilarity of S.G. Browne novels and the sheer madness and messiness of Chuck Palahniuk's.

You definitely have to be into novels that aren't written to be taken seriously and have to be read sarcastically to like this. I'm not a fan of mixing this with excessive world building: In the novel all fictional creatures such like elves, minotaurs, orcs and many, many more are part of society. Some of them, especially the rarer ones like minotaur Helen, are frowned upon. Some others are just seen like regular members of society. Of course the entire concept is a form of social critique, but Martinez absolutely lacks in execution.

I like the effort he put into his world, but his characters, especially the protagonists Helen and Troy are very, very flat. If you're going to make use of a lot of sarcasm, it can easily translate to the reader like you're writing a parody. I'm not a fan of flat-out parodies with characters that are only metaphors and don't even mean anything to the author.

Lack of chemistry

I don't understand why these two would be interested in each other, either platonically or romantically, because they don't have any kind of chemistry. Not at all. Another thing that massively bothered me about Martinez' writing: Whenever he doesn't know how to explain certain behavior or has plot holes in it, he breaks the fourth wall and lets his characters acknowledge it. That's not a stylistic device, this is just bad writing!

The plot has so much potential and it saddens me that it's just absolutely lacking direction and structure. The world of the novel has to many possibilities to create something great, there are so many interesting fabulous creatures in it and Martinez' just ignores it all for a mediocre story line about two boring teenage characters going on a quest that doesn't even make any sense. I'm disappointed.




Witness the epic battle of the cyclops!

Visit the endangered dragon preserve! Please, no slaying.

Solve the mystery of The Mystery Cottage, if you dare!

Buy some knick knacks from The Fates! They might come in handy later.

On a road trip across an enchanted America, Helen and Troy will discover all this and more. If the curse placed upon them by an ancient god doesn't kill them or the pack of reluctant orc assassins don't catch up to them, Helen and Troy might reach the end their journey in one piece, where they might just end up destroying the world. Or at least a state or two.

A minotaur girl, an all-American boy, a three-legged dog, and a classic car are on the road to adventure, where every exit leads to adventure. Whether they like it or not.
(Source: Goodreads)

 What's your favorite Greek mythology read?

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Monday, February 16, 2015

[Review] Wait For You (#1) - J. Lynn

In WAIT FOR YOU, Avery Morgansten moves to a new town for college and literally walks right into the most eligible bachelor there- Cameron Hamilton, a reformed bad boy who instantly has an eye on her and won't take no for an answer.
Unlikable Characters and an Abusive Love Interest

I feel like there are a million reasons why I shouldn't like this book. It's filled with cliché characters, starting from the flamboyant gay best friend, to the super-shy yet super attractive heroine who doesn't realize it, to the mean, mean girls who are doing everything to make her life hell for minor reasons.

Cam is really an extremely unlikeable love interest. Lynn did her very best to give him some cutesy little twists, like having a pet tortoise and really loving to bake, but seriously, this guy is just not my cup of tea.
Throughout the book he keeps pushing and pushing himself onto poor Avery who basically has to tell him that she won't date him no matter what he's going to do twice a week. That's not fun, that's not flattering; It's a real problem that women nowadays have to deal with a lot, pushy guys aren't romantic or cute in being like this. The fact that our protagonist Avery thinks Cameron is oh-so-attractive doesn't make this okay. 

Promoting Rape Culture?

While having some problematic characters, Lynn does a good job at capturing the reader. I neither liked Avery nor Cameron particularly, but still wanted to know what had happened in their past. I've noticed already when reading the Lux Series that Lynn is really good at making you not quit her books halfway, no matter how much you dislike them/the characters. The novel is solely centered around exploring Avery and Cameron which leads to a rather nonexistent plot and your average high school setting without much of a story. 

Avery's backstory can be pretty much figured out after chapter three and honestly, the way J. Lynn tackles the topic just left me baffled. Instead of doing extensive research or giving us a strong heroine that doesn't let her past get in the way of her future, especially because of things that weren't her fault, we get whiny, whiny Avery who has a problem with physical affection- but only until a hot dude comes around the corner. 

The way she deals with rape just promotes rape culture. It flat out makes me uncomfortable and if you take a look at other reviews, I am not the only one. You can either regard this as a simple plot device and overlook it for entertainment's sake or just squint your eyes and stop right there with the series like I'm probably going to do. 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

I'm not going to lie, I had a hard time finishing this. Just exactly because Cam and Avery don't necessarily have a healthy relationship from the start, I didn't really connect to either of them or root for them to become a couple.

" Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…"
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