Kindle Daily Deal: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Today’s Kindle Daily Deal (Amazon UK) is the creepy apocalyptic sci-fi The 5th Wave. I reviewed this book a little while ago finding it quite enjoyable, and I hear it’s going to become a movie in 2016. I think it will work great as a movie, as this book has a very cinematic feel. Even better, it’s only 99p.

Description:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

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Book Review: Insomnia by J.R. Johansson

Title: Insomnia

Author: J. R. Johansson

Series: The Night Walkers

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review:

(Mild spoilers)

If you thought high school was tiring, trying being Parker Chipp. For the last four years he has not slept. Instead every time he closes his eyes at night he gets pulled into the dreams of the last person he made eye contact with. He’s seen it all:  the chilling nightmares, the boring snippets of everyday life, the random craziness that make no sense. He’s done all he can to search for an answer, but how can he ask for help without people thinking he has lost his mind? He asks his family doctor what happens to someone without sleep, and gets the answer he was expecting. If Parker can’t find a cure soon, he will die.

Then Parker meets Mia, new girl at school and foster sister of Parker’s football coach. In her dreams Parker feels a peace he can barely remember and he can finally, finally, sleep. He starts making excuses to see her, waiting for her after class, ‘accidentally’ bumping into after school, needing to make eye contact with her, knowing that she is the only one who will save his life. But Mia doesn’t understand, she thinks Parker has a crush on her and tries to let him down gently. But she doesn’t understand, Parker needs her. When someone starts sending threatening emails, Mia thinks that Parker is stalking her and begins to have nightmares about him hunting her down. How can Parker stop these threats, and prove that it isn’t him, all whilst still making eye contact with her at the end of every night? And how can he be sure that he isn’t the one making the threats?

Before I began Insomnia I read a couple of reviews comparing this book to Wake by Lisa McMann, which also has the ‘people watching the dreams of other’s’ plot line. From what I can tell, most people who read Wake first feel that the set up for Insomnia was too similar. However, I have yet to read Wake so I was able to enjoy this book without any unconscious comparisons. I was intrigued by the idea of someone being caught in the dreams of another, and felt these scenes were some of the strongest parts of the book. The nightmares of Mia being hunted and beaten by Parker and a woman who is being abused by her husband are both excellently written and pretty terrifying. J. R. Johansson knows how to write horror: the best bit of Insomnia is when Parker discovers he’s been doing things he can’t remember, beginning to feel he can’t trust himself and you realise he has actually been an unreliable narrator. From the start of the book, we are told that Parker’s condition will lead to him losing his mind then dying, and seeing those cracks in his psyche is quite creepy and very gripping.

On the other hand, it’s such a shame that a book pitched as a paranormal thriller becomes just a regular thriller. Despite Parker’s dream watching is such a huge part of the story, it doesn’t really affect the plot – you could take it out and still have the core story (Mia’s stalker and Parker being framed) almost completely unaffected. Also, the first chapter features the dream/memory of the school caretaker killing a woman. It’s a great beginning, captivating and creepy but it’s never mentioned again. Was it just a dream? Did the caretaker actually kill his wife? And if he did, why didn’t Parker try to do anything about it? In fact, the biggest problem about this book is the unanswered questions. Why can Parker watch other people’s dreams? Did his father also have this curse? Is that why he left? Is there a cure to the curse? It’s implied that all these questions will be answered in the next book, as though the main plot is finished, it ends on quite a big cliffhanger about Parker and his curse. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the next book will focus more on the paranormal elements.

3.5 stars.

Book Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

12813630Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Author: Holly Black

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review:

When Tana wakes up in a bathtub the morning after a high school party, she thinks the most she’ll have to worry about is facing her ex-boyfriend, Aidan, sober and dealing with one hell of a hangover. Little does she know the party had some visitors during the night – and now all of her classmates are dead. All except Aidan, who has been bitten and tied to a bed, with a chained up vampire. Tana pities the vampire, named Gavriel, and makes a rash decision, bundling him and Aidan in the back of her car before more vampires bust into the house and catch them. Tana is nearly caught, escaping with a scrape from a vampire tooth. Now she may be infected with the vampire virus, and if so must resist human blood for 88 days, or she’ll lose her humanity forever.

So begins the road trip of a vampire, a newly infected, and possibly infected human to their only refuge: a Coldtown. Famed for being a harbour for vampires, and broadcast across the world as a never ending party, with humans enthralled and offering up their blood in hopes of being turned. There, Tana may be able to find salvation for them all. That is, if the vampires hunting Gavriel don’t catch them first.

I’ve been a long time fan of Holly Black’s work, ever since I first read Tithe as a teenager and feel in love with urban fantasy books, especially those featuring faeries, and I have avidly read all her work. But I must admit, to my disappointment this has to be her weakest book. Having said that, it is still a Holly Black book, which puts it leagues above many others out there. So, the good. The concept of Coldtowns is a very original one, and the mystery and allure surrounding them draws in the readers as well of the characters. The descriptions of the Coldtown parties, and vampire bounty hunters are pretty captivating. It adds to the casual horror of the novel, which has got to be the strongest part of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. The gore and monstrous nature of the vampires is very well done, making this not a book to be read by the squeamish. I like my vampires with a lot of bite, which made this almost perfect in that respect.

However, there were a few problems in this novel that I just couldn’t ignore. Whilst the action was fast paced and fairly intense, with chapters ending on cliffhangers, this effect was ruined by the alternating chapters which would provide background information or alternate points of view (still all in third person though). Don’t get me wrong, these chapters were interesting in their own right, but they seriously disrupted the flow of the story. Also, the characters didn’t feel very fleshed out, which I believe is caused by this book being based off a short story. I have read this short story, which also has the same name, and I believe it is much stronger than this book. In both, the characters aren’t developed much, but this is forgivable in a short story which has less space for said development. The novel, on the other hand, felt like an idea that was stretched too thin, causing the characters to suffer as we never really get to know them that well. This leads to a lot of telling rather than showing when it comes to their personalities. Aidan probably suffers the most from this: Tana thinks many times about how he’s an alright guy really, and how gentle he really is, etc,etc, but all of their relationship we see are through her flashbacks, overshadowed by how she realises now that it was never going to work, and him lying and manipulating her to make sure she comes back to save him. This also meant the romance between Tana and Gavriel was pretty lacklustre, with little attraction or reason behind it, causing it to be almost boring.

I had high hopes for this one, and I can’t say, when comparing to Holly Black’s other work, that I am impressed. Yet, it is still a good vampire book, and I recommend it to anyone looking for vampires and gore. Better yet, I recommend the original short story. I just can’t help but be disappointed, as I know Holly Black is capable of better.

3.5 stars.

Book Review: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

16078584Title: Broken Homes

Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Peter Grant #4

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review:

(Contains spoilers.)

A car crash that kills a man who seems to have just murdered a woman with a shotgun to the face. The sudden and unexpected suicide of a man who seems to being controlled by magic. A man who has bust into flames from the inside out. All connected to a stolen rare book on magic. It’s just another day in the life of Peter Grant: police officer and wizard apprentice.

Peter’s investigations lead him to a tower block of flats in Elephant and Castle called Skygarden. Built by a German man as a way to enhance magic through the human activity happening within, Nightingale believes that the Faceless Man is up to something sinister here. Soon the tower block becomes a new home for Peter and Lesley, who go under cover to meet the residents and hunt out who is working for the Faceless Man. But danger lurks around every corner, and Peter soon discovers that no-one can be trusted.

The Peter Grant series is an odd one, and though I have enjoyed all the books (this one included) I can’t help but find problems. First the positives: there are so many great ideas in these books. River Gods, wizards in the police force, a magic sensing dog, Inspector Nightingale a wizard who doesn’t age and helped fight in WWII, and the series villain known as the Faceless Man. The police investigation side is very detailed and practical – if Ben Aaronovitch has never been a policeman then he must know someone in the force, as these are probably the most realistic books about policing I’ve ever read. In Broken Homes the plot is pretty captivating, new fascinating characters are introduced, and certain events at the end are complete game changers which mean the next book is going to be very interesting.

However, there were some problems. Broken Homes is pretty slow at the beginning, with what seems like random murders and cases being investigated. It takes a while before we even see Skygarden and the Faceless Man’s name is mentioned, and feels like Peter is moving aimlessly throughout the first 100 or so pages. It does pick up about half way through, but there doesn’t seem to be a great sense of urgency, not even in the climax where the action really picks up. The biggest problem though is the character of Lesley. Throughout the book I couldn’t help wondering why she doesn’t have a bigger emotional reaction to the events around her. I don’t mean to say as a woman she should be emotional, but it feels like we are only ever told her actions, not her thoughts. Especially after all she has gone through, and the damage to her face – at one point she is chasing a suspect and accidentally leaves her mask behind, and only realises when she is caught in the middle of a crowd, complete with people videoing her. But her reaction is never shown, she just swears, leaves with Peter and the scene moves on. When she reveals that she’s sleeping with a petty thief who helps the police called Zach, we have no idea what exactly their relationship is – is it a real romance? Just a bit of fun? A way to vent her frustration at the world? The discovery that Lesley is in fact working with the Faceless Man seems  put in more for shock value more than anything else. Peter assumes that it’s to get her face back, but it could be anything since she never talks about her thoughts. Are these problems because she’s meant to be a closed off character, or is Peter just too selfish to notice the woman he’s meant to be friends with is struggling? It seems that Peter is a fairly self involved character, not just with Lesley, but with Nightingale and other characters like the River Gods.

Despite these problems, I will being reading the next book, but I know that it will be the one that makes or breaks this series. I have my hopes but, realistically, I know the only way to save it is to get inside Lesley’s head more, and have Peter realise how selfish he has been.

3.5 stars.

Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

13636400Title: The Bone Season

Author: Samantha Shannon

Series: The Bone Series #1

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review:

It’s 2059 and London is being run by a security force known as the Scion, whose mission is to hunt out all clairvoyants hiding in the city. Paige Mahoney, a nineteen year old Irish woman, works in the criminal underworld as a dreamwalker. As one of the rarest clairvoyants, Paige is constantly on the look out, as there would be only one sentence if she was captured: death. At least that’s what she always thought, until it actually happens.

Suddenly, Paige finds herself being shipped off to Oxford, a city that has been sealed off for nearly two-hundred years and renamed Sheol I. The city is ruled by a race of unearthly, humanoid creatures called the Rephaim, who view themselves as physically and intellectually superior to mankind. They use voyants as soldiers and servants, and are ruled by a woman called Nashira Sargas. Paige is soon claimed by the blood-consort to Nashira, Arcturus Mesarthim, known as the Warden, who will train her, care for her, and own her completely. Despite being his slave, Paige can’t help but wonder whose side Warden is actually on, but she knows no matter what she is not safe here. Now, Paige must find a way to survive and escape, before her training in fighting monsters who eat human flesh or the attention from Nashira kills her.

The Bone Season is a entertaining book, with a lot of world building and interesting characters. The world created by Samantha Shannon is very detailed, stuffed full of information, almost to the point of becoming slightly overwhelming at the beginning. It starts out with a very heavy info dumping style – the world is described almost completely in the first chapter, and not revisited at all in the rest of the book. This can lead to some confusion, so it is recommended that the begin of this book is read fairly carefully so as to not miss anything. Luckily, once Paige is captured and the action picks up, the info dumping lessens (though doesn’t disappear completely) and you get mostly caught up in the story. I say ‘mostly’, because I felt the book started to lag slightly in the last third. Whilst the story is still moving, there was just something that felt a little bit repetitive and slower that the rest of the book.

All the characters were enjoyable, and though the romance between Paige and Warden was obvious from the beginning, they were both interesting. The slow burn of the romance was the unexpected part, and I think this is part of what caused the lull in the pace, waiting for the romance to fully unfold. However having said that, this is a nice change from most book that focus heavily on romance, and seeing as this is a seven book series it gives the relationship time to develop properly. Warden was one of the most interesting characters as his motives are hidden throughout most of the book and it’s clear why Paige doesn’t trust him for a long while.

Overall, The Bone Season is entertaining and detailed book, that, despite a couple of problems, has captured my interest. I am looking forward to book two.

3.5 stars.

Book Review: Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson

12009478Title: Royal Street

Author: Suzanne Johnson

Series: Sentinels of New Orleans #1

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review:

Drusilla Jaco, DJ to her friends, thought her job was hard – mixing potions, helping to guard New Orleans from supernatural creatures (including attractive undead pirates), and negotiating politics with the Elder wizards. When the city is warned to evacuate due to the oncoming Hurricane Katrina, her mentor Gerry insists DJ leaves while he stays to defend the city from whatever may come. DJ watches safely as her city avoids the worst of the hurricane, only to be severely damaged by flooding. As heartbreaking as it is to watch, DJ’s worst nightmare comes true when she gets a call from the Elders: Gerry has disappeared and the walls between the Otherworld and the mortal world have weakened.

Partnered with the stubborn, but good looking, Alex who works for the FBI, and hiding from the undead pirate she tricked who is back for revenge, DJ must help rebuild New Orleans and protect it from the supernatural monsters now unleashed. With a serial killer targeting wizards with voodoo rituals and the rise of disturbing questions about Gerry’s views concerning the Elders, DJ may have her work cut out for her.

The use of Hurricane Katrina was very interesting, and justly done. Seeing the damage done to New Orleans through DJ’s eyes, and her relief and guilt as she realises just how lucky she was to have escaped and have her home undamaged, was almost painful to read. Her heartbreak was real and helped to make DJ a sympathetic character.The descriptions of the city were also thorough, creating some very moving scenes. The few scenes in the Otherworld towards the end of the book where also very enjoyable. Hopefully, the Otherworld will be explored further in the rest of the series as it was isolated to Old Orleans, and had the potential to be far more varied in both setting and characters.

The romance in Royal Street is of the slow-burn variety, beginning with hostility between DJ and her partner Alex, slowly becoming friendship as they trust and confide in each other. Both DJ and Alex are likeable characters, despite their faults – namely both being stubborn, unnecessarily so at times. Jean Lafitte, the undead pirate and other half of the possible love triangle, on the other hand, was a character who was much harder to like and trust – though this does make him quite interesting. His motives are constantly unclear as he changes allegiances and plans with no notice. It is only obvious that he looks out for himself. Though this makes his character interesting and unpredictable, as a romantic interest it makes him unstable and fairly unbelievable, since he has tried several times to kill DJ. Other than his looks, there doesn’t seem to be any other reason to be a romance with.

The use of voodoo in this book was very interesting, but could have been expanded. In fact, this seems to be the biggest fault with Royal Street. Though a few ideas and especially the world building was not as extensive as it could have been, as this is just the first of the series, I can only hope that these great ideas are further explored in the next novels, which I will be reading.

3.5 stars

Book Review: A Sliver of Shadow by Alison Pang

11929939Title: A Sliver of Shadow

Author: Alison Pang

Series: Abby Sinclair #2

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review:

(Spoilers for book one.)

Abby is still adjusting to her new life as a Touchstone – someone who can help the OtherFolk cross between our world and the world of Faery – and though she is getting the hang of it, it’s not easy. Especially when Moria, the Protectorate, leaves for the Faery Court. With Abby left in charge things go from bad to worse when a spell on Abby backfires and causes the Queen of Faery seals the doors between the two worlds closed. Now OtherFolk on Earth are fading, and Faery is preparing for war with Hell. All Abby can do is travel to the CrossRoads and attempt to override the Queen’s magic, and prey she is strong enough for it to work.

This book continues the dynamic politics and magic system set up in the first book, exploring Abby’s role as a Touchstone and the relationship between Earth, Faery, and Hell. Abby herself is a great urban fantasy character, strong and brave without becoming a stereotype; she admits her fears and doubts but doesn’t let them stop her, and is willing to sacrificing herself to save Faery. However, Abby fails to live up to this when it comes to her first love interest, the incubus Brystion. He turns up half way through the book and does nothing but act self absorbed and arrogant, with no respect for what Abby wants. Sadly Abby never calls him out on his actions, only ever half-heartedly telling him to back off then giving in to him. In book one, Brystion was the classic sweet but tormented and misunderstood hero, but in A Sliver of Shadow has become the other urban fantasy cliche; the self involved jerk who can’t understand the word “no”. This change is hugely disappointing.  Also, the descriptions of Faery were very interesting, but few and far between and felt like they could have been much more extensive. This was a missed opportunity, and very disappointing seeing as most of the book is set in Faery.

What saved the book though, other than Abby herself, was the elf prince Talivar and the unexpected cliffhanger ending. Talivar, the second love interest, was much more preferable than Brystion – in fact, he seemed to fill the void of positive male love interest left by Brystion. Talivar is sweet, understanding, charming, and funny; a much more favourable character in general and a better match for Abby. The cliffhanger was a complete surprise, leaving you wanting to read the sequel now, and may be a complete game changer for this series. Let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best in book three.

3.5 stars

Book Review: The Oathbreaker’s Shadow

13643064Title: The Oathbreaker’s Shadow

Author: Amy McCulloch

Series: The Knot Sequence #1

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review:

In Raim’s world the words “I promise” are not to be taken lightly. For every promise you make a knot is created that binds you to your word. Breaking that word causes the knot to burn a scar into your skin, labelling you an oathbreaker. Scorn, hatred, and exile will become your life.

It should have been the best day of his life: Raim had just passed the last fight to become a Yun, an honoured warrior, and made a sacred vow to his best friend and Crown Prince, Khareh, until the knot on his wrist bust into flames. It had been with him for as long as he can remember – but he had no idea what the promise was. Running for his life across the desert, haunted by a spectre of Khareh, Raim is determined to discover the origins of his knot and clear his name.

The concept of knot binding for promises is a compelling one. The act of making a promise to another is taken with deathly seriousness, and the stigma surrounding an oathbreaker is ingrained throughout almost all the societies, but to make it worse they are be haunted by an image of the person they betrayed as a constant reminder of their mistake. Raim struggles with being labelled as a traitor and worse, tormented by the belief that he has done nothing to deserve it, and his painful journey arose the desert is one of the best parts of the book.

Although the friendship between Raim and Wabi was thoroughly enjoyable and progressed at a realistic pace, that could lead to a sweet romance in further books, certain situations towards the end gave the impression that Wabi was being used in the typical damsel in distress role in order for Raim to be the hero. This clashes quite strongly with the strong, resourceful young woman who reached out to an outcast boy when no-one else would and snuck into a forbidden city to satisfy her own curiosity.

Despite the first half of the book focusing on the mystery of Raim’s broken promise, this is soon overshadowed by other events and left as one of the many unanswered questions that will, hopefully, be addressed in the next book. The magic system is also slightly confusing and not described in detailed, but, again, more may be giving in the next instalment. The Oathbreaker’s Shadow can also be accused of info-dumping a fair bit, however as the information given about the society and history is very interesting, this issue can be overlooked.

Ignoring these reservations, with its cliffhanger ending and interesting directions with magic and politics, The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is a good read that leaves you looking forward to the sequel.

3.5 stars

Book Review: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

12937427Title: The Madness Underneath

Author: Maureen Johnson

Series: Shades of London #2

Rating: 3.5 stars

Cover Comments: Nice tie-in to the first book, I prefer the splash of red on this one.

Review:

(Spoilers for book one.)

Surviving a murder attempt is never easy, but for Rory Deveaux it’s even harder. Her therapist keeps wanting her to talk about what happened, but how can she? How can you tell anyone that you were attacked by a ghost? Not to mention that she can now, somehow, destroy ghosts just by touching them. Stuck in Bristol with her parents, away from the few other people who truly know what happened, she feels trapped and isolated.

Rory senses freedom when, suddenly, her therapist convinces her parents to send her back to London to resume her studies at Wexford. Reunited with the Shades, a group of secret ghost hunting policemen, Rory is determined to explore the limits of her new abilities, and find some way to deal with everything.

The Madness Underneath is a much more serious book than The Name of the Star. It’s main focus is on Rory’s recovery – a topic that is portrayed in a painfully realistic manner. I love that Rory has to deal with her issues, that she isn’t somehow magically cured overnight. Surviving a murder attempt isn’t something that can just be shrugged off in a few weeks, and even when she changes her outlook (that she is a survivor, not a victim) Rory is still struggling to cope. Her school work is falling far behind, she can’t talk properly to her friends, and she struggles to make a relationship work. This was easily my favourite thing about this book.

On the other hand, The Madness Underneath had several problems. For one, the pacing was terribly uneven. A plot line about ghosts being unleashed and becoming violent was introduced and developed, but then suddenly dropped without warning, then another about Rory’s new therapist became the focus. This plot felt a little tacked on and ruined the flow of the book, and worst of all, wasn’t even resolved. Also, it’s not explained why or how Rory can destroy ghosts. It suffers from “middle book syndrome” – the book falls flat because the story lines need to be setup but they are left hanging, waiting for the last book to complete everything.

I was also very, very surprised at the fate of one of the main secondary characters. It was sudden and unexpected, and I can honestly say I have no idea where Maureen Johnson will go with it. Though I haven’t quite decided how I feel about this, because of this turn, and the brilliant way in which Rory’s recovery was handled, I will be reading the third book when it’s released. I am interested in seeing where it goes next.

3.5 stars

Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

16101128Title: The 5th Wave

Author: Rick Yancey

Series: The Fifth Wave #1

Rating: 3.5 stars

Cover Comments: I like the silhouette of the woods, but it took me a while to realise the person was a solider.

Review:

Anyone who believed that the first contact with aliens would be peaceful was dead wrong. And after the first four waves, probably just plain dead too.

Cassie may be the last person on earth. At least, alone in the woods after watching her life and the whole world being destroyed by the ‘Others’, that’s her fear. The looming spaceship hovering over Earth that appeared a several months ago did not come in peace. In a few short weeks they unleashed four waves of attack: an electromagnetic pulse that wiped out all electronics, an earthquake that causes a tsunami, the Red Plague that made people bleed out of every orifice, and people turning on other people who may or may not be the Other’s in disguise. Now all Cassie has left is a gun, her brother’s ratty old teddy bear, and a promise to keep. A promise to rescue her five year old brother Sammy, at any cost.

Sometimes in my tent, late at night, I think I can hear the stars scraping against the sky.”

The first quarter of this novel, describing Cassie surviving on her own, was easily my favourite part. The sense of loneliness and isolation is captured in a haunting and beautiful way. The story of how she ended up in the woods, of how the aliens attacked Earth, intertwined with Cassie’s survival builds tension as you slowly see all the death that surrounds her. From the incomprehensibly huge numbers of people killed in the first waves, to the intimate death of her parents, this novel begins in such a disturbing and heart-wrenching way. The fact that it is called The 5th Wave leaves you on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next attack. This is how alien novels should be: realistically terrifying, where the characters are unable to trust anyone or anything.

That being said, I don’t feel the rest of the novel quite lived up to this amazing beginning.

I enjoyed Cassie, Sammy, and (to an extent) the solider “Zombie”. I felt Cassie was interesting, funny, and fiercely determined, and Sammy was so sweet I just wanted him to be safe. Zombie’s inner thoughts compared to his actions, constricted by his military life style, maked him an interestingly conflicted character. However, his chapters were where I became slightly bored as I felt he suppressed himself too much and the constant military routines just didn’t interest me that much. My interest was caught again when a new solider “Ringer” was introduced: she was smart, badass, and willing to stand up against their superiors when she sensed something was wrong. I want to see a lot more of her.

The character I had the biggest problem with was Evan. The romance between him and Cassie was just too intense too fast, nearly all from his side. I can understand falling into a romance after being alone for so long, but then claiming that this person is your only reason to live after only knowing them for a few days is too much. He also seems untrustworthy, sneaking around using the “it’s for your own protection” excuse that has been over used in YA books for far too long. I’m hoping he gets more development in further books. (Speaking of the next books and over used themes, please let there be no Cassie/Evan, Cassie/Zombie love triangle.)

The writing, for the most part, was very good. It was very atmospheric and as I said before the tension building was excellent. Yet, along with the middle section which slowed down and became a bit boring, there were points with Cassis were she kept repeating phrases like “I must trust him. I can’t trust him.”. This was used over and over, in this same style which got increasingly annoying each time it was used. The end of the book picked up again, thankfully, and ends on a very interesting, but slightly abrupt cliffhanger (I turned the next page expecting more, only to find it was over). I will be back for more in the next book, as I really want to see what happens next.

3.5 stars