ARC Review: Children of Icarus

ARC Review: Children of Icarus

Author: Caighlan Smith

Release Date: August 1, 2016

Pages: 313

Rating/Grade: B

 

Synopsis

It is Clara who is desperate to enter the labyrinth and it is Clara who is bright, strong, and fearless enough to take on any challenge. It is no surprise when she is chosen. But so is the girl who has always lived in her shadow. Together they enter. Within minutes, they are torn apart forever. Now the girl who has never left the city walls must fight to survive in a living nightmare, where one false turn with who to trust means a certain dead end.”

Characters

Clara –  Clara is a daredevil. She has always wanted to go into the labyrinth and become an Icarii.  It is part of who she has always wanted to be.

Narrator – She is nameless. She is quiet. She is nothing like Clara who is her best friend. However, when she makes into the labyrinth and survives her first day. She takes on Clara’s name unintentionally.

Elle – I feel so bad for her. She is broken and the labyrinth has done terrible things to her. It has taken from her, and because of this she is not who she was when she came into the labyrinth.

Collin – The actual Clara’s older brother. He is a the leader of a group within the labyrinth. The Labyrinth has changed him as well, he has become heartless and cruel. He is willing to punish people in the group in the worst of ways.

Review

Children of Icarus was a refreshing dystopian YA novel.  While the YA dystopian genre is definitely not a new thing, the concept of this book was definitely different than any other dystopian novel that I’ve read. One of the things that I think this book does well is it addresses the fact that a lot of the characters are really screwed up due to this dystopian world, which I’ve found isn’t necessarily true of other dystopian YA novels.

However, the fact that the narrator of the book never has a name drove me nuts. Even after I realized why Smith doesn’t give her name, it still bugged the crap out of me. It was especially frustrating because the story is told completely through her eyes, so there was very little actual dialogue. I read an ARC, so I would be really interested to see the print version of the book to see if it is drastically different.

Reason For Rating

Like I said, this book is like no other dystopian YA novel I’ve read, which was super refreshing. It was also fast-paced and pulled me in immediately. These things are probably what salvaged its rating. My annoyance with the main character not having a name and everything being filtered through her is what brought it down. While I understand why Caighlan Smith did the things she did in regards to the main character it, unfortunately, doesn’t make it any less annoying to read. I give Children of Icarus a B, but if you think you can get past the fact that the main character doesn’t have a name throughout the entire book, and just enjoy the story for what it is then I would definitely recommend it.

B Rating

Happy Reading!

Erin

WWW Wednesday 12/23/15

WWW Wed

WWW Wednesday 12/23/15

This is my weekly WWW Wednesday post in which I answer three simple questions.  It is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Go check her out, her blog is great!  Each week I will answer the following three questions about what is happening in my book world.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you are going to read next?

So, here we go.

What are you currently reading?hello, goodbye

Girl of Myth and Legend by Giselle Simlett

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In-Between by Jennifer E. Smith

I’m still working my way through Girl of Myth and Legend and To Kill a Mockingbird.  I’m enjoying Girl of Myth and Legend. It’s interesting, so far.  We’re almost done with To Kill A Mockingbird in class, and we’ll be moving on to poetry after that.  I’m almost done with Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In-Between.  

ice like fireWhat did you recently finish reading?

Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

My full review is here. I could tell that Sara Raasch is really using this book to set up for the third book, so this book was rather political making it a little slow m
oving.  That being said, I still really liked it, but it did take a bit longer to read.

What do you think you’ll read next?

(All synopses are from Goodreads)

Still looking forward to reading these:

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Graya thousan pices

Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

This book has been on my TBR and sitting on my bookshelf for awhile. Since Ten Thousand Skies Above You, the sequel, came out in November this year, I thought I’d read this one.

Blood and Salt by Kim Liggettblood and salt

Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn in this one-of-a-kind romantic horror.

“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”

These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.

Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.

As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.

I can’t wait to hear what the rest of you are reading!! Let me know in the comments.

Happy Reading!
Erin

The Scorch Trials. . . Movie

Scorch Trials

The Scorch Trials. . . Movie

Ok. So I know I’ve said it before, but I was not a big fan of The Maze Runner series, in fact, in particular, I was absolutely bored with, and hated, The Scorch Trials. If you want to read the where I’ve said it before, you can find those entries here and here.  A week ago, when The Scorch Trials movie came out, I was pumped.  I mean, The Maze Runner movie adaptation was the reason I decided to read the series in the first place.  I fell in love with the movie and thought that the books had to be good.

Now, back to my point, the movie, The Scorch Trials movie was outstanding! For those of you who are big fans of the books, I am going to warn you. The movie is highly different, so don’t go into it expecting it to be exactly the same.  Approach it as its own entity, standing on its own, as a second movie in a series and connected to The Maze Runner, but whatever you do, do not judge it against the book. You will dislike it. A lot of things get rearranged, taken out, and added. Consider yourself warned.

The action was bigger, the Cranks were scarier, and the Rat Man, the Rat Man, that’s all I can say.  So, the Cranks first. I kept waiting for them because I’d heard they were terrifying, and that they were. They were gross and threatening, very much in the way a zombie is on The Walking Dead, except the Cranks could move a hell of a lot faster.

Onto the Rat Man. He was younger than I pictured him and had more hair than I pictured him with, but Aiden Gillen played him perfectly.  His shrewdness and absolute lack of emotion was on point.  I might be a little biased though. If you watch Game of Thrones, you will definitely recognize Aiden Gillen, who plays Petyr Baelish, or Littlefinger. I think he must have been channeling a bit of Littlefinger for this movie as well. It was perfect.

And now, the action. I think this was something that was greatly lacking from the book. However, due to some of the rearranging of the plot line and the magic of movie making and Hollywood, there is plenty of action.  There were several times while sitting in the theatre that I got super stressed out because of the action and the tension that was created throughout the movie.  Overall, I would definitely recommend seeing it whether you read the book or not.  Just remember, if you read and enjoyed the book try not to compare the accuracy of the movie to the book.  Happy watching!    

The Maze Runner Series

The Maze Runner Series

Synopsis

The Maze Runner

Mazerunner

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

The Scorch Trials

The_Scorch_Trials_cover

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

The Death Cure

The_Death_Cure

It’s the end of the line.

WICKED has taken everything from Thomas: his life, his memories, and now his only friends—the Gladers. But it’s finally over. The trials are complete, after one final test.

Will anyone survive?

What WICKED doesn’t know is that Thomas remembers far more than they think. And it’s enough to prove that he can’t believe a word of what they say.

The truth will be terrifying.

Thomas beat the Maze. He survived the Scorch. He’ll risk anything to save his friends. But the truth might be what ends it all.

The time for lies is over.

First Impressions

Ok.  So I did that thing.  That thing that I hate that people do, and most of the time swear to myself that I will never do it.  I read the book because I saw the movie.  Yes, I saw the movie first and then I read the book.  You know, that thing, that thing that when you talk to teenagers or other readers of YA, they get mad you at you for seeing the movie before reading the book because the movie will inevitably be terrible and the book will inevitably be better than the movie.  Well, yep, I did that thing.  

Review

In this case, I am both glad that I decided to read the books and not so glad that I decided to read them.  

I chose to do a book review on the whole series at the same time because I don’t really have much to say about each book.  I will try to break down each book the best I can in this review, so that it makes sense.

So let’s start with Book #1, The Maze Runner.  I really enjoyed this book.  It was entertaining and definitely rivaled the movie, but I don’t necessarily think it was better than the movie.  Maybe I think this because I saw the movie first, that’s possible.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there were critical storylines or huge plot holes that I thought were missing in the movie that existed in the book.  The end of the movie is pretty different from the book, but that all has to do with what is possible to do in real life.  Based on what I saw in the movie to what I read in the book they were both extremely entertaining and I am so glad that I decided to read and see both the book and the movie.

Onto Book #2, The Scorch Trials.  I had the hardest time getting through this book.  It dragged on and on for me.  There was really very little character development in this book.  Now, I understand that most development happens with the characters tends to happen early, but I just found all characters to be very stagnant in this book.  They kept their same roles with the exception of Thomas who started to become more of a leader in this book.  

It will be interesting to see what they do with the movie because from what I can see in the previews, there are definitely quite a few things that are different, but I could be wrong, it can be awfully hard to tell with movie previews.

And, finally, Book #3, The Death Cure.  This one was just ok.  I found the beginning to be very much like The Scorch Trials.  I was a bit bored, but as I got closer to the end and Thomas goes to WICKED’s headquarters, I got more and more into the book because it got more exciting. Again, we will see what they do with the movie.  I’m looking forward to it.

Final Thoughts

Clearly, overall, I enjoyed The Maze Runner movie more than I enjoyed the series.  It will be interesting to see if I continue to enjoy the movies.  I was sad that I didn’t like the books because so many people that I know loved these books, but I guess that happens sometimes.  I also never thought that I would say that I would like a movie more than I liked the book, but I suppose there is a first time for everything.

Sorry I couldn’t bring a more positive review. . . but, as always. . . Read On!