Author: Megan Miranda
Genre: science fiction, young adult
Published: February 3 2015
Source: publishes via NetGalley
A new literary, sci-fi thriller from acclaimed author Megan Miranda.
With the science of soul-fingerprinting a reality, Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned for the crimes her past-self committed. In an attempt to clear her name, Alina unintentionally trades one prison for another when she escapes, aided by a group of teens whose intentions and motivations are a mystery to her. As she gets to know one of the boys, sparks fly, and Alina believes she may finally be able to trust someone. But when she uncovers clues left behind from her past life that only she can decipher, secrets begin to unravel. Alina must figure out whether she’s more than the soul she inherited, or if she’s fated to repeat the past.
This compelling story will leave readers wondering if this fictional world could become a reality.
Pages read: 200
I tried with this. I tried twice and never made it past 200 pages. I love the premise and I know from Miranda's earleir books that she can write a good thriller. I was just.. not thrilled. In fact, I was the opposite of thrilled. I was...bored. It's not a long book, but it felt unending. It was more about the romance than I'd like, and Alina just never really materialized into a character that I could care about/invest in/empathize with.
I could deal with the cast of characters not connecting if the plot was more substantial or lived up to the premise. But.... it wasn't and it didn't. So I was mentally checking out and waiting for something interesting to happen....for 200 pages. The worldbuilding had some creative potential but wasn't developed or explored enough in a meaningful way to create more than a passing interest for me as a reader.
Title: The Ghosts of Heaven
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Genre: historical fiction? fantasy? I don't know
Published: January 6th 2015
Source: publishers via NetGalley
A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.
Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet's obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book's final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick's gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.
Pages read: 100?/368
This is such a weird, mind-trippy original book. I wanted to love this, I really really did. For the right kind of reader, it's a great fit. Despite my efforts, I am not that reader, sadly. Sedgwick is a creative dude and while I enjoyed my first reading experience with him, The Ghosts of Heaven was a bridge or seven too far for me. I can deal with weird and different but these stories just never worked for me.
It doesn't help that some of the stories are in verse. I am not a verse reader -- it lacks emotion for me. Also depth -- and while Sedgwick might prove the exception, I couldn't stick around long enough to find out. It's said you can try to read this in a myriad of ways and I tried jumping around but... it was a luckless endeavor for me.
Title: The Diabolical Miss Hyde
Author: Viola Carr
Genre: historical fiction, steampunk, mystery
Series: Electric Empire #1
Published: February 10 2015
Source: publishers via edelweiss
Magic, mystery, and romance mix in this edgy retelling of the classic The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-in which Dr. Eliza Jekyll is the daughter of the infamous Henry
In an electric-powered Victorian London, Dr. Eliza Jekyll is a crime scene investigator, hunting killers with inventive new technological gadgets. Now, a new killer is splattering London with blood, drugging beautiful women and slicing off their limbs. Catching "the Chopper" could make Eliza's career--or get her burned. Because Eliza has a dark secret. A seductive second self, set free by her father's forbidden magical elixir: wild, impulsive Lizzie Hyde.
When the Royal Society sends their enforcer, the mercurial Captain Lafayette, to prove she's a sorceress, Eliza must resist the elixir with all her power. But as the Chopper case draws her into London's luminous, magical underworld, Eliza will need all the help she can get. Even if it means getting close to Lafayette, who harbors an evil curse of his own.
Even if it means risking everything and setting vengeful Lizzie free . . .
Pages read: 175/464
I wanted to like this so badly and honestly just think it wasn't the right time for me to read it. My ARC expired before I could go back and continue so this is a DNF for now with a strong possibility I will try it again in the future.
What I liked:
- retelling aspect
- the writing
- the steampunkery
I wasn't as thrilled with the overdone romance angles, or the mystery that seemed bogged down between all the other things the novel tries to do. It also feels veeery long, especially with the internal struggle between Eliza/Lizzie so bluntly handled.