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Title: Waking Gods (Themis Files #2)
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Genre: Sci-fi, epistolary
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 336 pages
Date read: May, 2017

As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she's dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers - and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.

Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth... and maybe even the stars.


Thank you Netgalley for this ARC! This book picks up 9 years after the first one left off which disappointed me a bit at first (I wanted to know what happened RIGHT after), but worked quite nicely once I got further into it.

Though obviously not as 'unique' as the first book, "Waking Gods" was every bit as good and every bit as difficult to put down. Even the (relatively) open ending didn't bother me too much, as it fit in with the rest of the plot. Still, I'll be keeping an eager eye out for the third book in the series.

I'm really fond of the writing style. It's a bit of a stretch to call it "epistolary" as a lot of it is transcripts of interviews/conversations, but there's no "narration" - everything is told through dialogue or journal entries. It adds a certain twist to the atmosphere which I really like.

Rather dark at times (Sylvain Neuvel is not afraid to "kill his darlings" - so don't expect anybody to be safe "just because") but still written with a good dose of humour. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to read more.
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Title: Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1)
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Genre: Sci-fi, epistolary
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 322 pages
Date read: May, 2017

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.


One of those amazing reads where even though I own it as an e-book, I immediately went out and purchased it as a physical book - I want it in my library! But no wonder - it hits all of my insta-loves. An epistolary sci-fi novel with a semi-unreliable narrator (mostly because you KNOW he's not telling you everything) and a totally fascinating concept.

I spent most of the book in a constant state of "What on earth is going on? And what on earth is going to happen next?" Those questions were only half-way answered, which for once didn't frustrate me, as it fit perfectly with the atmosphere of the book. I couldn't put it down and can't wait to read the sequel.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: YA
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 215
Date read: November, 2015

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.


I'm not entirely sure what I think of this book... I think I wanted to like it more than I ultimately did. I appreciated what Patrick Ness tried to do, and did think it an interesting way to handle grief in a book, but parts of it fell very flat to me.

Most of all, I was really annoyed by Conor's grandmother and father. Both seemed distant to the point of almost being cruel. I know we only saw things through Conor's eyes, but surely Conor's father could see that Conor needed him more than his new family did.

I'd guessed the Monster's reason for walking at an early stage, but that was one part that did work for me, and which I found very touching.

As a whole, it's a book I'm glad to have read, but not one I think I'd be likely to recommend to others. Apparently this is being turned into a movie? I have a hard time seeing how that would work. It'd certainly make for a very dark and depressing one.
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Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Sci-fi, dystopian
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 485
Date read: October, 2010

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown.

But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets.

Or are there?

Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence.

Which is impossible.

Prentisstown has been lying to him.

And now he's going to have to run...

This was very, very different from what I had expected, and unfortunately not as good as I had expected, for a variety of reasons.

First of all, the plot wasn't what I thought it would be. That's hardly the fault of the book, but still affected my reading experience.

Secondly, I didn't care much for the writing style. It got better as I went along and got more used to it, but still really annoyed me in places, and made me feel disconnected to the characters.

Thirdly, the end really bugged me. I won't say more in order to avoid spoilers, but will just leave it at that it employed one of my biggest pet peeves.

Had it not been for the end, I would probably have given this 4 stars, because it did keep me interested, and I was constantly intrigued by what would happen next. One thing it does have going for it, is that it is definitely a book that'll keep you guessing!
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Title: The Story of the Treasure Seekers
Author: E. Nesbit
Genre: Classic, childrens
Rating: 4/5
# pages: Audiobook ~5hrs
Date read: May, 2009

When their mother dies and their father's business partner runs off with most of their money, the six intrepid Bastable children are determined to restore their family's fallen fortunes. These resourceful children squabble, make up, and have many memorable adventures, from publishing their own newspaper to foiling a pair of real bandits and even becoming kidnappers themselves. But while the efforts of the Bastables are often ingenious, their good intentions always go hilariously awry.

As always Edith Nesbit delivers a delightful tale, and I actually think this is her best yet. Aimed at children, but not any the worse for not having been read until the "ripe old age" of 29. I grew to love the Bastables and enjoyed seeing them getting in and out of scrapes all the time. There's not much too it, but it's a sweet little book that put me in a good mood to read.

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Title: Nine Unlikely Tales for Children
Author: Edith Nesbit
Genre: Short stories, childrens
Rating: 9/10
# pages: Audiobook
Date read: May, 2008


Summary: Nine original and, yes, unlikely fairy-tales, which include stories of the arithmetic fairy, the king who became a charming villa-residence and the dreadful automatic nagging machine.

All are classic-Nesbit: charming, novel and not afraid to squeeze in a moral or two - told with proper fairy-tale style.

Review: Really sweet short stories, and while they proclaim to be "unlikely tales", there are also some traditional fairy-tales included - and those happened to be my favourites of the lot. Especially "The Prince, Two Mice, and Some Kitchen-Maids" which was recommended to me by a friend many, many, many years ago, but which I'd forgotten all about, and didn't even know was written by Edith Nesbit until I suddenly heard it here. I'll be telling these to my kids once I get some.

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Title: The Enchanted Castle
Author: Edith Nesbit
Genre: Classic
Rating: 9/10
# pages: Audiobook
Date read: February, 2008


Summary: Pretending a castle they've discovered is enchanted, three children come upon a "sleeping princess" in the garden (It's Mabel, the housekeeper's niece, who is also doing some pretending). When Mabel shows them a secret treasure room with a magic ring, enchantment becomes a reality.

Review: Like her other books, a very sweet tale for kids. I wish my parents had introduced us to these when we were younger, I think we'd have LOVED them. This one reminded me a lot of "Five Children and It" in that you need to be careful what you wish for.

A charming book, and even though I'd guessed the ending at a very early stage, I still hugely enjoyed it.

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Title: So Many Books, So Little Time
Author: Sara Nelson
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: 9/10
# pages: 242
Date read: February, 2008


Summary: Sometimes subtle, sometimes striking, the interplay between our lives and our books is the subject of this unique memoir by well-known publishing correspondent and self-described "readaholic" Sara Nelson. From Solzhenitsyn to Laura Zigman, Catherine M. to Captain Underpants, the result is a personal chronicle of insight, wit, and enough infectious enthusiasm to make a passionate reader out of anybody.

Review: Heh! I didn't even know this book existed when I thought up the subtitle to [livejournal.com profile] bogormen. Guess I'm no where near as original as I'd like to think ;-)

I can't say exactly why I loved this book so much. Perhaps because it's the kind of book I've always wanted to write myself, but never thought anybody would be willing to read? I hadn't read too many of the books she mentioned, but would probably have loved the book even more if I had. As it was, I got a lot of ideas for new books that I want to read.

As Sara wrote: "When things go right, I read. When they go wrong, I read more." It's like she read my mind. And that is the main theme of this book. She's a book-addict, I'm a book-addict. We understand each other.

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Title: Five Children And It
Author: Edith Nesbit
Genre: Classics
Rating: 8/10
# pages: Audiobook
Date read: September, 2007


Summary: The five children found the Psammead, or sand-fairy while they were exploring in the gravel pit. "Don't you know a Sand-fairy when you see one?" it asked them. The Psammead smoothed his long ratlike whiskers and smiled between them. I daresay you have often thought what you would do if you had three wishes given you. "We want," said Robert slowly, "to be rich beyond the dreams of something or other." But we all know that wishes never work out the way they are supposed to.... and to his credit, the Psammead was never mean spirited, nor vengeful, nor destructive. But he cartainly could be weird, and the children have no way of knowing all the adventures its wish-granting will bring them.

Review: I'll have to check out more of Edith Nesbit's work. So far I've enjoyed both books I've heard by her. I wish I'd gotten to know her when I was younger, as I think I would have enjoyed them even more, but I still find them incredibly charming. This one made me ask myself, "If I could have anything, but only for today, what would I wish for?". After having finished the book, I still don't know. Especially after seen all the scrapes the 4 kids got into.

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Title: The Railway Children
Author: Edith Nesbit
Genre: Classics
Rating: 8/10
# pages: Audiobook
Date read: September, 2007


Summary: Three children, forced to alter their comfortable lifestyle when their father is taken away by strangers, move with their mother to a simple cottage near a railway station where their days are filled with excitement and adventure.

Review: [livejournal.com profile] hsing_mom recommended that I listened to the LibriVox recording of this book, as it was - as she put it - "A delightful book and a wonderful recordning." I have to agree on both accounts. It's a sweet little nothing of a book in the charming style of "Five Peppers" and "Seven Little Australians". An excellent comfort book, and one that I'll definitely be introducing to my children while they are still young enough to fully enjoy it.

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