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adastra Locked account

Joined 3 months, 1 week ago

I like fantasy, science fiction, dystopian fiction, speculative fiction, magical realism, post-apocalypse, and the occasional mystery. I'm also a (board|video|roleplaying) gamer, web 1.0 coder and linguist.

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2024 Reading Goal

4% complete! adastra has read 1 of 24 books.

reviewed Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros (The Empyrean, #2)

Rebecca Yarros: Iron Flame (Hardcover, 2023, Entangled Publishing, LLC, Entangled: Red Tower Books) 4 stars

“The first year is when some of us lose our lives. The second year is …

Review of 'Iron Flame' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

Oof. This book is a lot of things, and most of all it is extremely overhyped. Yes, the premise and the worldbuilding are pretty cool. The dragons are frickin' awesome and are, tbh, the only thing that make this book really worth reading. But to get to that part, you will have to wade through 500 pages of very tedious high school-esque drama, aka the neverending Violet-Xaden vicious circle of cringeworthy discussions loaded with sexual tension that end in nothingness. Honestly, by the third time I reached a chapter of them kinda-but-not-really talking and just getting horny, I started skimming these parts of the book, because I just couldn't bear it anymore. Also, that ending is a whole new kind of WTF and has me wonder if the last book will just turn everything on its head again.

It could have been an excellent book, if only it had 300 …

reviewed Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros (The Empyrean, #1)

Rebecca Yarros: Fourth Wing (Hardcover, 2023, Entangled: Red Tower Books) 4 stars

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among …

Review of 'Fourth Wing' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I jumped on the hype train with this book, mainly because the premise sounded interesting - a dragon riding college? But I admit that this is the first ever "romance" book I've read, and I'm not sure what to make of that regarding this book. In my opinion, there wasn't really much romance in this book, but rather quite a lot of horniness. Which ironically is also what I liked least about this book (aside from its very militaristic nature). I think it could have been an infinitely better book without the main character constantly salivating over some guy, who no less is supposedly the son of someone who killed her brother? WTF??? I get that it serves to illustrate that not everything is black and white, but I found it cringe at times.

What I did like about the book is the worldbuilding (again, minus the militaristic nature). The …

Review of 'Toll' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Finally, the conclusion to the Arc of a Scythe series. This book is, like all books in the series, extremely well written an a joy to read. I love how it uses "mystical" religious writings to establish its lore. And this is where it all comes together, and this universe becomes ever bigger.

I particularly enjoyed reading about how a seemingly ridiculous idea has grown into a full-fledged religion, including the most un-prophety prophet one could imagine. Even beyond the tonists, this book has so many interesting things that give you food for thought. The Thunderhead seems like a benevolent ChatGPT, and it makes one wonder if this is a future we're heading into - but I think ours will be much darker.

What could have been better was the pacing (again) - the story focuses a lot on some aspects of the story, but others, the ones you really …

reviewed Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman (Arc of a Scythe, #2)

Neal Shusterman: Thunderhead 4 stars

Review of 'Thunderhead' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

What a strange ride. The first half of the book suffers a bit from pacing issues. Introducing new characters and spending a bit too much time of them instead of the main characters tended to get a bit too tedious for me.

Then halfway through the book, you're hit with a huge WTF moment, that makes you question the rules of this universe. But what are the rules in a post-mortality society anyway? The return of Goddard was this WTF moment. He was supposed to be dead dead, and that was the highlight of book one. Bringing him back cheapens that... but in hindsight, also send a message about how you can seemingly never get rid of people like him. He's very much a Trump-like character, and there will always be insane, power-hungry people like him.

A lot of this book is also a setup for Book 3 (I assume), …

Neal Shusterman: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1) 5 stars

Scythe is a 2016 young-adult novel by Neal Shusterman and is the first in the …

Review of 'Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I found this book in the public bookshelf on a Saturday morning. Usually the books in there are literal trash, and it's rare to find a good book in good condition, let alone in English. This one was such a find, the cover art was striking, and after reading the description, my interest was piqued. Dystopian is my thing.

Well, I read half the book by Sunday, and finished reading it in 5 days. Is it a good book? I think that's a matter of debate, it has a few flaws here and there, like the completely and utterly unnecessary romance, but that's just young adult fiction for you. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed reading it, it's an very interesting, very dystopian concept with an extra dash of the macabre.

reviewed First Shift Legacy by Hugh Howey (Shift, #1)

Hugh Howey: First Shift Legacy (Paperback, 2012, Createspace) 4 stars

In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform …

Review of 'First Shift Legacy' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

The tagline on the cover of this book says "Some secrets should remain buried", and I have to totally agree with that. This book is 99% a prequel to Wool, and IMHO completely unnecessary. It explains how the world came to be what it is, how the silos were created, and why things happened the way they happened. But why would I want to know this? Not knowing every detail of these things is what made this world so interesting for me in the first place.

It also doesn't help that the main character is called Donald of all names... and does some incredibly stupid things, especially at the end of the book. It's absolutely unfathomable to me why he did what he did to Anna. Why?? WTF? Also, reading about Jimmy's solitude became really boring really fast.

Not to mention the frustration of just wanting to know how Juliette's …

Hugh Howey: Wool (2013, Arrow Books) 4 stars

Review of 'Wool' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I read this book after I watched the TV adaption, which covers only the first half of the book. While I enjoyed reading it and learning about the story beyond what is portrayed in the TV show, I have to say that the TV show improved this in every possible way. Literally all the characters have much more depth in the TV show, and they even added a lot of plot points that just make this world way more intriguing.

It's still an enjoyable read, and I love this type of dystopian fiction. I'll continue by reading the two other books in the series to find out how the story progresses.

Peter Gross, Mike Carey, Mike Carey: Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity (2010, Vertigo) 4 stars

"Tom Taylor's life was screwed from the word go. His father created the mega-popular Tommy …

Review of 'Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I think I read the first ~3 volumes and then gave up in this. While it's mildly interesting and the idea seems intriguing, I found it not engaging enough to make me keep reading.

Neil Gaiman: Marvel 1602 (Paperback, 2006, Marvel Comics) 4 stars

Marvel 1602 is an eight-issue comic book limited series published in 2003 by Marvel Comics. …

Review of 'Marvel 1602' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

What a fun little novel. I wish they'd adapt this in the MCU, it would actually fit into the current Marvel storylines very well. But I guess the X-Men are the problem here.

Michael Pollan: How to Change Your Mind (2019, Penguin Books) 4 stars

When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in …

Review of 'How to Change Your Mind' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This is a very interesting book, though perhaps a bit too verbose in places. I could easily have skipped the whole history of psychelics, as I was primarily interested in the neurological and psychological aspects.