Friday, June 20, 2014

Before I Wake By, C.L. Taylor

Sue's daughter Charlotte lies in a coma after being struck by a bus.  Sue becomes convinced that Charlotte stepped in front of the bus on purpose.  But why?  Sue becomes obsessed about why her daughter to try to kill herself.  Following the clues, of what happened in the days leading up to her daughters accident, Sue attempts to pieces together what happened to cause her daughter to try to kill herself.  I really enjoyed this book, it's a visceral mystery.  A warning to women who have been in abusive relationships, if you are sensitive to the subject of domestic abuse do not read this book!  It will bring old emotions up.  C.L. Taylor presents the subject in a very realistic non-clique fashion.

The Murder Farm By, Andrea Maria Schenkel

A tale of murder told almost wholly after the fact.  The reader learns what happened on this infamous farm, through the neighbors and villagers who live in the same town the murder took place in.  It has more of a humanistic aspect to it focusing more on who the victims were rather than focusing on who killed them.  The tale is slow moving without a lot of suspense.  I liked the way that the story was told, but something felt off about it.  I worry that it may be something that was lost when this book was translated from German to English.  I really didn't care about any of the characters, but the characters weren't really likeable in the first place.  Overall I give book a three star rating.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Divided, By, Elsie Chapman

I really like the overall idea of Divided.  Kersh is a small city formed by a group of friends to keep themselves and future generations from the surround.  The Surround is an area that has been in a never-ending war with itself.  Due to overpopulation and limited resources the founders created a system to control the population.  This program is called the Alt program; every person who is born has an Alt version of himself or herself.  The Alt is genetically identical to the original person. Each alt is trained from a young age on how to kill, how to survive, because only one Alt will survive.  By doing this or having a system like this Kersh is able to preserve their resources and be a society of trained soldiers who would be able to defend themselves should the Surround ever chose to attack.  West, a retired striker (an assassin who kills Alts for people) is forced to go back to being a striker again.

            I really wanted to love this book, but there were some glaring inconsistencies that made it difficult for me to do so.  One that I can go into without spoiling anything is the subject of food.  If resources are scarce enough for the Alt program to be created, if the population numbers needed to be controlled then why was food treated the way it is in modern times?  Multiple fast food joints, ordering pizza, letting food go bad, buying food multiple times only to leave it behind?  It just didn't make sense to me.  There is a much larger story flaw but I can't go into it without ruining the surprise ending.  Overall this was a good book.  It was entertaining, the action was well written and the training centers were intriguing.  I really like the overall arch of the book, but there are some story flaws in the setting that really need to be addressed.