Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dual Review -- "The Jewel" by Amy Ewing & "The Infinite Sea" by Rick Yancey. *Spoiler Free*

Last week I read "The Jewel" by Amy Ewing and "The Infinite Sea" by Rick Yancey, I'm going to do a dual review instead of two separate ones. :)


I am conflicted about my review of this book. I was really excited to read this, I actually featured it in my Waiting On Wednesday about two weeks ago. The beginning did not disappoint, it was absolutely amazing, and probably one of the best written world-building portions that I have read in a very long time. “The Jewel” follows a girl named Violet Lasting (AKA Lot 197) after she has spent about four years in a holding facility known as Southgate. In this society girls are tested for the ability to carry children and DO MAGIC! That’s right, do magic! I had no idea, even after watching multiple trailers, reading multiple ARC reviews, and pre-ordering this book, that there was magic. And it’s not like it’s some hidden secret—it shows up in the first chapter.

I was shocked. These magical abilities end up being a key part of the story here, and I am a little upset that there was no introduction or preface for them. Also, I initially thought this was a dystopian—and it is not. It takes place in the Lone City, which is surrounded by an ocean and it not a standing society that we know of. That also took some getting used to. None of this is the author’s fault; it’s the fault of the marketing team who promoted this book. I felt that it was reported and shown as something that it was not at all. While that has little to do with my end review of the book, it is something that annoyed me and stuck with me throughout, which might have impacted my final take on it.

I really liked Violet as a character for this world except for a few aspects, for example, at times she came across as just plain moronic. Most of the time this was essential to the plot, but sometimes it wasn't. If you've read it, you know some of the moments I'm talking about. Also, parts of the book didn't make sense, for example, the Countess/Lady/Duchess dynamics seemed confusing. Some portions of the book discussed a harsh, swift judgment for going against or disobeying, but then, when it was convenient--entire groups of people would cause a seen.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I'll read the rest of the series. I suggest reading it, but not moving it to the top of your TBR pile.

FOUR STARS (just barely)
Yancey's "The 5th Wave" was one of my top 10 favorite books of 2013, so I was primed and ready to love this sequel. However, I didn't. I'm not sure if I was disappointed because I was so excited, or if it really was a let down. "The Infinite Sea" does not start off with my favorite character, in fact, the majority of the book it told from the perspective of the character who is probably my least favorite in this universe -- Marika, or Ringer. You may remember Ringer as the female from Ben Parish/Zombie and Sam/Nugget's training group at the military base. She was generally awful then, and she's generally awful now.
This installment is slow, not as exciting or action-packed as the first novel, and spends the majority of the story focusing on fighting about facts I thought everyone had accepted (like that Evan is a good guy). There is the introduction of new characters what I liked, and a twist and very, very brave plot choice towards the end that blew me away (and it is the sole reason this is a four star review and not a three star).
Overall, I say read this, but don't go into it with the insanely high expectation I did based on the first novel in the series. Because, like me, you will be disappointed.  

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