[ARC Review] Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton

Witch Finder
(Witch Finder #1)
Author: Ruth Warburton
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2014
Pages: 374 (Paperback)
Genres: YA – Historical, Fantasy
London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.
Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.
Thank you Netgalley and Hodder Children’s Books for the review copy! This doesn’t affect my opinions or review in any ways.

Review

I haven’t heard much of Witch Finder actually but I was quite excited for it because witches, people. How cool is that? Turns out, it was horrible. It was like my experience with Reboot all over again — only this time it’s less infuriating and more like a trip to Snoozeville.

So Luke is facing an initiation to join Malleus Maleficorum Brotherhood — some sort of secret organization that hunts witches. He has passed the first two initiation, the trial of knife and the trial of fire. He only needs to face the trial of hammer and that is killing a witch he has chosen blindly from a book. The witch he has to kill is Rosamund Greenmood.

Witch Finder is written in 3rd person perspective and there are double POVs. Honestly, I could barely stay awake reading this. Both characters are very one-dimensional and for the whole time I felt nothing toward them. The pacing was unbelievably slow I was on the verge from DNF’ing it but I decided to carry on and I couldn’t help but to skim the second half of the book. Plus, there are too many names introduced in the beginning without any further explanations, making me confused most of the time.

To make matters worse, the romance seems to pop out of the blue for no absolute reasons. I mean, Rosa and Luke barely interacts with each other and yet suddenly Rosa kisses him and Luke doesn’t want to kill her because she’s oh-so-pretty and kind-hearted. Well, maybe they’ve spoken for a few times but that’s certainly not enough. I didn’t feel any tension between them — where art thou chemistry?
The synopsis seems to be misleading too. There aren’t many witch actions and to be honest I wouldn’t mind so much if the book was actually still enjoyable to read like The Chaos of Stars. At least, the main character’s personality in The Chaos of Stars shines through the writing but THIS. -_- Truthfully, Luke and Rosa’s POVs sounded practically the same to me.

I feel like I have wasted my time reading Witch Finder and I truly have no interest left to read the sequel.

[DNF: In Bullet Points] Hidden Wings by Cameo Renae

Hidden Wings

(Hidden Wings #1)

Author: Cameo Renae

Publisher Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing
Publication Date: January 16th, 2013
Pages: 204 (Kindle)
Genre: YA – Paranormal, Romance
Seventeen is a life changing age for Emma Wise.
As her family’s sole survivor in a car crash, she is left with a broken arm and a few scrapes and bruises. But these are only outward marks; inside, her heart is broken and the pieces scattered.
Whisked away to Alaska, to an aunt she’s never met, Emma starts over. Secrets unveil themselves and now…she doesn’t even know who or what she is.
A centuries old prophecy places Emma in the heart of danger. Creatures of horrifying and evil proportions are after her, and it will take Emma, her aunt, and six, gorgeously captivating Guardians to keep her safe. But, if she can survive until her eighteenth birthday… things will change.

Thank you Netgalley and Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing for the review copy! This doesn’t affect my opinions or review at all.

 

Review

Guys, please don’t be fooled by the beautiful cover.

I’m not sure I can form a coherent paragraph right now cause I am too annoyed so let me just list what I didn’t like in bullet points.

  • I didn’t like the MC. Her sadness came across as fake to me and from her voice I felt that she’s a shallow person.
  • The writing and the dialogue are too cheesy and sloppy and just…amateurish. There are also too many unnecessary caps-locked words. For example:

…and I did NOT want him to think I was immature.” – page 20

Malachi did NOT look happy and glared in our direction.” – page 26

I mean – HELLO! I only met the guy a few ours ago and, but there was something there… something that happened when we touched… something that wasn’t natural… something that seemed to pull me towards him whenever he was near.” – page 31

Which brings to the next issue:

  • Flawlessly perfect boy who turns the MC literally into a puddle at first sight and she’s already saying stuff like he’s the-only-one-who-could-pull-her-out-of-her-sadness crap.

His powerful smile seemed to pull my sinking heart from the unknown depths of sadness, and place it somewhere a little safer.” – page 21

His touch did something to me. It warmed me and made me feel like everything was going to be alright. But as we neared Malachi, he let go, and I was suddenly hit with a with an overwhelming feeling of sadness and emptiness.” – page 25

He gently brushed my arms with his fingers, which melted a bit of my sadness.” – page 29

He stole my breath for a moment, and then he smiled; making my heart flutter. How was that possible? I never thought I’d be able to pull myself out of this eternal sadness.” – page 29

I just couldn’t see any light at the end of this pitch-black tunnel… except for the small glimmer that was sitting in the seat next to me. Kade.” – page 29

Ughhh seriously, girl??

One last quote:

’Well, the only thing keeping me from falling apart right now is you,’ I said glancing into his big, bright eyes.” – page 34

Okay, that’s it I’m outta here.

DNF

[Review] Reboot by Amy Tintera

Reboot
(Reboot #1)
Author: Amy Tintera
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 7th, 2013
Pages: 365 (Paperback)
Genre: YA – Dystopia, Romance

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).
Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.
The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

Review

OHMYGOODNESS I CAN’T BELIEVE I FINISHED THIS CRAP! *happy dance* It’s definitely a miracle I didn’t DNF it, considering how annoyed I was with so many things. Even “annoyed” doesn’t really covered my negative feeling. Reboot gets a solid one star from me.

Reboot was entirely a flat-fest. It has flat writing, flat protagonist and flat love interest. Thus, the romance also fell flat in my opinion. I know I’m overusing the word flat but really, there’s no better word to describe my feelings toward this book.

The longer you reboot, the stronger you’ll become, the less human you’ll be. Our heroine, Wren, died when she was twelve and 178 minutes later, she rebooted (aka “rose from the death”), making her currently the strongest Reboot. Now seventeen, Wren spends her time training newbies, but her latest newbie Callum (which she picked by herself, by the way) is the worst she has ever seen. Callum is only a 22, no matter how much training Wren gives him and no matter how much improvement he has made, he’s still way below Reboot standards. When told to eliminate him, Wren refuses and they both escape with the help of an officer.

Okay I’m done giving brief summary over here. Wren is my biggest problem. Technically, the longer you reboot, the less human you’ll be so Wren is supposed to be emotionless as hell. She said that there was no human left in her, that she didn’t cry and she also didn’t date. But there’s this new guy, Callum, she’s his trainer because he begged her to try training lower numbers so they could have a better survival rate – and that means him. Her relationship with him in the first 130 pages was like a teacher and a student (skip some moments in which Callum tried to “flirt” with Wren and Wren “feeling” something about Callum). Then right on chapter 14, they were supposed to be training, but you know what they’re doing?? Dancing. Yeah, right. Awesome. And a few pages later, there’s this paragraph:

“I was overwhelmed by the urge to grab both fists, yank them behind his back, and kiss him. I had never kissed anyone, but I swear I could feel his lips against mine everytime I looked at them.” – page 141

(Source) The first time I ever use a GIF in my review…

Just whaaaattt?? And no, not only that. She also wants to “lace her fingers through his” and “pull him closer to her”. Usually, I don’t mind these lines/actions in other YA books but in this case? Wren is supposed to be badass, calm, stoic, and EMOTIONLESS – keep that in mind, how come a single practically human guy makes her more hormonal? That’s if she still has hormones too. (She actually still has plenty of them, does she?)

I also have lots of issues with the love interest, Callum. He’s such a softie that he refuses to hit or kill someone. His character is very boring and lack-of-depth – as flat as an ironing board LITERALLY. I was so tired of his cheesy speeches I could have ripped the pages but then I quickly realized that I spent money on this crap so I better take good care of it. Even if it’s a horrible book.

Now, if two irritating characters get together, what would happen to the romance? If you guess an absolutely horrible romance (or any negative adjectives, actually) then congratulations! You are correct! Here, let me give you a cookie as a token of reading my ranting so far! *hands out virtual cookies*

I have one word, three syllables: INSTA-LOVE.

So one moment they just met, chapters later Wren disobeyed an order to eliminate Callum so they both escaped. Not long after that they kissed. And then a few pages and some paragraphs later they kissed again. There was A LOT of kissing and when I say A LOT, I am not kidding, guys. I counted there were TWENTY-FIVE kisses from middle of the book until the last page. It’s so sickening to read them act all lovey-dovey to one another AS IF THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THE WORLD. This is too fluffy to be a dystopian novel. Ugh, if in the first book there are around 25 kisses, I can’t imagine how many kisses will be in the second book. 50? 100? I don’t know and I don’t intend to find out. Let’s just say that I won’t be continuing the series.

“[…] He grinned as he unhooked my helmet and kissed my cheek. “I’m driving here,” I said with a laugh as he kissed me again. […] I grinned as he kissed me again.” – page 359

No, I’m serious. Those three kisses happen in one page, in less than four paragraphs. It’s not a heavy make-out scene but still?? There were much more important things to do.

And not just the romance and characters, the plot didn’t really make sense either. Well, it did make sense in the beginning but as we got to the middle of the book, things started to drag and there were so many unimportant scenes in my opinion. The plot was predictable and full of cheesy twists. Sometimes the pacing was slow, yet all of a sudden it became fast and then back to slow again. One thing that I found to be outright silly is when [Highlight for SPOILER: Wren wanted to break into a high-security building, her allies said that it would be nearly impossible to get out once you were inside due to the tight security, and there were also cameras and so and so. BUT Wren managed to do all that easily that her allies sound like they were exaggerating before.] Well, not that I was expecting more dangers cause in my opinion, they got away quite easily from the previous obstacles. Or the writing made it sound too easy. Speaking of the writing, it’s so boring and flat and more like… lack of descriptions.

Oh, and the ending was really anticlimactic.

Reboot was a very disappointing dystopia, but it actually has an interesting concept. Alas, it’s completely wasted in a 365-page of boredom, fluffiness and inconsistencies.

Rating

1 Cake

[DNF] Linked by Imogen Howson

I read this book on PulseIt.

Linked

(Linked #1)
Author: Imogen Howson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BfYR
Publication Date: June 11th, 2013
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA – Dystopia, Sci-Fi

Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere. Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes. Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed. Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world. Riveting, thought-provoking and utterly compelling, Linked will make you question what it really means to be human.


Review:

This is my second DNF this year and I tell you what – it was really bad. I really want to finish this book, just to see perhaps the last third of the book is at least good enough. Well, as you can see, my original plan failed and I DNFed it when I was 59% of the book.
I don’t know how to put this to words but basically, Linked was soooooo boring that I had no link or connection or whatsoever with any of the characters (see what I did there?) Elissa and Lin – they’re really dull and unlikable. Their chemistry or relationship (or whatever it is) came out as fake to me and I wouldn’t care if they died. Elissa seemed too perfect… too kind? Or too innocent? I hated her.

“Stop it! I can’t – if you don’t see how awful it is to put all those people in danger and not even think about it, not even care, I can’t talk to you. I don’t know what to do with you.”

 – Elissa to Lin

Is it just me or that line does sound cheesy/insincere/fake?

And there’s Lin. This girl has been through a lot so she was quite tolerable at first, but gradually I started to dislike her too. She has this “superpower” called electro kinesis. And she forgets about it when she needs it the most. Wonderful! *That’s sarcasm, obviously* She gets really selfish in the middle of the book and that annoyed the hell out of me. (15 or 16 people are in danger because of YOU, girl. Thank God she finally listens later.) She rarely listens or obeys the order – wait, Elissa doesn’t listen in the beginning either. Elissa is also inconsistent because she wants Lin to stop “killing people” (translation: stop using her electro kinesis, I guess?) but then a few pages later she wants Lin to use her power to get them out of the bad situation?? That happens a few times.

The other characters, like Cadan (I’m sure he’s the love interest) was pretty dull too but he was still tolerable. He’s Captain Jim Kirk from Star Trek wannabe. GAHHH, to put it in short sentence: I didn’t care about the characters. Couldn’t connect with them at all. I rarely hate characters so much but this book… It made me want to scream every existing and made-up swear word at the characters!!

I’m sorry guys if this review is very confusing and doesn’t make any sense because this book was a mess in my opinion.

The worldbuilding is very confusing and there were chunks of paragraphs of info dump about the history of Sekoia – don’t know how it’s spelled correctly but it’s the place where Elissa lives. Don’t ask me anything about worldbuilding cause I understood NOTHING. The pacing is unbelievably slow for a book which is about running away from the government.

All these issues probably come from the writing. I guess it’s meant to be like beautiful prose but it came across as boring and repetitive and too distracting? There are A LOT of paragraphs without any dialogues at all. I got tired of reading it that I skipped a few sentences/paragraphs and I DID NOT MISS ANYTHING IMPORTANT. If you like this quote then you’ll probably enjoy the book more than I did:

“She landed on her side, with a jolt that knocked the breath out of her, and before she could even gasp, before she could even register that she’d landed on the roof, that she was okay, she hadn’t missed it and gone plummeting through miles of empty air – before she could even register the clang that meant Lin must have landed as well – she was sliding. Down and down over cold smooth metal, no handholds, no friction, completely out of control, down and down and around and around, the sky and the sun and the silver flashes of steel spiraling with her, faster and faster, around and around and down and down. Every moment she expected to go flying off the edge, flung out into the empty air.”

 — Elissa after she falls off a roof or something (I already forgot about it.) 

Can anyone explain what the hell is happening??
Linked failed to impress me in any freaking area I couldn’t help but to DNF it. I didn’t connect with the dull characters, I didn’t like the dull writing, confusing worldbuilding and slow pacing. I did not enjoy this book. 59% — that’s all my brain could take. I was in the verge of punching my laptop screen and I couldn’t torture myself any longer. This book didn’t work for me.

Rating:
1 Cake (DNF)

[DNF ARC Review] Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

Arclight
(Arclight #1)
Author: Josin L. McQuein
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: April 23rd, 2013
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA – Dystopia, Science Fiction

Summary
No one crosses the wall of light . . . except for one girl who doesn’t remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived. A harrowing, powerful debut thriller about finding yourself and protecting your future—no matter how short and uncertain it may be.

The Arclight is the last defense. The Fade can’t get in. Outside the Arclight’s border of high-powered beams is the Dark. And between the Light and the Dark is the Grey, a narrow, barren no-man’s-land. That’s where the rescue team finds Marina, a lone teenage girl with no memory of the horrors she faced or the family she lost. Marina is the only person who has ever survived an encounter with the Fade. She’s the first hope humanity has had in generations, but she could also be the catalyst for their final destruction. Because the Fade will stop at nothing to get her back. Marina knows it. Tobin, who’s determined to take his revenge on the Fade, knows it. Anne-Marie, who just wishes it were all over, knows it.

When one of the Fade infiltrates the Arclight and Marina recognizes it, she will begin to unlock secrets she didn’t even know she had. Who will Marina become? Who can she never be again?


Review
I love dystopia and post-apocalyptic books so I was very excited to read Arclight. This book seems so interesting from the summary. BUT, once I started reading, it just couldn’t capture my attention and my mind continually wandered everywhere. I had to read the first three chapters three times because I just couldn’t connect with anything.

I honestly didn’t enjoy the writing and on page something – I think around chapter 5 – there were too many direct speeches in one page for my taste. -_- Like I said before, I just couldn’t connect with anything especially the characters. Marina, the MC, is supposed to be a girl with a mysterious past but I just didn’t care and I didn’t bother to know. She’s dull and basically unlikable…

I started this book last month yet I’m not even halfway of it. I put off this book a lot of time and managed to finish four books. Yet when I tried to continue this book again, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I finally decided not to finish this book because well… I didn’t like it so far, it was boring and now I barely remember what happened in those ten chapters I managed to read. It wasn’t that memorable for me. 🙁


I won’t stop you from reading this book if you want to, as I believe people have different taste. It’s completely possible that Arclight was just not the right book for me. 

Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for sending me this galley. 🙂 

Rating:
1 Cake (DNF)

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