Author: Ernest Cline
Published: August 16, 2011
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
I loved this book SO much! I listened to it on audio and Wil Wheaton was the narrator . . . the ultimate nerd for the ultimate nerd book! I wasn’t born until the very end of the 80’s, 1988. I was more a 90’s kid than an 80’s kid, but I’ve seen enough movies and TV shows, listened to enough music, and experimented with enough fashion that I know a bit about the 80’s.
Unfortunately, I didn’t start with gaming until the Nintendo 64 came out, and I got into serious gaming when Ivan and I started dating. The thing that I love about this book is that you can be someone who never once watched an 80’s movie, never heard a single 80’s song, and never played a game one day in your life, and you would still feel like you knew exactly what Cline was talking about.
This book is so nostalgic, even if you never lived during the time described, even though this book is set in the future. I couldn’t wait to get into the car just so I could listen more. Wade/Parzival is a likeable character that you root for from the very first page. James Halladay may be a computer geek recluse, but you can feel his brilliance leap off the page. The OASIS is a place that I would totally love to immerse myself in! I doubt I’d have made a very good hunter, but the hunt for Halladay’s easter egg was so amazing!!!! And if I had friends like Art3mis and Aech, I’d just live my life in a constant state of geeked out.
There were some places near the beginning where Cline skirted the line of being too political, but he managed to bring the story back so it wasn’t a problem. There was language, but it didn’t ruin the book at all for me. I would absolutely recommend this book to any gamer. And even those who don’t game, I think they’d still like it a lot!
Jessica here: The movie comes out Friday and here is the trailer. I have not read the book, but the beginning of this trailer has a creepiness with that Willy Wonka song! OMG!!! And did I see The Iron Giant and King Kong!?!?!
Year One: Chronicles of The One Book 1
Author: Nora Roberts
Published: December 5, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 25- February 8, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Book Description from Amazon:
It began on New Year’s Eve.
The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.
Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.
As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.
In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.
The end has come. The beginning comes next.
Wait a minute. Nora Roberts writes more than just romance?!? What caught my attention to this novel was that another book blogger read and reviewed it. He doesn’t read romance, so why is he reading a Nora Roberts book? I read his review and it sparked my interest in Year One. Then the description also had me curious. I am not much of a Fantasy reader, so going into Year One I could have done without all that. My thoughts were: “Just kill nearly the whole world and let everyone start over!” Despite that, the story grew on me and I really enjoyed it! It took some adjusting to the fantasy elements (witches, fairies, elves) but then I just sat back and listened to the audiobook.
I became attached and invested in all the characters. There are three groups and you want them to all pull through at the end. There is of course goodness and darkness as we experience the end of the world. We see people come together while others fall apart. We also see people become prejudiced against others for their non-human differences. Yes, there is some romance in this novel.
There were a few things that seemed extreme to me, but I am sure Roberts has her reasons which will play out in the other two novels in this trilogy. (I’m sorry, but three infants were a bit much for me. But ok, I will suspend my belief in this. She HAS to have her reasons….)
The cover is simplistic but catches your attention. I had seen it in the store, but did not pick it up because I saw Roberts was the author. For that I must apologize to Roberts. Don’t let preconceived notions pull you away from looking at a book. If I did I never would have listened to this novel which I highly enjoyed. I look forward to the next in the series which is supposed to come out at the end of the year. I want to know what happens next in this world!
Year One is highly recommended.
**Special thanks to Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek for bringing Year One to my attention! If you have not looked at his blog check him out. He’s not for everyone as he speaks his mind in the sarcastic, fun way that only he can! (Yes, there is cursing involved fyi… You have been warned!)[Top]
**Thunderhead is the sequel to Scythe by Neal Shusterman. Kim’s review of Scythe is here. Jessica will be listening to the audiobook of Scythe very soon.
Author: Neal Shusterman
Published: November 21, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the chilling sequel to the Printz Honor Book Scythe from New York Times bestseller Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology. The Thunderhead cannot interfere in the affairs of the Scythedom. All it can do is observe—it does not like what it sees.
A year has passed since Rowan had gone off grid. Since then, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. His story is told in whispers across the continent. As Scythe Anastasia, Citra gleans with compassion and openly challenges the ideals of the “new order.” But when her life is threatened and her methods questioned, it becomes clear that not everyone is open to the change. Will the Thunderhead intervene? Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?
A year has passed since I read Scythe for the first time. I counted down the days until Thunderhead would be released. I jumped up and down when I opened the box and there it sat in all its gorgeous glory. I opened it and descended into the world of Scythes gleaning and the Thunderhead guiding and the human population living. Scythe Lucifer spends his time trying to save Scythedom from corruption and murder. Citra tries to embrace Scythe Anastasia and grow into her own method of gleaning. Scythe Curie carefully guides and teaches her former apprentice, turned junior Scythe while trying to keep up with her own gleaning. And in this book, the Thunderhead is revealed. Its thinking, and strangely, its feeling comes out in great detail! It cares for the world and humans and it works constantly to care for them and protect them, all while trying to preserve privacy and freedom.
I was fascinated by the way Shusterman compares Thunderhead to God, yet focuses on the differences between the two. And then, at page 450, when I realized that there weren’t enough pages to resolve the story, my stomach started to clench. And no, the story didn’t resolve, this isn’t a duology, there’s another book in the series . . . and it doesn’t come out until 2019!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to throw the book across the room and curse the name of Neal Shusterman with every evil thing and swear word I could possibly think of!!!!!!!! I’m never going to make it, I’m gonna die of anticipation, that’s it. I would talk about all the philosophy and logic and ethics and deep thinking that were in Thunderhead, but I’m just too mad. I would highly suggest waiting to read this series until the next book comes out . . . oh gosh, what if that’s not the last book in the series????
GRRRRRRRRRRR!! That’s it, no more reading!!! I can’t take the stress!!! Ok, let’s get back to a professional review. I would absolutely recommend this series to anybody. I would save this for more mature teens, not because of objectionable elements, but because more mature thinking is required. An excellent book and series . . . so excellent that it draws you in and envelops you just to keep you hanging off a dang cliffhanger!
Kim and Neal Shusterman at a recent book signing in Charleston: