Friday, February 21, 2014

Red Rising

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy #1)

Pierce Brown


Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)
January 2014

4 Stars

*I received this galley from NetGalley*

Darrow, along with hundreds of other people, lives under the surface of Mars. They work day in and day out to make the planet habitable.  During a life altering event Darrow discovers that all they have been led to believe is a lie. Mars is already habitable and has been for generations.  An elite class called the Golds has been using Darrow’s people for slave labor while living rich lives. Recruited by rebels Darrow transforms into a Gold and infiltrates the command school where he plans to take out his revenge. It won’t be as easy as he hopes since there are others there with different agendas.

The only complaint that I have with this novel is the pacing. In the beginning it felt weighed down and the plot was what kept me going.  I have seen comparisons to The Hunger Games as far as the story line and I can agree slightly. This is much more violent and intense. I really like the plot and characters so once I got midway and the pace picked up I was excited. The characters are not cookie cutter and their clashing personalities made them fun to read. The twists and turns are well placed and made the outcome more unpredictable while keeping with the plot and those characters.  Darrow is a protagonist that had to grow on me but in the end I found myself really invested in his story. I cannot wait for future installments. 

I do recommend Red Rising, especially to fantasy fans.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Pen Name

The Pen Name

The Pen Name
David Jacob Knight


August 2013

5 Stars

*I received this novel in exchange for an honest review*

Ben Little is a struggling author with a family. Jack Fleischer is a bestselling author who seems interested in helping Ben achieve his dream. Once Ben signs on to be Fleischer’s co-author that dream becomes a nightmare.  Not only is Fleischer demanding and insulting but he expects Ben to do horrible things while holding their contract as leverage. Laws are broken, people are killed, and Ben’s sanity is questioned in the creation of the novel. When the safety of his family is threatened he knows he has to make a stand and figure a way to get out of the contract.

This novel feels like an adrenaline joyride from the beginning to the end. There were times that I felt like I had to remind myself to breathe. It’s fast paced and flows smoothly. The plot is unique and the different twists and turns kept it very interesting and left me guessing until the end.  Characters usually outshine the plot for me but this plot was so original that it kept my mind occupied. That’s not to say that I didn’t like the characters. Both the protagonist and antagonist were strong and I hate to admit that I enjoyed their relationship.  Even though this is an intense read I found some humor which was a nice touch. 

I absolutely recommend The Pen Name, especially to Thriller fans.