My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was kind of disappointed by this one… It’s the last book in the world of Septimus Heap and should have wrapped everything up nicely, but it let me down. Some characters that have been extremely important (and others that should have at least got a small nod) didn’t even appear at all in this final book. The end didn’t feel like a grand finale at all…
I was confused a few times by the plot (part of which might be due to reading this months after the second book, but that can’t be the whole problem) and the continuity of things that happened. Also the fact that the saving the day action happened so close to the end and felt very rushed. The first three-quarters of the book were all leading up to what felt like the main event, so that seemed to drag on and on. Some of the annoying/evil/seemingly unimportant characters had way more chapters dedicated to them than they should have.
BUT there were still many things that I loved about this world and this book. Tod’s personality was still one of the best things, and her friendship with Ferdie and Oksar was lovely throughout the book. The history of their ancestors was revealed and was very important for how things went down. Septimus will always be one of my faves, and I have loved seeing him all grown up in this series. There were minor roles for other past characters, so it was great to see them again as well. The merging of the PathFinder and Castle characters and history was an awesome element that unified this book well and brought the two series together, which I guess allowed this to feel like an ending – even if it wasn’t the one I wanted…
I made it to the halfway point of both of these WWII historical fiction books and couldn’t go on past there…
While there are many things about this book that I enjoyed, it was simply not enough to keep me hooked and enjoying the process of reading it. I made it to just over 50% and had completely lost interest, so DNFing it was the best option because boredom. The plot was disorganized and I didn’t like the direction the story was headed. Just not for me at all…
DNF @ 55%
Every other character interests me besides the main character, Jacob. He is annoying and his decisions don’t make sense to me… And I can tell that he is going to do more stupid/questionable things based on the summary and how things were playing out in the book. I’m quitting now before I’m past the point of no return.
The plot was actually really interesting so far and I’m sure that some great things happen later in the book, but Jacob and I simply can’t finish this together. If the book focused on his Uncle Martin I would be so down for that, as he was a really interesting character with a lot of potential for development. The history elements were intriguing as well. Jacob just bothered me a bit too much to finish this book.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Thanks to AudioFile Magazine for making this book available as a free download through SYNC.
This was a fun, quick read about Will, who is visually impaired and wanting to be mainstream, and his friendship (and more) with Cecily, who isn’t traditionally beautiful and is singled out because of it. It involves many perspectives on the importance of sight and what exactly it means in our lives. The plot was all in the summary, which was kind of a bummer – some stuff should have been left to be revealed in the book…
Will was born blind, so he had no basis for what vision entails. It was very interesting to have his perspective on the world around him without any visual details, and then later on to experience what it could be like to have vision for the first time as a teenager as he described how he distinguished what he was seeing, like colours and shapes. It really made me appreciate my vision for the gift that it is.
Will and all of the other teenagers were well-written and had great personalities and interests. His parents felt more 2D though and his mom was quite annoying and controlling. The friendship that developed between Will and Cecily was sweet and seemed bound to turn into something more. They had an easy way of talking to each other and seemed comfortable being together from their very first school newspaper assignment. Because everything was laid out in the summary, the plot lost a bit of its appeal, but it was still very interesting and I enjoyed the details of this story.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Tom’s story was unique enough to be intriguing, but couldn’t draw me in enough to be overly interesting or make me enjoy reading this enough to think it’s an amazing book. Instead, I thought it was only mediocre and didn’t have anything special enough to capture my attention fully.
This book is not about time travel, but it allows the reader to travel through time and history as the plot jumps back and forth between times in the past and the present. I enjoyed learning a bit about history as Tom described moments from his past. His memories were very important to him, and I liked the emotion that was used to describe many of the chapters.
The characters fell flat and I didn’t feel invested in most of their futures (or their pasts in terms of the characters that were very long-lived). Most seemed to only have one defining characteristic, which made them uninteresting to me. The plot also lacked the definition to give me something to look forward to, so I found that I was waiting and waiting for something to happen.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was everything I wanted this book to be. The summary made me almost certain that I would see Kate and Jesse again, and boy oh boy, I was not disappointed! This book is considered a companion novel because you can read it without having read Vengeance Road first (which is completely true, everything is explained), but I think reading VR and then RR allows you to appreciate Kate and Jesse more and see how far they’ve come in ten years.
The main characters of Retribution Rails, Charlotte and Reece, were so so so great. They were complicated and uncertain and trying to find a place in the world while struggling to survive over the course of the whole book. I liked the way they were written even more than I enjoyed Kate and Jesse in VR – they were more wholly developed and had way more depth. Their relationship was complicated and it was a great deal of fun to watch as they attempted to figure out what they meant to each other.
The baddies in this one were also more compelling and developed, so that made the stakes feel higher. This added to a plot that was a great mix of action, plotting, and soul-searching. The amount that Kate and Jesse were featured just added to the perfection of Charlotte and Reece’s tale. The end nearly had me screaming due to a wild mix of emotions…