Saturday, August 23, 2014

BZRK: Reloaded (BZRK #2) by Michael Grant: Book Review

cover from Goodreads
Title: BZRK: Reloaded (BZRK #2)
Author: Michael Grant
Publication details: October 8, 2013 by Egmont USA
Copy: eBook (ePub format)

The entire BZRK cell--including Noah and Sadie--has been left in pieces after the last round of battle with the Armstrong Twins, conjoined brother who plot to rob mankind of its free will. Vincent's mind is shattered, and his memories hold dangerous secrets--secrets that Lear, BZRK's mysterious leader, will stop at nothing to protect.

Meanwhile, Bug Man has taken control of the President's brain, but playing with sanity is a dangerous game. The consequences can spiral way out of control, and the Armstrong Twins are not people Bug Man can afford to disappoint.

The nano is as terrifying, exhilarating, and unpredictable as ever. But the wall of secrets that surrounds it is cracking. What will it reveal? And once the dust has settled, who will be sane enough to find out?

BZRK Reloaded was as amazing as the first book, if not better! It took me a while to finish reading because of other stuff in my life but I would have finished this sooner. It was, as I said, amazing and gripping. I need to read the third book ASAP!

Plot
After what happened in Washington, the New York cell is still in tact, or at least trying to be. It took them a while to get things going, to have a concrete plan. But they're determined to win. On the other hand, AFGC may have taken hold of a powerful person but the war isn't over and no one's winning yet. They are being complacent which might not be a good thing.

Faced with new challenges and goals, both BZRK and AFGC will do anything to get what they want.

Two new sides were introduced to the story giving not only more action but also more questions. Aside from BZRK and the AFGC, the story also revolves around other people outside the two organizations. It's amazing how these people are connected and how they will affect each others' outcome.

The unpredictability of the events is also one of the things I liked in BZRK: Reloaded. I liked how I kept guessing scenarios in my head, only for them to not happen. It was an exhilarating read for me!

I also liked how the book touched the personal love lives of some characters, but just enough so as not to shift the focus from the war between nanos and the biots.

Characters
Some characters were explored deeper- their background, their plans. I was actually surprised by a particular character. I didn't expect that this one is up to something. :)

The (old) characters changed since Washington. Some came in stronger, others somehow lost it but they still stuck to the core of their beings, to their true selves. I liked how I observed them through their actions and decisions. As I read, I began to know them better both the rational and the emotional side of their beings.

There were new characters and of course, losses. I made it a point to not get attached to any characters. I learned my lesson in the first book, you know. Anyway, these new characters were smartly and carefully written. Whether he/she was playing a minor role or a major one, each character was given equal introduction and identity. Though it made the not-trying-to-get-attached even harder.

Writing
I love Michael Grant's writing- the third person perspective, the unpredictability, how things were connected, how this and that affect the situation or a person. Amazing folks! There were biological/ anatomical terms scattered through out the book. So if you want to completely picture the world down the meat, you'll have to Google the terms. (Unless you're already familiar with blood vessels, nasal cavities, mucous membrane, optical nerves, etc.) 😁

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The fast-paced, gripping experience was carried out from the first book and I just can't wait to read the third book, BZRK: Apocalypse! If you're a fan of sci-fi, you should read this! It sure is a great read! :)

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If you want to read my review of the first book. Click here. :)



ph source: guardian.co.uk
Michael Grant has spent much of his life on the move. Raised in a military family in the USA, he attended ten schools in five states, as well as three schools in France. Even as an adult he kept moving, and in fact he became a writer in part because it was one of the few jobs that wouldn't tie him down. His dream is to spend a whole year circumnavigating the globe and visiting every continent. Even Antarctica. He lives in Marin Country, California, with his wife, Katherine Applegate, their two children, and far too many pets (Source: BZRK back cover).


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Book Haul #3

Hi folks!

Another small haul! I'm trying my best not to buy many books because of my ever-growing TBR pile. You all can relate, right?

Anyway, I got these books from Booksale. :)



And, eARCs from NetGalley (photo source: NetGalley)

 The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. I already reviewed this here. :)

 Accession by Terah Edun
(Published: August 5, 2014 by All Night Reads)

Rose of Sarajevo by Ayse Kulin
(Publication details: August 26, 2014 by Amazon Publishing)

 A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
(Publication details: October 2, 2014 by Hachette Children's Book)

 God is Amazing by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz
(Publication details: October 1, 2014 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.)

Heart of Dread: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
(Publication details: October 2, 2014 by Hachette Children's Book)

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That's all folks!
Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica: ARC Review

cover from Goodreads
Title: The Good Girl
Author: Mary Kubica
Published: July 29, 2014 by Harlequin MIRA
Copy: eARC from NetGalley (Thank you Harlequin!)

"I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will."

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a compulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems…

(I got my copy from Harlequin MIRA via NetGalley.)

In her debut novel, The Good Girl, Mary Kubica tells a story about trust, love and relationship. Told in the eyes of three different characters, it follows the story of Mia Dennett when she was abducted one unsuspecting night from the busy city of Chicago to a remote place in Minnesota. Mia seems to have a perfect family, a father who is a well-known judge, a socialite mother, and a sister who is a promising lawyer. But beneath the surface are secrets and emotions hidden for the world to see.

From the beginning, I found myself wanting to know what happened to Mia, as well as to her abductor, Colin. The mystery and the suspense build as the story progresses. However, each chapter also has revelation about a certain piece of the puzzle.
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Characters
Each chapter is told by either Eve, Mia's mom, Gabe, the detective, and Colin, Mia's abductor.

Mia Dennett. Her character is so complex but at the center of her complexity is the want for love and belongingness. The revelation at the end was a shock to me but that made me love The Good Girl more. Just when I thought I had it all figured out!

Colin Thatcher. Aside from wanting to know what happened to Mia, I was also curious about Colin after Mia's return. His character shows how we can never really understand human nature. He also reminded me of the old philosophical thought, the end does not justify the means. But I still liked Colin. In fact, I liked him more than Mia.

His chapters mostly gave answers and clarity to the questions pose by Eve's and Gabe's, and I liked how the author chose to write in his POV rather than Mia's.

Eve Dennett. I liked how her character developed through the book. It's sad though that it took Mia's abduction for her to act upon the lost days of the family's past.

Eve's chapters gave background about the Dennett family, exploring not only Mia's and her life, but also Jame's, the judge, and Grace's, Mia's sister, individually and as a family.

Gabe Hoffman. Though he is one of the narrators, his personal background wasn't explored. However, I liked how his POVs basically posed questions about the case, about Mia, about Colin, and how he connected everything. I felt like I pieced the puzzle with him as I was reading.
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Writing
I liked the style of writing. There was fluency in it. I liked how the feeling of the characters were conveyed through the multiple POVs, how it gave me the chance to know the stories of the characters and understand them better. I also liked how the suspense was built up using the shifts between the before and after events of Mia's return. And the revelation at the end! That was really good.

(I have some what-if thoughts about the ending, but I don't want to spoil you guys. So if you want to know, you can just message me and I'll answer privately. Haha!)

From reading this book, I was reminded that you can never really know and understand someone unless you give them the chance, that people change, and that what you knew about a certain person may not hold true after some years. I was also reminded that the things you do, whether big or small, may affect the lives of the people around you. It may not be evident immediately, but it will soon be.

A gripping novel about family relationship and love. I recommend The Good Girl for all the fans of contemporary suspense novel. I will definitely watch out for Mary Kubica's future novels. :)




source: author's site


Mary Kubica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening, and caring for the animals at a local shelter. The Good Girl is her first novel (Source: Mary Kubica's site).