HOMELAND by Cory Doctorow Book Review
Series: Little Brother, #2
Publication Date: February 5th 2013 by Tor Teen
Rating: – Acceptable |
Book Summary: In Cory Doctorow’s wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco—an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state.
A few years later, California’s economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading politician who promises reform. Soon his former nemesis Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. It’s incendiary stuff—and if Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier.
Marcus can leak the archive Masha gave him—but he can’t admit to being the leaker, because that will cost his employer the election. He’s surrounded by friends who remember what he did a few years ago and regard him as a hacker hero. He can’t even attend a demonstration without being dragged onstage and handed a mike. He’s not at all sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he’s gone through its millions of words, is the right thing to do.
Meanwhile, people are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they’re used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.
Fast-moving, passionate, and as current as next week, Homeland is every bit the equal of Little Brother—a paean to activism, to courage, to the drive to make the world a better place.
Homeland by Cory Doctorow Book Review Overview:
- Super nerdy book full of Internet factoids and cameos from famous Internet pioneers
- The book is long and didactic and almost preachy
- Inspires me to fight for my rights on the Internet
I listened to the audiobook version of HOMELAND by Cory Doctorow after really enjoying the first book, Little Brother. The book in general is super nerdy, full of Internet factoids, and even some cameos from pioneers of the Internet. (For the record, I knew none of them and had to Wikipedia to double check that they were in fact Real People.) But as much as I wanted to really enjoy HOMELAND, I found the book a little too didactic and wanted a speedier plot.
LIFE AS WE KNEW IT by Susan Beth Pfeffer Audiobook Review
Series: The Last Survivors, #1
Publication Date: October 1st 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations
Book Summary: Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.
Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all–hope–in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer Review Overview:
- Seemingly ordinary things become precious in the post-apocalyptic world
- Likeable protagonist because Miranda isn’t perfect
- One of my favorite audiobooks and apocalyptic novels
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer mimics my childhood imaginations of what the apocalypse would have been like. When a meteor hits the moon and knocks it closer to the earth, it creates a sequence of global catastrophes: deadly tsunamis, erupting volcanoes, and drastic climate change. It’s realistic; it’s not action-packed. The fate of the whole world doesn’t lie on the heroine’s hands. Most of the time the characters are in the dark of what is going on in their town, the country, and the rest of the world. Life As We Knew It is a realistic survival story about Miranda and her family.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the audiobook of Life As We Knew It because it isn’t a fast-paced novel. It’s not the kind of novel that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. It’s a chronicle of the changes in everyday life post-apocalypse. Through Miranda’s diary, seemingly ordinary things become precious in the post-apocalyptic world. Readers are reminded of what basic necessities we need in life and what we shouldn’t take for granted.
Miranda is a likeable protagonist because she isn’t perfect. The apocalypse suddenly didn’t make her a better person. At times, she can still be extremely greedy, jealous, and even a little childish. But she also grows a lot as a character in Life As We Knew It. Miranda is also a normal teenage girl, and the apocalypse didn’t take away all her innocence. Even if the book can sometimes get bleak, it was nice to hear about extremely teenager things like crushes and fangirling.
While the ending of Life As We Knew It doesn’t resolve everything, the ending was satisfying. I’m still not sure if I want to continue on with the series even if I enjoyed the first book so much. I like how the ending left off. It left enough to my imagination to wonder what life would be like for Miranda after I turned the last page.
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is definitely one of my favorite audiobooks and also one of my favorite apocalyptic novels.
SCARLET by Marissa Meyer Book Review
Series: Lunar Chronicles, #2
Publication Date: February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations |
Book Summary: Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Book Review Overview:
- Fun new characters that are loosely based on the Little Red Riding Hood
- As always, the romance is great in Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
- Fantastic world-building and a twist that you will not see coming!
SCARLET by Marissa Meyer is everything that fans of Cinder have been waiting for. SCARLET by Marissa Meyer picks up where Cinder left off: Cinder is a criminal on the loose. Determined to get away from Queen Levana, Cinder enlists the help of another prisoner and escapes. Torn between doing what is expected of her and learning more about her past, Cinder decides not to meet up with Dr. Erland. Instead, she travels to France in hopes to find out more about her Lunar past.
Meyer introduces new characters to the Lunar Chronicles, mainly Scarlet and Wolf. I love how Meyer based these characters loosely on the Little Red Riding Hood. Those familiar with the fairytale will notice the subtle references sprinkled throughout Scarlet’s narrative. I had an instant liking to both characters. Scarlet is feisty and there is no denying that she has chemistry with the elusive and possibly dangerous Wolf. Of course, there ends up being some romance between them and I was more than happy about it. Wolf captured my heart. I had no doubt that there was more than meets the eye when it came to Wolf.
At first, I was a little confused as to why Meyer suddenly takes us to a rural village in France in SCARLET by Marissa Meyer. But I had nothing to worry about; Meyer seamlessly connects the alternating story lines and it builds up to an action-packed adventure with a surprising twist. The world-building also continues to be a highlight in SCARLET by Marissa Meyer. I love continuing to learn about the Lunars and how Cinder is slowly learning how to use her powers.
Prince Kai isn’t in SCARLET as much as he was in Cinder, which is the most disappointing part of the book. Though still important to the overall story, his role is much smaller in SCARLET by Marissa Meyer. His presence was missed and I can only hope that he and Cinder will be reunited in the next book.
SCARLET by Marissa Meyer is a sequel to watch out for.
About the Author
Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and three cats. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, color-coordinating her bookshelf . . .), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was given a small book of them when she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg. Cinder is her first novel.
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