Sunday, July 7, 2013

Travel Reading Part 2

For the last two months, I've been gone on a backpacking trip to Europe. My cell phone was the only internet access I had, and the reception was often spotty. Plus I was just super busy. So TONS of reading, but no posts. There were too many books, and I read them too long ago to make individual posts for each one. So I'm dividing them up into a couple posts, and just writing a couple sentences for each. Here goes the second set:

"Scarlet" by A. C. Gaughen
Grade: 1 1/2 stars (maybe 2 was that bad, I just didn't enjoy it)
Retelling of Robin Hood, but with Will Scarlet as a girl dressed up as a boy. The central love triangle annoyed me quite a bit, unfortunately. Also (this is totally unfair on the book and definitely my fault), I happen to be a big fan of Little John in all retellings. He was quite interesting in this one, so if there's a sequel about him I might read it, but he was also really annoying. Robin was rather boring (maybe I just missed something there because I was too caught up in how annoyed I was at the love triangle?), and Much wasn't in it nearly enough.

"Slice of Cherry" by Dia Reeves
Grade: 1 star
Creeeepy. In a bad way. At least for me. This is about two girls whose father was a serial killer, and they sort of take after him. There are a bunch of stories about serial killers (or those tempted to that sort of thing) that I like (like say Dexter or I Hunt Killers), but this one was just weird and unpleasant. There was a strange fantasy element incorporated as well that just made it all weirder.

"Juniper Berry" by M. P. Kozlowsky
Grade: 2 1/2 stars
Good story about a lonely girl whose parents are famous actors with a secret. A bit young for me, but the illustrations were awesome. Like the above, there was a fair amount of creepiness, but I liked this creepiness quite a bit.

"Stray" by Andrea K. Höst
Grade: 3 1/2 stars
First of a young adult sci-fi trilogy, followed by Lab Rat One and Caszandra. The three books are very interconnected--the first ends very unresolved, and it would be really hard to read the second or the third without the first. It's really just one book divided into three sections. That being said, I did like the first "section" best out of the three. An Aussie girl, Cassandra, is suddenly somewhere else. She has to survive for a few days, until she's found by some people, and realizes she's not on Earth any more. The world building was intriguing here, and I was pleased to note that the diary format of the book is very true to life. In other words, Cassandra doesn't spend a lot of time explaining things that she wouldn't have written in her diary. Keeping track of all the various people's names can be quite confusing because of this, but it's worth it for the realism.

"Lab Rat One" by Andrea K. Höst
Grade: 3 1/2 stars
Follow up to Stray. Basically see my thoughts for the first one. This one is slightly less exciting because everything is less new, but there starts to be some interesting plot developments (as opposed to simply exploring and discovering a new civilization).

"Caszandra" by Andrea K. Höst
Grade: 3 stars
Follow up to Stray and Lab Rat One. Good final section, although perhaps my least favourite of the three. It can be very difficult to properly write about someone who is settling down after having found their mate and home and all that. I'm not sure if Höst quite succeeds, at least for me. It was still interesting--I did like her children and her partner and the plot developments. It just wasn't quite as interesting as the previous two.


Petra said...

I've been torn about reading Scarlet; the reviews I've read seem mixed. Since I am a fan of Robin Hood retellings, I'll probably get around to it eventually, but I feel no hurry. I also just realized it's supposed to be the start of a series. That could be very interesting.

RED said...

I think you should try it out, at least. It's pretty light reading and shouldn't take too long. Obviously I didn't like it much, but other reviewers have, as you mentioned.

Speaking of Robin Hood retellings, have you read Robin McKinley's "Outlaws of Sherwood"?

Petra said...

I have read Robin McKinley's Outlaws of Sherwood--a long time ago. I remember being flabbergasted that Robin couldn't shoot an arrow. ;)

RED said...

Haha, yes. I quite liked that one, even Robin with his horrible shooting. It was definitely an interesting take on him. :)