Category Archives: 04 DYSTOPIAN

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Maze Runner #1)

4 Stars

“If you ain’t scared… you ain’t human.”

It’s been such a long time since I read this so I’m just copying my old review from Goodreads, with little additions.

There are a lot of books that feature dystopian societies, anarchy, war and science gone wrong today but most are just pale reflections of old greats and have failed to bring anything new and exciting to the table, but Maze Runner definitely made a mark on me. It’s far darker, more raw, more brutal yet more human than most modern dystopian novels out there. Great concept, excellent world-building, nice storytelling. Overall a good execution that led to a very good story.

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Fragments by Dan Wells (Partials #2)

4 Stars

I used to think the world was worse for what we’ve done, both our species, but out here I don’t think the world even cares who we are. Or were. We came and went, and life goes on, and the land that was always here before us will still be here after we’re dead and gone. Birds will still fly. Rain will still fall. The world didn’t end, it just reset.

Wow. Wow. I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it again. Partials Sequence is one of the best recent dystopian/science fiction series out there. And it sucks that it’s not getting enough attention from the mainstream readers because it’s just great.

Fragments definitely lived up to Partials, if not even better. This is how dystopian books should be like! The world-building in Partials was great, but Fragments was even more superb. The world in this novel was so realistic, so plausible, so tangible and so easy to imagine. Twists just kept on coming. The book was filled with action but it wasn’t chaotic. We get to see more of Marcus and apparently, like everyone else in this book, he’s a character of substance. We also get to travel with Kira, Samm and Heron, adding further development to their already complex characters. Kira is the perfect epitome of a modern dystopian heroine. She’s like Katniss 2.0, only more likable, more complex and more badass. Her transition from Partials’ brave medic into Fragments’ action heroine was just wow. Is there anything not to like in this girl? Samm also grew more emphatic and learned to assess his emotions more. I liked how he finally admitted having feelings for Kira, despite his Partial emotional limitations. He didn’t even know he was already falling in love until he was blatantly confronted about it. Blame it on the Partial genetics. Heron is another great character and I’m glad she was included in this book. She’s the Snape of Fragments. You really don’t know which side she’s on, which is great. So yes, Samm likes Kira and Kira obviously likes Samm, but what’s great about this love triangle is that it doesn’t even matter. Because Marcus, Kira and Samm don’t give a damn about it because the world is falling apart around them and they know love problems are the last thing they should probably think about, which is so realistic. I mean, you’re facing total war and apocalypse 2.0 as you know it and you’re on a mission to stop that from happening. Do you really have time to think about who you love more? Of course not. This series doesn’t even need the romance, seriously. A part of me thinks Dan Wells just added that to please those few readers who were begging for it.

Continue reading Fragments by Dan Wells (Partials #2)

Partials by Dan Wells (Partials #1)

5 Stars

The old world has been consumed with the search of More Stuff. Now there was more stuff than anyone could ever use, and little or none of anything else.

I, Robot meets I Am Legend + Maze Runner. Those are the stories that came to my mind when I read this. I’m a huge fan of Dystopian novels so when I saw this on Goodreads’ Dystopian list, I immediately read it.

Freedom is a responsibility to be earned, not a license for recklessness and anarchy. If someday, despite our strongest efforts and our deepest determination, we finally fall, let it be because our enemies finally beat us, not because we beat ourselves.

Overall, Partials had a very good story: A virus that killed majority of the human population plus human-looking robots, political subplots, and all those niceties. What I especially liked about Partials was the lack of emphasis on the love angle of the story. It was nice to read a novel that didn’t have love as one of its main plots. It was there, yet it was never brandished on the reader’s face. There were many medical jargon and discussions in the book that are not easily understandable, but Kira sounded legit whenever she was analyzing something so I guess that’s plus points for the author.

Continue reading Partials by Dan Wells (Partials #1)

Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #2)

3 Stars

No matter how long you train someone to be brave, you never know if they are or not until something real happens.

In Insurgent we get to see more of the world outside Dauntless. We get a glimpse of the culture and compounds of the other factions, which was nice. I especially liked Amity’s. It felt like your traditional “countryside” town where conflicts were almost nonexistent. The way this world’s society functioned reminded me of how Districts in Panem worked: one industry per faction. Continue reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #2)

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #1)

3 Stars

Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.

Divergent reminded me of The Giver (Lois Lowry), The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) and Harry Potter (JK Rowling). I guess every dystopian fiction will always remind me of The Giver in one way or another.

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The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

3 Stars

It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.

This is a collective review for The Hunger Games Trilogy.

When I first read the book, my immediate thought was that it was a Battle Royale rip-off, but I set my prejudice aside and read it. I loved Battle Royale so the comparison was hovering over my head. The story turned out to be quite similar, but very different. I was engrossed enough to become a fan and root for Katniss even though she was unlikeable in so many ways. I liked how she embodied the modern heroine. The thrill and excitement was also brilliantly built up. It intrigued me on how she would survive the arena, on what she’ll do next, and on who’ll die next. I was satisfied with the ending of the first book. But I’m afraid I couldn’t say the same for the second and third.

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