Category Archives: 05 SCIENCE FICTION

Paradigm by Ceri Lowe (Paradigm #1)

3 Stars

“There’s surviving and then there’s living.”

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. First thing’s first, I’m sure many young readers will notice the eerie resemblance between the covers of Divergent and Paradigm, and I really wish they chose a different cover for this one because the two are totally different in theme and in story.

I really liked the idea behind this book. For a young adult dystopian novel, it has a very realistic and mature backbone. For a brief backstory: a devastating Storm hit the Earth around 2015 that nearly submerged everything to nonexistence. Thankfully, Paradigm Industries saw something like this would happen and built a massive underground complex made to withstand years of isolation to ensure survival. The story happens through the eyes of two characters: Alice and Carter. Alice’s story revolves around the beginning of the Storm, right after the world ended, and the new one began. Carter’s, on the other hand, happens generations later—a time wherein the new society has long been established.

“We must want to work together, to live together, to survive together. Or we all die together.”

I must admit, Paradigm hit something close to home. I live in the Philippines and I don’t know if you guys are aware but my country experiences devastating typhoons almost yearly. In fact, it was raining while I was reading this book. And here, when it rains—it pours. Some might think the Storm in the book can’t really happen, but you’re wrong. I’ve seen it happen, although perhaps not as cataclysmic as in the novel. The city I live in has been flooded to more than 10 feet high, submerging houses and buildings, more than once, and not long ago, a part of my country has been massacred by typhoon Haiyan—so yes, I am fully aware of how destructive water can be, which made it so easy for me to visualize Paradigm’s world. It was interesting that the main cause of the apocalypse in this story was the climate. It’s a relevant and more mature theme when compared to its peers. One thing I was not fully satisfied with the Storm was its origin. There wasn’t enough information given to how it came to be. Was it global warming? Was it a government experiment gone awry? I suppose, and hope, more explanation will come from the following books being that this is the first of a trilogy.

Another thing I’m disappointed with was the lack of character development. I liked Alice’s character, but Carter seemed to pale in comparison. I couldn’t connect with him at all. It greatly bothered me how weak his character was—I mean, all his life he was preparing for this one thing, then one day he meets some strangers and a girl who he hasn’t seen in fifteen years, who tell him things and he suddenly bends his beliefs just like that? I believe in the power of curiosity but it was shown from the early chapters how solid his views were. It was as if in a snap he decided to tread another path. It felt so out of character that I couldn’t find a way to root for him afterwards.

Overall, despite some of those misses, this is a promising debut novel. Readers might find some themes of the book in resonance with The Kill Order, Matched, City of Ember, and A Brave New World, but it still offers a fresh story.Will I read the next book? Yes. However, I do hope there will be more backstory and better world-building in the following installments. And I hope Carter finally finds his backbone along the way. After all, he’s the one carrying this story to its future.

Starters by Lissa Price (Starters #1)

3 Stars

“I’d started with a lie, and now it was just about impossible to untangle it without breaking something.”

NOTE: This is an old review, I just edited and added some things to it

I grabbed this book because the cover was interesting and when I read the jacket summary, I was intrigued, so I bought it. To give you a glimpse of how the book feels like: It’s like Hunger Games meets Surrogates slash Gamer. If you’re familiar with those three, then I guess you’ll have a vague idea on how the theme of the story plays out.
Continue reading Starters by Lissa Price (Starters #1)

Ruins by Dan Wells (Partials #3)

5 Stars

When the only alternative is extinction, an awful lot of horrors become acceptable.

War, Blood, Death. This is dystopia.

Ruins achieved everything Allegiant and Mockingjay failed to deliver as trilogy enders. THIS is how you end a series. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, The Partials Sequence is one of the most underrated recent YA science-fiction and dystopian series today. Dan Wells is a great story teller and an excellent world-builder, and he never disappointed me throughout the three books (four, if you count the Isolation novelette).

Continue reading Ruins by Dan Wells (Partials #3)

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)