Umberland( Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

Umberland, the second book in the Everland series, by Wendy Spinale is a remade version of Alice in Wonderland. This series is about the deadly Horologia virus ripping through the world. The English were working on the virus in a lab but the Blooded Queen of Germany strategically bombed this lab so that the virus got released into the air. Everyone is falling ill and there is no end in sight.

In this book, Doc finds the Professor’s journal that includes a missing ingredient of the virus. This ingredient is a poisonous apple from a tree that supposedly no longer exists. With this new information, Doc realizes they aren’t sick at all – they are poisoned. He needs this apple to make an antidote. Countless people are depending on it and he must enlist the help of someone crazy to retrieve the apple. Since Doc needs to stay and care for the ill, Duchess Alyssa of England goes to the Maddox Hadder, who knows how to get the apple. The apple tree is in the middle of the Bloodred Queens labyrinth. This is already extremely dangerous, but with two of the Bloodred Queen’s men looking for the same thing, it is even more so. With the Duchess gone and the Queen too ill to rule, England goes into chaos.

I liked this book because it was a twist on regular fairy tales and it combined a lot of different fairy tales into one interesting story. I recommend this book because it is very interesting and you will not be able to put it down.

Cinder

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Linh Cinder is a cyborg in New Beijing, working for her stepmother, Adri. Cinder is a mechanic who works with Iko, a droid. The world is being taken over by the plague letumosis, and the emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth had recently caught the disease. One day Prince Kai comes to visit Cinder, and he gives her a droid that had stopped working. He jokingly said how it held vital information, but Cinder believes that it actually might not just be a joke. Above all of this The Lunar Queen is plotting to become the empress of the Eastern Commonwealth. With her job and her stepmom blaming her for her stepsister catching the plague, Cinder has to fix Kai’s mystery droid and the whole world is in danger of the Lunar Queen, Levana. No one is aware that the world’s fate relies on just this poor mechanic.

Cinder is written by Marissa Meyers, and is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles. It is a dystopian novel that takes place after “World War IV”. It is a great book and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys futuristic novels. It stops with a cliffhanger and is continued with the second book, Scarlet. This book is a very interesting and detailed book. It was fun learning about the new technologies that played a large role in the book. It is a great read and related to the famous Cinderella.

The Game of Lives

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Warning: If you have not read the previous two books in the Mortality Doctrine Series, there are spoilers!

Michael used to love going into the Virtnet. Now every time he goes in, he is risking his life. And Kaine’s master plan is nearly complete. The Mortality Doctrine is slowly blurring the line between the Virtnet and real life. Agent Weber having failed and lost Michael’s trust, Michael has to trust new and unexpected allies. But are these people worthy of being trusted? The Burn-and-Pillage-y Trilogy has to put an end to Kaine’s plan before the world is over run with Tangents.

The Game of Lives is the 3rd and final book in the Mortality Doctrine Series. It has multiple plot twists and a rather happy ending. Although, I personally hated the ending. Throughout the whole series it made Maze Runner references, which bothered me a lot. I know that James Dashner wrote both series, but it just bothered me that they referenced it and the two series kind of merged. And the ending was a little bit of a cliffhanger. So if you don’t mind references from The Maze Runner and a cliffhanger at the end I would recommend this book to you. This whole series was a bit weird, but I eventually just finished the book just to find out the ending, not because it was good. This series definitely is not my favorite dystopian trilogy, but if you’re just looking for a book to read I would turn to this one.

The Rule of Thoughts

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Warning: Do not read if you haven’t read The Eye of Minds! There are spoilers!

Everything was fake. Or was it? Michael is a Tangent, and his whole life was in Lifeblood Deep until he finished the Path and took over Jackson Parker’s body, unintentionally. Soon he finds out that Jackson has a girlfriend and parents and little sister, who are on a vacation. Two men show up and say they work for Kaine. They take Michael to see Kaine, but Michael just barely gets away. After he escapes he knows he has to find his best friends, Sarah and Bryson. As Michael gets the Trifecta to Dissect-ya back together, Kaine is working to spread the Mortality Doctrine worldwide. Tangents have already began to take over human bodies. But as the chaos spreads through the VirtNet, the VNS prefers to pretend that everything is okay. Michael and his friends have to take on Kaine, with the virtually useless help from the VNS. Agent Weber has a plan to take down Kaine, and since Michael has no other plan they decide to work with her. But did Michael put his trust in the right people? And will Agent Weber’s plan work? Read the 2nd book to the Mortality Doctrine series to find out.

The Rule of Thoughts is the sequel to The Eye of Minds and I personally loved it. Although I hated the plot twist at the end of book one, I accepted it. This novel is a great book if you’re looking for a thriller that will keep you turning the pages. And I would not recommend reading this book at night, because you will be up all night reading it. Anyone who enjoys dystopian novels definitely should also try out the Mortality Doctrine series.

The Eye of Minds

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The Virtnet is a new kind of gaming, the virtual reality is more realistic and everyone is playing it. To enter the Virtnet you go in to a box, or the Coffin, and then your aurora is sent into the Virtnet, in which you can play many games. And there are rules about hacking; but for some, breaking the rules makes it even more enjoyable.

Michael and his friends Sarah and Bryson are all hackers. Which is the reason the VNS, Virtnet Security, chose Michael, Sarah, and Bryson to work for them. For some reason, people have been waking up brain dead in their Coffins and the VNS have found one lead, a person named Kaine seems to be taking hostages inside the Virtnet.  And they need Michael’s hacking skills to fight Kaine, who is also a hackerc. Michael’s job is to find out where Kaine is and stop him. But this is very dangerous, and it may be even deadly.

This book is the first in the Mortality Doctrine trilogy, and I believe that it could be described as dystopian because of the state the world is in, when out of the Virtnet, is very bad and depressing. It is written by James Dasher, the author of the Maze Runner, which is why I wanted to read it. This book is very quirky and odd, but I enjoyed it very much. The plot is unique and intriguing, and I would recommend it to any one who liked the Maze Runner.

The Scorch Trials

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After escaping the maze, Thomas and the Gladers are relieved to be back to the outside word. But it turns out the Maze was only the first test. Later they find out the world is a disaster, and it has become infected with a disease called the Flare. A W.I.C.K.E.D. representative tells the Gladers that all of them have become infected with the Flare, but if they can travel across a burned land called the Scorch in two weeks they will receive the cure. On top of the burned land they have to travel across, they also have to avoid Cranks. Cranks are people infected with the Flare who lose their mind and will kill anyone. If the Gladers don’t get out of the Scorch in time they will become Cranks also and slowly die. Thomas can only wonder what else lies ahead after going through the Maze and Grievers. Will the Gladers survive through the Scorch? And what is W.I.C.K.E.D. testing them for?

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner is the second book in The Maze Runner pentalogy. I loved this book as much as I loved The Maze Runner and couldn’t put it down. However, while I was reading the book it was a little bit scary because I couldn’t help but thinking, “What if this happened to our world?” Anyways, this was a great book and definitely one to add to your shelf!

Divergent

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Divergent is a dystopian future where society is split into 5 different “factions,” each valuing above all else a single virtue. It is all in all a well written book, but as I call it, “A good idea poorly executed.”

First, a summary on Divergent. The dystopian world is divided into five different “factions,” or political groups. The people in this world live their lives based upon their ideal virtue, which differs from faction to faction. At age sixteen you have to choose whether you stay in your natural-born faction or choose to abandon your family and live with different people forever. Also, an “aptitude test” is given before the choosing–a simulated experience where you have to make decisions. The results are then studied and the test administrator tells you which faction you belong in based upon your actions and choices during the simulation.
Unfortunately, when the heroine, Tris (then called Beatrice) takes the test, her results reveal that she has aptitude for not one, not two, but three different factions. The test administrator deletes her results and tells her that it is very dangerous to be “Divergent,” the name that is given to people with multiple aptitudes.
To make a long story short, Tris leaves her home faction–to the chagrin of her family –and joins Dauntless, the faction valuing bravery. She has to learn to fight, shoot a gun and perform in fight simulations. Tris falls in love along the way, and discovers a conspiracy against Divergent people and Tris’s home faction.” Tris and Four (her boyfriend, later) end up having to fight for their lives and try to save the political leaders from being brutally killed by the mind-controlled Dauntless.
Now, a few complaints. The factions are an interesting idea, but the thought that the vast majority of people would only have aptitude for one virtue is laughable, at best. At worst, it’s worrying. In a world where people only value one virtue, “their personal” virtue, you’re just asking for political dispute. Also– how do you agree upon anything? All terms are based on what we as a whole value most. If America was split into five parts, and one part disagreed that freedom was a base right of man, where would we be?
For another thing, where are the other virtues–chastity, prudence, fortitude? In a world where these and other virtues are absent (for the most part), what keeps the world from turning into a free-for-all, where you can do whatever you want and it’s morally permissible–as long as you keep your virtue in mind.
Finally, on to the story itself. I felt very excited after finishing the first book in the series, but it all went downhill from there. (If this next part is me being a “hater,” I apologize!) This is getting into the entire trilogy as well, and there are SPOILERS if you have not yet read the books, so I’ll give you the gist right here in case you don’t want it spoiled–the books are not worth reading because they are filled with overly violent battles, overly intimate romances not appropriate for people under high school (and even some people in high school!), and overly fake “Virtues.”
At the end of the second book, there is a scene where the characters are watching a video where people are being brutally killed and bloody images of that kind. Tris says that “it went on and on until I wanted to scream.” Or something like that. Well, that’s all fine, but I can’t understand why the video was any different from the life Tris was living.
I mean, seriously. She saw someone fall off of a roof and die. She saw one of her friends’ dead bodies after he killed himself. She shot one of her best friends when he was under mind control. She saw her mother shot and killed. She shot another guy in the arm. She saw another friend get filled with lead. I could go on!
Tris is living a bloody, battle-filled life, and I can’t see why Ms. Roth is trying to make Tris out as not being desensitized to this horror when she obviously is. Innocence is good. Fake innocence is not.
For another thing. You can have emotional intimacy and wonderfully appropriate romance together. I have read so many books labeled ‘romance’ with no intimate scenes whatsoever that were beautifully written (Jane Austen!). In Pride and Prejudice, one of the best romance novels of all time, Darcy and Elizabeth never even held hands! It was good enough for them in the 18th century, and it should be good enough now. Divergent is not labeled a ‘romance’ book at all, and yet there are multiple intimate scenes in the second and third books! Come on, guys. We’re better than this. Who do you think would be happier, Darcy and Elizabeth at Pemberly, or Tris and Four (Tobias) in this post-war, post-apocalyptic half-destroyed city, mowing down Dauntless and Erudites with machine guns if they get too close?
One final point. When I finished Divergent, I was excited and interested in the trilogy. By the end of the second, my brow was constantly furrowed and I kept flipping back to make sure this was the book I wanted to read. By the last book, I almost ditched it in disgust before I even finished it, but a friend is the one who made me finish. The plot overall was half-baked, in my opinion, and the seemingly meaningless twists only made me more bored.
A disclaimer. I am hard to please. I appreciated (SPOILER!) Tris’s sacrifice at the end of the final book, as well as many conversations Tris had with Four (not the romantic ones! The ones where they talked about worthwhile things, and virtue!) and her disgust with the suicide as well as other things. I enjoyed some parts of this series, and there were many worthwhile scenes. But I’m sorry, they don’t balance out the bad, boring, and weird parts.
I would not recommend this series. The overall plot is boring, the intense romantic and violent scenes are far too much, and the virtues are not enough to make up for it.
By the way. I have a lot of friends who obsess about this series. I am not judging them, nor am I judging you if you like these books. I am judging the writing.
Sorry this is so long!