RAPID FIRE BOOK REVIEWS 3

Cover concept by Alii Kellner
I finally read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline! I loved it, but it is dense! Cline packs many facets of nerd culture and 80s pop culture into his novel. It's a conglomerate (look at that word choice) of anime, cartoons, TV shows, movies, video games, and music. There were so many references that I didn't bother to Google because it would distract my reading. Many references went over my head, but I understood most movie or music related ones. The book is also formatted into big chunky paragraphs that you have to plow through. Despite having a fantastical premise, it has depth, darkness, and a hint of realism. The world is a bleak place because of global warming, overpopulation, unemployment, crime, greed, Capitalism, etc. Virtual reality is the only escape people have, and technology is controlling society. It's a compelling plot, but it takes a detour because of the budding and unnecessary romance. Despite the questionable romance, this book has diversity and a fun story. I highly recommend this book!


The Book Smugglers 

I also read Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin. This book had a lot of elements. What if the Axis powers won? What if human experimentation led to supernatural developments? What if a revolution planned/staged a coup? I'm also going to add a motorcycle race because, why not? It felt like the every dystopian YA novel meme. It is a bit much, but Graudin is fantastic at building suspense. I was itching to find out what the wolves represent, what happened between Adele and Luka, if Adele won, and if she succeeded in killing Adolf Hitler. It's interesting and exciting, but it doesn't warrant a sequel. Also, this book took longer than usual to finish. I don't know if it's because of school, or because it's very slow.
Last, but not least, The Rose Master by Valentina Cano. This book is very similar to Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak. They're both set in the Victorian era and in a mysterious manor. The writing is beautiful and fantastic, but the characterization is sub-par. I thought the main character was very one-dimensional and boring. I wish she had more personality. There's also Lord Grey... He's more Dorian Gray in Penny Dreadful than Beast from Beauty and the Beast. This book is Victorian, Supernatural, and eerie/creepy. The magic system is very unique, but the plot is predictable. It's also a great Beauty and the Beast retelling, which we all know I love.

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