Hey there :)
First of all, I want to apologise for being so absent this past week. It has been a very weird time for me, to say the least, and it probably won’t get any better for a few more days, either.
But anyway, here you have three tiny mini reviews for some books that I read in December and January, namely The Monstrumologist, UnWholly, and UnSouled.
I hope that you, like me, like your stories a little bit disturbing from time to time. ;)
There will be no spoilers, except in the synopsis of UnWholly and UnSouled, of course.
Author: Rick Yancey
Publication Date: July 20th 2010
Length: 434 pages (Paperback)
Series: The Monstrumologist #1
Synopsis from Goodreads:
These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.
So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthorpe, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.
A gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does man become the very thing he hunts?
The first time I heard about this series, I thought it was middle-grade.
Now, though? Not so much.
I have never been the kind of person who enjoys being afraid. I’ve never liked horror movies, I’ve always avoided ghost stories, and I’ve never found roller coasters even remotely fun.
In other words, I’m a bit of a chicken.
Surprisingly, though…the last year or so, I have realised that I really enjoy gory books. I’m not sure why, but for some reason, I find it so much fun reading about blood and other macabre and disgusting things (not too disgusting, though. There is a line I prefer not to be crossed).
Well, this book had its fair share of disgusting, that’s for certain, and I thought it was so entertaining. It was scary, but not too scary, and it never gave me any problems after I had put it down, which is one reason why I don’t like scary movies. I would probably not recommend you to give it to a kid, though…
Other than the monsters and the parts where people were eaten alive (ya know, the usual stuff), I also really enjoyed the relationship between Will Henry and the Monstrumologist. It was so interesting and complex, and I’m really excited to see how it will develop further on in the series.
“When he did speak to me, it was rarely to engage me in conversation; rather, our roles were rigidly defined. His was to speak; mine was to pay attention. He held forth; I listened. He: the operator; I: the audience.”
I found the story slightly too slow, though, and I definitely liked the second half better than the first. I thought the chapters were too long, which can be a bit of a problem for me since I prefer not to stop reading in the middle of one. So long chapters can, like in this case, result in me hesitating before starting a new chapter after just finishing one.
In conclusion, I really liked this book. It had mystery, horror, interesting characters, and to be honest, reminded me a little bit of a monster-version of Sherlock Holmes, which I find positive. Some parts were sort of slow, and it took longer than it should have for me to get through it, but I will definitely continue on with the series. :)
Recommended to those who can handle blood and horrible deaths….aaand not to those who can’t.
“There are times when fear is not our enemy. There are times when fear is our truest, sometimes only friend.”
“I did not argue with him, though; I did not have the words to argue. I, at twelve, had only the inarticulate protests of a child whose acute sense of justice has been offended by the pious rationalizations of an authoritarian adult.”
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publication Date: August 28th 2012
Lenght: 402 pages (Hardcover)
Series: Unwind Dystology #2
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa — and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp — people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.
Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.
Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live.
If you’ve read my review of Unwind, you know how much I loved that darn book…and I can now happily say that UnWholly didn’t disappoint one bit!
It is, admittedly, a little bit different from Unwind, but it’s not that noticeable that Shusterman waited five years to finish this book, and that is quite impressive in my opinion. :) The characters still felt like the same people, except, of course, that they had developed and changed a lot since the beginning of the first book.
UnWholly was definitely a lot more frustrating to read than Unwind (you should see my notes), but frustrating in a good way. You know the feeling when you kind of hold your breath, not sure if you should cry, laugh, scream, or throw the book at the wall? When you want to run a mile just because you don’t know what to do with yourself. When you so desperately want to help the characters — warn them — but you can’t. It’s like watching someone drown, but not being able to save them since you can’t swim yourself.
Well, that’s basically how I felt this entire book, and that, my friends, is proof that Shusterman managed to make me care. To make me feel invested in the story.
To say the least, UnWholly was just as brilliantly written as Unwind, and Neal Shusterman keeps surprising me with his many twists and turns (I actually gasped). The characters kept being awesome, and it was really interesting to see how they all handled the terrible things they’d been through. I’m so in love with this series!
“You could have killed that boy,” his father had reprimanded. “And why? Because of words? Words don’t hurt you.” Which is one of the hugest criminal lies perpetrated by adults against children in the world. Because words hurt more than any physical pain.”
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publication Date: October 15th 2013
Length: 416 pages (Hardcover)
Series: Unwind Dystology #3
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they’re not just running away from something. This time, they’re running toward answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to bringing down unwinding forever.
Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. Because he knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human.
With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, the paths of Connor, Lev, Cam, and Risa will converge explosively—and everyone will be changed. apart.
I could go on and on about this book for all eternity, but since I don’t feel like repeating myself, I suggest you go read my review of Unwind if you want to know more about my feelings toward Neal Shusterman’s writing and such. :)
UnSouled was, in my opinion, slightly less eventful than its predecessors, and felt a little bit like a build-up to the last book, but I still thought it was insanely good. There’s so much character development that it fills my reader heart with joy. :D Shusterman is so good at creating complex and interesting characters, and I’m especially curious when it comes to Cam. He’s not my favourite or anything (far from it), but I never quite know what to make of him, which I sort of think is the point.
You should definitely pick this one up if you’ve read and enjoyed the previous books in the series. :)
“Hope can be bruised and battered. It can be forced underground and even rendered unconscious, but hope cannot be killed.”