Friday, 16 January 2015

Spoiler Free Sequel Reviews: Idols & The Infinite Sea!

Author: Margaret Stohl
Edition: Harper Voyager Paperback
Released: 3rd July 2014
Series: Icons #2
Pages: 418 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

The following synopsis contains spoilers for the first book but the review does not.

The Icons came from the sky. They belong to an inhuman enemy. They ended our civilization, and they can kill us. Most of us.

Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas are the four Icon Children, the only humans immune to the Icon's power to stop a human heart. Now that Los Angeles has been saved, things are more complicated - and not just because Dol has to choose between Lucas and Ro, the two great loves of her life. As she flees to a resistance outpost hidden beneath a mountain, Dol makes contact with a fifth Icon Child, if only through her visions. When Dol and the others escape to Southeast Asia in search of this missing child, Dol's dreams, feelings and fears collide in an epic showdown that will change more than just four lives - and stop one heart forever.

I absolutely adored the first book in this series, Icons (review HERE), so was really excited to continue on with the series and delve into Idols. The first book introduced a plotline and situation unique to the dystopian genre and I was excited to see how it would be developed in the next book. However, I had problems with the sequel and my love for it was nothing like my love for the first book.

Time for the bullet points.
  • I got confused. I felt, quite a few times, I should've reread the first book to fully understand what was going on. In any sequel, I like it when the author does a quick relay of the previous events somehow but I just didn't get that in this book and forgot things crucial to the storyline.
  • After reading the first book, I stated in my review how I'd love for the author to explore and develop the relationships of different people in the group and the dynamics of the group as a whole but, unfortunately, I didn't feel like anything was explored or developed. Or not much, anyway.
  • There was a point in the novel which seemed to slow the pace down, so it got a little boring for a while. However, the pacing, in general, was decent.
  • There were points in the book where Dol was jumping between her two suitors and it was reminiscent of America Singer from the Selection trilogy. I was not happy.
Now let me point out the good things.
  • I really liked the cultural aspects woven into the book. Especially when they were in Southeast Asia. It was an enjoyable part of the story for me.
  • The characters were still flawed which I liked. It gave them that extra depth and made them feel more real.
Though the book did have it's good points, it was a disappointment considering how much I loved the first book.
 THREE TOADSTOOLS TO IDOLS!
 
Author: Rick Yancey
Edition: Penguin Paperback
Released: 16th September 2014
Series: The Fifth Wave #2
Pages: 300 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

I don't know, maybe just to be on the safe side don't read the following blurb if you haven't read the first book but, as before, the review is spoiler free.
 
How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

Admittedly, I didn't much like the first book in this series. It was good, but not great, and I think the hype monster might have influenced my feelings toward it. However, a few people were telling me that the sequel was better and I should continue on with the series. I did. And I'm glad I did.

Two of the things I really enjoyed in this instalment were the pacing and the characters. The pacing was fast and I never seemed to lose interest in the storyline because of it. However, I think the characters played a bigger role in investing me. I really liked the relationship dynamics between different characters (particularly Ben and Cassie) as well as the varying personalities of them all. Cassie had a fiery attitude. Ben was flawed (which, if you haven't caught on, I love). Sam evoked my maternal instincts. I also liked how we got a glimpse into the past of one of our side characters, even if it wasn't the happiest. Also, maybe you've clued in, but I kind of ship Ben and Cassie (even if it's delusional). I just think there's something there and I really like the way they interact. Evan's okay and I warmed up to him a little more in this book but he still isn't... y'know. Ringer also grew on me. But, like, only a little bit.

However, one thing I found with the first book, I found with the sequel too. The writing style. As much as I don't want to admit it, I got confused quite a number of times - whether it was purely down to the writing style or simply my general understanding of what was happening in that moment of the storyline.

Overall, I really did enjoy this one and now feel invested in the series and will be carrying it on, despite the one problem I still continued to have with it.

FOUR TOADSTOOLS TO THE INFINITE SEA!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

4 comments:

  1. Really interesting reviews - I've not read either of these series, but have wanted to read The 5th Wave for ages. I'm glad you enjoyed both of these! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it when you come to it! xx

      Delete
  2. I also got confused quite a lot in the Infinite Sea, I thought it was just me though - so glad to see it's not! ;D I also kind of ship Ben and Cassie. I shipped her and Evan in the first book but then I started shipping Ben and Cassie so...>.< Fantastic reviews, Rachel! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woo! *high five* So glad you see where I'm coming from with the whole Ben/Cassie thing! Thank you! x

      Delete

YOU ARE BEYOND AMAZING! Thank you for sharing your thoughts/opinions/feels! I'll be replying to your comment [hopefully] shortly!