Books I love #1

No more rants & complaints, now we move on to something more positive. I will start introducing you to series I absolutely loved! So instead of Book Series I didn’t finish, you now get the ones I DID finish/caught up with and totally adored.

MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood

Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journeyโ€“with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crakeโ€“through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.

  1. Orxyx and Crake
  2. The Year of the Flood
  3. MaddAddam

Here is my opinion on the first book, Oryx & Crake.

I should really read more books by Margaret Atwood because I always enjoy them. This trilogy got better with every book and left a lasting impression on me. While book 1 was still a bit slow and was told by the least interesting character in the whole series, book 2 & especially 3 exceeded my expectations. Book 1 & 2 run parallel to each other while 3 brings them both together and continues where they both finished off. Every book gives you the ‘lifestory’ of different characters. While 1 features Jimmy & Glenn, 2 focuses on Ren & Toby and finally in book 3 we learn about Zeb.

I plan to write reviews on the last 2 books in the future, I really should have done it after I finished them.

So what exactly made this trilogy one of my favourites?

  • the characters – the main protagonists and pov characters were all authentic. I especially loved Toby, who is one of the 2 main characters in the second novel. She seems hard & emotionless but has lots of heart, is clever and tough as hell.
  • it’s written beautifully – I am a big fan of Atwood’s style of writing! Also, it doesn’t just start in the beginning. It’s not a straight forward story. When we jump into the story, the catastrophe already happened and people are trying to cope with it. We get lots of flashbacks to the beginning and learn what happened.
  • the post-apocalyptic feel – science has gone too far, people became obsessed with living forever, the world has become a dangerous place where people have to be scared for their lives.
  • how real it felt – seriously. This could happen to us!
  • The ‘God’s Gardeners’ – there’s always someone who resists! People who’ve gone back to the old ways, they predicted the apocalypse and prepared for it. They are vegetarians, trying to live in harmony with nature and present a safe haven. I loved reading about the little community that lived in their rooftop garden.

———————————————————————————–

The Banned and the Banished by James Clemens

On a fateful night five centuries ago, three mages made a desperate last stand, sacrificing everything to preserve the only hope of goodness in the beautiful, doomed land of Alasea. Now, on the anniversary of that ominous night, a girl-child ripens into the heritage of lost power. But before she can even comprehend her terrible new gift, the Dark Lord dispatches his winged monsters to capture her and bring him the embryonic magic she embodies.

Fleeing the minions of darkness, Elena is swept toward certain doom–and into the company of unexpected allies. There she forms a band of the hunted and the cursed, the outcasts and the outlaws, to battle the unstoppable forces of evil and rescue a once-glorious empire . . .

  1. Wit’ch Fire
  2. Wit’ch Storm
  3. Wit’ch War
  4. Wit’ch Gate
  5. Wit’ch Star

 

I wasn’t sure whether I should include this series because it is a long, long time since I read it and when I look back now, I am not sure whether I would like it as much now. It might be worth a Re-Read! I decided to include the books because at the time I read them, which is about 13-15 years ago, I loved them to bits and couldn’t finish them fast enough. I got them from the library and remember that I was devastated that book 4 was not available when I wanted it. I read 5 first instead because I just couldn’t wait ๐Ÿ˜€

It’s a High Fantasy series featuring a small group of heroes trying to stop an ancient evil from gaining power and destroying the world. Nothing new there. The main character is a 13 year old girl called Elena who can work blood magic, something very special and dangerous. She is the only one who can stop the unknown dark lord and he wants to catch her before her powers become too strong.

So what did I like about this average sounding Fantasy series?

  • It was dark. I remember a vivid description of the main character’s parents burning to death at the start of the novel. I was still pretty young and didn’t read a lot of gory Fantasy so this was something new for me
  • It was very magical & colourful, there was every magical creature imaginable, giant spiders, murderous stone dwarfs, mermaids, magical artifacts, lost cities, worlds under the ocean, EVERYTHING! The world felt really big.
  • So much was happening – I didn’t remember boring moments, the group was always on the move, there was always some danger, some fight, some betrayal, action – I couldn’t catch a breath. Also, main characters were dying.
  • I was really into the ‘main’ romance that didn’t develop until the end of the series.. for reasons^^ I thought the author was a bit too much into pairing up almost all of the main characters which each other… Not a big fan of that, but fortunately the romancing didn’t take up too much space and there was no love triangle
  • I loved Elena and her development throughout the series. Also, all of her companions were unique characters I was interested in.
  • Betrayals and backstabbing!

One tiny thing I hated: The names had too many a’post’roph’es, that were no’t ne’cess’ary

 

Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin

Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she’s the most important person in the whole world.
She is.

Anthony Carter doesn’t think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row.
He’s wrong.

FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming.
It is.

  1. The Passage
  2. The Twelve
  3. The City of Mirrors

What I liked about this (Post-) Apocalyptic Trilogy

  • The scale of it. It feels much bigger than ‘just’ a trilogy. The books are big and epic and the whole thing covers hundreds of years. There are multiple flashbacks and perspectives.
  • The danger of the virals – the virals are more Vampires than Zombies, people who turned into strong, blood-thirsty monsters who always come out at night. A bite will either kill or transform you
  • There’s no plain ‘magic’, but something supernatural is going on
  • Amy, the main character of the trilogy, a young girl who was infected by the virus and changed into an immortal being. She’s changing and adapting throughout the novel and although she is sometimes passive or not the center of the action, she definitely is the thread that holds everything together.
  • The scientific aspect – we spend a lot of time in laboratories, watching experiments & investigations of the virus that was supposed to help but ended the world as we know it.
  • Life in colonies after the disaster, I love reading about how people cope after the apocalypse and this was exactly it.
  • The group of main characters from the colony, whom we follow for several years, including Peter, Sara, Hollis, Alicia….. Apart from Alicia who never grew on me, I loved the main characters and could identify with all of them
  • Emotions! This book made me cry several times because it was either so sad or written so beautifully
  • closure – every storyline is finished up nice & neatly. It’s a very bittersweet ending, just how I like it. Not everything is fine, but we will go on and manage

14 comments

    1. Did you think book 2 was too overly dramatic in the end or why didn’t you like it?

      Book 3 still had a lot of boring bits, especially in the middle and it took me a long time to get through it. But in the end I felt satisfied and that doesn’t happen very often when I finish a whole series. That’s why it belongs to my favourites now ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Without looking at my reviews: I seem to remember both books being overly large and filled with so much stuff that detracted from the core of the story. I also remember thinking “when is something going to happen?”.
        It didn’t help that I read the Passage at approximately the same time as I was read Hogan & Giullermo’s Strain trilogy, so they got mixed up a LOT in my brain.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I enjoyed Oryx and Crake – it took a bit of getting in to (I suspect I got hooked partly because I had a do little but read day with no other books on me, so just got on with it), but I adore Atwood’s writing. In the end I was gripped and horrified in equal measure – but for some reason I’ve never picked up the sequels as it stood alone so well. Sounds like I should fix that.

    Sadly The Passage was the opposite – I got very frustrated by it, although I enjoyed the central road trip section.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true, you CAN see it as a Stand Alone as well. And the main characters in book 2 are totally different although there are still lots of connections. It’s so good though, so if you already liked the first book you might like 2 as well ๐Ÿ™‚

      The Passage.. I get it, although I liked the trilogy as a whole, there were some parts that went on for too long and sometimes it was too dramatic

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚ After writing the post I got the first book of the series for my Kindle ๐Ÿ˜€ Eager to re-read and see how I like it now! Let me know if you plan to read it as well ๐Ÿ˜€ I hardly ever see it mentioned anywhere

      Liked by 1 person

  2. While I greatly enjoyed both Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, I could not wrap my head around Book 3: to me it seemed to have lost steam and purpose and did not catch my unwavering attention as its two predecessors did. Someday I will finish it, but right now I can’t summon the will to do it…

    Liked by 1 person

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