I've been WOEFULLY behind on reviewing this month (and, er, last month), but to say it's been busy over in Gillianville would be an understatement. But in an attempt to catch up, I'm going to partake in a revewing SPREE, knocking out as many books as I can in one fell swoop. BUCKLE UP, IT'S GOING TO BE A BUMPY POST.
ETA: So, that ended up being a pretty short spree.
Release date: April 15th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt (Macmillan)
Length: 336 pages
Source: ARC from the publisher
First off: BLESS THIS COVER REDESIGN, because holy mackeral, is the original terrible and the new great. Now on to the bad news. I could not get into the groove of this book. I found the writing really rough (hopefully not because it was a translation and VERY clunky. The jokes didn't charm me, the story was strangely slow and unengaging, and while I think if I'd been willing to push past a really awkward and ungainly start, I might have been charmed by the main character (maybe?), I just didn't ahve the patience at the time to put in the effort. Love the concept, but I'm not wowed by the execution. But I may try this one a bit closer to pub date, since they pushed back the release from January and I now have more time! You have a second chance, book!
Verdict: Try again later.
Release date: February 10th, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte (Random House)
First book of 2015 to make me truly question my life choices. DNF on page 28. I may get back to this one, but to be honest, the beginning is absolutely terrible, and my desire to continue is very low. The writing is all tepid telling, the worldbuilding is hideously poorly explained (I have zero clue what is going on), and then there are these examples, again, all from the first 30 pages:
John was handsome, with a finely carved face, blue eyes, and brown hair tinted gold from the summer sun. He was strong and quick, and Quin had been in love with him for some time.
And then, a paragraph later:
Shinobu's mother had been Japanese, and his face had taken the best features from the East and the West and combined them into something nearly perfect. He had straight, dark red hair and a wiry body that was already taller than that of the average Japanese male.
Just me, or is that, um, a SUPER PROBLEMATIC description??
Quin had dark hair cut chin length and a lovely face with ivory skin and large, dark eyes. Those eyes flashed mischievously at him as he followed.
"I need you," he whispered to her. "I don't want to be alone...I love you, Quin..."
Then they were kissing again
"It's meant to be, the two of us together."
The trouble cleared from Quin's face a little. She almost smiled. "It's meant to be," she agreed.
It had always seemed to John that Shinobu was in love with Quin, but since they were cousins of some sort, there was never a question of Quin feeling anything romantic towards Shinobu.
John's eyes were deep. That was how Quin had always thought of them. When he was with her, they would flash with humor and love, but at other times they were desolate and hungry, as though searching for something far away and out of reach.
Then there's the fact that, besides being in Scotland, I have no idea when or in what universe this is set. There's an airship, and futuristic weapons, and people called the...Dreads? Don't know who the hell they are. The writing just isn't for me.
Verdict: HARD PASS