Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hollowland, Angelfire, & Heart of Brass Mini Reviews

     Today is take 2 in my multi-book reviews. I made some tweaks and I've changed the name, but hopefully it's just as helpful as my old reviews were. Below you'll find more details on each book including summaries, checklists, categories, and protagonist meters. My reviews are also posted on Goodreads. So follow me there.



Hollowland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hollowland - the first book in the young adult dystopian series The Hollows...
"This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."

Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.

I feel the need to give this five stars. Sure there were typos (not as many as were in Switched) and some continuity errors, but the story shined right through for me.

Recommended & Honorable Mention

*The following ratings are for Hollowland. For Hollowmen, click here*
Yes/No Checklist
Sex: Yes
Gore: Yes
Rape: No
Magic: Um, zombies?
Drugs: No

Star Categories
Romance: 4.5 Stars *I actually crushed on the romantic lead
Action: 5 Stars
Pacing: 4.5 Stars
Writing: 3.5 Stars *Typos and such make this rating
Plot: 4.5 Stars *The story was so good, I didn't care about the typos
Overall: 5 Stars

Protagonist Meter
Damsel---------*-Badass
This girl can kick some serious zombie ass! I only knocked her one point because she is not as effective against uninfected humans.

Angelfire (Angelfire, #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First there are nightmares.
Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

Then come the memories.
When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie's power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie's memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Now she must hunt.
Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.

It took me a really long time to finish this book. I really had a hard time connecting to Ellie. However, there were some developments in the story near the end that took things to a new level. So I'm looking forward to the third book.

Recommended

Yes/No Checklist
Sex: No
Gore: Sorta
Rape: No
Magic: Yes
Drugs: Alcohol

Star Categories
Romance: 4 Stars
Action: 4 Stars
Pacing: 2.5 Stars
Writing: 3.5 Stars
Plot: 4.5 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars

Protagonist Meter
Damsel-------*---Badass
Ellie has the power to be badass and the training to kick a lot of butt, but it takes her a really long time to come into it.

Heart of Brass (Clockwork Agents, #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Arden is an undercover agent for one of the most powerful organizations of this steam-powered world—the Wardens of the Realm, a group with extraordinary abilities, dedicated to protecting England against evil.

Arden Grey enjoys a life most women in 1898 London can’t even dream of: she has the social status, wealth, and independence of a countess. She also has the ability to witness the final moments of a murder victim’s life. But ever since the disappearance of her husband, Lucas, none of this means anything to her. Until one night, when Arden spies a man watching her—a man she recognizes as her missing husband.

He’s been ordered to assassinate Arden as retribution for her part in the killing of a Company agent. Luke remembers nothing of his life before The Company, a corrupt agency that has erased his memory. Even so, something prevents him from completing his assignment. There is something familiar about his lovely target, something that attracts him and fills him with dread. For he knows that if he doesn’t kill her, someone else will—and kill him as well.

I very much enjoyed this book. It was sweet, sexy, and had great Steampunk elements. I very much look forward to the sequel.

Recommended & Honorable Mention

Yes/No Checklist
Sex: Yes
Gore: Yes
Rape: No
Magic: Steampunk elemants that aren't quite science, but not quite magic.
Drugs: Alcohol

Star Categories
Romance: 4.5 Stars
Action: 3.5 Stars
Pacing: 4 Stars
Writing: 4.5 Stars
Plot: 4.5 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars

Protagonist Meter
Damsel---*-------Badass
The Female lead in this is smart, resourceful, and a bit of an inventor. However, she's not much of a badass. The male lead in this is the opposite. He is a badass and he's not someone that I would want to mess with.
Thank you:

14 comments:

  1. I love the check list! Is it okay if I use that idea?
    How do you know when to use it, just when you need a quicker review up?

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  2.  Yes, Please use my checklist and make it your own. Maybe you could show your thanks by linking back to me in your next review, but otherwise go ahead. To answer your second question. I hate long reviews. When I'm looking up reviews to help me pick what books to buy next I look for short-and-to-the-point reviews. Just tell me what I need to know and let me get to it. Because of that, I try to keep my own reviews super short. But I still want to help people decide if the book is for them or not. I think the checklist and star categories really help with that. I'm currently working to add them to all of my reviews. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I sure will! Thank you :).
    That's one reason why it takes so long for me to get a review up because it takes me so long to write them up! But this is going to work perfect, and I can always add more if I think it really needs it. I'm so excited thank you!

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  4. Sometimes I think reviewers are too impressed with their own voices lol. What they don't realize is that reviews are so very subjective. Just because you loved or hated something doesn't mean that I'll feel the same way. Ya know? Plus, who has time to sit and read page after page of five paragraph reviews? Not me! I would love to see more people reviewing like this. So, you'll have to send me your next review. I'd love to see how it turns out :D

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  5. Haha, I just have a problem with talking too much! But I'm trying to keep the as short as I can because honestly when I see someone's review as long as my other's have been I don't read them haha. I should save the long winded-ness for a book club or something.
    I've just posted a new review tonight! I'd love feedback if you have time.
    http://essenceofdreaming.blogspot.com/
    I'm not sure if I want to keep putting the Goodreads Summary on the review or just have the link. Still thinking on that one.

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  6. About the summary, that's up to you. I think it's stupid to post the summary, if you're posting your review on goodreads. It drives me nuts when people do that. I know what the summary is-- I'm on goodreads, for crying out loud! However, on your blog I think you don't want to give your viewers a reason to leave your site. So by providing them with the summary, then they don't have to go look for it. I might even start providing links to purchase the book on Amazon and B&N. That way my readers get all of the info they need right here. You could consider highlighting the summary or something to help separate it visually from the rest of the text. I got that idea from other blogs. I liked it because then if I wasn't interested in reading the summary, I knew right where the review started and could skip right to it. So, ya know, lots to consider XD

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  7. Lots of great idea's to consider, thank you!
    What I want to do with the summary I think is put it in a box like this:
    http://lcsadventuresinlibraryland.blogspot.com/2012/06/book-review-eldest.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lcsAdventuresInLibraryland+%28**LC%27s+Adventures+in+Libraryland**%29
    But I haven't figured out how to do that yet. Is there a tool when I'm writing up my review that does that?

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  8. Hey, now that is a cool blog. I wish I could draw like that. The box that she has around her summary is the sort of thing that gave me the idea for what I did above. However, there isn't a tool for that. I'm betting it's HTML coding. I haven't found any codes yet, so I've been using the highlight tool. If I find any coding, I'll let you know for sure.

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  9. Oh I also wanted to ask you: Are you coming back to my blog and checking to see if I replied or are you being notified each time I reply? Just wondering. The company that designed the comment form updated everything, so I was wondering if that was something they had changed.

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  10. Very cool blog! My mission in life to figure out she did all that! She does blog make-overs on the side I think too.
    For now I just made the Goodreads Summary a different font color until I learn/hear about how to make the box. Thank you! And if I hear about it, I'll let you know as well!
    And yes, I get e-mails letting me know when you reply. I like that much better than when you have the option of checking the box to get reply e-mails because most of the time I forget to do that.

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  11. Oh and also, how do you make the entire back ground of the text highlighted? When I do it, it only highlights the words and not the entire paragraph.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh good! I'm glad that it notifies you. It didn't used to do that for people unless they already had an account with Disqus. Btw, if you want the comment form on your blog, just click the logo in the bottom right corner and sign up. It's super easy to do and way better than the traditional blogger comment layout.

    What LC did on her blog, is actually pretty easy. All you need to do is learn some HTML coding, which seems hard at first but once you get the hang of it, it's a breeze. Just learning some basic codes can really improve your blog's appearance. The great thing about blogger is that it's all about trial and error. You can learn how to do just about anything online and then you just have to try it out. The only major benefit that LC has is that she has a talent for drawing. So she can create custom logos and stuff. I can't do that. I can create things and manipulate things in a graphics program and that's how I did this blog, but I can't free-hand anything. I'm really jealous of her there.

    Ok Text Boxes. I managed to find one style of box that I sorta like. I did up one of my reviews with it and I posted it in my fake blog here: http://testrtesat.blogspot.com/2012/06/test-text-box.html <-- that will give you an idea of what it would look like. I like the border and the fact that I can make the background the same as the highlight I was using before. I don't care for the way the image sits in it. It seems that the image can only be in the box or outside of it, but it can't sit on top of it with the text wrapping around like LC did. Because of that I haven't decided if I want to use this text box or not. I'm trying to figure out how to do it like she did, but I'm not having a ton of luck. To try this yourself, go here: http://tricks-for-new-bloggers.blogspot.com/2007/08/highlighted-text-with-colored.html Scroll till you see "Highlighted Text with Colored Background".

    How did I do the highlight that covers the whole page? I placed my cursor near the bottom side of the page, clicked, and dragged to the top. I then selected the highlight color that I wanted. It fills it all in automatically. I think for this to work, your text has to be aligned to the left and not centered. Once it's highlighted, I think you can then center it. Other than that, I don't know what to tell you.

    EDIT: I just found an even better page! This page sets it up as a border instead of a table, which allows the image to sit on top of it just like in LC's reviews. I added an example to the fake post that I linked to above. So you can see a difference. The best part is that this new setup is more customizable. You can change color, sizes, and layout very easily. Go to this page: http://www.squidoo.com/html-backgrounds- <--- There you will find a million different styles that you can use. It's as easy as copy and paste. Woohoo! I'm really excited about this lol.

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  13. So I just got Hollowland it was actually free today on amazon for the kindle version if anyone is interested. I personally haven't read any zombie books yet do I'm excited to try this one. I personally really enjoyed Angelfire but I can understand the reasons why you didn't love it. Wings of the wicked is better there is a lot more action in it. I haven't read anything by Katie Cross yet I actually just got the girl in the steel corset this week and I am really excited to read it I have heard great things about it. Thanks for the great reviews!!!!

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  14. I hope you like Hollowland. You can't go wrong with free! You have to let me know if you like it or not. I have high hopes for Wings of the Wicked. I've heard great things about it. I've even heard that the things I didn't like in book one are suppose to be better or nonexistent in book two. So high hopes! I have the Girl in The Steel Corset as well, but I haven't read it yet. After reading Heart of Brass, I really really want too. I read in a review that the characters in Heart of Brass are also in The Girl in The Steel Corset. I didn't know that and, aside from that one review, I haven't seen any indication that it is true. However, I hope it is. It would be really cool to see another side of that world from the YA perspective.

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Then she heard it; the thudding of swift moving, heavy paws. She tapped the reins against Charming’s neck. He spun on his heel as Belle drew one of her revolvers... Find out what happens next in THE BEAST: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z5LOJVA