Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review Day: Under the Never Sky & World War Z

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So finally read Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky last week. Can I just do a quick dystopian gush? I've read a handful of popular dystopian books over the past few months and loved them all! I'm so impressed with today's dystopian authors! Most I've only read book 1 of, though I intend to read Insurgent and Fragments in the next few weeks. Don't know when I'll get to Through the Ever Night, but can't wait until I do! Just loving these books!

Okay, fangirl rave over with. On to the review.

So Aria (at first I thought this was a copycat variation of Arya, but she's actually named after the musical term) lives in a world of pods. In her world, the sky is full of deadly blue lightning known as aether. To protect themselves from it, society has built protective pods known as the Reverie, where they can simulate any feeling or sensation because they can never leave confined spaces. When Aria's mother goes missing, she joins some rebels doing the equivalent of vandalizing a damaged pod, trying to get information about her mother. When disaster ensues, she's kicked out of the Reverie, into the unprotected part of the world where only 'Savages' live. Of course she meets some not-so-savage Savages with problems with their own and both adventure and romance ensue. Yeah, my kind of book.

Aria's a great character--both naive and adventurous, and loyal to those she cares about. I also really like Perry. He's ambitious but loving--a real sweet guy but also a fierce hunter. Rossi's world has cannibals, factions, corruption at high levels, and plenty of other danger. There are truths to discover and plenty of set-ups for book 2. 

And can I just rave about the title! You guys know I'm a student of original titles, and this one both sounds cool and is well-incorporated into the story. The idea of the "Never" sky is Aria's way of describing/dealing with the blue lightening that perpetually threatens them all. And then there's the fleeting legend of the Still Blue, which suggests there might be a solution to this dangerous element of their world. So much longing and promise. And SO well-written! 

I totally loved this book and would highly recommend it to any dystopian lover! Can't wait to get my hands on book 2! :D

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World War Z by Max Brooks

This is another book that has a film version coming out this year, which was the main reason I want to read it. This book is kind of different in terms of it's format. It's set up like a pseudo-documentary; a journalist interviewing different people about their zombie apocalypse experiences and what insight their individual expertise and views can lend the catastrophe.

Many of them work high-up jobs as politicians, influential scientists and physicians, etc., while others are just laymen and everyday joes. While we just listen to interesting (sometimes horrific) stories of people's experiences and it feels like we're just watching 20/20, he actually gives us a very well-rounded idea of the events and timeline of the zombie outbreak on a world-wide scale.

All that said, I have to admit I didn't end up being a huge  fan of the format. It started out really interesting, but it just didn't work for me overall. Don't get me wrong, I get why people loved this and it was a best-seller, but I found myself getting bored. First of all, the book begins by basically saying that the zombie apocalypse is over and the world, though in ruins, did survive and is starting to rebuild. Though it's a common thing to do, I'm never a fan of telling the ending first. Yeah, in fiction it gives you an end point to work toward, but I'd always rather be surprised. In this particular novel it was even worse because this wasn't formatted like a regular story. All the short stories put together never had a common thread or character, so there was no character to root for and no climax to work toward; nothing you wanted to see play out based on the information given at the beginning.

Because of that, like I said, I got bored and had a hard time finishing it. I think the movie looks fun--hopefully I won't be disappointed there as well--and I'm glad I read it to get an idea of what it was, even if I did just skim large chunks of it. If the format sounds like something you'd like, then you probably will. For me, I doubt I'll pick this up again.

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Has anyone else read either of these books? What did you think?

2 comments :

  1. The movie version of World War Z sound more interesting. Make you wonder about his father's influence in getting this book published, doesn't it?

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  2. I think the idea is strong, but telling it backwords spills a lot of tension.

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