Book Review – Uglies: Cutters by Scott Westerfeld and Devin Grayson

Title: Uglies: Cutters

Author: Scott Westerfeld and Devin Grayson

Illustrator: Steven Cummings

Format: Paperback

Published: 2012

 

As I have stated many times before my favorite author is Scott Westerfeld, so it should not be a surprise that I would be drawn in by a graphic novel that is at least partially by him and part of the world of Uglies and Pretties that he created.  I know I wasn’t through the roof for Shay’s story the first graphic novel but again I had to read this all the same.

 

The general story of the Uglies universe is a world that is set in the distant future where people are controlled and kept at peace by being equally beautiful and not having a want in the world.  Of course the secret to keeping everyone peaceful and in control is much more than a surgery that makes people pretty but I won’t go into details so as not to ruin the story for your but the world is interesting all the same and one I immensely enjoyed when I first read it.  The main story focuses on Tally Youngblood as she is the main heroin.  She had a close friend Shay who is major contributing factor in pushing Tally to do what she does in much of the series.  This graphic novel takes on the story of Shay and her perspective on things.

 

This is the second graphic novel that focuses on Shay the first one was Shay before she became a petty and before she met Tally and how she saw things in the story of Tally that we read in Uglies.  This graphic novel picks up and tells the story of Shay and her take on things during the time that we follow Tally in Pretties.

 

In the past I did read and review the first of Shay’s story and wasn’t wowed by it but all the same I still found myself picking up the second book and honestly I wasn’t wowed by it either.  It was interesting to see how Shay saw things, but the story was weird all the same.  Instead of just telling Shay’s story there was commentary from the main villain Dr. Cable periodically in the story and there was a fantasy story that kind of worked as an allegory for the main story.  It kind of broke things up a lot and I wasn’t fond of it.  I didn’t feel that the fantasy story fit in well though I very much got what point it was trying to make.

 

Unless Shay was your absolute favorite character in the books, I would not recommend this book.  It gave me a bit of insight but otherwise the story was flat to me and I wasn’t fond of it.  Over all I’ll give this story a 2 out of 5 pages simply because it wasn’t the most atrocious thing I’ve read but honestly I found it a bit dull.

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Book Review – Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Afterworlds

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Format: Audiobook

Published: 2014

 

Generally speaking I do not make a habit of listening to books I have not read first. It is a weird rule of mine. When I listen to books I’m traveling to work and am stuck in massive traffic jams. I need to many times keep my attention on the road and not on what is coming out of my radio. It is why I pick books with which I am familiar that way I do not get caught up with the story and neglect to pay attention to the road before me and the jerks who suddenly decide to cut me off.

 

Yet, I reached a point where the book I was familiar with was not in yet and I had just finished the previous book, I was in a bind and I needed something good and I needed something fast. So desperately I took to looking at the books that were in at my library and my eyes fell upon Afterworlds. I debated for a very long time. Should I go with something new or rack my brain for something old that I enjoyed. In the end I choose after worlds and I’m glad I did. The book was rather good, though I admit it was a bit of a mind screw at the same time.

 

The premise of the book is two stories at once. The first story is of Darcy a young girl who wrote a novel in November for National Novel Writing Month. (Funny that’s going on right now!) Once completing the novel she submitted her story to an agent for publication and got signed for an amazing deal not only for the one book but for a sequel as well. To be honest, the deal she got was a little too good to be true based on my experience and research of the publishing industry. The other story is Darcy’s novel Afterworlds about a girl named Lizzie who has a harrowing experience where she should have died but instead can will herself between the world of the living and the world of the dead.

 

Throughout the novel the story goes back and forth between the two plot arcs. Darcy’s world is one of deep fascination. She is navigating waters that are still foreign to me but I have read a lot about, the world of publication. As I read her tale I found myself sitting there going ‘Is this what it is really like? Or is this a convenient plot point?’ I always asked that question as I struggle to believe the reality of the generous contract Darcy received at the start of the story. Yet I know there has to be some nuggets of truth littered in the story as the author Scott Westerfeld is a seasoned published author.

 

The other half of the story about Lizzie was creepy and gripping as well. I loved the fantasy element and the picture that was painted of the afterlife in this world. I was gripped by this story as well as it was filled with intrigue and suspense. The story came to a nice end which was built up as in Darcy’s story she debated the end most thoroughly. I do know that I wonder if there will be a second book simply because Darcy was signed for a sequel and she had an interesting start of an idea to write for her next book.   If there is you can be assured that I will want to read it because I enjoyed this story and would give it a 4 out of 5 pages and because it is a story by my all-time favorite author.

 

Book Review – Uglies Shay’s Story

Title: Uglies Shay’s Story

Authors: Scott Westerfeld, Devin Grayson

Illustrator: Seven Cummings

Format: Paperback

Published:  2012

 

It can be easily said that one of my favorite authors right out is Scott Westerfeld.  I have admired every single book of his that I have read.  I think this man is a master of his craft as he tells nothing but amazing and gripping stories even his weakest stories are still something I very much enjoy.  I envy him his skills in a good way.  So when I learned that there was a comic book that he had a hand in that gives more story to Scott’s amazing Uglies Story I had to read it.

 

To describe this book is difficult.  It was good the images were fun and gave me a lot of great visuals it was awesome to see some of the characters instead of just imagining them but at the same time, I don’t know the story was certainly not as strong as the original story. Really it has been a long time since I read them and I think that might have been some of my failing.  This book is certainly a companion to the main series and I think it would have helped if I had re-read the main series before getting to this story. As there were moments when the story crossed over with the book and in favor of not re-telling that story it left me going wait – what happened here? I know I should know what happened here but I don’t remember!

 

The book was good but really needs to be read shortly after you have read Scott’s book Uglies first.  Really this book has made me want to unpack my books and fine the Uglies series and re-read the story because it was that good and it filled me with nostalgia for the good read that the books were.  Over all I would give this a 3 out of 5 pages because it was a good read and it would be better if I remembered the original story better.

Book Review – Midnighters: Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Midnighters: Touching Darkness

Author:  Scott Westerfeld

Format: Hardback

Written/Published: 2004

When asked who my favorite author is, my answer is always Scott Westerfeld.  To me he is my literary hero always crafting a brilliant story with a unique twist and fascinating characters that I always enjoy.  Of his entire published collection I’ve read all of them but the Midnighter series and his Steam Punk book.  A while ago I set out on a mission to rectify this problem considering that I do consider myself to be such a big fan of his work.  Thus I read and reviewed the first book in the Midnighter series and am now coming to you with the second.

Thinking about this book it is hard to come up with what to say about the book.  It took me three weeks to read the book.  This time frame doesn’t exist because it was a bad book or overly long, it was just a matter that I hadn’t been in the mood to read much and my head wasn’t there with the book.  It quite possibly would have taken me another week to finish the book if it weren’t for the fact that my library won’t let me renew it as there is a hold on the book.  So I blitzed my way to the end so I can return it fully read and not incur a late fee.

Over all it was a good book, it only spans the time of a week which in some ways is intense for what all happens in this book.  It starts out with Jessica Day the newest midnighter to Bixby Oklahoma finds that she has a stalker that seems to know about the midnight hour.  Why else would he be sitting outside her house poised with a camera taking pictures right at the stroke of midnight?  From this discovery things spiral out of control as there is a discovered group of people who work for the darklings in the day light hours and they want to kill Jessica and kidnap Rex to make a half human half darkling hybrid.  It’s bizarre and intense, yes but somehow this crazy talk for the plot actually works and translates well on the page, and this is why I think Scott is a master of his craft.

As to my opinion of the book I feel it is a bit of a classic middle book, it is good but I feel most of it was just as set up for the third book after we got the character introduction from the first book.  Still much like any middling story it has its merits and should not go readily amiss.  This is why I will give this book a four page rating, because it is good and if I had taken the time to read it properly rather than allow it to drag out it would have left a stronger impression with me.  If you are into weird science fiction, like Scott Westerfeld or looking for a good read then the second book is worth your time though I wouldn’t recommend starting with it.

Book Review – Midnighters: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Midnighters: The Secret Hour

Author: ScottWesterfeld

Format: Hardback

Written/Published: 2004

 

Scott Westerfeld, by far is one of my all-time favorite authors, it isn’t just a matter that I like him and his work and will be inclined to pick up a book by him if it sounds interesting, generally speaking if I’m told the man wrote it I will willingly read it because I know that it going to be a good read.  I have read most of his work and have loved every book I have read.  The only books I haven’t read by him is the remaining books in this series and his steam punk series which I believe will be reviewed by someone other than me.   Thus if ever a person is looking for an author recommendation Scott Westerfeld is at the tip of my tongue stating that any of his books are fantastic from there I can proceed listing his books in order of what I think is the best to not as amazing but still freaking good.  Easily I could probably spend this entire review expressing my love for Scott as an author but I will spare you my fan-girling and tell you about the book.

 

Midnighters is about a group of teenagers who were all born at the midnight hour and can thus access a secret 25th hour in the day.  It is a dangerous time filled with mysteries and surprises where ever you turn and it is a brand new experience for Jessica Day who just moved into Bixby Oklahoma (one of the few places that the 25th hour also known as the midnight hour can be experienced).  The story follows Jessica as she adjusts to having this extra hour in her life and dealing with these dark creatures that wish her dead and attack her without cause or provocation which is not how the creatures usually operate.  It is a story that is a bit slow to start but by the sixth which is only 40 pages in things really pick up and you find yourself engrossed in the world of the Midnighters, always feeling that fuzzy haze of coming out of a good read if I had to put the book down.  Toward the end, I was so wrapped up with the book that the only thing that actually pulled me away from it was the offer of fresh cookie dough courtesy of my fabulous roommate but I was quacking engrossed once more eager to reach the end to know what happens next.  Overall, I would give this book a 4 page rating and strongly encourage you to read at least something by Scott Westerfeld!

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