Book Review: “The Only Ones” by Aaron Starmer

This cover kind of sums up everything I love about this book.

Title: The Only Ones (Click to add to your Goodreads!)

Author: Aaron Starmer

Available In: HardcovereBook for Kindle, eBook for Nook.

Maturity Level: YA. Some violence and disturbing imagery.

You May Like This Book if: you enjoyed Lord of the Flies, The Maze Runner, or The Hunger Games.

You May NOT Like This Book if: you’re not fond of post-apocalyptic tales.

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

Martin Maple knows a terrible truth. He and the rest of the children who live in the commune that they have called Xibalba were not only left, but Forgotten. All of the adults in the world disappeared on one fateful Day, and the children are now alone.  But according to the animal-whispering “prophet” Nigel, Martin has the capacity to bring them back—and he just might be right.

I really, really enjoyed this book. It was very dreamlike and beautiful, if occasionally confusing. The paradox was very well done, and I really enjoyed the wistful, nostalgic finality of the last two pages. Martin was a very relatable main character for me, and I was pretty attached to Darla, Lane, Marjorie, and Nigel as well. The only thing that I didn’t like was that I really didn’t understand why Henry pulled his little stunt towards the end—it didn’t match with his prior characterization and kind of seemed to come right out of the blue.

Overall, this is a lovely little post-apocalyptic tale with a wonderful little paradox woven into it. Starmer’s really accomplished something here, and this book is definitely one of my favorites that I’ve read so far in 2012. Well done, Mister Starmer. Well done.

Pros

  • The Forgotten. Loved all their distinct personalities and the way in which their society functioned.
  • Nigel.
  • Marjorie.
  • Martin’s childhood. I loved that he learned through books—something that I can really relate to. 😉
  • The paradox.
  • The last 2 pages. So lovely.

Cons

  • Henry’s little stunt didn’t make any sense to me.

Favorite Scene (s)

  • Pg 18-20, when Martin is busy learning about the outside world through books. Really struck a chord with me.
  • Pg 58-64. I love this hands-on concept of the Internet.
  • Pg 318-319. Just so beautiful.

 

Favorite Line (s): “I’m sure your kitten is a prodigy.” ~ Darla to Marjorie, pg 245.

Star Rating on Goodreads: 5 stars.

Final Grade: A+. Such a lovely book. I’ll be keeping an eye out for Starmer in the future.

Book Review: “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine #1)

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Available In: Hardcover, Audiobook, eBook for Nook, eBook for Kindle.

Maturity Level: 16+. There’s very little sexual content, but there’s a quite a lot of gore and violence.

You May Like This Book if: you enjoy dark, brooding, vaguely Lynchian  settings and time travel.

You May NOT Like This Book if: you don’t like fantasy or YA, or if you’re averse to violence and gore.

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Jacob has it all, really. His mother is heiress to a massive drug/convenience store chain, and he’s grown up not really having to want for much. However, the only things from his childhood that he truly values are the times he spent with his grandfather and his stories about strange children and wondrous sights. When his grandfather is killed in mysterious circumstances, Jacob decides to take a trip to the island where it all began, off the coast of Wales, and uncovers a secret that he will fight to the death to protect.

Overall, I was fond of this book, but the one thing that made it nigh impossible for me to get through it sometimes was Jacob’s attitude. He is something of a brat. He whines too much. I felt very little sympathy for him when he ended up in dangerous situations, and at times I had to put the book down because I just couldn’t stand his entitled, superior, slightly emo mentality. He also doesn’t appear to change very much over the course of the story—he simply becomes more dramatic and annoying.

That aside, I really did like this book. The peculiar children, the time loops, and the Lynchian setting are all right up my alley. It would have gotten a full four stars and moved up a letter grade had the MC been more likable, but I still enjoyed it.

Pros

  • I love the photos! I’m a ghost photography buff, so the effects were quite interesting to see. They did break up the flow of the book a little bit, but I didn’t really care.
  • Lynchian setting.
  • Nerdy references to shows such as Father Ted.
  • Miss Peregrine. Who is awesome. ‘Nough said.
  • The peculiar children. Who are awesome. Again.
  • The Nazi-Hollowghast parallels.
  • The concept of the time loops.

Cons

  • Plot is kind of slowmoving—I was over halfway through the book before it really caught me.
  • I really didn’t like Jacob, which made it difficult to connect with him.
  • All adults are jerks here (aside from Miss Peregrine, who can still occasionally be a jerk).
  • Romance was kind of squicky.

Favorite Scene (s)

  • Pg 192-194, when Jacob is just kind of hanging with the peculiar children.
  • Pg 238-239, when Emma and Jacob are exploring the sunken ship.

Favorite Line (s): “We cling to our fairytales until the price for believing them becomes too high.”~ pg 16 of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Star Rating on Goodreads:  3.5 stars out of 5.

Final Grade: B. Might reread, will probably read other books in series even though I feel like this stands better on its own.

TV Review: Supernatural 7.12 “Time After Time After Time”

Confession time: I am a Superwhovian.

No, that does not mean I am a Super! Whovian (though… I kind of, am, actually). It means that I am a.) a fan of Doctor Who and b.) a fan of Supernatural and c.) a fan of Doctor Who and Supernatural together. Like, together together. This is my desktop background. I manipulate images. I have even been known to occasionally indulge in some reblogging of GIFS on occasion. I believe that the Impala is a TARDIS because c’mon. That trunk is WAY bigger on the inside.

Consequently, the time travel episodes of Supernatural are always high on my list of favorites, and “Time After Time After Time” certainly earned its place alongside  season 6’s “Frontierland” and 5’s “The Song Remains the Same”.

Pros

  • “So what, you’re strictly into Dick now?” I love the return of snarky-smart-and-funny!Sam. It takes me back to another time, when I actually liked Sam, seasons 1-3.
  • Jody and Sam as the new Batman and Robin. I love Jody, and this episode really gave her a couple of shining moments, and the dynamic between Jody and Sam is awesome and hilarious.
  • Dean communicating with Sam through a crack in the wall. Doctor Who flashbacks, anyone?
  • Non-angelic time travel, despite the fact that—to me—it was rather poorly explained. Whatever. At least people got bounced around in time without any angelic involvement.
  • Dean in 1940’s gear.  Ooh la la. I might have spent the majority of this episode salivating over Dean in a fedora. Maybe.

Cons

  • The last five minutes were laughably bad. I don’t know what exactly made them so bad—they just were. The acting on Chronos Guy’s part seemed very stilted, it took him forever and an age to die, and all he did was natter on about how the Leviathan are going to take over the world. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard it all before.
  • I am sick to death of non-Impala cars. Dean needs his baby back, preferably accompanied by his angel and his father figure, and we as viewers need some car!porn. Really.

Stars: 4 out of 5. Was 4.5 before the last five minutes.

Final Grade: A-. Decent and amusing, loved the time travel element, ending kind of bombed.

Coming Up Next: The promo for the next episode, “The Slice Girls”, shows Dean having sex. Oh show, I guess you just realized that there’s been a pretty huge lack of such material recently. It also shows a vaguely Breaking Dawn-like situation that is either going to suck tremendously or be freaking hysterical. I’m holding out for the latter, and also some exploration of The Case of Dean’s Vanishing Drink*.

(I didn’t get around to watching The Fades, partially because I was feeling kind of icky and partially because of the brother’s desire to watch Westerns instead. I did record it, though, so I think I’ll combine ep 1 and ep 2 into one review next week. )

*Which, given this news, might come to fruition by episode 17.