The Phlebotomist Review

In a near future where citizens are subject to the mandatory blood draw, government phlebotomist Willa Wallace witnesses an event that makes her question her whole world. To recover from a cataclysmic war, the Harvest was created to pass blood to those affected by radiation. But this charitable act has led to a society segregated entirely by blood type. Patriot thanks and rewards your generous gift based on the compatibility of your donation, meaning that whoever can give to the most, gets the most back. While working as a reaper for the draw, Willa chances upon an idea to resurrect an obsolete collection technique that could rebalance the city. But in her quest to put this in motion, she instead uncovers a secret that threatens her entire foundations…

Mortal Engines Review

  • Author: Phillip Reeve
  • Series: Mortal Engines Quartet #1
  • Genre: Sci-fi/Dystopian
  • No. of pages: 336
  • Dates read: 29.05.19 – 10.06.19
  • Rating: 4 stars

I didn’t know much about this story going into it, I had watched the trailer for the movie and that was about it. I am so happy that I have found this series!

Plot: London is a city on wheels – a future city like you’ve never known before. In the terrible aftermath of the Sixty Minute War, cities which survived the apocalypse became predators, chasing and feeding on smaller towns. Now London is hunting down its prey, getting ready to feed. But as the chase begins, Tom uncovers a secret – a secret full of deadly consequences. Soon he is plunged into a world of unkillable enemies, threatened by a weapon that will tear his life apart.

First of all, the setting was unlike anything I have read before. I loved the world-building of the city of London with its many cogs, levels and pipes. It had a massive steampunk feel to it, the city felt like it was just patched together with what was available. Reeve did an amazing job in painting a picture for you of London and all the other places that we visit. I just fell in love with this messed up world.

The characters in this book were incredibly varied. I loved seeing Tom turn from coward to hero, becoming the hero he dreamed of being. I loved Hester’s character the most, she was a woman with a goal and was unwavering! (Ignore the fact her goal is to murder someone.) Katherine was such a beautiful and hopeful character and you just want to see her succeed. The female characters especially lift quite a lot of the male characters up in this story which was great to see!

One thing I didn’t love, there is probably a reason behind this, was the emphasis on Hester’s “ugliness”. She has a scar which haunts her everywhere she goes and I felt slightly uncomfortable whenever she was referenced as ugly or disgusting by all the male characters she comes into contact with, it’s a sign of trauma in her life and it’s something that should be dismissed as ugly and unworthy of someone’s time. But there is probably a deeper meaning to this but I had to say it.

I loved the different POV’s we got throughout the story, we were watching many different sides to this big narrative! We got Katherine’s journey of discovery, Tom’s journey of survival and Hester’s journey of revenge. All very different journey’s so it made for an incredibly interesting read and very dynamic plot!

The romance that brewed in this novel worked well for me. It wasn’t too over-empowering but also developed enough so you didn’t think it came out of the blue.

I loved the theme of loss that flows its way through the story. While I can’t say too much due to spoilers, nearly every character has experienced, prior to the story or during the story, some element of losing something and now has to deal with that loss. It was a theme that follows you from page to page.

My final point would be that it felt very much like a standalone novel, someone the actions and plot points felt very final to me rather than the pathway to a second novel. So, I am interested to see where Reeve goes with the series, as it’s quite unclear to me.

The next book I will be reviewing is The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell. A more light-hearted and fun novel. I am still re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as I am typing this but there will be a blog post about that book as well.

The Power Review

  • Author: Naomi Alderman
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Sci-fi/Feminism
  • No. of pages: 341
  • Dates read: 19.03.19 – 24.03.19
  • Rating: 4.5 stars

I have never read a book like this before! I don’t read much science fiction but I was quite intrigued by the synopsis.

There numerous trigger warnings in this book, so please be careful if you ever decide to pick it up. I don’t mention the triggers in my review but this is my warning for triggers such as:
Rape, Sexual Assualt, Violence and Torture

POSITIVES

I loved the whole concept in general of women having this dormant power and women becoming this unstoppable force and rising up from oppression. I was also interested to see which way Naomi would go with this story. Would she go down the route of “society was changed for the better because women were now in charge” or would she go down the route of “society collapses from the rise in power.” I was very happy with the road she took.

I loved all the characters in the stories both good or evil or in-between. I felt each character introduced a new perspective to this changing world and all actions were justified in their minds as their knee-jerk reaction to these sudden changes.

I really enjoyed the multiple POV’s, I think for us to fully understand the worldwide/societal change this new phenomenon brought, we had to see it from varying characters in different parts of the world. All 4 POV’s represented certain parts of society and through them, we see how those parts responded.

Tunde was the media. Margot was the politics. Allie was the religion. Roxy was the organised crime.

I don’t normally like this dystopian novels as I get bored quite quickly but what I liked about this book is we actually witness all the small changes that lead to the quickly forming dystopian society. We are not introduced to the story halfway through like we are with books such as the “The Hunger Games” where the dystopian setting was established years ago but at the very beginning and we watch everything unravel.

The language switch was intriguing. A lot of words and phrases were used to describe men and their horrible situation, especially by the end of the book, that normally gets associated with women or references something that women go through every day and I thought it was interesting to see that switch. In which these things were being said about men instead of women. It was a weird experience to read it!

NEGATIVES

While I really enjoyed the book, I didn’t care for the ending. It didn’t pack a punch for me. A lot is left unsaid. We don’t know what happens to the characters we have invested our time into which was quite disappointing for me. I had to go to a forum on Goodreads to fully understand the ending, which when explained to me sounded really cool but I didn’t care for the execution.

Overall, I started losing momentum about 3/4 of the way through the book. If it had been a bit shorter I probably would have enjoyed the ending more than I did.

The next book I will be reviewing is an ARC I received in their December 2018 Fairyloot box. I will be reading The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson.