You Read What? Book Review: Such Wicked Intent

Author(s): Kenneth Oppel

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Date Published: August 21, 2012

Synopsis:

Tragedy has forced sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein to swear off alchemy forever. He burns the Dark Library and vows he will never dabble in the dark sciences again—just as he vows he will no longer covet Elizabeth, his brother’s betrothed.

If only these things were not so tempting.

When he and Elizabeth discover a portal into the spirit world, they cannot resist. Together with Victor’s twin, Konrad, and their friend Henry, they venture into a place of infinite possibilities where power and passion reign. But as they search for the knowledge to raise the dead, they unknowingly unlock a darkness from which they may never return.

Number of Days It Took to Read: 2

Cover: Love the cover. The title is loaded with everything wicked (see what I did there?) that it’s nice to see it juxtaposed with the almost innocent image…as though there’s something secretive passing between the two individuals…

The Writing Score: 5 out of 5

Recommendation: A Must Read

Memorable or Forgettable:  Memorable

Rating: 5 out of 5

Review:

This was such an amazing book and it exceeded all of my expectations after a long wait after the first book, This Dark Endeavour.

Oppel wrote a Young Adult novel with substance, magnificent writing and the power to peak reader’s interest on every single chapter. The characters were fleshed out even more  in this book as well as grown into more confident, more passionate and far darker individuals. I love that I can love and hate every single character at different moments in the book (not Henry though…I always love Henry) and that I’m so invested to the point where I’m constantly screaming at them to make different choices. It truly felt like a watching a horror movie in that way and the fact that it was creepy.

I can also see Victor slowly become the man he needs to be in order to create the infamous monster and the little clues that get dropped throughout (especially at the end) elude to that (since I haven’t actually read Frankenstein, I’m sure that there are even MORE clues) . The pacing was perfect and I didn’t feel like there were any unnecessary scenes or chapters. From the way it ended, it could either be that this will be the last book of the series or that a third book is on it’s way…and I’m really hoping for a third book.

Oppel made the story of Frankenstein fresh again and I’m sure Mary Shelley would been delighted to have someone compliment her story so well…

A. A. Omer

The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.

2012 Hallows Eve: My “HOLY CRAP” Moments

As you can tell on this blog, I’m not just a lover of books but a fan of films and television shows as well. So this Hallows Eve, I thought I’d list my scary book, television and movie moments thus far. I mean…if you can handle it of course…

BOOKS:

Ahhh…books. Who doesn’t love a creepy read? Especially when your scared out of your wits but only to look around to see that no one else has witnessed the horror you’ve been reading. I don’t scare easy but these books most definitely did the trick. Check out these scary reads and see if you’re one to endure or the one to shrivel up in the fetal position in the corner.

666: The Number of the Beast (Anthology)

666: The Number of the Beast

I read this a few years ago and still freak out at the thought of it. This anthology houses the short stories of the most diverse and phenomenal writers with a knack for getting your heart pumping. There was a particular story that truly scared me (and my friend when I read it to her) by none other than the horror master himself, Christopher Pike, called Saving Face.

Every Move by Peter McPhee

Every Move

Sometimes the scariest stories are the ones that resemble real life the most. This story is about a girl named Emily who has the unfortunate luck of having a stalker whose obsession gets dangerous. Remember your web cam? Yeah? You’ll be wanting to tap it over after reading this…

Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel

Such Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, #2)

This wasn’t a full blown crap-your-pants type scary but it really was creepy. It felt like watching a horror film as you’d scream at the characters (or, to those around you, at your book) to NOT [Insert absurd and obviously-asking-to-be-hacked-to-pieces action here] but they never listen, of course, which makes for an awesome read…

 

TELEVISION

It’s hard to find a show that’s truly scary every week but these shows from the past have done just that. Some of them have even defined what was scary in my childhood…

Goosebumps

This show was creepy. It brought the stories by R. L. Stine to life and scared the crap out of me whenever it was on. The one character that scared me the most would have to be the ventriloquist dummy. I’ve been terrified of toys ever since…

Are You Afraid of The Dark?

This was a show that had an opening theme that scared you enough to turn it off (and I did countless of times in urgency). Its haunted my dreams as a kid and, till this day, just the thought of watching it again (despite the poor graphics that I likely to face) gives me the heebie jeebies *shudders*

Harper’s Island

This was the best idea television has ever had. It’s murder mystery show that gave viewers 13 weeks to try to figure out who the killer was. It came out in 2009 (so not too long ago) and it’s really creepy. I really wish things like this were done more often…

MOVIES

Scary movies have been around since the dawn of time…okay…not really but they’re the most integral part of society. not watching at least one scary movie in one’s lifetime is like not truly living…

Darkness

This was not a show a middle schooler should see and yet I saw it anyways with my younger siblings and aunt. It was so scary that I was freaking out for days and couldn’t finish the movie until the next day at 9:00 am. It’s one of THE scariest things I’ve seen thus far.

The Grudge

I saw five minutes of the middle of this film (accidentally went to it while flipping through the channels…) and had to turn it off. So…

Sinister

I saw this movie this past Friday in theaters and it was SCARY. Afterwards…about a few hours later…the scariness wore off but it was definitely a must see in theaters unless you’re like my cousin who doesn’t scare easily. It was also my first scary movie in theaters which I found changes the experience completely…

There you have it. Some of these might not be as scary as the first time but the fact that they WERE says something…maybe that I’m just easily scared ;P

Countdown to NaNoWriMO

It’s almost HERE!

This November 1st marks the first day of the National Novel Writing Month. 30 days to get 50 000 words on the page of your novel.

This’ll be my first year writing and I have no plan for the novel other than to just write which is probably the craziest thing you could do but hey, December is unofficially editing month so I’ll sort through everything then.

You should, however, plan out your writing schedule throughout the month if you’re participating this year. I find this works well for those of us who are busy with school and/or work.

Anyways, I thought I’d let everyone know that I’ll be writing this novel in 2 days for 30 days and encouragements throughout are welcomed. I’ll be creating a personal writing blog to keep everyone updated and add reminder posts on this blog to check it out.

Participating in NaNoWriMo? Be my buddy! http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/a-a-omer

A. A. Omer

You Read What? Book Review: Dark Star

Author: Bethany Frenette

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Date Published: October 23rd 2012

Synopsis:

        Audrey Whitticomb has nothing to fear. Her mother is the superhero Morning Star, the most deadly crime-fighter in the Twin Cities, so it’s hard for Audrey not to feel safe. That is, until she’s lured into the sweet night air by something human and not human–something with talons and teeth, and a wide, scarlet smile.
Now Audrey knows the truth: her mom doesn’t fight crime at night. She fights Harrowers–livid, merciless beings who were trapped Beneath eons ago. Yet some have managed to escape. And they want Audrey dead, just because of who she is: one of the Kin.
To survive, Audrey will need to sharpen the powers she has always had. When she gets close to someone, dark corners of the person’s memories become her own, and she sometimes even glimpses the future. If Audrey could only get close to Patrick Tigue, a powerful Harrower masquerading as human, she could use her Knowing to discover the Harrowers’ next move. But Leon, her mother’s bossy, infuriatingly attractive sidekick, has other ideas. Lately, he won’t let Audrey out of his sight.
When an unthinkable betrayal puts Minneapolis in terrible danger, Audrey discovers a wild, untamed power within herself. It may be the key to saving her herself, her family, and her city. Or it may be the force that destroys everything–and everyone–she loves.

Number of Days It Took to Read: 3

Cover: It’s a nice cover. I think the blue and pink pairing helps it a lot. I’m not a fan of the girl on it. Her expression kind of freaks me out actually but it might just be the doom and gloom brought on by the talk of super storm, Hurricane Sandy.

The Writing Score: 2 out of 5

Recommendation: Nah…I’ll pass.

Memorable or Forgettable: Forgettable

Rating: 2 out of 5

Review:

Okay. This wasn’t a superhero book.

I expected a superhero book but this wasn’t it. Now, to  be fair, this book is marketed under the genre of YA urban fantasy. What is YA urban fantasy? The best example would be Cassandra Clare’s series, the Mortal Instruments, which is a series that takes place in a city-like setting with something paranormal in nature incorporated into it…oh, and it’s written for young adults. That’s what this book is and, without the mention of superhero in the synopsis, that would be fine…kind of.

Let’s begin with the plot. This book took too long to get to the point or action of the story and if you cut out some scenes and chapters or fused some scenes and chapters, it would actually be too short. You know Patrick Tigue? The dude mentioned in the synopsis that you assumed would be one of the main focus’ on the book? The first mention of him can be found more than halfway through the book. He was, in fact, a minor character but was only “major” in name only and not in an actual role. This story spent most of it’s time discussing Audrey’s inability to handle the unfathomable idea of demons (despite the fact that her mom is super strong and has super healing…).

No, seriously. Audrey is probably one of the most annoying heads to be in. The writing is such that her feelings are told to us (not shown!) over and over and over again to the point where I just wanted to scream and say, “WE GET IT! YOU’RE AFRAID AND CONFUSED BUT PLEASE GET OVER IT SO I CAN ENJOY SOME ASS KICKING…” I understand that not all characters can be bad asses but even Clary in Clare’s the Mortal Instruments (Books 1-3 to be more specific) is a lot more helpful than whiny. Even when Audrey does go out to help, she does so without a plan and she’s almost always rescued. Also, the climax was anti-climactic and it might be due to the fact that it took too long to build Frenette’s world or that there was no significant build up to the climax at all.

The dialogue and exchange between characters fell flat for me and therefore creating 1 dimensional characters. I didn’t genuinely care about or like anyone. Leon had his moments when he’s not constantly coming in when it’s convenient for the plot and then leaving just as abruptly. I did like Morning Star – Audrey’s superhero mom and the scenes with Detective Wyle. I feel like the story should have been about her as a teenage instead (that would have been a really cool story from what it sounds like when discussing her past). Kind of like the beginnings of a reluctant superhero since she’s just fighting Harrowers at first and was deemed a hero by the public. Just add in the occasional crime fighting outside of Harrowers (like a hostage situation in a bank or a super villain…) and you can have a nice balance between a superhero book and an urban fantasy.

Overall though, this book was an effort to read. I feel that, even if you’re okay with the whole “it’s not really a superhero novel”, it’s still not a well put together book for whatever genre it was intended for.

I’ll write a later post why this wasn’t a superhero book because I think that needs to be cleared up but, in the meantime, here are some actual superhero books you can check out (The Black and White series by by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge. Dull Boy by Sarah Cross. Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman).

A. A. Omer
The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.

IFOA, EID, SWEARING IN CEREMONY and SINISTER

Hey Guys,

A lot has happened today and yesterday which explains no reviews or fun posts.

Yesterday was Eid (my religious holiday) but, being the busy student that I am, I completely forgot to tell my boss and so (because I don’t want to abandon her) I went to work anyways which was only for three hours in the afternoon.

Yesterday was also my swearing in ceremony in becoming an official Canadian citizen! (YAY) It was early in the morning in downtown Toronto so I was a bit spaced out. I did, however, document my 2 hrs via instagram.

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(Waiting to get sworn in. i wonder if i’ll get a flag… #iwantaflag #canada #canadiancitizen)

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(Look at my nifty pin! Still hoping for the flag though #theflag)

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(Got my flag! I’m a citizen now!)

But the whole day wasn’t about just work and no play. After work, I went with my siblings and cousins to see Sinister last night and it scared the crap out of me. I suggest you watch it.

Lastly, today I went with my pal (and fellow bloggette), Lynn, to an IFOA (International Festival of Authors) event. It was a reading/interview with authors Rebecca Lee, Ben Lerner and Jess Walter. It was awesome and will add these authors to my to-read list.

That’s all. I’ll post a review (comic or book…depending on how things will work out) tomorrow.

A. A. Omer