Thursday, October 15, 2015


UnSouled (Unwind, #3)UnSouled by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After the destruction of the graveyard Connor and Lev are once again running, but this time they aren't just running away from something. They are running to find answers. Connor believes the answers will come from an old friend who he's discovered is so much more than she appeared.

Make no mistake UnSouled is a transition book. Most large series have at least one and UnSouled is the transition book for the Unwind Dystology. The board is being set, the pieces are taking their places, and events are about to become the next book. This book is a bit slower with more parts that didn't feel quite as important as the events in the previous two books in the series, but there is still a lot of great storytelling happening here.

First off I have to discuss the curious case of Camus Comprix because his existence at this point makes no sense. I assumed at some point the purpose of his creation would be made clear, but after two books it seems Neal Shusterman and Proactive Citizenry made him for the same reason...just because they could. On top of that his own motives are inexplicable. Cam basically fell for a picture of a girl who he came to learn thought he was a monster and by the end of book two had some respect for him. So what does Cam do because of this? Vows to take down his makers who have provided him with a lavish lifestyle to say it nicely. He has minimal reasoning for practically all his behaviors and he's kind of harshing my vibe when I'm reading the book. I get it he had no choice in being made, but I can't feel sympathetic for him.

I love Grace. I love that nothing about her is standard. She isn't a beautiful girl to be saved or gawked at. Grace is described as "not fat, but heavyset and unshapely. Dowdy..." Also that "[t]he slack expression on her face speaks of a dullness that isn't her fault." She's immediately introduced as being a low cortical which I imagine is supposed to say she has a mental disorder of some sort. Don't be blinded by her outward appearance or slack face because she is something special and the story displays it quickly and often. I just loved her.

I'd be remiss to not mention Starkey. When he first arrived in the story I thought he was a murdering version of Roland, but this young man is far more capable and resourceful than I could have ever imagine. He builds on his ruthlessness and resourcefulness from UnWholly. If the AWOL unwinds simply needed to go to war to stop unwinding then Starkey is undoubtedly one of it's best options for a general.

UnSouled was a good story and I'm excited to see what happens next in the dark world of the Unwind Dystology.

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The End of Fantasy

The End of the Fantasy (Sage Saga, #6)The End of the Fantasy by Julius St. Clair
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Bastion's destiny is here. Whatever he decides will dictate the future of the world.

Catherine and her remaining Sages desperately search for a way to save all the kingdoms in the most dire of circumstances. At the same time the three kingdoms prepare to face the Yama invasion.

The End of Fantasy concludes the second Sage Saga trilogy. Julius St. Clair really reached to try to do something different in this book and this trilogy and I applaud him for making the attempt at creativity and something new. Unfortunately for me this just wasn't a satisfying read. The storyline became far too convoluted. The ending made me cringe because I'm just not a fan of the type of storyline that it foreshadows.

Far too much time was spent having every character who met Bastion saying he's clearly destined for great things. This praise is a lot like salt, a little bit improves the meal, but too much makes it nearly inedible. By the end of the trilogy all I could see was salt on my plate.

The Siege of 88 is still mentioned often, but I just realized they don't ever make mention of any measure of time other than that. It would have made more sense to just refer to it as The Great Siege or something along those lines.

I've been trying to figure out why I enjoyed the second Sage Saga trilogy far less than the first. As I was coming to the conclusion to The End of Fantasy, I realized it's because of Bastion. After the events of the first Sage Saga trilogy, some kid shows up and is stronger than everyone without any training at all. So what happens when the guy who is stronger than everyone gets hurt? He basically turns into the Incredible Hulk...his eyes turn black and he's nearly unstoppable. So rather than being a weakling who turns into an incredibly strong being he's an incredibly strong being who goes Super Saiyan or perhaps super Wolverine in a berserker rage. It's hard for me to enjoy a character who is overwhelmingly more powerful than everyone without even trying. It's the same reason I've never liked Superman.

For me The End of Fantasy was a disappointing conclusion to a much less than stellar second Sage Saga trilogy.

1.5 out of 5 stars

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