Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Don't Eat the Glowing Bananas Blog Tour

Hank Rose has only two missions in life, find the best food the post apocalyptic world has to offer, and find out why the bombs fell. 

After meeting Lewis, a radioactive mutant with a tentacle for an arm, Hank continues his journey to the city of New Dallas, where he encounters far worse things than radioactive food, including dancing zombies and a horrible dictator. 

Hank must help his new friends and the people of New Dallas while trying to find out the biggest mystery of all.

After reading Alice Takes Back Wonderland I was eager to read more by David D Hammons so when I saw a review tour for another book by this author I was eager to participate! Don’t Eat The Glowing Bananas follows Henry Rosetta, a man living in a post apocalyptic world after the bombs fell, destroying the majority of the world. I enjoyed this book more than Alice Takes Back Wonderland simply because I found it to be more unique from the majority of books in this genre. Although dystopian books have been extremely popular since the success of The Hunger Games, this is the first time I have read one mixed with the comedy genre. It was extremely funny and I adored the quirky characters.

I particularly loved Lewis, a man who through high doses of radiation had become a mutant with radioactive blood, a tentacle for a hand and an ability to heal extremely quickly. Lewis was a unique and funny character who seemed confused about the world the majority of the time and didn’t seem to mind being mutilated multiple times in order to save his friends.

Henry was an interesting protagonist, and I loved that he was not a perfect hero as many protagonists tend to be. Although he does his best to save his friends, he also has a survival instinct which is shown by his willingness to leave Ivan behind when they are being chased down by zombies. However he does seem to redeem himself by refusing to abandon his friends and leave the planet, which I loved as it showed that although he was trying to save himself he was unwilling to leave those behind who he truly did care for.

The book was overall a very fun and light hearted read, and reminded me of one of my favourite books, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. I loved that everything that seemed relatively normal to these characters was completely ridiculous to the reader, and seeing them being sentenced to multiple executions and chased by dancing zombies was both ridiculous and funny. I also loved the idea of knowledge being forbidden, and that people would visit the library just to turn back again to make a statement of being ignorant. I felt that this showed an important point of the government brainwashing the people into thinking that knowledge was a bad thing.

Having attempted to write fiction myself, I have found that comedy is one of the most difficult genres to write. Not everyone will have the same sense of humour, and something you find funny will often be something that no one else is amused by. I thought that Hammons use of comedy was brilliantly done, and extremely well timed. Although there will always be someone who doesn’t find it funny, I feel as if the majority of people who read this book would appreciate the comedic values.

I overall enjoyed this book and would recommend it to fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Welcome to Nightvale. 

Don't Eat the Glowing Bananas is now available to purchase!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

My Favourite Festive Reads!

No book review until next week but I have made a youtube video talking about my favourite books to read over the holidays. Enjoy!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Review on The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen

After losing his parents to a terrible house fire, Felix August starts his freshman year at Portland College with low expectations. The loss of his parents taking a huge toll on him, Felix is reluctant to make new friends and attend parties. That is until he meets his roommate Lucas Mayer, a reality tv star with a lot of personality. However Felix soon finds out that not everything is frat parties and college girls, as people start to go missing in the forest close to campus, and Felix has started having the same dream about being burnt to death over and over. Not to mention the serial killer who is going after teenagers and seems to be targeting those without any siblings. Felix soon finds out that there is a much bigger picture, and it is up to him to stop the killer known as the Faceman before he kills anyone else. With the help of his friends, and the mysterious groundkeeper, Felix must find the connection between these seemingly unrelated events and stop them before it is too late.

This book was a really interesting read and perfectly mixed contemporary with fantasy. The novel starts with Felix starting university, and the struggles he goes through with coming to terms with his parents death and not allowing himself to get swept up into university life. He arrives with his childhood best friend Alison, who is the only person who knows about what happened to Felix’s parents. I loved the relationship between Felix and Alison, and was extremely happy that their relationship didn’t turn romantic. It is rare for male and female characters to remain as just friends throughout a YA novel and I loved that this was the case with Felix and Alison. They care about each other deeply and sacrifice themselves for each other on multiple occasions, but the fact that it remained platonic was a breath of fresh air.

I seem to be finding it a rare occurrence to find a male protagonist in a fantasy YA novel, so having Felix as the protagonist was interesting. I always feel that the majority of YA books seem to be more based towards female readers, but The Felix Chronicles seems to have the male reader in mind too. Felix seems like a typical eighteen year old college student so I loved watching him get thrown into a world that he didn’t even know existed.

I loved Lucas from the start and he soon became my favourite character. I always seem to love the obnoxious, over confident character in YA novels, and it was no different with Lucas. Although he is a bit of a player I loved that he didn’t go off with the frat boys and try to be popular which he easily could have done, but stayed with a less popular group of people just because he enjoyed being with them. I always love relationships where two characters can’t stand each other but develop feelings over time, and I enjoyed seeing that developing between Lucas and Caitlyn. I did however feel that Harper lacked character, and that her main purpose was to be a love interest for Felix.

I did have a few issues with the plot, as although I read the diary entry from Felix’s auntie twice, I still felt that I didn’t fully understand what The Source was, and the closest explanation that I could make up for it was that it was similar to The Force in Star Wars. I felt as if seeing as this was such an important part of the story it could have been explained a little better. I also felt that there were too many instances where a character was presumably dead, only to be found alive. Felix’s tendency to seek vengeance against his enemies and enjoy torturing them almost gets his friends killed on multiple occasions, and I felt that something needed to happen to make Felix see that seeking vengeance was the wrong thing to do.

Although I loved the main storylines, I felt that there were too many subplots that weren’t tied into the main story arc at the end. For example I didn’t really understand what the point of the subplot involving the movie star was, as although there seemed to be some sort of cult going on, it didn’t really seem to have any point in the story overall. However as this is the first book in the series it is likely that it will be more important in later instalments. I did however find myself wanting the book to get back on track when this happened, as I was mostly concerned for Felix and his friends. I also felt that it was pointless to give certain characters who were only there to show that people were getting killed in the forest so much back story. There was multiple times when characters would be introduced and killed in the same chapter, yet we were told about their lives in great detail which I felt was not needed. I felt that at 500 pages long, the book was slightly too lengthy and there was a lot of small details that were unneeded to drive the plot forward. I also felt that the first 200 pages were slow, as there is only a couple of instances where we see anything supernatural happening, and takes a while to reveal that Felix is not just an ordinary college kid. I felt myself getting bored during the first quarter of the book, and it wasn’t until Felix found out what he was that the book started to keep me interested. However once the pace picked up I really enjoyed the book. For me it would have just been a little more enjoyable if there was less subplots and the story had focused more on Felix.

Overall I enjoyed this book and recommend it to fans of Harry Potter and Star Wars.

The Felix Chronicles is now available to purchase!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Review on Imogene of the Pacific Kingdom

When Imogene is five years old, she is suddenly left at her aunt’s house with no explanation from her mother. She is only promised that she will return for her in five years time. Grieved by the loss of both of her parents, Imogene is forced to stay with her horrible aunt with the only hope that her mother will keep her promise. When she turns ten years old, she finally learns the truth. She comes from a land under the ocean known as the Pacific Kingdom, where her parents rule as King and Queen. However, things are not as they seem, as the former King and Imogene’s uncle has returned to the Kingdom and plans on overruling her father. With the help of her new friends, Imogene must help to return the Kingdom to it’s rightful state.

This book had great potential and there were certain things I liked about it and others that I didn’t. Imogene is left by her mother at her horrible Auntie Agnes’s house with no idea why her mother was leaving her. I loved the mystery and suspense, with Imogene wondering if she had done something wrong or if her mother was ok. I also enjoyed the relationship that she built with Sampson, her auntie’s butler, as he seemed to be the only thing that was able to keep Imogene sane. However I did feel as if this dragged on for too long, as I was eager to see the reunion between Imogene and her parents. I was expecting some sort of action to happen far sooner than it did, as even when Imogene arrived in the Pacific Kingdom the book spent way too long acclimatising her to her new life. The book is quite short to begin with, so I felt that such a big build up was not a great idea, as the majority of the action happened in the last quarter of the book. I felt myself being slightly bored and distracted while reading the first three quarters, and although it is a short book it took me about a week to get through it. However I did read the last quarter fairly quickly, as the action picked up and I wanted to find out how Imogene and her friends were going to overthrow her Uncle.

One thing that seems a little tedious to mention but annoyed me throughout the book was the amount of exclamation points used. I started to notice them a few chapters in, and found myself distracted by how many I was finding, and how the majority of them were unnecessary. There was at least one on every page, and it was extremely difficult to just ignore them and enjoy the story. I’m not usually overly critical when it comes to grammar, but I really feel as if the book should be re-edited to remove the majority of these. It made the exclamation point lose it’s true meaning, as they were used in cases where nothing was happening apart from Imogene talking to the butler or taking tea with her aunt.

I loved the characters in this book, especially Sampson and her best friend Marina. They were extremely likeable characters and were always willing to help Imogene. However I felt that I didn’t know enough about Serenito, or the reason behind why he hated his brother so much as to lock him in the dungeons. I felt that the time taken by showing what Imogene ate for breakfast or how she had to go to school could have been replaced by giving him a little more back story. Although it was a minor plot detail, I felt it to be quite cringy that Imogene seemed to be developing feelings for Sampson’s son. Imogene is ten years old! I know for a fact that I was not interested in boys at all when I was Imogene’s age. The ending of the novel made it seem like this was something that would be expanded on in the sequel, and reading about a ten year old developing romantic feelings is not something I would enjoy reading. However I was interested in what the dragonfly represented and how it would fit into the sequel. If I was to enjoy the sequel, I feel as if it would need to have more action than the first book, and possibly less exclamation points.

Imogene of the Pacific Kingdom is now available to purchase!