Tin by Padraig Kenny
TIN had a spectacular start, a strong middle, and. . . a disappointing ending. Though the concept is fantastic no matter what, and I am certain so much more could be done with this. TIN is a story about a world where robots (mechanicals) are common, and as would happen in real life, there is an abundance of laws to keep them in check, especially that they are not allowed to be adult sized and they can only get so close to being a human. Now the beginning is marvelous and also very shocking, how the robot owner uses a family’s dead son as an opportunity to sell a robot replacement. It really shows how sickening this character is, and that is further built upon when we find out that the one character we were certain to be human finds out he isn’t, in a gruesome and suspenseful scene. This twisting of emotions and action makes the beginning amazing, and it’s definitely relatable to be there questioning your own identity and to feel like you have no place.
Then the middle comes, which on one side is a boring story about friends trying to rescue the robot, and a depressing one about a boy coming to grips with the fact that everything he’s ever believed about himself is a lie, and it just pains me at home reading this and knowing that he has to go through this, all this confusion. There is one horrible unprecedented death that is so gruesome, it’s like the author doesn’t care for these characters and just disrespected their life by killing them that way. And the 3rd act just turns into a chaotic scene where you don’t know what’s going on, then turns into a cliche story about the importance of family when it could’ve been so much more. TIN had such great potential to be amazing. Maybe in another reality, these mechanicals got the epic tale they deserved, but it wasn’t this one.
Rating – 👎
Dark Days by Derek Landy
This is the fourth book of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, and yet the last one I will be reading. I originally read Skulduggery Pleasant because of a deal I made with a friend that if I read this series they would read Harry Potter, and now I realise its a series I am not likely to have picked up otherwise. This book picks up 11 months after Skulduggery was sucked into an alternate dimension, and the first quarter of the book is dedicated to finding him. Then in perhaps the most interesting section of the book, Valkyrie visits the land of The Faceless Ones, the all-powerful god-like killers feared from the very beginning of the series, and just scoops Skulduggery out of there. Easy Peasy. No, it was ridiculously easy. Ignoring the time skip, Skulduggery was trapped in the other world for a quarter of the book. This book could have been the Skulduggery Pleasant book without Skulduggery, it could have stood out. But the author was too scared to stray from the narrative, so he tidied up the loose ends from last book nice and quickly so we could get back to the boring status quo.
Over the course of the hundreds of books I’ve read, an amazing book has good characters and story, a lesser book will only have a good story, and a terrible book will have neither. But with Skulduggery Pleasant I’ve been taught what having good characters and a poor story leads to. I love Skulduggery and Valkyrie so much. They are witty, and smart and funny, and they kick butt. If I knew them in real life, I’d be their friends. But the story is confusing, poorly written, and because of those two, it’s boring. Yet I still feel the urge to read the books, because I feel like I’ll be abandoning two of my friends if I don’t. So I’ve forced myself to continue reading, which has created only more of a dislike for the book in my head. But now I need to accept that I don’t like the story, and I can’t keep making myself slog through these books. I hope someone makes Skulduggery Fanfiction in a completely different world, but I just can’t stand this one. Sorry Valkyrie, sorry Skulduggery, but if you value a coherent story this series isn’t for you.
Rating – 👎
The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy
The Faceless Ones is the third mystery/fantasy/action story in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, and it follows the plot of the series’ bad guys trying to bring back the evil gods who terrorised this world’s past and are basically the most powerful enemies we’ve seen so far. This book strays from the others in that it addresses themes that we’ve seen the other books basically ignore. Including Valkyrie’s reflection (a duplicate of her she uses to go to school while she’s on adventures) having a first kiss making her miss out, the acknowledgment of Skulduggery mistreating Valkyrie, her magical and home life finally colliding when a Sanctuary detective comes to her house to arrest her, and her insane independence shown all through the book, especially when she beats a grown man and breaks out of prison all with her own two hands.
The progression of Valkyrie’s character as she ages and as she grows emotionally is the greatest aspect of these books without a doubt, and I wish I could’ve seen more of that. This book is also the first to see a twist with the villain, which I’m not sure anyone was expecting. Though the action in the book was stunning and a lot better and more cohesive than the first two books, the fantasy elements have officially become overwhelming in how much the author expects us to remember in this world. And without even short summary sentences present anywhere in the book, he doesn’t exactly make it easy. For me, this book is certainly the best in the series so far, but it is a difficult fantastical read.
Rating – 👍
Playing With Fire by Derek Landy
The sequel to Skulduggery Pleasant very much outdoes it’s last. In this book, rather than a single villain, four bad guys are juggled for the main threat of the story, and though it seems like it would be chaotic, the author has done a very good job with following the leads in this book (along with a useful character summary on the blurb) and it is very easy to keep track of them. The main character Valkyrie is never referred to as Stephanie by the narrator, which is an interesting decision by the author. The story generally follows the same beats as the last book, but in many ways, it’s a lot better. The action and tension in the scenes are significantly better, and the mystery is tighter. Valkyrie’s constant sassiness when it comes to the villains is charming. Overall, a very good mystery and a fairly good action story, and a lot of fantasy elements. If what is promised by the next book is correct then I should get ready for them to shake things up.
Rating – 👍
A month ago I didn’t know who Billie Eilish was. A friend of mine was constantly talking about her, so eventually I listened to some of her songs, and they were pretty good! At first, I couldn’t hear any of what she was saying since it seems like when she records her songs she’s 0cm away from the microphone and is mumbling, and yet still her singing has grown on me. I also learned from this friend and from Billie Eilish that a song’s lyrics can be relevant! I had honestly not cared about the lyrics of a song for my whole life, as long as it has good instruments, but now I find myself on genius lyrics for ages watching Billie explaining away her songs and reading how people interpreted her lyrics. It’s a whole new world for me. I’ve had her new album on repeat for a couple weeks now, and I’m not growing tired of it, and have a lot to say about it, so here are my thoughts on her new album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? (You can listen to it on Spotify here, and listen to this brilliant piano cover which I’m listening to as I type this) By the way, the album titles are actually in all lower caps, I’m not just being lazy. Here we go!
I mean, I don’t see what she sees but maybe its cause I’m wearing your colone
Bad guy is Billie’s most listened song on Spotify now, which makes sense since it is super catchy. The whole song is Billie’s character talking about how she’s super bad and is actually in control of her boyfriend, I’m assuming. Next to when the party’s over, this song has the least annotations on Genius, meaning its either straight-forward or meaningless. You choose. But it does have an amazing beat. After the first part of the song, there’s a jarring change in beat and instruments, but now that I’ve come to expect it I think it’s quite a thrilling change.
Continue reading “My Thoughts on WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?”
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
There are many books which have a lot of expectation latched onto their core idea This was one of those books, and all in all, it lived up to some of it. Skulduggery Pleasant, named after its skeleton protagonist, follows the integration of 12-year-old Stephanie into the world of magic after her uncle is murdered in the search of an all-powerful weapon. Skulduggery Pleasant is mostly a detective novel, almost endlessly scattered with action scenes, over an all-encompassing background of fantasy. If that sounds like a bit of a mess, then you’d be right. The amount the author expects us to remember is insane, spouting dozens of names (unfortunately each character has three names) with the added burden of different fantastical objects and ideas.
Continue reading “Skulduggery Pleasant – Review”
The Great Depression
The Great Depression is a book about a girl’s adventures during 1920’s America, which for some reason doesn’t have the authors name on it. Honestly, Molly’s character is completely insignificant to the actual book, and yet the story is great. The exploration of America and seeing the contrast of the different places is great, and yet even when she finds relative peace she has to go back on the move. This book does well in displaying how it’s human nature to blame, such as when they blame the blacks for the wall street crash, and Molly brings up an excellent point about how if it weren’t for them they would think of someone else to blame, never accepting that it could be their fault. It’s a story for those who are open-minded and able to stand a little gore.
Rating – 👍