Review: Traitor Born

Traitor Born (Secondborn, #2)Traitor Born by Amy A. Bartol

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is probably a 2.5/5 too but it was better than the first so I rounded up instead of rounding down.

As I mentioned in one of my updates I feel awkward reviewing books like this because I know I couldn’t do any better, and I also know I’m not the target demographic. Still, it was free on KU and the plot has been compelling enough to keep me engaged.

This review will contain spoilers so stop reading now if that bothers you.

I’ll start with the things I didn’t like that way this review ends with the positives. At times the writing was a little repetitive, and what made the repetition even more noticeable was how it carried over from the first book. For example, the descriptions of muscles on all the men Roselle respects or is romantically involved with. You can tell who the good guys are because they’re hot and muscular. You can tell who the bad guys are because they’re pure evil, usually less attractive, and very immature. Also, most people are blonde. It’s not that big of a deal but it just catches my attention how even some throwaway characters who don’t even need a physical description “brush their blonde hair out of their face.”

I was also not a fan of the love interests (it’s now a long quadrangle). Clifton, Hawthorne, and Reykin are all practically the same character because the most important thing about them is their combat competence and their physical appearance.

The villains are flat (most of the characters are) but they are still just evil for the sake of being evil.

Roselle is too perfect. She is able to kill an entire hoard of enemies at a costume party and come out with only a couple fractured ribs. Then when Clifton gives her this special body armor she is bested by two guards but is miraculously saved because of the armor. There’s really no conflict because it’s clear if Roselle wanted to she could kill everyone at once with ease, and I dont understand the connection she feels with her mom because we never actually saw any relationship (or lack thereof) we were just told Roselle was ignored and her mom hates her. I just mean I feel nothing for her dilemma because I never shared the same hope she had that their family would be reunited.

The only thing that gets in Roselle’s way is her own naivety and it’s kind of annoying because it’s so out of character. She goes from this overpowered demi-god to a bumbling idiot when it’s convenient for the plot or the romantic sub-plot.

It is entertaining though and there were pockets of good writing. Again I feel like I shouldnt be saying that because Bartol produced something better than I could.

As long as the third book is available on KU I will finish the series.

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The UnPlugged Series

I’m currently on spring break, and my week has been organized around three goals: studying for my exam on Monday, writing the introduction and the first section of my group research essay, and completing the first round edits of my R.K. Gold novel.

The first two are by far the least entertaining to talk about. I am excited to say that my first round edits are nearly complete. I have one and a half more chapters to read through. However, while my mind is focused on these three goals, the one thing I haven’t been able to shake his my desire to get back to working on my QT Pi series “UnPlugged.”

The first story in the series is iLaugh iCry and it focuses on the protagonist Tyson and his escape from The United Network (T.U.N.). This was supposed to be a fun sci-fi that lightly touched on my feelings towards Technology and the importance of preserving nature. It was supposed to be a short read more focused on entertainment than anything else.

Why would I focus on something deep when I have a second pen name, my primary pen name, dedicated solely to adult literary fiction? After all, the book I’m currently editing under R.K. Gold with themes like how home and grief follow you everywhere you go and can either hold you back or catapult you to greatness.

I didn’t expect a fun little story about a high school senior and a hacker named platypus to consume my thoughts. That was until I started outlining the second book and realized this isn’t just going to be three short novellas. This was full on world building. I didn’t expect to have to create my own mythology. Create the inner workings of an expansive government or an “uncivilized” tribe. All I did was ask why after every event, and every choice my protagonist made.

I am beyond excited to finish my exam, finish my papers, and finish editing my R.K. Gold book so I can focus on this series because it just gives me that gut feeling that I am really onto something.

Review: Lord of the Rings the Two Towers

The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well two down and one to go. One of the first things I have to say about this book is WOW the battle of Helm’s Deep was short. Since I saw the movies before reading the books, so much of what I saw is superimposed over the words I’m reading. This is probably the first book series I’ve read, after seeing the movies, where I feel like seeing the movies helped. I tip my hat to Peter Jackson, personally, after reading the first two parts of the Lord of the Rings, I think he did a fantastic job with his adaptation.

Frodo is such a better character in the books though. All of his actions are the same but we get the internal workings of his mind in the book, which we, unfortunately, did not get in the movies, so he comes across as intelligent and mature in the books and . . . well I’ll just say he comes across as a more deserving ring bearer in the books.

My favorite scenes in this book were two brief interactions between Sam and Frodo. The first when discussing the bread and it’s revealed Sam is trying to keep rations for the journey back home while Frodo is at peace with the thought that it’s a one way journey to Mordor.

The second is Frodo and Sam talking about their adventure as a story in the future. Sam pretending to be his future kids asking to hear more about Frodo, and Frodo jumping right into the role of another child wanting to hear more about Sam. It was just a really cute human moment that made me love the characters even more.

I will begin the Return of the King tomorrow and will hopefully have this series completed by the end of the week. I’m sort of sad about that to be honest, but oh well, on to the next one.

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