Monday, August 13, 2018

Review: The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie

The Raging Ones
(The Raging Ones #1)
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Hardcover, 352 pages, Wednesday Books
Genres: YA, Sci-Fi

In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.

My Review

Three teenagers sharing a mystical bond in a YA book isn’t abnormal. In fact, some would say it’s downright cliché. What isn’t cliché is how the bond isn’t romantic. At least, it’s not romantic in terms of a love triangle featuring two boys fighting over one girl. In fact, the boys are much more interested in each other than the new girl.

Okay, so I have to be honest. I was intrigued by this book not because of the main synopsis, but because of the LGBT characters plus the sci-fi element. Too often in YA, LGBT characters are relegated to contemporary stories only, and I’m not here for it. I want some SFF diversity. So when I started this one, I wasn’t totally sure what I was getting into. And by the end of it, I was just like “Huh?” and “What in the world did I just read?” And not necessarily in a good way.

The plot of this book starts out weirdly, but the characters are what lead the story. Court is kind of a more emotional Kaz Brekker. Mykal is… well, he’s Mykal. I don’t know of very many characters like him. He’s a gruff, simple, outdoorsy dude. He’s like a younger, hotter Ron Swanson on an ice planet. And Franny is pretty simple in terms of lifestyle as well. She does what she wants. She’s unique, but she’s got a little Tris and/or Katniss in her.

These characters’ backgrounds are fascinating, but—and this is a big BUT—those backgrounds could have been explored way more than they were. All three of the characters’ backstories were just summed over like they didn’t really matter. This was very frustrating. I don’t like it when readers don’t get the emotional impact from a previous event and instead are just told a very summed up, quickie version.

This problem transferred over into plot as well. Any time something remotely interesting happen plot-wise, two pages later, it would be wrapped up. Any fight or conversation took two seconds to fix. There was just a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. Everything was summed up instead of slowed down for dramatic effect, including relationship dynamics. This made the subplots dull, and it lessened the impact of the primary plot. Also, a lot of crying happened in this one. I was a little confused as to why the characters’ emotions were all over the place.

Okay, so those are the negatives. There are quite a few. However, I was sucked in about 15% of the way in, so the beginning is good. The middle is where things get hard to wade through, and then the ending, the very end, is where things pick up. The Raging Ones finally turned into the space story I was promised. Now, I want to see what happens in book two. I’m not dying to know, but I am curious.

All in all, this book could have been The Hunger Games meets The 100 (in space!) with its own super unique twist, instead, it went a totally different direction and kind of just floundered there. The relationships were meh and the plot was too summarized 90% of the time. I’d suggest going into this one with caution.

*Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

July Wrap-Up & August TBR

Long time no see, reader friends! Yep, I’ve been gone an entire month, and I don’t plan on being back much in August either. I’m taking a blogging break. I kind of do this every summer. Not sure why but blogging just becomes so tedious when it’s hot out.

Now, though, I actually have an entire backlog of posts and reviews I need to do, but I just don’t want to do them. The only reason I’m writing this wrap-up is because they’re my favorite posts to look back on and I didn’t want to miss one.

But as for blogging in general, I don’t know exactly when I’ll be back to my regular schedule. Probably sometime in the fall when it’s quieter and cooler.

As for my personal life, I thought I’d provide a few updates. My new roommate moves in August 1st (which should be today, as I’m pre-scheduling this post). I’ve been living for two weeks without a third roommate, so it’s going to be a little weird having one again.

I’m also writing more often, though not as often as I’d like. I recently did Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m only 1,200 words away from my goal of 7,500 words as I’m writing this, so hopefully I won. We shall see. That’ll bring my total word count for this WIP up to 10,000 words. I’ve never been to the double digits in a story before, so it’s very exciting.

But anywho, on to the book news.

Books Read in July

Blood Passage: 4/5 stars
Exquisite Captive: 4/5 stars
The Traitor Prince: 3.5/5 stars
Bright We Burn: 2.5/5 stars

I finished three books that’d been on my TBR for awhile now, so I’m pretty proud. Though, as you’ll see in the next sections, I just added a gazillion more books to that TBR. God, I’ll never catch up.

Books Bought in July

I only bought three books this month. Now I Rise and Bright We Burn were orders from the Book Depository, while Battle Mage was an impulse buy at Barnes & Noble.

Books I Received for Free in July

I wasn’t expecting to get this many books during the month. To be honest, I got most of these during the last week of July. I have no idea why the free books just exploded during that last week. I guess I can’t complain, though.

So, all of the books minus one were from the Take Shelves at work. Sanctuary was given to me by my roommate after I begged her to get me a copy from her work. Don’t worry, I totally returned the favor and got her something as well. Oh, and I also picked up a couple of children’s books from the Take Shelves, but those are just Christmas gifts for my little cousin.

Book Budget Status for July

Battle Mage: $17.41
Now I Rise & Bright We Burn: $18.91
Heart of Thorns: $19.91 (preorder)

Now, this week’s book budget is a little complicated. Normally, my monthly budget is $75. But, in June I spent a total of $68.47, which was over budget by $0.47, since I overspent in May (which made my monthly budget $68 in June). So complicated. However, my Catwoman UK edition preorder ended up being cancelled because Book Depository isn’t going to have it in stock. So, I didn’t overspend in June. I actually only spent $52.58. Yay!

I re-preordered Catwoman from Amazon UK, but I won’t be charged for it until next month. It did cost me $24.46, though. Yikes.

As for my total for this month, I spent $55.91. However, Heart of Thorns is a preorder for a signing event, so I won’t get that book until August 1st. But, all in all, I was under budget by $22.42.

Currently Obsessed With

July was all about superheroes. I was finishing up season four of The Flash and I started and finished season three of Supergirl. Both were freaking incredible!

To fill the now gaping hole in my life, I started Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger. I’m all caught up, so I should be watching the last episode once it’s on Hulu. I also decided to finish watching Marvel’s Runaways. I watched the first two episodes back when they aired, but I stopped after that, basically since I didn’t want to watch an episode once a week. I like marathoning my shows as much as possible.

Other than those shows, I’m still watching season six of The 100, which is just as amazing as all the other seasons, and season three of Animal Kingdom, which is also pretty amazing. I’m struggling to finish Black Lightning, but I will persevere.

For fanfiction, I’m still reading a lot of Jason Todd and Game of Thrones stuff. A little bit of Stranger Things here and there, but mostly the other two. Oh, and did anyone else watch all the SDCC panel videos? Because I did that too. The awesome Voltron news has me so happy! The Titans trailer, not so much.

Currently Reading/August TBR

I was in a reading slump after Bright We Burn, so I actually picked up four different books to read, trying to kill the slump. It didn’t really work, though I can feel that I’m getting out of it a little now. I’m actually excited to finish reading Smoke in the Sun now. But yeah, the goal this month is to finish the four books I started.

August Events

One bookish event this month.

Bree Barton will be signing at Books of Wonder for her new release, Heart of Thorns. I plan on going, but that’s the day my new roommate will be moving in, so it’s still a little iffy.

Yes, Ant-Man & the Wasp was already listed on July’s Events. I didn’t end up going to see this film in July, but I am going to see it this Friday. I have to, because I am seriously close to getting spoiled.


Okay, well, that’s the month of July, plus some August sneak peeks, all wrapped up into one post. Do you have a wrap-up post for this month? If so, share in the comments!