The Rule of Thoughts (The Mortality Doctrine #2) by: James Dashner

“Michael completed the Path. What he found at the end turned everything he’d ever known about his life—and the world—completely upside down.
He barely survived. But it was the only way VirtNet Security knew to find the cyber-terrorist Kaine—and to make the Sleep safe for gamers once again. And, the truth Michael discovered about Kaine is more complex than they anticipated, and more terrifying than even the worst of their fears.
Kaine is a tangent, a computer program that has become sentient. And Michael’s completing the Path was the first stage in turning Kaine’s master plan, the Mortality Doctrine, into a reality.
The Mortality Doctrine will populate Earth entirely with human bodies harboring tangent minds. Any gamer who sinks into the VirtNet risks coming out with a tangent intelligence in control of their body. 
And the takeover has already begun.” -Goodreads

There were a lot of books in 2014 that I had high hopes for. Some came through others though fell flat. In my review of The Eye of Minds I basically summed down my experience as: it sucked, but the ending was worth it and that I would be looking forward to the second book. Now that I’ve read the second book I have to say it’s exactly the same.

I don’t know what is going on with Dashner, well I have a vague idea, but I’ll get to that later. I will admit that the Maze Runner series wasn’t perfect, but it was good, it held my interest and told an interesting story and the writing wasn’t bad. Is it wrong for me to compare this work with that one? I’m pretty sure it’s not. The Rule of Thoughts does have an interesting concept idea it’s just that Dashner’s execution is very much lacking. The writing style still has this feel like he’s a newbie debut writer which was exactly how I felt in the last book. The characters are flat, the locations are generic, and the plot is just plain boring.

I think Dashner’s problem is that maybe he’s writing a story about a topic that he might not know too well and is therefore very hesitant with it. Gaming and computer lingo are pretty instrumental if you want to give off the feel that you are writing about games and computers. This is where his shortcomings seem to be coming from. The only words that he uses are hack and code and I’m just like “Okay… what type of hacks, what types of code?” Surely Dashner wouldn’t find it too difficult to pick up a computer book and do a little bit of researching.

My thoughts are kind of going like this, what I want is Log Horizon what I’m getting is .Hack//Sign. Anyone else feeling the same way?

So, yeah, overall the story sucked just like the last book, BUT…. I still want the third one because of that ending. It’s just like he knows the book sucks so he’s just like “Yeah, I’ll hit them hard with that exciting cliffhanger so they’ll go read the next book.” I just kind of want to bang my head against the wall because unlike for this book I am having no expectations whatsoever for The Game of Lives. It’ll suck like the Rule of Thoughts and the Eye of Minds, but hopefully the ending will be somewhat decent like these two.

My final thoughts are that I wished I’d never started this series, but now I feel somewhat invested in it. I rate it 2/5 stars.

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First Line #11

Ooh, two posts within a week something interesting is going on. Not really, but I did write this story and I happen to really like it so before I forget I decided to put it up now.

The story is a first line that I did in my creative writing class and is part of the competition hosted by thefirstline.com

I actually decided to put some effort into this one and wrote this in my usual style of randomness. So we got a good story with an extreme twist at the end.

Title: The Visitor

George pressed the call button and said, “Mrs. Whitfield, you have a visitor.”

Though Mrs.Whitfield has no inkling as to who her visitor might be she accepts him none the less with a single buzz as a reply back. The man who wears a pair of khaki’s, held up by black suspenders, and a white button up shirt tucked in (an outfit that is, while stylish, completely out-of-date) slips past George on silent loafered feet.

After the man disappears from his sight George soon forgets that he was ever there to begin with, he only has the faint impression of the bell above the door having been rung as if someone had in fact entered the apartment building, but it’s only faint and he chalks it up to his imagination. He returns to his unending game of solitaire while Mrs. Whitfield receives her visitor.

Mrs. Whitfield is an old lady whose husband had actually died last year, but she had never gotten out of the habit of being a ‘Mrs.’ so the title never changed despite becoming a widow. The apartment that she lives in holds echoes of her previous life, the one before she grew old and alone. Along the mantle our sporting shots of her and her late husband, much younger and holding the arrogance of youth in their eyes as the camera immortalizes them in each daring escapade that they dared to venture on. Nestled in between these old memories are the cherished photos of children, grandchildren, and great children.

While Mrs. Whitfield loves these pictures and the children themselves dearly she held the old fashioned opinion that many of her generation might, that she was perhaps not old enough to have great grandchildren yet, but she’d wave the thought away as soon as it come with a sigh and just murmur to herself: “That’s just the way it is now, I guess.” and she’d turn away from the mantle to go find something else to occupy her time.

The apartment isn’t large. It’s a simple one bedroom, one bathroom, with a small kitchen and living room. Mrs. Whitfield doesn’t require much space especially since it is only just her now. Mrs. Whitfield when not reminiscing on old memories or thinking about her children she can often be found sitting in her chair in the living room with a radio on the small stand beside it playing NPR while she knits various things. Her most recent work happens to be a blue and green baby blanket for one of the aforementioned great grandchildren.

This is where she had been before being told about her visitor. At first Mrs. Whitfield had thought that maybe it was one of her children, but had crossed out the notion upon thinking that one of her children would have called first before in advance so she could be prepared because Mrs. Whitfield did like to be prepared for such matters. Unless of course something had happened and there had been no time to give her advance call. This worried her so to soothe herself she said, “It’s probably just a salesman.” And it if is a salesman she thinks, she hopes that it’s a bible salesman because she is in particular need of a new bible.

When finally the knocking arrives Mrs. Whitfield answers it with what she perceives as a graceful and welcoming smile. Her visitor steps into her living room and while he is doing this Mrs. Whitfield has the impression that she is taking a step back in time for his outfit brings back many memories from her childhood. The years where people dressed respectable and held high regard towards acceptable and fanciful fashion.

The man looks down at the old woman with his own warm smile.

“How do you do?” He asks like a try dapper gentlemen and then continues on without waiting for a reply, “I’m Death and I’m here to take you to see your husband.”

Mrs. Whitfield’s smile fades, “Oh,” she replies in an understandably shocked manner, “I thought you might be a bible salesman.”

The Finisher by David Baldacci (Vega Jane #1)

Book Review of The Finisher by David Baldacci. YA-MG. Published 2014. Action, Fantasy.

Welcome to Wormwood: a place where curiosity is discouraged and no one has ever left.

Until one girl, Vega Jane, discovers a map that suggests a mysterious world beyond the walls. A world with possibilities and creatures beyond her imagining.

But she will be forced to fight for her freedom. And unravelling the truth may cost Vega her life.” -Goodreads

Most YA books you read that are told from a girl’s perspective (and this is a large majority) the girls in question are either whiny, annoying little twits who need everyone to help them achieve their goals or they are in the complete opposite of the spectrum and are a powerhouse of energy that is so completely unbelievable it’s stupidly unrealistic. And of course, since we’re talking YA here there’s always a boy which the previously stated powerhouse will fall in love and become completely useless without said boy, the whiny girl on the other hand won’t have a boy, she’ll have boys because love triangles are so popular and are an actual thing in real life. In The Finisher the main character Vega Jane is neither of these, kind of.

In the beginning Vega is very average considering her situation. And I can actually say this with complete honesty. She is average. She is not some whiny girl wanting to rise up against the government, she’s not some completely unrealistic powerhouse who is actually plotting to achieve something. She’s a girl who’s taking care of her little brother in their parent’s absence, she’s going to work at a factory as a finisher (Ha, look it’s the title), but wait, what is this her best friend is a guy, oh no!, but not really, because if you can imagine it for a YA she’s not in love with him! OMG, I think the world just broke.

Now you’d think that with all of this normal, realistic stuff going on she would be boring, but you’d be wrong. Vega Jane is actually pretty interesting and I have to hand this Baldacci, he did an excellent job at creating a character that is both realistic and awesome. Vega’s got some spunk and she’s not afraid to throw down with the men if they insult her or her friends. My only beef with her is that she’s actually pretty naive and trusting with the people she knows are lying to her. Her council people persons, them, yeah, you know what I mean. She know’s that they’re lying about some things but then she still believes and trusts everything they say and I’m just like “Are you a complete moron?” but then I just kept reminding myself that she has only had schooling till she was like thirteen and she’s grown up admiring these councilmen so why would she not trust them? It still annoyed me though when it seemed like Baldacci was purposefully dumbing her down. But by the end she wisens up and kind of becomes one of those aforementioned powerhouses (it has yet to be seen if this will actually come to pass)

Speaking of Baldacci, the writing in this book was pretty awesome, okay scratch that, what he’s writing about is pretty awesome. The setting and storyline that he invented is completely wow. The creativity and imagination he used for this fantasy novel really rendered it well. However, his actual writing style, that was confusing as fuck. Listen, if you have to have a glossary in the back of the book then you’re doing something wrong. If you’re glossary isn’t actually helpful in anyway you’re definitely doing something wrong. Trying to decipher this guy’s made up and (I think) british lingo was super taxing. It was like trying to translate Gavin speak except an entire books worth. (Gavin Free from Achievement Hunter for those who don’t get the reference.) But despite that I still enjoyed his writing, Wormwood was so vividly described I can imagine it and it’s inhabitants to the tee, and the impressions are definitely long lasting (considering I’m doing this review half a year after I read it) I can still remember all of the character and places, albeit not exactly the names… This book was really well done.

However, that ending filled me with a certain sense of foreboding. Dare I say it, there might be a love triangle on the horizon. Uh! But Baldacci might continue to amaze me and not do that at all, I’ll just have to wait and see. Overall this story was really good. The plot was interesting and held my interest pretty well. The book is actually intended for MG so I think the author did a good job making it enjoyable for people who are not in MG. The writing, a bit confusing, but worth it to read about the unique characters, creatures, and places that Baldacci describes with first class imagery. The book left me, while at a cliffhanger, not about to weep or throw the book against the wall, but still excited and anticipating the next book. That’s a good way to end a book.

Final Verdict: 4/5

Allegiant (Divergent #3) Veronica Roth

Divergent became the most popular and most anticipated book series along with Legend, Mortal Instruments, and Heroes of Olympus. I loved this book series it made me cry, laugh, and actually think about moral issues and about “doing the right thing.” Not many books can hold that kind of sway over a reader, but Veronica Roth delivers a trilogy that is so touching that you have to put real thought into it. This series has taken me through a real journey and I’m glad to see where it’s finally landed. It’s not the best ending ever created, but it’s not the worst either, it’s an ending that you’ll remember.

The story basically starts off where it ended in the last book, Insurgent. Tris and her friends are in a jail cell awaiting their trials after having shown the video of Tris’s ancestor telling everyone about why the city was created and what the Divergent are there for. Truth be told, I didn’t actually remember half of the characters or what the video actually said because of the long wait in between reading the two books. However, even though I never actually re-remembered the characters, the message was repeated over in the story and had many mentions and recalls.

I think what made this book so awesome was that we got duel perspectives; one POV was from Tris like in all of the other books and the other was from Tobias/Four. We got more details about Tobias’s mother and father and how growing up with them was like and how it made him into the person he was currently. I liked all of the back information we got about his life and family.

The book takes into detail about the conflict between the Faction believers (or also known as the Allegiant) and the FactionLess. The FactionLess want to stay inside of the safety of the fence and leave the outside world alone, the Allegiant want to leave the Town and try to help the people outside. Tris and Tobias end up joining the Allegiant and leaving the Town to see what is actually outside of the fence.

But then *major plot twist* the whole thing is just a ruse by the government in the outside world (I really never saw that one coming). It turns out the people who live past the fence built the town into what it was and they created the factions to try and create desirable genes… or the Divergent.

After that everything seems to fall into a familiar pattern, except this time we get to learn about it through Tobias’s eyes as well. Tris and her friends learn about how these government had betrayed them and are going to wipe the memories of all of the town’s people so they can reset the program. So after Tris and Tobias start having couple’s issues, a revolution fails, people die, and Tris gets put on a council or something they all decide that instead of letting the government erase the memories of all their friends and families they’re going to erase the memories of the people working for the government. That one seemed very stretched to me, instead of releasing the memory serum on the government people I don’t know why they just didn’t decide to inoculate everyone in the town, that sounds way more reasonable.

In the end though that’s what they do, erase everyone’s memories, but in the process of that Tris dies. I was in the middle of my French class when I got to that part and I just started crying, it was terrible. I’d hate to say that the ending was terrible, but in a situation like this I wish Roth had done something different. I didn’t hate it, I didn’t really like it either, but I can see why it was done like that it. It gave a final and resolute end to a great series. I’m glad to have read this book and been able to learn so much from it.
I rate the book 4/5

P.S.
I’m excited for the movie set to come out this year, I hope it’s fantastic and really portrays that books as it should.

Champion (Legend #3) By: Marie Lu

Finally we can all breathe, the series is over and Day is not dead. After the last book every Legend Fangirl just about started crying, I was one of them.

As soon as I opened the first page I knew I was going to be in for one hell of a ride, what I didn’t expect was for the ride to be kind of flat. Yeah, the novel got a bit fast paced, but at one point I almost fell asleep and there were no major plot-twist, nothing memorable anyway. Day and his little brother are now living in a rich sector with a nanny. June is off doing her own thing with Anden as one of his princeps-elect.

The only part of this WHOLE book that was absolutely perfect was Eden. Day’s little brother is the most cutest, stubbornest, and most brilliant character in this book- sorry Day.
Day and his tumor, though, almost gave me a tumor, every time he would start doing his running and jumping, and generally being awesome, all I could think was “Should you really be doing that, you’re honestly just going to end up breaking something.” and he did end up breaking something, June’s HEART! jerk.

I don’t like June, I never really liked June, she was always sort of just a wet blanket that got thrown on the party who obsessively counted things. In this book she’s kind of stupid, she actually still trust the government after everything that has happened.

Basically the entire plot goes like this, there’s a virus. Eden might be the cure to that virus. If the virus doesn’t get cured the Colonies won’t sign the peace treaty with the Republic. That creepy military chick that ordered Mathias’s death escapes prison. June goes to the Antarctic. Day gets hospitalized for about five minutes. Eden volunteers to be a lab rat. The Colonies attack and finally something interesting happens. The Patriots come back along with Tess, I don’t know why Lu didn’t think of creating some sort of relationship between her and Eden. Anyway, the capital gets bombed and Day is out back in action with the Patriots again. Then Tess gets infected and it turns out June is the cure for the plague, not Eden (I think that was suppose to be the big major plot twist). And then everything is going along fine, the cure is being made everybody is getting better and then the Colonies attack again and Day gets shot by that Commander Jameson. Goddammit!
Then we reach the conclusion, Day gets the tumor removed, falls into a coma and when he wakes up he doesn’t remember June.

Seriously, this had to be the biggest copout since the movie Copout came out. You know what would have been awesome, June dying, so I didn’t have to read about her life twenty years in the future without Day and then one night have them walk right up to each and create the instalove. GIANT COPOUT.

That ending lacked all sparks and awesomeness that we got from Legend and Progidy, I was super disappointed.
I’m stopping right there and rating this book 3.5/5

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by: Holly Black

Screw the Cullens and all the other infamous vampires, Holly Black’s vampires are perfect, they’re neither kind and caring “vegetarians” nor cold-hearted predators without a scrap of humanity left inside of them. Holly’s vampires border on the tightrope walk of both, they’re monsters in their own ways, some without a single ounce of remorse for all of the lives they’ve stolen while others can feel so remorseful they’re driven to suicide, but all of them are possessed with the hunger for human blood that can drive them insane and make them do terrible things.

This story really had me on edge, from the very first page I was drawn in, Tana, our seventeen year old, female protagonist wakes up from a party to find out that everyone there had been slaughtered by vampires while she had been passed out drunk in the bathtub. On her way to escaping she finds a chained up vampire with her ex-boyfriend Aidan who’s been tied and gagged to a bed, but also bitten.

Being bitten by a vampire, or more specifically being infected by vampire blood, will cause someone to go Cold, the transitionary state between human and vampire, where only drinking human blood will seal the deal and drive the nails in your coffin. However, if the person doesn’t want to be a vampire they can try to quarantine themselves and sweat out the vampire toxins, but the problem is that very few people make it to the eighty-eighth day when they can say they’ve been cured.

Knowing all of this beforehand Tana decides to try and save Aidan anyway, and the vampire boy named Gavriel. With a few slick maneuvers Tana manages to avoid the vampires that killed all of her friends and help Aidan and Gavriel get to Coldtown, a place where vampires and infected humans are placed to live to stop the infectious disease of vampirism from running rampant. Along the way there them meet a few people, run into a few scrapes, and when they do get to Coldtown everything is not as it seems, friends become enemies and monsters became lovers. Coldtown is the place where people have to face their inner demons everyday.

I loved this story, the plot twists were genius, and even though I wish the story would have ended a bit better, I found the whole thing awesome. I loved Gavriel’s madness, I liked everything about him more than I did Tana herself, even though I liked how she upgraded herself from sad teenager looking for help anywhere she could find it to a complete badass who takes the bull by the horns.

I rate the book 4.5/5, a very high praise considering how much I didn’t like the ending. I hope there’s going to be a sequel, there could be, but there definitely doesn’t have to be, everything got wrapped in pretty red bows and there were no loose ends hanging around. Anyway this is definitely a book I’d recommend for people to read, it’s a good thriller and Holly Black is an excellent writer.

The Eye of Minds by: James Dashner

A highly anticipated novel. I think after the Maze Runner was born everyone went Dashner crazy, with a reason. The Maze Runner books are completely awesome, they get you right in the feels, and have good plots. This book is nothing like the Maze Runner.
The Eye of Minds really disappointed me, I actually thought about giving up on it, it was that boring. Not only does little happen in it, the writing is worse than a debut novel, Dashner What Happened!?

Our main character is Michael, a suppose skilled gamer, but we never actually get to read about him doing anything special or genius, to me he seemed like any other gamer. His friends, however did pull some sweet moves. Bryson and Sarah seemed to be the only ones who did any of the heavy lifting in this novel, they were shown repeatedly looking into the programming and hacking stuff while Michael just sits there and watches them.
There were only two interesting points to this novel for me. The first one was the diversity in the Path, every single level they went through were unique and a few of them even had me on edge while they were passing through them. The second interesting thing about this novel was the ending, most endings can’t surprise me, but this one completely threw me. I was shocked, stunned, and a bit flabbergasted. The ending alone, that plot twist, had me sitting there for a good minute thinking about it and bumped up what would have been a two star rating to a three and a half.
If the book hadn’t ended the way it did I would have lost my faith in Dashner’s writing and said screw the sequel, but now I’m completely inpatient for The Rule of Thoughts.

House of Hades by: Rick Riordan

At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?
They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.

Upon finishing this book I started to scream out every single insult and curse that I know, and even made up a few new ones. To save everyone from the pain and disappointment of this ending I’m just going to tell you, there’s going to be a fifth book, Son-of-a-Mother-F*cking-Cyclops, FML! I hate you Riordan! Why would you do this???? *sobs of frustration and anger*

I really thought that this would be the end, I was stoked and completely prepared for this series to end for good, but there was no f*cking ending! GAH!!!!!!!

I love Percy Jackson, I really do, I love Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Leo, Frank, Hazel, Nico, Coach Hedge, and even Reyna, they are all such perfect characters with real voices and emotions that you can understand and relate to, but I can’t endure the agony of waiting an entire year to find out what happens next. It’s the problem with all book series you love, you never want them to end, but the constant anticipation for new books slowly kills you inside, until you become a wreck, sobbing at the end of the book because of the stupid cliffhanger.

In the House of Hades there wasn’t a lot of plot development, the story mainly consisted of character development, I love Nico, anyone who’s read the book will understand why I’m putting that there. And Frank’s really moved on up along with Piper, Hazel and Leo, and even Coach Hedge, you learn a lot more about him. Calypso comes back in this book, but I refuse to give away spoilers about this, but I really hope she becomes a main character in the next book, The Blood of Olympus.
There’s just so much in this book, 600 pages of pure brilliant, genius, awesomeness. I want to live in this book *Cue heavy-breathing, maniacal, wild-eyed, looking fan-girl* I would kill to get my hands on the next book.

I would have finished this book in one day except I got super distracted and didn’t get to finish it, so I had to finish it today. I just… I feel like I’ve been through on an emotional roller coaster, but as soon as I hit the peak the ride stopped, leaving me there, simmering in all the glory of Rick Riordan’s work.
The prophesy is becoming a lot clearer, but I wish it had been written out somewhere, like the front page, so I could properly remember it, instead just pieces of it were mentioned leaving me a bit confused.
I loved Annabeth’s new sword, and Hazel’s ability to work the Mist, Hecate is an awesome goddess/titan. I just feel so sad for my favorite characters; Leo and Nico, the two outsiders. Both were forced to deal with stuff that was completely unfair, but utterly perfect, I want more from them. In The Blood of Olympus I want a chapter from Nico, he didn’t get one in this book, I would love to better see in his mind.

Anyway, I’m going to wrap there and rate the book 5/5, perfect perfection, something all the gods and mortals should read (and a few special monsters).

Dracula 1×01 Pilot

Completely awesome, the sets and wardrobe were amazingly done and the special effects looked brilliant. Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 9.21.58 AM

My sister’s complaint was that she wished in the very beginning that Dracula’s regeneration had been slowed down, but I didn’t mind it so much

The story telling was genius and I find myself already drawn into the plot and anticipating the next episode.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a brilliant actor, I loved everything he did, his violent outbursts, saying suave words with his accent, sexing up Lady Jayne, and of course when he goes vamp on someone.
Mina is really cool, her character is not some simple-minded damsel in distress, but instead a scientist and scholar, and even though this was only the first episode I wished something would have been said about how sexist society was in that century since she was clearly not the type of woman to stay at home and make the husband happy, but instead someone who repeatedly proven to be smarter than the male species.
I’m not really sure how I felt about Jonathan Harker, not a lot of background information was given on him, just that he’s a reporter and may or may not propose to Mina.
I’m going to sum up Lady Jayne with what my sister said, she’s a slut and her fancy knife work isn’t going to change that.Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 9.43.15 AM
I would like to also point out that she also doesn’t fit into the popular views by society back then on how a woman should act or be treated.
I actually wasn’t expecting Van Helsing to be the way he was, along with being Mina’s professor he’s also in league with Dracula, an exciting plot development, I really can’t wait to learn more about his background. I can already tell that show is going to have a lot of twist and turns that will have me riveted to the t.v. or my laptop screen.

Upon watching the show I had been hoping that it would make a decent replacement for Da Vinci’s Demons, but afterwards I have to say that the are in no way similar or interchangeable, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t still fantastic. Dracula is a stunning piece of originality and imagination, instead of comparing it to Da Vinci’s Demons I would instead hold it up to CBS’s Elementary, neither are loud or extravagant in their storytelling but instead sudden, a plot twist or revelation can be made at any time and that’s what really makes the shows awesome, Dracula showed it self to be one hell of a bloody series and this only the beginning, I will most assuredly be watching next week and the week after that.

The Rithmatist by: Brandon Sanderson

Oh My Gawd! is all I can say about this book… actually that’s false there’s a lot I can say about this book because it was completely awesome. Sanderson made a masterpiece, a book worth reading a hundred times over with a compelling plot and an actual mystery that’s not guessed off after the very first pages.

Our main character, Joel, has real flesh and bone made from the words in this book. Has does our second main character Melody, I loved her wit and all of the dramatics she gave. And the ending was beautifully written, ending off perfectly while still holding my intrigue until I can get my hands on the sequel that probably won’t be out till next year.I feel like if I start on a real summary and review of this book I’ll be here all night describing the brilliance of this book. Let me just sum it all up by giving this book 5/5 stars.
This is definitely a series to look out for.