Tag Archives: Kacey F. ’15

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch (review by Kacey F. ’15)

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards, #2)Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a sequel to the stunning first novel The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas Under Red Skies continues just about where its predecessor left off, starting with the recovery of the two main characters. Before long, the inseparable Locke and Jean are back at what they do best: clearing the nobility of Tal Verrar of everything under their noses through multi-layered, unpredictable grand schemes. Even so, the two see their share of hardship and deceit as they get swept under an increasingly uncontrollable and bloodthirsty political web. Compared with the first book, Red Seas somewhat falls short as a result of its wavering and complex plot. It succeeds, however, in brilliantly furthering the compelling relationship between the two reprobates that readers first fell in love with in The Lies of Locke Lamora. Deploying all the world-building craft of a video game designer and skilled fiction writer, Lynch weaves an action-packed story complete with some of the snarkiest characters you will ever meet and an ending that will leave readers agonizing for The Republic of Thieves. – Kacey F. ‘15

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Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (review by Kacey F. ’15)

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Clockwork Angel breaks little new ground beyond Clare’s equally unimpressive first series, The Mortal Instruments. Flung into the realm of Shadowhunters and Downworlders after failing to reunite with her brother, Tessa Gray discovers she harbors unusually powerful magical abilities. From there, Clare has her heroine set off on a path long beaten into the ground by more proficient fantasy fiction authors, where Tessa must use her talents to outwit a mysterious villain known as the Magister. Convoluted love triangles, overused plot devices, and character inconsistencies bog down what otherwise might be considered crisp and fast-paced writing. Although the characters are witty, dangerous, and endearing at all the right moments, they only revolve in tedious circles around their respective personality stereotypes. Half-hearted background details injected into the storyline fail to convince or immerse the reader in the book’s Victorian steampunk setting. While the dialogue and plot twists make for a fun read and obvious movie fodder, Clockwork Angel ultimately never experiments enough beyond the tropes of commercial teen fantasy to leave a worthwhile impression. – Kacey F. ‘15

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The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston (review by Kacey F. ’15)

The Woman WarriorThe Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kingston’s memoir speaks through first person only sometimes, defies chronological order, and thoroughly succeeds as an unconventional and thought-provoking work that presses the boundaries of a typical autobiography. As a Chinese-American girl of immigrant parents, Kingston recounts growing up in California amidst a confusing clash of cultures. The subject matter sounds dangerously close to other Chinese-American books save for the fact that Kingston places emphasis on dreams, imagination, and ghosts as much as real events. Her prose plays out with real and intriguing art, propelling the reader from one seamless narrative to another with subtle fluidity. She navigates through fact and fiction, blurring the line between the two while still beautifully encapsulating the emotional essence of her childhood to adult years. Poignant, bittersweet, and sometimes disturbing, The Woman Warrior is a recommended masterpiece for all mature readers, especially those appreciative of the postmodern style of literature. – Kacey F. ‘15

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