Insurgent by Veronica Roth

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Star Rating

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This one is 4 stars because it didn’t keep me up reading, but I still liked it. I would have liked to see Tris overcome her PTSD a little better and not freak out constantly. The idea that she couldn’t use a gun just wasn’t believable to me. The paintball guns didn’t affect her and they should have either affected her or helped her get over shooting Will.

The relationship between Tris and Tobias was done pretty well but wasn’t enjoyable because it was the crappy keep-secrets-and-drift-apart part of the relationship. Very believable and well-written, but again, not fun.

The plot was pretty cool. Divided factions, rise of the factionless, and an interesting ending.

Book Details

Insurgent by Veronica Roth is published by HarperCollins and released in 2012. Having reviewed, the first book, we decided to review the second book. The book is 544 pages and may have been just bit too long for the content.

Like in Divergent, the story is told from Tris’s point of view and is in present tense, which after reading Divergent, I am already accustomed to.

The novel’s premise

With the attack on Abnegation by the Erudite leaving most of the political leaders dead, Tris and Tobias must find a way to protect those around them in the midst of war.

Editing

Quality: High

I highlighted two obnoxious comma issues where the comma should not have been there. Other than being disrupted by these two commas, the book was pretty well edited.

Imagination and Uniqueness

I think she struggled to be imaginative in this book a little. She rode her imagination from Divergent, which fortunately had big enough shoulders to ride on.

The Erudite headquarters could have been described a bit better. A lot was left to my imagination, and fortunately I have a good one, which is why I like books better than some who don’t have their own huge imagination.

Characters

Beatrice Prior (Tris) is a no longer a simple character. She is a short blond girl who now struggles with PTSD. I still liked her, but I started to feel a hit of annoyance directed at her.

Tobias Eaton (Four), son of Marcus Eaton (the last living political leader) and Evelyn Johnson-Eaton (leader of the factionless) becomes a leader himself. He doesn’t trust his mother or father.

The side characters need some descriptive work. I am confused with Christina’s character. Sometimes she writes her like a pretty blond but she was described with short black hair and dark brown skin. I think she needs to do a better job with the side characters.

eBook Quality

Quality: Average

Except for one huge editing issue, the eBook was pretty good. Unfortunately the editing issue occurred over and over again. The problem was that every time a new section (chapter’s in Veronica Roth’s books seem to have sections) starts, there should be a divider. It could be a space, or a symbol or three asterisks *** or something. Unfortunately there was nothing. So the start of the new section was just the next paragraph. However, there is no indent at the start of a new section. So it looked like she had about 45 paragraphs missing an indent. Oops!

I almost dropped a star for this, but didn’t quite feel this eBook issue was bad enough to warrant a dropped star. If this issue isn’t fixed soon, I may come back and drop at least a half star.

About the Author

Veronica Roth is from Chicago, in fact, she and her husband still live there.

She studied creative writing at Northwestern University. While some who study creative writing, never learn to actually write a good book, she seems to have figured it out.

In an interview posted on GoodReads, Veronica said: “When I was 16, I would have chosen Candor.”

Divergent by Veronica Roth

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Star Rating

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This book gets five stars because I couldn’t put it down. I read until 3:00 A.M. two days in a row because it was that enthralling.

Book Details

Divergent by Veronica Roth is published by HarperCollins and released in 2011. With the movie coming out, we decided to review it. The book is approximately 500 pages.

The story is told from Tris’s point of view and is in present tense, which is a little annoying at first, but I got over it quickly.

The novel’s premise

In a world that is limited to the borders of post apocalyptic Chicago, the remaining society is divided into different factions. Each faction focuses on a different aspect of humanity such as selflessness, courage, honestly, knowledge, etc. Beatrice Prior grew up in Abnegation, the faction for selflessness, but at age 16, she gets to choose whether to stay in her faction or transfer.

Editing

Quality: High

This book had pretty much zero editing issues. I highlight all the issues I find, and this was the first book in a while to be devoid of editing issues.

Imagination and Uniqueness

Veronica Roth limits her dystopian world to only the city of Chicago, but that does not limit her imagination. The different factions give her plenty of material to play with. Her imagination is greatest in how she imagined this world’s society.

Characters

Beatrice Prior (Tris) is a simple character. She is a short blond girl who struggles with being selfless. I immediately liked this character and just couldn’t stop reading about her.

Tobias Eaton (Four) is in Dauntless, a faction for courage, and his character gets pretty deep.

I struggled a bit with the other characters training with her. They are part of the book often, but I would imagine them one way but then she would describe them another. Perhaps clearer descriptions of them and descriptive character tags used throughout would have helped.

eBook Quality

Quality: High

This eBook was a perfect reading experience.

About the Author

Veronica Roth is from Chicago, in fact, she and her husband still live there.

She studied creative writing at Northwestern University. While some who study creative writing, never learn to actually write a good book, she seems to have figured it out.

Fire Light by J. Abram Barneck

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Fire Light

Star Rating

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This book gets five stars because it has great characters, real life, fun action, magic, and awesomely evil bad guys, all in a descent plot with plenty of twists.

Book Details

Fire Light is an young adult urban fantasy novel by J. Abram Barneck. It is 432 pages. Barneck is self-published, but he is a a self-published author that appears to have done a lot right.

The novel’s premise

Barneck’s story starts with his main character, Jacob Stevens, a 17 year old boy who finds out he is a druid and learns to cast some cool spells, like Fire Light and a Magic Missile.

Editing

Quality: High

This book is listed as being edited by Sarah Bylund. It also lists about a dozen proofreaders. Well, they all did a great job. I could not find a typo, or a missing word, or any of the other issues that are common for self-published works.

Imagination and Uniqueness

The imagination in Fire Light is stellar. The idea of young man casting fire light and a magic missile is thrilling.

This story has its own uniqueness. It is set in Salt Lake City and could possibly be the first urban fantasy that takes place there.

Characters

The characters are very well done. The main character, Jacob Stevens, is a high school geek turned football star (geek + jock = jeek) who turns out to be a druid. He also has an endearing relationship with his sister that really helps the reader see Jake as a real person.

The two main female characters, Kendra and Alexis, will polarize you as a reader. Kendra, just turning sixteen, is young and innocent. Alexis is eighteen and half-dhampir. She is the granddaughter of the Vampire King. There is definitely a love triangle between Jake, Kendra, and Alexis, but unlike other love triangles, this love triangle is permanent. What does permanent mean? Well, you’ll have to read to find out.

The nightwalker is vicious and evil and definitely unique. The Vampire King is eight hundred years old and completely void of any sense of morality.

Magic System

Magic in Fire Light is nothing more than a person’s ability to access and use the energy that is all around us. Druids have a connection to that magic that a person either has or doesn’t, like how some people can roll then tongues and others can’t.

There is a bit of science to the magic. It is energy and one of the magic systems rules is that it has to be scientifically plausible. A little bit of chemistry and elements and the ability to convert energy to matter and vise versa (ike E=MC2).

eBook Quality

Quality: High

His eBook is impeccably formatted. In fact, it is probably formatted better than many books published by the big publishers out there.

There were no flaws to his eBook. From the cover to the final About the author page, there was nothing that made this book look self-published. Of course, once you read “About the Author” below, you will understand why this is book is published with such high quality.

About the Author

J. Abram Barneck live in West Jordan, Utah with his wife and kids. He read the Hobbit in fifth grade and consumed fantasy books one after another thereafter. He started writing his own fantasy at age sixteen.

Barneck graduated from BYU with a degree in Creative Writing. While at BYU, he spent three years with Leading Edge, a science fiction and fantasy magazine, where he worked with great writers and editors, even becoming acquainted with great authors such as Brandon Sanderson and David Farland. In one creative writing course, taught by David Farland, J. Abram Barneck sat only a few rows away from another popular author, Stephenie Meyer, who he unfortunately never talked to. It seemed inevitable that Barneck would one day become an author.

However, Barneck is a Senior Software Engineer and is currently completing a Masters of Computer Science. He loves writing both code and fiction. His high tech skills explain why his eBook is such high quality.

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