BOOK REVIEW: I Am Legend – by Richard Matheson

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Title: I Am Legend
Author: Richard Matheson
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Classics
First published: 1954
Finished reading: January 7th 2015
Pages: 160
Rating 4,5

“He stood there for a moment looking around the silent room, shaking his head slowly. All these books, he thought, the residue of a planet’s intellect, the scrapings of futile minds, the leftovers, the potpourri of artifacts that had no power to save men from perishing.”

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I Am Legend is one of those cases where the book is just SO much better than the movie. I saw the movie ages before reading this novel by Richard Matheson and thought it was ‘ok’. But now I’ve read the book, I honestly don’t know what they were thinking when they were writing the script. They were able to completely destroy the message of the novel and the words ‘I am legend’ lose their original meaning on the screen. The description of the main character Robert Neville is impressive. Matheson shows us how Neville reacts to the death of his wife and child; how hope and despair intertwine as he is trying to coope with the fact that he is the last living man on Earth. The prose is simply brilliant and even though Neville isn’t exactly likeable, with scenes like the one with the dog or when he has to bury his wife you cannot help but feel pity for him.  I Am Legend is not just another vampire story. It’s an intense journey full of dangers, despair and a psychological study of a man who is forced to live in survival mode. If you like horror and science fiction, read this classic!

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A few years ago, a disease started to spread rapidly throughout the world Robert Neville lives in today. Initially it was only making people sick, but soon enough they would start to change… Vampires. The world is now full of them, and Neville seems to be the last living man on Earth. They never figured out how the disease first started or spread, but the consequences are clear. Neville is forced to live in survival mode; killing vampires by day and locking himself inside his home during the night so the creatures cannot get to him. It doesn’t matter how many he kills; more seem to come back the next day  hungry for his blood. Solitude and despair are slowly destroying him, but he is determined to find a cure for the infected that are still living. The answer to the disease might not be the one he was looking for though…

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I Am Legend is a powerful book that will positively freak you out if you are not into the horror genre. The psychological study of the Neville character and the fact that the vampires feel ‘authentic’ made this novel into one of my favorite horror/SF reads so far, and it is without doubt recommendable. Don’t confuse the book with the movie though; they are completely different!

BOOK REVIEW: Clockwork Princess – by Cassandra Clare

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Title: Clockwork Princess
(The Infernal Devices Trilogy #3)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Steampunk, Fantasy, Paranormal
First published: March 19th 2013
Finished reading: January 5nd 2015
Pages: 576
Rating 4

“Life is a book and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read.”

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Since Cassandra Clare had ended Clockwork Prince with so many cliffhangers and I had a copy of the third book already waiting for my on my TBR pile, she left me with no other option than picking up Clockwork Princess straight away. I’m glad that I didn’t start reading The Infernal Devices trilogy when they were first published, because I don’t know if I could have waited so long for the last one to come out. That said, I  have to be honest and say that I was expecting a final novel with more action and less romance in it. I guess that’s why I ended up giving this third and final book a slightly lower rating than the first two; I loved all the other elements but the romance crossed the border of being too much for my taste. But then again, I detest cheesy romance and love triangles… Still, Cassandra Clare is able to dazzle readers with a quick pace, interesting setting/prose and likeable characters, and Clockwork Princess is without doubt worth reading.

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As with the review of Clockwork Prince, I will keep this summary short because I don’t want to spoil the fun for those who haven’t read the trilogy yet. Still, I strongly suggest not reading this summary unless you did, since it’s almost impossible to write a spoiler free summary of this third and final book.

Things slowly go back to normal after various members of the London Institute revealed some mayor news. New Shadowhunters have arrived at the Institute and have to be trained… And they have a wedding to prepare for. But Jem is still sick and his medicine is becoming scarce. Mortmain (The Magister) is buying up all the stock and using it to keep the werewolves running that are helping him build his automatons. He is after Tessa to help him get the final piece in the puzzle and make his clockwork army undefeatable and the perfect weapon to destroy the Shadowhunters… Mortmain tries to blackmail the members of the London Institute, saying he is willing to hand over his supply of Jem’s medicine to them under one condition: Tessa. When they refuse, the automatons come after her anyway… And soon she is in his hands and on her way to Mortmain’s hiding place. There she is forced to use her powers and reveals the secret that Mortmain needed to animate his clockwork army. They now hold demon souls and Shadowhunter weapons cannot destroy them… Will this be the end for Tessa and the Shadowhunters?

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While not as good as the first two novels, this third and final part of The Infernal Devices is still highly entertaining and without doubt worth reading. The rescue mission and hunt for Mortmain make you just want to keep on reading, and the fast pace and likeable characters made up for the slight overdose of romance. Plus, it has an interesting ending with a reference to the present situation… Recommended to those who enjoy YA fantasy; it is definitely worth reading the final part of this trilogy!

Friday Finds #20 – January 9th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during, in this case, the last two weeks and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Somehow I never seem to be able to blog or read too much during summer, so there are not a lot of new titles on my TBR for now. I’m also trying not to buy any new books until I’ve managed to downsize my TBR pile… (Yes, the infamous book buying ban!) We’ll see how long that will last; for now here are the newest additions to my wishlist:

My finds:

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BOOK REVIEW: Clockwork Prince – by Cassandra Clare

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Title: Clockwork Prince
(The Infernal Devices Trilogy #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Steampunk, Fantasy, Paranormal
First published: December 1st 2011
Finished reading: January 2nd 2015
Pages: 528
Rating 4,5

“We live and breathe words. It was books that kept me from taking my own life after I thought I could never love anyone, never be loved again. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”

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After a very disappointing last read of 2014, I needed a book that would guarantee at least a few hours of reading pleasure to make up for it. One of my goals for 2015 is to finally finish some of the series I’ve already started, so I decided to start the year trying to make a dent into the very long list of unfinished series. I really enjoyed the first book of The Infernal Devices trilogy, and since I had book two and three already waiting for my on my TBR pile, I decided to read Clockwork Prince next. The steampunk Victorian world Cassandra Clare sets her story in is without doubt interesting and I love the main characters. Tess, Will, Jem, Sophie, Magnus Bane… It’s hard to pick just one favorite character. The only thing I couldn’t really appreciate is the love triangle between Tess, Will and Jem; I don’t like cheesy romance and their relationship is on the border of becoming just that. But I will forgive Clare because the rest of the sequel is awesome… With some mayor twists in the last few pages that makes you want to read the third and final book straight away. Without doubt recommended to those who enjoy YA fantasy!

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I don’t want to spoil the fun for those who haven’t read the trilogy yet… So I strongly suggest not reading this summary unless you did, since it’s almost impossible to write a spoiler free summary of this sequel.

Tessa Gray is still living with the Shadowhunters in the London Institute, but her safety is in the line when some key members are plotting against Charlotte (the head of the Institute). If they succeed in replacing her, Tessa will be homeless again and an easy prey for the Magister. The Magister is desperate to get Tessa in order to use her powers to finish his dark plans; his powers are increasing and various important characters are following his orders. The clockwork army he is building is becoming stronger by the day and soon will be almost impossible to destroy…

Charlotte is set with an ultimatum in order to keep the Institute; find the exact location of the Magister and she can keep her post. It seems like the Magister started the war with the Shadowhunters seeking revenge, and slowly the members of the London Institute gather more information about his past. But not only information about the Magister is revealed; Tessa and Will also learn more about their past… And Jem is still fighting the disease that will kill him one day. They all have to make some difficult decisions during the search for Mortmain; decisions that will affect and endanger others. Will they find the Magister on time?

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I’ve said it before with Clockwork Angel, but I’m enjoying the prequel trilogy way better than the actual The Mortal Instruments series. I’m not sure if it is because of the setting, the steampunk elements, the book quotes or the characters, but The Infernal Devices trilogy just works. The amount of romance is on the border of being too much for my taste, but the rest of the story makes up for it. Warning: Clockwork Prince ends with some mayor announcements that will make you want to pick up the last book Clockwork Princess straight away. I know I did! I’m glad I didn’t start reading this series when it was first published… Because if I would have had to wait for more than a year to know what would happen next, it would have driven me crazy for sure.

WWW Wednesdays #23 – January 7th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading, WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

14064My TBR jar this time gave me a better result with I Am Legend. This classic horror/SF story is more my cup of tea and I’m enjoying this novel by Richard Matheson so far. If I can find some free time today, I will probably finish it since it’s quite a short story!

 

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

clockworkprinceclockworkprincessAfter first having read Clockwork Prince, I just HAD to read the final book in The Infernal Devices trilogy straight away. I mean, after the bombs Cassandra Clare drops on us in the last pages of book two, I just HAD to know what was going to happen next. Clockwork Princess did have too much romance in it for my taste, but I’m still glad to have finished my first series (trilogy) this year!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

gonegirlgardensofthemoonI will probably either read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn or Gardens Of The Moon by Steven Erikson. I’ve been wanting to read both titles for ages now, and I think it is about time I finally pick them up.