Saturday, January 21, 2012

Book Review: Crashed (now titled Shattered)

The next book in Wasserman's trilogy, I'm actually only 80 or so pages away from finishing the last book so that review should be up in two weeks as according to schedule, and there's not much more to say to introduce it. It's another book that I got from Wasserman herself with her knowing I was going to review it and it sounded like she thought my first review was a fair one (phew) so here's the next one!

Crashed by Robin Wasserman (now titled Shattered)
 Once again, this is the original US version, I have a copy of the British paperback (whose cover I like more this time around, neither of them are amazing but the tattoos on the American version just look so badly done, really needed a gradient and probably should've been put in overlay blending mode as well) and here is what the new American covers look like.

Summary: Lia Khan has now moved away from her home, unable to live comfortably with her family who only considers her a copy of the daughter they lost, and lives with other mechs, people whose brains have been downloaded into a robotic body (some willingly, most are the "survivors" of accidents and had the money to afford the process) in a remote mansion. While not much of note goes on in the mansion, other than all the relationship drama, there are big things going on in the world including what looks like a set-up to frame Lia and the other mechs for a heinous crime and more people pushing for the de-humanization of mechs.

The Good: I complained in the previous review that not much actually happened action wise, it was a lot more of characters trying to feel their way around and figure out where to go next, and thankfully the plot does progress here. I wasn’t happy with a lot of the progress but things were happening and you can see things being set up for the final volume as well. I was surprised at how well Lia’s romantic relationship went (it was obvious from the first chapter that it would happen but it occurred much more naturally than I was expecting) and I really hope it’s still there in the final book.  

The Bad: Those who read my other reviews know that I’m following an anime called Guilty Crown right now (technically I just dropped it but details) and I’m struck by the similarity between the character Gai there and the character Jude here. Both are leaders of resistance/outside groups of people who have a large group of followers who hang onto their every word, presumably because of their large amounts of charisma, but the main character is always wary of them. But what really struck me is that I’m in agreement with the main characters of both of these works because neither Gai nor Jude appear likable or charismatic in anyway so I, like Shuu and Lia, am completely confused as to just how this all works and I ended up sympathizing with Lia more because of it. This goes under the bad since I’m not sure if Jude was supposed to come off this way or if the writing just didn’t convey something it was supposed to*. Other than that, Lia has a tendency to go on for  paragraphs, if not pages, about why she doesn’t know things (the condition of living in the cities, recent history). The story never makes clear if these things are common knowledge or not, it does insinuate however that Lia really needs to brush up on a lot of areas, but what really annoyed me is just how long each defense of why she didn’t know any of these things took. Finally, this book unfortunately helps show why I really like books with older protagonists, teenagers, even teenagers without hormones running their brains, are often really dumb and simply aren’t creative enough with their plans for me^.

Reading so many of these books back to back makes me glad that I decided to write each of these reviews before I started the next book, I'd be much too muddled up otherwise. And like I said, almost done with the final book and then I get to dive right into my current to-read pile (minus a couple of books that I forgot to put in).

*pretty sure Gai in Guilty Crown wasn’t supposed to come off this way though. Actually, funny enough, Gai seems to be less crazy than Jude, and considering the (unitentional) crazy that is Guilty Crown I never expected to type that.
^for the record, there have been VERY few characters in fiction who have been creative enough for me, I can only think of one instance off the top of my head, but it does get frustrating to read about characters being convinced that there are only two solutions, the bad solution and the not-so-bad solution, when I can immediately think of a few more. Then again, see this comic. 

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