I can’t think of another fantasy book I’ve read that was as much fun as The Alloy of Law. It made me chuckle a lot, particularly because of Wayne. He’s hilarious and makes the most inappropriate yet fitting comments. Some part nearly had me in stitches. At the same time, The Alloy of Law reads like a crime fantasy novel.
Set in Nazi England, 2012–2014, The Big Lie is premised on one question: What if the Nazis had won World War II? With this in mind, The Big Lie is a speculative work of alternative history. While nobody can say for sure how things would’ve turned out, I think the world that Julie Mayhew imagined is a rather plausible outcome. She evidently did her research and wove together the fascist ideals and lifestyles of the 1940s with contemporary ones.
The first time round I read Divergent in 2013, I devoured it. I loved it to bits. For most of my teen years I read contemporary fiction and to finally delve more into science fiction, specifically dystopian fiction, was exhilarating. Since then I’ve read more dystopian books, some of which impressed me more and some less. Also, this time round I tabbed the pages with post-it notes, annotated and cross-referenced. This close reading forced me to be more critical (in the analytical sense) as I read.
Going into books blind, particularly books like Vicious, can be infinitely thrilling. You enter unexplored land and everything is new. You don’t follow the tracks paved by expectations built upon the reading experiences of others. The cover states that it’s “a twisted tale of ambition, desire and superpowers”. It’s very correct in that description. That’s your starting point if you’re up for a thrill. If that’s you, then go on, pick up the book, read it and return to my review later to share your excitement. Now, if you’d rather know what you’re getting yourself into, read on.
There are so many reasons to hate Those Girls. Yet when I step away from the content and simply think about the structure of Those Girls as a novel, it actually holds up pretty well. This is why I think Lauren Saft has what it takes to become a successful author but I don’t have it in me to like this book much.