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Magic or Madness
Justine Larbalestier
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Josef Škvorecký, Paul Wilson
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James Dashner
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Marie Lu
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Hugh Howey
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Patrick Ness
Harbinger - Sara Wilson Etienne Sentence: I sentence Sara Wilson Etienne to a Walking with Cavemen marathon. It would be fun, I swear. :)

Review: I will keep this review short and sweet, just like Etienne's novel. This book took a very different turn from what I had expected initially. It was a turn for the best, to be sure, but many things were still not clarified.

1. The Peak Wars are not entirely explained, nor is there really a year to compare to our present. At first I did not know it was set in the future, but then the Peak Wars are mentioned and I kind of got confused, wondering what civil and international war I could have missed. Although resources are scarce and the environmental damage is certainly clear, there are no other mentions of the war, except as a reference to the past, for the characters. No juicy details are really provided.

2. The sanctioned abuse of minors. I do not understand if this is how the world works in the future or if this is an abuse unknown to the parents. In which case, if the parents knew all contact would be cut off from their offspring, why agree to let them go to Holbrook? Were they that desperate to get rid of their kids? Which leads me to my next point.

3. Why are parents so absent in all of this? I understand, somewhat, about the Cooperatives (or whatever they are called) and how things are super formal and a certain way, but that point kind of seems moot with the world ending and everything from the abuse of nature and a lack of balance.

4. How do the talismans work? Is it connected to their new bodies, or could it have been anybody possessed by these previous lives? It makes it sound like it can be only them, but then how can the Harbinger have guaranteed they would all come together in time, especially if her memory was not recovered and Rita was just some bitter ghost. If she planned this via Dr. Murdoch, did she plan for the others to arrive? In which case, why bring Kel at all if they didn't want him to interfere? And why would Faye attempt anything at all if she just wanted Kel to stop her, technically?

5. Killing made casual. Faye pretty much kills Dr. Murdoch and walks away unscathed and without a second thought. Not even after the whole "alright, let's not kill everyone" revelation. And her Family completely forgives her for killing of their entire people? Dude, too nice.


I did like the tidbits about the Red Ochre People and their disappearance, though this was a fantastic and magical interpretation of it, with a bit of a spin-off. I also liked that this is not a trilogy. Finally, something that actually ends.