Friday, 8 March 2013

Mini-Reviews: Requiem by Lauren Oliver + Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Title: Requiem (Delirium, #3)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Released: March 21, 2013
Buy: The Book Depository

After two cliffhangers and several months of waiting, the conclusion to Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy could not have been more coveted. While, for the most part, it is a fairly satisfying final book, there is far too much left unresolved for it to truly be fulfilling.

Oliver is a talented writer. She has always had a quiet and impressive way with words, and that much remains true in Requiem. We now have two stories running in parallel, one from Lena’s perspective and one from Hana’s. This slight change suits the storyline perfectly, giving us a much-needed glimpse into the opposing sides of the revolution. In the meantime, the romance very much takes a back-seat, but it is, on the whole, fairly powerful. Sometimes stolen glances, quick touches and brief glimpses into buried emotions is all that is necessary. Though, having said that, had the inevitable taken place sooner, I doubt there would have been any complaints. 

The ending is what I imagine will cause the most discussion. Oliver’s intentions here are very clear, though perhaps not the best route to have chosen after such a long and torturous journey. Personally, I needed a better sense of closure here, or something more substantial to make up for the never-ending heartbreak and frustration during the earlier books. 

Rating: 3 stars


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Author: Justina Ireland
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Released: Apr 02, 2013

Vengeance Bound is several things, and most of them positive, but it leaves little to no lasting impression.

Mythological avengers - Furies - feature in Justina Ireland’s debut novel, adding a touch of originality to this otherwise average story. The main character’s broken mind accommodates these merciless creatures – creatures that are unleashed into their full physical form when justice is ready to be served. With this, we have our teenage heroine, Cory Graff, blending in during the day, and hunting to kill during the night.  

On the surface, this is a fairly pleasant book. The plot is logical, thought-out and engaging. The characters, from the main to the secondary, are reasonably well-developed and interesting to follow. Cory is especially fascinating, with half of her grounded in a familiar and relatable reality of school and adolescent drama, and the other half caught up in the unstable brutality of her secret pastime. The romance, although lacking the correct pace to be appropriately emotional, is a mildly likeable one, with a decent love interest.

Decent is perhaps the best way to describe this book as a whole. It is not at all a bad read, or even a waste of time, but it is quite unremarkable compared to other, better titles. 

Rating: 3 stars

41 comments:

  1. Most people had a similar reaction to Requiem. I personally haven't read the series because I've heard about the awful cliffhangers and I wanted to wait to read them all together, but I might have to pass. I need closure in my books. I'm not one of those readers who can tolerate books that don't really end. Still, I'm glad to hear that the author's writing is still fabulous.

    It's a shame about Vengeance Bound not being exceptional or mind-blowing. I would have thought it would be a fantastic read with the whole Furies thing going on. I'm not sure if I want to read this anymore because it doesn't seem very memorable.

    Lovely reviews, Sam!

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  2. I haven't read Oliver's series because I didn't want to deal with the cliffhangers. It is always a bit diappointing when you come to the end of a tortuous journey and don't get the pay out you were expecting. I am certain I will check them out at some point but I am in no hurry. Vengeance Bound never grabbed me I just didn't feel compelled to read it and it sounds like I am not missing much. As always thanks for the honest reviews, Sam.

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  3. The UK cover of Requiem looks really pretty - I like it better than the North American cover. Anyway, I haven't read the series but I think I'd rather read the books in a row than feeling tormented by cliffhangers.

    It's actually a relief for me to see that you're giving 3 stars to Vengeance Bound - it's great knowing that the beautiful cover of the book is matched with a fairly pleasant story.

    Thanks for sharing these two reviews with us!

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  4. Great reviews sweetie. <3 Sigh. I still don't think I will ever read Pandemonium and then Requiem.. Just, I loved Delirium. And I'm kind of happy with having just read and loved that first book :) I'm sorry these two books weren't perfect for you, but I'm glad you mostly enjoyed them ;p Thank you for sharing. <3

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  5. Aw, sorry that the ending wasn't what you wanted. I haven't read except the first book, and its sad knowing I prb won't get a fully resolved ending like I crave.

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  6. Oh gosh, there's nothing more frustrating than investing time and emotion into a series, and not getting closure. If always intended to read the Requiem series as a whole, but I may pass.

    Vengeance Bound looks good! Too bad it wasn't a huge joy to read. I'm glad you liked it though.

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  7. I haven't read any of Lauren Oliver's books, though I do want too. Sorry it was a bit of a lackluster ending though.

    I wasn't terribly intrigued by Vengeance Unbound, but it seemed unique. I guess the main aspect was the most intersting part, though.

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  8. I'm glad I'm not planning to continue Oliver's trilogy, now. It seems like a conclusion that isn't wholly satisfying, which always leaves a bitter taste in my mouth when it comes to a series. Also, Vengeance Bound was getting a TON of publicity for its cover reveal, so it's a shame the novel itself isn't all that impressive. *sigh* I hope you're enjoying Dare You To, though, dear! It's a pleasant diversion from these less-than-mind-blowing reads you seem to have gone through!

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  9. I still need to read Pandemonium, but I wasn't blown away by Delirium. I don't like the sound from the ending of Requiem.. Vengeance bound sounds okay. A book I would get from the library to read one time :) The plot sounds good, but it's a shame that the romance doesn't work out.

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  10. I loved Requiem but the ending was very unsatisfying. I think the writing is beautiful and the main theme of the series was brilliant. Vengeance Bound was good only because I liked the whole Dexter revenge angle. I thought the romance was very disappointing though.

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  11. Eek, I'm kind of scared to pick up Requiem. It's been out for a few days and I haven't purchased it yet. I've heard similar things about the ending of the book, which is why I'm so nervous! I loved the first two books so much, and I really don't want to be disappointed. I'm glad to hear it was overall satisfying, though. As for Vengeance Bound, it sounds pretty interesting! Maybe not memorable, but I definitely like the Furies aspect. Fabulous reviews, Sam! :)

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  12. Yup, my fears have been proven.. this is the reason why I hate getting attached to book series/trilogies.. afraid the author will butcher it in the end. WHY leave it so open ended? I am really not liking this. As for Vengeance Bound, I didn't know it is based on the Furious greek mythology! I've read two books before about it and really enjoyed them (one series is the fury trilogy by elizabeth miles!). I had high hopes for Vengeance Bound but it turning out to be decent doesn't really make me want to invest my reading time in it.

    great reviews Sam!
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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  13. Admittedly I stopped with the Delirium trilogy halfway through the first book, and from what I've read of people's reviews of the next two books, I'm glad they enjoyed it, but I'm also glad I didn't read on, because I felt like Oliver's "quiet" prose didn't quite give the premise the "oomph" it needed for impact.

    The cover of Vengeance Bound sure looks pretty!

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  14. Hi Sam,
    Two books I look forward to read. The covers are so pretty. People kept telling me that Requiem's ending is not that good. Though, I'll give Vengeance Bound a try. Thanks for another amazing review.

    -Dannielle

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  15. I have a feeling the ending of Requiem is going to give me a bit of angst. Probably why I keep putting off picking up my copy. :-) Glad to hear you enjoyed it despite still wanting more answers. I do love Lauren's writing, and it's amazing that she can make the romances feel powerful, even as they take a less prominent spot in the story.

    I thought Vengeance Bound sounded like such a cool premise, and I'm kind of disappointed with reviews I've seen so far. Now that you've also dubbed it decent and unremarkable, I don't feel too bad about letting it slip down my TBR.

    Fabulous reviews, thanks for your thoughtful honesty! :-)

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  16. Shame about Requiem, I was hoping for something spectacular. I'll still pick it up, but at least now I won't feel the need to push it up my TBR list. Super review, as always :-)

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  17. I admire Lauren Oliver's writing to bits and pieces, but somehow I can't stand her female leads haha. xD I'm not a big fan of Delirium either, so I don't think that I have enough will to continue the series. Especially since the ending doesn't sound quite satisfying. It's such a shame since I know that you enjoyed the previous books in the series a lot, Sam. >.< Anyway, Vengeance Bound sounds like a decent read. I love the cover too anyway, so cool! x)

    Wonderful mini-reviews, Sam! <3 Hopefully you're enjoying Dare You To right now - can't wait to read your review! <3 :)

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  18. Totally agree re Requiem. I have ptsd after it lol

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  19. Aw, it's a shame that after sooo long of waiting, Requiem wasn't as outstanding as you were hoping. I can not stand those endings where the author decides to go all mysterious on us, and leaves a bunch of unanswered questions floating around in our head. It's very annoying!

    Vengeance Bound has been on my Wishlist for a long time now, and I am glad you enjoyed it. It's a bit of a disappointment that the romantic element isn't all that emotional and didn't have a big impact, but it still sounds like something I would like to pick up someday.

    Thanks for sharing these brilliant mini-reviews with us, Sam! They are always so brilliantly thought out, and very persuasive too! :)x

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  20. Oh, Sam! What is this "inevitable" you speak of? Is it something obvious, like the ending of the Pandemonium? There's a certain I way I want this story to end so I'm really apprehensive about what you mean by that, haha. Anyway, thanks for the review, mini or not ;)

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  21. Complaints about Requiem's end are the main reason, at this point, that I don't feel like continuing with the series. I've only read Delirium, which didn't blow me away, so I don't know that I'll be missing much by skipping the next two. Time will tell!

    As for Vengeance Bound, unremarkable is probably my least favourite quality about a book. At least if I hated it, I was still passionate about why (usually). To be unremarkable...is just so sad.

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  22. I love the cover you have for Requiem. There's not too much to say because I agree with you 100% (as usual). Seems like there are a lot of unremarkable titles around right now. Wonderful mini reviews

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  23. The ending of Requiem worked for me, I have Vengeance Bound up for review soon, but I am not as excited since you found it to be just ok.

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  24. It is a shame that Requiem didn't meet your expectations, especially since it is the book that ends the trilogy. I haven't read Pandemonium so maybe I'll just put it off for a bit... :P

    Vengeance Bound sounds interesting but it doesn't sound like my kind of book. Thanks for the great reviews, Sam!

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  25. I agree with you that Oliver is really talented writer. That's probably the main reason I liked Delirium. I haven't read Requiem yet but it's next on my list. Also I've heard people saying that the ending is really unexpected. Maybe I won't like it but maybe I'll. I need to find some time to read the book.
    About Vengeance Bound I've heard only great things and I've wanted to read it but now I cooled off so maybe I'll read it one day. But it sounds like an interesting read :)

    Great reviews Sam :)

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  26. I haven't read the Delirium series yet, but I might at some point.

    Vengeance Bound sounds like a solid read that might be good for a rainy day. Great short, snappy reviews Sam! :)

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  27. I have Vengeance Bound coming up very soon. But to be honest, I don't feel like reading it. It just seems like something I'm not in the mood for, and I don't want that to interfere with what I feel about the story. I don't know, though. Great reviews. I still need to read the Oliver series.

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  28. I think Furies are becoming more and more popular by the minute. I'm very glad because I find them very interesting. But there will surely come a point in the not so distant future when we'll all be very tired of them, just like we are of vampires and werewolves.
    As for Delirium, I was never really into that series. I DNF-ed book 1 because I thought Oliver's descriptions were a bit all over the place. I'm sorry the ending wasn't satisfying, though. I hate it when that happens. It feels like a waste of time.

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  29. I loved the first two books in the Delirium series (even with the terrible cliffhangers) but I was very disappointed with Requiem. How could there have been no proper conclusion after all of that? It makes me wonder why I even bothered. Vengeance Bound sounds pretty good overall, even if it won't leave much of a lasting impression. It sounds like one for the library pile. Nice reviews, Sam.

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  30. The reviews for Requiem have been so mixed I don't actually know if I want to read it now. I was really looking forward to it but I can't stand it when a series is left open-ended. And yeah, after the way the previous two books went, I would expect the author to finally give us something satisfying... and not more to pull our hair out over.

    Vengeance Bound has a cool premise! I don't think I've read a book about Furies before but I like the sound of this one. The cover is quite cool too. great reviews as per usual sam!

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  31. Oh I'm a little worried about giving Requiem a try now, I didn't even know it had pov's from both Hana and Lena, I am really intrigued about the ending now. I didn't really like Pandemonium much because of the introduction of the new love interest, so I have my fingers crossed that I will enjoy it! I haven't had much luck with books dealing with furies, so I'm not sure that Vengeance Bound would really be for me either! Great reviews Sam! :)

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  32. A lot of people seem to have problems with how Requiem ended, and frankly, I'm just relieved that I can't read it at the moment. Which is sad because it's one of my favorite series! :(

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  33. I'm so scared about reading Requiem at the moment, because I don't want to be disappointed. But I'm sad the ending was so unfulfilling for you, Sam! I'm still going to read it, but with some more caution I suppose. I was actually quite excited for Vengeance Bound, but it's disappointing that it was so meh. I may still end up giving it a try, if I see it at the library or something.

    Thanks for such honest reviews, Sam! <3

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  34. I so hear you about the ending of Requiem, I was completely disappointed, so much left unanswered. And when you say her intentions were clear, do you mean in the romantic sense? While I could see the direction she was headed, without actual clarity, I'm not sure.... And I agree it was satisfying enough as a final book, if it had just been finished, I can't help but feeling it wasn't. And I felt the lack of romance worked. They weren't really in the environment for it, but like you say, the odd kiss or touch here and there spoke volumes.

    Vengeance Bound, while I haven't read it, sounded good and I think I expected more than "decent".

    Great review on both counts Sam :)

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  35. I'm about to read Pandemonium after liking Delirium but not loving it. I hope it's better but I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy Requiem that much. That's a bit of a downer!
    I don't think I've heard of Justina Ireland's books but I'll have to have a look now. Lovely reviews! :)

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  36. I haven't even begun the Delirium series because I'm not a huge dystopian fan and have heard how slow Delirium was.

    I was looking forward to Vengeance Bound so it's disappointing to find out that you thought it was only decent. I've been reading books that I've been feeling so-so about; I'm ready to read a great book :)

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  37. I have to say I have lowered my expectations for Requiem completely. It's been so long that I can't even really remember what happened in book #2, so I will go into this and try not to worry about the ending!

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  38. Oh, Requiem. I haven't read it yet, but will hopefully get to it soon. I am kind of disappointed with what I've seen from reviews for it so far. And super disappointed to hear you say that so much was left unanswered! I feel like I'm definitely going to need closure in that book... and not going to get it.

    I'm also a bit disappointed reading your review for Vengeance Bound. I was definitely hoping for a unique and memorable read! Decent is fine, actually... but it's not anything that I am going to make time to read in my already busy reading schedule, unfortunately.

    Anyways, I really appreciated these well written reviews, Sam! Very helpful.

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  39. NO. Three stars for REQUIEM? That's the sound of my heart breaking.

    LOL. Yeah, I'm quite disappointed Oliver didn't do quite as well with the final book in the DELIRIUM series as she did with the other two. I'm still interested, though! Hopefully I'll enjoy it more than you did. ;P

    I pretty much felt the same way you did with VENGEANCE BOUND, too. While the plot was new an definitely original, the other parts of the book were not, unfortunately.

    Great reviews!

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  40. I've been waiting forever for REQUIEM. Thanks for posting a review so quickly :-) I'm one who likes shock and awe endings, so I can't wait to see how Oliver handled hers.

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  41. I actually never gave any thoughts to reading Lauren Oliver's series, but I am curious about it. I don't know if I'll jump up and read it right away, but read it I will...eventually. ;p As for Vengeance Bound...I was looking forward to this one. I very much like the whole idea behind the story and the characters seem interesting, so maybe I'll enjoy it more than you did. I don't know..although I am a bit worried about the romance. We'll see... :)

    Awesomesauce reviews, Sam! I'm glad you (mildly) enjoyed these. lol ;p

    ~ Maida

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