Short Reviews: The Shadow Cats and Stupid Perfect World

Posted December 30, 2012 by Liza in Reviews / 1 Comment

These are two short novellas that I’ve read recently that were pretty good.  Enjoy!

Title: The Shadow Cats by Rae Carson (Fire and Thorns #0.5)
Published: July 17th, 2012 by Greewillow Books
Format: eBook
Challenge(s): 2012 eBook
Grade rate: A

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. And it was not Alodia.
Alodia is the crown princess of the realm. The sister who knows how to rule, and the one who is constantly reminded that she has not been marked for a grand destiny. But Alodia has plans, and she will be the greatest queen her people have ever known. So she travels–with her hopeless, naïve, chosen sister–to a distant part of their land, to begin to secure her supporters. This region needs its princesses, for it is plagued with a curse. The crops don’t grow, the spring doesn’t arrive, and a fierce jaguar stalks the shadows, leaving only empty homes splashed with blood behind. If Alodia can save them, no one will be able to deny her strength and her sovereignty.
But what she discovers could change the fate of her kingdom, if not her world. And it will most certainly change her opinion of her younger sister.

My Review

It is no secret that I love Girl of Fire and Thorns, and as an normal fan would, I proceeded to find anything I could related to it.  This is a short novella, but it packs a punch 🙂

The story is narrated by Alodia and let me tell you, she is a force to be reckon with!  She is very calculating, smart, brave, and a person of action (as opposed to Elisa, who is more of a strategist).  In the story, the Invernos have allied themselves to the Perditos to cause trouble and prevent an advantageous wedding.   More than anything, it made me want to learn more about Alodia, and I hope we get the chance in book #3 or, even better, that Alodia gets her own story (*hint*)

The plot and the writing, as expected, are amazing.  I can’t say enough good things about this series, seriously, go and read it, like now. 

Title: Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld
Published:December 4th, 2013 by HarperTeen
Format: eBook
Challenge(s): 2012 eBook
Grade rate: B

In this future-set novella by bestselling author Scott Westerfeld, Kieran Black lives in a “perfect” world. Disease and starvation have been eradicated, sleep is unnecessary, and it takes no time at all to go from the Bahamas to the moon. But now Kieran has to take Scarcity, a class about how people lived in the bad old days. And as if sitting through an hour of Scarcity every day wasn’t depressing enough, it’s final projects time. Each student must choose some form of ancient hardship to experience for two whole weeks. Kieran chooses having to sleep eight hours a night, which doesn’t seem too annoying. Maria Borsotti has never thought much of Kieran, but she decides to take pity on him and help him out with his project. Soon, Kieran is sleeping and having vivid dreams, while Maria, whose Scarcity project is to give up all teenage hormone regulation, is experiencing emotions she never knew she had. As their assignments draw them closer together, they begin to wonder if the olden days weren’t so bad. Maybe something has been missing from their perfect lives after all?

My Review
It is nice to read a book in which the future is not a hot mess!  I can’t even imagine how Westerfeld come up with these things; he is such an amazing writer.
As you can tell from the synopsis, the future is an ideal world. There is not disease, no need to eat or sleep; it really boggles the mind, right?  Well, due to Scarcity class, Kieran decides to start sleeping a few hours a day, this turns out to be problematic, as he isn’t sleepy and he doesn’t own a bed.  When he finally sleeps, he starts dreaming and really likes it.  In the meantime Maria decides to let her hormones run free (for her project) and as any female can attest to, that is quite the trial 🙂
This is a short, fun story.  It is hard to identify with characters in such a short time, but I think overall this is a great read.
 Have you read these?  Do you like novellas?

Enter my Favorites of 2012 Giveaway here!


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