Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication date: October 22nd 2013
My rating: 2 stars
A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched by its destruction. But when Cheyenne wakes up in Elysian Fields--a subdivision cut off from the world and its monster-creating virus--she is thrilled to have a chance at survival. At first, Elysian Fields,with its beautiful houses and manicured lawns, is perfect. Teo Richardson, the older man who stole Cheyenne's heart, built it so they could be together. But when Teo tells Cheyenne there are tests that she and seven other couples must pass to be worthy of salvation, Cheyenne begins to question the perfection of his world. The people they were before are gone. Cheyenne is now "Persephone," and each couple has been re-named to reflect the most tragic romances ever told. Everyone is fighting to pass the test, to remain in Elysian Fields. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move and how to act, and in order to pass the test, they must play along. If they play it right, then they'll be safe. But if they play it wrong, they'll die.
The Dollhouse Asylum had a lot of potential to deliver a solid story. Cheyenne was kidnapped (saved from the living riot as she’s been told.) The world that she’s taken to seems perfect, and it must mean something if Teo (her former teacher and crush) selected her as one of the few individuals he wanted to save. Cheyenne in my eyes was really naive. If some guy you shared a kiss with and supposedly liked you back kidnapped you with no explanation, wouldn’t you consider it a little strange? And if he supposedly cared about you, would he really make you earn the vaccine that you truly needed to survive? That is what our “saviour” Teo does, he pairs up all the individuals he’s saved and tells them that they have to prove that they deserve their vaccine.
If this wasn’t enough, Teo wouldn’t let the people he saved keep their real names, but gave them names; Persephone (Cheyenne) Romeo, Juliet etc and had them host dinner parties, and of course to impress Teo you had to play your part as your character would otherwise no vaccine for you. I was quite interested at first to see how things would play out, to see if anyone would actually stand up to Teo, there were seven other individuals, so they could have overruled Teo if they wanted, but no, everyone stood by while Teo took control. Our MC in my eyes just got worse as the story progressed, her love for Teo soon turned to disbelief as she became to realise what a psychopath he truly was. And of course she turned her attractions elsewhere to Teo’s brother *eyes roll*. But even then her hatred for Teo didn’t completely go away and whenever Teo showed his sweet side, she found herself going weak in the knees, never really sure who she liked and how she would ever escape this horrendous world.
I have been told that Cheyenne does improve in the rest of the book; this would have been something I would have looked forward to see may be earlier in the story. There have been several promising reviews for this book, but this book was just not for me
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Publication date: November 7th 2013.
My rating: 2 stars
Clair is pretty sure the offer in the ‘Improvement' meme is just another viral spam, though Libby is determined to give it a try. But what starts as Libby's dream turns into Clair's nightmare when her friend vanishes. In her search for answers, Clair seeks out Jesse - a boy whose alternative lifestyle might help to uncover the truth. What they don't anticipate is intervention from the mysterious contact known only as Q, and being caught up in a conspiracy that will change everything.
Unless I read the blurb to Twinmaker completely wrong, I really was expecting something different entirely from Twinmaker. This whole idea of improvement and of potentially being able to do this by a few swift jumps I found highly intriguing and the whole jumping aspect of being able to go wherever you’d imagined in a few minutes was a concept I liked (remember the film Jumper everyone?) But for me Twinmaker took far too long to get things rolling.
Clair and Libby both used the D-mat to get from place to place, both had been friends for a long time, but despite sharing everything they still had one secret between them. Clair had kissed Libby’s boyfriend Zep. The first few scenes I got with Libby, I knew she wouldn’t be someone I would like, and she was a person who took all the credit for whenever Clair had done something good and of course always wanted all the attention. I didn’t get to experience much of her relationship with Zep, but the time Clair spent with him, it was clear that they were a much better suited couple. Yes it was wrong that Clair and Zep were seeing each other behind Libby’s back, but their relationship wasn’t that great.
For me it took far too long to get the crux of the story, I wanted to know whether this supposed improvement which was available would work and what would be the consequences if it didn’t. Instead we had Libby who supposedly tried it acting like a strange person and not staying longer than two seconds for us to see whether it had even worked. Then we had people making accusations, dying and coming back alive and by that point I just couldn’t be bothered anymore with the entire different tangent this story took. I think I maybe could have stuck with this story longer if the focus had stayed more on what was going on with Libby, and I hadn’t been overwhelmed with other stories trying to take the focus. Twinmaker did seem to have the potential to provide a different sort of read, but in my opinion really needed much more in the beginning to keep its readers focused.