Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Mini-reviews: The Dollhouse Asylum and Twinmaker

The Dollhouse Asylum by Mary Gray
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

 


Twinmaker by Sean Williams
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.



26 comments:

  1. I haven't heard of the second book but The Dollhouse Asylum's blurb never really interested me but I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it! Neither book really is my cup of tea :(

    Pavan @ Keep it Fictional

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  2. Aww, I'm sorry these didn't work out for you, Jasprit! I was never drawn to them but it's disappointing to hear that the main characters of these novels and their love stories really brought the novel down, not to mention other technical aspects. I hope your next read is far stronger than these were, Jasprit! *fingers crossed*

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  3. I was tempted to read The Dollhouse Asylum a while back, but I think I'll give it a miss now. I have a copy of Twinmaker (sent for review) but have never really been tempted to pick that one up. Sounds like maybe that was a good call!

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  4. Oh, it's a shame that The Dollhouse Asylum didn't work for you, Jasprit! I've had it on my TBR for a while, but if it failed to deliver at all, well, I doubt it will be for me. Lovely honest review :)

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  5. Ack. I'm sorry you didn't like these books. But oh. Dollhouse. Glad I never wanted to read that book, hih (A) You mention a love triangle as well? That sucks. Gah. Not a book for me. Thank you for sharing your amazing reviews. <3 And better luck with your next read :)

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  6. So NOT a fan of The Dollhouse Asylum. You were generous to give it two stars. I read the whole thing because I was supposed to be part of the tour but I pulled out because I hated the story. And I hate that!

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    1. That definitely is annoying when that happens, I really couldn't stand it after a while, so have no clue how you were able to read all of it!

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  7. Whelp. Not good reads across the boards. I've never had the inclination to read these books anyway, so I'm glad it's for good reasons.

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  8. Shame neither of them really worked out for you. I've seen some mixed reviews for The Dollhouse Asylum but it does sound interesting.

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  9. Too bad on both of these Jasprit! The Dollhouse Asylum sounds like it would be particularly frustrating for me though with Cheyenne's continuing sympathies for Teo and her shifting romantic allegiance. I think I'll take a pass on both, there are so many other books out there I want to read!

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  10. Yikes! Sorry neither worked out for you. Sucks cause I thought they sounded good from the blurbs. Thanks for the honest reviews though.

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  11. You very thoroughly convinced me to stay away from both of these books, so I'd like to thank you of that. I'm already annoyed at Cheyenne and her obsession with Teo, and the heroine and her friend in Twinmaker don't sound like I'd enjoy them much better. It's bummer when a book doesn't work out, but I'm glad you felt like you could put them down and move on when they weren't working. That's a great skill to have.

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    1. I am definitely going to try and do this more often this year!

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  12. Sorry neither of these worked out for you. They don't really sound like my type of reads, but you would expect them to be a bit more exciting. The Dollhouse Asylum seems to focus a bit too much on the "romance".

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  13. I'm so with you on Jump (Twinmaker) I didn't feel like it was going anywhere, I gave up!

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  14. "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?" Um, NO, because THAT wouldn't be weird AT ALL *smirks* Blahhhh.. His brother? REALLY? *eyeroll* I don't need to know more. This will forever stay off my tbr. The only brother thing I'm willing to read is Soul Screamers and that's only because I'm already in the middle of the seven book series >.< Pffftttt I don't like cheating stories or any kind of sneaking around to begin with so I don't think that Twinmaker is right for me either. I'm sorry you didn't love these two, BUT I'm keeping out hope that soon you'll blow us away with your fangirling over something awesomesauce:)

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    1. Aww thanks Siiri, I have read some pretty amazing books recently, so will hopefully have some fangirly reviews coming up soon! :)

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  15. I didn't enjoy Dollhouse as much as I'd have hoped either.

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  16. I wasn't intrigued by either of these titles, and I think I would get annoyed as well. Thank you for your honest reviews, Jasprit.

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  17. I'm sorry that neither of these worked for you, Jasprit. Thank you for the reviews!

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  18. I really hope Teo isn't the main love interest, that guy is a psycho and the girl is too stupid to realize it. And then there' the brother ...?!? Now this is what I call a DNF, so kudos for stick through the story. I'm glad I skipped that because at the time of it's release, I was planning on reading it. I loved the movie Jumper, so it's really sad that such a great concept failed to work. Thanks for sharing these reviews, Jasprit!

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  19. Aww boooo I really wanted to give Twinmaker a try but I don't think it will be for me at all. I get bored fast when things don't start happening quickly, or at least have compelling characters to keep me hooked and Clair and Libby don't sound that great. As for Dollhouse we talked about it on GR but yeah, that one was a fail for me as well! So bizarre and out there!

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  20. Welcome back Jasprit, I hope you had a lovely break.. its my first time back on your blog commenting. I'm sorry these books didn't hold your interest very much. I hate when that happens... its saddening sometimes. But sometimes books are for some people. I really liked the concept of Twinmaker, and I enjoyed the movie Jumper so I would like to give this book a go. Brilliant reviews all the same. :)

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    1. Thank you Emma, I'm glad to be back to blogging. I totally assumed Twinmaker would be like the movie Jumper too, if you do decide to give it a go, I hope it ends up working out for you! :)

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  21. ugh I don't like it if I get excited about the blurb only to have the entire book and story come out short. I would have loved the whole Jumper thing from the start as well. The whole sneaking behind relationship would have to be done well for me to be okay with it too.

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  22. You know, I don't think I even added these to my TBR so I'm glad now because yeah, they don't sound like anything for me either. Thank you so much for sharing your honest opinion. :)

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