Posts Tagged ‘ fiction ’

Book Review: Pandemonium (Delirium #2)

paFollowing the devastating cliffhanger at the end of Delirium, Lauren Oliver returns with the eagerly anticipated sequel Pandemonium which surges the story forward and shows two polarized worlds on the brink of revolution.

This books switches between “Then” and “Now” conveying Lena’s story after she escaped past the barrier and into The Wilds at the end of Delirium.

The “Then” chapters focus on Lena’s arrival in The Wilds, where she is nurtured back to health by Raven and her group of Invalids – that is, those that are “uncured” or infected by the disease of love – and forced to reach deep within herself and call upon her inner survivalist in order to stay alive. The Wilds are wholly different to the world she once knew and she struggles on a daily basis with the thoughts of never seeing her family, her best friend Hana, or her lover Alex again. But to keep her momentum and hope alive, she settles on the fact that this is what she and Alex wanted: freedom; the option to make her own decisions and decide her own path. However, she soon comes to realize that her ideal of freedom is much more warped than she ever could imagine and life in The Wilds is not as perfect as she once thought it to be. Continue reading

Book Review: Delirium

Though the number of dystopian novels is on the rise, Lauren Oliver’s Delirium breaks through the mould and redefines itself as a love story first and foremost set to a dystopian background. The world in which Delirium is set plays its formidable part in the story but underneath that world lays burning questions about love and how it is perceived in the real world, away from fiction.

‘It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected the cure’ is the opening line of this book and immediately thrusts us into the world of Delirium. To the people of this world, love – or amor deliria nervosa as it is known – is something that needs to be eradicated. It is a danger that causes chaos, instability and ultimately, death. Continue reading

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures

beautiful-creatures_high-res1When it comes to the lucrative Young Adult genre, it would seem that the supernatural theme is still a major presence. The success of the Twilight Saga sparked a revolution of sorts with vampires, werewolves, witches and ghosts which have become more popular now than they have been in years and thus, from this comes a series of books known as the Caster Chronicles; a four-book collection dealing with the relationship between Mortal Ethan Wate and Caster  Lena Duchannes. Continue reading

The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2011

Voting is well underway in this year’s book awards and in fact you only have a few days left in which to make your choices as the voting closes on 13th November. There are ten categories in the awards each with six shortlisted titles (five in both of the children’s categories) from which to choose. The public can vote via the Bord Gáis Book Club site and are automatically entered into a prize draw for one of five €100 National Book Tokens. In tandem with this set of votes, the members of the Irish Literary Academy (comprising around 100 people connected to the book trade) receive ballot papers to make their selection. The eventual winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on November 17th at the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin. It promises to be another glittering literary occasion for the UNESCO City of Literature.

Apart from the headline sponsor Bord Gáis Energy there are sponsors for the different prize categories such as Specsavers who support the children’s awards and Ireland A. M. sponsoring the Crime Novel of the Year category. Within the book trade itself, Dublin based wholesaler Argosy is the Irish Non-Fiction award sponsor while Eason and Hughes and Hughes Booksellers take care of the Popular Fiction Award and the Irish Novel of the Year respectively. The concept of the Irish Book Awards actually has its origins in the Hughes and Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award (inaugurated in 2000) which eventually expanded to include more categories and sponsors in 2006. Some sponsors have come and gone over the years but at present only the Sports Award lacks a sponsor as Club Energise Sport pulled out from the IBA. In these austere times the companies that do still sponsor such awards are to be commended for their contribution to Ireland’s cultural life.

A quick skim over the novels in the fiction categories shows the wealth of talent around at the moment, comprising both established authors (such as Anne Enright, Sebastian Barry, Shelia O’Flanagan and Patricia Scanlan) and newcomers such as Sarah Harte with her Celtic Tiger inspired novel The Better Half. The shortlisted non-fiction titles cover a wide range of topics and include sport, biography, the state of the nation and cookery books. There are too many great titles to mention them all here but here’s a quick taster: Orla Tinsley’s thought provoking memoir Salty Baby which is up for the Best Newcomer prize (sponsored by the Sunday Independent); the final part of Tim Robinson’s Connemara trilogy (Best Irish published category sponsored by the International Education Services) and How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (up for the John Murray Show Listeners’ Award).

If you haven’t got around to voting yet, take look at the Bord Gáis Awards page and read the list of contenders in more detail. Then take the plunge and make your choice. You never know, you may even win some book tokens in time for Christmas.