Tag Archives: The Annihilation of Foreverland

The Best and the Worst of 2014

The year 2014 ended with 17 books read, which was way off my intended goal of 30 books.  Again, the problem is that I read some very long books.  In fact, the number of pages was almost as many as 2013.  However, I will challenge myself with 30 books again this year.  But this time, I’ll be reading every night before bed.

In 2014, I was a bit harder on books in terms of ratings, though it may be because I didn’t read many really great ones.  I only gave 2 books 5 stars.  I gave a 4 1/2 and some 4s, though.  I also rated a book that was only 2 stars.

I think that’s where we’ll start.  Let’s look at the worst book I read this year, down at number 17.  After that, the top 5.

Worst of the Year

#17 – The Somali Doctrine

I got this book as a freebie from Amazon, and noticed it had some low ratings on Goodreads.  I went into it with an open mind, though.  I like things like James Bond, and this was somewhat reminiscent of 007, but there weren’t many similarities.  It was filled with improbably situations, like the hero getting captured many times, only to escape each time somehow.  The villains were completely one-dimensional with very little in the way of depth.  I was glad when it was over.

Top 5 of 2014

annihilationofforeverland#5 – The Annihilation of Foreverland

This was my pleasant surprise of the year, and also the first time I’ve included a self-published indie novel to my top five.  It was imaginative, quite well-done, and filled with interesting characters.  There were so many twists to this story, it had me guessing what was going to happen.  I thoroughly enjoyed this science fiction offering.

wizardsfirstrule#4 – Wizard’s First Rule

Despite my somewhat negative review, I did give this 4 stars and I did actually enjoy reading it.  This epic fantasy novel opened The Sword of Truth in a good way with some good world-building, interesting characters, and a completely surprising Wizard’s First Rule.  I couldn’t believe it.  In general, it’s left a more positive memory now, and I want to get back into the series and read more.  I liked it.

angelfireeast#3 – Angel Fire East

The Word & the Void became dark and serious! It was the best of this Shannara prequel series, and has me excited for The Genesis of Shannara, which I hope to start reading this year.  Terry Brooks usually doesn’t get such acclaim, but I think this was one of his better works.  I’m a fan of Shannara.  In this book, we get to read about the effects of drug abuse and see some of the darkest deaths I’ve seen Brooks write about. Great ending.

theriseofendymion#2 – The Rise of Endymion

The truly epic Hyperion Cantos ended with this novel, and in my opinion, it was the best of the four books.  I was pulled in and enjoyed the roller coaster ride that this book put me through.  Incredible characters, beautiful and wondrous worlds, and lots of mysteries were tied up.  This was going to be number one choice until I read another book later in the year.  More on that soon.  This book was very difficult to predict.  I had no idea where it was going.  But one thing had me hooked, and it was the characters.  Endymion and Aenea’s relationship was wonderful, and there was an amazingly touching moment later in the book.  Truly a great book.

astormofswords#1 – A Storm of Swords

George R. R. Martin returns to the top after being #2 in 2013.  Things in Westeros really picked up in this book, and while the first part of the book was a bit slow, it blew me away so many times in the rest of the story, I couldn’t wait to see what happened.  He kills a lot of characters again, of course, and changes the course of the story drastically.  And shockingly, Jaime Lannister has become my new favourite Lannister.  Sandor Clegane is also very interesting.  There are so many twists that I can never figure out what’s going to happen next.  Incredible! And this is why it’s my favourite book of 2014.

Agree or disagree with my choices?  Let me know in the comments below. And what was your favourite (and least favourite) book in 2014?

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Book Review – The Annihiliation of Foreverland

annihilationofforeverlandThe Annihilation of Foreverland

Author: Tony Bertauski

Series: Foreverland #1

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Published 2011

Review Copy: Free Giveaway eBook from Amazon

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Goodreads Description

When kids awake on an island, they’re told there was an accident. Before they can go home, they will visit Foreverland, an alternate reality that will heal their minds.

Reed dreams of a girl that tells him to resist Foreverland. He doesn’t remember her name, but knows he once loved her. He’ll have to endure great suffering and trust his dream. And trust he’s not insane.

Danny Boy, the new arrival, meets Reed’s dream girl inside Foreverland. She’s stuck in the fantasy land that no kid can resist. Where every heart’s desire is satisfied. Why should anyone care how Foreverland works?

Review

The Annihilation of Foreverland is the first novel in the young adult science fiction series Foreverland by Tony Bertauski. It’s completely self-published, but I think we have a winner here.

Danny Boy arrived on this island where he’s told he’s being healed.  All the boys on the island are being healed for some reasons that none of them know.  They’re being taken care of by the investors, a bunch of old men, and the Chairman, the man who runs the whole thing.  They spend some time in a virtual reality environment called Foreverland while going through this so-called healing process.  But there’s something not quite right.

From the beginning, this felt like a mystery that needed to be solved.  Danny Boy, the main character of the story, is a computer genius who can’t remember any of his life, but remembers how to do everything.  He’s extremely curious, not afraid of doing what he needs to do, and turns out to be very difficult to control.  He’s a pretty compelling character.  He goes about trying to find out what’s really happening on this island, as well as what’s going on with Reed and this girl in Foreverland.  Reed is incredibly stubborn, and it seems no one likes him.  That is, no one liked him until Danny Boy arrived.  I felt that Reed was trying to do what Danny Boy could do, and find out what’s happening.  Zin is a good kid who takes an immediate liking to Danny Boy, and shows him the ropes around the island and Foreverland.  He’s a very positive character that is difficult not to like. Thankfully, the teenage characters are not stereotypical or annoying.  The Chairman is quite mysterious, and that’s one mystery that needs to be solved.  And who are these old men who are called the investors?  Mr. Jones, Danny Boy’s investor, seemed kind of creepy, though always kind.

I enjoyed how the story progressed.  It was at a good pace and kept me very interested in what was going on, as well as making me think about the mystery of the island.  I wanted to find out what was going on, and I followed along with Danny Boy’s constant attempts to get under the skin of the people running the island.  It’s trouble-making that I enjoyed a lot.  Bertauski did a good job of keeping the reader guessing about what was going to happen next, and I looked forward to opening up my Kindle app and reading it.  It was immensely enjoyable, even though I’m not a young adult.  It is quite compelling for adult readers, as well.

Bertauski set up a vivid world, though small, and I felt like I was on the island with Danny Boy.  Foreverland was pretty interesting, and the twist about it was surprising.  That’s one thing that impressed me about this book.  There were unexpected twists everywhere, especially in the second half of the book.  It was a very creative idea, and it was executed extremely well.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a quick and imaginative science fiction read based in the near future world.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars.