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Review: Sword Art Online: Aincrad, Vol. 1 by Reki Kawahara

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Set in the year 2022, Sword Art Online is a unique game which has been released and the protagonist of the book Kirito is one of the few thousand people who are amongst the first to log in when the game goes live. To enter the game, players wear a NerveGear, a piece of technology which fully immerses the wearer in the game. Everything is amazing until players find that the game is missing a log-out button. Confusion turns to horror as an announcement is made that for players to leave the game unscathed, they have to pass all 100 floors of the structure known as Aincrad. Until the game is beaten, removing the NerveGear is impossible without harming its wearer.

The premise and plot of Sword Art Online 1: Aincrad was nothing short of epic! We follow Kirito, a solo player, and his experience through the game. It was fun recognising the aspects of MMORPGs mentioned in the book. Despite the overhanging knowledge that in-game death meant real-life death, it wasn't all depressing in the book. There were some funny moments such as the Kirito's decision of cooking a rare meat or selling it on the market for a hefty amount of kol/coin.

The only thing I didn't like was the way Kirito's relationships with the other characters were written. Rather than reading about how he met each character, it was a given that Kirito knew these people some time before. I would have preferred it if I read about the very first encounters. Having said that, the book was fast paced and I guess that was one way to show how much time had passed since Kirito entered the game.

Overall, I really enjoyed Sword Art Online 1: Aincrad. It was pretty awesome!

Review: Evercrossed by Elizabeth Chandler (Kissed by an Angel #4)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Goodreads summary:
It’s been a year since Ivy’s boyfriend, Tristan, died. They’ve both moved on—Tristan to the other side of the afterlife, and Ivy to sweet, dependable Will. Now Ivy’s heading to Cape Cod, hoping to leave the horror of last summer behind. She wants nothing more than to lie on the beach, sip lemonade, and hang out with her friends.

But then a car crash ends Ivy’s life.

As she floats to the beyond, looking down on the life she’s left behind, Tristan breathes life back into her with a passionate kiss. She wakes up in the hospital, surrounded by Will and her family, but all she can think about is the love that she lost.

But memories aren’t all that’s come back from the past. And this time, Ivy’s not sure love will be enough to save her.

Evercrossed picks up a year after Tristan's death. Ivy seems to have moved on with Will but a chain of events brings her back to longing for Tristan.

Ivy and her girlfriends play with an Ouija board one night, accidentally allowing a spirit to enter the world. On a separate night, Ivy is involved in a car crash and sees Tristan telling her he will always be with her.

With her mind on nothing but Tristan after waking up in hospital (convinced that he saved her from death), she bumps into another patient, an amnesiac aka Guy, who intrigues and pulls her in with his likeness to Tristan. Ivy gradually drifts away from Will and spends a lot of time with the mysterious Guy.

I didn't like how Will was treated by Ivy in this book. He's nice, caring and likable but Ivy just didn't have regard for his feelings. Whenever Ivy and Guy were on the page there was no doubt they shared something special. I was convinced Guy was Tristan with memory loss, just like Ivy was.

Ivy's life is in danger when it is revealed the spirit that she and her friends summoned could be Gregory back with a vengeance and being able to possess anyone. The book was quite suspenseful as I analysed anyone who came in contact with Ivy. The book ended with a cliffhanger revealing the possessed person who I never even suspected!

Evercrossed was definitely a book I couldn't put down.