Thursday, 2 April 2015

Code & Exposure

Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher

The gang is back and things are quite quiet over on Loggerhead, no-ones shooting at them and trying to kill them, but we all know that won't last for long and it doesn't. See Hi has got a new hobby, it's called geocaching, and Hi and the gang find the only geocache located on Loggerhead. The cache contains a mystery box, and inside the mystery box is the start of a game, a very dangerous game.

The gang have to follow the clues to the next locations and it soon becomes apparent that this isn't an innocent  hunt, soon the gang are being put in one impossible position. Follow the rules of the game, win the tasks, find The Danger, or innocents are going to get hurt. They have no choice but to play the game, a game that's trying to kill them and those they love.

Tory and the gang have to solve the puzzles while working against the clock and keeping everything a secret, while trying to hunt down the Gamemaster. But that's not all they have to worry about, Chance is out and free, and he's on to Tory's little secret...the question is...will he work it out?

Okay, so again, this book is different to the first two books, this one was almost like a treasure hunt, but it was more intense, and more serious. The creepy "I'm watching you vibe" was very PLL and the overall vibe was quite junior NCIS or something similar. This book had a whole different levity to it with the consequences if they fail and so on, the stakes where way higher!

We got more of Jason in this book, which was interesting, as we didn't see him much in the first two books, you got loads of him and got to know him a bit better in this book, I'm still curious about him though, he still seems a bit mysterious.

This book gave us what we've all been waiting for as well.....the confirmation that Ben has a thing for Tory which was obvious at one previous point in the book, and it's all like screeching and wooing and omging, because like....FINALLY. It's now a case of what happens next....where will it go? If we do get some romance, I'm certain it's going to be secondary to the main plot, and very subtle, like it has been so far.

We got more of Chance this book as well, I like Chance, I really do, and I spent the whole book praying he wouldn't be a dick, then there was a point when I thought he was and I was like omg no but he wasn't, but he was totally shady for most of the book, and then right at the end of the book I was like dammit Chance, you're gonna be a dick aren't you?! I can't even. I want to know more about Chance, I really do like him, and I slightly ship him with Tory, not gonna lie.
His mole at LIRI is going to be interesting to watch play out as well. I hope he gets found out soon.

Like with the other books, our characters developed more, their bond strengthened...sort of, we saw more locations in the books world, and got a nice vivid image of them, the book was fast paced, just as slick and full of action, and it was incredibly hard to predict what was going to happen next. I always think I've pegged my suspect, or pin pointed what's going to happen next and I'm always wrong, and I love it.

Which is why the plot twist with Ben hit me like a truck. I did not see that coming. I thought the thing he was hiding was his thing for Tory, but no. I'm constantly shocked and surprised by every single plot twist in these books, and this was the worst so far. Like I can't even. I'm wondering how much it's going to change with his relationship with Tory, and how much it'll change the dynamics of the pack. Not to mention what will happen next with Ben himself.

I love how each book has a prologue that draws you in, and this was the creepiest one so far! I also love the little chapters in between the main narrative that are from a different POV, of someone who's a suspect, or from the bad guy, that all add huge amounts of intrigue and a nice dose of creepy.

It was interesting to see how things played out from the second book, everyone is closer, Kit now has an enemy within his own workplace, what things have changed in LIRI, douchey security for example. I quite liked Anders, I hope we see more of him! This book has taught me to be a bit suspicious of new characters, so I was mildly suspicious about him while hoping he was just a normal person haha

Now the suspense and the tension oozed off the page in this book multiple times, half the time it was like a physical thing, and it totally engulfs you. I was on the edge of my seat, nail biting, and generally freaking out when they where doing the challenges, and don't get me started on the scene under the ballroom! Couldn't put it down even if I tried. 

This series gets better and better, each book brings a different element, keeping the series fresh, there was still science in this one but there was a lot of cool puzzles as well. I love how there's still more to learn about their powers, especially with the new source of info they found, and I'm always excited to see where their powers are going to take them, what new ability they'll develop, I mean Tory is all mind reader, mind speak right now and it's so awesome!

I'm very excited to see what happens in the next book, especially after the last chapter!

Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher

It's been 5 months since the events of code, and we join the gang in the midst of the Gamemaster's trial as it's coming to it's conclusion. While the Gamemaster pretty much seals his fate, two of the gang's classmates go missing, twins to be precise. So of course Tory and the gang decide to investigate, I mean....weird, creepy card left as a clue? How could they not. But when they stumble across blood, and lots of it, things get a whole lot more serious...and then when Tory's friend Ella goes missing? Tory becomes hell bent on finding the missing students before anything bad happens. Well...worse than being kidnapped. 

However, they have a bit of a problem. While investigating they have to deal with Ben, who's flaring all the time, in public, and the fact that their flares are becoming are more unstable, to the extent they can't flare without pain at some points or flare without realising. It's getting harder and harder to keep their secret. Which is crappy timing, considering Change is not just suspicious of them...he's on to them. He has a theory and he thinks he's worked out what's going on with them....he's also commissioned some secret project at his new place of work....Candela Pharmaceuticals. 

As the threat of exposure gets higher and higher, the evidence surrounding the students disappearance gets more and more confusing, and when Tory herself is dropped straight in to danger...the Virals are going to have to risk themselves and their secret to save the missing students. 

So in this installment, we jump in 5 months after the little game the psycho master had them playing, and I loved getting to see how it all played out, what happened to the Gamemaster and how the events effected everyone involved, we got to see the previous storyline conclude pretty much perfectly. 

We also got to see how the plot twist from the third book played out, and the answer is, not well for Ben, the gang's kinda fractured when we join them in the book, they aren't a pack and they aren't working well together, Tory and Ben haven't spoken in months and Ben has this weird addiction to the flare almost. I will admit, for the majority of the book, Ben was being kind of a douche, and at points I really wanted to punch him in the face and didn't particularly like him much. I am Team Tory and always on her side, so yeah. But then eventually the gang got back to working well together and fixed themselves and Ben actually came across as quite sweet at one or more points, rather than his usual stoic self, so it was all good. But for a moment I was worried I was about to have issues with one of them! 

I'm beginning to have vibes about Tory, there's a lot unresolved, with her mother's death, and I'm slowly convincing myself it wasn't an accident, and I know it's probably because I watch too many crime shows but still. Also with each new book, Whitney annoys me more and more. As someone who doesn't like being forced to do things, or told what to do, Whitney really grates, as does Tory just taking it and go along with whatever she wants, I'm hoping it'll eventually come to a head and Tory will finally get Whitney to back off and stop trying to make her in to her, because to me, Tory is a strong character, and she seems quite independent at times, and her just going along with Whitney for the rest of her life doesn't mesh with the sense of her that i have as a character. Or ya know....Kit could finally dump her. Whichever. 

An intersting point of this book was that, we didn't have a creepy bad guy POV until we knew who the bad guy was, I was sad, because they're my favourite, but at the same time, it really added more intensity and foreboding and danger to the book as well as intrigue, we did have the creepy first chapter though! More importantly we got the POV of Ben, Shelton and Hi, briefly towards the end, which I liked because it gave you a sense of each character a bit better, and made the whole disappearance thing even more heart pounding, as they raced to put everything together and find her and so on. I don't know, I love Tory and her narrative, but it made it more interesting than just being from Tory's POV and then finding out what the boys did.

I gotta say, I love Hi and Shelton more with each book! They really do crack me up and stop the books from being all dark all the time. I particularly enjoyed how they where all heroes after the events of the third book and even the Tripod decided to creepily be nice to Tory! 

Now, don't get me wrong, I love the boys, really I do, but I LOVE ELLA SO MUCH. Seriously. She's a fantastic addition to the cast, she's the friend Tory needs, and it's so great to see her interact with a female friend who can make the fancy events she's forced to go to less boring. It's great to see Tory finally have someone other than the guys to talk to about stuff, and with the whole Ben thing, I think she's gonna need her. I was so devastated when she was kidnapped, not to mention also slightly gutted cos I started to think she had something to do with it all! These books have taught me to be suspicious of all new characters added to the mix! 

There's less of Jason, but there's more of Chance, and even a little Chance POV to give us an insight in to what he's doing and why, which was interesting, because at one point I really thought he was going to be a huge, "I'll kill you all" crazy person problem, but I can see where he's coming from and his determination to find out what the hell was going on, as can Tory, I think. He's clearly up to something dangerous that he then realised was dangerous and then the ending? Man I'm excited for the next book to see how this plays out, I had my suspicions about the "weird feeling" Tory was getting and it is the ONLY thing in these books I've ever worked out right! But yeah....interesting to see what changes. 

So I always say how I like seeing their powers change and develop rather than being a stagnant thing that they just have, and this book shows how potentially unstable their powers are. Either they where out of whack because of Chance, or Ben's theory was right, or they genuinely are dangerous and could kill them, but it was interesting to see them take a sinister turn. The Flare snapping off randomly, not being able to Flare, intense pain trying to Flare, it's going to be interesting to see what's behind it in the next book and what's going to happen with it next. 

This book, again, had a different vibe to the other books, they where looking for their classmates, while the noose tightened on them from Chance's investigations. It was kinda like a junior Criminal Minds or something, I don't know, but it was cool and a different take to the other books.

The creepy calling cards where suitably creepy, and I will admit, I found all the stuff about the Zodiac really interesting, so interesting I looked it up to check on my star sign, but I'm still narrowly a Pisces! Not sure whether I'm pleased or not to be honest! Speaking of the Zodiac, we see another corner of the world in this book, from the fairy shop to the huge estate with plenty of interesting history to it, I'm always interested to hear what historical tidbit about the area will be revealed!

The ending though...holy wow. It's like a punch in the freaking face. I was literally sitting, totally stunned for a good few minutes. Then I was freaking out and then I was thanking my lucky stars I can move on to the next book straight away. Props to the fans who've had to wait however long after that bombshell. I can't even. So many interesting paths have opened up, I can't wait to see what's going to happen next! 

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