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Posted November 23, 2011
The bad. There are a number of mistakes that made the book hard for me to read. For starters, the POV is all over the place, jumping from character to character, and then into an omniscient state. We¿re never fully in one person¿s head for long enough to really understand any of the characters, and in sections where multiple people are together and talking, it can actually be hard to know who said what until you¿re three or four lines down the passage. I found myself having to constantly go back and reread things and kind of ¿force¿ myself into the narrative, especially in the first 25%. This is the opposite of what you want, i.e., a book well written enough that grammar and technique are playing in the shadows while you fall into the story! Additionally, and more minor, Scott throws in a bunch of extra commas, meaning that I¿m pausing mentally when I shouldn¿t be. Another thing I had a major issue with was character motivation. While Scott *does* give us insight into why her characters do the things they do, I find the explanation to be thin, hard to believe, and lacking ¿ both for minor actions, like ¿Why do Anya and Nin initially each other,¿ all the way to major things, like, ¿Why is Anya risking her neck to help Nin in the first place?¿ I would have really liked it if the thought processes that led up to the actions were better explained ¿ either through memories, pieces of backstory, or a more detailed description of feelings.¿ I also (and this one may just be my fault) didn¿t really understand how the rules of this new universe worked, especially in how characters suddenly ¿knew¿ incredibly complicated and important pieces of knowledge. Like, how does Julius understand that he can choose between his own welfare and Leticia¿s without anybody telling him or giving him a clear sign? Did he sense it from the ¿tree¿s¿ force? If so, that needed to be better explain. This was a pattern I found repeating itself throughout the course of the novel; I just kept saying ¿ How did they know that? The final complaint that I had with this book is that at times, it felt like a diatribe with a novel pasted on top of it. I understand that cyberpunk is all about being against commercialism, the machine, and the danger of misusing technology, but there were entire, oddly timed passages, that espoused these viewpoints without really weaving them into the story. The Good: It¿s pretty imaginative, and it has many of the elements we all look for with a good story. There¿s a plucky heroine, a dreamy hero, a loyal sidekick, and an evil but redeemable villain (revealed only after a nice plot twist!) Nobody is invulnerable and everybody is quite human. There are also passages where the author manages to stay in just one POV for long enough to create some real human meaning; my favorite is where the main character is giving her mom an, um, package at the mother¿s place of employment. The mother¿s concern and unspoken thoughts were both real and touching, and it was a definite point of light in the work. And the author should be applauded for weaving her beliefs and a deeper message into her work, even if the execution isn¿t always perfect. She¿s definitely attempted something that we don¿t see everyday, both stylistically and in her intended message, and she gets full points for bravery in that regard. Final Score: 3.2 stars. An interesting read that misses the mark of greatness, but an excellent start for this authWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 10, 2011
I read the description of this book and thought, "Cyberpunk elves? That sounds pretty cool." I was not disappointed. The Other Side of Life is a fun, action-packed, sweet story. Anya and Leticia are two human good-hearted thieves that run into Nin and his elven crew. The whole gang teams up for a big heist. One thing leads to another and they just may save the world while they're at it.
This book has it all - good writing, lots of action, romance, elves, and even a mad scientist! I highly recommend it to anybody who likes a good fantasy story, or just a good story period. I can't wait for the next installment!
Posted August 3, 2011
Another fantastic, fun and thought-provoking read from Jess C. Scott. She's combined several elements seemlessly in one book - fantasy, social commentary, romance, technology, astrology and action/adventure. Jess has a wild imagination and her writing is clean. Even though I'm not the most tech-savvy or science-minded person, all of those components in the story were easy for me to understand. I recommend everyone take a look at The Other Side of Life and I look foward to book two, The Darkside of Life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 14, 2011
Wow, The Other Side of Life was such a unique and fun read. I don't know about you, but I find a lot of YA books are just clones with names and places swapped. It was refreshing to read something so well thought out and different. You can tell the author made a point to make her work original.
The theme running through the book was technology and it's impact on our earth and society. I really felt it made an impact. I can see things progressing this way and it scares me. The characters were people I would love to hang out with, especially the elves Nin, Tavia, and Dresan. I hope we learn more about them in future books. One of the characters, Leticia (the protagonists best friend), fell a little flat for me. For some reason I just didn't get her.
The story was fun, exciting, and romantic. I look forward to reading the second in the series.
Posted February 9, 2011
It definitely left me wanting more. The gadgetry was cool. The thieving characters were slick, yet honorable. And the underground world speaks of a future that doesn't seem so far away. And doesn't seem so pleasant.
The Other Side of Life was action-packed, had a love story that felt natural, and explored a spiritual theme in an unusual setting. Everything in the world seemed real and the characters seemed genuine. Plus they had cool names: Nin, Anya, Leticia, Tavia, & Dresan.
Looking forward to reading book two.
Posted January 31, 2011
This book is marketed as cyberpunk but, for those drawn to more traditional reads, don't let that label scare you off. Within these pages, we're treated to fantasy, suspense, mystery and romance. The characters, both elven and human, are vivid, feel real and immediately drew me right in to the story. They made me care, which ensured that I would follow them wherever they led me.
The plot is intricate and incredibly well crafted. At the same time, it is not so complicated that a reader would have difficulty keeping up with the details. So much is right within this story, from the three-dimensional characters to the subtle (and maybe not so subtle) messages about our current society. My only complaint is that I have to wait for book 2.
Posted June 5, 2012
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