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Living Hell by Catherine Jinks

Living Hell

by Catherine Jinks

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
In the beginning, I admit I was wary. I had heard phenomenal things about this book, but then the first couple of chapters were kind of dry and dull. However, I now firmly believe that this was done on purpose. Because hot damn.

It's beautiful. And horrifying. And heart-wrenching. And superb.

Cheney is just wonderful. I love him as a main character. And I actually like all the other characters too. I like all the details we got of Plexus, because that made the ending more powerful.

I would actually encourage people to read this book without knowing hardly anything about the plot beforehand, because that's how I went into it and it made every twist and turn SO good. So don't read a synopsis or a summary. Just read it.

This is one of those books that I will read again and again and again... but because it's so exhausting and intense, I'll have to wait a very long time between reads. ( )
  BrynDahlquis | Feb 17, 2015 |
I received this as a PDF from netgalley. It started out really interesting, but then got dull, dull, dull.The main character is a.. I think he's a tween, who was born on a generational ship that's trying to find a planet to colonize. So at first we learn about his life on this ship. One interesting bit is that there's two crews and they're each awake for alternating 4 year spans. So the children who're born in each shift have 4 year gaps between them. That makes for some interesting dynamics.I found the names difficult to handle until I realized the naming scheme they were probably following. Not that that made it all that much easier. I had trouble seeing a particular name as male or female, old or young. Even the parents are referred to by their name. It makes it just that bit more difficult to keep track of the characters.Either because it was an uncorrected galley or because of the PDF-ification of it, the formatting left much to be desired. It lost a lot of the paragraph breaks, especially around dialog. That made it especially difficult in places to figure out who was talking. Grr. But the reason I give it 2 stars is because as soon as we get to the actual plot of the book, it was blah. The ship passes through some weird energy thingee, like you might find on Star Trek, and then it starts to become alive. And then it starts attacking the humans on board.And then it's just one battle, one escape after another. On and on and on. Like a monster movie that never lets up. There are no moments of rest, comic relief, etc. And the main character is sometimes just _around_ for the main action, and not actually being proactively part of it. He's instrumental in saving everyone at the end, but in an.. indirect way. And if he learned anything or grew during the course of the book, it was just the typical 'I must be the leader, hey, I'm not bad as a leader' thing.Finally, the main character has the unfortunate name of Cheney.I can highly recommend the first chapters of this book. I thought they were really cool! But, then, as I said, blah. Maybe if you're the sort who really digs biology or likes monster movies, you'd enjoy it more than I did. ( )
  Jellyn | Jul 23, 2012 |
Take the goriest sci-fi flick you’ve ever seen and combine it with The Magic Schoolbus Travels Inside the Human Body. That’s this book. Awesome. Also, take a peek at that cover: tentacles and a kid with a katana! Yowza! ( )
  twonickels | Nov 12, 2010 |
A very interesting concept of life in space. I liked this adventure thriller. ( )
  hoganedix | Sep 11, 2010 |
First of all, I’d like to thank Harcourt Children’s Books and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for giving me a copy of this book. I’m always on the lookout for new (to me) authors and think Catherine Jinks is a wonderful find.

Living Hell is set aboard the spaceship Plexus. Humans have left Earth and have been travelling aboard the Plexus for years. Our hero Cheney was board about the ship and knows life to be organized, self-contained and structured. Everything changes, though, when the Plexus is hit by a radiation wave that transforms the ship, turning her against her crew. Cheney and his friends are forced to survive by their wits, trying to find a way to fight back against their home, which is now bent on their destruction.

This is a fantastic book. I read it in one sitting. Catherine Jinks has crafted such a great story, with really engaging characters and a gripping plot. The transformation that the Plexus experiences is very interesting and original, with a slight education bent, which was rather cool. In terms of tone, it sort of reminded me of Suzanne Collins‘ Hunger Games, since Living Hell deals with life-and-death situations in a very real and honest way.

The author’s website says she’s got more books out so I’m going to keep my eyes peeled the next time I’m at the library. And I’m going to buy a copy of this book for my cousin, who’s a huge fan of the Hunger Games series.

Also published at http://ireadgood.wordpress.com ( )
  jthorburn | Jul 24, 2010 |
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Chronicles the transformation of a spaceship into a living organism, as seventeen-year-old Cheney leads the hundreds of inhabitants in a fight for survival while machines turn on them, treating all humans as parasites.

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