Official Review: Blocks by Tara Basi

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MsTri
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Official Review: Blocks by Tara Basi

Post by MsTri » 04 Jan 2019, 05:04

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Blocks" by Tara Basi.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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When I was young, building blocks were some of my favorite toys. Then, there was a period of time when I loved the tower-building game, Jenga, which found me playing with more blocks. Most recently, Blocks has been one of my favorite books. Sadly, the blocks in the tome were not fun to play with.

Written by Tara Basi, Blocks tells the story of several people trying to solve the mystery of large monoliths that have been placed in various locations on the Earth's surface. The story starts off with two young boys just trying to survive in the wastelands surrounding Block Seven. Battery Boy is determined to find his friend who disappeared some time ago, while Stuff is more concerned with surviving and finding food. When some hunters spot and chase the lads, Battery Boy and Stuff decide to take a chance on finding out what is inside of Block Seven. Using a map and other tools that they find on a dead "old-boy" while en route, they make their way to what they think may be a better place, a place where all of the free people are. Meanwhile, a crew of voyagers are returning to Earth after having been in space for a century in Earth years (one decade on the ship), and they are in for a big surprise when they arrive.

Blocks was the epitome of "unputdownable" for me, as it was full of suspense. From the first page, this story hit the ground running and rarely let up. Even though the action wasn't dialed up to high every moment, there was a steady flow of enthralling occurrences that kept me from growing bored. I found myself staying up late at night, obsessively reading page after glorious page because I just had to know what happened next. The author used the trick of changing viewpoints almost every chapter, resulting in 13 small cliffhangers as well.

Ms. Basi's talent in building worlds was also second to none. I was in constant awe, astounded by her ability to create scenery. Every time I read about a new location, I felt as if I was really there, resulting in a very positive immersive experience. I could actually see the Blocks in the distance, the sun glistening off of their shiny surfaces. I could smell the deer roasting over the fire in the open field. I could hear the clicking of thousands, if not millions, of roaches as they walked around in the dirt. Everything was so realistic that I actually experienced a few jump scares as I read certain scenes while sitting on my living room couch late at night.

Fortunately, the author also didn't shirk her duty in creating interesting and realistic characters. Even though no one had a complete backstory, I did know enough about each person to understand their goals and motives. My feelings about many of them also waxed and waned as I read. My favorite person was Mina, the systems specialist from the prototype research ship, the UN22 Small Business. Even though she tended to panic and try to quit, she was also kind and willing to help. I got big laughs from the ship's computer system, Trinity, too. The system "had been studying the crew's interactions with each other, evolving its own personality." Its personality was pretty obnoxious and funny. Mina's crewmates, Commander Cole, Grain, Sara, Doug, and Greg, were also written well, though I didn't particularly care for Sara because she was obsessively jealous and brusque. Of the runaways, my favorite was Stuff. I imagined that I'd act most like him - tearful and fearful - if I found myself in similar circumstances. Meanwhile, I could have done without Jugger, a hunter that the boys befriended, and Pinkie, a girl that they rescued from some wild free people. The two characters were a little too aggressive and unwilling to listen for my liking. The book also had a number of antagonists, none of them likable, though I did pity Block Boss Tracy for a while.

Tara's writing was nearly flawless as well. The story was written in a factual tone that was perfect for the tale, and I found very few grammatical errors, leading me to believe that the book was professionally edited.

It is with pleasure that I bestow a rating of 4 out of 4 stars on Blocks, and I wish that I could rate it even higher. I highly recommend this book for fans of science fiction and post-apocalyptic stories. I must also add a warning that even though many questions are answered by the end of the book, there is a wide opening for the next part in the series, so there are still quite a few loose ends and unanswered questions. I'd also like to reiterate that nearly every chapter begins with a change of focus from the previous chapter, so readers who dislike frequently changing viewpoints may not like this tome.

In summation, I felt that Ms. Basi did an excellent job creating the building blocks for what's sure to be a great series, a series that I intend to finish.

******
Blocks
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Post by Bianka Walter » 05 Jan 2019, 04:02

This sounds awesome. LOVE post-apocalyptic, LOVE science fiction, MUST read this :)
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Post by Jessacardinal » 05 Jan 2019, 11:25

Based on your review, this book sounds like some very recent popular movies. I myself am not much of a Sci-Fi fan, however, I enjoyed reading your review because it was exciting for me to see how much you seem to love this obviously well-detailed book. I’m not sure I would ever pick this book up on my own, but your account of the read has made me want to hurry up and read Blocks as quickly as possible. While I am new to all of this, you are the first reviewer to make me want to read other reviews written by you. Great job!
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Post by MsTri » 05 Jan 2019, 18:38

Bianka Walter wrote:
05 Jan 2019, 04:02
This sounds awesome. LOVE post-apocalyptic, LOVE science fiction, MUST read this :)
Thanks! I hope you love it as I did.

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Post by MsTri » 05 Jan 2019, 18:40

Jessacardinal wrote:
05 Jan 2019, 11:25
Based on your review, this book sounds like some very recent popular movies. I myself am not much of a Sci-Fi fan, however, I enjoyed reading your review because it was exciting for me to see how much you seem to love this obviously well-detailed book. I’m not sure I would ever pick this book up on my own, but your account of the read has made me want to hurry up and read Blocks as quickly as possible. While I am new to all of this, you are the first reviewer to make me want to read other reviews written by you. Great job!
I very very rarely read Sci-Fi either, but I was just drawn to this one. I also noticed that the other books by this author have done well here on OBC, so I figured I'd chance it, and I'm SO glad I did... And thanks so much for the compliment! I'm a burgeoning author, so I think of my reviews as "practice", and I work hard to make them entertaining.

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Post by Jessacardinal » 05 Jan 2019, 18:42

You definitely succeeded! I look forward to reading a book written by YOU in the near future! :)
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Post by kandscreeley » 06 Jan 2019, 08:05

The author's name sounded familiar, so I had to check. I've read a book by her called The Orb. She does have a great writing style. I'll have to put this one on my list. Thanks for the fabulous, rave review.
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Post by SpencerVo » 06 Jan 2019, 09:39

Sci-fi books are often hit-or-miss to me, but this story sounds like a gem full of fun adventure, mysteries, and a rich and interesting cast of characters. You have written a very detailed review, and I can sense your excitement from the words. Thank you for the introduction!
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Post by MsTri » 06 Jan 2019, 17:53

kandscreeley wrote:
06 Jan 2019, 08:05
The author's name sounded familiar, so I had to check. I've read a book by her called The Orb. She does have a great writing style. I'll have to put this one on my list. Thanks for the fabulous, rave review.
Yep. Seeing her name with great marks here a time or two made me feel pretty comfortable with my decision going in.

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Post by MsTri » 06 Jan 2019, 17:55

SpencerVo wrote:
06 Jan 2019, 09:39
Sci-fi books are often hit-or-miss to me, but this story sounds like a gem full of fun adventure, mysteries, and a rich and interesting cast of characters. You have written a very detailed review, and I can sense your excitement from the words. Thank you for the introduction!
And thank YOU for the kind words. Everybody's comments make it worth it almost as much as the cash, *lol*.

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Post by kdstrack » 06 Jan 2019, 19:24

I really enjoyed your description of the settings and the characters. This sounds like an exciting series. I will look into it. Thanks for your wonderful review.

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Post by Anthony__ » 06 Jan 2019, 20:11

I am already overwhelmed with your description of the book. I guess I would add this book to my shelve. Great review!

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Post by bookowlie » 08 Jan 2019, 09:14

Great review! I don't read a lot of science fiction, but I am thinking of picking up this one. You made the story sound so interesting, especially the part about 13 cliffhangers!
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Post by Khrysalis » 09 Jan 2019, 17:13

You made this book sound exciting, as though I would really be missing out on something if I don't take the journey myself. In fact, I don't think I could live with myself if I didn't check out a world where people could be named things like "Battery Boy" and "Stuff". This is going right on my "to read" list this very minute!

Thanks for that.
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Post by teacherjh » 10 Jan 2019, 11:59

I like futuristic books, and this one sounds great. You have a pleasant writing style. I enjoyed your review.

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