Video Rage by Rami Ungar (Book Review)


**I  was provided with a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review!**

Some of you may remember me reading the first part of the series, Reborn City, by my friend and fellow blogger Rami Ungar last year. I am still not entirely on board with the covers, but I am happy to see that a lot more effort went into this one. Also, having read the story it really makes sense and that’s definitely important.

Now, in Video Rage, we jump right back into the story. I was glad that the Hydras way of talking wasn’t as distracting as it was in the last book, probably because they were in a different kind of environment where their slang wasn’t really needed so much. I still can’t believe that the main character, Zahara, is only 15 years old though. Somehow that just doesn’t feel completely right, even though she can still be naive sometimes.

I am a little torn when it comes to the personal relationships of the members of the Hydras. On the one hand, I feel like Rami tried to show the connections between all the members, but on the other hand I felt that they were much more present in the previous book. That’s probably also why I felt a little less connected this time around. It was all written there, but it simply didn’t click. Everything just seemed to fall into place a little too nicely sometimes.

Nevertheless, the book was fast paced and had a great villain in 011. He was wicked and cruel and I actually didn’t want to read the sequences where he made his symphony sometimes. This book gave him a couple more layers, which was great, although it would have been interesting to find out something about his life before he became who he came to be. I think it would generally be intriguing if the people with superpowers could remember their past or maybe suddenly had someone from their past pop up.

Finally, Rami has a certain talent for ending a story. His epilogue always makes you wonder what will happen next and that’s basically what keeps you hooked in a book.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! Unfortunately I didn’t feel as connected with the characters or story as I did in the first book, but I still would like to know how the series wraps up!


Could you see yourself picking up Video Rage or the Reborn City series in general?

T5W – Self-Published Books


So, ever since last week, I have joined the band of Wednesdayers and will do Top 5-lists on a weekly basis. If you want to know more about this, you can check out the meme hosted by the booktuber, Lainey aka gingereadslainey, on the Goodreads page here.

This week’s topic is Self-Published books and I have to say it is quite a difficult one for me. It’s not that I don’t generally support people who want to self-publish, but looking at my shelf there isn’t much to be found … So, while I won’t make it to 5, I am only one book short and that’s not so bad either.

The Martian by Andy Weir

Yes! I can mention this book again and I am so happy about it. While it is a global phenomenon and bestseller by now, it truly did start out as a self-published novel. The Martian just rocks that much! I’ve talked about this book so many times, but click here to read my full post on it!


Amixipi by Safi Nidiaye

This is one of my most beloved books from my childhood that we used to read in a huge group during summer camp. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking story about a girl who has to choose between a dream world and her real life. Gorgeous! And the book has a CD with songs as well and I even bought that too!


Reborn City by Rami Ungar

I reviewed this book just last month (click here to read my thoughts on it) and was pleasantly surprised by it. Reborn City was written by a dear friend of mine, who also has a blog of his own. While we have different opinions on a lot of things, we get along great and I am so glad I liked his book too!


Rikki by Abigail Strom

I read this book last year and it was my first NetGalley approved eArc. I was super excited about it and really enjoyed it too. It was also my first venture into the whole NA genre, which I don’t dislike but haven’t explored much further. You can check out my review here.


So, what are some self-published books you enjoy? Share your thoughts and also your links to your own T5W posts!

Reborn City by Rami Ungar (Book Review)

reborncityZahara Bakur is a Muslim teenager recently moved into the gambling town of Reborn City. After her parents are killed by gang violence, Zahara is forced to join the Hydras, an interracial gang whose leaders have supernatural abilities. As the violence in Reborn City escalates and Zahara becomes closer to the Hydras, including the quiet but stern Rip, she finds herself drawn into a dark conspiracy involving the origins of the leaders and the shadowy corporation that rules over Reborn City.

So, I should probably start at the beginning. Rami Ungar is a friend and fellow blogger, who I met through our shared love for Doctor Who! He is a self-published author and more than once the topic of me checking out his work has come up. I always felt like he was more at home in the horror genre, which everyone knows isn’t my thing at all, but he suggested I check out Reborn City, since it should be more up my alley. Now here we are! Reviewing the work of friends is never easy for me, but I am going to try my best to put my thoughts in coherent sentences!

What I Liked

  • Reborn City puts an emphasis on people being prejudiced towards certain races or religions. It is really blunt at talking about all kinds of racism, while offering the reader a diverse cast of characters and I can definitely appreciate that! Also, it’s a topic that seems very current to me. With the refugee crisis still going on, it’s in fact a global topic, seen as people freak out and get ridiculously paranoid and xenophobic lately.
  • The backstory of the characters was really intriguing and very satisfying once you found out how everything ties together! I think without the Epilogue, there would have been a couple of unanswered questions, but all in all Reborn City could be a standalone. However, now it is open to a sequel and does kind of make you wonder what the gang will be up to next.
  • Even though I have to admit that it took me a while, I really liked the characters in the end. I think the backflashes helped most with that because often you only got glimpses of emotions which made it difficult to bond for me.
  • I loved all the superpowers!! Some of them I recognised from other superheroes and others were completely unique. It was great to find out about them and to see how differently they could be used.

What I Didn’t Like

  • I don’t know if that was because I am not a native English speaker or not, but I did not handle the gangster lingo well. I would have much rather preferred “normal” English with a couple of slang words thrown in, than them having sort of their own language – even if it does completely make sense in that particular setting!
  • It bothered me a little how naive Zahara was about joining a gang and then how lenient they were with her. Also, I would have really liked to know more about her first two weeks with Hydra since she really seemed to take to some of the members, but I couldn’t quite get where that connection was coming from. As I’ve mentioned above, bonding was sometimes a little difficult for me, but I think it would have been easier if I had read about some actual bonding (this excludes Ilse and Zahara – I get their friendship!).
  • I am not a big fan of violence. I get why it was there and why it was necessary, but it already started out really intense and I think that those sort of stories just aren’t the most enjoyable for me to read.

Lastly, I am sorry but I have to mention one more thing. I am a cover snob! I will admit to that freely and while I can guarantee you that Rami has many talents, I think the cover needs a lot of work. But since I don’t want to be a hypocrite, here’s my suggestion for how it might look better (please take into account that I am no tech-wiz either and that I am well aware that it could need some cleaning up):


Fazit: 3/5 stars! Reborn City wasn’t a bad story at all and quite the page turner in the end, but I think that other people can appreciate it more than I did!

Do you think you would enjoy Reborn City? What’s your take on my cover suggestion? Share your thoughts below!