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Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Top 5 Books Read in 2011

In no particular order here are my favorite books read in 2011:

Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home... Or so he believes... Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been trained roughly and lovingly by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds. Here he encounters a damaged people who are not who they seem, and must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad Princess. And in this barren and mysterious place, he will discover that there is a song sleeping in his blood, and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...
Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated when the time comes for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. High-status trueborns and working-class lowborns, born naturally of a mother, are free to choose their own lives. But GENs are gestated in a tank, sequestered in slums, and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen. When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn family, she finds a host of secrets and surprises—not least of which is her unexpected friendship with Zul's great-grandson. Meanwhile, the children that Mishalla is Assigned to care for are being stolen in the middle of the night. With the help of an intriguing lowborn boy, Mishalla begins to suspect that something horrible is happening to them. After weeks of toiling in their Assignments, mystifying circumstances enable Kayla and Mishalla to reunite. Together they hatch a plan with their new friends to save the children who are disappearing. Yet can GENs really trust humans? Both girls must put their lives and hearts at risk to crack open a sinister conspiracy, one that may reveal secrets no one is ready to face.

In the first pages of this standalone sequel to The Lost Hero, Percy Jackson remembers only his name and the name of Annabeth, a mysterious woman he associates somehow with the city of San Francisco. From those sparse clues, he must somehow complete a mission for the leader of the Roman camp even as he is being pursued by the two sisters of Medusa, who possess an apparently unquenchable thirst for vengeance: Even when killed, they spring back to life. Rick Riordan's second Heroes of Olympus promises even more excitement than the first.

WE KNOW YOU ARE HERE, OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS . . . Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost -- how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run. BURN A PURE AND BREATHE THE ASH . . . There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss -- maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her. When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Sword and the Dragon Review

522 pages

When the Royal Wizard of Westland poisons the king so that his puppet prince can take the throne and start a continental war, a young squire is forced to run for his life carrying the powerful sword that his dying monarch burdened him with from the death bed. Two brothers find a magic ring and start on paths to becoming the most powerful sort of enemies, while an evil young sorceress unwillingly falls in love with one of them when he agrees to help her steal a dragon's egg for her father. Her father just happens to be the Royal Wizard, and despite his daughter's feelings, he would love nothing more than to sacrifice the boy! All of these characters, along with the Wolf King of Wildermont, the Lion Lord of Westland, and a magical hawk named Talon, are on a collision course toward Willa the Witch Queen's palace in the distant kingdom of Highwander. There the very bedrock is formed of the powerful magical substance called Wardstone.
Who are the heroes? And will they get there before the Royal Wizard and his evil hordes do?
Whatever happens, the journey will be spectacular, and the confrontation will be cataclysmic.


Review:
First off I find it extremely intriguing that the author wrote this novel while spending time in prison. That such a compelling and awesome novel could be made in such a negative space is amazing. I love an epic fantasy novel and this was no exception. From the very start you are thrown into an adventure that gets more exciting and detailed as the book goes on. As with a lot of fantasy novels this has plenty of magic, elves, dwarves, and dragons. There are several main characters and while they are all different they each have different sides to them that pull you in. The battles and injuries are very detailed and at times while reading I found myself feeling strongly about a death of a character I connected with. I really liked that while this was a semi-long novel it came to a great conclusion while leaving the story open for another novel. I can't wait to read the next one and see how the story continues. I definitely recommend this to those who love fantasy novels and epic tales.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Touch of Power Review

394 pages
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

Review:
Only one word can possibly describe this book, Amazing. This might be my favorite Maria V. Snyder novel yet. This novel is a perfect blend of action and adventure and romance.  Avry is a likeable character from the very start of the book. She's strong, independent and doesn't take no for an answer. I love the fact that Avry does what she wants to do no matter the consequences. The characters she encounters throughout the novel are extremely interesting and compelling. I loved the relationship between Avry and Kerrick as it wasn't typical and it has a lot of conflicting and rocky moments. Even though Avry's power as a healer isn't what I would typically feel is a strong one for a heroine, she makes it her strength and I was definitely impressed by that. A lot of questions are answered in this novel but there are a few left unanswered in the end that leave me anticipating the continuation of Avry's story. This novel is a must read and I can't wait to read the next one!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Revealing Eden Review

320 pages
Release date: January 10th, 2012
Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she'll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she's cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%? In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden's coloring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she'll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father's secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm and thrown into the last area of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land. Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity's last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her "adopted aunt" Emily Dickinson.

Review:
This book would have had a lot of promise to be a great and enjoyable novel if the main character hadn't been such an idiot. Eden is extremely self-deprecating and willing to do anything to get the attention of a guy. Throughout the novel she makes one bad decision after another and its like she never learns from her mistakes.I can't say I enjoyed this novel but I read through it to see if Eden gets better or more interesting. She didn't. I liked the fact that this novel showed prejudice from a different point of view and I guess I have to take that into consideration when I think about Eden's personality flaws. At the same time there were quite a few things in the novel that just didn't add up to me like the fact that most people didn't go outside because it was supposed to be dangerous but then all of a sudden Eden is outside all the time with no consequences. I can't say I recommend this novel since I really didn't enjoy it but I guess I'll still read the next one when it comes out to see if it improves.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!




I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!!! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Abarat Review

477 pages
A journey beyond imagination is about to unfold. . . .

It begins in the most boring place in the world: Chickentown, U.S.A. There lives Candy Quackenbush, her heart bursting for some clue as to what her future might hold.
When the answer comes, it's not one she expects.
Welcome to the Abarat.

Review:
Well this book was definitely more entertaining than I thought it would be. Candy Quackenbush is a character who wants to get out of her small town and not end up like everyone else there. She has a mind for adventure and is always searching for something different and exciting. Eventually she ends up having a wild chase with a monstrous man and helping another with eight heads. Then she ends up in Abarat. Abarat is a place full of adventure and you never know quite what to expect. It is a completely different world from the one that Candy grew up in. I really liked Candy as a character because of her fearlessness and readiness to explore a new world. The world of Abarat was wonderfully created and brings a lot more to the imagination. I really think this was a great fantasy novel and I can't wait to see where Candy's adventures take her next. I definitely recommend this to those who like an amusing and fun fantasy novel.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Hobbit Trailer!!!!



I'm rarely a fan of books turned into movies but I have to admit that the Lord of the Rings Trilogy was masterfully done. Now we have the Hobbit being made into a movie! I'm excited... are you? :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Severed Review


Reychel knows her gift of prophecy will lead to madness and now she is at her most vulnerable. The enemy army will attempt to sever her from everything she's ever known: her homeland, her friends, Mark, and her gift. Even at her weakest, she refuses to give up on her desire to end the war between the Malborn and the Serenians. Reychel would do anything, even come back from the dead, to conquer the enemy and reunite with Mark.

Review:
This novel was a little more exciting than the other two in the series and had a wonderful ending.There were a lot of surprises and twists in the storyline and we also see the return of a few familiar characters. I enjoyed this novel more because Reychel was a stronger and more confident character. Megg Jensen writes shorter novels than I normally read but she is great at making a story come alive. I liked the fact that things progress quickly in the novel even though it can seem too fast at times. This is a series that is worth reading especially when you're looking for a quick exciting novel to finish.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lost in Time Review

342 pages
After their beautiful yet brief bonding ceremony in Italy, Schuyler Van Alen and Jack Force are forced to separate. To fulfill the Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler travels to Alexandria to search for Catherine of Siena and the Gate of Promise. But Schuyler quickly discovers that everything she believed about the Gate to be wrong. Meanwhile, Jack makes the difficult decision to return to New York to face his twin and former bondmate, Mimi. But instead of a bitter reunion, he is faced with a choice for which there is no good option. Mimi, with a most unexpected travel companion in Oliver Hazard-Perry, jets off to Egypt, too, to search for Kingsley Martin, her long lost love. With all roads leading to Hell, Mimi learns that not all love stories have happy endings. But she'll have to put her own feelings aside if she's going to save her crumbling Coven. Packed with heartache, twists, and vampiric folklore, Lost in Time is sure to satisfy hungry fans' cravings for more Blue Bloods adventure.

Review: 
What can I say about this novel? When this series first started I loved it. It was fresh, new and exciting. By the time this book rolled around the series has gotten drawn out and boring. There is so much random things going on that the book just doesn't seem that interesting anymore. Schuyler was such a great character in the first book but it seems she's lost that spark that connected me to her as a character. I feel like most of the questions brought up in the book weren't answered at all. The only parts I really liked were when the focus was on Mimi and Oliver. Their adventure to find Kingsley was interesting and fun. Basically for this series I can only hope the next book picks things back up or just comes to an end..

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Execution Review

288 pages
The whole world has become a prison, and Alfred Furnace is its master. Monsters rule the streets, beasts of pure fury that leave nothing but murder and madness in their wake. Those who do not die are turned, becoming slaves to Furnace's reign of cruelty. It is a war to end all wars, one that will leave the planet in ruins. I am a monster too. I am one of Alfred Furnace's children. And I am the only one who can stop him. I have to find a way to use my powers to destroy Furnace, but in doing so I risk becoming the very force that kills us all. I don't know if I am the executed or the executioner. I don't know who will die: me, Furnace or the entire human race. All I know is that one way or another, it all ends today.

Review:
A crazy and amazing ending to a great series! I have loved all 4 novels in this series so far and the 5th one was no exception. It was extremely bittersweet when this series came to an end for me. So many things happened to Alex since the first novel and its amazing to watch his transformation physically and mentally. I loved that everything was finally explained and all the mysteries were cleared up. Alfred Furnace is a total badass but there is a reason behind his madness. I loved the fact that I was not able to predict a moment of this book because the characters kept doing the unexpected. This novel is extremely gory and descriptive so it does not disappoint.I definitely recommend this novel to those who have read this whole series. It is an extremely worthy finale.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Nook Color Update to Ver 1.4.1



If you know me you know there is nothing I love more than my Nook Color. It's the perfect device for reading your favorite book or magazine and now for watching your favorite movie! There are also games and other apps you can download if you want other options besides reading. Today an update to version 1.4.1 was released which now gives access to Netflix! The NOOK Color Ver 1.4.1 update contains new features and enhancements, including:
  • Access to popular movies and TV shows streamed through Netflix
  • NOOK Comics™ including the largest collection of Marvel graphic novels - with vivid colors & rich images, the action nearly jumps off the page. Your issues always in perfect condition to enjoy again & again.
  • PagePerfect™ NOOK Books™ - a whole new category of NOOK Books carefully crafted to keep the precision and beauty of their stunning print versions. Zoom in on pictures, and fluidly scroll through pages of beautiful cookbooks, art books, and more.
  • Over 100 enhancements, including reading NOOK Books in portrait and landscape modes, direct look-up of words in the built-in dictionary, increased font size selection, and more. 
Head over to the Barnes and Noble website and download the update if you have a Nook Color. I definitely recommend it!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oubliette Review

186 pages
Reychel thought she was finally free. She was wrong. Everyone saw her gift of prophecy as a blessing, but her gift is uncontrollable. No one alive can teach her to manipulate her unique gift and the answers she needs lie buried within a madman’s journals. She’s thrust in the midst of a brewing war and the only uniting factor for her people is their belief in the Prophet. Will Reychel learn to control her gift or will she be forced to deliver a false prophecy that could lead her people into a violent war?

Review:
The second book in this trilogy, Oubliette is another short novel. A lot more action and betrayal forms the majority of this book. Reychel's journey to discover and figure out her gift is difficult. Reychel also has to learn that not everyone can be trusted. A couple of new characters are introduced in this book and we see the return of a few favorites. I enjoyed that there was so much mystery in this book that I was never really sure what would happen next. The ending just increased my anticipation to hurry up and get through the last book. I definitely recommend this if you love fantasy fiction novels.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Anathema Review

206 pages
Forget prophecy. Make your own destiny.
Sheltered from the outside world with no hope for escape, slave girl Reychel dreads her fifteenth birthday - when her master’s symbol is burned on the back of her bald scalp. Her best friend disappears the night before, leaving her to face the branding ceremony alone. She soon discovers nothing is as it seems when people desperate for freedom beg for Reychel's help. Can Reychel learn to believe in herself?


Review:
Well this novel was a quick read. I really thought it was 500 pages because for some reason it showed up on my nook color that way and it was a bit disappointing to discover it was actually way less. Nevertheless this was an interesting book. There is slavery and violence and magic all mixed together to create an awesome adventure. I don't feel like I got to know Reychel deeply as a character since the book went quickly. However, from what I did read, Reychel seems to be on her way to developing into a great heroine. I really liked the drama and secrets in the book that kept me reading and interested until the end. Sometimes it was frustrating to read but in a good way because I wanted to know exactly what was going on. However, there are quite a bit of unexpected twists in the end that are worth figuring out. This is the first book in the series so I can only hope for improvement in the next one. I recommend this book to everyone who loves a fast paced fantasy fiction novel.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kiss of Frost Review

354 pages
I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Acad­emy, and I have no idea how I’m going to sur­vive the rest of the semes­ter. One day, I’m get­ting schooled in sword­play by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gor­geous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invis­i­ble archer in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties decides to use me for tar­get prac­tice. And now, I find out that some­one at the acad­emy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword..

Review:
Once again I'm disappointed. It was such a chore to read a repeat of the first novel in the series. So many things were just repeated over and over again it was annoying. Gwen did not improve as a character either. She is so self-pitying and desperate for attention that its depressing. And the Reaper was extremely obvious to figure out without thought. The only thing that saves this novel, barely, is Gwen's romance with Logan. I wanted to see Gwen get the guy but her insecurities made it hard to enjoy. The last part of the book was more fast paced with a lot of new information that was revealed. That peaked a little of my interest in what the next novel may be about. This series isn't terrible but for someone who has read as much books as I have it may be a bit tedious. I don't want to recommend reading this unless you just have some time to kill.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Touch of Frost Review

350 pages

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest. But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . .

Review:
After reading this book I definitely have a love/hate relationship with it. I love mythology so I also love books based on ancient mythology. This book definitely had a lot of potential. Its not a bad book but I can't say it was exceptional either. Gwen Frost is a likable character when she's not pitying herself or repeating the same annoying phrases often. If I had to read "Logan freaking Quinn" one more time I probably would have stopped reading out of frustration. There seems to be a lot and I do mean a lot of repetition in this book. However, I do like the concept and the underlying story in the book. There is quite a bit of action, a hot guy, and magic which always makes me happy. I think that Gwen as a character still has some growing to do that I'm hoping to discover in the next novel in this series. I recommend this book for a quick read if you like mythology and magic.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Legend Review

305 pages
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.


Review:
This was a wonderfully refreshing dystopian novel. Day and June are both likable and interesting narrators. Day is the "bad boy" of the book, a renegade causing trouble for the Republic. June is of course the "good girl" but with a rebellious streak. Both Day and June are strong characters who would do anything for the people they love. I love the dystopian world the author created here but I wish there had been more of a back story and explanation to how it got that way. The story was extremely fast paced and hinted that all might not be what the Republic says it is.There are a lot of underhanded things going on in that society but the full scope of what it all means I guess will be saved for the next book. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that the story seemed too short. I wish there had been ore to it but like I said, that will probably be saved for the next book. I definitely recommend this book especially if you love dystopian fiction.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Starcrossed Review

359 pages
Digger thrives as a spy and sneak-thief among the feuding religious factions of Gerse, dodging the Greenmen who have banned all magic. But when a routine job goes horribly wrong and her partner and lover Tegen is killed, she has to get out of the city, fast, and hides herself in a merry group of nobles to do so. Accepted as a lady's maid to shy young Merista Nemair, Digger finds new peace and friendship at the Nemair stronghold--as well as plenty of jewels for the taking. But after the devious Lord Daul catches her in the act of thievery, he blackmails her into becoming his personal spy in the castle, and Digger soon realizes that her noble hosts aren't as apolitical as she thought... that indeed, she may be at the heart of a magical rebellion.

Review:
This book seemed to have a lot of potential but I have to say it was extremely tedious to get through. I found that things seemed to be a bit disjointed at times. I felt like the story just dragged on and took too long to come to any sort of climax. Digger is an interesting main character but I can't say that she was a really likable one. I did like unraveling the secrets and mysteries that everyone around Digger was hiding. There wasn't any real romance I guess because Digger's lover died so closely, but it didn't have a big impact on the story. I think that this story just needed to be developed a bit more then it could have been an excellent novel. All in all I would not recommend this book to pass time unless you have absolutely nothing else to read.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Froi of the Exiles Review

593 pages
Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home... Or so he believes... Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been trained roughly and lovingly by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds. Here he encounters a damaged people who are not who they seem, and must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad Princess. And in this barren and mysterious place, he will discover that there is a song sleeping in his blood, and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen. 

Review (ARC):
OMG. This book was excellent. And frustrating. But mostly excellent. I have to say that this is a huge improvement over the first book in the series and it completely blew me away. The author's ability to make the characters come alive is amazing. Froi is the orphaned exile that Queen Isaboe and Finnikin found in the first book and he is the star of this new novel. You get to see a different side of Froi that you didn't know was there and love him for it. Even though Froi is the main character we get to see more intimate sides of some of the favorites from the first book. There are so many twists and turns in this book that I didn't know what was going to happen. Every time I thought the book was coming to an end something completely new would be revealed. I was only frustrated by the ending because its a MAJOR cliffhanger. I absolutely cannot wait to read the next book in this series when it comes out so I can find out what happened! I definitely recommend reading this book. Generally I would say read the first one before you read this one but this book works as a standalone novel too.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2012 Debut Author Challenge


Ms. Book Queen will be participating in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge over at http://thestorysiren.com

The objective: To read & review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1, 2012 - January 31, 2013.

The deadline to join is May 31, 2012.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Finnikin of the Rock Review

399 pages
At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom. He stands on the rock of the three wonders with his friend Prince Balthazar and Balthazar's cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood to safeguard Lumatere. But all safety is shattered during the five days of the unspeakable, when the king and queen and their children are brutally murdered in the palace. An impostor seizes the throne, a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere's walls, and those who escape are left to roam the land as exiles, dying by the thousands in fever camps. Ten years later, Finnikin is summoned to another rock--to meet Evanjalin, a young novice with a startling claim: Balthazar, heir to the throne of Lumatere, is alive. This arrogant young woman claims she'll lead Finnikin and his mentor, Sir Topher, to the prince. Instead, her leadership points them perilously toward home. Does Finnikin dare believe that Lumatere might one day rise united? Evanjalin is not what she seems, and the startling truth will test Finnikin's faith not only in her but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny. 

Review:
At first, reading this novel was pretty tedious. Something about the way it is written didn't flow or resonate with me for about the first half of the book. It seemed a bit confusing. However, as the story continued I found myself getting immersed in the story of Finnikin and Evanjalin and waiting to see what happens with the rest of the Lumatere exiles. It took a while to get to the climax and that was pretty short and to the point. I loved when the secrets were revealed and how the book ended. Finnikin is a headstrong character but he also has quite a sincere and heartwarming personality. Evanjalin proves to be more than you first expect and shows that she is an extremely strong young women. This book was definitely worth the read and I recommend it to anyone who like a sincerely good and solid fantasy novel.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Obernewtyn Review

256 pages
The Obernewtyn Chronicles - Book One
For Elspeth Gordie freedom is-like so much else after the Great White-a memory. It was a time known as the Age of Chaos. In a final explosive flash everything was destroyed. The few who survived banded together and formed a Council for protection. But people like Elspeth-mysteriously born with powerful mental abilities-are feared by the Council and hunted down like animals...to be destroyed. Her only hope for survival to is keep her power hidden. But is secrecy enough against the terrible power of the Council?

Review: 
I really enjoyed this book. The society created here is completely controlled by a religious faction. Anyone who may be different or suspected of being different are either killed or sent to work as slaves. Its interesting that in this dystopia people have developed strong mental powers after what seems to have been a nuclear war that wiped out almost everyone. Elspeth is one of those who has strong mental powers and she is taken to be a slave after it is discovered that she is a "Misfit." I really liked Elspeth especially as she develops and becomes more powerful and sure of herself as the book goes on. There is a lot of mystery in this book that just keeps you reading until you find out exactly whats going on in the end. I definitely think that if you like dystopian novels you should start reading this first book in the series.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Pledge Review

320 pages
Words are the most dangerous weapon of all. In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed. Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

Review (ARC): 
What an imaginative and adventurous book! Different classes with different languages worked well as a way of separating people and keeping them in their place. However, Charlie's ability to understand anyone's language gives us a better look at what the people within other classes are like and the unhappiness that runs throughout the lower classes. One thing that I especially enjoyed in this book was the return to the royal system. I think that is amazingly different from most dystopian novels plots. I enjoyed Charlie as a main character because she embodies strength and doesn't fall all over Max even when she finds out who he really is. Charlie maintains a mind of her own despite the oppression in her society and I admire her for that. This was a really interesting and fun to read novel and I recommend it to anyone who loves dystopian novels as much as I do.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Skinned Review

368 pages

The Download was supposed to change the world. It was supposed to mean the end of aging the end of death, the birth of a new humanity. But it wasn't supposed to happen to someone like Lia Kahn. And it wasn't supposed to ruin her life. Lia knows she should be grateful she didn't die in the accident. The Download saved her--but it also changed her, forever. She can deal with being a freak. She can deal with the fear in her parents' eyes and the way her boyfriend flinches at her touch. But she can't deal with what she knows, deep down, every time she forces herself to look in the mirror: She's not the same person she used to be. Maybe she's not even a person at all.

Review:
Lia Kahn dies in an accident but isn't allowed to die by her parents. They bring her back to life as a robot not really thinking about what it may mean. Lia has to deal with everyone treating her differently and not seeing her as a person anymore. 
I think that this book was an excellent story. It showed the depth of people's prejudice and strength of beliefs. I felt so bad for Lia having to deal with everyone treating her different even though she didn't ask to be brought back. I wasn't a fan of Auden and I wasn't surprised by how his friendship with Lia turned out. I was glad when Lia finally came into her own and stopped trying to be just accepted by everyone that was normal. The question of humanity is a big one in this book and there's a lot of debate on what makes one human. 
All in all this was a great book. I definitely recommend it to those who like dystopian novels.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lockdown Review

273 pages
Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison. Together with a bunch of inmates—some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers—Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace’s deeper, darker purpose, Alex’s actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that’s hidden from the eyes of the world

Review: 
Love love love! This book definitely was action filled and spooky and left me with more questions than answers but I couldn't put it down! The book starts out with Alex being sentenced unfairly to a maximum security youth prison for a murder he didn't commit. Furnace Penitentiary.... even imagining the worst scariest prison on earth can't top this place. As soon as Alex steps foot in the prison the mysteries of Furnace Penitentiary begin to pop up. There are so much weird things going on that it leaves you thirsting to finish the book so you can find out just what the hell is going on. Almost everything is described in great detail and I could feel myself being pulled in the book and experiencing things right along with the character. The ending doesn't answer everything you may want to know but luckily there are more books in the series. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who just likes to read a good fiction novel and aren't afraid of a lot of horror.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fire Study Review

441 pages
When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before.... Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.

Review: 
While not as great as the other two books in this series, this one is still a good ending. There is plenty of action and suspense and just overall adventure in this book. Yelena is a strong female character and she develops a lot from the person she was in the first book. It seems like Yelena is a magnet for misfortune because bad things keep happening to her but its kind of fun figuring out how she will get through it or come to discover a hidden mystery. There is tests of loyalty as Yelena has the help of her usual friends along the way and a harrowing moment of uncertainty with her lover Valek. All in all it makes for a great ending to this series. I recommend this book as long as you've read the first two in the series.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Fire Wars Review

262 pages
Mackenzy Evers had moved with her mother from Angel Island to Aeros Island during her senior year. What can be worse than to finish her senior year at a new school? Living during the post-Erosion period on Earth where there is less land than before, Mac is happy to discover an island of rich beauty and lush landscapes, not to mention mysterious handsome boys and an ancient prophecy that is set to come true in Mac's lifetime. Chance Cutter claims she is his Queen, his goddess to his Fire King, whom he had been searching for years. Their attraction to each other is undeniable, yet why does he seem to hate her? And who is she really?

Review:
This book was pretty good. I love books that focus on mythology and this definitely brought a nice tie-in to that. At the same time its also dystopian and based on my reviews you can see how much I love dystopian novels. This might definitely be one of the best books I've read from Kailin Gow thus far. There is a kind of triangle between Mac and the two guys vying for her attention. I love the intensity of the way the relationships are described. I especially enjoyed how it was revealed to be connected to Roman mythology. I can't wait to read the next book in the series since this one left me wanting more. I definitely recommend this for those who are fans of dystopian novels and mythology as well.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Inheritance Review

849 pages
Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders. Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances. The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to AlagaĆ«sia? And if so, at what cost? This is the much-anticipated, astonishing conclusion to the worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.

Review: 
Such a great ending to an excellent series! At 800+ pages this book is satisfying in length and storyline. From the very start you're thrown into the action and adventure Eragon experiences as he fights his way to Galbatorix. The battle scenes are described in detail and the world is experienced through Eragon, his cousin Roran and Nasuada.  Eragon is still the main focus of the book. however, it brings a greater experience seeing the world through the other characters eyes. There are more mysteries to be discovered and new characters to be introduced. The ending was satisfying but also left a little open so there could possibly be a whole new series that comes from it. I definitely recommend this book but you also have to read the other 3 books in the series first.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Destined Review

352 pages
In Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa's House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow. But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness?

Review:
This novel is another good addition to the House of Night Series.First let me say this series is such a guilty pleasure of mine. Its one of those series that you really shouldn't enjoy but you do anyways. So once again we see Zoey learning more about herself and the others around her and trying to figure out ways to defeat Neferet. There is a lot of plotting and some action at the end of the book that of course ends in a cliffhanger. Always leave them wanting more right? Anyways this is a great continuation of the series and I can't wait to see what happens next. If you want to read this make sure you read the other books first.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Crossed Review

384 pages
In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Review: 
I was not happy in the slightest with this second book in the Matched series. The whole novel was filled with internal musings not much action and just generally a storyline that I couldn't bring myself to care about. Basically nothing happens in this book at all. I am very disappointed with this book because I expected at least for something interesting to happen or some type of great plot development. I can't even tell the difference when the two main characters are narrating. I tried really hard to find something to like about this book but I was just left feeling confused and unsatisfied. I will read the third Matched novel when it comes out just to see if it improves but generally I can't recommend reading this book unless you want to continue the series.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Anticipation of the Week

Inheritance. The last book in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle. It will be available on Tuesday. Excited!!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Death Cure Review

384 pages
Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test. What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says. The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

Review: 
Pretty good ending to the series. As usual full of action and mystery about Wicked, plenty of wondering whether this whole story is one new game. You get to see the world outside of the Trials and understand why the Trials were brought about. I was upset about a couple of the deaths in this novel because it didn't seem fair but the ending was interesting although a bit open-ended. Romance isn't a focal point of this novel so for those who like more action and adventure this last installment will suit them just fine. I did think Thomas can be pretty narrow-minded at times, however as the book went on and more of his past came out it was easier to understand why. This was a really great read and I recommend this book to those who have read the first two.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Witch & Wizard: The Fire Review

352 pages
Whit and Wisty Allgood have sacrificed everything to lead the resistance against the merciless totalitarian regime that governs their world. Its supreme leader, The One Who Is The One, has banned everything they hold dear: books, music, art, and imagination. But the growing strength of the siblings' magic hasn't been enough to stop the One's evil rampage, and now he's executed the only family they had left. Wisty knows that the time has finally come for her to face The One. But her fight and her fire only channel more power to this already invincible being. How can she and Whit possibly prepare for their imminent showdown with the ruthless villain that devastated their world-before he can truly become all-powerful?

Review: 
Truthfully... I'm glad this series is finished. I liked James Patterson's Maximum Ride Series and he's written a couple of other books I liked. However, this series seemed to get more stagnant as it went on. I don't feel any kind of connection to the characters or the story really. Its not bad, writing-wise, but its not good story-wise. I didn't feel like the ending was that great either. I don't really want to recommend this book to anyone because it really wasn't that good.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Prized Review

368 pages
Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime.  In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?

Review (ARC):
Ok so I enjoyed this yet I was frustrated at the same time. I was extremely excited to read the continuation of Gaia's story and see where it took her. When Gaia finally reached Sylum with her sister everything seemed to turn upside down. The strict rules there definitely seemed to have a huge impact on Gaia's personality and mindset. I didn't like the fact that Gaia seemed to fall in "like" too often in this book. However, I applauded her choice in the end. I found it interesting that the women were able to rule the men so efficiently especially since they were outnumbered. This book was definitely a great addition to the series. The twists and turns lead to an ending you won;t forget. I recommend this to dystopian fiction lovers who have also read the first book in the series, Birthmarked.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Song of the Nile Review

416 pages

Having survived her perilous childhood as a royal captive of Rome, Selene pledged her loyalty to Augustus and swore she would become his very own Cleopatra. Now the young queen faces an uncertain destiny in a foreign land. The magic of Isis flowing through her veins is what makes her indispensable to the emperor. Against a backdrop of imperial politics and religious persecution, Cleopatra's daughter beguiles her way to the very precipice of power. She has never forgotten her birthright, but will the price of her mother's throne be more than she's willing to pay?

Review:
The sequel to Lily of the Nile is as good as the first book, perhaps even better. I didn't know too much about Selene before reading these novels and I have to say that they give an interesting artistic view to her life. I enjoyed the way the author incorporated a sense of magic into these novels. In this novel Selene has grown stronger and become more like Cleopatra in the sense that she see's her destiny as being Egypt and will let nothing stand in her way. I enjoyed seeing Selene develop throughout the book and become stronger as a person and a queen. This is an extremely well written novel and as a lover of ancient Egypt I was not disappointed. I definitely recommend this to anyone who likes historical fiction and novels based on Egypt.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Across the Universe Review

398 pages
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules. Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next. Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Review: 
Wow this was a really great book! The mystery aboard the Godspeed was an interesting one to say the least. I feel bad for Amy because she is woken up too soon ans as she comes to discover all is not right with the ship. I did enjoy seeing how she adapted to the new environment she woke up in. The society aboard the ship definitely changed a lot and it was interesting to see how. There is a bit of romance in this novel but its not the focus of the whole book which is great. There are a lot of lies and secrets on the ship but as the novel goes on and they start to unravel it captivates your mind. I really enjoyed this novel and I recommend it to anyone who likes sci-fi dystopian novels.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Son of Neptune Review

513 pages
In the first pages of this standalone sequel to The Lost Hero, Percy Jackson remembers only his name and the name of Annabeth, a mysterious woman he associates somehow with the city of San Francisco. From those sparse clues, he must somehow complete a mission for the leader of the Roman camp even as he is being pursued by the two sisters of Medusa, who possess an apparently unquenchable thirst for vengeance: Even when killed, they spring back to life. Rick Riordan's second Heroes of Olympus promises even more excitement than the first.

Review:
Oh how I LOVE Percy Jackson! Rick Riordan is absolutely masterful with this series. This book is the second one in an interesting spin on the Percy Jackson series. Apparently there is a Roman camp of demigods as well and Percy Jackson ends up there with amnesia courtesy of Hera. Of course it has the usual adventure and quests and all kinds of action. I really wanted to see everything from Percy Jackson's point of view again but it wasn't too bad having the perspective of his two new friends. I thought it was interesting the way that the Roman camp was run, it seemed a bit more successful and useful than the Greek camp. I love mythology and I love Rick Riordan's new spin on what he originally started out as Greek mythology. This is an extremely well written book and I recommend it to all Percy Jackson fans but you definitely need to read the first one before this one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mastiff Review

560 pages
Beka and her friends will face their greatest and most important challenge ever when the young heir to the kingdom vanishes. They will be sent out of Corus on a trail that appears and disappears, following a twisting road throughout Tortall. It will be her greatest Hunt—if she can survive the very powerful people who do not want her to succeed in her goal.

Review (ARC): 
This was definitely a worthy ending to the Beka Cooper series! I admit at first I felt like I was just slowly going through it because the Beka Cooper series does seem a bit wordy at times. As I progressed through the book the mystery and action picked up and I was thoroughly intrigued. Beka Cooper is an interesting character, extremely strong and serious but at the same time shy with some inner humor. I enjoyed seeing Beka unravel the mystery of the heir's kidnapping. This novel has so much adventure and misfortune that you just can't help but continue reading to see what happens next. I actually felt like I was right there with them as I immersed myself in this novel. This novel can stand by itself but I'd still recommend reading the first two books to familiarize yourself with the characters. For anyone who loves a good fantasy and adventure book then this book is for you.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sweet Venom Review

352 pages
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.
Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.
Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.
These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.


Review: 
This novel was wonderfully fast-paced and full of adventure. I usually don't enjoy much switching between point of view but I definitely didn't mind in this case. I feel like the guys as romantic interests in this novel were complete mysteries. I am interested to see what more there is to the guys in the next novel as the author left this one on a cliffhanger. Other than that I enjoyed seeing the three girls get to know each other and grow and learn to fight together. All three girls are completely different from each other due to the environments they grew up in but they all bring something to the table when it comes to fighting monsters. I am a huge fan of mythology and I thought it was interesting that the author used Medusa as a focus point. Medusa is typically portrayed as a villain so its interesting to see her descendants fighting evil. This is a fun read and I recommend it to anyone who likes mythology or fun adventure books.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Half-Blood Review

281 pages
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

Review (ARC): 
I first read the short prequel to this novel Daimon, and I instantly wanted to read more. I couldn't wait to find out more of Alexandria's story and I wasn't disappointed. Alexandria is an extremely tough character with a badass personality. She's been on the run with her mom for a long time and now she's finally back at the place they left behind. The unfairness in the way the half-bloods are treated definitely made me feel for her throughout the novel. I could definitely feel the tension in the attraction between Alexandria and Aiden when I was reading the novel. The author definitely left me wanting to know how they'll end up in the end. I loved the way the Hematoi and their offspring are descendents of gods. I'm curious to see where the author takes the mythology side of the story in her next novel. There are a lot of surprises and twists in this novel and I can't wait to read the next one in the series! Definitely recommend this to anyone who loves mythology and fantasy or just reading about a strong kickass heroine.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Unwanteds Review

390 pages

Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths. Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret—behind the mirage of the "death farm" there is instead a place called Artime. In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation. But it's a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.

Review:
There was a lot of hype behind this book and after reading it I honestly can't see why. While it has a beautiful cover, the writing inside doesn't live up to whats expected. The writing jumps around a lot and leaves a bit of confusion at some points in the novel.  This wasn't necessarily a bad book, there were a great message behind the story and there were some enjoyable parts, I just expected more. There is no true focus on a main character even though Alex is apparently supposed to be that character. I think the characters needed to be developed a bit more so that I could fully immerse myself in that world. I just felt no connection to the storyline or anyone in the novel at all. I won't recommend this as a must read book, but it is something to read if you just want to pass time.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Crave Review

416 pages
Savannah Colbert has been shunned all her life by the kids of the Clann. And when she undergoes some drastic changes after a strange illness, Savannah learns secrets about the group and about herself—dangerous secrets. For the Clann are powerful magic users, and Savannah herself is half Clann and half vampire—a forbidden, unheard of combination. Falling for Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman isn't just a bad idea—it could be deadly if anyone finds out. But her attraction to Tristan—and his to her—isn't something either of them can resist for long.

Review (ARC): 
I absolutely enjoyed this book. It is so much more than another vampire novel. The world created here has so many secrets and an enjoyable way of figuring these mysteries out. Savannah is a character who I admired especially after she found out what she really was. She did what she thought was right regardless of what anyone else thinks. I loved the relationship between Savannah and Tristan. Although it is forbidden the attraction between them is amazingly strong. Usually I'm not a fan of books that change the point of view too often but I love being able to see things from both  Savannah and Tristan's point of view. The ending of the book left me wanting to know more so I can't wait to read the next book in the series. I definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of vampire or magic novels.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Eden Review

408 pages
Eve knew the stories of the Fall, of a time before she wandered into the colony of Eden, unable to recall anything but her name. She's seen the aftermath of the technology that infused human DNA with cybernetic matter, able to grow new organs and limbs, how it evolved out of control. The machine took over and the soul vanished. A world quickly losing its humanity isn't just a story to her though. At eighteen, this world is Eve's reality. In their Fallen world, love feels like a selfish luxury, but not understanding what it is makes it difficult to choose between West, who makes her feel alive but keeps too many secrets, and Avian, who has always been there for her, but is seven years her senior. The technology wants to spread and it won't stop until there is no new flesh to assimilate. With only two percent of the human population left, mankind is on the brink of extinction. While fighting to keep Eden alive, Eve will discover that being human is about what you will do for those you love, not what your insides may be made of. And even if it gets you killed, love is always what separates them from the Fallen.

Review:  
I bought this book a while ago and I've been meaning to read it for a while and I'm glad I finally did! Eve is an extremely strong character and the mystery behind how she got that way is an exciting one. I admire her as a character and the way she makes sacrifices for others without thinking of herself. I loved the back story and the world in which this novel was set. The concept of technology that was created for a good purpose instead turning into a bad one is interesting and different. We are able to see the struggle of those who haven't turned yet to survive and I think it adds a great dynamic to the book.  The only thing I could say I didn't like about this book was the way it ended and the guy she ended up with. I won't spoil it though. All in all I think this was a very enjoyable read and I definitely recommend it for those who are fans of dystopian novels.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Variant Review

356 pages
Benson Fisher thought a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life. He was wrong. Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive. Where breaking the rules equals death. But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.

Review (ARC): 
Variant is an exceptionally well written book. Can you imagine being trapped in a school where the kids and an unseen force run things, and kids that don't follow the rules disappear? At first Maxfield Academy is a huge mystery but as time goes on Benson starts to unravel the secrets that are kept there.  This book reminds me of a situation like in Lord of the Flies except its more structured by the rules. Benson is a strong male character who takes it upon himself to figure out what is going on and why the kids aren't actively trying to escape. There is a lot more to everything going on in this book and all I can say is that the twist to the story is worth the read. The surprise ending also completely captivated me and made me eager to read the second novel whenever it comes out. I definitely recommend this book especially to fans of dystopian fiction.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Solstice Review

378 pages
Piper’s world is dying. Global warming kills every living thing on Earth, and each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles which threaten to destroy humanity. Amid this Global Heating Crisis, Piper lives with her mother who suffocates her more than the chaotic climate. When her mother is called away to meet the father Piper has been running from her entire life, Piper seizes an opportunity for freedom. But when Piper discovers a world of mythology she never knew existed, she realizes her world is not the only one in crisis. While Gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper's life spirals into turmoil, and she struggles to find answers to secrets kept from her since birth. And though she’s drawn to her classmate Shayne, he may be more than he claims. Piper has to choose whom she can trust and how she can save the people she loves even if it means the end of everything she’s ever known. 

Review: 
I absolutely loved this book! I actually found it as an ebook for $2.99 on Barnes and Noble and randomly decided to read it. I am extremely glad that I did. It was a wonderful mix between dystopian fiction and mythology. Piper's world is extremely controlled by her mother and its interesting to see the ways in which she tries to rebel. It takes Piper a while to learn about her true identity but when she finally does you can see her change as she embraces it. The love triangle adds to the interest of the book and the two guys competing for Piper's affections are completely different and definitely add to the adventure of the novel. I love how everything in the novel was tied into Greek mythology. This book was a very enjoyable read and I recommend it to those who love dystopian novels or mythology.  You won't be disappointed.