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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Oracle Review

237 pages

A year ago Darcy Pennington had no real friends. A year ago she’d thought that magic only existed in fairy tales. A year ago she would have laughed at the idea of other worlds. Then everything changed when she’d visited Cedar Cove Family Camp and stumbled into a magical gateway to a world called Alitheia. It is the summer before freshman year and Darcy and her five friends have come back to Cedar Cove Family Camp and Alitheia. This return is bittersweet because her elusive purpose in the magical realm continues to evade her. Egged on by Tellius, the boy prince she is prophesied to marry, Darcy rebels and impulsively “petitions” an entity called the Oracle and requests it give her information as to her purpose. In order to receive her answer she must travel to the Oracle, and so she embarks on a journey along with her friends and Yahto Veli, the nark. Too late she realizes her selfish entreaty has thrown the entire outcome of the prophecy itself into question and endangered everyone. Uncertainties mount between Darcy and her companions as they fight their way through enemy territory to locate the Oracle, and an unwelcome visitor from Cedar Cove adds a layer of mystery that none of them are prepared for. But the perils of the quest are nothing when compared to what lies in wait for her in the lair of the Oracle. There is a cost associated with every question asked– a cost that may be far greater than Darcy is willing to pay. And someone may choose to make the ultimate sacrifice to free her from it.

Review (ARC):
I'm really enjoying the progress that this series is making so far. Darcy is really growing as a character and becoming a more likable one. Even though Darcy is still relatively young, you can see her mindset becoming more mature. I think that the interaction between Darcy and Tellius is interesting to watch progress and grow. While Tellius and Darcy are still set firm on not marrying each other, you can see their dislike growing into a friendship. The rest of the characters have all grown in some way and I like that you can clearly get a sense of their changes. Even though this novel wasn't extremely full of action, the adventure was pretty exciting and fun. This novel explores more of the world of Alitheia and gives you a better view of life in other parts of that world. One thing I do have to say about this series is that the action tends to move quickly but not in a way to make the book less enjoyable. The ending definitely threw me for a little loop and I'm excited to read the next book in the series to see what happens next. I think that this series is definitely getting better and will turn out to be one of my more favorite fantasy series by far. I definitely recommend this if you've read The Six and just generally like a good fantasy series. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Classic Monday: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

768 pages

Mixing a bit of seventeenth-century French history with a great deal of invention, Alexandre Dumas tells the tale of young D’Artagnan and his musketeer comrades, Porthos, Athos and Aramis. Together they fight to foil the schemes of the brilliant, dangerous Cardinal Richelieu, who pretends to support the king while plotting to advance his own power. Bursting with swirling swordplay, swooning romance, and unforgettable figures such as the seductively beautiful but deadly femme fatale, Milady, and D’Artagnan’s equally beautiful love, Madame Bonacieux, The Three Musketeers continues, after a century and a half of continuous publication, to define the genre of swashbuckling romance and historical adventure.

The Three Musketeers is one of those epic adventure novels that will always be exciting. There is a lot of action and cool fight scenes that make you forget that this novel is over 700 pages (the best ones are). Despite there being a few good Musketeer movies, and a few bad remakes, the novel itself will never get old. Classically speaking, this novel is definitely worth reading. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Spark Review

Release date: July 17th, 2012
309 pages

Waverly and Kieran are finally reunited on the Empyrean. Kieran has led the boys safely up to this point, and now that the girls are back, their mission seems slightly less impossible: to chase down the New Horizon, and save their parents from the enemy ship. But nothing is truly as it seems…Kieran’s leadership methods have raised Seth’s hackles— and Waverly’s suspicions. Is this really her fiancĂ©? The handsome, loving boy she was torn from just a short time before? More and more, she finds her thoughts aligned with Seth’s. But if Seth is Kieran’s Enemy No. 1, what does that make her? In one night, a strange explosion rocks the Empyrean—shooting them off course and delaying their pursuit of the New Horizon—and Seth is mysteriously released from the brig. Seth is the most obvious suspect for the explosion, and Waverly the most obvious suspect for releasing him. As the tension reaches a boiling point, will Seth be able to find the true culprit before Kieran locks them both away—or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? With the balance of power precarious and the clock ticking, every decision counts… every step brings them closer to a new beginning, or a sudden end..

Review (ARC):
Wow. I thought Glow was good but Spark has completely amazed, frustrated and excited me! Waverly, Kieran, and Seth are back in this awesome second book in the Glow series. Each of these characters have been affected by the things that have happened to them and changed in several ways. I liked Waverly in this book because while she's always been a pretty strong character, she gets even stronger in this novel. I felt so bad for Waverly for most of this novel because she was being unfairly blamed for things she had no control over. I've really developed a dislike for Kieran as the novel's have progressed as his insecurities and paranoia make him become more unlikeable as the books go on. I wasn't too sure how I felt about Seth at the beginning of this novel, but by the end I was impressed by the changes in him and the decisions he makes. There was a lot of action in this novel and an interesting mystery to be solved that just keeps this novel interesting and fun to read. The ending definitely left me more than a little frustrated, but I can't wait to see what happens next to the characters in this book. I definitely recommend this novel if you've read Spark and just like great dystopian/ science fiction novels.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Once Review

368 pages

When you're being hunted, who can you trust? For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America. But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America. Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past--and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together--but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever.

Review:
This book was definitely not the follow-up that I expected but it still made for one awesome story. I was really surprised by the almost immediate twist to Eve's story that was thrown our way. It definitely made the story a more interesting one. I thought that Eve had grown a lot but she still hadn't learned much especially about being cautious. Sometimes I felt frustrated with Eve because her decisions didn't always seem thought through. However, I absolutely loved Eve's romance with Caleb even though they had a lot of obstacles in their way. More about the world that Eve has grown up in is revealed in this novel and it explains quite a lot about the reasons behind most things. I definitely did not expect this novel to end the way that it did and I'm eagerly anticipating the next book in this trilogy. I absolutely recommend this novel but you should read the first novel, Eve, before reading this one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Drowned Cities Review


437 pages

In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man--a bioengineered war beast named Tool--who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.

Review:
This was a nice follow up to Ship Breaker. While this was set in the same world it was still a completely different stories with mostly new characters. I liked the fact that I was able to see more of who Tool really is in this novel. While Tool is for the most part seemingly extremely callous, there is more to his nature than is first apparent. Mahlia is an interesting new character who develops a lot as a person in this novel. Mahlia starts out as someone who only cares about preserving herself but she learns to care more about the survival of others. This book is extremely gritty and delves into the mindset of those in a war-torn society. The world here is harsh and unforgiven and that part of it is greatly explored in this novel. I really enjoyed reading this book and even though the ending does leave you in a bit of a shock I think that the author did a fabulous job on making this novel feel real despite being set in a dystopian future. I definitely recommend this novel to those who have read Ship Breaker and even those who haven't because this story can stand on its own.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Forsaken Book Trailer

Here is the trailer for a book I shall be reviewing pretty soon, The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse. This novel was released July 10th and you can purchase it on Barnes and Noble or Amazon.



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dreamless Review

487 pages

Can true love be forgotten? As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on. Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out--a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies' cry for blood is growing louder. As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen's sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

Review:
Well this novel brought out a lot more than the first novel. While this story was a bit slow, it gave a lot more background information than before. Helen is trying to grow in this novel but she's also killing herself to try to stop all the revenge between the Scions. I felt so bad for Helen and Lucas at the end of the previous novel but then Orion appears in this novel and I'm torn. I want to see everything work out with Lucas but Orion is an amazing character as well. I love the way that Greek mythology is tied into this story. I'm a huge fan of mythology based novels and this one is no exception. There is still a lot that isn't revealed by the end of this book but a lot of things are also solved and made right as well. Everything that happened in the last half of this book made this an exciting read. I can't wait to see what happens in the next novel in this series and how the love triangle will end. I definitely recommend this novel if you like mythology and have also read the first novel Starcrossed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chosen Ones Review

400 pages

What if you were mankind’s last chance at survival? Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly. Life is bleak, but uncomplicated for Tess as she follows the rigid rules of her dystopian society, until the day she begins work at Templeton, the training facility for newly created Chosen Ones. There, she meets James, a Chosen One whose odd love of music and reading rivals only her own. The attraction between the two is immediate in its intensity—and overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to the goings-on at Templeton than Tess ever knew, and as the veil is lifted from her eyes, she uncovers a dark underground movement bent not on taking down the Chosen Ones, but the Council itself. Will Tess be able to stand up to those who would oppress her, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

Review:
I loved the idea for this book although I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from it. What I got was a novel that showed a bleak future but also explored the depths of human love. Tess is a strong and hard character who believes love is foolish and makes people do stupid things. Sometimes I think Tess did silly things which annoyed me but she grew on me as the story progressed. While I wish I had been able to know more about the world around Tess, it didn't distract from this being an enjoyable read.The relationship between James and Tess is interesting to watch progress. James isn't like the rest of the Chosen Ones and that in itself is an anomaly that makes him a great character. There were a lot of surprises in this novel that made everything more exciting to read. I loved the fact that there was a huge twist at the end of the book that completely threw me. I can't wait to see where this story is taken in the next novel and what happens to Tess and James next. I definitely recommend this novel if you like great dystopian novels.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ship Breaker Review

326 pages

In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota--and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life...

Review:
This was an exciting and intriguing story of a dystopian future in which either you're struggling to survive or you're too rich to care. The dystopian world built here is one of the most realistic I have read in a while. In this future, the world's natural resources have been depleted and natural disasters have destroyed most of the world. We see this world through Nailer's view, which shows life as constant danger and struggle for him and those like him. Nailer is a strong resilient character who is always looking for a way out of his current situation. I enjoyed seeing Nailer make decisions since his scavenger side was always warring with his inner decency. The other supporting characters were from both sides of the world's extremes and it was interesting to see them through Nailer's eyes. This novel had a lot of action and adventure  and there weren't many dull parts in the story. This is a very well-written book I definitely recommend it to those who like dystopian novels.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Classic Monday: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

1890
248 pages

Dorian is a good-natured young man until he falls in with the cunning and quick-tongued Lord Henry, who unveils to Dorian the power of his own exceptional beauty. As he gradually sinks deeper into a glamorous and decadent world of selfish luxury, he seems to remain physically unchanged in spite of age and the stresses of his corrupt lifestyle. But in his attic, hidden behind a curtain, his portrait tells a different story.

What if a portrait reflected all of your inner sins and vices? Thats what happens to Dorian Grey in this novel. This is a dark novel that examines the human soul and its darker nature. It also shows that what you may see on the outside may not reflect whats on the inside. This is an exceptional classic that is extremely well written and thought-provoking. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Upcoming Reviews

ARC:
Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan
The Oracle by K.B. Hoyle
Darkness Breaks by Jessica Sorensen

Bought:
Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy July 4th!


Have a great Independence Day!!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Releases Today

Monday, July 2, 2012

Classic Monday: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

1937
306 pages

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.

An epic classic fantasy novel, The Hobbit is an amazing journey prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. If you've read this novel I know you can't wait until the movie comes out in December. If you haven't read this novel I suggest you go out and get yourself a copy immediately. Enjoy!