Sky Without Stars Review

When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope.

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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.

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. 

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.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pure Review

448 pages
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.

Review (ARC):  
From the very first few pages of this book my imagination was freaked out. Julianna Baggott does such a great job of describing the characters in this book that its hard not to picture them in your mind. This is a novel that mostly concentrates on the lives of people after a nuclear apocalypse. If you weren't in the Dome then you didn't escape being marked in some way. And when I say marked I mean horrific mutations, like objects or people becoming part of you. Pressia is an impressively strong character despite life outside the Dome. Regardless of her ability to survive, her one weakness is the fact that she's ashamed of her deformity and she badly wants a normal life inside the Dome. Partridge on the other hand grew up in the Dome so its interesting to see the lies that they are told inside the Dome and his view on the world when he finally gets out. This novel is packed with action and full of all kinds of danger and unexpected surprises. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new dystopian novel to read.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Birthmarked Review

362 pages
IN THE ENCLAVE, YOUR SCARS SET YOU APART, and the newly born will change the future.
Sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone and her mother faithfully deliver their quota of three infants every month. But when Gaia’s mother is brutally taken away by the very people she serves, Gaia must question whether the Enclave deserves such loyalty. A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.

I loved this book! The dystopian world created here was dark and original. Gaia is an amazing character who believes in doing what's right no matter what the cost. Despite Gaia's disfiguring scar she doesn't let that diminish her inner strength. I loved the strength that she showed when she tried to find her mother. I think the reason behind the infant quota was interesting. It was also interesting when it was finally revealed how Gaia got her scar. I enjoyed the relationship between Gaia and Leon because it is so unexpected but it isn't the main focus of the book. This novel moves at a fast pace and is extremely difficult to put down. I definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good dystopian novel.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Glow Review

307 pages
What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue? Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them... Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth. But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

Review (ARC):
A simple yet enjoyable storyline sums up this book perfectly. While I don't agree that its "the most riveting series since the Hunger Games," as it says on the back cover, I admit it was hard to put down. The novel switches between the view points of Waverly and Kieran. Waverly is confused in her relationship because the society she grew up in makes it seem like its her duty to be with Kieran. I enjoyed seeing things from Kieran's point of view because it gave an insight into his way of thinking, but as I discovered by the end of the book, all is not what it seems. The societies on the Empyrean and New Horizon both have negative aspects about them that make them less than ideal societies. While I was reading, I noticed that there were a lot of extremes in the thinking of the leaders on both ships. There was a lot of action and plenty of adventure in this novel. The world created here is different and intriguing. This novel ended on a note that left me wanting to know more about what happens so I am definitely going to read the next one in the series when it is published. If you love dystopian fiction then this novel is definitely for you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Gray Wolf Throne Review

528 pages
Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen. Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough. 

 As the third book in the series I have to admit this one didn't impress me as much as the others. However, it was still an excellent addition to the story. The first half of the book was completely fast paced and full of all sorts of action as Raisa rushes home to save her throne. The second half dealt more with court intrigues and figuring out how to find out who is behind the assassination attempts. I still love Raisa as a character because even though she is strong we still get to see her vulnerable moments especially around Han. Han impressed me with his ability to fit in no matter where he goes. I finished this novel quickly and I was so disappointed that it ended so I can't wait until the next and final one in the series. The ending definitely left me wondering and wanting more. I recommend this to those who have read the first two in the series otherwise you might be a little lost.