One day I will be sick of dystopian novels. Today is not that day! I really enjoyed Pawn! This is the first book in The Blackcoat Rebellion series, an...moreOne day I will be sick of dystopian novels. Today is not that day! I really enjoyed Pawn! This is the first book in The Blackcoat Rebellion series, and I’ll be sticking around to see what happens next. The story follows Kitty who is born into poverty and is essentially a ward of the state because her parents chose not to pay the tax needed to have another child. Her life looks like it’s going to take a turn toward something pretty grim when she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime. Kitty has the same eyes as Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, a fact that the most powerful family in the country is willing to use to their advantage. Kitty then goes under the knife to be ‘masked’ to look exactly like Lila who was killed by her own family for stirring the seeds of rebellion.
There are a lot of elements to this story that you’ll have seen before. A caste system of sorts, tattoos, a corrupt goverment, wealth and rebellion, but Aimee Carter brings them all together really nicely. Kitty is a great main character, and the supporting cast all works really well together to tell the story. The romance was lacking a bit from what you usually see in YA, but it didn’t take away from the story at all. Kitty is already in a relationship with Benjy, so there isn’t as much focus on their story, he’s simply her motivation for surviving. I suspect there story might get a little more complicated in the next books in this series, but only time will tell at this point. For now, the lack of love triangle was extremely refreshing.
The plot was jam packed with action from beginning to end–not like fight scenes, explosions levels of action, but there was always soemthing happening. And there were definitely some WHOA moments that I didn’t see coming. Overall, Pawn does a great job of shaking up a somewhat stagnant genre. Highly recommended!(less)
I'll admit, it was the cover that initially drew me to requesting Blackout. I'm still not totally sure what it's supposed to be depicting, but I like...moreI'll admit, it was the cover that initially drew me to requesting Blackout. I'm still not totally sure what it's supposed to be depicting, but I like it. Going even further, I wasn't even sure what the book was really supposed to be about. The story itself didn't quite live up to the cover for me, but it was still an interesting read. Blackout's stories centers on two seemingly random points. 1) Groups of teenagers are roaming the country committing massive acts of terrorism. 2)Random teenagers are gaining special powers. These two things were a bit much for the willing suspension of disbelief part of my brain to take on together, but I still enjoyed the story. The world building was mainily lacking on the terrorist side of things since we get to spend a fair bit of time reading about the abilities and the theories as to why they're happening. It felt like I waited a long time for answers that never came which can always be kind of infuriating.
There are five main (or main-ish) characters who fall into either (and sometimes both) group. Aubrey was the easiest for me to latch onto since she started out not having much of an idea about what was going on, but as she learned the ropes she managed to be competent while still realistically flawed. Before the story even starts she had been trying to use her new powers to climb the social ladder of high school... so you know, not great. But the story leaves her a lot of room to grow into her character and her powers, so her arc ended up becoming my favorite part of the story.
I'll be keeping an eye out for the next book to get a feel for where the plot is headed next before committing to read it. Still, I feel like this could be one of those series with an awesomely plotted payoff in the end. Fingers crossed!(less)
I usually try not to review books so far ahead of when they're being published, but when I got the chance for an early peak at this book from a librar...moreI usually try not to review books so far ahead of when they're being published, but when I got the chance for an early peak at this book from a librarian friend... well, I couldn't resist. I read it, I loved it, and now I just really have to talk about it! Plus, this book definitely deserves five months of buzz building!
In Melissa Lander's version of earth, we are definitely not alone. Two years ago we made contact with the L'eihrs, aliens who share a whole lot of DNA with us, but not a lot of culture. Since then, things have definitely been kind of tense. In an attempt to smooth things over and form an aliance, Cara's family is chosen to host a L'eihr teen (who is of course both male and gorgeous). While Cara is a smart, open minded MC, there are a lot of people who definitely don't want to get any closer to our intergalactic neighbors, and even swoon-worthy Aelyx has some alterior motives.
So when I say the political situation is tense, I definitely mean it. I'm sure we can all imagine that no matter how like us or enlightened an alien race seems... well, we don't all handle change and/or newcomers very well. Melissa Landers did a great job of crafting the situation and encorporating a variety of different viewpoints and levels of acceptance. Angry mobs, protests, and lots of misdirected hatred. It's awful, but it all felt very real. This was not an easy book to put down.
The writing was sharp, I loved the political elements and this was just a really great sci-fi read. While I love dystopias, it was a lot of fun to read something with more traditional science fiction elements to it. The book took place on earth, and there were only a handful of non-human characters but that could definitely change for book two, and I'm really looking forward to seeing where this series goes. Highly recommended! And I have no idea how I'm going to survive waiting for book two!(less)
Well, for once I’ve read a BIG BUZZ book before the series is already halfway over. A lot of people have been talking about Samantha Shannon’s novel T...moreWell, for once I’ve read a BIG BUZZ book before the series is already halfway over. A lot of people have been talking about Samantha Shannon’s novel The Bone Season, and after listening to this fantastic story, I can see why.
The story takes place in an alternate-history version of London. Paige is an Irish immigrant who must keep her clairvoyant abilities hidden from the government if she wants to stay alive–or so she thinks. Once Paige is caught and arressted, a whole new world is opened up to both her and the reader. There are a lot of very cool elements in play with this series: alternate dimensions, supernatural gangs, zombie like creatures. It’s a something for everyone kind of read.
The plot was kind of slow in some points, but there was a lot of world building going on so it wasn’t difficult to stay interested. Plus, I hear this is supposed to be a large series (seven books?) so I can see why the writer might want to take the time to thoroughly lay the groundwork for future books. For example, we don’t directly see Paige’s friends, but we do get to know them through flashbacks (and I usually hate flashbacks), which will keep the continuity of the series flowing with book two, when those same characters will likely be playing a much larger role.
Characters… Well, I really liked Paige, and some of the other voyants she interacted with along the way. It took me a while to figure out who I was supposed to be rooting for her with romantically, but don’t worry, that plot will show up near the end of the book. Or maybe I just missed all the clues earlier on. That’s entirely possible.
Now for the audiobook elements. The Bone Season is only the second audiobook I’ve ever listened to, but I’m officially hooked. This was narrated by Alana Kerr, and the narration was fantastic. As someone who grew up around a whole lot of Irish people, and lived in Ireland for a while myself, I always LOVE listening to an Irish accent. Love, love, love. And I thought Alana Kerr as Paige was dead on. So perfect! She also did a great job of bringing the other characters to live, including the ones who aren’t human. I will definitely be listening to this entire series in audiobook format if she keeps narrating them!(less)