Ok so. I actually read this one awhile back and never got around to placing it on my shelves here. Here's the thing, I'm having a bit of a problem remOk so. I actually read this one awhile back and never got around to placing it on my shelves here. Here's the thing, I'm having a bit of a problem remembering it. The reason I'm still trying to remember it? I immediately bought the second in the series back when I did finish it, and now I'm thinking I'm ready to read it. Only now I can't remember what happened in King's Hall?
So I cracked the book open once again and honestly the setting came back rather quickly, if not the characters. But I still couldn't think what happened in the book. As I read a friend's review of the book, I realized why I can't remember the plot. There really wasn't one. This book was all about introducing us to setting and characters- which I liked indeed despite the fact it's basically y/a, n/a ish, in a urban fantasy setting... Or perhaps x-men esgue setting is more accurate. (Getting that a lot lately.) Once I had that I remembered thinking too that the end of the book action, the empowered "kings" and "queens" who are non-coms (non- commoners) working together, felt a little too power rangerish to me. (It also felt fairly Vampire Academy-y)
What worked was the pull of the main characters together- the King Vamp, King Shifter, Queen Mage (did I forget one??). And how who they are and who they are becoming all shifts around. (There's quite a bit of surprising loss and gain now that I recall.)
The plot *I believe* the author is working toward is true X-Men material. The commoners are tired of the elementals having all the power and they're rising up.
Okay now that it's a little more settled in my mind, I'm ready to proceed......more
Although this was written well before most YA Dystopia out right now, this book suffers from comparison to recent work. At least it did for me. When iAlthough this was written well before most YA Dystopia out right now, this book suffers from comparison to recent work. At least it did for me. When it finally “diverted” from the pack, I enjoyed it more. However, the ending. Ugh. Too. Abrupt. The final paragraphs were so ambiguous as to the MCs outcomes, I was like, “really? Why you gonna play me like that Lowry.” Sigh
In The Giver, the society the characters live in is rigidly controlled. But no one realizes it because it’s all they’ve known- for generations. From womb to tomb, every person’s path is planned by someone else. Then Jonas, in his twelfth year is awakened. Oddly enough, he’s allowed to be.
And he’s awakened by the very elders who’ve kept him asleep all these years, so to speak… along with the other children his age. Jonas, you see, is to be their community’s next Receiver. Unaware of what it means to be The Receiver, and more than a bit fearful of it, he never the less goes along with this great honor by going to training the very next day. And from day one, his life as he knows it changes.
Everything he’s believed, everything he was led to believe- is a lie. One day he will bear the entire burden of ‘knowing’ for his entire community, just as his new mentor does, and when that happens he will become The Giver. Great pain and mental anguish awaits him. Will he be brave enough to endure? Or will be like the last Receiver in waiting and look for early release? Like most dystopia, the scariest bits are the intuition that this horrible horrible society could very well be ours if we let it. We all see it coming, but will any of us be as brave as Jonas and not let us go there. ...more
Ok so. World After. A sequal to the debut book Angelfall by Susan Ee, this book suffered much because of the separation of our heroine Penryn from theOk so. World After. A sequal to the debut book Angelfall by Susan Ee, this book suffered much because of the separation of our heroine Penryn from the Archangel Raphael whom she befriended in the first. Raffe (Raphael), believing Penryn to be dead, is off God knows where for much of this book while Penryn tries to keep her mother and sister- whom has been physically turned into a literal 7 yr old monster by the fallen angels- safe. Meanwhile she finds herself discovering a plot by the suave and wicked Angel Uriel to consolidate power on earth by being an oily politician. (He’s forcing Judgment Day by creating monsters described in the biblical apocalypse.) Of course none of the other angels knows about his plot- but they're just happy to party like proverbial human kings until then, so no help there. The book ends with a showdown between Raffe (yes he eventually shows up about ¾ of the way in) and the demon who stole his wings in the first book, and he flying off into the sunset with Pen and her family safe… for the moment.
Like I said this book suffered- in a big way- from the separation of Raffe and Penryn. I had to force my way through much of it, which was not the case in the first book. My determination paid off, because when he did eventually meet up with Pen again and realize she is alive and kickin, the book got really good.
However, it was too close to the end to save this book from being remotely good. These two have chemistry, its what makes their tale hard to put down. Keeping them apart for that long turned out to be a huge gaffe on the author’s part, imo. She filled the pages with Pen discovering what happened to her sister and what the fallen angel tyrants were up to but frankly, I coulda cared less in the long run, even though it was indeed revealing.
Still, Im glad I pushed through the sloggy bits. Penryn and Raffe are worth it. I truly wonder what will be with them- her being so young and him being so ancient. I cant see how it will work, but I love thinking it might! Oh and I love that his archangel sword has now bonded with her- and no I’m not speaking euphemistically because, well, none of that, she’s still only 17. I mean his actual battle weapon sword, literally is now hers. Maybe one day more of him will be too. ;) ...more
Predictable, anxty, dystopian society YA that doesn’t hold a candle to The Hunger Games. Lena was just a little to juvenile for me- yeah, yeah I knowPredictable, anxty, dystopian society YA that doesn’t hold a candle to The Hunger Games. Lena was just a little to juvenile for me- yeah, yeah I know she’s supposed to be young, but I could barely stand how clueless she was about her Mother and the world she lives in and how dippy she acted around Alex. Ugh.
The ending of course has a major twist of surprise and apparently an even bigger surprise awaits- but it was too late to save the book for me... especially since it seemed to take FOR EV ERRR to get there.
Carmine and Haven are from two different worlds. Carmine is being groomed to join “La Famiglia”, otherwise knownI call this one YA: Godfather Edition
Carmine and Haven are from two different worlds. Carmine is being groomed to join “La Famiglia”, otherwise known as The Mob. His mafioso father is doing his best to not let that happen.
Raised as what amounts to be a modern day slave on an isolated ranch in the desert, Haven’s world of neglect and abuse is suddenly turned around when after a failed escape attempt she’s taken to another home. Not exactly sure why she was kept alive and unsure of her new surroundings, she does her best to stay out of the way but the man who took her has two sons and one of them she finds helpless to avoid.
Carmine and Haven fall instantly and totally in love, blindly ignoring the fact she has just become his vulnerability. But a game started far before they ever met is afoot and none of the players on the chess board are exactly what they seem.
Because Sempre is obviously a nod to the Italian Mafia genre- I’m gonna quote some Michael Corleone:
Michael: My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Kay Adams: What was that? Michael: Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains or his signature would be on the contract. Kay Adams: ... Michael: ...That's a true story. Michael: That's my family Kay, that's not me.
And as much as Michael didn’t want it to be him, it became him. Will it be the same for Carmine?
Carmine is a good kid, however in a world where love is used against you, turning to the darkside is… inevitable.
Like any good Game of Thrones- yes there’s def. a bit of that going on although it has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with power- there’s death, hope, betrayal, brotherhood, blood and romance all over this story. Incredible book, despite the fact I generally don’t go for YA fiction.
I cant quite give it a 5 star, though it was amazing and an unforgetable story- some of Carmine and Haven’s interpersonal conflict felt a bit too manufactured at times for that. I hate manufactured drama, but alas that is kids these day. Still, Sempre is damn close to a 5 star.