A solid three stars. This book takes place in a futuristic world where the air is no longer breathable because of low oxygen content, resulting from h...moreA solid three stars. This book takes place in a futuristic world where the air is no longer breathable because of low oxygen content, resulting from high levels of radiation. Instead, humans are forced to live in oxygen enriched and purified domes. The radiation took its effect on the human race. Some humans were marred horribly, some remained unscathed while others were beneficially effected. The ones who were effected positively are considered elementalists and are able to create or manipulate one or more of the five main elements: air, fire, water, earth and space. The main character, Avery Pike, is a water elementalist - she creates steam which helps power her dome. She's a steam donator. As a payment for her services, the government takes good care of her and provides whatever she needs. However, her ability comes a a cost. Every time she donates steam it taxes her body. She's basically a slave to the government, that is until a stranger shows up and rescues her. Delivering her to another dome. A place which appears much better than her dome, but is it?
Pacing of this story is a little slow in the beginning, but then it picks up and delivers plenty of action, especially towards the ending. Steel Lily is a dystopian romance/steampunk mix taking place in the future after World War III. The romance is not the main focus of the story, however it does occupy a decent portion of the plot line. The main character, Avery Pike is strong willed and full of bravery, one of the Elites (the extremely pampered) because of her ability. She smart, good at what she does, but she's lonely. Her only friend is Alice, a Traditionalist or in other terms a human who is expendable. Alice isn't quite the risk taker that Avery is. Jaxon is Avery's love interest. He's a smart-alec, nice looking young man who wears his hair in dreadlocks. Most young woman find him irresistible, something he's keenly aware of. So, Avery doesn't want to give in to his advances. She even refuses to call him "Jaxs" a nickname, because only his friends call him this and in the beginning, she doesn't really trust him.
Steel Lily contains action, mystery and suspense. New inventions, cogs and interesting futuristic devices, add to this line up. Its a story which will keep the reader motivated to finish, just to uncover all of its secrets. One of the small drawback to the story is it is somewhat predictable. I was able to guess who the villain fairly early on in the story. This didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story because I only figured out who the person was, not why or what his/her motives were. Even though Steel Lily is only book one of the Periodic Series it could be read as a stand alone. The ending felt complete. (less)
This one falls between 3.5 and 4 "stars" (rings). I deduct the 1-1.5 stars primarily because of predictability. Imagine a world where drugs are no longer needed. Instead, you swallow one pill which then causes a tapeworm to grow inside you and it protects you from disease, solely responsible for your health needs. Its sounds great, until something goes deathly wrong, the parasites in this book don't want to share a body anymore with its host, instead it wants to take over. What results is a being which is no longer human or tapeworm, instead, the body becomes more or less like a zombie until either the tapeworm finds a way to completely or the human dies. I really enjoy the premise even though I figured out ahead of the main character what was going on. The big reveal happens at the end of the book, it didn't surprise me and neither did quite a few of the other reveals or twists. However, that all being said, it didn't totally distract from my overall enjoyment factor. I did enjoy this book. The main character Sally or Sal is very relatable. She happened to be a very moral and ethical person. Whenever it came to tough decisions, she made them with compassion and from her heart. Her boyfriend, Dr Nathan Kim, was quite as easy to get to know. I felt I could only get a surface feeling from him. I never really felt close to him, like I did Sal. This book is book one of a series. It ends in a nice resting place, however, its opened up an entire new set of problems for the characters to explore in the next book. Parasite would be a fantastic book for those who like medical mysteries. it does have quite a lot of medical jargon, where a layperson may quickly become bored. I work in healthcare, so this book was intriguing to me. Its told in a first person narrative though the eyes of Sally "Sal" Mitchell, the main character. (less)
INITIAL THOUGHTS: A very different kind of read for me. Post apocalyptic novel where a boy and his son struggle to survive. With a very unique writing...moreINITIAL THOUGHTS: A very different kind of read for me. Post apocalyptic novel where a boy and his son struggle to survive. With a very unique writing style, initially I had difficulties following conversations. The author uses no quotation marks and never references who said what. Many times I had to back track to figure out who said what. Also, no apostrophes are used for contractions, either. A lot of times the writing almost felt more like poetry. Characters were not named, just a man and his son (called the man and the boy). One might think this made the writing impersonal, but it didn't. I think it just made it raw. So many unfathomable things happened during this story, sometime it felt surreal. The man was very intuitive, inventive and resourceful. He was a survivor, but at times I felt he was a little harsh with the boy. It didn't make me like him any less, because when he was short and sort of mean to the little one, he'd always apologize later. The only thing I wished is that he could have instilled a little bit more hope into the little one. The boy was hands down my favorite character. I loved his generosity and altruism to others. He was just so sweet and caring, one who couldn't stand to see others suffering. If a new world if ever reborn, having kids like him in it would make the world a much better place. The ending to this story wasn't predictable. I totally thought I knew what would happen, but I was wrong. I felt the author did a great job of wrapping up a hopeless and depressing read. I would recommend this to advanced readers, and those readers who don't feel bogged down by depressing and hopeless stories. (less)
The Testing was an incredible read. Its a story about a futuristic world being revitalized after a course of several major wars almos...moreINITIAL THOUGHTS:
The Testing was an incredible read. Its a story about a futuristic world being revitalized after a course of several major wars almost made it uninhabitable. The main character Malencia or Cia for short is very relatable. She's calculating, logical, analytical and also very smart. I like how she's always thinking long and hard before making decisions. My favorite aspect about her character is she was raised with compassion and a sense of decency. She's also strong willed and won't be broken down easily. The plot is engrossing, candidates literally fight for positions at a University. Not all students will be given the opportunity to attend. In fact, even to have a chance you must be selected by the government. Only the counties top students will have a chance. After being hand selected, the students are put through grueling tests to discover how they will react in real life situations interacting with people, independently and in groups. This is a very cut throat process. Its a thrilling, suspenseful and a very quick read. Writing is straightforward, plain with no frills, but yet it somehow possess a magical power to move readers emotionally, despite its simplicity. The reason is the story is raw and matter of fact. I was really blown away by how much I enjoyed this book. I can't wait to read the sequel, though I was glad this one concluded without a nasty cliffhanger. (less)
A very unusual and different read. Unique concepts regarding energy, time travel, nobodies and nulls. A corrupt government w...more4.5 STARS
A very unusual and different read. Unique concepts regarding energy, time travel, nobodies and nulls. A corrupt government who isn't afraid to train children as assassins. With a bizarre writing style, this story is told in third person through alternating narratives. The author uses italics to emphasize each characters internal feelings. This story is part romance and part dystopian, though this combination has been done in the past, this author manages to create something which has a completely different feel. It also possess a very compelling mystery to solve, which turned out to be a the very aspect which kept me turning pages at a rapid pace. The ending was complete and satisfying, but yet still left the reader to wonder if there wasn't yet a bit more story left to tell. I really enjoyed this read!(less)
A different kind of read about ethereal magic and time travel. Told in a first person narrative through the eyes of a female heroine...moreINITIAL THOUGHTS:
A different kind of read about ethereal magic and time travel. Told in a first person narrative through the eyes of a female heroine called Ashara Vinn. The opening story starts out pretty typical, Asha doesn't realize she has powers, they manifest later in life than most. She's told she's and Ethereal Practitioner, but of course she has no idea how to control her powers. Her assignment in the story is to join and Ethereal task force and help prevent the world from ending. The upper government bodies have been able to rewind time over 5 times and each rewind has failed to save the planet. The council members are becoming weaker with each try. The entire book the reader feels the urgency for the players to save the world because almost every chapter title is part of the countdown. The time travel elements in this story were inventive. This book has action, battle scenes, but also a decent amount of romance between Ash and her trainer Loken who have some past history together. It gets fairly steamy, not just innocent kisses in this one. Some of the secondary characters are developed more than others. Asha's sweet little sister Sona is a character I would have liked to know more about. Her cousin Rey seemed like a really great guy. At first this story reminded me a lot of Half-Blood because Loken is tasked to train Asha just like Aiden was tasked with training Alex. Thankfully, this was just initially about 30 pages in the plot lines begin to diverge and then they really aren't anything alike. I guess another important aspect of this story is there are two different factions, the Science based crew (which Asha and Loken belong to) who want to save the world and then the Believers who would rather just leave it up to the gods. This is an interesting facet of the story. I'm pretty sure this story is a stand alone. It doesn't appear to be part of a series and I felt the conclusion was very satisfying. (less)
INITIAL THOUGHTS: A very gut wrenching, emotionally enduring ride. This is a dystopian read which has bee...moreI'm not sure if I'm going with 4.5 or 5 stars
INITIAL THOUGHTS: A very gut wrenching, emotionally enduring ride. This is a dystopian read which has been compared to The Hunger Games. I only saw very broad stroke similarities. Both the MC in this read and the MC in Hunger Games have to fight in a competition invented by the government where if you win, your family will benefit. That's really where the comparison stops. In this particular novel, the author takes the games to another level. Each competitor is going through TRIALS, which are like tests. They are competing against the 4 other recruits. If a recruit finishes last, one of their incentives (loved ones) will be shelved (killed). The recruit must chose which one. If a recruit comes in last in a Trial and has no more incentives left, he/she will also be killed. The really very bizarre part of the story is the recruit who wins the entire competition will then be deemed suitable to be trained as a government agent called an Imposer and actually work with the government which forced them through the Trials. I found the story to be action packed and totally all encompassing. It was so hard to put down, there is never a lull or dull moment. Its very emotionally taxing and the cruelty to humankind is unfathomable. The ending wrapped everything up nicely but did open the door for the sequel. (less)
The first 25% of this read left me as bleary eyed and muddled as the MC, Fiona. I struggled to slowly piece together what w...more3.5 Stars
The first 25% of this read left me as bleary eyed and muddled as the MC, Fiona. I struggled to slowly piece together what was going on. As the story progressed, the author used flashbacks (in italics)) and dialogues to fill me in. Soon, everything started coming together, falling into place and making a lot more sense. Then it dawned on me, this is a dystopian romance. I'd say roughly a 60/40 split between the romance and the dystopian scene. Dreydan and Fiona's relationship develops at a moderate pace over of the course of the novel. Off to a sketchy start world building gradually made more sense the deeper I delved into the story. The premise was inventive, original and interesting, without spoiling anything, life as we know it changed after genetically engineered bees were introduced to assist native bees in pollenating plants. Instead of helping, these bees end up killing all the native bees. Then to make matters worse, their sting is so strong it causes a horrible sickness called "The Bee Flu" which is killing people. So the government develops a vaccine, but the side effects morph people into beast-like killers. This book held plenty of action and suspense. It didn't totally captivate me, but there was enough going on I was compelled to keep reading to see how everything turned out. The conclusion is cliffhanger free and sets up the potential for a sequel. (less)
This is a book I looked forward to reading. The premise sounded like something new, fresh, a strong potential for amazing. Then, when I started reading it, I just wasn't swept off my feet. To begin with, I didn't know if the MC West was male or female. Then, there was an awful lot of information dumping at the beginning. The writing style followed a certain sentence structure that I noticed as a similar pattern throughout the book. This bothered me a bit. Initially, I also felt so VERY frustrated at how West insisted on pushing Chord away. I found it irritating she made a promise to her brother, Luc and then immediately broke it. Chord is a strong character. I admired how he kept it together. He seemed more of sound mind then West, despite losing his best friend. As the book progressed I did get more moved by the story and invested in West. This story didn't chinch on action or death scenes, either. Its pretty bloody and definitely not for the faint of heart. What really surprised me is the ending. I liked its a stand alone and the conclusion brought the story up from 3 stars to 4. It worked well. Execution isn't to perfection here, but it certainly improves as the story goes on, eventually concluding on a very satisfactory note.(less)
INITIAL THOUGHTS: Inventive concept, a "reboot" is a child who has died and been resurected into a shell of a human. The longer the kid remains dead,...moreINITIAL THOUGHTS: Inventive concept, a "reboot" is a child who has died and been resurected into a shell of a human. The longer the kid remains dead, the less human they become. Reboots are trained by HARC as assasins and end up doing the government's dirty work. They usually don't question authority, are stronger and are void of human emotions making them ideal candidates for the job. Wren178 is the most bad ass of all reboots. Dead for over 178 minutes before she came back to life, she's cold and emotionless, that was until Callum, a 22 arrives at the training facilty. When she agrees to train him, everything changes and Wren discovers she just may not be as icey as she thought.
Wren is a endearing character. She lead a rough life before she died and its not been a picnic after. She's strong, nearly indestructible, very callous and a rule follower. According to HARC she may be their best reboot.
Callum is weak, full of emotion and compassion for others. I'd consider him an underdog, for sure. He clueless to how life as a reboot is supposed to go, constantly challenging authority, causing trouble for himself and feeling so much than other reboots. He's convincing, likeable and has a great sense of humor. Its easy to see why Wren falls for him.
World building is decent. This story takes place in Texas. A bad virus has infected the Earth and the government is trying to set a barrier between those who are ill and those still healthy. They created an oranization called HARC to protect and safeguard those who have contracted the virus, with the help of reboots. In a way, a reboot is a government slave.
Pacing is fast, action packed and full of nailbitting suspense. There was always something going on in this one, a real page turner. Be prepared to get sucked into this one. The conclusion is somewhat abrupt. It could be considered a cliffhanger, but not a nasty one. I think of it more like how a book with more than one part would conclude before opening to part two. Instead of sectioning this one into parts, the author decided to make part two an entirely seperate novel. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel soon.