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)
INITIAL THOUGHTS: This just was NOT the story I was expecting when I read the blurb. I wanted a psycho serial killer and a witness protection program....moreINITIAL THOUGHTS: This just was NOT the story I was expecting when I read the blurb. I wanted a psycho serial killer and a witness protection program. What I got was something completely different. A very challenging read for me on a couple of levels. First, pacing is pretty slow. I found myself over halfway through the novel and not much had happened, nor did I really understand what was going on or what the point was. It continued to be pretty slow until the last quarter of the book. Secondly, for me this book lacked cohesion. The main character, Eve, doesn't remember who she is, she has no memories and suffers from frequent short term and long term memory loss. At first, I felt sympathetic to her. As the story progresses she doesn't really make any advances in remembering anything and I quickly began to lose patience and interest. I started to question that if she doesn't know about her own self, how am I ever going to get to know her? I had a really difficult time trying to decipher what was going on with not only her, but the entire story line. The book is written in a third person narrative. Whenever Eve uses her magic she passes out and has what she calls "visions" of a circus, a magician and a storyteller. These parts of the story are italicized and were very random in that each vision was different and didn't really build on the last one, making the entire story feel like it just jumped around. I really had a difficult time connecting to Eve because of her memory loss. It happened too frequently, everyone was keeping secrets and it all just began to almost bore me. Eve's new boyfriend Zack, I found to be a relatable character. I enjoyed how he was such a book nerd. He knew intricate details about most anything. The paranormal kids in the book, including Aiden were a surprise. Finally, the ending, the big reveal was almost too far-fetched. I can't say it wasn't creative, it definitely is not predictable either. I just felt it was odd. I'm disappointed to say I just wasn't the right reader or fit for this book. A fellow blogger said it best, "that I felt just as disorientated as the main character."(less)
I'm not sure if this is 4.5 or 5 stars. I'm waffling. It was really AWESOME though.
INITIAL THOUGHTS: Ok, I've read plenty of YA angels books in the l...moreI'm not sure if this is 4.5 or 5 stars. I'm waffling. It was really AWESOME though.
INITIAL THOUGHTS: Ok, I've read plenty of YA angels books in the last couple of years, but this one has to be the absolute most creative and unique take on an angel story that I've read, yet. The female lead, Riley Carver is fabulous. She's feisty, funny, smart and speaks her mind. I loved how she was so blatantly truthful, never telling even a single white lie. This is an angel book, its also a paranormal romance of sorts too. Plus, somehow the author even manages to squeeze in a time travel element. Writing style is straightforward, plot lines are incredible imaginative. The angel mythology in this story was well thought out, engrossing, I loved reading about Guardian angels, Thralls, The Circle of Nine and even Charoum (a fallen angel). The supporting characters: Gabe McClure Pastor Warren and Lacy were all special. What's even more curious is there was a unique sort of love triangle, but this is one I could really appreciate. The ending gave closure to the story, however, I do feel like there may be a lot more story to tell. I hope A. Kress plans to write more books about these characters because I still have questions left unanswered. Overall, I thought this was an impressive new take on a YA paranormal angel story, with just the perfect touch of extra special innocent romance: i.e. first kisses, first dates etc. I would recommend it to both guys and gals alike as Gabe is a very masculine character who even builds and rides a motorcycle.(less)
This book is a mix of paranormal, psychological thriller and mystery. The narrator is a male, Parker....moreBetween 3.5 and 4 Stars (Rings)
This book is a mix of paranormal, psychological thriller and mystery. The narrator is a male, Parker. He's considers himself "a watcher" - and no he's not checking out girl's backsides. A much more complex problem exists. He's unable to sleep because the last person's eyes he looks into before he goes to bed is the dreams Parker will watch that night. For four years he's been sleep deprived. His mother thinks he's on drugs. After visiting a doctor he finds out if he continues life being sleep deprived he will eventually die. Enter, Mia, the new girl. Parker looks into her eyes and that night, amazingly he's able to actually sleep in her dreams, instead of just watch. This girl could actually save his life. Only problem is, Parker becomes more or less a stalker, trying to make eye contact with Mia each night, before sleeping. Then, new girl begins to get threatening emails, believing Parker is obsessed with her, of course she logical thinks they are from him. She's trying to avoid him like crazy and he's just trying to fight for his life. Everything starts to deteriorate when Parker begins to blackout and loose track of time. He's beginning to believe he just may be the one threatening Mia. So what is a guy supposed to do?
Writing style for this story is told from a male perspective, so its rough. Parker is always wrestling with good vs. evil in his mind. He's a pretty likable guy, but at times I got a little frustrated with how rudely he treated his mother. However, I did find it pretty realistic. The story contained plenty of dialogues between main characters. The author used the them somewhat for information dumping, but not always. Parker's best friend's Addie and Finn (sister and brother) play major roles in this book. One of the major reasons I got hooked on this book was the mystery. It was somewhat predictable. I kept second guessing myself,but in the end I was right, I did guess early on who was behind it all. The ending closed up the mystery, but lead the story in a completely different direction. I didn't know it was part of a series until I finished the book.(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: This was my first experience reading anything by Maggie Stiefvater, she's gained a new fan. Her writing is encha...moreFour and 1/2 Stars.
INITIAL THOUGHTS: This was my first experience reading anything by Maggie Stiefvater, she's gained a new fan. Her writing is enchanting, magical and completely mesmerizing. Every time I opened this book, I found myself absorbed in the world she created unfolding in Henrietta, Virginia. Some of her word choices were amazing. Sometimes I had to keep a dictionary close by, just so I could learn the meaning of some of her vocabulary words. This is one of those books where the author weaves a complex plot. Initially, its quite confusing, written in a third person narrative with numerous viewpoints. Each character has a distinctive voice, so it wasn't difficult to figure out who was narrating. About a quarter of the way into this story, things started coming together and making a lot more sense. Maggie knows how to craft an unbelievably complex and detailed plot. Characters in this story where rich and vibrant. It was easy to get to know them all as the writing allowed the reader to really get in each ones heads. Blue, is the daughter of a psychic. Her entire bloodlines posses psychic powers, but somehow Blue does not. Instead, she's what you'd call an amplifier, making everything in the paranormal world louder. She is faced with quite a conundrum. All of her life she's been told that she will kill her first love when he kisses her. I really sympathized with Blue. With this prophecy looming over her, she really doesn't want to get close to a guy, but I can't say I blame her. I liked Blue's kind heart, especially evident in her treatment of Noah and her strength and perseverance. She always stood up for herself, despite her background, she put those Aglionby boys in their places. Gansey, is an affluent young man attending a prestigious private school called Aglionby. Right from my first encounter with this boy, I knew I liked him. His vocabulary and voice were impeccable, respectable and commanded to be listened to. Although he's rich, he's really striving to make a difference. He doesn't want to be known for his money. Ronan, one of Gansey's friends is very standoffish and dangerous. At first I really didn't like him, he's very abrasive and brash. As the story progressed and I got to know him better, he quickly wormed a way into my good graces. Adam, another one of Gainsey's good friends is on scholarship to the prestigious private school of Aglionsby, I immediately was drawn to him and his plight. He's the underdog and I usually end of rooting for guys like him. The final friend of Gaisey, is the meek and quiet Noah. He's barely noticeable. What little I got to know about him, I liked. He seemed genuine and caring. This story involves, friendships, magic, fantasy and mystery. I enjoyed every minute of it. The ending wasn't a cliffhanger. None-the-less it still was very powerful and did leave me dying to read the next book.(less)