I’ve had the great pleasure of reading an advance copy of this, provided by Anderson’s Bookshop and Bookfair in Naperville, Illinois. They have a pre-I’ve had the great pleasure of reading an advance copy of this, provided by Anderson’s Bookshop and Bookfair in Naperville, Illinois. They have a pre-pub event August 22 that I had wanted to attend, but have class that night. The author will be there to sign ARCs and there will be food. If you live in Chicagoland and are interested, please contact them and pick up you ARC. Seeing as this book has not yet been released and won’t be until November first, I won’t spoil anything major, but I’ll tell you about it the best I can.
The Diabolic is a sci-fi story that takes place in space. It’s part dystopian, part space opera. Nemesis is a Diabolic, which is a genetically engineered bodyguard that is bonded to one person, and seeks to protect only that person, even if it means harming the people that person care about. Nemesis belongs to Sidonia Impyrean, the daughter of a galactic Senator.
Sidonia is summoned by the Emperor to the Chrysanthemum, the space colony where the royal court is located. Sidonia’s mother decides to have Nemesis go in her steed. Nemesis is taught etiquette and under goes genetic modifications to her appearance and to make her body seem more average in size and strength so she won’t be discovered to be a Diabolic.
When Nemesis gets to court, she discovers that playing a Senatorial heir might be harder than she thought. She might have to take extreme measure to keep her secret and to protect the Impyrean family. She soons discovers that in the royal court, there’s always some plot, scandal or assassination attempt in the works and it’s best to trust no one.
The Emperor has three of his own Diabolics, even though they were outlawed everywhere else, and knowledge Nemesis’s mere existence could cause the execution of the Impyreans for treason. She thinks his Diabolics might be on to her. On top on that, the emperor’s nephew and heir Tyrus seems to be taking notice of her, and if rumors are true, then he’s insane, but maybe there’s something cleverer about him that she thinks.
The characters of this book are pretty interesting. Nemesis is very different from other YA heroines. She was meant to be a bodyguard and not care about her own well-being. She’s like Rose from Vampire Academy, but with the selflessness of Tris from Divergent. Sidonia is like Lissa from Vampire Academy, then. Tyrus reminds me of Nikolai from the Grisha series, though I won’t tell you why, except for some of the narcissistic and ego-related humor. Some of the characters annoyed me because they talked overly formally, like they’re from Elizabethan times to something. Some were so shallow and back-stabbing.
I thought the sci-fi stuff and technology was cool, except for the genetically modified “creatures” or “humanoids.” Nemesis is not considered humor because she was engineered. She’s very strong and fast, but they didn’t give her tear ducts, so she can’t cry. She denies that she feels thing like other people. She can kill without remorse. It’s likely because she was nurtured to kill and not part of her nature like she had believed. There are Exalted, which are hairless innocents grown and cared for during a holiday week only to be sent into a star to die. There are Harmonoids, engineered only to play music. There are Servitors who are only meant to serve and have no free will.
The cool technology includes machines that can change you appearance easily with genetic alteration. You can have any hair color, eye color, skin color, facial feature or even change your sex. There are hair stilts, which can hold you hair in any style you please. There’s also artificial youth so older folks can look young again. There are medbots to heal you.
On the uncool side of things, there are drugs, like opioid rubs, narcotics and inhaled euphorics, and they’re all legal in the empire and they use the med bots to fix any problem that occur from them. There’s also the Helionic religion, in which the worship the Living Cosmos and view any pursuit of science or mathematics as heresy.
I recommend this to those who enjoyed The Jewel by Amy Ewing, Red Queen by Victoria Avyard, any book set in space, or book about a royal court. There is a kind of Capital-esque feel to the court, so I even recommend it to Hunger Games fans.
Cover Art Review: One of the most gorgeous cover’s I’ve seen! I love butterflies. This is one beautiful yet deadly butterfly. It’s very metaphorical. I love that the knives and the title are metallic. This cover is pretty symmetrical and simple, like Red Queen’s cover.
Shades of Darkness is a pretty interesting read, but super exciting. I think the best part of it is the setting. It set at an art boarding school callShades of Darkness is a pretty interesting read, but super exciting. I think the best part of it is the setting. It set at an art boarding school called Islington Arts Academy in northern Michigan, based off Interlochen Arts Academy outside Traverse City, an art school that the author attended. I actually camped at a KOA campground not to far from it, and of course I’ve been to Traverse City a few times. While I was reading the book I though maybe it was supposed to be in the Upper Peninsula, near Houghton, off Lake Superior. The specific location is never specified in the book, just “in the wood of northern Michigan, beside a lake.” It’s almost always snowing in the book. It’s true they get lots of snow up there.
I think it would be cool to attend a boarding school that’s art focus. I myself an in the school of art at NIU, getting my degree in Visual Communications (Graphic Design). I’ve taking some studio classes. I love painting, be I only use watercolor, gouache and sometimes acrylic. Kaira, the book’s main character, is an oil painter. She’s taking other studio classes, like silver-smithing too. She’s working on her senior thesis, which consists of paintings of tarot cards. Kaira is kind of quirky and dresses kind of strange, has magenta highlights, talks weird. She’s of Native American descent, but she was adopted. Her best friend is a gay guy named Ethan. He’s very sweet and funny and also an artist. He’s dating a bass player named Oliver. Ethan is the character that I believe the author based off himself.
There’s this guy named Chris, who likes Kaira, but she refuses to date since something bad happened to the last guy she dated. Chris is also a painter and is a truly nice guy. Kaira keeps seeing crow flocking around campus. She sees them a an omen for bad things. A student dies, and she believes something supernatural is going on. There’s a touch of Norse mythology woven in to the story that doesn’t become important till the end.
The story is kind of slow and repetitive. The word “gay” is over-used and I feel like we don’t need to be reminded of a character’s sexual identity constantly. Also, Kaira keeps saying she’s going to get a complex from something, or talking about how she came to the school to escape and that she’s used the workload as a distraction. It just gets so repetitive. There is a lot of humor and interesting dialogue though.
I recommend this series to fans of the House of Night series, Hex Hall, Vampire Academy, The Dark Elite series and any other boarding school books with supernatural elements of mystery.
Cover Art Review: I love this cover! I love any cover with the watercolor look. I tried painting like this before, but could never get this style of water color/ink down. The type treatment of the title is lovely too.
I won The Outliers as an ARC in a giveaway that I almost didn’t enter, so I was hesitant to even read this book. I wasn’t sure what the genera was. ReI won The Outliers as an ARC in a giveaway that I almost didn’t enter, so I was hesitant to even read this book. I wasn’t sure what the genera was. Realistic mystery? Sci-fi thriller? It’s a little bit of both. It’s very light on the sci-fi, which was okay. I really did enjoy the non-stop fast pace of this book. It made me feel a little anxious myself with all the crazy twists.
Wylie’s got an anxiety disorder. She panics, and sometimes even passes out when too stressed. Before this trip, she hadn’t left her house in three weeks. Her mom died a few months ago and she feels broken. Her brother Gideon seems to be the normal one, attending school, making jokes. Her father has almost become like a workaholic robot, so focused on her psychological research. Wylie’s best friend Cassie isn’t talking to her anymore. Cassie’s had serious binge drinking problems that only seemed to get worse.
Wylie’s friend Cassie is missing and suddenly starts sending her cryptic texts, one of which asks Wylie and Jasper to drive up north into Maine to rescue her. On the road, they run into trouble with the car, try hitch hiking, which also ends badly. A visit to the police only endangers them even more. It seems like every one is shady. Twist after twist and Wylie’s not sure who to trust except her own instincts.
I really though the scientific concept behind Wylie’s dad’s research was cool. It played a big role in the story. I’ve read a lot of book about teens with scientist parents that get their kids mixed up in their research, which did happen in this book kind of. Emotional intelligence sounds like a real thing. It’s like empathy, almost like ESP, but with emotions. The ones who could read emotion deaf and blind are called the Outliers in this book. I could totally read emotions, but doubt I could do it like an Outlier. Either way, it’s a really cool idea for a story. Makes me think of Shade Me by Jennifer Brown, but Nikki had synesthesia to read emotions.
I recommend this book to those that enjoyed Shade Me by Jennifer Brown, Revived and Originals by Cat Patrick, Dangerous Lies & Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick, Find Me by Romily Bernard, Black Bird by Anna Carey, Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon, or any other YA thriller that have action, mystery, or even a touch of science fiction.
Cover Art Review: I like the burnt match typography, but the cover itself is kind of boring with the cut off face.
Relentless is the sequel to Powerless and (probably) the finale to the Hero’s Agenda duology. If you haven’t read Powerless, I recommend it to those wRelentless is the sequel to Powerless and (probably) the finale to the Hero’s Agenda duology. If you haven’t read Powerless, I recommend it to those who enjoyed Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, V is For Villain by Peter Moore, Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Illusive by Emily Llyod-Jones, Blackout by Robison Wells, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Red Queen by Victoria Avyard, The Young Elite by Marie Lu, or anything superhero-related. Also fans of Tera Lynn Childs’s Sweet Venom series.
Kenna in the first book had discovered that she had a power. She can control electromagnetic energy, knocking out electronics with EMPs. Also, she’s a villain and since the serum wore off, her villain mark is visible and she can use her ability. In this world, a type of virus with 2 strains, one for heroes and one for villain, gives people powers and also leaves a mark behind the ear that differentiates heroes and villains. To me it seems like there is no difference between the heroes and villain other that the mark, and it’s more prejudice than anything.
Kenna’s villain boyfriend Draven is being put on trial to be executed. Kenna and her team of “hillains” (heroes and villains working together) are there to rescue him. Kenna has disguised herself at a media reporter and her team is waiting in the wing ready to go on her mark. Everything goes haywire, and though they rescue Draven, someone else isn’t so lucky and Kenna suffers a loss so hard, that she’s not sure how she can move on. She set out for revenge, ready to defeat Rex Malone, the hero with malicious intentions, with everything she’s got. This is an action packed sequel that reads like an actual super hero movie or TV shows. It’s set in Colorado, which is a nice change of pace from all the NYC and Cali set superhero stories. And I’ve been to the Denver area in Colorado before, so that’s a plus.
I really did enjoy this series. It was very short, though. The characters are very unqiue from one another. I did have difficultly remembering the character at first since it’s been a year and Powerless was a pretty fast and short book too. I forgot who’s who and what their power or relation is. I tried keeping track, though.
Character Recap: Kenna Swift (villain) is the main character, and her boyfriend Draven Cole (villain) has memory and bio manipulation ability, and he has blue eyes dark hair. Draven is Rex Malone’s illegitimate son and cousin of Dante (villain) and Deacon Cole (villain), who are twins with wind and water manipulation powers. Nitro (villain) is British and can throw fireballs of various colors that identify what they do. Nitro’s brother is Quake (villain), who can make small earthquakes. Nitro also has a crush of Riley Malone (hero), Rex’s legitimate son who can fly. Riley’s sister is Rebel aka Rachel Malone (hero), and she has telekinetic powers. She’s also Kenna’s best friend. Rex Malone (hero), their father, is an evil SOB with super hearing and wants to control and torture villains. His wife has ice powers. Jeremy Abernathy (hero) is part of the Hillains team, and he has technopathic abilities. He’s also Kenna’s ex-boyfriend and he’s a nerd. V aka Victoria (villain) is Draven’s bodyguard hired by his uncle Anton Cole. Also, Kenna’s mom is a scientist that developed a serum to protect a person from the effects super powers. Kenna’s dad was a superhero.
Cover Art Review: Not that great of cover. I’m not sure I understand what the symbol is for. Does it represent the villains? It’s just a blah cover. The complementary color scheme is an interesting choice though.
I had no idea what to expect with this book. When I first saw it coming out, I didn’t think it would be my kind of fantasy. The cover was kind of inteI had no idea what to expect with this book. When I first saw it coming out, I didn’t think it would be my kind of fantasy. The cover was kind of interesting. Then I read the description. I was a bit more intrigued. I tried reading it and I was pulled in. This is a really awesome unique fantasy story.
There are assassins, Families, ghosts and gods. Lea’s a Saldana and bear a mask that’s half bone white and half black with a design, like the rest of her Family. She has dirty blond hair and brown eye and she’s a Clipper, an assassin who takes jobs to murder in the name of the goddess Safraella. Lea is romantically involved with a rival Family member, Val Da Via, who’s blonde, sexy and arrogant. This forbidden romance between rival families has the influence of the play Romeo and Juliet.
Lea’s Family is killed in a fire set by the Da Vias and she’s the last Saldana left. Lea wants revenge and meets with the king, who’s a friend of her now dead father. He gives her the location of her only living relative, her uncle. Lea travels to another country full of canals and angry ghosts that haunt the night. There she meets dark-haired Alessio (Les). He’s a wannabe Clipper. She agrees to train him in exchange for his help in making a fire-bomb.
A romance develop between them. I really liked Alessio. I know rightaway her was going to be important, even before we know his name. Just based off the way he was described in the market. He’s funny and sweet. Lea’s a badass and trains him. It made me think of Wren and Callum from Reboot, or other relationships from YA books. I enjoy the humor and banter between them. The ending was pretty good. I found out there’s a sequel that possibly a companion. I’m guessing it’s from another character, maybe in the future (Allegra maybe…)
I recommend this to fans of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, The Young Elites or Legend by Marie Lu, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page, The Jewel by Amy Ewing, Defiance by C.J. Redwine, Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch, and Shadow and Bone by Leugh Bardugo.
Cover Art Review: This cover put me off because I didn’t understand it. Now I read the book and know that’s the holy coin of the Saldanas and not some strange medallion. I like the velvet texture of the paper.
Raging Sea is the sequel to Undertow. In Undertow Alpha children were given a chance to attend school for the first time in the 2 years since the appeRaging Sea is the sequel to Undertow. In Undertow Alpha children were given a chance to attend school for the first time in the 2 years since the appeared on Coney Island. Lyric meet Fathom, a Triton and Alpha prince. Fathom was strange and exotic, but Lyric fell for despite his odd Alpha customs and the fact that he was engaged to Arcade.
Lyric, Bex, and Arcade are in Texas looking for the place where Lyric’s parents were taken. This place is called Tempest and it’s like a death camp for Alphas. When shop lifting at a Piggly Wiggly, Lyric has a run in with the cops and they recognize her. She makes the decision to use her glove to control the water around her and help Bex and herself get away.
They make a couple close calls with Doyle and the White Tower a couple of times along the way. When Lyric finally makes it to Tempest, she’s treated like a prisoner. They try to break her, but Lyric way too stubborn to be broken. They tell her she has to train other Alpha-Human hybrids to do what she does while wearing the glove.
I did enjoy this sequel. I felt like there wasn’t much romance in it though. Fathom doesn’t show up till later on. I do like the fighting stuff and the cool abilities that the glove gives Lyric. The gloves are kind of like the Green Lantern ring because Lyric can use her imagination shape anything out of water. It was pretty awesome.
I recommend this series to fans of Anna Bank’s Syrena Legacy series and other mermaid related series like Lies Beneath. Also dystopian series like Inhuman by Kat Falls.
Cover Art Review: Cool cover illustration. Fits with previous cover. Eye catching. Love it.