Strike of the Sweepers is the fourth book in the Janitors series. Spencer and Daisy and continuing their quest to take out the BEM and restore toxiteStrike of the Sweepers is the fourth book in the Janitors series. Spencer and Daisy and continuing their quest to take out the BEM and restore toxite protection to every school. Since this book is so far into the series and there is a lot that happens in it, I can't really say much without potentially spoiling things.
This is another strong book in the series. I have read the first three to my daughter (and wife) for bedtime and they really enjoyed them. My wife was super excited when I showed her the email I got for the release of this one. I had to read this book myself much faster than it gets covered for bedtime reading and I know that there will be a lot of surprises for them.
If you have already read and enjoyed the first three books in this series then this is a can't miss. If you haven't ever checked them out and enjoy YA books, they are worth checking out for sure.
Copy of the book received for review purposes....more
Balanced on the Blade's Edge is described by Lindsay Buroker as a steampunk romance. Normally this would immediately disqualify it from my reading lisBalanced on the Blade's Edge is described by Lindsay Buroker as a steampunk romance. Normally this would immediately disqualify it from my reading list, but Lindsay has established herself as a fantastic author who is capable of writing romantic elements into a story that involves more than longing looks and pining dialogue (see Amaranthe and Sicarius in the Emperor's Edge series).
The romance level in this book is substantially more than in the Emperor's Edge, but that isn't really a surprised since it is being advertised as a romance not a fantasy adventure. Luckily Lindsay still manages to write wonderful characters that can draw a reader into the world very quickly.
Colonel Ridge Zirkander is an amazing fighter pilot (the planes in this story sound pretty awesome) who is extremely impulsive. His talent has been enough to get him promoted to a high level in the military despite his trouble making ways. Sardelle Terushan is a sorceress who has been in stasis for 300 years. Waking up and learning that her entire people have been obliterated and the only link that she has is her bonded sentient soulblade.
The soulblade is a brilliant bit of plot work. The soul of a teenage sorceress who had a fatal disease and chose to put her soul into a sword to continue living, she maintains an amazing awareness of her surroundings. The fact that this soulblade has been aware of everything going around for the last 300 years and is even able to see the contents of books in the library of the prison built on top of Sardelle's home allow her to blend into the new people with much less awkwardness than would normally be expected.
Ridge is an ideal character for Lindsay's writing style. His personality of being a bit anti-authority, despite having a great deal of it himself, lends itself well to the type of witty humor that is often found in her books. He and Sardelle work well as a team, thanks in part to the soulblade being able to help her out with some info that is especially valuable. The difficulty for the two comes in two parts, first Sardelle has to pretend to be a new prisoner in order to explain her unexplained presence in a secret prison mine and second the fact that she is a sorceress surrounded by a people who regularly execute people who are suspected of having magic.
The story unfolds at a good pace, maintaining a fair amount of action due to air raids on the prison, while still allowing Ridge and Sardelle to work through their growing attraction for each other. I read this book in about two days time, which says volumes. If a book is built solely upon a troubled romance storyline it will take me weeks to forever to finish the story. There were a few parts that I thought a bit much, but nothing that takes away from the fact that this is still an excellently written book. If you have read any of Lindsay's other books and enjoyed them go ahead and pick this one up as well. You won't regret it.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review....more
First thing, I would actually rate this book 3.5 stars.
I really enjoyed a lot of aspects of this book. The thought of a hidden society of dragons secrFirst thing, I would actually rate this book 3.5 stars.
I really enjoyed a lot of aspects of this book. The thought of a hidden society of dragons secretly helping to guide the course of humanity is very interesting. I found Peter to be a strong character and really enjoyed the roles of Tank and Richie as well, in fact Tank was probably my favorite of the three even though he wasn't as prominent.
I thought there were a couple of pacing issues to be found mainly with the in-depth explanation of the field hockey games. This could totally be because I know nothing about the sport so those passages didn't really hold much interest for me. I did enjoy the descriptions of the dragon's game, Laminium Ball. It may be because it's so much cooler to imagine giant dragons involved in a full contact game sort of similar to handball.
Manson, the antagonist, was written well. I really hated him and didn't like reading his parts, but I think in the case of this book that is a good thing. He was just such an amazing jerk that I had trouble not skimming over his passages just to get back to the characters that I did enjoy.
Overall this was a pretty darn good book and I would be willing to take a look at the sequel. The only real drawbacks were the detours the story took occasionally and the fact that this book is written using a lot of British English. By that I mean that there is a lot of slang and conversation that the friends use that has words that I, as an American, just don't see used in everyday conversation and it pulled me from the story a bit trying to puzzle out some of the meanings. I can't really knock the author for using the dialect of his home region though, and to be honest I don't have a lot of exposure to it. I'm sure it could be picked up rather quickly.
Review copy provided by the author is exchange for my honest opinion....more
The Avatar Battle is the second book in the Cragbridge Hall series by Chad Morris. Muns is back with a new plan on how to get access to time travel foThe Avatar Battle is the second book in the Cragbridge Hall series by Chad Morris. Muns is back with a new plan on how to get access to time travel for himself. Derick, Abby, Rafa, and Carol will once again be vital in stopping him.
This was another very strong YA book by Chad Morris. The kid characters are all extremely well done with each having an attribute that they excel with. Carol definitely shines through as the family favorite in my house though. I have read the first book and am halfway through this one as a bedtime story for my daughter and my wife seems to really enjoy Carol's personality. She is a little bit flighty and can be a bit annoying, but she also has a great heart and can be hilarious at times.
In this book the story of Rafa is revealed a bit more. He made several references to to the fact that Oscar Cragbridge did something for him in the past. That is the reason he was so willing to help Derick and Abby when Oscar was kidnapped. This story tells what exactly Oscar did for Rafa and why he is so intensely loyal.
One of the coolest things about this series is seeing all of the technology that is available to the students at Cragbridge Hall. If a device that allows you to actually watch the past as it is happening isn't enough, there is a ton of new stuff the kids get to play with in this book. Also as the name of this book implies that avatars once again play a huge role in the story. I have recommended this series to pretty much everyone I know that has a child in the right age range, or that I know enjoys reading the middle school/YA genre. The second book is another standout offering and I'm very eager to see what else is coming out of Cragbridge Hall.
I received and ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review....more
Crypto-Squad by Eric S. Brown is a quick fun read. Involving a host of mythological (to some) characters that form a secret government agency. MothmanCrypto-Squad by Eric S. Brown is a quick fun read. Involving a host of mythological (to some) characters that form a secret government agency. Mothman, Ness, The Jersey Devil, are just some of the creature characters to look forward to.
The agency is around to deal with things that are outside what most normal people can deal with. This book deals with a group called the Unending. These people are some super powerful necromancers who have unleashed a horde of zombies and have many more tricks up their sleeves.
This is a great book for people who like paranormal action and I'm looking forward to checking out some of the other books in the series.