Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Purchased/Audiobook Reviewer:Me
Crewel is unique, strange, and aOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Purchased/Audiobook Reviewer:Me
Crewel is unique, strange, and a lyrical masterpiece. I plummeted head-over-feet in love with the novel the moment the audio began. I always find it surreal when a novel can magically transport you to another world, while leaving you breathlessly wanting, craving, and begging for more. Crewel by far is one of the most creative visionary experiences I’ve had this year and I am looking forward – with Epically bated breath – for the remainder of the novels in the series.
Crewel is a magnificent fantasy, for those of you who are able to suspend disbelief and thrust yourself deep within its pages. Our story is centered around sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys, a young girl who has been hiding a very special gift. All her life Adelice has been avoiding her destiny as a Spinster, a girl who can weave time with matter. She suppressed her gifts in order to stay with her family, to keep her life happy and normal. However, in an extremely twisted turn of events – which inevitably ends in bloodshed, Adelice is discovered, yanked from her home, and forced into the Spinster life.
But, is being a Spinster really so bad? Elegant parties, fancy clothes, exotic foods. For Adelice, it’s a drastic change, a change which part of her surprisingly enjoys. Although our main character is falling under the Spinster spell, she is still able to fight most of her desires and remain the same spitfire, sarcastic, nonconforming girl throughout most of the story. I loved Adelice! It was so easy to follow her thought process and when she was angry, I was angry. And when she was sad…well, I was still angry. LOL. She is the perfect combination of strong-willed and vulnerable. As each new piece of the Spinster puzzle is revealed, Adelice is tested, so much so it’s hard to believe she will survive. And when you finally make it to the last page, you will probably be pulling your hair out, angry, terrified, and most of all excited to see where her story will go next.
Overall, Crewel is a smash hit! The audiobook is fantastic and well worth your 1 credit at audible. I highly recommend this heart-pounding/heartbreaking read to teens and adults alike, those who enjoy fantasies, and those who crave strong female characters who don’t always have it easy. It’s an endearing tale I guarantee with stay with you long after the story is over....more
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Publisher for Honest Review Reviewer: Me
Through to You is a tOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Publisher for Honest Review Reviewer: Me
Through to You is a tale of love, grief, and sacrifice. The unrelenting pain a person goes though when a loved one is suddenly ripped from their life. At first glance, Through to You is a love story, but at its core is a heart-pounding mystery that spans two universes. An extremely dark tale of what may happen if a person is given a second chance at love.
Camden Pike, our main character, is struggling with the loss of his football career, a father who left him, a mother who is barely around, and his true love Viv who died in an accident he believes is his fault. But all that seems to change when he meets Nina, a girl from a parallel world who claims to know him. Try as he might, and despite Nina’s pleas, Camden cannot stay away from this other world, and the life he feels should have been his. And things really begin to look up when he discovers the Viv in this universe is alive and misses him as desperately as he misses her. Unfortunately for Camden, as he soon discovers, the grass is not always greener on the other side, or in this case…the other world.
I thoroughly enjoyed Through to You. Although, the first ten or so chapters were a lot to take in as a reader, I was surprised by the mystery and intrigued by all the characters. Camden was in a tremendous amount of pain, and that pain was hard to read at times. If you have ever lost someone it shouldn't be hard to relate to his suffering. However, if you can take a step back from that and get to the meat of the story which is a fantastic mystery, I guarantee you’ll be surprised by how much fun is wrapped up in the novel.
Overall, I recommend Through to You to readers who love a good mystery with a splash of romance. There is quite a bit of adult language used throughout the story so parents should definitely read this one first before lending to their teenagers. I also recommend it to anyone dealing with grief and loss because it does teach a valuable lesson about forgiving one’s self, letting go of the past, and moving on to a brighter future. ...more
Originally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 out of 5 EPIC Controllers Review Source: ARC Provided by Publisher Reviewer: Me
Mysterious. IntriguiOriginally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 out of 5 EPIC Controllers Review Source: ARC Provided by Publisher Reviewer: Me
Mysterious. Intriguing. Magical. Fantastic. Epic!
Shadow and Bone is the type of book aspiring authors dream of writing, and readers crave to read. It’s more than a fantastic book; it’s an engaging story, set against a jaw-dropping world, containing a magically magnetic one-of-a-kind adventure. If you want – no NEED – a book that will leave you screaming, YES, YES, YES, then look no further than Shadow and Bone, a dark fantasy with extraordinary imagery that is unlike any other.
Set in the backdrop of Russia, the story begins with our main characters, Alina Starkov and Malyen Oretsev. The two are orphans, and though completely different, Alina is plain while Mal is anything but, they become friends – best friends. When the two became of age they joined the King’s Army, Mal as a highly skilled tracker and Alina a simple cartographer (mapmaker). They have recently been assigned to travel into the Shadow Fold, a place where evil creatures reside in a vast darkness. Shortly after arriving, everything spirals out of control as their boat is attacked by a group of creatures known as the Volcra. And what happens next, sets up one of the most, entertaining and well-written stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.
Leigh Bardugo does and exceptional job of saturating her readers with eloquent prose. My imagination ran rampant as I dove deeper and deeper into her immense world, never once wanting to leave, and always craving more from each page. Bardugo’s ability to weave together both Russian dialect and history while adding her own spin on magical creatures and sorcery, was phenomenal. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a fantasy that truly captivated both my heart and my imagination. Shadow and Bone, solidified what I’d always known to be true, fantasy is and always will be my first love.
Oh the romance…
I adored the relationship between Alina and Mal. My heart ached as Alina tried to deny her feelings for her best friend, protector, and confidant. Mal was a genuine heartthrob capturing the attention of every young woman who came in contact with him. There was definitely a lot of teenage angst and back and forth with these two. I rooted, I sneered, and then finally I cheered for their love. But of course, love is never cut and dry, or as easy as we hopeless romantics would like to believe. When Alina becomes a member of the Grisha and captures the eye of The Darkling, a powerful boy with his own secret agenda, you can’t help – and neither could Alina – to fall in love with him too. While Alina and Mal’s relationship added tenderness and endearment, The Darkling added passion, excitement, mystery, and intrigue. It created a whole new dynamic to the story, taking me on a pleasantly dark journey.
Magic, magic, and more magic…
Although I fell in love with every single character in the novel, what really kept me on the edge of my seat in anticipation chapter after chapter was the world. The Grisha, who resemble Benders from Avatar: The Last Airbender (cartoon show and not the movie), gave the novel the extra oomph it needed in the fantasy department. With unique names such as Corporalki, Etherealki, and Materialki, it was interesting how each type of “master” used their gifts. Every Grisha is highly skilled, whether it is in the art of healing, killing, or crafting objects out of metals, they could – and did – do it all. Watching Alina come into her powers and the grueling training she had to receive, left me in awe. Who wouldn’t want to have a rare gift and be worshiped or feared? And even though Alina never truly wanted her powers, she too soon began to love her coveted ability.
Overall, there is not enough praise in the world I could give Shadow and Bone. The best advice I can give is to just sit down, and read it. And if you don’t, you really will be missing out on one of the most exceptional novels ever written.
Alina: I’d been kissed before, drunken mistakes, awkward fumblings. This was nothing like that. It was sure and powerful and like my whole body had just come awake. I could feel my pounding heart, the press of silk against my skin, the strength of his arms around me, one hand buried deep in my hair, the other at my back, pulling me closer. The moment his lips met mine, the connection between us opened and I felt his power flood through me. I could feel how much he wanted me – but behind that desire, I could feel something else, something that felt like anger.
The Darkling to Alina: “The problem with wanting,” he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, “is that it makes us weak.” And then, at last, when I thought I couldn’t bear it any longer he brought his mouth down on mine.
Mal to Alina: “I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason , just out of habit, because I'd seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me why we don't belong together.”
Mal to Alina: “I don't care if you danced naked on the roof of the Little Palace with him. I love you, Alina, even the part of you that loved him.”
Originally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: NetGalley Reviewer: Me
What Lissa Price created is nothing shortOriginally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: NetGalley Reviewer: Me
What Lissa Price created is nothing short of phenomenal. It took me a while to write this review, only because I had to take a break, sit back and mull over the epic tale that is Starters. You know a book is a gem when you can’t stop thinking about it, decided to re-read it, and then still have to take a moment to collect your thoughts. It’s kind of like Dollhouse with Matrix style action, only it’s the elderly population in cahoots with the government creating havoc and mayhem. Maybe not intentionally, but nonetheless its happening.
It all began when the US was attacked with biological weaponry which initiated the Spore Wars. Everyone except those who were lucky enough to get vaccinated died leaving the population with two distinct groups of people: The elderly population (60 and above) called Enders, and the younger generation (20 and below) called Starters. The Enders, with their beautiful white hair, will do anything to stay young; while the poor disadvantaged Starters, who are mostly homeless/unclaimed children, will do anything for food. Creating such a unique dystopian society was absolutely brilliant. With each passing page readers can get a feel for how wonderful and luxurious life is for Enders, while at the same time you can feel compassion for the helpless Starters who are constantly fighting amongst themselves for basic necessities such as food and shelter. It’s definitely a game of survival of the fittest for these young children, in a world where they are viewed as an abomination.
The story is told in the first person perspective of our main character Callie, a 16 year old girl who is both parentless and homeless, and is tasked with trying to protect her young brother who is very ill. I LOVED Callie. She is strong, independent, witty, and not afraid to fight and get her hands dirty. Over the course of the novel you will see Callie shine. Between finding love, being betrayed, and uncovering the deception, mystery, and true nature of what it means for a Starter to “rent” their body to an Ender, needless to say our main character has her hands full. Or better yet, overflowing.
Because of her brothers’ illness, their lack of a stable home life and food, Callie decides to go to the body bank – Prime Destinations – to become a “rental”. She hopes by the end of the experience she will have earned enough money to provide a decent life for her brother as well as her best friend, Michael. Though her gut reaction was not to follow through with this plan, she ultimately agrees and is later forced to deal with the bizarre consequences once her rental experience goes awry. Not to spoil the plot, because much of the story centers around the reason Callie’s rental is not so cut and dry, let’s just say two head – or better yet two minds – are sometimes better than one.
Overall, I loved everything about Starters. Price not only delivered one heck of a page turner, she created something perfectly unique and exquisite. The character, though some more than others, were well crafted and worth investing your time and energy on. There are several different mysteries going on simultaneously, and its exciting watching Callie uncover what is really happening around her. Starters is a book that I highly recommend, it’s suitable for all ages and has a little bit of something hidden within for everyone. If you haven’t read it, DO IT. And with the jaw clenching cliffhanger, you will probably be screaming at me later. But that’s okay, because I know you will love it!...more
Originally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source:NetGalley
Sometimes the books we choose to review can be a hitOriginally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source:NetGalley
Sometimes the books we choose to review can be a hit or a miss with our expectations. Maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe I just didn’t believe the concept. Either way, Slide is one of those books that left a sour taste in my mouth, one that I can’t seem to get rid of no matter how hard I try. I wanted to fall in love with the author, her unusual concept, and the characters she created; however, none of those things happened and I am left sitting here thinking, where did she go wrong?
The ability to “slide” into another person and live life through their eyes for a few moments seemed very intriguing at first. When we are initially introduced to Sylvia (Vee) and her ability, readers are given the impression she has come to terms with her gift and learned how (to a certain degree) control when she slides. It’s never explained why she can slide, how she obtained her gift, and I found it very difficult to believe that she never tried to control it (as far as who she slides into and when) before this story in her life takes place. Neither am I fully convinced she’s the only one in the entire world with this gift, like some sort of anomaly.
It has been my experience with the paranormal; if someone has a special gift either a) someone has heard of it/wants it or b) someone such as a mentor will come along and guide them, show them the ropes, introduce them to a new way of life and/or the world of the supernatural. I believe this is my main issue with Slide. If we are going to believe her gift is “paranormal”, then HELLO we need some elements of paranormal. Heck, I would have even bought the story if Vee found some information that showed her mother had the same condition. In my opinion, any sort of explanation would have been better than none at all. Other than, “oh here I go” and ‘oh I’m back in my body again”. Needless to say it was a tab bit off-putting.
Another issue I had with Slide is the predictability. Any person with basic deductive reasoning skills will be able to guess who the killer is many pages before the end, especially after Vee discovers a certain secret about one of her family members. In a murder mystery there should always be a few things to “throw” the reader off the trail of the killer. Instead what we are given in Slide, are clues and events that lead us directly to the culprit. Now I will say the reasons for the murders were very surprising, a little bit shocking, and maybe even downright disturbing. And the only reason I kept reading was to see how Vee was going to catch said person. Even then I wasn’t fully satisfied with the ending – which was abrupt with the unnecessary epilogue – and I feel cheated for giving myself over to this novel which had so much promise with a big whodunit that failed to pull me into the story.
Despite not loving Slide I did like the overall message of the book. Hidden deep within this mystery novel are the issues that many teenagers face today. Grief, suicide, loss, denial, rape, betrayal, infidelity, and death, all are present and weigh profoundly on our characters. These are very difficult subjects for anyone to deal with and I think I should give Hathaway some credit for attempting to bring such heavy subjects to the forefront of our minds. Our characters reactions to each situation were very believable and had I been in their situation, I may have reacted the same way to a certain degree.
Overall, Slide is a good novel. It does have its shortcomings, but nonetheless the theme is powerful and emotionally compelling. Though some of the characters were better written than others, I still enjoyed Vee as a protagonist. In no way is Hathaway a terrible writer. In fact, I am interested in reading more of her work in the future. Maybe if she writes just a paranormal novel, or a simple murder mystery. I think Slide would have worked if it had been just one or the other. *Sighs*
If you are looking for a short fast-paced read that deals with serious teen issues then give Slide a try. If not, you aren’t missing that much and maybe you should wait for Hathaway’s next novel....more
Originally Reviewed At: Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Publisher for Honest Review Reviewer: Me
Fair Coin was a surprise hit for me, Originally Reviewed At: Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Publisher for Honest Review Reviewer: Me
Fair Coin was a surprise hit for me, one I never saw coming, and one I can’t believe is over (thankfully I just received my ARC of Quantum Coin)! E.C. Myers crafted a hair-raising adventure centered around best friends and a simple “coin”. Fair Coin is reminiscent of The Butterfly Effect, except with a more Sci-Fi edge because of the sheer amount of technology presented and the in depth explanations. And it also has a dark and twisted antagonist who I both adored and loathed. Everything is not always as it appears in Fair Coin and uncovering the mystery of it all is only the tip of the iceberg in this haunting adventure.
Sixteen-year-old Ephraim Scott comes home from school one day to find his mother in a devastating state, a suicide attempt based on the fact that Ephraim is presumed dead. To Ephraim this is weird because he is very much alive and in shock, but to a mother who just identified a body in the morgue as her son, this is reality. When Ephraim goes to examine the belongings of the boy his mother identified as him, he discovers not only things that resemble his own, but an odd coin. From here on out we are presented with subtle clues as to what really happened to “Ephraim”, the powers of a magical coin which can “grant” wishes, and the creation – and destruction – of relationships, friendships, and love.
Overall, Fair Coin is a well written, face-paced, EPIC adventure. There are plot twists you will NEVER see coming, and enough science fiction elements to satisfy even the hungriest nerd brain! In my opinion it accurately portrays – to a certain extent – what teenagers would do if they had the entire universe at their disposal. E.C. Myers does a wonderful job by touching lightly on the harsh realities of bullying, making friends, falling in love, making sacrifices, suicide, and alcoholism. I highly recommended it to anyone looking to invest in an entertaining quick read. The first chapter will HOOK you instantaneously, and the rest of this delightful story won’t let you go until you are screaming in agony for the next book!...more
Originally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating:5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source:Purchase/Audio Book Reviewer:Me
Okay this review is not dOriginally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating:5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source:Purchase/Audio Book Reviewer:Me
Okay this review is not done, however that is the one word I would use to synopsize this exquisite story. What a dazzling world debut YA author Veronica Rossi has created in Under the Never Sky. With its dystopian theme and science fiction edge, chapter after chapter I fell more enthralled with this story. Being that this was my first audio book, I really didn’t know what to expect, heck I didn’t even think the story would capture and hold my attention long enough for me to listen to 9+ hours of audio. But through the enigmatic voice of the narrator, I was able to become trapped inside Rossi’s world, by living, breathing, and walking there. It became an addictive adventure, one I could relive time and time again.
The world as we know it has become dangerous from an anomaly knows as the Aether. The Aether, from my best assumption (because this was the only part that wasn’t properly explained), is a type of electrical storm that destroys everything in its path when it strikes, leaving much of the world an uninhabitable place. Because of this, people are forced to live in Pods never experiencing the wonders of life outside. Basic things we take for granted such as the beautiful sunshine and warm waters of the oceans are foreign ideas to those who reside inside the pods. In order to recreate what missing in their lives, scientist have created an intricate virtual reality system know as the Realms, which can be visited via a Smarteye. In the Realms any dream, fantasy, or wish can come true. It serves as a form of escapism for pod residents so they won’t go crazy or feel trapped by their extreme living conditions. By description this may all seem a bit farfetched and over the top, but trust me it works.
Opposite the Dwellers, or those who live in pods, are the “savages” known as Outsiders. Unlike the presumed beautiful lives of the Dwellers, Outsiders have in a way become one with nature and their environment making them skilled hunters, archers, and mainly killers. They also have heightened senses, which at some points seem more magical than science fictionesque, however overall it worked well in the plot and gave the story yet another unique quality. Aria our main character is on a mission to uncover what happened to a pod that fell silent, the same pod where her mother is working. Because of some poor choices and the means she uses to uncover the truth, she is nearly killed and rescued by an Outsider, Peregrine. After the rescue neither of them thinks they will see the other again, until Aria is banished from her home and Perry once again comes to her aid.
The narration alternates between Aria and Perry. I think I enjoyed learning more about Perry than I did Aria, yes I loved all the technology that the pod’s had at their disposal, yet it was the unique abilities of the Outsiders and the tragic story of Perry and his nephew that sucked me in completely. Don’t get me wrong, Aria is a strong female protagonist and she transitioned well between naïve Dweller to strong willed fighter. Nevertheless, Perry is where the story takes flight. His way of life is both sad and fascinating. I loved every minute of being inside of his head to see what he was thinking, feeling, and observing. Both of our MC’s are on a mission, Perry to find his beloved nephew and Aria to find her mother. With nothing in common but trying to reach the end destination, this unlikely pair becomes a great duo.
Overall, Under the Never Sky is different. My only complaint is I would have liked more explanation of the Aether, and the world itself, along with some of the science fiction type terms used. Aside from that, if you crave a dystopian novel with one-of-a-kind world building, a matchless premise, wonderfully written characters, an unexpected villain and a great underlying mystery, then this is your novel. However, for those of you craving heavy romance, you might be a little disappointed because this is one of those books that will fade…to…black....more
Originally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Purchase from Audible Reviewer: Me
Absolutely beautiful… poetic,Originally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Purchase from Audible Reviewer: Me
Absolutely beautiful… poetic, fascinating and refreshing, the world of Incarnate is breathtaking…
In a world where everyone is constantly reborn, there are virtually no secrets because everyone knows one another. Envision never having to truly suffer loss or grief because you can expect to see your friends or family in their next life. Now, imagine being born a blank slate. Not reincarnated. No old soul. No familiar soul. You are alone, you are hated, and most of all you are unloved because you replaced someone else. This is the world and reality of Ana in Incarnate.
I absolutely adored Incarnate. Maybe it’s because I am still on my cloud 9 high from Shadow and Bone, or maybe because it was an audiobook read by the hypnotic voice of Katherine Taub, either way this was another excellent novel with a refreshingly unique premise and incredible world. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Ana’s new soul and what that meant for her in a world where everyone else had lived many, many lives, with one soul, and so much more experience than she could ever imagine having in just one short life.
From the beginning you get to experience Ana’s anguish. She was never truly loved or even wanted. Her mother, whom I wanted to smack on several occasions, was nothing short of the ‘B’ word, and treated her daughter like she was below every other life form. She in a sense treated her like cattle. Ana’s story was truly heartbreaking, and stirred a lot of emotions within me, and I’m sure it may do the same for some of you. Thank goodness though she met Sam. Despite the age difference and experience levels, the two were great together. Whether they (Sam) were denying their feelings, or making beautiful music, their story is one that will stick with me for a long time.
Overall, if you crave some emotional depth to your stories, a descriptive world, and characters you can root for, I HIGHLY recommend Incarnate. I also suggest going the audiobook route because the narrator’s voice will put you in a deep trance transporting you to Range, a place you will never want to leave....more