Mr. Shields interweaves a rich, fantastical world with the fabric of our own, creating a new reality which exists just under the surface of the mundan...moreMr. Shields interweaves a rich, fantastical world with the fabric of our own, creating a new reality which exists just under the surface of the mundane, invisible to all but a few. The Steward is a well-written book with fascinating story line. Its intricate plot reveals a complex supernatural world of Fae—or fairies, as we know them—living among humans, influencing us, and in some cases, fighting over whether or not they should exterminate us. Maggie, the protagonist, unwillingly falls headlong into this world, and those closest to her end up paying the price. Maggie was strong and likeable. I love female characters that are tough, intelligent and resourceful, and Maggie doesn’t disappoint! In fact, Mr. Shield’s book is full of interesting, believable characters with depth and quirks. I found I could connect with them instantly. The Steward is proof that the term YA refers to the age of the protagonist and not the book’s reading level or overall tone. This was a fun book, but with language that was mature and a style of writing that was polished and compelling. I enjoyed it immensely and will, without a doubt, be continuing on with this series. (less)
First of all, I have to say it. I loved Time’s Twisted Arrow. This YA book is clever, complex and lots of fun. First of all, Rysa Walker is a fabulous...moreFirst of all, I have to say it. I loved Time’s Twisted Arrow. This YA book is clever, complex and lots of fun. First of all, Rysa Walker is a fabulous writer, her sentences flowing so beautifully they immediately suck you in. The time travel plot is ambitiously intricate, yet so clearly relayed I had no difficulty following it. It’s hard to believe that this was a debut novel! I am so impressed.
Kate’s growth as a character was incredibly well done. At one moment, she’s your typical skeptical teen, failing to heed other people’s warnings about her safety and even doing what she can to destroy (or more accurately, test the material) of an ancient-looking book her grandmother gave her – trying to rip it, crinkle it, and (I believe) even set fire to it. Yup, I liked this girl. When her world falls apart, she is forced to grow up quickly, and man, does Rysa Walker ever show that character growth well. No, Kate doesn’t become perfect. At first, she breaks down, runs off and, against all warnings, tries to reconnect with someone she knows is lost forever. Yup, she makes major mistakes there. But she learns quickly, and despite the necessity of rapid maturity, she continues to slip back into teenager mode now and again. Very believable. And here’s another bonus, Kate isn’t the least whiney or petty. She’s smart, resourceful, kind and she possesses some pretty unique abilities. I think there was only one moment I wanted to shake her, and for me, that’s pretty good for YA!
This book has the typical YA love triangle, but even that is well done. Hey, the mix-up / double love thing is due to the time continuum and is definitely not her fault. Honest! For once, I felt for the character and the situation she was in and didn’t want to reach through the pages to smack her (okay, I’ll admit I have a problem here, but I love YA even though it torments me so!) And now that I think about it, I really don’t know which boy I’m hoping she ends up with. One is compelling and the other is sweet. Ah, decisions!
If you like YA, are intrigued by time travel, and enjoy ‘teen love’, then I highly recommend Time’s Twisted Arrow. You won’t be sorry! (less)
This collection of short stories by R.M. DuChene is an absolute gem. Not only are his tales enticingly creative and utterly unique, the incredible div...moreThis collection of short stories by R.M. DuChene is an absolute gem. Not only are his tales enticingly creative and utterly unique, the incredible diversity of the stories makes for a fun reading experience. While they pretty much range from dark and creepy to downright unusual, expect to bounce from sci-fi to horror to supernatural, and then marvel at the places in between. And yes, you will marvel. This author’s creativity is astounding. More than once, I caught myself saying, “Wow. That was cool.” Because honestly, it WAS. On top of all that, R.M. DuChene has a strong voice and solid writing style, making this collection all the more compelling. This is definitely an author to watch, as I expect we'll see some big things from him.(less)
I have to admit that this book was not what I expected. I generally don’t enjoy detective stories, but this smart, dark tale by R.W. Goodship ended up...moreI have to admit that this book was not what I expected. I generally don’t enjoy detective stories, but this smart, dark tale by R.W. Goodship ended up being so much more. His characters are not only complex, they are weighed down by the grimmest of baggage. They are fallible, human, and you can’t help but feel for them as they face a deluge of seemingly insurmountable problems. And then there’s the antagonist – he takes evil to a whole new level! This is one of those books that is hard to put down and harder to forget once you’re finished. It’s a great read!(less)
Dark and gritty, Xenoform is an imaginative Sci-fi that easily transports you into the dangerous, futuristic ‘grid’ of City Six. The story follows a c...moreDark and gritty, Xenoform is an imaginative Sci-fi that easily transports you into the dangerous, futuristic ‘grid’ of City Six. The story follows a computer hacker and a gang of human harvesters as they struggle to survive events of apocalyptic proportions—a computer virus seizes the city and turns on its citizens, while an alarming disease rips through the populace.
Xenoform’s main characters are flawed villains, human and realistic, whose actions were entirely despicable at first (particularly the human harvesters). Yet the author aptly drew me into their world, wrapping me up in their struggles and garnering sympathy for their plights. Woven with such detailed description, the putrid smells and encroaching slime seemed to linger around my person even after setting the book down for the night. Ick! (But a good ‘ick’.) Xenoform is fantastic yet it is written in a way that makes it highly believable. The setting and its plot elements are both based on a plausible evolution of our computer systems, and Mike Berry’s obvious familiarity with technology comes through to provide a solid base for the story. For an imaginative sci-fi that is both dark and disturbing, Xenoform is a slimy little gem.(less)
I don’t often read YA, but this book was a really nice surprise. The images of this dystopian society are lush and vivid, and the characters within it...moreI don’t often read YA, but this book was a really nice surprise. The images of this dystopian society are lush and vivid, and the characters within it are as believable as they are likable. I was swept away by the brisk pacing from the very first page, and enjoyed every minute of entertainment that this book provided. I imagine that this is one of those rare books that will draw me back for a re-read in the future—especially before I get my hands on the sequel. Not only was Perception an enjoyable read, the story raises some interesting questions, and had me thinking about the concept of freedom as an idea that we might all perceive differently. This was a solid read and was a great way to spend a few afternoons. (less)
I loved this book! This is going onto my ‘guilty pleasures’ bookshelf for sure (and that’s not a bad thing. Those are the books that seem to get the m...moreI loved this book! This is going onto my ‘guilty pleasures’ bookshelf for sure (and that’s not a bad thing. Those are the books that seem to get the most attention from me, as I return to suck up the excitement and relive details of the love stories). Descended by Blood had all the right elements, combined perfectly to make this into an amazing, exciting read. The language of the protagonists frequently reminded me that this was a book for teens, as did the boy predicament that grew throughout the story. However, this is a YA book, so it just WORKS. Plus, Ms. Kace is an excellent writer, so the imagery in the book, the pace, and the flow are all fabulous. And for the record, Ms. Kace, I must say that Mirko has my vote. He has a smouldering personality that I simply can’t resist! Yum!(less)
I really enjoyed the unusual stories found within the covers of Sybil's Garage No. 7. This book, in fact, contains a number of intriguing tales that I've read over several times.
What truly sets this gem apart from the reams of other short story compilations, is a clever addition at the start of each short story: they all specify a particular piece of music which is meant to accompany the author's work. It's a spectacular enhancement, and adds a whole new element and feel to the reading experience. Simply brilliant.