At the beginning of month, I put a request out on my Facebook author page for an Indie book to feature on West Coast Book Reviews blog for September.At the beginning of month, I put a request out on my Facebook author page for an Indie book to feature on West Coast Book Reviews blog for September. The only stipulations were it be Science Fiction or Fantasy, be Indie and the author provide the Amazon.ca link. In the end my daughter picked one to read with me and I used random.org to pick one for West Coast Book Reviews.
That's how I found Theresa Snyder and The Helavite War.
I liked the old-school video game look of the cover. I remember pushing quarters into arcade games with the same feel, picturing myself in space and doing good for the galaxy. To me, each sun on the blue background promises an adventure and I'm pleased I got exactly that.
The Helavite War is the first in a series of six young adult Sci-Fi novels, the Star Traveler Series, which starts with the destruction of the Henu at the hands of the Others. Arr, a child at the time, and his brother were the only survivors. When Arr's brother dies, he's left alone. The only surviving Henu.
That is, until Jake and his dar-dolf arrive looking for a little peace and quiet.
I loved how the relationship between Jake and Arr grows and takes shape. Both are honest, good men who each find something they need in the other. Both make mistakes, both learn and they become inseparable friends. It's an amazing buddy story like Buzz and Woody from Toy Story and Steve and Sarah in Jeffrey M. Poole's The Prophecy. They are great companions first and foremost and I really felt the strain when they weren't together.
This book also has plenty of action. As a mercenary, Jake takes on jobs for pay from routing invaders to babysitting industrial operations and recovering kidnapping victims. Each little adventure they take builds on the whole and gives us hints of the Helavites, who take what they want from planets and destroy everything in their way. We get to see different planets and peoples to get a good feel for the galaxy Snyder builds.
If you're looking for some great space adventure, unique characters and to find out who loves the Raspberry Goo Chews more than anyone, strap in and take The Helavite War for a ride....more
Tessa's great grandmother Sophie is the last living person in her village to remember the day the adults disappeared and the fog came. Since then, nobody stepped into the fog and came out alive. The fog lived up to every creepy expectation I had including what makes it, what's in it and what's on the other side.
When Sophie dies, Tessa, Bastion and Connor leave the village as other trios have regularly done for decades. They expect their step into the fog will be their last though each leaves with the hope it won't.
In their quest to get help and save their village from a deadly illness, they find things they didn't expect.
I liked Tessa and Bastion together though would have liked to see them together more. (view spoiler)[Tessa's choice to abandon him for his own protection makes sense. In a man it would be honourable but for a young woman it's selfish. Bastion returns to the village, thinking she's done the same. He's done it to protect her, which we expect of him as the hero. (hide spoiler)]
Nobody is completely good. Each has their own flaws and gives us reason to judge them. I felt free to make up my own mind about the characters which allowed me to either cheer them on or shake my head, wondering why they don't avoid the wrong choice. (cue ominous music)
And the antagonist? Didn't like her at all, didn't feel I was supposed to and yes, I really wanted her to get it in the end.
I also liked the fighting and of course the dragons. The fog doesn't extend forever and I don't think the true reason the village was hidden is revealed. I'm more than sufficiently intrigued to need the next in the series, Hunted, and if it were out now I'd be nose deep in it.
Recommended for older YA readers. I wouldn't for my twelve year old due to the obvious off-sceen sex but in a few years that will change to a definite yes.
Four dragons out of five.
Loved the dragons and the heroine. I would have loved more foreshadowing but the pace, mystery and creepiness moved things along just fine.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I found Between by Cyndi Tefft to be delightful and have shamelessly read it twice! Tefft carefully unwraps her characters revealing them to us and toI found Between by Cyndi Tefft to be delightful and have shamelessly read it twice! Tefft carefully unwraps her characters revealing them to us and to each other. The emotions they project from her pages are tangible and deep and worth the investment of buying in to them. Between is a book that I have not hesitated to recommend and will continue to bring up whenever I'm asked if I've read anything fantastic lately. Cyndi Tefft, you have truly satisfied my sweet tooth!...more