When I started reading Shipwreck Island the first thing I noticed was the similarities to another very popular Children's survival book called The SwiWhen I started reading Shipwreck Island the first thing I noticed was the similarities to another very popular Children's survival book called The Swiss Family Robinson. However, my fears of an updated, Americanized, copycat were quickly replaced once the family actually headed out and ultimately became stranded on the island. Shipwreck Island as it is dubbed by the survivors was more Island of Dr. Moreau than peaceful tropical paradise just waiting to be explored. In fact, exploring this Island might just prove to be not only dangerous but deadly.
Something that I really enjoyed about Shipwreck Island was how untypical the family was. The young protagonists Sarah, Marco and Nacho are all struggling with their parents marriage and I think the Author captures those difficulties well. While Shipwreck Island is certainly a survival story, it is also about the merging of two very different families, with conflicting ideas and personalities under less than ideal circumstances. The story also lightly touches on the grief accompanying the loss of a loved one and betrayal issues surrounding a parents remarriage in light of that.
Now although I did like Shipwreck Island it did have a few problems that kept me from rating it higher.
First off, I didn't like how quickly the story went from the family boarding the boat to winding up shipwrecked on the island. While it is obvious they'd wind up stranded I personally could have used a few pages of them relaxing and starting to bond before everything went to hell in a hand basket.
Secondly, I do not understand why they decided to get on the boat in the first place especially, considering how unsafe it appeared on first glance. Yes, I get that Sarah's dad really wanted them all to bond but c'mon now, it's not like they were broke and this ship was their only option. Yes it might mean losing a deposit but better than risking the safety of your new wife and children.
Lastly, I really disliked the ending. While I don't mind cliffhangers I do hate feeling unsatisfied by how things wrap up. Now I will say that I read an advance copy so maybe the finished product is different but in my copy it just ended and felt like maybe several pages were still left to be told beyond that.
Final Thoughts Shipwreck Island was a fast paced, middle grade, adventure story. While Shipwreck Island is undoubtedly geared towards young teens or tweens I can honestly recommend this for all ages. While the plot on the surface was a very superficial survival story the paranormal elements and the creeping sense of foreboding for the survivors left plenty for an adult imagination to ponder as well. With that being said, I'll be rating Shipwreck Island by S.A. Bodeen ★★★.
Sing for the Dead picks up slightly after Bite Me ended. The story begins with the introduction of a new character named Sorcha whose been sent to LonSing for the Dead picks up slightly after Bite Me ended. The story begins with the introduction of a new character named Sorcha whose been sent to London as an emissary of the Fae to figure out why their numbers have been decreasing. After saving a Brownie from a pack of Hungry undead Sorcha meets the wereleopard Kayden as well as Seth and Maisie from the first book. Caught up? Good.
What I liked about Sing for the Dead is how perfectly paced the story was. Introducing new characters in a Novella series isn't always easy but Sorcha gets enough introduction to clue us into her mission and learn a little about what makes her unique all without being weighed down by pages us pages of exposition. We also learn more about the Fae which if you recall were merely hinted at as existing in the first book so it was nice to see that plot point wasn't dropped. I must say I am quite impressed with how the Author is handling all the paranormal elements in her series. She has quite the mix of creatures and yet they all have their own hierarchies, personalities and rules to abide by. Usually you don't see this much background and lore in Novellas but I really enjoy it.
Another thing I really enjoyed about Sing for the Undead is the romance. Unlike Maisie and Seth in the first book most of the ahem romance between Sorcha and Kayden happens right off the bat giving them time to really explore how they feel for each other over the course of the novella vs. just humping like rabbits to prove a point about them being mates. I also think they fit as a couple nicely. Both her and Kayden are warriors at home on the battlefield. Plus it helps they both have lived a long time and so they don't have to worry about one growing older and dying on the other. Overall, I ship them and can't wait to see their relationship progress as the series continues.
Lastly, I really liked the ending. Unlike Bite Me the ending for Sing for the Dead felt satisfying all while setting up the next book nicely. Now that the Zombies have breached quarantine I believe things are about to get a whole lot more interesting to say the least.
Now while I really did like this Novella I do have two small complaints. The first being how little Kayden interacted with the London pack. It would've been interesting to see a bit more of Seth and his crew instead of only popping up on occasion to remind the reader that yes this was indeed a sequel and not a companion novel. I also would've liked Sorcha and Kayden to check in on the Brownie whom she rescued in the beginning. Even a phone call here and there asking for an updated status report would've been nice.
Final Thoughts If you're looking for a unique take on the Zombie apocalypse with plenty of action, steamy romantic elements and a wide variety of paranormal creatures to root for than I highly suggest picking up Sing for the Dead and giving it a go. With that being said, I will be rating Sing for the Dead by P.J. Schnyder ★★★★....more
"That's the sort of person Chance is. He gets under your skin, and even when he's gone, you still feel him there like a dull ache. A warm memory you c"That's the sort of person Chance is. He gets under your skin, and even when he's gone, you still feel him there like a dull ache. A warm memory you can never quite reclaim."
Made of Stars is a book that is part mystery, part coming of age romance. The first half of the story read like any good coming of age tale where boy meets girl, girl falls helplessly for boy, boy could care less etc....and in that regard I loved the story. It was fluffy and romantic and I loved the playfulness of it all. Then comes the second half and the story takes on a much darker tone. It was suspenseful, it was filled with raw emotion and my heart broke for the characters I had come to love and know in the first half. Alone both parts were good but together it was just so tragic.
One of my favorite things about Made of Stars was the dual narration. Instead of just seeing Hunter or Ashlin's perspective we get to know both siblings quite well. While I liked them both equally they do not compare to my love for Chance. He's such a complex and delightfully written character, he's like an onion whose layers are just waiting to be uncovered and explored. I loved his relationship with Hunter and Ashlin but most of all I just loved him. He was beautiful and broken all wrapped up in one. I wanted to protect him and I wanted him to receive his moment after all the sh*t he suffers through. Sadly, this was not to be and for that I feel gutted and broken.
Another thing I loved was the writing. It flowed off the page and kept me engaged from beginning to end. With just a sigh or a glance I knew how the characters were feeling because I felt it as well.
Lastly, I really like the romance. It's always refreshing to see an Author not afraid to bend the rules when it comes to young adult pairings. Hunter's "awakening" is gradual but done tastefully. I think the Author realistically portrayed how it might be for someone in Hunter's situation (all American Jock with a smokin hot girlfriend) to realize that they might actually love someone whose the same sex as themselves.
Now while I really did like Made Of Stars it did have a few flaws that kept me from really falling in love with the story. First off I don't really like how disjointed the first and second half felt. It almost felt like I was reading two separate books mashed together instead of one cohesive story. My second gripe is the ending. I felt the book had more story to tell and then it just sort of cuts off. Of course it only does this after leaving all the characters heartbroken and dealing with the events that transpired during the last part of the story. It was a downer and I didn't like that one bit.
Final Thoughts Made of Stars is a beautifully written book that had me in near tears come the end. While the cohesiveness of the story didn't always work for me, I did really like it as a whole. I would suggest reading the story if only to meet Chance. He's really one of my favorite characters of late and I would love to see him again at some point. He deserves his HEA damnit. I want to leave this review with a lyric from Adele's Make You Feel My Love. I believe it perfectly sums up how I feel about Made of Stars and these characters.
When the evening shadows And the stars appear And there is no - one there To dry your tears I could hold you For a million years To make you feel my love
With that being said, I will be rating Made of Stars by Kelley York ★★★★.
''How can you fix anything if you can't change anything?''
The Here and Now is a book I went into with very little expectations. The Author was someone''How can you fix anything if you can't change anything?''
The Here and Now is a book I went into with very little expectations. The Author was someone I enjoyed in the past but a little unsure of when it came to this genre and frankly the reviews coming in at that time didn't leave much to be desired. Still, I decided I really wanted to read this one. Not only was it a book about time travel but the inhabitants are fleeing from some horrible Pandemic that's crippled the world of the future. Consider myself sold! Well I'm glad I didn't let the naysayers deter me because The Here and Now turned out exactly being the kind of book I'd been looking for.
One of my favorite parts about The Here and Now was the time travel. It's really hard to write a successful story with so many timelines to follow and yet Ann Brashares does so as if she's experienced it herself. I was never confused during the flashbacks and flash forwards and considering my luck with recent books with a similar plot device being used I'd consider that a success.
Another thing I loved about the story were the characters. Prenna isn't your typical protagonist. It's not that she isn't smart or even likable but that the rules she's bound to so greatly influences every aspect of her life. Then on the other hand you have Ethan whose so easy going and carefree. He's definitely like the ying to her yang. It really makes the whole story that much more tragic in the end. Although, I still have hope for those crazy lovebirds. Never say Never Prenna. Another character I liked was Prenna's friend Katherine. You could really see she struggled with the loyalty to her community and that of her friend Prenna. I only wish we had seen where she went exactly during her time away in the book.
Lastly, I think my favorite part of the book had to be the mystery surrounding the main events in the story. I loved how all the little clues were laid out for the characters to follow and then the whopper of how the plague started in the first place, like woah crazy. Didn't see that coming and I'm usually good deciphering these types of things.
Now although I obviously enjoyed There Here and Now and rated it accordingly the story wasn't completely perfect.
One thing I really wished we had seen was more of Prenna in her previous life. Don't get me wrong we learn enough to have the events and her actions make sense but a few chapters set before they went back into the past could've made the story even that much better.
Another thing I wish we had learned was how many had actually traveled back in time. We know a community exists and in that enough survivors for the youth to pair up but what we don't learn is if this is the only community out of the billions living in the world at the time of the plague and if the technology exists why wouldn't it continually be used by those left behind. Surely some survivors might decide later on to go back and join the others. At least I'd expect that to happen based on what we learn.
Final Thoughts Up until I finished The Here and Now I was starting to wonder if I should give up on stories like this altogether as I hadn't read a decent time travel story in quite some time that combined not only likable protagonists but an easy to follow timeline as well. I highly recommend picking this one up if you're a fan of star crossed lovers and time travel mysteries. With that being said, I'll be rating The Here and Now by Ann Brashares ★★★★★.
Favorite Quote: ''A paper is an object. An actual thing. It can't be modified,overwritten,updated,refreshed,hacked or anything else. It is fragile,but it's a snapshot of history that hasn't been messed with. It's one version of history we know happened.'' - Prenna describing why her Father preferred paper objects over digital ones.
Reviewed originally@Blood,Sweat and Books *Copy reviewed provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them....more
Sick was one of my most anticipated October must reads. To say I was excited to finally start this book would be an understatement. So I sat reading SSick was one of my most anticipated October must reads. To say I was excited to finally start this book would be an understatement. So I sat reading Sick and when I finished my heart sank. While I did enjoy the book my expectations fell quite short and here's why:
The Characters- Here we have this group of guys who are supposed to be these misfits, troublemakers etc... their the type who while maybe not popular aren't the type you'd want to mess with either. While I definitely got that vibe from Chad, I didn't from Brian. This wouldn't be a problem if Brian wasn't the main character. As a sidekick, OK sure I could overlook his faults but as the main protagonist I just didn't really care for him. First off, He was all about himself. I need to find my sister, I need to find my girlfriend. He didn't really care that he was locked with 25 other kids who might have had brother, sisters, lovers, best friends scared and hiding hoping for someone to rescue them. It was all about him and his needs first. Secondly, I didn't really like his fixation with finding Laura. Oh I get it, Brian has guilt ditching his disabled girlfriend but was she worth all the lives lost just to find her? Probably not. Lastly, we have this John character who is mentioned quite heavily in the beginning. John could've been a great antagonist for the group but is dropped almost entirely midway through. The only redeeming character out of everyone was Chad. I really enjoyed him.
The Zombies- They sparkle....nuff said. No seriously though they do. I swear we already did this with Twilight and THAT was enough for a lifetime thank you very much. Sparkling aside, I really felt they were underused not just on the gory kills front but in being the villains of the story. Yep I get it they are "Sick" and your former classmates but that doesn't change the fact that they still will rip your throat out and kill you without hesitation. The whole cripple not kill idea had me rolling my eyes hard. Also we hardly ever saw them and when we did it just wasn't all that scary. I also would've liked to know more about the infected. Brian's mom mentions slowing the disease down but sadly we never get to see that put into practice and yes I'm bitter over that.
The Ending- While the moments leading up to it were exciting once they find themselves regrouped in relative safety the story quickly loses steam and tries to rush what little is happening. Honestly, I'm still not sure if Brian is just in shock or if what he's feeling signifies something greater or worse. I really hope Sick is a series and not a stand alone because I have so many unanswered questions.
Now while it might seem that I didn't particularly care for Sick I did actually enjoy the book.I liked the writing, the story (minus the ending) had great pacing and the world building while not exceptional was decent considering the length of the book. I also as mentioned above liked Chad. It really is a shame he wasn't the main character instead of Brian because I think he could've carried the story a bit better and certainly been more interesting to read about as well.
Final Thoughts While Sick isn't the Zombie blockbuster I hoped it would be it wasn't a bad little book. If you like snarky one liners and untraditional Zombies then I definitely recommend picking this one up and giving it a go. If your looking for Horror, gore and lots of Zombie action then you might want to pass this one by or borrow from a library instead. With that being said, I'll be rating Sick by Tom Leveen an underwhelming ★★★.
The Last of Us is a game unlike any other. In fact at this moment I'm even calling it my favorite game thisOriginally reviewed @Blood,Sweat and Books
The Last of Us is a game unlike any other. In fact at this moment I'm even calling it my favorite game this year. The Last of Us combines a richly detailed world with a strong plot, likable characters and just enough Horror to create something unique, scary and beautiful all at the same time.
When I saw The Art of The Last of Us on Netgalley I knew I needed read it. Well let me tell you, I devoured this book in one sitting. From conception to screen the detail that went into The Last of Us is truly amazing. I loved seeing the evolution of not just the world but the characters as well. I even learned a few facts along the way that in all my Googling I didn't know. So just a heads up if you haven't played the game yet you might want to do so before reading.
If you loved The Last of Us and want to learn more about Joel, Ellie and the world then I highly suggest picking up this book. If you haven't checked out this game yet I highly recommend doing so as well. Naughty Dog created something special with this one and I tip my hat to them for that. With that being said, I will be rating The Art of The Last of Us ★★★★★....more
Bite Me is a book that I came across while browsing through Netgalley's catalog. As always seems to be the case I was looking for something else entirBite Me is a book that I came across while browsing through Netgalley's catalog. As always seems to be the case I was looking for something else entirely when I came across this title. What instantly turned me on to the story was the fact that it had Werewolves and Zombies. I can't really recall reading a story that combined the two before. Any apprehension I was having knowing it was a romance went out the door the moment I read that.
What really drew me into Bite Me was that the book started off setting the world instead of thrusting the eventual couple together. As a non romance reader I had plenty of time to warm up to the main character Seth before the romantic elements kicked in. Speaking of the characters, I really came to care about Seth, Maisie and to an extent Brian and Danny as they try to avoid the undead all while living life as best they can in a vastly changed London. Maisie is such a strong yet meek character wrapped all in one. She's complicated and I liked that. Seth on the other hand is all power. He exudes confidence and that is what makes him the perfect Alpha for his pack. On the character front I really have no complaints. It's impressive how much we learn about the characters considering the length of the book.
Another thing I really enjoyed about Bite Me was its paranormal elements. I liked that the werewolves didn't have to hide. The police and public know about them and have even recruited Seth's pack to help keep in check the undead threat. I also (of course) loved the Zombies. They were unique in that once killed they rapidly decomposed and within hours would turns to dust which means you can kill one and move on without worrying about disposal. Now the Author hinted that other paranormal creatures exist so it will be interesting to see if they make appearances in later books or not.
My only real complaint with Bite Me was the ending. Instead of giving the main story some sort of satisfying first book conclusion were treated to pages of steamy sex between the characters instead. Now I realize this was bound to happen since it is a romance novel but it actually felt a bit out of place and greatly reminded me of interactions between Andrea and The Governor on The Walking Dead. Now if you don't watch The Walking Dead let me explain. In the show the story would go from Zombie killing action scenes or harrowing supply runs to those between the above mentioned characters where they would either be flirting, kissing or shagging. Alone they would work but combined it stopped the story progression in its tracks. Now I wanted the characters to have a HEA and yes that included the sex but I would've liked it to happen in the next book not shoved onto the end as it was. A little more teasing and a little less pleasing would've bumped this story to 5 Stars for me. As it stands though it felt tacked on and did nothing for me.
Overall, Bite Me was a surprisingly good read for me. I cannot wait to see where the story goes in the next book and I'd highly recommend it for Zombie and Romance fans alike. If you're looking for a fresh perspective on the Zombie Apocalypse then you definitely need to pick up this book. With that being said, I'll be rating Bite Me by P.J. Schnyder ★★★★....more
All Our Yesterdays was one of my most anticipated Summer releases. When I finally sat down to start it I was completely sucked into the story. All OurAll Our Yesterdays was one of my most anticipated Summer releases. When I finally sat down to start it I was completely sucked into the story. All Our Yesterdays is unique in the fact that the time travel aspect isn't just in the background. No, the entire story is based around the time travel itself and how easily it can be misused in the wrong hands. We learn early on that Em and Finn have traveled 14 times already and each time have failed in preventing the machine from being built. The beginning of the book hands down has one of the strongest openings that I've read this year.
One of my favorite things about All Our Yesterdays were the characters. I cared for Em from the very first scene. The Author painted the scenes perfectly to show how hopeless her situation is. It must be awful to bear witness to so much horror and know someone you love is behind it all. Now if Em is supposed to be the serious one then Finn is definitely the comic relief. I loved his sense of humor and felt it helped balance the somewhat downer that the rest of the story is. Without Finn this book might not of worked for me. Lastly, I loved Nate. He was the perfect older brother and a genuinely good guy. It was horrible seeing him put through the wringer time and again.
Another thing All Our Yesterdays did really well was the world building. In the past you have Marina's life which is all glitz and glam. She lives a charmed life and knows it. Then you have her future self and it's all doom and gloom and hey is that China invading?? I loved how the Author really fleshed out Em's future and former self. I was afraid whenever we flashed back it wouldn't be obvious that the character was one in the same but the way its done is brilliant and I really enjoyed it
Lastly, I loved how gripping the story was. All Our Yesterdays reads like an action film. It's pacing is perfect and just when you think the story might be slacking something happens where your pulled right back in. I would love to see this book as a movie. I have no doubt if done right it could be blockbuster huge. If you like romance, action, thrills and chills then this book is definitely for you!
Now I will say that while I really did enjoy this story I did have a few small gripes. I really wish the story went a few more chapters with each character before flashing back or forward. Just when we get into something with the past it's time to go back to the future or vice versa. While this might work for some readers it just didn't for me. I also really wish it hadn't been so obvious who the Doctor was. Maybe it was supposed to be but I really would of liked to play the guessing game a little bit longer.
Overall, All Our Yesterdays is a phenomenal debut and I can't wait to see what this Author brings to the table in the future. I highly recommend picking this one up if you haven't already. I promise this one is worth the price. With that being said, I'll be rating All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill ★★★★....more
Mortality follows teenagers Zarah and Savannah as they try and survive the Zombie apocalypse. With alternating viewpoints were given brief glimpses i Mortality follows teenagers Zarah and Savannah as they try and survive the Zombie apocalypse. With alternating viewpoints were given brief glimpses into each girls world as they struggle to survive.
While I certainly like Mortality it did not live up to expectations. End Dayz which is this series prequel was great and really made me excited for this book. However, upon completion I don't think Mortality pulled off the story nearly as well. Sure Zombies were a threat but they never felt scary. In fact the majority of the time they came off more as nuisances more than anything else.
Secondly, I definitely had issues with the character Savannah. She is just not a likable character. Half the time Savannah flip flops between being this highly courageous girl to one whom behaves more like a spoiled brat who didn't get her way. I also felt she was way to trusting and more than a bit reckless.
Lastly, one of my biggest issues with Mortality was the pacing. I felt like I was on a roller coaster rather than a gentle rocking boat. The story never just seemed to find its flow. Thankfully the book was fairly quick so I managed to power through despite its obvious pacing problem.
Now while I did have some issues with Mortality. I did find some things highly enjoyable.
I loved Zaharah! She was everything Savannah should have been and then some. I also really loved the twist her character takes. It was great seeing the inner monologue of someone trapped in her own body and also quite heartbreaking as well. Although that ending.....why?? So much potential wasted.
I also really liked Liam. He truly had Zarah's best interest at heart unlike Cole who never seemed genuine. I Although after that ending I'm really, really hoping the Author doesn't make him, Cole and Savannah into some sort of love triangle.
One of the best parts about Mortality is the differences between the Zombies and Infected. While Zombies are your typical George Romero type, Infected act and behave more like those in the film series 28 Days Later. It's unique having both types in the same book but it definitely adds dimension to the story.
Overall, I did enjoy Mortality but I'm definitely left disappointed after the awesome set up from the prequel End Dayz. Would I recommend Mortality? Yes, In fact I'll still no doubt continue on with the series despite the first books flaws. With that being said, I'll be rating Mortality by Kellie Sheridan ★★★. ...more
This was my reaction when I completed Children Of No One. I'm not even exaggerating here the Novella is truly that disturbing.
Guys, I love horReview:
This was my reaction when I completed Children Of No One. I'm not even exaggerating here the Novella is truly that disturbing.
Guys, I love horror its my genre but this novella really pushed me to my limits. I came away from reading Children Of No One feeling dirty, like I just witnessed something so deplorable that it should of never been put to paper in the first place. Thing is this isn't an over the top gore-fest, with crazed mutated psychos running through the wood with chainsaws. No, what makes this book so creepy is the psychological warfare it plays on the mind. This above all is what really got under my skin. I'm going to need to snuggle a bunny after this one for sure.
After I snapped out of the disbelief that I had just essentially read a novella about child torture for the sake of art like somehow that's a worthwhile excuse pfft, My reaction changed to something akin to this.:
Truth be told, as much as I want to rip this novella apart for its content, I do actually see the small bit of brilliance in the Authors writing. The above mentioned is why I kept reading even being as appalled as I was by the adult characters.
Thomas Krieg is the artist who conceptualized the labyrinth. The labyrinth exists underground,away from the prying eyes of the public. It is kept perpetually dark with the exception being when the food drops happen. In his brilliance madness as an artist Thomas Krieg has trained the kids to believe that he is an angel, the food drops manna and that all of it comes from heaven. What really makes the children's existence in this place tragic is knowing all the children were sold to this guy to be tortured (knowingly or not) by their very own parents all because they were poor, their greed to much. It makes the situation the kids find themselves in that much worse.
Since this is a novella, I won't get into much more than that but the details the "artist" put into his masterpiece were enough to make even this die hard horror fan recoil in disgust. I feel that speaks volumes in itself.
Overall I found this Novella interesting but uncomfortable to read the majority of the time. I'm certainly glad this wasn't a full length novel, I don't think I could stomach much more of it. I guess this begs the question, Would I recommend Children Of No One? At this time, I'm going to leave my answer blank. Yes, this was certainly disturbing and creepy with flawless writing but I just don't know if I can recommend it in the end. So for now my answer is blank. That being said, I will be rating Children Of No One ★★★★. ...more
Survivor picks up right where Chasers left off. Jesse all alone now is determined to find the girl on the camera Felicity. On his quest to find FeliciSurvivor picks up right where Chasers left off. Jesse all alone now is determined to find the girl on the camera Felicity. On his quest to find Felicity, Jesse comes across other survivors all while avoiding the ever evolving Chasers.
Survivor is the second book in the Alone Trilogy by James Phelan. I'm going to be honest I went into this book with zero expectations. Chasers the first book in the series was a huge disappointment for me howver the end had me hooked enough where I was determined to read the second book when it was released. That being said, I'm definitely still middle of the road with this series. The events in Survivors didn't really propel the story along at all and again the book suffered from being too neat, too safe.
One of my biggest issues with the story is Jesse. While he's certainly matured in the days following the attack he still behaves quite recklessly. I get being curious about the girl Felicity but really? Staying in a city that once housed a million people in the hopes of finding 1 girl who may or may not even be alive just seems like a waste of time. Jesse should of spent the book leaving the city but instead he wastes time trying to help every Tom, Dick and Nancy who crosses his path.
Secondly, I was really disappointed that two books in were still no closer to figuring out what happened. Since I expected Jesse to leave the city I was hoping he'd run across quarantines or at the very least checkpoints but sadly I guess this will be left for the last book. Not quite sure I'm pleased about the large information dump that is bound to be in store for the final book.
Lastly, I really hate how everything comes easy for the characters. Generators are lugged around the city with ease, food is found by the bagful and of course every survivor is a good guy. It's all very well and good that the author wants his book not to be too scary but neutering it to the point nothing bad happens makes for a very boring read.
Now I wouldn't call this book all bad. I did manage to read it in one sitting and it only took a few hours. I did like the new character Rachel. She is a survivor Jesse meets while trying to avoid Chasers. I find it very commendable that she'd do her best to help the animals stuck in the Zoo even while the city fell apart around it. It was also cool seeing where the random polar bears from the last book came from. Her explanation about having to release the Polar Bears in order to keep the other animals alive made sense.
Overall, Survivor was a decent read that still managed to keep me glued to the page despite its numerous faults. If you're looking for a nice, fluffy, Zombie type read than this is for you. If you're wanting nonstop action, Zombie carnage or just any real sort of plot development than this series isn't for you. You've been warned. With that being said, I will be rating Survivor by James Phelan ★★★....more
Viral Nation is one of those books I expected to be one way and it turned out being another. The story starOriginally published @Blood,Sweat and Books
Viral Nation is one of those books I expected to be one way and it turned out being another. The story started out so strong and I was instantly sucked in. It was everything a proper pandemic set up should be and then some. However, the moment it flashed forward 16 years the story just started to lose me. Rather then telling us about The reorganization of the country and seeing the characters struggle living in a depopulated planet were just pushed 16 years ahead to when they are a convenient age to put the plot in motion. Just a few pages showing West and Clover growing up could of added so much depth to not only the characters but the rest of the story as well.
As for the characters I really liked West. He was a great big brother and he gave up everything to provide for his sister. Since the Father conveniently goes missing from the story it has been up to West to ensure Clover grew up happy and healthy. While he breaks his back doing farm work and trying to win extra supplies at the Marketplace Bazaar, Clover is able to spend her days jogging or absorbed in books at the Library. Speaking of Clover, I know I'm supposed to like her but I didn't. Yes, she is Autistic and that explains away a lot of her behavior but at the root of the character I just didn't like her. She seemed ungrateful to West and also a bit judgmental. She was a walking contradiction and I absolutely feel the Autism instead of enhancing her character merely was used as another convenient plot device to explain why she was "Special". As for the rest of the characters there development simply sucked when compared to West and Clover. It's like they were purposefully kept indistinguishable so Clover could shine.
The plot development in Viral Nation was weak as well. The story had a million great ideas yet rather pick and expand on just one the story was all over the place. Clover becoming a Time Mariner just felt odd considering how many times she stated that you needed to go through the Academy to become one. Oh but she's "special" so of course we can forget that fact. Then you have this big corrupt Government sub plot that never really goes anywhere until it's time to wrap the story up. Much to late if you ask me. Another thing I found to be out of sorts was Foster City. Apparently rather than taking care of the next generation and ensuring the continued survival of the species the Government just let's all these kids be abused and tortured by their Fosters and doesn't give a rats ass about it. That felt at odds with the whole we only have enough people to work in small walled in cities and every person counts aspect of the story.
Now I know it sounds like I didn't like much about Viral Nation but that isn't the case. I found some things really creative such as the Time Mariners and being convicted of crimes based on what you "might" do in the future. That was creepy considering how one could easily fabricate you doing this horrific crime in the future just to ensure your death in the past. I sense a lot of corruption goes on where that is concerned. I also liked the beginning of the book with the virus. I would of loved seeing more death and destruction with that before starting the main story as the beginning was the best part of the entire book in my opinion.
Overall, I really wanted to love Viral Nation but I just couldn't ever get into the story. The characters were walking cliches, the romance felt unnecessary and the fact the plot repeatedly reminding me of The Matrix or The Minority Report didn't help things either. However, even though I know the story could've been better that ending leaves me wanting to know more. So while I didn't exactly love Viral Nation I still will be reading the next book to see how things wrap up. With that being said, I will be rating Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes ★★★....more
Allison Sekemoto has survived months all alone after being cast out of Eden. That is until the day her creator Kanin calls out to her. Sarren i Review:
Allison Sekemoto has survived months all alone after being cast out of Eden. That is until the day her creator Kanin calls out to her. Sarren is back with a vengeance and has kidnapped her sire Kanin. Now Allison must team up with an unlikely Ally and trust a Vampire Prince who once tried to kill her in order to find Kanin and bring Sarren to justice. Unfortunately for Allison, what she finds waiting for her in New Covington might be the biggest threat of all. With borrowed time and the threat spreading, Will Allison succeed where so many have failed? Or will Allison succumb to the madness around her?
I don't know what bothers me more my disappointment with The Eternity Cure or the fact that I have to now right a review expressing my disappointment with this book. Perhaps, it is a mixture of both. I was so sure that I would love this book but I knew just 50 pages in this was not to be. I couldn't keep myself glued to the page like I had with The Immortal Rules. In fact, I had to read this book in 10 page bursts just to make it to the halfway mark. In total it took me almost a month to read through The Eternity Cure. Compare that to the 2 days for The Immortal Rules and well you can see at least partly why I'm disappointed.
My biggest complaint with The Eternity Cure was the pacing. The beginning of the book dragged on. I felt Allison was just sort of moping around in the out lands without purpose until of course she met up with her "brother". The strong, confident Allison I had come to love replaced with one in a permanent pity party. Even once Jackal was involved it still took quite a few more pages until I really felt the action pick up. Once Jackal and Allison made it to old D.C. I felt that pull to the story I had with the first book. Some of the best action scenes in The Eternity Cure took place during those few pages. Sadly,this didn't last long and the pacing slowed yet again. If words were water they'd be ebbing and flowing at every flick of the page.
My next biggest issue with The Eternity Cure falls on Allison. Don't get me wrong, I love Allison she is one badass vampire chick BUT, she definitely felt more needy this go round. I believe this is to show how lost she was without Zeke by her side but in some ways it felt like she needed him to validate her existence instead. While I like Zeke, the vampire/human relationship against all odds felt tired. Been there, done that. I expected to see Zeke in the story, I even expected him to play a pivotal role. However, I thought his appearance would happen in a completely different way than it did.
Now I know this review sounds less than stellar but The Eternity Cure did have some really great moments. The biggest being Jackal!! Oh my goodness what an amazing character he is!! I loved his role being expanded in the sequel. Jackal brought humor, sexiness and a take no prisoners attitude to the story. Jackal reminds me so much of Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer right down to the duster. I don't mind though because he was just so enjoyable every single time he was in a scene. This girl is definitely Team Jackal all the way.
I also really loved the world building. In The Eternity Cure we really get to learn more about the before as well as insight into character backgrounds. I loved seeing what happened with some characters from The Immortal Rules. It was nice that they weren't forgotten. I also really enjoyed learning more about the relationship between Jackal & Kanin as well as Kanin & the Prince of New Convington. Speaking of New Convington, I really wish the characters had arrived in the city sooner. The chapters that took place in ,outside and under New Covington were the strongest out of the whole book.
Overall, I definitely think The Eternity Cure receives an A+ for effort and a C in execution. Had the book been a bit shorter and the pacing not so choppy maybe I would of enjoyed this more but sadly it just didn't live up to the first book in my opinion. Now with that being said, I still really love the Blood Of Eden series. I can confidently state that I will definitely be waiting on the next book, the character Jackal and the OMG I can't believe that happened ending ensured that. Therefore, In the end I will be rating The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa ★★★. Good, not great but I'm still a fan!...more
We've all been guilty of letting our emotions get the best of us at times. Some of us swoon over someone we know we shouldn't, other times we gReview:
We've all been guilty of letting our emotions get the best of us at times. Some of us swoon over someone we know we shouldn't, other times we get into petty arguments just to prove were right and someone else is wrong. But, What if every action you made had a consequence? Would you live life more cautiously? If Julie had she wouldn't be in this mess. Broke, hungry, tired and alone Julie accepts help from the first kind face she sees. However, the decision costs Julie more than she expected. Now stuck in a world with a hot guy named Evan who annoyingly only speaks in riddles and running from creatures only he can see, Julie must decide to face her fears or be ruled by them. With the fate of the entire world hanging on her shoulders, only she can decide her destiny. Will she choose correctly however remains unseen.
Damn Death by Chocolate was good. I was sucked in from the first page and read the entire book in one sitting. Now maybe I've read way to many Stephen King books but if I was Julie and an old gypsy woman came up to me, I would of turned tail and ran. Nothing good can come of this type of meeting. Julie clearly doesn't read much King or she would of known this!
Speaking of Julie, I know I shouldn't like her character, every fiber in my being knows that. Julie encompasses all the traits I usually hate in female protagonists. Julie is whiny, pessimistic, rude, stubborn, and her inner monologue drove me batty yet.... I rather enjoyed watching her. Julie was a train wreck waiting to happen and when it did I shockingly felt no satisfaction zip zilch. In fact, I felt sorry for her. Karma can be quite a bitch and Julie tasted its wrath with full vengeance. While her comeuppance is completely justified it left me feeling hollow. Instead of anger at her actions, I felt pity. I never expected to sympathize with someone who ruffled my feathers so much, yet I did. Guess that is what good writing does to you.
As for the other character Evan, I completely liked him. Sure, he talked in riddles and his back story was left a mystery but I didn't care. He pushed Julie, without him she wouldn't of achieved her destiny even if that destiny sucked. I am hoping to learn more about him in the future.
Death by Chocolate can be described as a cautionary tale. Thinking before speaking or acting could of stopped Julie from experiencing the world of hurt that she did. Course, then this review would be boring since the book would of been dreadfully short. I didn't want this book to end, it was just so darn good. Which of course brings me to the one flaw this book had, the ending itself. If you could see my glare through the screen it would have you quivering in fear (no lie). I hate it so much when a book just ends with no warning. Cliffhangers I am fine with especially when I can see them coming. The ending to Death by Chocolate however just stops. I mean Wth?!? That ending wasn't satisfying at all it was just last line and then acknowledgements. I really, let me stress really, hope this isn't a standalone novel. Cities will riot, walls will come tumbling down and puppies will lose their cuteness if this book is not given a sequel. OK that might be a lie but still this book demands further exploration. Was Julie dreaming, did the events even happen, why were the chocolates so important? All of these and more were questions I had at the end. Just three more pages could of taken this book from good to great territory, I honestly mean that.
In the end, Am I happy that I read Death by Chocolate? A resounding yes! This book was different and while it might of been frustrating at times it was still a fun read. Plus any book I can read in one sitting denying myself even bathroom breaks must be good. Overall, even with the unsatisfying ending I'm calling Death by Chocolate a reading win! That is why I will be rating Death by Chocolate by Johanna K. Pitcairn ★★★★.
*I received a copy of this book to review through the publisher. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them....more
In the Shadow of Blackbirds tells the tale of a girl named Mary Shelley Black who is trying her beReview originally posted over @Blood,Sweat and Books
In the Shadow of Blackbirds tells the tale of a girl named Mary Shelley Black who is trying her best to live and thrive in a male dominated society all while trying to avoid catching the deadly Spanish Influenza. If you've never read about the Spanish Influenza here's a brief kind of history about it. The Spanish Influenza spread through shipping and trade routes infecting not only the US but Asia, Europe and the South Pacific as well. The Spanish Influenza infected over 500 million people worldwide and succeeded in killing off between 50 and 100 million of them. Oh and to put that into perspective the Spanish Influenza actually killed more people than World War I did earning it the title of worst Pandemic in recorded history. Yes, even worse than the Black Death and we all know how bad that one was.
Fun fact: The Spanish Influenza actually originated in Kansas but it was called the Spanish Influenza due to its coverage in Spain. Caught up? OK, good. Let's get back to the review shall we.
In the Shadow of Blackbirds combines Historical Fiction with Paranormal elements brilliantly and I can't fault the book for that one bit. The way Cat Winters weaved WWI, Women's rights and Spirit Photography/mysticism while laying the backdrop of the worst Pandemic in History is no small feat and she must be commended for that as well as the obvious research she did recreating the beginning of the 20th century. However, while I loved the world,Mary and her Aunt Eva, I didn't particularly like Stephen who is a pretty big part of the overall story. I can't even really say why I didn't like him he just didn't sit right with me. I suppose at least some of my non fuzzy feelings for him are partly due to never really believing the romance between him and Mary. In fact sometimes I even doubted they were anything more than just childhood friends and maybe not even good ones at that. At times to me it almost felt as if Mary made up the relationship in her head (which let's face it some girls do) by projecting those unsaid feelings into creating the relationship she would have had if events beyond her control didn't happen. Personally, the Author easily could of removed all romance from the story and it still would of worked for me. I know others probably will feel the opposite but I didn't particularly care for it.
Overall I really did enjoy In the Shadow of Blackbirds. Sure it was a bit wordy at times and the story did suffer some lulls in pacing but the characters combined with beautiful narration and a fantastically set world had me hooked til the very end. Speaking of the end, did not see that coming and I'm usually really good at solving mysteries. Therefore in the end, I will be rating In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters ★★★★.
I love fairy tale retellings, I never get tired reading stories I love being reworked and remastered by Authors today. Sometimes the stories arReview:
I love fairy tale retellings, I never get tired reading stories I love being reworked and remastered by Authors today. Sometimes the stories are hit, sometimes they are miss. That being said, I was a bit underwhelmed with Two and Twenty Dark Tales.
This anthology has 20 stories included in it, many of them told by well known Authors. Still I felt many of the stories fell flat. I also believe since a couple were lesser known tales that could of led to some of the disappointment as the stories in original form weren't that interesting to begin with and reworked were barely better.
Now, I'm not going to review each individual story involved. I will share my favorites though. I believe that will help you understand my position in regards to the book.
Little Miss Muffet by Georgina McBride- This story was a total win. I loved how Georgina McBride retold the story of Little Miss Muffet. Plus, those spiders *shudder* I don't think I'll look at one normally for a long time.
Life in a Shoe by Heidi R. Kling- This was one of my favorites in the whole collection. Had a great beginning, middle, end. If expanded into Novella or even full book length I would gobble it up.
Tick Tock by Gretchen McNeil- If you have ever babysat before this short story will unnerve you. The poor,poor girl..... Really, well told.
The Well by K.M. Walton- I will never read Jack and Jill the same way again. Such a masterful retelling of the story. It has completely ruined the original for me. So good.
Wee Willie Winkie by Leigh Fallon- This one was super creepy. I'm a big horror reader/watcher and even this one got under my skin. Let's just say I watched a couple episodes of Spongebob before falling asleep that night just to make sure I went to bed not dreaming about this short.
The Lion and the Unicorn by Nancy Holder- I loved this short and was completely sucked into the world within the downside, only part 1 was in the e-Arc and that was a huge disappointment. It sorta angers me that they kept it out. I would rather half the completed tales be left out then only give me one half of a story to see.
The above mentioned were my favorites and the ones I still remember. While some of the other stories were good, they weren't memorable. Only a few did I downright dislike and those were:
Pieces of Eight by Shannon Delaney with Max Scialdone- I don't know if it is because two authors collaborated for this story or what but I didn't like this one. I just was left confused and annoyed by the end.
Sea of Dew by C. Lee McKenzie- Beautiful, haunting, a lovely story overall. Why I disliked this one though was it felt out of place in the overall anthology. As a novella I would probably praise this story and give it 5 stars. In this collection however it just completely left me emotionally drained and brought down the creep factor I had been feeling up until this short. Good story, wrong book for it to be in.
The Wish by Suzanne Young- This story just sorta plodded along for me. It was written well but it was also just a bit to predictable and dare I say it, yawn inducing.
One for Sorrow by Karen Mahoney- Like The Wish this one was written well but I found myself bored partway through. It didn't have the creep factor I was craving like some of the other short stories did.
Overall this Anthology was very hit or miss for me. I expected some really scary retellings and yet a good chunk of the stories were more sombre if anything. Certainly not what I expected based on the title and cover. Would I recommend Two and Twenty Dark Tales? Yes, I'd recommend it for those who love retellings and are looking for a nice collection to read through in one or two sittings. But I am going to stress, if you do think this book is worth a go, I highly suggest checking it out from a library or borrowing from a friend first before purchasing. That being said I will be rating Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes ★★★. ...more
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the complete 180 this series took**spoiler alert** Original Review can be found @Blood,Sweat, and Books Review:
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the complete 180 this series took. Swipe the first book in the series left such an awful taste in my mouth but this book, this was Dystopian fiction at its best. Perfectly paced, plenty of Action and a gripping plot has skyrocketed Sneak to my Favorite read of the new year. It was just that good.
In Sneak Logan Langly has accepted his status as Markless. His drive to save his sister remains and when he finds her let's just say the reunion was definitely bittersweet. I also liked learning more about the nanoflu which was first introduced in Swipe. In Sneak we learn more about the sinister machinations behind it and the potential implications this will have on the populace should it reach critical levels.
As for the characters, I loved Logan in this book, he was really fleshed out and became someone I could rally behind. Logan also matured quite a bit and I definitely feel that benefited him greatly. The other characters (The Dust, Hailey, Dane) were great as well, even Erin who I flat out hated in Swipe redeemed herself. The addition of Logan's Grandmother was nice. Her and Hailey's mother had me laughing midway through and I'd like to see more of them in the next book.
While Swipe I felt was geared much more Middle Grade, Sneak falls firmly in Young Adult territory. While this is still a clean series (no foul language, violence,sexual situations etc) I didn't feel deprived in any way since the writing was just so darn good this time around.
Sneak was good, but how good was a shocker. It is really rare for a series to go from 2-5 stars but somehow this book has pulled it off. I am really looking forward to Storm which is the third book in the series. If Storm is even half as good as Sneak, I'll be happy.
Overall, I am highly recommending you pick Sneak up and give it a go. The book does get a bit "preachy" near the end but it's not overbearing and like I mentioned above this is a clean Dystopian so if you like yours with a bit more oomph you might (though I doubt it) be disappointed. That being said I will be rating Sneak by Evan Angler ★★★★★.
*I received this book to review from Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them....more
Mini Review Last Days is a book I stumbled across on Netgalley many months ago and figured I'd give it aReview originally posted @Blood,Sweat and Books
Mini Review Last Days is a book I stumbled across on Netgalley many months ago and figured I'd give it a shot. The book is billed as a Blair Witch style novel and that definitely caught my attention. Not because I liked that movie but because I was hoping it could pull off what Blair Witch hadn't, the ability to scare me. So how did this book fair? Decent. While I really liked the atmosphere and the characters the story was just a bit to slow for me.
One of my biggest issues with Last Days was that the story had to much tell and not enough show. A good horror story in my opinion needs both in order to keep the reader glued in and yet wanting more. While I certainly liked Last Days if it wasn't for the ending (which was awesome btw) I would've definitely lumped this book as more Paranormal than horror. Now I will say that this book might be scary for you if you don't read much Horror. I think since I do that is part of the reason why I had issues with the story. If you don't then this book very well might succeed in scaring the daylights out of you.
Overall, while I liked this story it was definitely a bit of a letdown for me when it came to the horror elements. Would I recommend it? Yes, if you like films like Blair Witch or Paranormal Activity then this book would probably be right up your alley. With that being said, I'll be rating Last Days by Adam Nevil ★★★. ...more
I've had this book to review awhile now and was so excited to finally sit down and read it. While I did end up finishing Chasers it left me feeReview:
I've had this book to review awhile now and was so excited to finally sit down and read it. While I did end up finishing Chasers it left me feeling deflated and confused. How could such a great idea turn into such a bunch of nothingness? While Chasers was certainly an OK book it wasn't nearly what I expected it would be and here is why:
The Characters: Anna, Dave, Min and Jesse were the sole focus in the book. Jesse was the Main Protagonist but I found him to be boring and I was left scratching my head concerning many choices he made. Dave on the other hand seemed to grip the situation a lot better so I connected to him more even if he never really did much throughout the book. The two females provided little bits of comic relief but were never really utilized to the extent one would expect in this scenario. Anna was downright unlikable but I think the Author intended to write her that way so I can forgive that. Min could of been put to better use but at least she was likable and I really wish Jesse and her had hooked up instead of him pining away for Anna.
The Pacing: This book was slooow. I kept waiting for the Action to kick in but it never did. For a book that clearly favored the male sex I expected way more running and gunning but instead was treated to the group in 30 Rock playing house and wasting the generator fuel on unnecessary stuff. What little Action did take place seemed to be kept very PG. If the Chasers had to constantly drink you'd expect them to be in a frenzy ripping into a person to get at the precious liquid inside but instead it's like the Author censored himself to not shock and horrify the reader to much. This book needed an injection of shock and awe, pulse pounding action might of made things more enjoyable to read knowing that a real threat was waiting outside.
The Infected: These "zombies" reminded me of of The Crazies but mixed with Vampires. We have no clue what caused them or even why some behave one way and others another. They also seemed to have to drink constantly but again no clue why. You would think in a place like New York City the group would be under constant threat but yet they only ever see pockets of infected aka Chasers. I never felt the Chasers were a threat and was left underwhelmed by any interaction that actually happened with them. Except the one boy that Jesse finds, I wish the Author had expanded on him more as that actually was interesting and could of really changed how I viewed the book.
The Dialogue: By far the worst part of this book. I had a hard time following which character was speaking and don't even get me started on lack of punctuation marks. I don't know if this was done because of sloppy editing or intentionally by the Author but either way it made the book incredibly hard to read and that alone knocked off two stars. I also felt that the Author kept throwing out stereotypes based on character nationality vs. having meaningful conversation. Jesse is constantly acting like he doesn't want to know more but I'd think in that scenario you would want to find out anything and everything about your companions.
By the end Chasers left me feeling indifferent. I neither liked nor hated the book it was just a solid OK for me. By all means give Chaser a shot and form an opinion for yourself. I would actually be curious to see What you thought. While I don't think I will be continuing this series, I might not swear off the Author entirely. I could see little blips of potential in the writing. So I guess that says something. If you like Post-Apocalyptic themes with a mix of Zombies and Vampires then I suggest picking this up at your local library and giving it a try. I will be rating Chasers by Jame Phelan ★★★.
*Reviewed through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for providing them....more
Insomnia, we've all experienced it at some point in our lives. You lay down, your body succumbing to eReviewed originally over @Blood, Sweat and Books
Insomnia, we've all experienced it at some point in our lives. You lay down, your body succumbing to exhaustion and yet try as you might your mind won't shut off. Desperate for precious sleep you try everything imaginable and yet the sleep you crave never comes. Parker Chipp hasn't slept in 4 years. Instead Parker spends his nights trapped in other peoples dreams. When Parker meets Mia he experiences the closest thing to a peaceful nights rest that he has had in years. Now he wants more and he'll stop at nothing to obtain it.
Insomnia is a book that I had been really looking forward to reading. The premise was so unique and I loved that the main character was a guy. The first few pages started out strongly. I found Parker's plight pitiable and wondered what could of caused his situation. However, the book starts to fall apart quite quickly. Parker is for lack of a better word a dick. I understand he hasn't slept in 4 years so naturally that would make him cranky but c'mon it's not like you really are trying to better your situation. If I hadn't slept that long I'd be begging my GP to put me in a medically induced coma so I could get some sleep. Ugh and then there is the way Parker treats others (especially his mom). Parker acts like he's the most unique, Ah-mazing person on the planet ever. To say he has a huge ego would be an understatement. Honestly, Parker might have been the worst main character I have ever read (even worse than Bella Swan and that is saying something). Nothing about him was pleasing to me and I just found myself more annoyed with the character as the book went on.
On the other hand you have characters Addie and Finn. I liked Addie (until her justification of Parkers actions near the end) but I really found Finn to be the best character of them all. He was a good guy and I really liked how he wasn't afraid to put Parker in his place yet still remained loyal. Oh and I loved his funky T-Shirts. They were a nice touch to the character as well. I want some of them for my own.
Characters aside I think the worst part of Insomnia was that it couldn't decide if it wanted to be a Mystery, Paranormal or some other style book entirely. The story had no real direction and the ending was anti-climactic to say the least. I had guessed correctly who Mia's stalker was and even the death that happens is predictable.
Overall, I really had high hopes for Insomnia and had it even lived partially up to expectations I might still have called it a win read. However, I just didn't really like any aspect of the book. Parker was unlikable, the story almost glamorized stalking someone and the simple fact the book will have a sequel is almost nausea inducing. How this plot line can even handle another book is beyond me. It should have been left a stand alone. Maybe then with some real purpose and direction it could have been good. Though with Parker being the d-bag he is I don't think it would of ever been great.
Final Verdict: Insomnia had a unique premise with great secondary characters. The writing was smooth and I found the world building OK. However, due to the highly unlikable MC and the lack of direction for the storyline I definitely recommend borrowing first before buying. With that being said, I will be rating Insomnia by J.R. Johansson ★★....more
Unfortunately this book expired before I could finish it. I was 15 pages from the end when it happened. So without knowing the end here are my brief tUnfortunately this book expired before I could finish it. I was 15 pages from the end when it happened. So without knowing the end here are my brief thoughts. This book was great but it did suffer a bit from being a bit to short. Another 20 pages would of made events feel not so rushed. I liked the writing and the main character was great. I also felt that the Sci-fi elements were creative and unique. I especially loved the tattoos those were really such a clever idea. Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would. This book is one I would like to own and will probably purchase sometime in the future. ...more
As heartbreaking as it is uplifting Crossing The Rubicon is a book everyone should read at least once. This book was narrated beautifully. I fe Review:
As heartbreaking as it is uplifting Crossing The Rubicon is a book everyone should read at least once. This book was narrated beautifully. I felt as if I was granted a rare glimpse into a diary that was never meant to be shared. I laughed, I cried and at times I even became angry yet.....I couldn't put this book down. I devoured the pages and hung onto them as if teetering on a thin wire hanging over some dark chasm that threatened to swallow me whole if I didn't proceed. Yes, the book was just that dang good.
I loved how the Author put such a unique spin on time travel. The journey the group goes on is very "real" and the places they visit for the most part do exist. I also appreciated that the Author kept the characters humble. They didn't walk around like they knew everything or were better than the people they encountered. No, these characters behaved exactly as I imagine any of us would thrust into a time and place we knew nothing(or very little) about.
In the end the story isn't perfect but in some ways its flaws are part of the charm. With that being said I will be rating Crossing The Rubicon by R.C. Richter ★★★★.
*Originally obtained for review through Netgalley but purchased on Kindle after completion....more
“Not every story has a happy ending, but that doesn't mean it's not worth telling."- The Culling
That quote sums up perfectly how I feel about TReview:
“Not every story has a happy ending, but that doesn't mean it's not worth telling."- The Culling
That quote sums up perfectly how I feel about The Culling. Sometimes a book comes along that changes your life. Not physically of course but emotionally. The characters in the story holding our emotions hostage even after the story ends. Whether guided by fear or love they make us want to be them or hate them with every turn of the page and actions that they make. Some characters we cheer on hoping they live to see another day and the others... well... what we'd like to see happen to them is probably to kind for what they actually deserve.
The Culling isn't just the title of the book its also the name of the tournament that is the major focal point of the story as well. Five teenagers aged 17 are chosen to participate. If you win you get a job as part of The Establishments Imposer Task force. On the other hand, If you lose..... well lets just say it doesn't pay to be the loser.
When 17 year old Lucian Spark is chosen as a recruit his 4 year old brother and kindly neighbor Mrs. Bledsoe are put up as his incentives. What are incentives you ask? If you come in last during The Culling or fail to complete a task The Establishment makes you kill one of your incentives as punishment. Each recruit has two and only one will make it through with both intact. To make matters worse, they don't discriminate on age or gender. You might have to kill your mother, father, husband, lover or in Lucian's case his little brother. Everyone is fair game when it comes to The Culling.
I really thought the trials during The Culling were a neat process even if they made me squirm quite a bit. I don't want to give away what happens but some of the incentive deaths were quite horrible to witness and others well I may never recover emotionally from those scenes.
While the story was great its the characters that made me fall in love with this series. I loved Lucian he was everything I love in a Main Protagonist and then some. I really wanted him to win even though I knew to do so would mean the deaths of many others along the way. I also really liked Cypress she was a bad ass chick and I really felt for her predicament. Really though, each character was extremely well written and I enjoyed reading each scene even if I wasn't particularly happy with the direction those characters went in. I'm looking at you Ophelia.
Now, I'm usually not a fan of the romantic elements in Dystopians as they sometimes overtake the story. That being said, the romance in The Culling is extremely well done. Instead of hindering the story, it enhanced it. First off, while it shouldn't matter some people may be put off from reading the book due to the unconventional main couple. Why is that you ask? Well,the main couple is Gay. Does that matter? Not one bit. I loved both main males and was totally a fan of the pairing. The love story is sweet,simple and reserved never quite coming to fruition due to the situation both were in. By the end my feelings went into overdrive and I found myself grieving for the couple and their plight. I have hope though no matter how small it might be. The other main couple was a bit more reserved but their relationship while sweet was doomed from the start and unfortunately both characters understood that making it even more heartbreaking.
Overall, I loved this book. The writing, world building, storyline and characters were all great, top notch really. I have no complaints at all. To really drive home how much I enjoyed this book, I went straight to Amazon and bought myself a copy. I know this is a book I'll read again in the near future and one I am eagerly anticipating its sequel. Would I recommend The Culling? Yes, yes, YES!! In fact, stop reading my review and go buy yourself a copy right now. I promise you will not be disappointed. In all honesty if I could rate this book 10 stars I would but since I can't, I will be rating The Culling by Steven Dos Santos ★★★★★. Worth your read, worth the time and definitely worth the money spent to purchase it!...more
*I downloaded this book off Netgalley to review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them.
The best way I*I downloaded this book off Netgalley to review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them.
The best way I can describe Alternity is Metropolis meets V for Vendetta which meets something else altogether in a back alley somewhere. Unfortunately the book doesn't quite pull off the mashup of this surreal,technological,Dystopian world well. I want to start with the cons first because I feel that they outweighed the positives.
World Building- The World of Terra seems like it was built with just enough information to satisfy the casual reader but not enough to really envelop the senses of someone familiar with the genre. I felt that the World was lacking richness and depth. It's almost like the Author couldn't make up her mind how she wanted it to be so just gave up trying entirely.
Skye- Where do I start? Skye is just not a likable character she is stubborn, a bit prudish and definitely not the heroine I was expecting her to be. I got angry at Skye insisting she needed to get back to the "real" world but actually never giving any good reason why. I could understand if she was worried her family might be upset with her absence or worrying over her boyfriend but they aren't mentioned as a reason. Hell if she had said she was worried about missing to many classes I'd even be happy. Now not everything about Skye was bad she was enjoyable to read about while interacting with Dawn and her character did come to life at the end but sadly it was to little and late for me to care.
Pacing- I enjoyed the first couple chapters but then the book slowed way down and for no real good reason. It also became way to technical and I definitely feel that was to blame for the pacing problem. It did pick back up at the end and that was this books saving grace so to speak.
The Plot- I liked the concept of Alternity and the bare bones of the story was certainly unique but the execution could of been much, much better.
The Ending- I really enjoyed the "twists" in the story. While I could tell where things were heading I definitely was left satisfied when all was revealed.
Skye's Narration- I felt that while yes Skye was a pretty dull character I liked seeing the story unfold through her eyes. It was almost like watching a movie.
Overall this book had some hits and a bunch of misses but in the end it was a good read. I have however come to the conclusion that I think this Author isn't for me. This is the second book I've read by Mari Mancusi and the second time I've been left feeling less than satisfied. Many of the main problems in Tomorrow Land I felt transferred over to this book as well. Certainly give this book a shot and judge for yourself. It was at least worth a one time read. In the end I will be giving Alternity by Mari Mancusi ★★★. Worth a read, worth your time but definitely not without some major bumps along the way....more
When the bees of the world started dying off the Government scrambled to find a solution. They created a super bee of sorts meant to survive thReview:
When the bees of the world started dying off the Government scrambled to find a solution. They created a super bee of sorts meant to survive through the hardest conditions. Unfortunately they didn't realize until it was to late that the bees also were the cause of the super flu sweeping the globe. A vaccine was created and those children lucky enough to receive it were protected, safe, survivors.
Flash forward 5 years... The tattoo on the back of the hand once a source of comfort now is a brand for those who must be feared, avoided and worst of all killed. Alone in the world and on the run Fiona must put her trust in one sworn to hunt her kind before its to late.
I really enjoyed Stung it was different than I was expecting but in a good way. However, it did take the book awhile to find its footing. I felt the pacing was a bit slow and unorganized in the beginning. We get zero back story on what's going on and that felt a bit jarring. I like to think this was intentional as a way to sympathize with Fiona vs just poor writing.
One of my biggest complaints concerning Stung has to be the lack of action during the beginning/middle of the book. I'm not going to lie, I found it a bit lackluster overall. I definitely struggled at times staying entertained during those scenes. Not enough to put the book down mind you but enough to let the mind wander. In my defense, You can only see a person in cuffs sitting around and hiding so much before it gets tiresome. Of course it did help move along the romantic elements of the story so that's a plus. It will be interesting to see in the second book whether things mature even more between Fiona and Bowen. Earth still needs repopulating after all.
Once it becomes obvious what is going on and more back story revealed, I found Stung to be quite an enjoyable read. I was even surprised by some of the twists towards the end concerning Arriss and Fiona's brother Johnah.
Overall, I did like Stung. I liked the world, the writing was decent and I actually really liked the characters in the end. Would I recommend this book? Yep, its definitely worth the read although I will warn that there is a pretty obvious cliffhanger. Let's just say, The series still needs a villain after all. Which is why I will be rating Stung by Bethany Wiggins ★★★★.
*Review copy provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them....more
And All the Stars is unlike many Survival books on the market since it actually takes place during, yes DURINOriginal review can be found here.
And All the Stars is unlike many Survival books on the market since it actually takes place during, yes DURING not after the Apocalyspe happens. Also something else notable was this isn't a Dystopian, the characters were just ordinary citizens living life until the takeover happens.
The pacing of this book really takes off when the spires appear. I don't want to get into to many specific details about the threat because I really feel this is a book that should be read not spoiled. They are however reminiscent of the Pods from War of The Worlds in the fact they spring forth from the ground indicating to me at least that they've been probably planning this for some time. How they differ however is when the takeover starts to happen anyone caught outside was doused with this fine powdery substance. For some people the powder just turned their skin colors but for others it was a race for survival as the powder made them dependent on those who weren't as severely affected. You'll get what I mean when you read it but it was a nice twist so to speak.
As for the characters,the mix of ethnicity combined with diverse social backgrounds was as refreshing as the storyline itself. While Madeleine is the main character I found myself liking the others in her group just as much or maybe even dare I say it more.
Overall And All the Stars was definitely an unputdownable read for me. I really cannot properly express how much I loved this book without breaking into maniacal fits of giggles, so let me just simply say this book surprised the heck out of me and rocked! And All the Stars was everything and more than I could ask for in a Survival/Apocalyptic book. It blended the believable with the extraordinary and left me wanting more. I highly recommend picking this up and giving it a shot. I truly don't think you will regret it. I will be rating And All the Stars ★★★★★.
*Book reviewed via Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for providing them....more
When I first started reading the 13th Sign I wasn't so sure it was for me. Jalen the main protagonist actually bored me a little in the beginning of t When I first started reading the 13th Sign I wasn't so sure it was for me. Jalen the main protagonist actually bored me a little in the beginning of the book and I kept switching her name to Jaden in my head. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I almost put the book down permanently. Since I requested this for review I really wanted to give this an honest shot. I am so glad that I did because to my surprise The 13th Sign turned out to be quite an enjoyable read!
Once the story picked up Jalen (not Jaden) turned out to to be a great character. Jalens journey is quite fantastical and it held my attention right until the very end. I loved how the story had me thinking about the Zodiac calendar in ways I never had before. Jalen's companions however were not really memorable and I struggled to remember individual characteristics about them as they weaved in and out of the story. I did like the Zodiac Gatekeepers they were unique and not your traditional antagonists. I'd even go so far to say that If the Author decided to write Novellas for each of the twelve I'd buy them.
Final Thoughts The 13th Sign isn't the most memorable book that I've read but once the pacing picked up the story was enjoyable and from that point on I blew threw it rather quickly. Would I recommend The 13th Sign? Yes, its story was unique and I find that alone warrants at least reading the book once. On the other side I feel if the Author had chosen to kick the rating up a notch and added a bit more doom and gloom to the story it might have taken the book from just good to great. Now that being said, I wouldn't go so far to say this plot was wasted on a Middle Grade novel but I do see the potential of a really great read had it been bumped up in rating and more adult tones introduced. Some stories just warrant a bit more grit and this is one of those I believe would of benefited from that. In the end I will be rating The 13th Sign ★★★.
*Reviewed through Netgalley all opinions are my own and I was not compensated for providing them....more
I admit I am a late fan to this series. I had a hard time reading Dearly,Departed and it took me months to do so but eventually I did and endedReview:
I admit I am a late fan to this series. I had a hard time reading Dearly,Departed and it took me months to do so but eventually I did and ended up liking it. Still I was a bit wary when I saw the announcement for Dearly,Beloved. Would it be hard to get through? Should I even bother? After hearing some awesome things from other bloggers I decided to bite the bullet and request a copy. Let me tell you that I am so glad that I did.
The Characters- Michael, Bram, and Renfield by far were my favorites in this book. They all brought there A-game and just were so fun to read about. On the opposite side I still felt this disconnect with Nora. She to me is almost overbearing in her need to protect her friends. I just wish I enjoyed her more as it's hard not exactly liking the lead character.
The Plot- Action, adventure, mystery,romance in a dystopian setting Yes,Please!! I really enjoyed the story between the characters and the complexity of it was just brilliant writing in my opinion. I did find a small lull in pacing sometimes but I easily overlooked it due to the amazing scenes before and after it.
The Ending- If the Author decided not to make another in the series I think this ending would completely stand on its own. Of course after actually enjoying this one I really hope that there is another. As for what happens, sorry your just going to have to read and find out for yourself. I will say though that it was a nice end.
Final Thoughts The book was a bit confusing at times with so many differing Points of View but it made up for it with incredible storylines for each character. I did still feel a disconnect with Nora but she was way more enjoyable in this book than the first so that is at least something. Overall I really hope that the Author decides to make a 3rd and final to this series. I think that there is certainly story left to tell. If you like unique plot lines, tons of action and the perfect blend of romance than pick this book up. I will be giving Dearly,Beloved by Lia Habel ★★★★.
*I was provided a copy of this book to review through Netgalley. All opinions included in this review are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them....more
In a world without trees, one makes beauty however one can. Banyan is a tree builder. His creations made from scrap metal are purchased by theReview:
In a world without trees, one makes beauty however one can. Banyan is a tree builder. His creations made from scrap metal are purchased by the elite to mimic forests of old. When Banyan meets the mysterious Zee while working on his current project he finds out something that will change his life forever.
Rootless, how do I wrap my head around you. I went into this book expecting one story yet what transpired was something completely different. Was it good still? Yes, Oh God yes. I love being surprised by a story and this one kept me on my toes that is for sure.
A world without trees is unfathomable. Yet, somehow the Author paints the landscape with such detail that it almost makes you believe such a world exists. The world of Rootless actually reminded me of Earth in the movie Wall-E, maybe less trash but still that landscape. If a world devoid of any plants isn't awful enough nothing except genetically modified corn grows on the planet. Can you imagine having to eat corn for every meal? I can't, but due to locusts swarms killing off everything else corn is all that is left. Speaking of the locusts, I forgot to mention these are man eating locusts. They will eat you if they catch you. Nasty right??
As for the characters, I loved Banyan. He has a gift for seeing beauty in stuff most of us wouldn't. He also is very practical and wise almost beyond his years. I really can't wait to see how his character evolves in the next book. I also liked Crow the watcher of Zee who really plays the anti-hero so well. It was fun trying to decide if he was good or bad. Ultimately, I decided he is a good guy just trying to survive playing with the hand he was dealt.
In the end Rootless is a debut that will stick out in my mind for being fresh and inventive. The world isn't necessarily unique but the execution is and that is what makes Rootless worthy of reading. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book and give it a try. I will be rating Rootless by Chris Howard ★★★★.
*I received a copying Rootless to review via Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them....more
Beautiful,haunting and exquisitely written Code Name Verity is a book that grips you and doesn't let you go until the very end. This book was so unlikBeautiful,haunting and exquisitely written Code Name Verity is a book that grips you and doesn't let you go until the very end. This book was so unlike anything I had ever read in the young adult genre, I honestly felt like I was reading something out of the mind of Tom Clancy or John Grisham just with a feminine twist. Yeah, it was truly that good.
The book is broken up into two parts and is told from two separate points of view. The first half is a bit slow but once you read the second half it all makes sense. Without giving to much away, one of the most heartbreaking scenes takes place outdoors midway through the book. The scene itself isn't really that long but, the moment the two females share is one of those that really strikes you in the gut. The Nazis were brutal when it came to political prisoners male and female alike. I was so glad that the Author didn't shy away from the torture prisoners of war went through. World War II was brutal, bloody, and lots of very bad things happened and it would of been extremely easy to sugar coat those facts in light of the fact that this book is aimed at young adults.
Overall would I recommend Code Name Verity? A resounding yes, yes YES! This book should be added to young adult and adult bookshelves alike. I would even go so far to say that this should be required reading when discussing World War II. I realize it is fiction but the situations the characters were put in were not. I really cannot say enough good things about Code Name Verity but don't take my word for it, go ahead and pick up yourself a copy and find out for yourself. I will be giving Code Name Verity ★★★★.
*I was given the opportunity to read and review this book through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for it. Original review can be viewed: Blood,SweatandBooks...more