First I will state that you probably want to read My Daylight Monsters first before reading Mary Hades, though it's not necessary. This book is absoluFirst I will state that you probably want to read My Daylight Monsters first before reading Mary Hades, though it's not necessary. This book is absolutely beautiful and brilliant. Ms. Dalton's endings are always heart-wrenching, and I'm left screaming at her books at the end -- this is all that I'll say about it.
This is a continuation of My Daylight monsters, following the main character, Mary Hades, naturally, throughout her camping holiday away from home with her parents. She goes to the tiny town of Nettleby for a bit of rest and relaxation after her ordeal at Magdelena with her "ethereally challenged" friend, Lacey. Once there, she meets up with a guy named Seth who works at the local carnival and has a confusing attraction to him. Unfortunately, someone else has found them and isn't happy with Seth, leading Mary, Seth, Lacey, a gothic couple and a ghost hunter on the chase.
Mary Hades is written in a style that only Sarah Dalton can get away with, leaving the main heroine tortured throughout the story and me on the edge of my seat. Her characters are a mix of deeply troubled teens and young adults that are richly detailed, described in as much detail as necessary for you to get attached while leaving a bit of mystery to their motives. Each has their own voice, and I love it. Sometimes authors get attached to a certain character style and will not deviate -- you won't find that with this author. The only unfortunate thing about Mary Hades is that I cannot tell much about the story without riddling this review with spoilers as the pace is quick, and I hate to spoil the mystery for anyone. Though this story is fairly short, it has as much heart as a full novel and will not leave you disappointed for having read it. Although, it could seem short because I devoured it very quickly!
I received this book directly from the author in exchange for my honest and fair review. I was not compensated monetarily, and all opinions expressed are my own....more
We is a confusing and delightful book that I thoroughly enjoyed! The concept is original and thought out as you are basically struggling right along wWe is a confusing and delightful book that I thoroughly enjoyed! The concept is original and thought out as you are basically struggling right along with the character, Benedict, right from the beginning. I was left wondering (at first) what was going on between the odd protagonist(s?) struggling with, well, himself. What would you do if given the chance to change your own history?
This was a bit like the Butterfly Effect meets What Dreams May Come, but not exactly. The book painted a picture of the subconscious, giving life to Freudian aspects of the psychological, albeit crude, and integrated it with a lot of "what ifs." I can just imagine this poor child struggling through his life with this awful family. Benedict himself isn't even the most desirable person, in all honesty, but his childhood persona is still innocent and likable. He just wanted someone to cling to, and he found this in his sister, Sara. She was flawed, she was defiant, but she was worth saving. Even his nasty older brother, Charles, was worth paying attention to.
I wonder what it would be like to see some of my past childhood experiences through the eyes of my adult self. Better yet, I wonder if I would listen to what my "self of the future" would say, or if I would just watch everything replay as a movie. Great job, Mr. Landweber, you have my attention!
I was given this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers giveaway in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own, and I was not compensated monetarily for penning this review....more
Azure is a great novel that paints a portrait of what would happen if the government totally took over our lives. The book takes place in the nation oAzure is a great novel that paints a portrait of what would happen if the government totally took over our lives. The book takes place in the nation of Azure (naturally) where droids are sent to patrol the streets to kill unlawful perpetrators. Behind the droids are men like Asher who are chained to their desks and forced to do justice within the walled city.
When Asher begins to silently question the motives of his government, his existence is put on the line. Somehow they know that he isn't in complete agreeance with the punishments being given, which is execution in nearly every case. That's when the trouble starts for Asher and he embarks on a strange journey to the underbelly of society. Well, truly not that strange, but it's a bit scary if nothing else.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It wasn't the best book, nor was it the worst, but the author really shines with his writing style. The story is "believable" without too much sci-fi, but just enough to keep you wondering if this type of scenario could really become reality. I honestly wish that the story would have ended a bit differently with a happy ending for all, but that just isn't realistic. The story kept me engaged either way, though the ending was a little predictable.
I received this book via LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for penning my review and all opinions expressed are my own....more
I like the concept of this book. It is about two friends from opposite sides of the spectrum, so to speak, of the religious argument. We have ChristiaI like the concept of this book. It is about two friends from opposite sides of the spectrum, so to speak, of the religious argument. We have Christian the Christian (really? Couldn't you find another name?) and Isaac, the Atheist (I'd have thought Isaac wold have represent a Person of the Jewish religion, but given the title...) who apparently have religious and/or faith-based arguments quite often.
This short story takes place when Christian invites Isaac over for a proposal based on these religious arguments. The dialogue was witty in places and a little "toilet-humor-esque" in others, but seemed like an actual conversation between two good friends. The unfortunate thing for me is that the story lacks a bit of ambiance and focuses on the dialogue between characters. The other unfortunate thing is that the "proposal" is brought up at the very end of the story and wrapped up only a few pages later. Yes, there is a "cliffhanger" of sorts at the end, leaving you to guess at what the final answer was.
I suppose if you're a Christian, you already know the answer to the proposal when you get to the last sentence of the book. This very short story was interesting and worth the read, but didn't really wow me. I liked it, but would have liked more from the author. The only way to have garnered more out of this, however, is to move forward with the proposal and having the author tell a tale from there. In fact, the story would make a great introduction to a novel of the same theme.
If I had the option for 3 1/2 stars, this little quip of a story would have it! Honestly, I didn't even find very many typos, so he edited it well. Kudos and thank you for the thought-provoking read!
I received this short story in ebook format from a LibraryThing member giveaway and was not monetarily compensated for my review. All opinions expressed above are solely my own....more
This is a beautifully written book! You know you have a great read when you are on the last page (without realizing it) and you get mad at your e-readThis is a beautifully written book! You know you have a great read when you are on the last page (without realizing it) and you get mad at your e-reader because you cannot turn the pages any more. I think the best thing about this compilation is that the stories are so varied. The last short story was so haunting and scary to me while the first was just so beautiful and magical.
I cannot say too much without giving up the plots of each of these stories, but I was honestly surprised that these were all written by the same author. He has such an imagination and a way of weaving these stories with succinct detail. I didn't think it was possible to be enraptured by characters that only have twenty pages of "get-to-know-me" time, but it certainly is! You will not regret reading this book. My only regret is that there weren't thirty more stories!
I received this book in a LibraryThing members giveaway in return for an honest review. I was not compensated monetarily for penning the above review and all opinions are my own....more
Salt is a charming retelling of an old Russian folk tale where three princely brothers set out to claim their fortunes. Two of the brothers are favoreSalt is a charming retelling of an old Russian folk tale where three princely brothers set out to claim their fortunes. Two of the brothers are favored by their king, but the youngest, Kenya, is a fool in his father's eyes. Since this is so short, I really do not want to divulge the story further than this. I enjoyed the depth that each character brought and their distinct roles. This is very much a tale for those who love Cinderella-esque stories where the main character triumphs despite overwhelming hardships. Within the story there is a bit of "old" magic, a tinge of love, a bit of lust, some hate and sweet revenge. It's amazing that it fits within a scant less than 60 pages!
Kudos to Ms. Marshall and her intricate stylings. She is definitely a wordsmith with a passion for campfire-style story weaving! Upon receiving the first draft of her short story, I am a bit ashamed to admit that I had to write her for clarification about what had happened. Thankfully she obliged and edited a bit of the story to make everything flow together a bit more. Once she did that, I read it again and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is not a children's tale in the way that it's written, but the premise of the story could be one to tell your kids; after you've skipped over the lusty bits, that is!
I received this book from LibraryThing Early Reviews in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated monetarily for submitting my review and declare that all opinions penned are my own....more
I don't see the direct comparison to The Hunger Games as some other reviewers stated. Yes, the genre is the same, but the concepts are immensely diffeI don't see the direct comparison to The Hunger Games as some other reviewers stated. Yes, the genre is the same, but the concepts are immensely different. In The Hunger Games, the characters are subject to a digitally manipulated environment, but in the Glitch series, the digital manipulation happens in their own bodies. I loved this book! I hadn't had the privilege of reading the first in the series, unfortunately, but there wasn't any need. Most of the background and characters were fleshed out very well so that reading the first book was not necessary.
I was a little disappointed that Adrien and Zoe didn't keep their heated relationship at the same pace as in some places of the book as Adrien was either physically not present or thinking about other things, but I understand the need for it. I like the concept of chips being implanted in the human subject and giving them extraordinary powers as it makes you think about the current technology out there today and its ramifications should it continue on the same path. I'd almost wished that Taylor had made it to the end of the book because she wasn't as bad as you thought she was; which made her disappearance all the more sad.
Overall, the story is fairly fast-paced (with a few slower parts that were necessary) with an entertaining, dystopian plot that isn't overly technical or bogged down with the sci-fi elements. It is about survival and doing anything it takes to ensure that everyone can go on living normal lives. It's about saving those that have literally had their voices stolen by those they trusted. It's a bit of Enders Game mixed with Hunger Games, though the story certainly shines on its own with original concepts and compelling characters.
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed above are my own and I was not monetarily compensated for penning this review....more
I will start by saying that you know this book already. You know the heroine that starts off meek and grows into a self-reliant badass. You may even kI will start by saying that you know this book already. You know the heroine that starts off meek and grows into a self-reliant badass. You may even know the love triangle between the two main male characters. You know, the boys-not-yet-men where one is sweet and safe while the other seems sweet, but has secrets (AKA the "Bad Boy"). The magic doesn't happen in a retelling of roles that have been reappearing in books such as The Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent, Uglies and many other current YA novels. Honestly, there's even a bit of The Handmaid's Tale in this story; which adds a bit to the creep factor.
No, all the magic happens in the way Ms. Dalton expertly weaves her own story through these clichéd characters and makes it personal. It makes those of us who are fans of the books I mentioned excited for meaningful characters that you truly care about. What good is a story when you have no one in them that you can care about? I nearly cried at the cruelty of some of the people in this book!
If you are Blemished, you honestly have such a stack against you already just for being born. You cannot attend school to learn typical school topics if you are a girl. You just learn "tools of the trade" so that you can become SERVANTS to those who are not Blemished, or GEMs. If you are a Blemished boy, you learn to labor and do not get to go to school. The girls also get mandatory hysterectomies at sixteen because the Blemished cannot "mate." And, yes, it is referenced as "mating" because no one dares thinks of The Blemished as human. Imagine a world where you can create your own genetically perfect child. It sounds like a great and interesting idea, until this book delves into the consequences of messing with Mother Nature and/or God's plan.
Oh, yes, and let's not forget (without giving any spoilers) that some of our main characters have supernatural powers that take a back burner to the main plot. Has genetic mutation allowed those of The Blemished make a stand against the "perfect" humans, or is it because of these "freakish" powers that they started banning the Blemished from procreating? It makes me really want to start right in to the next book to search for answers.
I enjoyed this book so much. It captured all that I loved from my favorite YA novels and added new elements to make the story truly unique. You will not regret reading this book; not one little bit.
I received this book from a LibraryThing member giveaway directly from the author in return for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed above are my own, and I was not monetarily compensated for penning this review....more
This book, unfortunately, took me forever to read; despite it not being particularly long. While the writer took great care in describing all the evenThis book, unfortunately, took me forever to read; despite it not being particularly long. While the writer took great care in describing all the events of this book in great detail, I found that the plot drove me absolutely insane. It seemed that there was no actual climax of the story unless you count the part in the very beginning of the book when the wall appears. After that, it is pretty much downhill and very droll.
I wanted to like this book, I really did. The idea of being isolated and having things happen around you that shouldn't (the appearance of the wall, animals becoming pregnant, etc.), you never find out the why, what or who of the story. Who is the woman? Who started this? What really happened to the world? What happens to the unnamed woman? I don't know. Let's talk about milking the cow instead.
This book truly deserves (based upon plot alone) one star. I've only given it more because it really is beautifully written. I just have no idea what the point of this book is. Survival? Instinct? Maybe. It just seemed like, even if she never had to do these things before, she knew exactly what to do and how to do it. If a cow appeared in my yard, I would have no idea how to milk it. If I had to hunt deer, I wouldn't know how to shoot the gun. Granted, the book goes into detail about her knowing a bit about hunting but also said that she never really participated before the wall came.
I suppose I expected something vastly different from what I got. In most post apocalyptic novels, you usually get some action. Sometimes you even get answers about what is going on. I never expected to get gardening and farming tips from an aging woman who seems to not even care that her whole world disappeared; she just accepts it and moves on.
It's a frustrating book in that you expect _something_ to happen. Nothing ever does. You keep reading, hoping that someone, somewhere will find this woman or that she will escape. They don't. I would never recommend this to anyone. Again, I tried to like it, but I just cannot. I also wish I saw what others saw when they gave the book four or more stars. I do not. The writer has a wonderful way of describing the atmosphere, but I find that she cannot write a coherent story. Perhaps it is just me.
I received this book from LibraryThing.com in exchange for my fair and unbiased review. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own, and I was not compensated monetarily to penn this review....more
I will first start out by saying that I had not actually read the first book in this series. The good news is that it ultimately didn't matter. Ani isI will first start out by saying that I had not actually read the first book in this series. The good news is that it ultimately didn't matter. Ani is a teenage zombie that basically infects everyone at her prom by going on a complete rampage and we start the story a bit after the incident. The timeline confused me a bit, though, as a couple of the zombies were apparently in their late teens and early twenties, while some were 17 and were all attending high school.
The story starts off with Ani, our lead, and the other main characters getting fitted for bite guards as they are bussed back to their high school to attend classes. I'll be honest and state the I really wanted to stop reading at that point. There is a rampant virus ("ZV") that has affected many people, and they are worried about returning the infected children to high school? That would be the last thing on my mind, from either side of the fence.
We find out that one of the teenagers returning, Mike, had his brain eaten out at the prom and is a little mentally deficient. This is definitely awkward, if not funny. All he ever says is, "Hi," and asks if anyone wants to play Jenga. The others are angry or trying to cling to their teenage personas from before they were infected and have a hard time of it. Each of them have to sit in some sort of serum at night to heal themselves (or preserve themselves? I'm still unclear) and are required to take shots to get rid of their brain cravings.
I'm also unclear as to why Ani's mom, Sarah, holds the secret that she does from her daughter about her own health condition. Sorry, without putting a spoiler here, that seems very vague. Sarah knows a lot more than anyone else, but there are a lot of mysteries that are just thrown together in the end. I wouldn't even call these mysteries solved. They just confused me. Perhaps these issues were gone over in the first book, but I honestly doubt it as most things were disclosed to the reader in THIS book.
Overall, Special Dead does have it's humor and it's place in the young reader category, but I wouldn't quite call it a young adult novel. This would be more suited to those of the young teen age range. The book is well written and held some possibilities, despite the strange plot and some loose ends, but it was definitely rushed at the end. The whole tone of the book changed in the last sixty pages or so. It's worth an afternoon read, but not necessarily something that will tax your brain or challenge you in any way, I'm sorry to say. It's not so bad as to call it "bad," but it's definitely not a solid "good," either. With a bit of work, I think this could be a great novel, but it certainly needs some more added to it, if for nothing else than to wrap up those loose ends.
I was given this book complimentary from LibraryThing.com in e-book form in return for my honest review. Everything stated in this review is of my own opinion and I was not compensated monetarily for providing this review....more
George R.R. Martin, wow...what a creative wind bag you are! I absolutely adored these books, but you killed off nearly EVERYONE! It's brilliant. I donGeorge R.R. Martin, wow...what a creative wind bag you are! I absolutely adored these books, but you killed off nearly EVERYONE! It's brilliant. I don't even know where to begin. Basically, these books start off telling you which way the wind blows, how everyone looks, how everyone is related to everyone else, yadda yadda. Truthfully, I have to say that I put down the book (in my case, I bought the four-book e-book pack, so...one book) and could not continue for months because I was so frustrated! Everything from landscapes to personalities were brilliantly described and made the world come to life. Unfortunately, every character I truly fell in love with got killed, or died or maimed. Thankfully, some of the rotten ones did, too. Before getting to the rotten, terrible people getting killed, though, all of the innocent, lovable characters disappeared one by one.
This truly is a game of thrones. Not one character is inherently good, and most are not inherently bad, save for Joffrey. I wanted to just throttle him. I wish he'd been brought back to life and killed 1,000 times! I don't think I've ever had such hatred for a fictional character.
There is enough "mysticality" presented in the novels to keep your interest, but it is not overly done. There's a spell here, a glimpse of mystery there and different races mentioned throughout. The feudal concept is certainly not a new one, but Mr. Martin has created the feudal environment without going over-the-top medieval or emphasizing quests for a "magical this or that." Many novels in the fantasy genre drag on about quests, but these books tell an actual story; no, wait, MANY stories that tie in with one another.
I believe that there were plenty of details that could have been left out, but when the book was finished, I was actually glad that there had been so much detail to take in. There were a lot of item details that seemed to have no purpose until you got to parts later in the book. I honestly wish I'd had the physical copies for this reason because it is so much easier to flip through paper than to scroll endlessly through 4,000 pages! In fact, the ebook format that I bought was so terrible that it didn't even have a way to scan the books individually or to pick a page. Every slight movement of my finger on the scroll bar took me forward or backward nearly 100 pages.
If you find yourself picking up these books and wanting to stop after 100-200 pages, just keep going through. It's so worth it! Since the series is not complete, though, the ending (fourth physical book) leaves you hanging. Thankfully, the fifth book is out now, though not as excellently wrought as these four.
Mr. Blaney has a real knack for spinning a story. Evan Burl starts off as a seemingly normal boy who was sent to live with his uncle, Mazol, and cousiMr. Blaney has a real knack for spinning a story. Evan Burl starts off as a seemingly normal boy who was sent to live with his uncle, Mazol, and cousin, Pike. He's told that he can never leave the castle grounds because he would die, but he doesn't really have a strong desire to do so anyway. Every year a child drops magically from the sky in a chest and becomes part of the family. At the beginning, we don't know who or what these children are, but they grow up "normally" in the castle, tasked with various chores. They are called The Falling.
After an event happens with Pike, the children are not as happy as they once were because Mazol works them tirelessly. No one eats very well and hatred grows for Mazol. When Evan discovers a hidden book in his uncle's room, and Henri (one of The Falling that Evan is closest to) starts asking him odd questions about sapience (magic), we find that Evan has a year before he turns into a monster. The book counts down the days that Evan has until his fate is sealed, and it is up to him and his "sisters" to discover a way to be saved.
When reality starts to spiral out of control for Evan, and two powerful men vie for control of the boy, things get very twisted and confused. Just when you believe that someone has betrayal in their heart, the story twists again to reveal that they really didn't have anything to do with Evan's predicament. The book was an absolute page-turner for me because the "reality" of the book seemed to change on a whim. It left me feeling like I had no idea what was going on. Thankfully, though the book was not completed at the time of reading it, most of the confusion dissipated by the end of the novel when loose ends were tied up.
The reason for four stars out of five is that the book was, again, not completed at the time I read it, leaving typos and a few characters lacking the development and backstory that I'm used to. I'm sure that Terrilium, Mazol and Cevo will be hashed out in further books, but for being so prominent in the story, I really didn't know their motives. Cevo was the "fleshiest" of these three characters, but I didn't really feel that I knew him. Also, I really didn't understand the point of Anastasia's character. She was a nasty little girl that didn't seem to have a real purpose in the storyline. I felt like kicking her!
If you are looking for a good book to read, then I definitely recommend Evan Burl and The Falling. The story will leave you turning the pages frantically while trying to figure out just what the heck is going on and who did what to whom. Eventually, though, it does fall into place.
I received an advanced reader copy in e-book form directly from the author and everything written above is of my own opinion. I was not monetarily compensated for penning this review and hope that the provided text is helpful for those looking at this title....more