Brandy says... June is a military genius, having aced her exams and graduated early from the academy. Her first assignment: track down the elusive Day,...moreBrandy says... June is a military genius, having aced her exams and graduated early from the academy. Her first assignment: track down the elusive Day, the Republic's most-wanted criminal, the boy responsible for killing June's brother, the only family she had left. Day, in contrast, failed all his exams and has been living on the streets ever since, smuggling his gambling winnings to his brother, the only member of Day's family who knows he's still alive. June wants to avenge her brother's death; Day wants to buy the cure to the plague that's ripping through his family's neighborhood. June is about to find out exactly what the Republic government is capable of--and that's something Day has known all along.
Post-apocalyptic elements (post-war, post-flooding); apocalyptic elements (plague); dystopian elements (government overreaching, educational testing, human experimentation). Fast pace and super-agent reminiscent of The Lab (Jack Heath); military genius and strategy call to mind Ender's Game. Wouldn't be surprised by a sequel, but doesn't leave off at a cliffhanger demanding one.(less)
Thomas wakes up in a box, remembering nothing but his name. Soon enough, hands are pulling him out, into the Glade, and he knows he's in a very strang...moreThomas wakes up in a box, remembering nothing but his name. Soon enough, hands are pulling him out, into the Glade, and he knows he's in a very strange place. The other boys have been here for quite some time, and none of them remember a life before, either. Their only hope is to find an exit from the maze, but that's not easy when the walls move every night, and the giant semi-organic, semi-mechanical beasts come rolling out with a thirst for blood. When a girl shows up--the first girl ever sent through the box--the day after Thomas's arrival, the entire Glader community is thrown into chaos. Who is she? Why did she arrive so soon after Thomas? How does she know him? And what should anyone make of her warning that "everything is going to change"?
The story moves along briskly with a fair number of turns and plot twists. Fast-paced action/adventure.
If you like this series, it's a pretty decent pairing with William Sleator's House of Stairs or even Percy Jackson (the labyrinth one, specifically). Throw in a smattering of Maria Snyder's Inside Out (for maze-like elements and search for escape) and Incarceron (for maze-like prison) for good measure.(less)
Saba is content with her life in Silverlake, but she'd be content anywhere as long as her twin brother Lugh is around. Their father is a...moreBrandy says...
Saba is content with her life in Silverlake, but she'd be content anywhere as long as her twin brother Lugh is around. Their father is a little strange, seeking answers from the stars, but he's harmless, mostly (maybe just too caught in his own past). Their little sister, Emmi, is annoying (though Lugh really believes Saba needs to lay off Emmi; the two girls just do not get along). They struggle for survival near their dried-up lake, but that struggle takes a turn when a violent sandstorm blows in not only copious red dust but also four riders. Riders who take Lugh and kill Pa. Saba sets off on a quest to find her brother, a quest that will take her far from Silverlake and the life she knew, introducing her to the hardness and anger at her core.
Occasional references to Wrecker cities, Wrecker tech, etc, at the only indications we get that this is set in a post-apocalyptic world, not just Anytown, Fantasyland. The post-apocalyptic connection isn't really strong enough to classify it as such, in my head, but it's a natural choice for teens who liked The Hunger Games, or adults who liked The Road. Lots of fighting, hand-to-hand combat; the searching and wandering; the epic quest to find someone; strong female characters (by which I mean physically strong, ass-kicking women, not fully-developed inner-strength types, because there's not a ton of character development in general)... there's a lot to recommend this book, but the narrator (Saba) isn't particularly likable. Saba and her friends frequently avoid certain death by the timely (and predictable) arrival of deus ex machinas. It's an engrossing story, once it gets going; well-paced and well-written, but it has a lot to overcome before it can get to those selling points.(less)
Brandy says... I liked this well enough. The drawings of all the stuff Min was returning to Ed were a little distracting--if it was meant to be the act...moreBrandy says... I liked this well enough. The drawings of all the stuff Min was returning to Ed were a little distracting--if it was meant to be the actual stuff, I think photos would have worked better. And I'm disappointed in the ultimate reason Min and Ed break up. Min gives so many small-but-valid reasons all throughout, but (view spoiler)[it's not any of those, exactly, or even a combination of any of them, but rather a whole different thing. (hide spoiler)]
"He doesn't beat me/cheat on me/scream at me, so therefore there's no reason to break up" isn't true. "He meets the basic requirement of human beings" isn't a compelling reason to date someone, and a relationship can not-work for so many other reasons than abuse.
But! It's good, and kinda refreshing to read about the rise and fall of a relationship, even just for the reassurance that it's perfectly normal to not marry the first person you date... a relationship can end and leave everyone okay.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Brandy says... Joey Crouch had never left Chicago until after his mother's funeral, when he was sent to live with the father he'd never met. When he ar...moreBrandy says... Joey Crouch had never left Chicago until after his mother's funeral, when he was sent to live with the father he'd never met. When he arrives in his father's small town, he meets a man who doesn't want to take in a teenage son, doesn't want to interact with anyone, doesn't want to be a part of anyone's life. Because Harnett is a digger. A grave-digger. A grave-robber, actually. And Joey is going to find a way to enter the family business.
Carter and Abby are finally getting back on speaking terms, and while they're still on-again-off-again, they're getting more "on" than "off" times. Bu...moreCarter and Abby are finally getting back on speaking terms, and while they're still on-again-off-again, they're getting more "on" than "off" times. But then Abby is accepted into the New York School of Drama--and she's encouraging Carter to apply. Which means Carter needs to apply himself and raise his GPA, which means overcoming his severe ADD.
Carter is back in a third book, and he's still a loveable, good-natured screw-up. He's funny and cringe-inducing, and you don't want to miss this one!(less)