An engaging well-constructed fantasy series opener. I was intrigued by the concept of parallel Londons, and liked how we arThis was a 3.5 read for me.
An engaging well-constructed fantasy series opener. I was intrigued by the concept of parallel Londons, and liked how we are introduced to Grey London which is Victorian London and without magic, Red London where life is good and magic flourishes, White London where the strong prey on the weak and magic is about control, and Black London which is supposedly destroyed as it was consumed by magic and is not mentioned. The plot is creative and suspenseful as the author slowly reveals the secrets and duplicity despite some predictable action points. The reader learns that many do not know of the other Londons and that only Antaris can travel from one London to another. As for characters many were a little too stereotyped for my taste but it was the feisty Lila that held my attention. Lila, from Grey London, lives my her wits and thieving skills and longs to be a pirate and see the world. As this was an audio book for me, the narration was well done and added to the ambiance of the storyline. Based on the title I was expecting a little grittier tale. The ending is not necessarily a cliffhanger, but an anticipation to see what the backlash will to the final action, and hopefully a visit to Black London.
I received the audio book through participation in the Goodreads Ford Audiobook Club. ...more
Great premise! I am a fan of near/post apocalyptic storylines that have an adult tone. This book immediately built the suspense and tension but it sizGreat premise! I am a fan of near/post apocalyptic storylines that have an adult tone. This book immediately built the suspense and tension but it sizzled out a little for me during the flashbacks as those events became anti-climatic because of the river journey. But was still anxious to turn the pages to the end. I also enjoy storylines where there are several – what would I do in those situation moments, especially those when there are so many unknowns and this book provided several for me to ponder. This debut novel was well-paced and engaging though the book focused on the information that the characters knew about I wanted to know a little bit more of the big picture of the situation. I look forward to reading future books by the author. ...more
This futuristic inventive adventure tale mesmerized me from the beginning with its captivating protagonists, beautifully rendered landscapes, and provThis futuristic inventive adventure tale mesmerized me from the beginning with its captivating protagonists, beautifully rendered landscapes, and provocative themes. I was not quite sure what to expect from The Girl In the Road, but my past reading experience has shown that I enjoy stories that often defy fitting neatly into a specific genre. I enjoyed the format of the parallel storylines while both set in the future but not at the same time, and the tension building in each of the storylines knowing not quite how but still knowing they will intersect at some point. Meena awakes with snakebites on her chest, thinking someone is out to get her, flees Mumbai deciding to go to Ethiopia to find out the truth of her mother’s death. And since she does not want to be tracked decides to take the Trail, an energy-harvesting bridge spanning from India to Africa. The only thing is the Trail has a mysterious aura of its own, and is a dangerous forbidden way. Mariama, a young girl is also fleeing her home in western Africa and joins a caravan of misfits going to Ethiopia. As one travels from east to west, and the other from west to east, both landing in the same place, now the new power center of the world is in in Africa and energy is the resource fueling this shift of power. My only nitpick is that the storyline sagged a little in the middle, but it did pick again for a stunning ending. Byrne’s has penned an impressive debut of two strong appealing female protagonists of color seeped in the richness of an impressive non-European worldbuilding environment.
I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a honest review. ...more
As I am not a big fan of short forms of fiction - so of course I wanted more. :) But I am thankful to be able to read these stories. While reading themAs I am not a big fan of short forms of fiction - so of course I wanted more. :) But I am thankful to be able to read these stories. While reading them I could see Ms. Butler's mind - and could see how these stories flushed out in her novels. When you are done reading you will want to re-read all of your favorite Octavia Butler books. This book and a glass of wine was a wonderful treat on a stormy humid night.
This was a 3.5 star read for me. And since I will be reading the next book in the trilogy as I am vested in this book that deals twisted its way intoThis was a 3.5 star read for me. And since I will be reading the next book in the trilogy as I am vested in this book that deals twisted its way into my mind - I am rounding up star rating.
Night’s Promise is a delightful entertaining read capturing the excitement and magic, anticipation and hesitation of youngThis was a 3.5 read for me.
Night’s Promise is a delightful entertaining read capturing the excitement and magic, anticipation and hesitation of young couple tenderly falling in love. That the hero in this story is a vampire with a secret gene and the heroine is a human who sought out vampires but never expected to meet one makes this vampire romance appealing as themes of trust, acceptance, and loyalty abound. Derek Blackwood is a rarity as he is one of the few “born” vampires and the son of the powerful Queen of Vampires. Derek’s growth and maturity into manhood was not without challenges but he was learned to live in a human world. Wealthy, beautiful Sheree Westerbrooke has an obsession with vampires, dressing in black and frequenting Goth nightclubs hoping to catch the eye of a vampire. Sheree is well aware that the men at the club scene all say they are vampire, so when first laying eyes on the handsomely sexy Derek she plays along with his claiming to be a vampire. Upon learning that Derek is indeed a vampire, and she is deeply attracted to him, Sheree realizes she has to face the challenges of falling in love with a vampire or leave and become the “socialite” wife her mother wants. Derek has never felt an attraction/connection to a woman like he has for Sheree which is why is open with her about who he is. But, Derek is holding a back a secret fear – he feels is turning into a werewolf and has no idea who he will be after the full moon. While the storyline was a little slow in the beginning, it quickly gains momentum. There are a couple of surprises that showcases Ashley masterful skills to effectively combine romance and vampire action without either feeling cheated. And yes, of course there is the fresh viewpoint she adds to vampire culture. I enjoyed not only the moments of tenderness and vulnerability between Sheree and Derek but those of Mara. At first I was quite sure how Ashley was going to follow up the emotionally captivating storyline of Mara, Kyle and Logan from the last book but I was pleasantly surprised. This book is not as an intense story but overall I found this to be a fun and clever read illustrates that young love is universally the same whether human or vampire. ...more
My thoughts: • This book more than any other I have read in quite some time took me from one extreme to other. ThroughoutThis was a 2.5 review for me.
My thoughts: • This book more than any other I have read in quite some time took me from one extreme to other. Throughout the book I went from being intrigued by a character, phrasing of a thought to being bored wondering why I am still reading this story. What was causing these extreme feelings about the book – am I just not a fan of re-imagining of fairy tales, made me wonder if I am even a fan of fairy tales, was I just disappointed at what I thought were insightful thoughts that were mentioned and then just dropped without further exploration, or was the revelations on passing so familiar to me that perhaps that part of the story just didn’t the intended impact on me. And there were parts of the storyline that I enjoyed and one twist I did not see coming. • As Boy was raised by the rat-catcher you knew that had to psychologically affect her in ways she probably did not know. I could not imagine what Boy went through. I was surprised when the story revealed more about rat-catcher. • ““Her name’s Snow,” he said, as if that explained it all. “ – Good use from the fairytale because with telling that to the reader we have formed a picture of just who/what Snow was like. • I liked how sometimes the author dropped a bombshell line such as “It’d be less phony if you cried for every man who’s been lynched in Tennessee or Alabama or South Carolina since eighteen hundred and whenever.” • The naming of Boy, Snow & Bird on how their names influence their character and others expectations of them. o “I’ve always wanted to know whether Boy is the name my mother wanted for me, and if so, what kind of person the name was supposed to help me grow into.” • Overall this story or the story layout didn't work for me. I did not find it strange or amusing, in fact this read more like a women’s fiction storyline to me. But every book is not for everybody but every book is for someone. ...more
In Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, 12 year-old Sunny is trying to find her fit in the world based on who she is as a pHeading: To Thine Ownself Be True
In Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, 12 year-old Sunny is trying to find her fit in the world based on who she is as a person, but is challenged by how others see her. After being born in America, and living her first years there, Sunny is currently living in Nigeria with her parents and brothers, as her parents decided to return to their homeland. She is constantly bullied at school because she is an “akata,” a derogatory term for an American of African descent, and an albino. If that was not enough, Sunny is now also haunted by what she saw while staring at the flame of a candle – the end of the world. Not wanting to add to her troubles, she keeps this to herself until befriended by Orlu and Chichi, and is drawn into a magical world she never knew existed, the Leopold People. It turns out that Sunny is a “free agent,” a person born with magical powers despite no magical parents. Now she is one of the Leopold people and revels in this community of like-kind people, and amazing things begin to happen to her. All is going well until Sunny and her friends have been assigned to stop a serial killer, Black Hat, who has been murdering children.
I was intrigued by the mystery, the magical ambience, and the vivid setting in Akata Witch. The fantasy setting takes place in Nigeria providing a fresh feel to a coming-of-age story in the overcrowded fantasy genre. The charm is the author makes the reader comfortable and familiar with both the real and magical worlds outlined in the story. One technique used to make us feel familiar is at the beginning of each chapter, there is an excerpt from the “Fast Facts for Free Agents” book Sunny is using for her training, allowing the reader to learn about the Leopold People and their basic philosophy. I was fascinated to read about the African spiritual approach and tales. For fans of Okorafor’s prior work, she once again uses her trademark spiritual wilderness concept as evidenced by the luscious descriptions of the magical environments. The familiar aspect is that while learning the mythology, current events, and culture of Nigeria, Okforafor uses the timeless themes for adolescents; issues with parents and friends, group identification, wondering if the cute boy likes you, and the Nigeria we see is not one of violence and poverty, but one where parents work, kids go to school, use cell phones and the Internet.
Sunny is a strong heroine, and it was wonderful to watch her grow into herself. The secondary characters are equally as strong, and provide the impetus to move along the story. The quirks of each of the characters are subtly drawn yet realistic enough and understandable to young adults.
The pacing at the beginning was a little slow, but picked up quickly and flowed well until the end which was a little too abrupt for me. This book is a good foundation for a series, and I am hoping we will have more adventures with Sunny and her friends as they progress through their training levels.
I recommend Akata Witch to young adult readers of fantasy who are looking for new imaginative territory.
I was torn on my rating for this book and so wished that Good Reads would like .5 or to add "+" to a number. This was a 3.6 read for me. I liked the prI was torn on my rating for this book and so wished that Good Reads would like .5 or to add "+" to a number. This was a 3.6 read for me. I liked the premise of the story and the handling of difficult issues. This book will definitely have you thinking about the legacy we are leaving for others and about diversity of thought and ideas. I thought the book started off slow and was mre YA in nature that an adult read. The story does pick up in the last half and moves at a quick pace to the conclusion that has been predicted. But, it is the journey to this conclusion that will keep you reading. I will read more by this author. ...more