Deuce was born in an enclave deep underground, and has been trained to be a Huntress. After her naming ceremony, she is paired with Fade, and older boy who is rumored to have been born topside. When news that a neighboring enclave has been wiped out by Freaks, humanoid mutants that menace the enclave’s borders, Deuce and Fade are sent to investigate. What they find is a slaughter unlike any they’ve ever seen, and questions that could alter their entire existence.
After standing up for a friend that has been framed for hoarding, Deuce and Fade are exiled to Topside, where Deuce will discover strength she never knew she had, and learn to rely on her growing bond with Fade. Once Topside, Deuce learns that not everything the enclave Elders taught was true, and Fade remembers what it was like to live aboveground. Among the gangers and roving bands of mutants, Deuce and Fade must fight for survival…and hope. Enclave is told from Deuce’s first person POV, and she is a tough, pragmatic, and smart heroine. I loved rooting for her as she fought through the many dangers thrown her way. Fade is a strong, quiet hero, and a perfect compliment to Deuce. Ann Aguirre’s descriptions of a burnt-out, ruined America are chilling, and Enclave is a wonderful novel of post apocalyptic survival and the bonds of friendship and love. Among the many recent dystopian releases, Enclave is a standout! Highly recommended! ...more
17 year old Madison Avery is dead. Bummer. Killed on prom night by a dark reaper named Kairos, she manages to steal his amulet (a source of his power), thereby keeping the illusion of a physical body, and, more importantly, allowing her to keep her soul. She is guided by Barnabas, a “light reaper”, as he tries to train her in the duties of a reaper. Complications ensue when Kairos comes looking for his amulet, and her prom date’s life is threatened in the process. Along with prom date Josh, and her new guardian angel Grace (charming, scene stealing, and limerick singing), she must stay one step ahead of the persistant Kairos (who has good reasons for wanting his amulet back) and a beautiful but deadly dark reaper named Nakita, find her body, and keep her friends safe in the process. All in the day in the life of a dead girl, right?
I am a HUGE Kim Harrison fan, and she didn’t disappoint me with her first installment of her YA series! Just like with the Hollows , the action moves right along, and her characterizations are great, especially the wonderful Grace. Madison is a lot of fun, and it’s interesting to see how she handles her rather unique set of circumstances while dealing with the normal problems of teen life, such as fitting in and finding your place. Josh provides the romantic interest, but it doesn’t distract from the story, instead providing depth and fun diversion. I loved Harrison’s seraph/angel mythology and her rip roaring action sequences, and her exploration of free will and fate will get you thinking! This was a quick read, and I was never bored (I devoured this one in one sitting). Madison is not to be missed! ...more
Madison is the new dark timekeeper. Her job is to save souls by taking a life before the person can choose the dark path. Madison, however, doesn’t believe in fate, she believes in choice, which goes against everything the dark reapers stand for. Barnabas switched sides to stay and help Madison, and she also has the help of the beautiful, dark angel Nikita, who is now her protector.. The problem is the seraphs aren’t too sure that Madison’s approach to reaping is the way to go, and she’ll have to prove herself. The only way she can do that is to get to the person first, before they are reaped and talk them into taking a different path. She sees her chance in her next scything, who (after a prank gone wrong) is fated to release a virus into the computer system of a hospital, causing multiple deaths. Unfortunately, everything is not what it seems, and with Madison’s unhoned timekeeping skills tripping her up, finding the real culprit is much easier said than done.
Honestly, I didn’t enjoy Early to Death as much I did Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery 1), but I did enjoy it! Madison’s guardian angel, Grace (and her hilarious limericks) is back, as well as Barnabus and Nikita, who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite characters. Nikita is a perfect specimen of beauty, yet her self consciousness and her desire to be liked and to fit in is endearing, as is her growing affection for Madison, who she’s sworn to protect. Josh, Madison’s (hopeful) love interest from book one is absent for most of this one, and it didn’t go unnoticed, so I’m hoping Ms. Harrison has some great plans for him in book 3. We also met the new Light Timekeeper apprentice, Paul, who looks to be a fun addition to the cast (and who may not be quite what he seems.) Madison still struggles with choice over fate, and her desire for choice gets increasingly harder when she sees just what the baddies are capable of. These books certainly do make you think about a human’s ability to change their ways and take the right path, and Ms. Harrison is on top of her writing game, as always. I’ll look forward to joining Madison and the gang again in Book 3, Something Deadly This Way Comes, out later this month. ...more
Rot & Ruin has zombies. Lots and lots of zombies. It also has all of the good stuff that usually accompanies zombies, thrills, chills, and of courRot & Ruin has zombies. Lots and lots of zombies. It also has all of the good stuff that usually accompanies zombies, thrills, chills, and of course, kills. However, Rot & Ruin is not a zombie book, not in the traditional sense. It’s a coming of age story in a time where everything is dangerous, and nothing is quite how it seems, and about the birth of a hero. The book begins about 15 years after First Night, when the dead started coming back to life, and focuses on Benny Imura, 14, and his older, zombie hunter brother Tom. Benny is about to turn 15, and that means he’ll have to get a job, or his food rations will be cut in half. I’ll be honest, at the start of this book, I thought Benny Imura, our 15 year old star, was a whining, moody little brat and was actually worried that I wasn’t going to like him at all. On the other hand, his older brother Tom was a quiet, kind, strong presence that eventually grew into a much bigger role later in the novel. Benny tries his hand at a number of jobs before deciding, kicking and screaming, to go into the “family business”, aka zombie hunting, or as Tom prefers, becoming a “closure specialist”. Benny has fuzzy, vague memories about Tom running away with him and leaving his parents to the mercy of the zombies on First Night, and has nursed bitter resentment for him ever since. Benny idolizes the obnoxious, loud mouthed bounty hunter Charlie, and thinks his brother is a coward, not only for what he perceives happened on First Night, but because Tom rarely talks about what he does to put food on the table. It’s only when Tom takes Benny out into the Rot & Ruin (the zombie infested area beyond their fenced in town), that Benny begins to realize just what his brother does on a daily basis, and his entire world view is turned upside down, and when his friend Nix is kidnapped by zombie hunters with the most evil of plans, Benny has to look inside himself to find courage he never knew existed. This book was hard for me to review, because I recently read Patient Zero, and The Dragon Factory, both by Jonathan Maberry, and I absolutely could not put them down. So, perhaps unfairly to this book, I expected more of the same, just toned down for a Young Adult audience. Rot & Ruin took a bit longer for me to get into, but that was ok, because the payoff was worth it! There’s plenty of guts and action to please boy readers, and the characters show much more insight and maturity than many of the YA titles out there right now. There was also plenty to please this girl reader, and there were some heartbreaking moments that really made me love the characters. I wavered between a 4.5 and a 5 on this one, so I’ll give it a 5! I’ll eagerly look forward to the next Benny Imura novel!
For parents: I would feel comfortable letting my 11 year old daughter read this, although I think the 13-and-up set would get the most out of it. There’s no sexual content aside from some kissing, and some slightly dirty 14-year-old boy thoughts, but nothing overt. However, there are adult themes that will probably invite some questions, so if you’re a parent that relishes that, like I am, then be sure to grab this title! I would also recommend getting your hands on a hardcover copy, because it’s a treat! ...more
I usually try not to gush over a book, because more often than not, it's immediately after I've read it and I haven't really had time to think about iI usually try not to gush over a book, because more often than not, it's immediately after I've read it and I haven't really had time to think about it before commenting. Then inevitably, later, I feel kinda silly 'cause the immediacy, and the gush factor, is gone.
Not for this book. I finished this last night. Very late last night since I couldn't put it down to sleep. It only took about an afternoon to read, and I'm sure I neglected things like laundry and dishes, but oh well. It's probably one of the best books I've read in a while, in the YA or adult category, and it packed an enormous emotional punch. The writing was superb, and I wouldn't have thought this was a first book. I do, however, have a warning: unless you have a heart made out of coal or darker things, you will want to keep a box of tissues around for the duration. I absolutely can't wait to read The Dead Tossed Waves. I've got the tissues ready....more