Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review: Enduring Chaos

Enduring Chaos
Enduring Chaos by Catherine Fitzsimmons

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Damian Sires has hidden her entire life. A veil hides her strange eyes and her special gifts are never to be shown. When she loses control of her power and the ship carrying her father and their cargo goes down, she is left alone with a mercenary, the only other survival of that day. She is in a world that fears magic and she doesn’t understand why she is the way she is. She makes some unexpected allies and they set out to discover the source of Damian’s power.

Enduring Chaos is the first book in a new fantasy series. Sisters of Chaos promises to create a story worth following, but this first book leaves a lot to be desired. Fitzsimmons’ world building is great and the characters create a bond with the reader, but I feel this entire book is only setting up for a long series. Unfortunately, I kept thinking of other fantasy series that this story reminded me of. I look forward to the next book in this series, but wish I had waited until the second book was available.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Review: Pawn

Pawn by Aimee Carter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kitty Doe has just turned 17 and taken her placement test. Although she is bright, she never learned to read and wasn’t able to finish her test. Even with the test incomplete, she was able to earn a III, but that means she will be sent to Denver to assume her assigned career. That is not acceptable and she decides to hide temporarily to await her boyfriend’s 17th birthday and while she is in hiding she receives an offer. She can leave the life given to her and become a VII, but if she does she won’t be able to see anyone from her past. Kitty wakes up two weeks later and discovers she has been masked. She has been surgically altered to look like Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece. This new family wants her to stop the rebellion that Lila was secretly working with.

Does Kitty have what it takes to tackle this new identity? Who can she trust? What should she do? Pawn is not just another dystopian novel. Although the science is not presently advanced enough to mask individuals as they are in this book, the societal issues are present and it is easy for the reader to see how a world such as this could come about. Carter creates a world in which a test at the age of 17 determines who will be successful and what they should be doing. I know when I was 17 I wouldn’t have wanted my entire future dictated to me and Kitty is like any other teenager in her feelings. The Blackcoat Rebellion series is destined to be a hit with young adult readers and adults who are still young at heart.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: Crash into You

Crash into You
Crash into You by Katie McGarry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rachel appears to have it all. She has wealthy parents, attends a private school and has a cherry red Mustang GT. What she keeps a secret is her love of driving fast and the fact that her panic attacks have never stopped. While out one night with the intent of racing along back roads she stumbles upon an illegal drag race and tries her hand at it. She fails miserably, but has success in a different way. She has caught the eye of Isaiah Walker. He is a foster kid who is covered in tattoos and everyone respects his expertise in all things cars.

Through their shared love of driving fast an unexpected bond forms and both people are catapulted into secrets and trials. Will their different worlds be able to meld into a working relationship? Can Rachel get past her panic attacks to stand up for what she wants? Crash into You is the third book in the Pushing the Limits series. Although many of the characters have appeared in the previous two books, Crash into You has a story of its own and can be read by itself or as teaser for the other stories. McGarry does not disappoint with a story that encourages a fast read and the chemistry between the main and supporting characters will keep the reader wanting to read more. Readers who want a romance novel with a strong supporting story will thoroughly devour this story. I can’t wait for the fourth book, Take Me On, to be published in May 2014!

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review: Venture Untamed

Venture Untamed
Venture Untamed by R.H. Russell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Venture Delving has just lost his mother and since he is already fatherless he feels as if he is alone as a bonded servant. Although there are limits to what he is allowed to do because of his status, his master wants to encourage Venture to pursue plans for after his nineteenth birthday when he will be free. Venture decides he wants to learn to fight and begins training at a center that is known for training boys to become professional fighters.

With all of the limits already given to him, Venture must find his inner strength and determination to pursue his passion. Will his love for his master’s daughter be his downfall? Does he want to be a fighter like his father? Can he do what it takes to be a freeman? Venture Untamed is the first book in The Venture series. This first book is a relatively short book and gives the reader the feel that there is a larger story on the way. When I finished reading this story, I was glad to know that the second and third books are already out since this book does not give a satisfying ending. The second book is Venture Unleased and the third book is Venture Unbroken. Russell’s writing was smooth and the world building and character development were great. Although the reader won’t be satisfied with stopping after the first book, it is not a cliff hanger. It has been a few days since I finished this story and I can’t stop thinking about Venture and the next stage in his journey.

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Review: Tuscan Rose

Tuscan Rose
Tuscan Rose by Belinda Alexandra

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rosa was left with the sisters of Santo Spirito by a stranger described as “The Wolf.” The only clue to who the child may be is hidden within a silver key that was found inside the baby’s wrappings. The book then fast-forwards several times, the first to be when she is escorted out of the convent to become a governess. Her time in this position is short lived when she is charged with a crime without a trial and sent to prison. Later jumps in time give the reader access to her experiences throughout what was to become known as World War II.

Tuscan Rose is more than a love story. Set in the historical time of Mussolini, the reader will experience love, heartbreak, curiosity and patriotism. Although I am an American and was not even born during this time in history, I felt a connection to Rosa and the characters found in the story. Alexandra brings Florence to life and encourages the reader to feel at home in this land. I enjoyed this book and feel enriched because of it, but I feel the length will deter any readers who are not comfortable with historical fiction books that span such a large space of time. For those who are dedicated to their passion of reading, this is a good choice to pursue.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: Hostage Three

Hostage Three
Hostage Three by Nick Lake

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All Amy wanted to do was make a statement on her last day of A exams. She showed up to school with facial piercings and then lit a cigarette in the gym. After being sent home and told she will need to repeat the exams, her father decides what she needs is to spend time boating the world. Aboard the yacht is her father, her step-mother and a small crew and it is all leisure activity time. That is until they are in the Gulf of Aden and they are boarded by pirates who want to ransom them (not the boat). Hostage One is her father, Hostage Two is her step-mother and she is Hostage Three. Working toward the ransom takes time and Amy finds that she isn’t as scared as she should be and she is learning to relate to some of the pirates.

Hostage Three includes everything a reader can look for. It has a teen questioning her future, an unthinkable situation and romance that her father says is doomed to fail. Lake takes a situation that most people only know about due to news stories and movies and brings details to the reader in a truly captivating story. Although the book flashes back to previous times in Amy’s life, this does not make the book confusing in the least. The story captured me at the start and I gladly rode the adventure to its conclusion. This is a great realistic standalone novel.

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