Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review: Atlanta Burns

Atlanta Burns (Atlanta Burns #1-2)Atlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Atlanta Burns has a reputation. After taking a shotgun to her mother’s boyfriend … everyone knows not to mess with her. Although she tries to stay away from trouble, she becomes the target of two sets of bullies when she intervenes to help a couple of students who quickly become her friends. But since no good deed goes unpunished … Atlanta knows that something is going on when a teen shows up dead and it is listed as a suicide. She doesn’t want to make things worse by looking into it, so she dedicates her time to find out who is killing dogs in the neighborhood. When she discovers a dogfighting ring, she is once again surrounded by bad people and her future is looking more and more forlorn.

Atlanta Burns is a young adult novel that blends many everyday issues into one story. Atlanta confronts bullies, sexual abuse, parental neglect, dogfighting and American poverty. The downside of these many issues is that most are only addressed minimally when they could have used an entire book by themselves. With that said, Wendig did a superb job of creating a story that was believable even if it wasn’t very plausible. The adventure moves along nicely and many of the issues are wrapped up before the conclusion. Wendig has left openings for future books with his new heroine.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review: The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant

The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant (The V Trilogy, #2)The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anne Merchant is back on Wormwood Island even though her body is in a coma and not dead. She has been informed that she is connected to a woman known as Lilith and that she must embrace her dark powers in order to be released. Unfortunately, Ben is now a senior and must compete for the Big V. He doesn’t want to compete … he wants to enjoy the time he has with Anne. Anne must decide whether she will stay on the straight and narrow, which will lead to Ben’s end, or will she take the darker path into the underworld and hope that good will prevail in the end. Can she save Ben without losing herself? Is there a line she will refuse to cross?

The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant is the second book in The V Trilogy. This novel picks up shortly after the ending of the first book and Wiebe has included many references to the first story to help jog the reader’s memory. As a person who read the first book a while ago, I felt the tidbits of information were helpful. I do not recommend readers start with this book. Readers will be completely confused if they jump into this second story. The tale is twisting and characters are numerous. Much of the background information about these characters is in the first book which can lead to confusion if that story is skipped. This book will appeal to readers of supernatural tales and the ending will lead the reader to question where is the third book going to take them.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Review: The Last American Vampire

The Last American VampireThe Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Henry Sturges has been a vampire for centuries. He has experienced so much of America. He was in Roanoke with the first settlers and watched America bloom in its youth. As the years passed, he traveled the world and was in England with Jack the Ripper, in America to watch the electric era with Tesla and Edison, went to Russia during the October Revolution and experienced the First and Second World Wars. No mortal human has experienced all of these events except in books.

The Last American Vampire is an alternate history of America viewed through the eyes of a vampire. Readers who enjoyed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will have fun discovering which famous people were really vampires as well as those who passed up the chance to be immortal. This is not a direct sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and readers who have not touched that novel will not have any issues with this book. This is not an action packed adventure tale, so readers should be advised that it can read more like a narrative history book than fiction. Although this is an enjoyable book, it is geared toward those who like alternate histories and not necessarily those who like vampire books.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: The Deep

The DeepThe Deep by Nick Cutter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You don’t want to get the ‘Gets. This strange disease is killing humans worldwide. It doesn’t affect humans in the usual way. Those who catch it slowly forget to do things. As the disease progresses, your body eventually forgets to keep itself alive. Deep in the Marianas Trench, scientists believe they have found the cure for EVERYTHING. They call it Ambrosia and they believe this will stop the ‘Gets. A special lab has been built eight miles under the ocean’s surface and there seems to be more than isolation and the ocean’s pressure affecting the scientists inside. Will Ambrosia be able to stop the ‘Gets? Is there something else in the complete darkness or is it the imagination of those present?

The Deep is a science fiction thriller that presents itself in a way to cause the reader to believe this could happen now. The scientific discoveries mentioned in this story may not be real when this book was published, but the technology and knowledge discussed is not too far off in our future. Disease’s with no cure are always scary, yet when the symptoms are so mundane they may be easily overlooked or worse, easily misdiagnosed, humanity as a whole is at risk. Cutter pulled me into The Troop and did not disappoint me with The Deep. The suspense is palpable as the reader continues through the pages, yet the ending will leave the reader wanting to know what happens next. Although the current listing does not have this as a series, I hope that there are more books in this world Cutter has created.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: There Will Be Lies

There Will Be LiesThere Will Be Lies by Nick Lake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It will only be four hours before Shelby is struck by a car and her life changes forever. When she leaves the hospital, her mother tells her they are finally going to visit the Grand Canyon. Shelby is told that her father (who she believed was dead) has discovered their whereabouts and they must try and disappear again. Unfortunately, Shelby can tell that her mother is still hiding the truth and as the story continues to change and her mother keeps acting unlike herself, Shelby does not know who she can trust. To top it all off, she had begun to have strange dreams that are leaving clues in the waking world. What is her subconscious trying to tell her?

There Will Be Lies is a roller coaster of a thriller. There are many times the reader will believe the story is about to come to a climax, but then they look at the book and realize they aren’t even half way through. Emotions are high for the all the characters and the reader will quickly feel intimately involved with the story. Although I wanted to get to the end of the book just to know the truth, I was sad for the story to end since this book was a welcome distraction and a truly enjoyable read. Lake has created a story that will tug at the heartstrings of the young and the more mature reader. I recommend this book to ALL readers whether you normally read YA or not.

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Review: Hellhole

HellholeHellhole by Gina Damico
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Max Kilgore has always been a good kid. The only reason he decided to steal something, was because he wanted to cheer up his sick mother. But the theft and resulting lie were enough to free a devil. This big red guy is in his basement and is demanding stolen food and also a house gotten by illegal means. Max doesn’t know what to do and asks for help from Lore, a girl who is rumored to know some things about the dark side. Can these two satisfy the demands without getting caught? What lines are they not willing to cross?

Hellhole is an action packed tongue-in-cheek adventure that is easily read and then forgotten. As a fan of Damico’s Croak series, I was disappointed in the shallow characters and predictable storyline. I would recommend this book for an easy escape, but I won’t be urging people to move it to the top of their reading list. Hellhole is fun, but forgettable.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: This Shattered World

This Shattered World (Starbound, #2)This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lee is a career soldier. She is the captain of one of the troops on Avon trying to control the rebellious colonists. Although her troops should know better than think she would leave a bar with a man, she is kidnapped right under their noses and is being held prisoner. Her captor, Flynn, thinks he can use her to negotiate a cease fire, but he quickly realizes that neither side wants peace. Flynn and Lee escape the rebel base, yet now neither one truly know which side of the war they are really on. Who can they trust? Can they trust each other?

This Shattered World is the second book in the Starbound series. This book is more of a companion story with references to events from the first book mentioned on the fringes. Readers can pick up this book without the first, but be warned that you may feel the need to read it anyway. The star-crossed lovers have both been hurt by many people and have issues with forming new attachments. This is definitely a science fiction story, but even readers who normally don’t have the patience to read sci-fi will be able to digest this book in order to enjoy the love story. A good read that will have the reader checking for the next volume.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Review: Suspicion

SuspicionSuspicion by Alexandra Monir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has been seven years since Imogen’s father and mother died in a fire at her family’s English country manor. Her guardians moved her back to New York City and isolated her from anything related to her English noble ancestors. When she learns that her cousin and grandfather are both dead and she is now the Duchess of Rockford, Imogen holds her head high and decides to take on this heavy title. Rockford begins to flourish with her return, but there are dark secrets at every turn and Imogen is unsure who she can trust and must uncover the truth before it is too late.

Suspicion is a mystery with a hint of supernatural folklore thrown in. Readers who enjoyed the Princess Diaries will like the American turned heiress pulled into the twenty-first century. The story moves along quickly and smoothly. I recommend that readers don’t start this book during a busy time of the week, since they will most likely be stuck in their favorite reading spot trying to break away. Monir has created a cast of characters that are easy to love and although this appears to be a stand-alone book, it is easy to see additional stories being created in this newly developed world.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: King Dork Approximately

King Dork ApproximatelyKing Dork Approximately by Frank Portman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tom Henderson has survived tenth grade, act one. It is now time to begin tenth grade, act two, and life is still completely unstable for King Dork. Tom had to give up his army coat since it was saturated in blood; Little Big Tom has been guilted out of the home and his imaginary girlfriends are nowhere around. He has just found out that after the winter break his school will be shut down and he will be separated from his alphabetical-order best friend who will go to a different school. This new school actually expects students to do work and bullying is not done as openly. Will the Catcher Code work in this new environment? Can the female robot’s notes help him in his next relationship?

King Dork Approximately is the second book in the King Dork series. Even for a sequel published eight years after the first book, readers should have no trouble remembering the events of the first book due to the non-stop ramblings of the narrator. This book is a tongue in cheek story told by a goofy teen boy. Readers should not go into this book expecting anything serious and definitely not for any life changing truths. King Dork Approximately is a fun escape read that will keep the reader turning pages until the end.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Review: Captive

Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2)Captive by Aimee Carter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kitty Doe has been living a lie for two months. She is pretending to be the Prime Minister’s niece, she doesn’t know if she can trust her fake fiancé, and although the Blackcoats want her help, they allow her to do little more than give canned speeches. As she begins to understand that her role in the Hart family was not a random event, she is accused of treason and sent to Elsewhere. Kitty must relearn who she can trust, if anyone, even those who have appeared to be on her side during these past two months. What is she willing to sacrifice to help the rebellion?

Captive is the second book in The Blackcoat Rebellion series. There is not much lag time between the two books, and the clues that Carter intersperses throughout the first few chapters will jog the reader’s memory. The story is ever changing and many characters are constantly moving into and out of the storyline. There was a lot of world building and character development in the first book that readers who jump into this book will miss. I do not recommend reading Captive without reading Pawn first.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: The Shadow Soul

The Shadow Soul (A Dance of Dragons, #1)The Shadow Soul by Kaitlyn Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was a special day for Jinji. She was to become a woman with the braiding of her hair. Yet when the ceremony was finished, her life changed completely after her entire village was massacred. As the only survivor she cut off her hair and left to find vengeance. She met up with Rhen, a prince trying to uncover a plot against his family, and Jinji uses her short hair to travel as a boy. Although the two are traveling together, they still don’t trust each other enough to confide their secrets. Jinji can create illusions and Rhen can control fire. These skills are feared by many and may be their saving grace or their downfall.

The Shadow Soul is the first book in A Dance of Dragons series. The action is fast paced and the story moves along quickly and smoothly. The alternating chapters of Jinji and Rhen are weaved together effortlessly without causing a distraction for the reader. Davis has created a multi-faceted world with the potential to contain stories for many books to come. This book will satisfy male and female readers alike whether they enjoy fantasy or adventure books.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review: The Job

The Job (Fox and O'Hare, #3)The Job by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Special Agent Kate O’Hare is good at her job. What most of the FBI does not know is that she also has a secret assignment. She has been paired up with Nicolas Fox to try and bring down the world’s felons. The fact that Fox is on the world’s top ten list and currently being chased by other agents just adds to the drama. After a series of thefts that the FBI believe Fox was responsible for, Nick and Kate team up to catch a drug lord that has his own addiction … Knipschildt chocolate! Kate is not able to stay on the side of completely legal, but with the help of some creative and not too honest specialists, they will try their best to get their man behind bars.

The Job is the third book in the Fox and O’Hare series. Readers who enjoyed the love hate relationship explored in the first two books will not be disappointed in this volume. Fox continues to try and seduce Kate, and it seems as if Kate is having a rougher time resisting him. Can they keep their relationship purely personal? Would that be in the best interest of their mission? Readers might be able to pick up this book without reading the first two, but the innuendos and fun banter will not hold the same appeal if they do. A fast paced read that can be easily devoured in one or two sittings.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review: Dangerous Deceptions

Dangerous Deceptions (Palace of Spies, #2)Dangerous Deceptions by Sarah Zettel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Peggy Fitzroy is a lady in waiting to Princess Caroline in the 1716 London court. Like many other women of her time, she is betrothed to a man not of her choosing, but she is hoping to break this arrangement so that she can be with the love of her life, Matthew. The lessons she has learned during her training to become a spy are put to good use when her fiancé returns to court with plans to claim her. Peggy must uncover the truth about her family and that of her fiancé in order to have any chance of getting out of this marriage. Does Peggy have the spy skills necessary to break this agreement?

Dangerous Deceptions is the second book in the Palace of Spies series. Whether the reader enjoys a good mystery or is a fan of historical fiction, they will find equal pleasure with this book. Peggy speaks to the reader throughout the book as she is chronicling her escapes in journal entries. The banter recorded is quick witted if not simple, but since all information is coming from the Peggy, the reader is kept in the dark about events outside of her knowledge. A fun read … but will not please all readers.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review: Creed

CreedCreed by Trisha Leaver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dee has planned the perfect birthday gift … a weekend away at a concert and a hotel suite all to themselves. When their car breaks down on the way, they take shelter from the snow storm in a town call Purity Springs. They can’t find anyone and there are no phones or other communication devices. They next morning they learn that Purity Springs has a dark secret. Dee, Luke and Mike find that they have no way to escape and the town’s leader, Elijah Hawkins, has decided that Dee will become his new wife. Elijah’s son tells her he can help her escape, but can Dee and her friends pay the price needed for freedom?

Creed is a young adult thriller for fans of horror movies. Dee is a fan of scary stories and is constantly remarking about what a character in a horror movie might do. Yet even though she knows what is expected of her, she realizes that real life is not a movie and when faced with life or death choices there is no easy answer. Leaver and Currie’s debut novel is gripping and fast paced. Readers will find the pages turning quickly and the time whittling away without notice. An enjoyable read that should be moved to the top of your TBR pile.

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Review: Waistcoats & Weaponry

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3)Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sophronia is in her second year of finishing school and she has the steel-bladed fan to prove it. The girls thought they were to have fun at an engagement party, but were soon hiding on a train in order to help Sidheag return to her werewolf pack in Scotland. Although they thought it was weird to find an empty train for the passage, they quickly learned there was a reason it was not occupied. Sophronia, Dimity, Soap, Sidheag and Lord Felix inadvertently discover a plot against London and Sophronia is faced with the hard decision about her personal loyalties. She can no longer stand on the sidelines … she must make a choice.

Waistcoats & Weaponry is the third book in the Finishing School series. Readers of the first two books will quickly remember the vital elements of those books and will be swept into this new tale. The girls are maturing in espionage and in relations with the opposite sex. As the training becomes more intense, the responsibilities brought before them are also escalated. Readers of other steampunk novels will enjoy this series and although the first two books are not needed to appreciate this one, I recommend starting at the beginning and enjoying the developments with the girls.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: Charming

CharmingCharming by Krystal Wade
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Haley Tremaine had a great life. She went to a prestigious school and her future contained only green lights. After an accident took her mother’s life her father turned to alcohol and the rest of her life just fell apart. They moved out of their exclusive neighborhood and she is now attending the local public school. She is working in the shop where her mother was once the CEO, and now the new CEO’s son is showing interest in her. He has the reputation of being a bad boy, but as Haley gets to know Chris, she begins to wonder if his image is all a put on. The two are inexplicitly pushed together by an unknown person and the end result may be the murder of people they love.

Charming is a stand-alone thriller that is still quick and fun. Readers will be kept guessing until the end, yet the suspense is not daunting. Wade’s writing style creates a book that readers will quickly fall in love with, but since it is not part of a series … satisfaction does not have to wait. A good escape where the readers will continually wonder what they would have done and if they could survive.

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Review: The Last Changeling

The Last Changeling (Faerie Revolutions, #1)The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Elora is on a quest. She must take the form of a human girl and find the perfect offering. The human must be a boy that is also a “young leader of men.” This offering is a requirement of the Bright Queen for her assistance against the Dark Queen. Elora believes she has found the boy when she meets Taylor, but then she starts to fall in love and doesn’t want to sacrifice him. Can she pull off this charade and get the assistance she most desperately needs? What personal sacrifices must she make and where will she draw the line?

The Last Changeling is the first book in the Faerie Revolutions series. For a first book there is only a minimum of world building, but quite a few characters to keep straight. Pitcher seems to assume some background knowledge about Faerie’s from the reader, which for me is great, but may lead to a less pleasurable read for some. The storyline includes a few twists and turns, but nothing super surprising. Tough choices are made and many questions are left unanswered for future books to explore. This was a good read, but not a great escape.

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Review: The Glass Magician

The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It has been three months since Ceony Twill saved her mentor by returning his heart to his body. Although she was promised romance, it still appears as if her feelings are one sided. Magician Thane and Ceony are becoming ever closer, yet the teacher-student line has not been crossed. After an attack of a paper factory while Ceony was taking a tour, she is pulled into the crossfire of another magical attack against the people she loves. Does Ceony really have what it takes to protect those around her? Who can she trust with the knowledge she learns?

The Glass Magician is the second book in The Paper Magician Trilogy. The writing style is the same as the first book, so readers who enjoyed the first story will not be disappointed. If the reader is picking up this book first, they should not be terribly confused since Holmberg flawlessly weaves information about the first volume into this one, but I suggest the reader start with the first since it explores Ceony’s inner thoughts about paper magic and Emery for the first time. A great fantasy novel that includes good versus evil without all the dark elements found in other books.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: Watched

WatchedWatched by C.J. Lyons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jesse has been a cyber-victim. When he was twelve-years-old a hacker started blackmailing him and required him to participate in sexual photos and videos. Jesse is now sixteen-years-old and doesn’t know how to stop the hacker. King’s threats against Jesse’s family are real, and the photos and videos would ruin the rest of his life if they were leaked into the media. As the stakes continue to rise and the next threat is against his little sister’s life, Jesse receives a mysterious manila envelope with a very simple message … I can help. Will Jesse be able to get out from under King’s threats? What sacrifices must he make in order to earn his freedom?

Watched is a book that takes a little known cyber-issue and brings it to the audience that can benefit the most. The issues presented are real, yet the characters have the strength and knowledge to fight back and do everything in their power to survive. Whether or not the reader is able to perform the computer hacking described within the pages, Lyons is able to present them in a format that the reader can follow and understand. For readers looking for a realistic book that pulls no punches, Watched will be a valued addition to their TBR list.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review: Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct (The Naturals, #2)Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cassie Hobbes has a gift. She can profile a person through observation of them or their actions. She is now part of a special FBI program for teens that are great at solving crimes. She has barely escaped a killer who was fascinated with her mother’s murder and Cassie is looking forward to returning to cold cases. Then a new serial killer is copycatting Dean’s father and the group is pulled into this active case. As the team tries to figure out this new killer they discover that this person knows more about them than a public person should. Can they catch the killer before the next victim is dead?

Killer Instinct is the second book in The Naturals series. This psychological thriller will entrance the reader and keep them guessing along the way. Events of this book take place shortly after the first book and the characters haven’t even had time to recoup and refresh. Barnes has woven twists and turns into the plot and most readers will not foresee the killer’s next move until it is right on top of them. Be prepared, reader, to plant yourself in a comfortable position and devour a great book.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Review: Resisting Ruby Rose

Resisting Ruby Rose   (Ruby Rose #2)Resisting Ruby Rose by Jessie Humphries
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ruby Rose enjoys catching bad guys. It was just another day in great shoes until Grissom Island. Now she has killed a person and her therapist continues to insist that she is not a killer. Detective Martinez is still looking for a chance to take her down and all Ruby wants to do is go back to the way things were. In waltzes Skryker. He is an agent in a secret organization that would like to recruit Ruby’s special skills. She could become a young spy and assassin, but can Ruby resist becoming a killer again? Who can she trust? Who can she protect?

Resisting Ruby Rose is the second book in this YA thriller series. The action is fast paced and although events from the first book (such as the killing at Grissom Island) are referenced throughout the story, Humphries does not spend a great amount of time reviewing the details. Reading the first book may make this second volume more enjoyable, but skipping to the second book should not cause the reader any undue confusion. Although the main character is a teenage girl, the story will appeal to male and female readers alike. A strong second book and I can’t wait for the next installment.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review: The Body Electric

The Body ElectricThe Body Electric by Beth Revis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ella Shepherd uses technology invented by her mother to help people relive their happy memories. Recently she has discovered that she can enter these dreams with them. This ability comes with a cost, though. Now she is seeing crazy things. Why is she seeing her dead father? What is with the warnings about who she can trust? The government asks for her help to use her skills to spy on a rebel group, but when the rebel leader makes contact with her and claims they not only know each other, but were in love Ella can’t deny the blaring truth. Someone has changed her memories. Who would do that and why her?

The Body Electric is a sci-fi fantasy created around a world at peace. Although we have never known a world at peace, we all understand that peace is fragile and can easily be shaken. The decisions that Ella is faced with are perplexing and unique. There are many times where the story dragged, but then it would pick back up and pull me along again. In this world of series fiction, it is nice to find a stand-alone novel. Revis has weaved this story on the same Earth that sent Godspeed into space, but readers do not need to have read the Across the Universe trilogy to enjoy this book. The Body Electric is a good book and will satisfy most sci-fi fans.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: A.D. 30

A.D. 30: A NovelA.D. 30: A Novel by Ted Dekker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maviah was born out of wedlock and sent away to be a slave. When she returns home with her own baby her father asks her to go on a mission to protect the people who didn’t protect her. After an unexpected attack, Maviah escapes with two others and they flee to King Herod’s court to ask for help. Can she convince him to help her cause? Who can she trust in this world where woman have no place? During her journeys she learns about a man named Yeshua (Christ) and his teachings touch her and those around her in an unexpected way.

A.D. 30 takes readers back to the time of Christ and tells of the social and political upheaval that was transpiring around the religious changes. The story of Yeshua is weaved within the story of Maviah and the reader will discover the truths he taught as they are explored by her. As a gentile, a woman and an illegitimate child she had many stigmas against her. Yet throughout the book she uncovers a hidden source of strength and overcomes the barriers put before her. Dekker has written an historical fiction novel that can only be enhanced by the truths included. This book covers many of Yeshua’s early teachers and another book, A.D. 33, is promised in the future.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Review: Catch Me When I Fall

Catch Me When I Fall (Dreamcatcher #1)Catch Me When I Fall by Vicki Leigh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Daniel has been guarding humans and fighting Nightmares for 200 years. His most recent human died peacefully in her sleep after being guarded for 80 years, and Daniel’s new charge is a 16 year old girl in a psychiatric ward. Her mother put her there for her own protection because Kayla believes her touch caught her mother’s boyfriend on fire. During Daniel’s first night on duty five Nightmares attacked. Multiple Nightmares in one night are unusual and Daniel has never heard of multiple Nightmares at the same time. He is drawn to protecting Kayla even in daytime and after an attack more brutal than usual he breaks the first Law and shows himself to her. In order to protect her from the increasingly vicious attacks, he takes her to his headquarters in Rome. Why are these Nightmares becoming more severe? Are the Protectors themselves in danger?

Catch Me When I Fall is the first book in the Dreamcatcher series. This urban fantasy will delight readers and grab their attention at the beginning. Leigh mentions many previous cases and characters so readers may discover future books that take place before this one. I do want to warn younger readers that there are some descriptive sex scenes and may not be appropriate for the younger YA crowd. I found myself thinking about the characters and where the story was going next when I wasn’t reading the book and I longed to get back to my reading time so that I could discover the ending. I good read and definitely worth my time.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Review: Time's Edge

Time's Edge (The CHRONOS Files, #2)Time's Edge by Rysa Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kate’s grandfather has evil plans. As a fellow time traveler he is able to move about and rewrite the points in history he would like to change. In order to stop her grandfather, Kate must stay at least one step ahead of him and retrieve the CHRONOS keys before the Cyrists get them. She can’t grab them willy nilly, though. If Saul discovers what she is up too, he can go to a previous point in time and stop her. With the help of Kiernan, a fellow time traveler, she creates a plan and taxes her mind and body beyond the breaking point. Can Kate keep all the timeline’s straight? Can she rebuild the relationship with Trey that only she can remember?

Time’s Edge is the second book in the Chronos Files. Walker periodically references events in the first book to nudge the reader’s memory and these tidbits of information would be enough to help a reader who jumped into this second book without the first. The time traveling creates a read that is full of action and intrigue where the reader must consistently remind themselves that the era is extremely different from the previous point. Even with these constant time shifts, the story is not hard to follow and the reader is easily swept along. Sorry faithful reader … the Chronos Files are far from over and the adventure should only get better.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blue’s mother has disappeared. She wasn’t planning to be gone long, but now no one knows where she is or when she will return. Blue has also found friendship with the Raven Boys. She never thought she would have anything in common with these prep school boys, yet through supernatural connections they have become a unit. The dangers within the dream world are connected to the waking world and these unlikely friends must push their ideals to the limit. Who can they trust? Can they trust the visions given to them?

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the third book in the Raven Cycle, but it is nowhere near the end. Readers who enjoy a story that is wrapped up before the last page might want to steer clear of this volume. The story moves along quickly and the characters respond to increasingly more difficult issues, yet when the reader gets to the last page they will be longing for the next book in the cycle. Stiefvater’s world of the Raven Boys has developed into a richer story and this book is not a disappointment.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: The Paper Magician

The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1)The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paper magic is so out of style, yet Ceony Twill has been selected to become a paper magician. During her training at the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined she had dreamed of learning metal magic, yet now she is bonded to paper. The quirky magician Thane turns out to be better than Ceony had imagined as he unlocks the wonders of animated paper creatures. There is dark magic on the prowl and when an Excisioner attacks their cottage and takes Thane’s heart, Ceony must learn forbidden magic in order to try and save the man.

The Paper Magician is the first book in a new supernatural trilogy. The magic may be dark … yet the reader will find the read light and easy. Holmberg’s debut novel has flaws that many first books contain, but those who make it to the conclusion will want to find the next book to continue the adventure. The feisty female protagonist is easily liked and most readers will root for her as she fights the darkness around her. A good read that will please teen and adult readers alike.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review: Sweet Unrest

Sweet UnrestSweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lucy keeps having the same nightmare. She doesn’t know anyone in the dream, yet when her family moves to New Orleans … the nightmares become more intense. As she discovers clues around her these signs lead her into the dark history of the area and the local Voodoo practices still performed. When Lucy meets Alex she feels as if she has always known him, but there is a part of her brain that keeps screaming something is not right. Can she discover Alex’s secret? How is the New Orleans plantation tied to her nightmares that began in Chicago?

Sweet Unrest is a stand-alone book that has been left open for additional storylines should the author wish. This dark tale is a perfect blend of southern gothic superstitions and modern people with everyday concerns. Readers who enjoyed reading the Beautiful Creatures series will be drawn to the characters and the history of the area. Maxwell has developed the characters fully without spending an exorbitant amount of time with useless trivia. This is a good fantasy read for those who want a different storyline.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: Chaos

Chaos (Guards of the Shadowlands #3)Chaos by Sarah Fine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Malachi has been captured by the Mazikin and Lela will do anything to get him back. The Judge offers her a chance to save him, but the Judge has her own motives behind the offer. Unfortunately, Lela is not in charge. Ana, the new Captain, is cut throat and tough, but she also has a personal mission she wishes to complete. These women have seen a lot, but their past experiences do not prepare them for the horror that awaits them in this new realm. With love on the line, can Lela know who to trust? Does she have the strength to decide about sacrifices that need to be made?

Chaos is the third and final book in the Guards of the Shadowlands trilogy. Readers who enjoyed the action packed scenes will continue to experience their own fight or flight response to the character’s dilemmas. Fine does not spend a lot of time rehashing the world building from the first book, so if readers are starting with this volume they might be a little confused. Chaos is a strong finish to a great urban fantasy series.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Review: The Eye of Zoltar

The Eye of ZoltarThe Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jennifer Strange is not your normal sixteen year old. She runs a company that rents out wizards for cash, yet she has no magic herself. In book one she saved two dragons, and now the Mighty Shandar is requiring a favor. He must give a refund for not killing all of the dragons, but if Jennifer finds and deliver’s The Eye of Zoltar to him, he won’t punish her for this extra expense. The last time the jewel was seen it was in the possession of the legendary Sky Captain Morgan. In order for Jennifer’s life to be just a little more complicated, the Queen of Snodd transfers her spoiled daughter’s mind into a maid servant and requires Jennifer to teach her humility. Can Jennifer manage both of these tasks? What are the Mighty Shandar’s motives? Will she be stuck with the princess if she never learns to have compassion?

The Eye of Zoltar is the third book in the Chronicles of Kazam, but the adventure is far from over. Jennifer’s strange world is a twisted, magical version of our own and readers will enjoy pairing up the parallels throughout. The action starts out quickly at the beginning and the reader will find the ride of the adventure makes this a can’t-put-down read. Readers who enjoy a complete story within a series will be disappointed in the volume. Fforde leaves the story with issues still pending, but not with a throw the book cliff hanger. If you are an impatient reader, though, you might want to wait for the fourth book so that you can read it directly after this one. Otherwise, this third book was just as fun as the first two.

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review: Love and Other Unknown Variables

Love and Other Unknown VariablesLove and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Charlie Hanson has plans. He is a senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science with plans to attend MIT. His life goal is to find the answers to the universe’s unanswered questions. These plans suddenly veer off course when he sees a tattoo on a girl’s neck. It turns out that Charlotte is the sister of Charlie’s new English teacher. She convinces him to plan a prank that requires the participation of the entire classroom. Why is Charlotte encouraging Charlie? Will this plan affect his future plans?

Love and Other Unknown Variables is a quirky story that will be enjoyed by readers young and not so young. The story is told through the eyes of a socially stunted math nerd and the references to specialty mathematical terms are easily digested. I loved the “voice” of Charlie in that he was an outsider that was still accepted by most of the students in his class. He could have been the nerd everyone ignored, but instead he leads the charge into a plan against the teacher. Alexander has created a wonderful story that male and female readers will all enjoy reading.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Review: A Song for Ella Grey

A Song for Ella GreyA Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ella Grey is gone. She has left behind friends and the love of her life. Claire is Ella’s best friend. She must tell the story in fits and starts so that she (and the reader) may understand. Ella’s love for Orpheus was quick and complete. Nothing in her short life had prepared her for the depth of their love, yet when her life is suddenly cut short all who are left behind believe they are at fault.

A Song for Ella Grey is a story that leaves a lot to be desired. I usually don’t mind a story that jumps around, yet this book was not enhanced by the storytelling format. Readers who are looking for a relaxing read that can be quickly finished without a lasting impression will be happy, but those who want just a little more meat will feel as if something is missing. This should not be moved to the top of a TBR pile, but it would be a good choice when a simple escape is needed.

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Review: Frozen

Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1)Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The planet is now covered in ice. There is only one season … cold. In New Vegas a blackjack dealer, Natasha Kestal, wants to leave. She has heard of a place called The Blue, yet it seems too good to be true. Can there really be a place where the sun still shines and the waters are warm? Rumor has it that those who bear the mark are not persecuted there. She will do anything to not hide who or what she really is. Through a series of events she is able to book passage to The Blue with a group of mercenaries who don’t really believe her. Everyone has secrets to hide. Can they trust each other enough to get to paradise?

Frozen is the first book in the Heart of Dread series. The post-apocalyptic world building is effortlessly weaved into the story so that the reader will not feel as if it is an additional element. Although the characters are not extremely deep, de la Cruz has written relationships and struggles into the storyline to enable a series that will be enjoyed and pursued. Frozen does contain elements of magic and the supernatural, but it is pleasantly different from the author’s other series. Readers who pick this up because of the author should not have any regrets of the time spent reading it.

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Review: The Diamond Thief

The Diamond ThiefThe Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rémy Brunel has many skills. Her skills on the trapeze are not to be rivaled and her ability to detect the value of jewels has enabled her to become a successful jewel thief. Her troupe is in Victorian London and her next assignment is to steal one of the world’s most precious diamonds. She believes she has pulled off the caper when it turns out that she was outwitted by another. She is now on a mission to steal it back, but can she complete this assignment without her usual support? Detective Thaddeus Rec also wants to find the diamond. Especially since his superiors believe he is the real thief.

The Diamond Thief is the first book in a new series. The characters are richly described and the scenes in and around Victorian London will please readers of adventures and historical fiction. Gosling is able to create characters with depth and a series of events that are believable without adding a ton of pages. The Diamond Thief can quickly be devoured by an excited reader or it can be slowly consumed by those who like to pace themselves. This was a pleasant read and I look forward to reading the second book, The Ruby Airship, due to be released in February 2015.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Review: Witchrise

Witchrise (The Tudor Witch Trilogy, #3)Witchrise by Victoria Lamb
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Meg Lytton is a Tudor witch that has inherited her mother’s magical wand, a magical ring named Invictus and a spellbook. Even as she is trying to discover the extent of her powers, Marcus Dent is haunting her dreams and it seems that he will do anything to take her powers for his own. Meg has made many friends that are willing to help her in the looming battle, yet in the end she may lose the man she is secretly betrothed to. Alejandro has secrets of his own and the twists and turns of fate are constantly mixing up events.

Witchrise is the third book in The Tudor Witch Trilogy. Although the series is called a trilogy, readers will finish this book and be expecting more stories to come. Lamb has created a cast of characters that readers will enjoy exploring and if there are more books I will be adding them to my reading list. Even though I expect there to be more stories in this Tudor world, readers will at least be satisfied with Meg’s romantic attachments. Will Meg choose Alejandro or another suitor? Will Marcus Dent be beaten or will he continue to taunt the Tudor witches? Readers must get to the end of this volume to find out the answers.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review: Unmarked

Unmarked (The Legion, #2)Unmarked by Kami Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kennedy Waters is at her boarding school wondering about Jared. She has survived a demon attack and is questioning why the other Legion members have not come for her. She has been monitoring the reports of missing girls and can’t help but recognize the connection they have with her physical characteristics. When Alara, Priest and Jared finally show up for her, Kennedy doesn’t take too long to join their quest to find the demon she accidentally set free. Will Kennedy finally know why she has been left Unmarked? Will the secrets of her own family be enough to help the Legion or will these mysteries be its downfall?

Unmarked is the second book in The Legion series. The story picks up a few days after the ending of the last book and the events that transpire move quickly and with purpose. Readers will easily be refreshed on the earlier events and the story does not dedicate too much time for those who need additional nudges. Garcia’s second book in The Legion series was much more enjoyable than the first. This is saying a lot when many second books are only setting up for the third. Readers will create bonds with these characters and feel their uncertainty and pain with each discovery. Unmarked is a satisfying read that leaves the reader with just enough unanswered questions to be anticipating the next volume.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Skink - No Surrender

Skink--No SurrenderSkink--No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Malley is scheduled to leave for boarding school when she lies to her parents and runs away with a guy she met online. Malley is Richard’s only cousin. He understands the trouble Malley is in and is determined to bring her home. Then Richard literally stumbles across Skink while looking for turtle nests on the beach. Skink may be the ex-governor of Florida, but with his homeless appearance and missing eye he certainly looks like a crazy guy. This unlikely pair sets out to find Malley and they won’t let anything stop them from reaching their goal.

Although Skink – No Surrender is the seventh book in the Skink series, readers can jump right into this story and enjoy the thrill ride without feeling as if they are missing another part of the story. I don’t believe many readers would expect all of the quirky adventures to take place outside of a book or movie, yet the escape found within the pages of Skink – No Surrender is satisfying and entertaining. Hiaasen has created another quick read that can be enjoyed by many age groups since it does not include a lot of strong language or sexual content.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Silvern

Silvern (Gilded #2)Silvern by Christina L. Farley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jae Hwa Lee is preparing for the rest of her life. It is now time to take the test for her second-degree black belt and it should be easy after fighting the demi-god that haunted her ancestors. Unfortunately for her the god of darkness, Kud, has other plans. The person she is to spar with for her test is really an assassin who is trying to kill her. Jae survives and has a new mission. She must find the lost White Tiger Orb before Kud does. Kud isn’t the god of darkness for nothing. He will exact his revenge on those Jae loves in order to get her to do his bidding. What or who is Jae willing to sacrifice for the downfall of Kud? Will she have to be tested more than once?

Silvern is the second book in the Gilded series. Farley picks up soon after the end of the last book and spends a lot of time reviewing tidbits from that volume. Although I had read Gilded just a few months ago, the refresher was useful, especially with the unique names and places. The storyline was varied and fast paced so that the reader will quickly lose track of time and find the pages flying past. The ending isn’t a cliffhanger in the traditional sense, yet the reader will wish the next book was already out.

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review: Unmade

Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3)Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kami loved Jared even before she met him. Now he is missing and she has a new magical link with Ash. Although she does not love Ash, she must work with this new connection to try and stop the magical mayhem that is their town. Rob Lynburn is back and in charge. He demands a death from someone in Sorry-in-the-Vale and Kami wants to stop him. She investigates with her friends and discovers a secret they believe will save the town. Saving the town will come with a high price and Kami must decide if she is willing to pay that price. Will her friends let her make this choice on her own?

Unmade is the third and final installment in The Lynburn Legacy. Readers who have followed Kami’s explorations and adventures will not be disappointed in this last book. The tension is high and the story progresses quickly as the reader follows the twists and turns of events in this dark yet sleepy town. Brennan does have a bit of review early on in the story. This may be pleasing to some and annoying to others, but I didn’t feel it was too much information. The events wrap up all of the major questions, yet the most anticipated question isn’t answered until the last few pages. Please … don’t read the last chapter first!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Review: Stormfront

Stormfront (Undertow #2)Stormfront by K.R. Conway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eila Walker is still healing from the events that occurred at the Fire and Ice Ball. She doesn’t remember what happened that night. She knows that whatever it was awakened her powers and now she is trying to stay one step ahead of the FBI. The FBI does not believe the boiler exploded, but they can’t find any evidence of a bomb. It has been five weeks and Eila is preparing to return to classes. Her best friend, Ana, is still trying to figure out how to act around her ex-boyfriend who happens to also be a soul thief. Eila is starting to think that being a supernatural isn’t as unusual as she believed since she discovers new connections at every turn including a few new truths about her grandmother.

Stormfront is the second book in the Undertow series. Conway spends a good portion of time recapping moments from the first book. This will be annoying for those readers who read the first book, yet it will be helpful for those who stumble across this second book out of order. The story progresses quickly and the anticipation levels rise and fall as the characters overcome one supernatural obstacle after another. This story is not complete. Although I wouldn’t call the ending a cliffhanger, there are many questions left unanswered and the story presented in this volume is not satisfying. Readers will be hoping the next book in the series does not have a large delay.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Review: Undertow

Undertow (Undertow, #1)Undertow by K.R. Conway
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Eila Walker has never been lucky. That is until the day she is told that a mysterious person purchased a house from auction and insisted it go to the last living relative of the original owner … her. She has moved to the Cape and is living in the house her 4th great grandmother had lived in. The town legend says her grandmother was struck by lightning and vanished, but what do legends know. This little sleepy seaside down is anything but sleepy. As Eila makes friends and builds relationships she begins to unravel secrets that have stayed hidden for 160 years. Does she have what it takes to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps? Will it cost her the lives of her friends or herself?

Undertow is the first book in a new paranormal YA series. Readers will need to get to nearly the halfway point in the book before the real story is revealed, yet the world building and character development is entertaining in itself. Readers know in advance that this is a series and Conway does not lead the reader on by leaving a cliff hanger. This start of the storyline is complete in itself, but readers will see the hints and suggestions of the next and future books. Undertow is a satisfying read for teens of all ages since it does not include an abundance of sex … just the suggestions of attraction and romance.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review: Blood of My Blood

Blood Of My Blood (Jasper Dent #3)Blood Of My Blood by Barry Lyga
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At the end of Game, our three main characters find themselves in very tough situations. It is now the beginning of Blood of My Blood and all three are in the hospital, thankful to be alive. Jazz will do anything to get out and stop his serial killer father, Billy Dent. His best friend, Howie, almost bled to death in Jazz’s home and his girlfriend, Connie, has recently escaped the clutches of Jazz’s father. As Jazz continues to pursue Billy, he begins to cross lines he never wanted to cross and continues to ask if his genes and upbringing can be overruled by friends and society. Is Jazz destined to become his father? Is his father this infamous Crow King?

Blood of My Blood is the third and final book in the Jasper Dent series. The book picks up just hours after the first book ended and readers will experience the turbulence of a man hunt through the eyes of all participants. All of the events in this book take place in a very short span of time and readers will quickly see their reading time flying away as they turn the pages. Lyga has created characters readers will love completely and those that are easy to hate. Readers must read the first two before picking up this final book.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Review: The Caller

The Caller (Shadowfell, #3)The Caller by Juliet Marillier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has only been a year, but Neryn has changed so much. She knew she had a canny skill, yet she had been taught as a child to hide it. After traveling to the secret rebel base, Shadowfell, she began training to be their secret weapon. Two of the fey Guardians had imparted their wisdom to hone her skill as a Caller, yet as winter approaches she is running out of time. The rebels are planning their battle for summer and Neryn still has to find the last two Guardians. Will she be able to complete these last two training sessions in time? Will she be able to save Alban from the overbearing King Keldec?

The Caller is the third and final book in the Shadowfell series. Readers who have been following Neryn’s training and maturation will be looking forward to the outcome of these last few tasks. The stakes are high and the pace of the book represents the actions the characters are required to perform. Marillier provides just enough review throughout the text for the readers who have been reading these stories as they are released, yet not too much that a reader that consumes all three quickly will be annoyed. This is the conclusion of this journey, but readers will have to reach the end to discover if Neryn and the rebels are successful or not.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Review: The Iron Trial

The Iron Trial (Magisterium, #1)The Iron Trial by Holly Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Call has had anything but a sheltered life. His mother died when he was a baby and even after a series of surgeries, he cannot walk correctly. He seems to have an affinity to magic, yet his father continually reminds him that he needs to hide his abilities. Call is now 12 years old and must take the test to attend the Magisterium. It appears that his practice at being ordinary has paid off. He finishes the series of tests in last place (with a negative score), yet he is selected to attend the school anyway. Is it his destiny to become a magician? Call can still flunk out, but does he want to?

The Iron Trial is the first book in a new series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Even though the book is being promoted as a middle school series, I can see many young adults picking it up and enjoying it anyway. There are many characters that are left unexplored and the story has the potential of spinning in a multitude of directions. Readers of these authors’ other works will not be disappointed in this new series and those who are just experiencing them will be looking for their other books. This was a truly enjoyable read without all the sex and teen drama rampant in many books today.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: Unbreakable

Unbreakable (The Legion, #1)Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kennedy Waters is trying to deal with her grief. Her mother died suddenly and her family wants her to leave to attend a boarding school. It is the night before she is scheduled to leave when identical twins, Jared and Lukas, break into her room and save her life. It turns out that a spirit had killer her mother and now it wants her dead also. Kennedy’s mother was part of a secret society that protected the world from a demon, but now all the adult members of the society have been killed (on the same night) and their heirs are left holding the reins.

Unbreakable is the first book in a new series by the author of Beautiful Creatures. There are elements of the supernatural within this book, but it is more about secrets and self-discovery than magic and destiny. The action is quick paced and the book reads quickly, but the overall story leaves a lot to be desired. I look forward to the second book due to the cliff hanger in this one, but if it leaves me feeling ho-hum I might not finish the series.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: The King's Curse

The King's Curse
The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Margaret Pole has been married into obscurity and is gladly hiding behind her husband’s name. She is the cousin of Elizabeth of York (the White Princess) and only wants to serve her husband and be a good wife. Her husband, Sir Richard, has been put in charge of the governorship of Wales and with the new Prince and Princess of Whales returning to continue their honeymoon, Margaret does everything she can to hide her own royal blood. After the unspeakable happens, the death of Prince Arthur, Katherine leaves for London with Margaret by her side. Katherine wishes to keep a deathbed promise to her husband and marry his younger brother, Henry VIII. Margaret is no longer able to live a small and isolated life and the drama of the king’s court follows her around like the hangman’s noose.

The King’s Curse is the final book in The Cousins’ War series. Although this is the sixth book in a series, the story brought to the reader is self-sustaining and can be read by itself. This is probably one of the most well-known stories of the Tudors, yet Gregory tells it from an often overlooked angle to bring additional insight into this historical time period. The information rolls off the page as if Margaret is sharing the story of her life and the characters are lovingly brought to the reader. I have found while reading books about this time period that the author creates villains out of some of the characters, yet in this book these historical figures are just people. Yes, some had made mistakes that are still talked about (and written about), yet Gregory is able to portray their actions without overplaying these decisions. This is a wonderful read and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys historical fiction or the Tudor time period.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Heir of Fire

Heir of Fire
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Celaena Sardothien has withdrawn into obscurity. Even the vagrants see her as one of their own and she can’t escape the thoughts of revenge spinning around in her mind. Although she is bound to serve the King of Adarlan, she begins an exploration that she hopes will lead to his downfall. Celaena’s quest takes her to the land her family tried to keep her from and in order to discover the king’s weaknesses, she must face her own fears and demons. While Celaena is completing her private mission, another force is working and training to fly into combat. Can Celaena complete her task in time? Will she be ready for the war that is looming closer day by day?

Heir of Fire is the third full length novel in the Throne of Glass series. Although events from previous books are mentioned during various times, there is no review weaved into the story which will please some readers and frustrate others. I found the amount of information supplied was enough to jog my memory without making it seem as if I was reading a forced review. Maas has once again taken her strong female protagonist and ever evolving world and has created an adventure story that will capture the attention of male and female readers alike. I do suggest that readers start at the beginning of the series (or with the new novella collection). Readers would be very frustrated starting with this volume and they will not benefit from the additional details given in the other books.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review: Faces of the Dead

Faces of the Dead
Faces of the Dead by Suzanne Weyn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Marie-Therese has lived a pampered life. As the daughter of Marie Antoinette, she never wanted for anything and believes that everyone lives a comfortable life, even if it isn’t like hers. After she slips into the streets of Paris during the French Revolution, she learns that the poor are tired of having nothing and that they will not be satisfied until all of those who are rich and noble are put before the Guillotine. During her trips outside the palace walls, she builds relationships with activists and revolutionaries. She doesn’t agree with their methods, yet she is pulled toward their cause.

Faces of the Dead is an historical fiction story that throws many “what-ifs” at the reader. Weyn takes many facts about the French Revolution and tweaks a few other facts to create a story that is plausible and believable. For readers who know they enjoy this historically rich time period, this will be a pleasure to read. Yet if a reader is unfamiliar with this time period or is not a fan of historical fiction, this book would not be a strong recommendation. Although there are better historical fiction novels about the French Revolution, this book was good and not a waste of my time.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: Private Down Under:

Private Down Under:
Private Down Under: by James Patterson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Private has just opened their newest branch and it is in Australia. Craig Gisto is enjoying the party to celebrate this new team when a boy arrives bloody with his eyes removed. It turns out that the boy is the son of a very rich man who had been kidnapped a few days before. A rock star named Mickey Stevens believes his manager is trying to have him killed in order to cash in on the “dead rock star” money and a serial killer is selecting wealthy wives to kill and brutalize. These three cases jump start this newest branch of Private and the employees must scramble to keep up.

Private Down Under has a cast of characters all its own, yet readers of the other books in the series will see references to other persons from the previous volumes. Readers who stumble across this book out of sequence will have no problem understanding the story and will enjoy the thrill ride that is an Other Private Offices novel. Patterson’s short chapters always give the reader an opportunity to read as much or as little as they can at a time. The fast pace story will make the pages fly by and the reader will wonder where the time went.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Review: How to Fall

How to Fall
How to Fall by Jane Casey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jess is being taken out of London to spend a summer in a small English town where her mother is from. The town people can’t help but look at her sideways since she is the spitting image of her cousin who died before Jess appeared. Jess wonders about Freya’s death even though it was ruled death by misadventure. She can’t shake that it might have been murder, although suicide is also a possibility. Jess takes it upon herself to look into the matter and learns many secrets about this tiny English town.

How to Fall is the first book in a new mystery series. The protagonist is easy to love and the mystery is presented smoothly without being too formulaic. Jess has several suspects she systematically investigates and either pursues or removes from her list. Casey as cleanly wrapped up this mystery, yet she has created a world and cast of characters that will allow her to create additional novels and dilemmas. How to Fall is an enjoyable mystery for both male and female readers alike.

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