Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: I Am the Mission

I Am the Mission
I Am the Mission by Allen Zadoff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has been a week since Boy Nobody finished his last mission and began questioning and challenging his orders. Father has located him and wants him to take over a “lost mission.” The previous operative has gone off the grid and is assumed dead. Boy Nobody is being sent into the field to finish the mission. His mission is to take out Eugene Moore who is the founder of an extremist military training camp. The catch … once inside, no signal can go in or out. Boy Nobody won’t know what The Program wants him to do and he must rely on his training. Unfortunately, those pesky questions from his last mission keep him second guessing what he should do.

I Am the Mission is the second book in the Unknown Assassin series. There is also an alternate title called The Lost Mission and I do not know why a new book is being published with two different titles, but after finishing this action packed adventure I don’t really care. Zadoff continues the espionage and intrigue that was started with the first book and enables readers to discover new depths about Boy Nobody and additional facts about his past and The Program’s underlying motives. Many times a second book can be a letdown compared to the first, yet this book is not an example of that trend. I Am the Mission is a roller coaster reading adventure that will be quickly consumed and the reader will definitely want more.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review: The City

The City
The City by Dean Koontz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jonah Kirk came from a musical family. His mother was a great singer and his grandfather was a “piano man.” Jonah was forbidden to learn to play the piano by his father, but fate intervened through the guise of a woman known only as The City. The City was a manifestation of the city’s essence so that she could better understand and help its inhabitants. One of her many blessings enabled Jonah to begin piano lessons. These lessons quickly proved he was a music prodigy and he could play any piece from hearing it once. Unfortunately, The City’s blessing also came with dreams that showed Jonah a future he wanted to avoid. Can a boy change the course of destiny? What small acts can cause consequences beyond our control?

The City is a disturbing new story that will pull readers in quickly and propel them along the entire time. Koontz does not let loose the reins of the adventure and as supporting characters weave their way into and out of the story we learn a variety of different tidbits about them. Readers who are looking for one of Koontz’s dark and terrifying tales need to know that this is more a coming of age adventure and not a thriller, but it is still a fully satisfying read. The majority of the book takes place during the more innocent times of the late 1960s, but the narrator is in the present and sometimes mentions more modern pop culture trivia. I strongly recommend this book to readers new to Koontz and his longtime fans.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Review: Sinner

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The public believes they know Cole St. Clair. They know about his public and not so public life. He was a rock star, a drug addict and he left the lime-light for reasons all his own. What the fans don’t know is his darkest secret. Cole can shift into a wolf, but is doing everything in his power to control that side of him. He has now returned to California and is trying to keep his addiction and wolf in check. Unfortunately, the reality TV producer is known to cause spectacular crashes of her stars. Can Cole complete the show without falling back into addiction? Isabel was starting to make a new life for herself and now that Cole is back, she isn’t sure if she should trust him or not.

Sinner is a companion book to the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. The publisher is listing it as book 3.5 which will cause readers to wonder if there will be any other companion novels. Sinner is a full length book not a novella. This enabled Stiefvater to create a complete story and will give readers satisfaction in the storyline. Although I never suggest jumping around in a series, readers who discover Sinner first will have no problem understanding what is going on, yet I believe many will then want to find the first three books and get a complete picture. I recommend this book for those who always want to know … what happened later???

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Review: The Hangman's Revolution

The Hangman's Revolution
The Hangman's Revolution by Eoin Colfer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chevie Savano has returned to her modern London after time traveling back to Victorian London. When she left she was an FBI agent, now there is no such organization and a Fascist movement known as the Boxites control everything. Enough memories are seeping into her consciousness that she knows this is not as the world was and right when Professor Smart was beginning to explain the WARP program he was killed and now the secret service police are after her. She escapes, but ends up in the past and now she is faced with the possibility of a totally different future. Can she prevent the Boxite movement from beginning? If she changes anything, will it be for the better or worse?

The Hangman’s Revolution is the second book in the W.A.R.P. series. I always recommend readers follow a series in order, but this book would be able to be read out of sequence if the reader happens across it. The action is persistent and the story flows quickly and smoothly. Readers will be swept into the adventure and soon realize they lost a large chunk of their day. Although this story in itself is wrapped up completely, Colfer sets up the next book in the series nicely and I can’t wait for W.A.R.P. #3 to be released.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: Dark Metropolis

Dark Metropolis
Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thea’s mother has gone mad. Her mother and father were magically bound when they got married, and now that he is missing and presumed dead, her mother won’t accept that he is gone and she is venturing deeper and deeper into madness. Do to this madness, Thea has started waitressing at a club in order to support them. Her friend, Nan, also works at the Telephone Club until she disappears. A strange patron who is fascinated with Thea offers to assist her in finding Nan and uncovering the city’s secrets. What Thea is unaware of are the secrets that Freddy is keeping from her.

Dark Metropolis is the first book in a new dystopian series. Magic is discouraged and some is even illegal. Society’s answer to most “side effects” of magic is to take away a person’s memories. Is magic really bad, or is society looking for one more thing to control? Can Thea and Freddy uncover the problems or will they be swept into the maelstrom that is brewing? Dolamore does not spend a lot of time on world building, yet readers are able in envision the places that are visited with ease. Dark Metropolis includes enough of a story that readers could easily finish and wait idly for the next part of the series. Thank goodness for no cliffhanger. I seem to have been seeing too many of them lately.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review: All Fall Down

All Fall Down
All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Allison always expected to stop working when she started her family, but unfortunately life had other plans. Right when the family was getting started her husband’s job got downsized and her blog exploded. Suddenly, she makes more than her husband, but she is still expected to do everything a stay at home mom does. After suffering a back injury, Allison discovers the escape in painkillers. What started out as a temporary release quickly becomes all consuming. She is ordering pills off of the Internet and taking up to 20 pills in one day. Through a series of issues, Allison is no longer able to hide her problem. Will she accept help and stop using? Will she admit that she is an addict?

All Fall Down is a realistic fiction story that has its strong points, but also some issues. Readers will notice that Allison is not an average person. She has money and access to resources that only the rich have. This book helps readers know that addiction is NOT a “poor man’s” problem. Addiction comes in all shapes and sizes, and if readers embrace this philosophy, they will reap many benefits from this book. Weiner’s character and story are well developed, as always, and readers will want to keep reading and not put the volume down. Although this is an adult book, teens who enjoy reading about people overcoming personal issues will want to try this book.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Review: The Body in the Woods

The Body in the Woods
The Body in the Woods by April Henry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alexis has a secret. Her mother suffers from a mental illness and she has basically been raising herself. Ruby wants to do things her parents believe are unorthodox and she feels her pursuits are more important than her parent’s viewpoints. When Alexis, Ruby and a boy named Nick are teamed up during a Portland County Sherriff’s Search and Rescue, they find more than a missing autistic man. They find the body of a teenage girl that was killed and left in the woods. This unusual find creates a bond between them that society would not have created otherwise. The authorities believe this is an isolated occurrence, yet this team believes it is an act of a serial killer. Can these teens work together to find the killer before he strikes again?

The Body in the Woods is the first book in a new series by April Henry. This murder mystery has three strong main characters with flaws uniquely their own. Readers will find strength and hope in the trials these teens must overcome and they will work through the clues to discover who the killer is. This story is told through several points of view including the killer’s, so the reader has additional information that the teenage sleuths do not have. Even with this additional information, Henry is able to keep the big reveal to closer to the end. A great read that mystery readers will thoroughly devour.

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