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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Friday, August 8, 2014

Review: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Addison Stone was a young artist that had many fans. Not only was she brilliant, she pushed her art to the impossible and created works that were beyond words. After her tragic death on July 28th, her fans and others in the art world wanted to know more. The story is unraveled for the reader through a series of interviews, diary entries, emails and other communications.

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is a novel that the reader will wish was about a real person. The issues this eccentric artist was working through are similar to what many of us experience at some point in our life. Griffin shaped a story out of so many different types of medium, yet the reader is not distracted by the ever changing format. A great standalone novel for those who want a break from all the varied genres and just want a book about a person that really could be true.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: One Kick

One Kick
One Kick by Chelsea Cain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kathleen Lannigan was abducted at the age of six while looking for her dog. During an FBI pornography bust, she is rescued and returned to her family. After her name being changed every six months, she decides she wants to be called Kick. That name becomes prophetic when she learns to defend herself with weapons and just her body. The concentration to train with these skills helps her cope with her PTSD. It has been nearly ten years and she is still obsessed with child abductions. When two children go missing in the same month, she wonders if they are related. Then a man named Bishop shows up at her place and wants Kick’s help to rescue these children. He feels her experience as a victim will give her greater insight into what is going on. What Kick doesn’t know is that this case is closer to her own than she could possibly imagine.

One Kick is the first book a new series that will appeal to readers of thrillers. Kick is a strong female protagonist that will not let her previous victimization pull her down. Cain has created a back story that will pull the heartstrings of any reader and builds a foundation for future books that will bring readers back for more. Although very few of us will ever experience what Kick has gone through, we are able to understand the trauma and become more involved with the story. Readers of Cain’s Gretchen Lowell series will not be disappointed with this new series.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: Wordless

Wordless by AdriAnne Strickland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tavin Barnes is an illiterate wordless trash collector and he knows that will never change. He was found abandoned as a baby and raised in his wordless world. After being assigned to Eden City to collect trash, Khaya, the Word of Life, stages an escape and Tavin is quickly pulled into the world of the Words and the political intrigue he knew nothing about. The city’s elite will do anything to get Khaya back, but won’t admit to the public that she is missing. Do these teens have what it takes to outsmart their devious elders? Who can they trust and what will they sacrifice?

Wordless is the first book in the new Words Made Flesh series. Although there is world building and character development for a rather large group of characters, Strickland is able to weave these details into the story without it feeling like a lecture. The action is quick and ever changing with a few twists at the end to make this a satisfying read. Readers who enjoyed The Hunger Games, The Testing and The Maze Runner will want to try their eyes out on this book.

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