Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek Hide and Seek by Jane Casey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jess Tennant is finally coming to terms with moving to Port Sentinel. It isn’t London at any level, yet this small English town really knows how to celebrate Christmas. But not everyone is in the Christmas spirit. One of Jess’s schoolmates goes missing right before Christmas break and Jess may be the only person who can figure out if she went willingly or was taken. Is she alive or dead? Hide and Seek is the third book in the Jess Tennant series. This story is complete in itself, so if readers find themselves picking it up there won’t be a problem. This young adult sleuth is willing to shake the comfort zone of the adults in her way, yet the actions she takes are realistic and believable. In a genre where many readers could never imagine themselves doing what the characters are doing, this adventure may give them the interest to look deeper into a mystery in their life. I really hope Casey takes time to write more books with Jess Tennant in the lead.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review: Lair of Dreams

Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Evie has a new role to play. She is a media darling with her Diviner talents the showcase. Although many people are fascinated with her newly outed secret, there are others who would have her use her talents for nefarious purposes. Also in the city, people are being stricken by an unknown illness that is putting individuals into a sleeping state that they cannot be woken from. Will Evie and other Diviners be able to work together to catch this killer? Can they continue to walk in this dreamworld without being affected themselves?

Lair of Dreams is the second book in The Diviners series. It is the roaring twenties with flappers, speakeasies and bootleg liquor everywhere. The story begins shortly after the events of the first book and Bray quickly plunges into the new storyline. Without including a lot of review of those events, the key characters are reintroduced and I was able to remember what was needed to enjoy this new adventure. The book was enjoyable, but long. I can’t image the average reader picking it up just because, but for readers who enjoy this time period the story is worth it. It is a second book and I always suggest reading books in order, but if a reader happens across this book first, it could be enjoyed without The Diviners already being read.

View all my reviews

Friday, July 17, 2015

Review: Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a WatchmanGo Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jean Louise is back in Maycomb, Alabama for her yearly two-week trip home. It is always hard to adjust to this quiet life after living in New York City, but this time her world’s foundation is rattled and Jean Louise begins to question her own beliefs. Although “Scout” has grown up, she has held firmly to the beliefs her father had taught her and with the Civil Rights Movement rocking the political landscape, her “color-blindness” is tested without limit. Memories of her childhood creep into her thoughts as she witnesses words and actions she never thought she would experience in Maycomb. What is happening to her beloved town? Why is she the only one who seems to notice?

Go Set a Watchman is an unexpected sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. Readers picking up this novel must remember that the events in this book take place 20 years after the events from the first book and I wouldn’t call it a direct sequel. The prose is elegant and the issues presented may have transpired over a half century ago, yet the same concerns are present today and the questions that Jean Louise is stumbling over are rattling around in society’s collective mind in the 21st century. I highly recommend this book to everyone who loved To Kill a Mockingbird and as a person who read it a couple days after its release … I wish I read it with a book club or other readers so that I could have talked about the topics immediately.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review: Reawakened

Reawakened (Reawakened, #1)Reawakened by Colleen Houck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lilliana is planning to spend time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before meeting up with some other girls later in the day. She gets permission to spend time in a closed exhibit in order to stay away from the everyday tourists. What should be a chance to quietly reflect turns into a grand adventure when an Egyptian prince returns to life and uses an unexpected connection to Lilliana to power his quest to find his brothers. The brothers are resurrected every thousand years in order to stop a shape-shifting god from reeking destruction in the world. Will Amon and Lily find the brothers and stop Seth in time? What sacrifices will need to be made along the way?

Reawakened is the first book in a new series by Colleen Houck. Readers who enjoyed the supernatural adventures in The Tiger Saga will easily find themselves swept into this mythical quest. These star-crossed teenagers may have been born millennium apart, but the connection and romance is timeless. Houck takes the story into the final pages and readers may begin to wonder if this is a stand-alone story. Don’t worry, series readers, the book ends with a nice teaser to keep us looking for the second book.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review: Lifeless

Lifeless (Words Made Flesh, #2)Lifeless by AdriAnne Strickland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Toward the end of Wordless, Tavin had escaped Eden City with the Word of Life. Unfortunately for him, the hunt wouldn’t stop until he was caught and the consequences were unimaginable. He has become the Word of Death and the authorities want to use his new power, the ability to kill with a touch and a word. Tavin’s trainer, Ryse, is a Godspeaker that appears to have no morals and is willing to do whatever it takes to make Tavin like her. His training quickly escalates and his first official mission, to kill the Chinese ambassador, does not go as planned and foundational beliefs of the world are shocked to the core? Can Tavin overcome his training to fight the darkness within?

Lifeless is the second book in the Words Made Flesh series. Strickland has this story pick up shortly following the conclusion of the first book and I don’t remember her including much in the way of information teasers. Either there weren’t many or they were artfully hidden within the new story. The action is fast and the pages turn quickly. The book will appeal to male and female readers alike, but should only be tackled after the first book is completed. A great escape and a quick diversion.

View all my reviews

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Review: As Black as Ebony

As Black as EbonyAs Black as Ebony by Salla Simukka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lumikki has returned to Finland and is looking forward to one thing … graduation! When she gets the lead role in the school’s version of “Snow White” she begins having feelings for the boy playing the huntsman, but since her life is anything but simple she questions her true feelings. Now Lumikki has an admirer or is it a stalker? These crazy and creepy love notes have her questioning the motives of everyone around her. If that is not enough, she begins remembering facts about a secret her family has kept hidden from her most of her life. Will she uncover the lies swirling around her? Will the truth set her free or shatter her resolve?

As Black as Ebony is the third (and seemingly final) book in the Lumikki Andersson series. The book is short and can easily be finished in one sitting. With that said, there is no fluff and the action is pure and simple. Simukka has written a story that readers will relate to even though they may have never experienced any of these issues. I can’t say anything about the original work, but Witesman’s translation was fine and the writing style seemed authentic. Readers who have not read the first two books should read them before picking up this novel, though.

View all my reviews