Monday, May 30, 2016

Review: Gifted

Gifted Gifted by H.A. Swain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has been years since geniuses and prodigies have been born. Because of the Acquired Savant Abilities (ASA) procedure, the people who can afford it become great without all of the hard work of previous generations. Zimri is a natural when it comes to music, but she is only a “plebe” that works in a warehouse that supplies items through an on-line market. Even though she works a lot of hours and must help take care of her ailing grandmother, she cannot stop herself from making music. Then Zimri meets Orpheus and everything she thought she knew about music is turned upside down.

Gifted is a science fiction thriller that will have the reader thinking about many different topics. Swain unpacks social function with a copyright twist and weaves in a love story for added flair. The action moves along steadily and readers will find the pages almost turning on their own. Although the story itself is very complete, Swain has developed a world that will easily leave openings for a continuation of the story or companion books.

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Review: The King Slayer

The King Slayer The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Elizabeth Grey is being hidden by the witches and wizards she used to hunt and is now being hunted herself by Lord Blackwell, the new king of Anglia. As she tries to come to terms with the loss of her stigma, a magical form of healing, she must relearn how to fight in order to protect herself and those around her. Will Elizabeth do what it takes to remove Lord Blackwell from power and return the rightful king to his throne? Is there anything she won’t do to save the people she loves?

The King Slayer is the second book in The Witch Hunter series. Boecker spends a substantial amount of pages at the beginning of the book nudging the reader’s memory about events from the first story. The tidbits of information were enough to get me going, yet were not too many to be annoying. Readers who start with the second book won’t have a problem jumping into the storyline. This fantasy novel is full of action and intrigue which will make readers of Graceling and Throne of Glass excited for a new adventure.

View all my reviews

Monday, May 23, 2016

Review: The Leaving

The Leaving The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was a troubling day when six kindergarteners got on a bus and disappeared. It has been eleven years and now five of the children have returned. They are sixteen years old and seem to be fine, except they cannot remember anything from the past eleven years. As the five try to come to terms with their missing memories and clues they seem to have left for themselves, they also want to know about the missing sixth boy and why Max didn’t return with them. Is Max dead or alive? Why were they taken and will they get their memories back?

The Leaving is a jam packed thriller that lets the reader slowly discover the truth along with the characters. Readers will begin to question the roll memories have in forming a person’s personality and if memories can be removed or shaped by another’s hand. As a stand-alone novel the climax gives the reader a satisfying ending without feeling forced or artificial. A good escape read that will keep readers turning the pages all the way through.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Review: The Long Game

The Long Game The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tess is known for fixing problems, and when a friend asks her to run her campaign for class president she accepts the challenge. Unfortunately, this private school in Washington D.C. is filled with the children of the political elite and no secret is completely safe, even if it is just a high school election. Is Tess willing to go nose to nose with some adults in her life? Is a recent terrorist attack connected to mysterious meetings she has stumbled upon?

The Long Game is the second book in The Fixer series. The mystery is new and the characters are refreshed, so if a reader jumps into the second book without the first they would be fine. With that said, Barnes does reference a few events from the first book that may cause a late arriving reader to want to backtrack. There are several twists and turns, but no shockers and no cliff hangers. An enjoyable read for those who enjoy Ally Carter or just like a strong female lead.

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Review: Places No One Knows

Places No One Knows Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Waverly loves to run. It stops her mind and forces her to concentrate on one thing. When she isn’t running, she must deal with her boring classes, her role in student government and her fellow classmates who are not always nice. Marshall is bright, yet lazy. He tries to dull his feelings with booze and drugs, and now there is a chance he won’t even graduate. Then during one of Waverly’s dreams, she finds herself in Marshall’s bedroom and she begins to question her waking actions too. Is she really visiting Marshall while she sleeps? Will Waverly take a chance during her waking hours on a boy who is so set on destroying himself?

Places No One Knows is a stand-alone novel with a hint of the supernatural. Readers experience the story through two points of view and slowly unravel events as each main character progresses on their own journey. As their stories twist together, each character learns more about themselves and others around them, yet no profound and startling truths are available for the reader. Yovanoff has created a story that is easily enjoyed, but quickly cast aside when finished.

View all my reviews

Friday, May 6, 2016

Review: Finding Flynn

Finding Flynn Finding Flynn by Alexandria Bishop
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ashtyn is ready for a great family vacation, but when she arrives at their destination her mother breaks the news that it will be just them. Not only will her father and sister be staying at home, her parents are getting a divorce and her mother wants her to stay in Oregon after the summer ends. What has quickly become the worst summer of her life begins to turn around when she meets Flynn at the local pub and they hit it off. Although neither of them are looking for a relationship, their instant connection pulls them together and they begin to spend more and more time together. But Flynn is keeping a secret from everyone, including Ashtyn.

Finding Flynn is the first book in the Marlowe series. This new adult romance novel has a great story and it kept me wanting to read, but the beginning and ending had some sexual scenes that were a distraction and a large turn off for me. Bishop could have made this book enjoyable without such graphic pieces in the story. Readers know that New Adult is edgier than Young Adult, but this edginess seemed forced and unnecessary. If readers want (or can get past) these two small sections, then the book itself is well worth the escape it is meant to be.

View all my reviews

Monday, May 2, 2016

Review: The Vanishing Throne

The Vanishing Throne The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aileana awakens in the fae world and discovers that she has been held captive by Lonnrach and tortured for her memories. With the help of a surprising friend, she returns to the human world only to discover that three years have passed and that everywhere she held dear had been destroyed. Some humans did survive and they are now living a shell of a life with the threat of another war looming over their truce. Aileana might be able to save both worlds, but only if she can figure out how to come into her full powers. What will Aileana risk in order to save her people? Will it be enough to save both worlds?

The Vanishing Throne is the second book in The Falconer series. Events begin shortly after the conclusion of the first book, yet May has included memory nudges to remind readers about the earlier trials. Although the book reads quickly, the story is not short and readers will feel satisfaction with the path the characters have taken. This book has a lot to be desired: action, adventure, romance and fae lore are interwoven to make a great second book and continuation of a series.

View all my reviews