Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: The Immortal Throne

The Immortal Throne The Immortal Throne by Bree Despain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Daphne Raines is stuck in the underworld and Haden is trapped in the mortal realm. They have both made sacrifices for each other, but neither want to stay permanently separated from the other. Daphne doesn’t want to be betrothed to Haden’s half-brother and is attempting to discover a way out. Haden has only days until a poison will destroy his mind and body. Daphne’s kiss can save him, but since they are in different realms, the obstacles are extreme. Will they be able to reconnect before the poison’s effects are permanent?

The Immortal Throne is the third book in the Into the Dark trilogy. It has been nearly 18 months since I finished The Eternity Key and I will admit that I had trouble remembering things about the characters. Yet Despain continually mentioned events and people from the first two books, and as I pushed through I began to remember the important pieces. This was an enjoyable read, but definitely not a book a reader would want to pick up without starting at the beginning.

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Review: Every Hidden Thing

Every Hidden Thing Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Samuel Bolt is great with bones. He should be since his father is an archaeologist and has included him on many digs and lectures. Their next task is to go into the Badlands and try and find the skeleton of the largest dinosaur found to date. If they find the “rex,” Samuel’s father will be put in the history books. Unfortunately, Samuel and his father aren’t alone. There is another team lead by Rachel Cartland’s father and they have a bigger team and a larger budget. These two begin as passing acquaintances, but quickly learn that a friendship can reap many benefits. Will either team be able to uncover the location of this massive beast? Will this new friendship survive their controlling fathers?

Ever Hidden Thing is a stand-alone historical fiction tale with just a touch of romance. I found the science of archaeology fascinating, yet it wasn’t overdone and complicated. Even readers who have no interest in science will be able to enjoy this adventure. Oppel has taken real people and weaved a fantastic story that may have happened. I highly recommend this book to just about anyone who wants to escape today’s world into another time.

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Review: The Ghost in the Machine

The Ghost in the Machine The Ghost in the Machine by Arthur Koestler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Morag Chen has met the Architects and everyone is wondering who these beautiful creatures really are. Could they be ancient gods or aliens wanting to take over Earth? Why have they taken over Daniel’s mind? Ghost in the Machine is the second book in the Babel Trilogy. Morag is the narrator this time and she continues the story that Daniel told readers in The Fire Seekers. Morag is continually uncovering hidden truths and constantly needs to reevaluate what she knew about human history. The pages almost turn themselves as the story rolls towards the ending.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review: Stealing Snow

Stealing Snow Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Snow has been at the Whittaker Institute since she attempted to walk through a mirror after reading a Wonderland book. The Institute is a high security hospital that controls their patients with a variety of medicinal cocktails. Snow has never thought herself crazy and when a new orderly suggests there is more to her past, she uses her friend Bale to escape. Once she reaches the woods, she discovers that nothing is as it seems and the line between truth and fiction can be hard to see. How many secrets will Snow need to uncover before she is finished? Is there anyone she can trust?

Stealing Snow is the first book in a series by the same title. The premise is promising and I was hoping for an excellent read, but the actual experience was lacking and disappointing. The constant twists and turns were not entertaining and I found myself rolling my eyes constantly. I will probably give the second book a try, but if it ends up being disappointing, I will have to stop there.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Review: The Reader

The Reader The Reader by Traci Chee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sefia has been on the run with her aunt Nin since her father was killed many years ago. She knows there are people after her (and what she hides in her satchel), but when Nin is kidnapped, Sefia ends up by herself and she must use everything her aunt taught her to discover where she has been taken. She quickly learns that the object she has been hiding is a book. It is extraordinary since the society as a whole is completely illiterate. Sefia must decipher the secrets in the book and accept the help of a mysterious stranger in order to save her aunt and uncover the truth about the day her father was killed.

The Reader is the first book in the Sea of Ink and Gold series. The story moves along nicely and the world building is thorough without being distracting. The many adventures of Sefia and her companions give the reader little nuggets about Sefia and the society around her, yet I kept finding my mind wondering and needing to revisit sections to get back on track. An enjoyable book for those who like to read about alternate worlds that hint at being more.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Review: Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea

Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea by Sungju Lee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sungju believes he has a normal life in North Korea. The government has taken care of his needs and his family is comfortable. They are comfortable until his father displeases the government. Now his family is sent out of the city and into a small village where the government does not give support and everyone must fend for themselves. First his father leaves in search for food, then his mother. Left alone, Sungju creates a gang and they travel the countryside stealing what they can and fighting for survival.

Every Falling Star is a memoir geared toward teens and other young readers. Although the events that Sungju survived are not unique to him, they are not the norm for those who have grown up in the United States. In a culture that believes satisfaction should be instant and everyone is entitled to their every desire, this eye opening memoir may be just the nudge for young readers to realize just how good they have it. Unfortunately, many teens won’t pick this up unless they are encouraged by teachers, librarians and other adults.

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Review: Runners and Riders

Runners and Riders Runners and Riders by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Juliet may not have been rich in her seaside town, but she was happy. After her father unexpectedly receives an inheritance, they move away to New Addison City where she is expected to adjust and become a socialite. Thank goodness Juliet knows one person in New Addison City … or should she be. Her new friend introduces her to a gang called the Runners and she is doing everything she can to fit in. Juliet believes what she does is harmless, but as her tasks become more sinister, she begins to question how dark the motives of the Runners really run.

Runners and Riders is book 2.5 in the Treasure Chronicles series. The number is deceptive in that it is not a novella like many in between stories. This is a full length novel that could be enjoyed on its own merit since it is mainly the world building that has been pulled from the Treasure Chronicles first two books. The two gangs (the Runners and the Riders) give the reader some extra intrigue and side stories as a distraction along the way. Mierek has created another enjoyable adventure story that has a splash of romance without getting hot and heavy.

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