Sunday, April 30, 2017

Review: Wicked Treasure

Wicked Treasure Wicked Treasure by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Clark and Amethyst are just living their lives when a clockwork lion takes their daughter from them. They get a lead that takes them on an adventure neither was looking for. As they look for answers to why someone would take their daughter, they uncover a conspiracy that is about more than just their family … it concerns the country. What will Clark and Amethyst be required to survive in this tale?

Wicked Treasure is the third book in the Treasure Chronicles. Although it has been awhile since I read the first two books, the characters quickly pulled me into the story and I was easily swept away with this new journey. Mierek has reinvigorated this clockwork world and promises additional stories will come along. Wicked Treasure is a fun read, but would be best enjoyed in the proper sequence.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review: The Whole Thing Together

The Whole Thing Together The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sasha and Ray have always shared a room in their summer home. They’ve shared the same books, the same toiletries and the same bed, yet they have never actually met. Ray’s mom used to be married to Sasha’s dad and neither one is willing to give up the beach house. Now they have new families and are making new memories, but in the same house. Unfortunately, choices from the past have a way of coming back and these two families must learn to work together before the loose ties fall apart.

The Whole Thing Together is a stand-alone novel that has an interesting premise, but a faulty execution. I usually don’t mind alternating story lines, but this story did not flow easily and the middle of the book seemed muddled. The ending was great and I will think about it for a while to come, but the overall impression I am left with is just flat and uninspired. Brashares’ latest novel is not a drop everything and read book.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review: Defy the Stars

Defy the Stars Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is T minus 20 days till Noemi will sacrifice her life to protect her home planet, Genesis. She has been training to fight the machines that Earth is sending to attack them. Abel is one of the machines. He has been alone in space for three decades and during this time his programming has slowly evolved. When the two are put into a confrontational situation, the outcome is not what either of them expected. They both want the fighting to stop, even if that means working with the enemy.

Defy the Stars is the first book in a new series with the same title. Gray has created two main characters that are easy to relate to and situations that are easy to understand. It is hard to believe that a story about a human and a machine (in space) can be such an attention grabber. Abel spends a bit of his time evaluating himself and discovering he is more than the sum of his parts. Noemi learns that she doesn’t know everything about the machines and that she must reevaluate what she thought was fact. Defy the Stars is a strong science fiction read that will be enjoyable even if readers don’t normally try that genre.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Review: Royce Rolls

Royce Rolls Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bentley Royce has spent her formative years in the spotlight. Her family has devoted the last 5 years staring in a reality TV show called Rolling with the Royces. Her mother, Mercedes, is only interested in the attention she receives from the show and only pays attention to Bentley when it affects the show’s standings. Bentley would like to stop being in the show so that she can go to college, but no one in her family has ever attended college and her mother won’t go for it. It looks like the show will be cancelled before the sixth season and Bentley doesn’t think her family will hold together without the glue of the cameras. She decides to go against her own feelings and attempts to save the show.

Royce Rolls is a stand-alone novel that has a lot of comedy and not much plausibility. As a person who doesn’t watch reality TV I had trouble staying focused on the events unfolding, but overall the book was enjoyable. Stohl has created a protagonist that is easy to relate to, even though most readers have never experienced what she was enduring. Royce Rolls is a good escape read, but is not a must read.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Review: The Spill Zone

The Spill Zone The Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Addison Merrick has permission to live in her family’s home, even though it is near the Spill Zone. Her parents and her little sister were inside the zone when the incident happened and only her sister came out. Now Addison travels inside the Spill Zone to photograph the animals and the places, but never the people. She is approached with an opportunity to make more than she ever dreamed of, but will this one job be her last? What risks is she willing to take to help her sister?

The Spill Zone is the first book in a new graphic novel series with the same title. The graphics are weird, yet exciting and the story moves along very quickly. This 200+ page book can be read in about an hour and when readers reach the end they will discover they want the next volume. Readers will quickly feel a need to know more and will definitely be left with a lot of unanswered questions. The Spill Zone will delight readers of science fiction and graphic novels.

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review: Toward a Secret Sky

Toward a Secret Sky Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maren’s mother is now dead and she is being shuttled off to her grandparent’s house in Scotland. She has never met them, because they did not approve of their son marrying Maren’s mom. As she is adjusting to a new way of life, she receives a box with some items from her mother. Inside she finds an encrypted journal that sets her on a path of self-discovery. Both of Maren’s parents worked for a secret organization and now it seems that this organization wants her to work for them too. Unfortunately, there is something wicked in this small town and if Maren joins her parent’s fight her new friends may be left in grave peril.

Toward a Secret Sky is presently listed as a stand-alone novel, yet Maclean has created a wondrous world and amazing storyline that can easily be carried into more volumes. Maren must make some difficult decisions in a short time and readers will not want to put the book down in order to see how she will react next. Since this is being promoted as a singleton, the storyline is complete without a cliff hanger, but most readers will want to know more about this secret organization, Maren’s parents and what happens next to Maren herself. Toward a Secret Sky should be added to everyone’s TBR list if they enjoy fantasy novels with just a twist of romance.

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Review: Yvain: The Knight of the Lion

Yvain: The Knight of the Lion Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M.T. Anderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sir Yvain sets out looking for adventure and finds it when he defeats a knight in battle. This act brings him into the lives of Lady Laudine and her maid Lunette. Sir Yvain quickly falls in love with Lady Laudine, but their love is destined for hardship and Sir Yvain must endure many more adventures during their time apart. This graphic novel interpretation of the 12th century poem will have new readers falling in love with the Arthurian stories and hopefully looking for more. Readers who have already fallen in love with King Arthur and his nights will be enchanted by this version and all readers must slow down and enjoy the graphics that add additional insight into this poem. Yvain: The Knight of the Lion is a quick read and fun escape.

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