09/21/12



Book Review

Skylark by Meagan Spooner

Release Date: August 1, 2012
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Age Group: Young Adult
Shelfability: Acquire
Pages: 344
Format: Hardcover
Source: Author
Interest: Debut
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge

Lark lives in a pretty crazy world. Apparently to sustain the energy needed to run this world they harvest children. Creepy right? Each person contains some magic and there is a ceremony where a group of children are chosen to be harvested. It’s an honor to be chosen. After you’re harvested you get to join the world of adults and be assigned a job. (Doesn’t sound all that much fun to me!) Lark is reaching the ripe old age of 16 and yet she still hasn’t been chosen to be harvested. She’s starting to get a complex.

She’s devastated when she discovers that she didn’t make the list once again. Then mysteriously she is chosen.

And being harvested isn’t exactly what it’s cracked up to be and Lark ends up escaping with barely her life in tact. She’s on a journey to discover what she is and find the Iron Woods.

I’ve got to admit I was a little confused at the beginning of this book. But I find that happening to me frequently when I’m reading about a new world, so I try not to get detoured by that. I had some ups and downs the first half of the novel. Once Lark gets chosen and in the process of the harvesting, there was some crazy things going on. Then once she escapes, I got a bit disinterested. I was still a little confused at the pockets of magic and what exactly was going on. Also, Lark was alone, so it got a bit tedious for me. Thankfully Nix and then not long after that Oren show up. I was back in the game at this point and it kept going till the end.

I loved Lark and Oren. And I totally did not see that “thing” coming. You’ll know what I’m talking about. Totally threw me for a freaggin loop there. I was so distracted by this crazy world and Lark trying to navigate everything around her that I was totally blindsided.

I liked the world building, but I would have liked to know more of the “why” of it all. What was the war exactly and why did happen? Maybe we’ll find the answers to that later on in other installments of the series?

Even though I had initial reservations, I ended up devouring this book. The writing was superb, the characters were complex and well thought out and the story was just so intense! I am ready for more. I really want to meet Basil. This MUST happen! Sci-fi, fantasy, maybe a little dystopian elements thrown in there and some magic, Skylark has it all.

09/06/12



Book Review

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Balzar & Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Shelfability: Acquire/Borrow
Pages: 403
Format: Advance Reader Copy
Source: Publisher
Interest: Debut
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge

Rachel lives in the city of Baalboden. It’s surrounded by this huge wall. It’s the Wall that protects them from these crazy dragons. (Sorta reminded me of Reign of Fire.) The city is also controlled by this jerk, the Commander. Apparently back in the day, he was part of this group that defeated one of these dragons, and he has some mysterious power over them now. So even though they absolutely hate this guy, they have to do what he says, or get burnt to smithereens.

The story starts as Rachel’s Dad is being declared dead. He’s a tracker for the Commander so he goes beyond the Wall on these tasks for him. He didn’t come home from his last task. And now Rachel is all alone. Except for her father’s apprentice, Logan. They have a “history” if you know what I mean. Oh, and then there is Oliver, who is like a grandfather to Rachel. But Rachel knows her father isn’t dead and she’s going over the Wall to find him.

I’m not sure what I think about this book. I wanted to love it, but there was something that kept me from connecting with the story. I wish I could pinpoint it to one thing, but I don’t think I can. I’m not sure if this was a fantasy novel or a futuristic science fiction novel, perhaps it was both. I didn’t feel like we were given a lot of world building as a reader. I could see that changing in future titles of the series. This is a series isn’t it?

I liked the characters, but I didn’t really “feel” the relationship between Rachel and Logan. I know there was that history of her pouring her heart out to him and not getting the response she wanted… don’t worry that wasn’t spoilery, it’s in the first few pages… but I just didn’t get what attracted them to each other, besides the fact that they were both alone in this world.

I enjoyed the story enough. It was really entertaining and I think that the series has a lot of potential.

Check out more posts about Defiance, as part of the Defiance Blog Tour!

08/07/12



Book Review

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: August 7, 2012
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Age Group: Young Adult
Shelfability: Covet/Acquire
Pages: 416
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Interest: Debut
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge & The YA/MG Fantasy Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon

Celaena, also known as the infamous Ardalan Assassin, finds herself being dragged from the hell of the salt mines into another. The Crown Prince of Ardalan has a deal for her, a deal that could mean her freedom. How can Celaena refuse?

She must enter a competition to be the King’s Champion. It’s a competition to the death, no big deal! There is more going on in the castle of glass and not only must Celaena defeat her competitors to become the King’s Champion she must also discover and destroy and ancient evil.

Another book that I went into mostly blind and loved it. I know this book was a fantasy novel and I knew that Cat wanted to read it. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, yet I hardly read it. The Throne of Glass has aroused my love of fantasy and I’m eager to read more!

I wasn’t sure that I was going to like Celaena initially. She was a bit conceited, but somehow she also came across as very vulnerable and I couldn’t help but sympathize with that vulnerability. I loved how Choal and Dorian saw her in very different ways. That may have been one of the reasons I was able to overcome my initial assessment of her as well.

I loved this world. I just wished we would have gotten to see more of it! The castle was glorious, but I wanted to see more of the outside world! Perhaps we will get that in the next book. The introduction to magic was beautifully done as well! I can’t wait to divulge more into that!

I truly enjoyed reading this book and there is so much potential for this story to grow, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Writing, characters, the world, and the story! I loved it all!

 

06/05/12



Book Review

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh BardugoRelease Date: June 5, 2012
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Age Group: Young Adult
Shelfability: Covet/Acquire
Pages: 368
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Interest: Debut
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge, YA/MG Fantasy Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon

One of my favorite debuts of the year!

Leigh Bardugo transports her readers to the world of Ravka. Ravka while a fantasy world does have influences from 20th century Russia, though the world and the language is all the creation of Bardugo. And it’s fabulous! Wow, I was instantly drawn into this world, it was magical and mysterious and everything that I wanted and more!

Alina and her best friend Mal, orphaned at a young age, are now soldiers in the Second Army. Mal, unaware of Alina’s affections seems to draw the eye of every girl in his proximity. If only Alina had the self confidence of those girls, she might be able to tell Mal how she feels. Though she may never have the chance to tell him, as their regime is close to crossing into The Shadow Fold, which hold these flying flesh eating creatures called volcra. They are as creepy as they sound!

Well something happens when they are crossing into The Shadow Fold and suddenly Alina is in the middle of it all. She’s swept away to the palace and…. well you’ll just have to read the book to learn about all the rest. Don’t worry you won’t be disappointed!

Bardugo’s writing style is captivating and easy to read. I was instantly drawn into this story. I loved Alina and I loved the world of Ravka. And Mal! And dare I even say the Darkling! Though there hinted to be parts of a love triangle, there isn’t one. The love story we are given is simply beautiful! And don’t worry about the romance overshadowing the rest of the story, because it doesn’t! The majority of the story is Alina’s in discovering and mastering her abilities. In finding out who she can trust and what she should believe. There are several things that Alina and I both did not see coming!

And the ending. Wow the ending. That was one of those things that I did not see that coming!

I just loved everything about it, and I can’t recommend it enough! For fantasy lovers, you will devour this! And for readers wanting to try a fantasy novel, why not start with Shadow and Bone!

02/13/12



Book Review

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Release Date: January 31, 2012
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Shelfability: Acquire/Borrow
Pages: 384
Format: Advance Reader Copy
Source: Publisher
Interest: Debut Author
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon

New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Heart

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies–human and creature alike–let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

It’s been several weeks since I’ve turned the last few pages of Incarnate and I’m still not 100% sure with how I feel about it. Somedays I love it, some days I don’t. It’s rather unsettling actually. Usually I have such strong emotions one way or another. Perhaps my indecision is a reflection of the complexity of the book itself?

There are three things that I loved about this novel. The world, Ana, and the writing. (More specifically the world-building.) I wanted to know who and what Ana was, but the thing that kept me engrossed the most was the world. I wanted to discover all it had to offer. It’s secrets, if you will. And although Ana discovers several of them, I can’t help but feel that it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

I enjoyed the relationship between Ana and Sam, yet at the same time I found it to be unnerving. I simply wanted to picture Sam as a teen, but we are constantly reminded that he has had several lives, several forms and several loves. Is Ana only appealing because she is  different… A new soul?

The ending was also rather abrupt. The intensity builds and builds, perhaps I was just expecting too much. I’m definitely interested in revisiting this world and these characters. I feel as though the story has only just begun.



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