Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst

The Lost (The Lost, #1)

The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst can be explained by the following quote: “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”  That line is not of this book, but from The Fault in Our Stars, what can I say that was exactly how I felt about this book.  Once I started reading I didn’t figure out, until towards the end how much I really liked this book and cared about the characters.  Lauren is running away from the pain that is waiting for her.  Her mother was diagnosed with cancer and every time she comes back from a test result, or consultation there is never any good news.  Lauren cannot take another piece of bad news, especially if it means her mother is at the end of her life.  She does the only thing she can think of, she gets in her car and starts driving until she gets completely lost.  One second she’s driving and reflecting on her selfish behavior and the next she is in a town that doesn’t seem to have reception or a gas station.  Lauren has just stumbled on the town of Lost, where people go when they are missing something essential in their life until they retrieve what they are missing and then they can go home. 

There are two important people in the town of Lost, Peter (The Finder) and the Missing Man.  Peter finds those that are lost in the void, before they completely disappears, and places them in the town.  The Missing Man helps guide that person in finding what they lost in the void; once the person is complete he sends them home.  No one can leave without the Missing Man, so Lauren asks for his help, but he leaves with an abrupt No, and Lauren has now a whole town of enemies since they fault her for the Missing Man going missing.  Lauren finds a friend in Peter, the wild man who is beautiful and startlingly crazy (quotes poetry and literature, likes to jump on things, and has a weird fetish for sleeping in closets) and Claire, a six year old who is also lost finds Lauren and together the 3 become a solid unit.  Lauren’s main objective is to get back home for her mother and Peter’s objective is to help Lauren but he also has a secret.  Lauren doesn’t realize that the town of Lost might put her back together again, but in the end there will be decision that needs to be made and it will be tough one, because the town will need her and Peter will need her… but do they need her as much as her mother?

Great story, rich in characters and the supernatural is not overdone… it’s not even fully described, which lets the reader focus on the action unfolding and the characters’ personalities.  Really enjoyed this and cannot wait to continue in the next book The Missing.
4 out of 5 stars.  Thanks NetGalley!!!

V is for Villain by Peter Moore

V is for Villain
 
V is for Villain is a quick read, mirrored to the movie Sky High.  The children of superheroes all go to the same academy; however, if your powers are not super and you are not an excellent fit (basically a conformist and one who worships heroes) than you are sent to the alternative school… and known as an A-hole.  This is what has happened to our main character Brad.  Being the younger brother of one of the well-known and worshiped heroes out there, life has never been great for him, especially since he doesn’t have any superpowers of his own.  Being dumped into the alternative program only proves that he is a disappointment to his family, but then he begins to hang out with a group of other A-holes and starts questioning the system of justice vs what the heroes call justice.  Slowly but surely, the questioning beings to form into action. 

There is a lot going on in this short read, but not so much that you cannot follow what is going on.  Between genetics, heroes vs villains, and sibling rivalry there are a lot of aspects for every audience to enjoy.  I am curious to see if this is a standalone, because the book lends perfectly into creating a platform for a long series of villains vs heroes.  If you like action and sarcastic wit, you will definitely be pleased with this selection.


Thanks NetGalley, 3 out of 5 stars.

Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Dangerous Creatures (Dangerous Creatures, #1)
“Damn Casters.

 And damn that one Mortal roadie.  If she’d never met him, she would never have gotten into the game of Liar’s Trade that landed her in this mess in the first place.

 Damn Mortals.”   

 

Dangerous Creatures  

 

We are at it again with our favorites from Gatlin, South Carolina.  With what occurred in the Beautiful Creatures series behind them, everyone is heading off to college that is, everyone but Ridley.  Ridley has a plan, she always has a plan; however, this time her life depends on this plan working.  You see, Ridley decided to bet at a game, and she lost.  She lost her powers and Link’s talent to a nefarious character.  Both Ridley and Link will be in Lennox Gates’ debt for a total of one year.  Ridley isn’t sure how he will cash out her debt, but one thing is for certain: she must convince Link to go to New York City and become part of Gates’ band that he manages as the new drummer, with the chance of death. 

Ridley and Link are the funny ridiculous friends you want to have around, because there is never a dull moment.  Between snarky comments, making out, and a whole lot of falling out (hence the making out) it’s hard not to find these two exciting.  The drama is ridiculous and the new supporting characters were… different than those in the previous series.  It’s nice to see into Link and Ridley’s perspectives and frankly the bad ones are always the entertaining ones.  It was interesting to see who the villain was in this book, and the connection between Lennox and Ridley (totally saw it coming after one of her flash back dreams).  The end is ridiculous.  How can you end it like that?  I just want to know what happens, please?!?!  For those of you that loved Beautiful Creatures, do make time to go out and purchase/borrow this book!
4 out of 5 stars.  Thank You NetGalley.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)

“Murderess. She did it.  She was crouched over her mother’s body, covered in blood.”

Lady Aileana Kameron has become a social pariah ever since her mother’s bloody death; because everyone is convinced she is at fault.  Kam has a secret, one that she is not ready to share or wants to share, you see she didn’t kill her mother, and she’s been hunting who did ever since.  With the help of an ethereally gorgeous and simultaneously dangerous being Kam has trained to kill those that could have had a hand in her mother’s death.  Kiaran, a Daoine Sith or Faery, has been hunting with Kam, killing the faeries that wish harm on humans.  Kam also has Derrick, a small pixie, who would do anything for her.


Armed with steamed-punk weapons, training from Kiaran, and a vendetta the size of Texas Kam is on the lookout for the female faery that killed her mother.  What she doesn’t realize is that there is a larger plot going on a war old as time, and darker than she could imagine.  Will she be able to get her vengeance?  What is it that Kiaran is not telling her, and is she strong enough for the battle ahead?  A nice steam punk 19th century story set in Scotland with the Fey, so you know there are tricks and loop holes galore.  Cannot wait to see why Kam’s final act in the book might be one of her biggest mistakes yet, it’s never good when your enemy tells you something like that.


4 out of 5 stars!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

In the Shadows by Kiersten White

In the Shadows



In the Shadows by Kiersten White is a breath of fresh air this year.  Told in both text and illustrations it is a story of untold evil, mixed with a little Faust and Dorian Gray.  The lives of 5 young people merge when the curse that their family has been involved in finally catches up to them.  You see there is a blood debt owed by each of their families and until they can figure it out none of them are safe.  With an eerie boarder who won’t keep is distance, a witch that lives next door who seems oddly nice to be one of the bad guys, and odd connections this story is sure to keep readers in suspense.  The illustrations tend to be confusing at first until you realize that they tell the story of one particular character and that it does not run linear to everything that is being told through the text.  

*Illustrated by: Jim Di Bartolo

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni

The Eighth Day
 
 
The Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni is this action adventure series that has Arthurian links to it.  Jax’s life sucks, his father died recently and now lives with Riley, a 19 year old, as his guardian.  After his birthday Jax notices something odd, he wakes up to a quiet world.  Thinking that something bad occurred he rushes to Walmart and takes the necessary things like water bottles and canned food, think that there is a zombie apocalypse coming.  What he’s in for is a ride for of a life time.  Come to find out, he is part of this century’s long battle of good and evil that is all tied to the original King Arthur and Merlin, and they all live within the 8th day, some like himself live during the regular 7 days as well.

I really liked the idea of there being an 8th day in the week that only certain people live in, much like Jax and everyone like him.  His friendship with Evangeline, one of the beings that only live in the 8th day is sweet and interesting.  The connections of the characters to the Legend of King Arthur characters are also intriguing.  Fast pace and adventurous, this stunning debut will win over many readers.

 

4 out 5 stars.  Thanks Edelweiss

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Taking by Kimberly Derting


The Taking (The Taking, #1)
The Taking by Kimberly Derting is the first book in The Taking series.  If you are a fan of Derting, you might be used to her Body Finder series.  This was a completely different story; more aliens than guts and crime.  Kyra has just had a phenomenal game and is ready to celebrate with her teammates and then her wonderful boyfriend; however, destiny has a different idea for her.  After an argument with her father, Kyra walks into a field, away from her father’s car only to be blinded by a bright light and pass out.  When she awakes Kyra feels like only a few minutes have gone by, checking her phone for reception she decides to trek it back home before she gets in trouble.  Once she arrives home, Kyra realizes that that she cannot get in and there is a toddler in the house.  Confused and nervous Kyra runs down to her boyfriend/neighbor’s house, and launches herself at him when he opens the door.  The problem: that’s not her boyfriend, it’s his younger brother, who was 12 the last time Kyra saw him, which was the day before. 

What Kyra doesn’t realize is that she has been abducted by aliens and returned back to her life 5 years later without aging a day or second.  Her boyfriend is off at college and is now her ex, and his little brother is not so little anymore.  Filled with conspiracies, sweet moments, and life lessons this is the beginning of a nice series.

 

3.5 stars out of 5.  Thanks Edelweiss.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman


 
 
 
 
“The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.”

                                                                                                                —Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf  

 

The Prisoner of Night and Fog is set in the early 1930s.  Instead of depicting the life of someone in Germany during the beginning of the Holocaust who is Jewish, this book turns to the other side of the coin and tells the story of Gretchen Muller, daughter of a martyred National Socialist.  After his death Adolf Hitler took the Muller family under his wing, so much so that Gretchen knows the crazed leader of the Third Reich as none other than Uncle Dolf.  With her father gone, life seems quiet for young Gretchen, except for her angry psychotic brother, who likes to “teach her lessons” when no one is paying attention.  Gretchen loves Uncle Dolf, because he is the only one that listens and takes care of her brother when he gets out of line; however, things are changing and Gretchen isn’t a little child anymore, she’s beginning to understand what is going on. 

After meeting a young Jewish reporter, she falls into a down whirl spiral of questions that threatened to break her life as she knows it apart.  How can these Jews be so kind, when all they want is to mislead people?  Even though they are cold-hearted people that abuse the trusting Germans, is it okay to beat them in the street?  Is it possible that all Jews inherit the evil gene, and we must also punish children?  How can everything that Uncle Dolf taught her be wrong?  Gretchen begins to see things in the perspective of the hunted, especially since the reporter, Daniel Cohen, has made her question her father’s death.  Who was really behind his death?  Could it have been his friends and comrades?  One thing Gretchen is certain of is that things are not as they seem and she needs to know what is going on.  Falling for Daniel is another catalyst component to her journey.  She must do everything in her power to find out the truth of about what happened to her father, help Daniel expose the ill treatment of the Jews to the world, and save herself from those that were her family and friends.

This was a riveting YA historical/fiction novel.  The themes are close to other books set at this time and during this particular event; however, because it is in the perspective of someone inside of the Nazi party it’s much more interesting to me.  I believe it holds great value for readers, so that they can see how WWII affected all citizens of Germany, and also to expose the idea that not everyone was brainwashed or completely behind the Nazi movement.  I would recommend this to people who have a clear interest in the Holocaust and WWII, and also those that enjoy historical fiction or political conspiracies. 

 

4.5 Stars.  Thanks Edelweiss!

The Nethergrim by Matthew Jobin


The Nethergrim

“Edmund felt despair eating away at his victory. ‘Why is the world like this?’ He shivered.  ‘Why does it feel so cold, so hard?’
A smile flickered on John’s face, one that was neither happy nor sad.  ‘What would be the worth of goodness, in a world that always rewarded it?’”

     Edmund is the older of two sons, and will one day inherit his father’s tavern; however, Edmund has other dreams.  He wishes to be as powerful as the legendary wizard Vithric.  Many years ago, a dark shadow passed over the lands, a vicious beast known as the Nethergrim and it was on the prowl for the sweet flesh of children.  A brave knight, Tristan, and one of the greatest wizards ever known, Vithric, along with other knights defeated the beast.  The lands were happier, the children safer, and the world was back to order now that the Nethergrim had been defeated… that is until our Edmund’s story.  Edmund secretly learned about magic and wizardry, until his father found out and burned all his books, this led to Edmund making one false move and angering the wrong person in his pursuit of knowledge.  On top of all of this the children are disappearing, and a beast like no other has found that peace does not agree with it.  Along with his village, his crush, and an abused indentured servant Edmund must find a way to defeat this beast and save his brother and the missing children.

    This was awesome!  I was a tween when Harry Potter came out, so I am in love with YA supernatural/adventure stories.  While there are similarities to the mentioned series, this series stands on its own two feet.  The characters were endearing, the bad guy was pretty nasty (a little Dorian Gray for my liking… but it works), and the gruesomeness was never too understated.  I can already see all the life learning messages bleeding out of the pages, and I am giddy to find these characters again in the next installment.


Thank You NetGalley! 4.5 Stars!