Monday, September 15, 2014

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Messenger of Fear (Messenger of Fear, #1)


“This,” he said without the least drama or emphasis, “is about true and false.  Right and wrong.  Good and evil.  And justice, Mara.  This is about justice.  And balance.  And…”  He nodded as if to himself rather than to me.  “… and redemption.”

 

Mara has awoken and all she knows is her name.  She doesn’t remember what happened, where she is, where she’s supposed to be, or even if she’s just dreaming.  All she knows is her name, Mara and she clings to it.  Another thing she knows is that this ethereally beautiful and menacing boy/guy in all black is someone you don’t mess with, and for a while she calls him the Messenger of Fear.  Slowly he shows her a young girl who is dead, and they figure out it was a suicide; but why did she kill herself?  Mara needs to know, she needs to who is responsible and when she finds out she has no mercy.  You see the Messenger of Fear comes to people during a time in their life that they did something really really bad, and knew it was bad before they did it.  I am not talk about petty things either.  The Messenger gives them two choices, play a game of chance or accept your punishment (of course if you lose the game of chance you still receive your punishment).  The game is also extremely intense and tends to be gruesome.  The point of the matter is that all of us do something that we know will have dire consequences, and what separates us is how we react to those situations.  Some of us will do the right thing, and others will pretend like they didn’t know.  A good example is for instance if you ran over a dog.  Most people would stop and call the police and report it (because, it’s a crime to drive away from the scene of an accident), but there might be a few who think that no one some them and they drive away.  The second group of people is the one the Messenger of Fear visits. 

 

This was a such a creepy story, and it had everything I liked.  It had a pale good looking guy, who wears all black, and exudes predator.  Nightmares are a real thing in this book, and overall the theme/message of being a good person, of right and wrong.  I really hope to follow more of Mara’s story, find out more about the Messenger of Fear, and watch them find redemption.  A great beginning of a series.

 

Thank You Edelweiss.

4 out of 5 stars

Sunday, September 7, 2014

YA Summer Enders

Rumble

Rumble by Ellen Hopkins
Pub: 8/26/2014
Pg. 560
ARC Received by Edelweiss


"Some say death is a doorway, belief the key.  Others claim you only have to stumble across the threshold to glimpse a hundred billion universes in the blink of single silver shard." 


I really enjoyed Hopkins' Rumble, purely because of the nature of her writing.  I found myself not able to put the book down, but also found myself questioning my beliefs, morals, and opinions.  Matt is going through some serious soul searching.  His family is messed up, his brother committed suicide a few months back, and frankly Matt has given up on faith.  Instead he is determined to "go big, or go home."  Even his highly devote and highly good looking Christian girlfriend, Hayden, couldn't sway him.  Matt was a likeable character with a bit of narcissism, self deprecation, and reflection he made it easy to relate. 

4 out of 5 stars.


Feral
Feral by Holly Schindler
Pub: 8/26/2014
Pg. 432
ARC received by Edelweiss

"It made it seem like Claire's entire life had been tainted by violence, right from the start.  she wondered if violence didn't follow some people, the same way bad luck trailed after others."

Claire Cain is a survivor.  She survived being beaten brutally out in an alley a few months back, and everyday she survives another day of PTSD.  With a chance move, Claire thinks she will be able to heal better some where else; however, the town of Peculiar, Missouri isn't as quiet as she might have hoped.  Within her first couple of weeks in Peculiar a student from Claire's new high school is found murdered, beaten to death/perhaps strangled.  All Claire can focus on are the similarities between herself and Serena.  There is also the sinister way feral cats have been appearing: first at the murder scene, then following Claire around.  Claire must figure out what's going on soon, or else she will lose everything she's been holding on to.  This was an intriguing psychological thriller.  It had me think that it was a supernatural/paranormal book and all of a sudden it became very real.

3 out of 5 stars.



Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Pub: 9/2/2014
Pg: 565
ARC received by NetGalley


In Maas' third installment in her Throne of Glass series, we find Celaena traveling back to her birth place, both under orders of the King she hates and also under the advisement of the one who truly loves her, Chaol, for her safety.  There she finds her aunt Maeve, the Queen, and Rowan, a Prince in Maeve's court.  Celaena must go back, to before she was Celaena, and remember who she was, who she was meant to be, and who is suppose to lead the people of her land.  She's not the only one that needs to make these discoveries, back in Adarlan both Prince Dorian and Choal must decide where their loyalties lie, and fully accept themselves and each other for who and what they are.  The action is just as enticing as the past two books; the book continues to demonstrate the dark of the story, as other characters and monsters are introduced to the story line. The romance kills me, because Choal's regret but acceptance is palpable and Celaena's heart break is as well.  Will she be able to forgive him?  Will she find her self mated to Rowan, as the Fae do for eternity?  And will Celaena, Choal, and Dorian be able to bring down the tyranny and restore hope to all?  Loved, loved, loved this book and I love this series even more.  Please don't let there be a love triangle... please!

5 stars.


Don't Touch
Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson
Pub: 9/2/2014
Pg: 432
ARC Received by Edelweiss

"Touch another person's skin and Dad will never come home.  The danger feels even bigger than that.  Touch another person's skin and Dad will evaporate." 

Caddie has rules.  She never touches anyone's skin, for fear that her father will not come back home.  This isn't the first time she's made rules for herself, since she was little Caddie has lived by rules to ensure her safety, the world's safety, and ultimately keep her from shattering.  But what if the one thing you can't do, that you're afraid to do, is the one thing you need?  After Caddie transfers to an Art high school, where she reconnects with old friends, she begins to want things.  She most definitely wants to be Ophelia in the upcoming school production of Hamlet, and she wants to go unnoticed (especially her strangeness).  Enter Peter, he is everything Caddie isn't.  He's impulsive, in your face, and there's this life in his eyes that makes Caddie's heart race.  The problem is that she still cannot touch anyone. How is Caddie suppose to be in a play, friends with people, and foster a crush on Peter when the thought of touching anyone sends her into a panic attack?  A very true issue that isn't spoken about enough is given voice in Rachel M. Wilson's novel Don't Touch

4 out of 5 stars.

The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)
The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Pub: 9/2/2014
Pg: 358
ARC received by Edelweiss

"These are perks to being a surrogate.  We get to dress how we want, eat what we want, sleep late on the weekends.  We get an education.  A good education.  We get fresh food and water, we always have electricity, and we never have to work.  We never have to know poverty--and the caretakers tell us we'll have more once we start living in the Jewel.  Except freedom.  They never seem to mention that."

Violet is a surrogate, one of many that are auctioned off into servitude for the aristocratic women.  She lives in an era where women cannot have children, and so surrogates, who come from a more diluted background, are used to carry the royal children.  At the auction Violet will lose her identity, become lot 197, and become the property of a well to-do lady.  But soon she realizes that within the city limits of The Jewel lies betrayal, heartbreak, games, and death, and the surrogates are usually the victims.  The head of the houses are cruel with each other, some are sinister, and others use their property like play things parading them along the town square on leashes.  Violet must get out, but soon she falls in love with a companion, another group that is placed in servitude in a sexual manner within The Jewel.   All this can lead to is death, no matter how much a surrogate is valued, they are still property.  Will she be able to escape with the help of a "lady-in-waiting" Lucien?  How can she keep her love for Ash a secret after he confirms his feelings for her?  And is there a rebellion slowly growing within The Jewel?  A YA Handmaid's Tale, with lushes scenery and caustic revelry. 

3 out of 5 stars. 





Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Amity by Micol Ostow


Amity

I wanted to love Amity by Micol Ostow so much, that I will actually give a proper review (well, proper in my view).  I like Amity, the urban legend and the history behind it; it was a story that captured and captivated many audiences and especially those that live in New England towns like that in Concord.  Ostow’s take on Amity was a bit the same and a bit different.  Like other stories based on this house, he focused on a past event but juxtaposed it to a present tense story.  You have Connor and his family, that moved into Amity 10 years before Gwen and her family moved in.  Connor is the past and Gwen is the present. 

What Worked:

Obviously I like the blending of the past and present story.  Are they only connected because they lived there, or because there was something innately wrong with them? 

It’s pretty gruesome.  You can’t have an Amity horror without some bloodshed, witch craft, Native American folklore, or demon eyes.  All of the above was present.

Connor’s crazy versus Gwen’s crazy.  They are both a little different than your average person; however, Connor made me feel as if snakes slithered under my skin, while Gwen just drove me nuts with compassion.

Annie.  Annie really worked. 

The house was an entity all on itself.  Yes the back stories were there, but it all came down to the stones, the foundation.  Amity was the villain in the story, not just an object that evil was projected onto. 

What Didn’t Work:

The connection between Connor and Gwen were not very solid.  Besides living in the same house and dealing with psychological issues respectively, they were not the same person or even remotely alike in personality.  While Gwen felt hunted, Connor felt comforted by Amity.

Um… really Connor?  I did not like his story, but then again do we really like Ronald DeFeo Jr., the original murderer in the Amityville horror story? 

Why do people insist on staying in places as creepy as this one?  Gwen was afflicted with hysteria, and you are going to take her out into the middle of Nowhere, USA and not expect some crazy things to go down?  Why are the adults always so… dumb?

WHY would you end it that way?  I had so much more of Gwen to experience, I had so many more questions, and I sure as heck don’t want to go through that house again just to find out how Gwen’s doing.

 

This was definitely worth the read.  I know this is a mixed review, but I found it scary and I found it interesting.  I don’t regret the couple of hours it took from me because in the end it accomplished what a horror movie tries to accomplish.  It gets you thinking, involved the action, and ultimately fighting along with the main character until the bitter end.

 

Thank You Edelweiss.  3 stars out of 5.