Thursday 30 October 2014

The New Agenda

2 Stars/5

Thanks to Simone Pond for giving me this book to review.

Ava is determined to find Morray, so she looks into his past, but what she discovers is not what she expected. Teenage Morray has always believed in his father, who is the head of the Repatterning program, and all he wants to do is earn his father’s approval. When William and his mother are sent to an underground shelter he discovers the truth about the Repatterning program. William teams up with a rebel group to try and stop his father and save those who are left.

The New Agenda is the OK prequel to The City Center, it has a bit from after the events of the last book but mostly set in the not too distant future. I felt this book would have worked better as a novella as I felt the story had to be dragged out a bit, but that being said it was enjoyable to discover how the apocalypse began.

The main problem I had with this book is that I did not like William, even in the beginning, and I don’t think it is just because my view of him was coloured by from the last book. I was nice to see Ava and Joseph again, even if it was not for much, and what has happened to them after The City Center.
I did not enjoy this book as much as The City Center and I hope next book Pond writes is about either Ava or a more likable character. I would recommend The New Agenda to those who have read The City Center. 

Monday 27 October 2014

The City Center

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Simone Pond for giving me this book to review.

In the 21st century the Elites created a man-made apocalypse which killed almost everyone, and those who survived either live in the Los Angeles City Center or are rebels who live on the Outside. Centuries later Ava Rhones is one of the potential successors to the Queen but she has always felt different from almost everyone else. A week before it is decided who becomes the Queen, she meets a rebel, Joseph, and discovers that her utopian home is not all that is seems. She escapes with Joseph to the Outside leading the City Center leader Chief Morray to obsessively hunt for her. With Ava falling for Joseph she has to decide whether to stay on the Outside or save her people in the City Center.

The City Center is an enjoyable YA dystopian novel with an interesting premise, action and romance. I felt it was too fast paced as I found it hard to connect to the characters or the story and I would have preferred more world building.

Ava is nice and adventurous and I think people can relate to her as she felt different from everyone else and wants to escape. Joseph is a normal YA hero, brave, loyal and kind but did not stand out, however, one thing I got annoyed at in this book is that it had insta-love.

This book has an interesting concept which I wish had been fleshed out a bit more but I am still looking forward to the next book The New Agenda. I would recommend The City Center to fans of Under the Never Sky or Fireblood. 

Friday 24 October 2014

Into the Still Blue

3 Stars/5

Aria and Perry are determined to reach the safe haven of the Still Blue to protect the Tides and the surviving Dwellers. However, they are in a desperate situation with them stuck in a cave as the aether storms are getting worse and Sable and Hess have kidnapped Cinder for his abilities. Perry and Aria assemble a small rescue team to save Cinder and to get what they need to travel to the Still Blue. With the bonds of friendship being tested and the world dying will Aria and Perry be able to stay together and save everyone.

Into the Still Blue is the enjoyable final book in the Under the Never Sky trilogy, it was a bit predictable but fast paced. This series has action, adventure, romance and an interesting story.

Aria has grown in this series as has more confidence and has developed into a natural leader, with both the Dwellers and the Tides. Perry is the same from the previous books as he is strong, protective and loyal, but is also struggling with the loss of Liv. I also liked that Aria and Perry were together during most of the book as they are best when not separated. There are two other characters that I find really interesting in this book, firstly Sorren, as it is interesting how he has changed from a villain to one of the good guys, and secondly Roar as I felt very sorry for him and I like his relationship with both Perry and Aria.

This ended much better than most dystopian series as it ends just as satisfyingly as the first two books, and I am looking forward to what Rossi does next. I would recommend Into the Still Blue to fans of the first two books. 

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Earth & Sky

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Children’s Publishing for giving me this book to review.

17 year old Skylar has always felt sensations that something is wrong with the world and no one else notices. She manages to hide it from those she loves but she thinks she is crazy until she meets Win, and she discovers the truth, that for thousands of years earth has been an experiment of alien scientists who manipulate history. Win belongs to a rebel faction who seek to stop the experiments and he needs Sky’s help as she has the ability to detect the shifts in history. With Sky and Win travelling back in time to collect a weapon from Win’s leader, every change in the past can affect Sky’s life and the travelling in time is unravelling the fabric of reality.

Earth & Sky is a YA sci-fi novel which reminded me a bit of the film The Adjustment Bureau, which is full of action, time travel and is fast paced.  However, I felt the world building was not the best, for example, the reason why the Kemyans are still experimenting was not the best explained.

I liked Skylar as she struggled for a long time with knowing she is not like everyone else and she was nice, but I did struggle a bit to connect with her. I really struggled to get on with Win, cannot put my finger in why because he was meant to be a nice and charming guy. There is potential for romance in the next book and I like that is was not a big part of the plot in this book.

Earth & Sky book has an interesting concept and would recommend to fans of YA sci-fi and time travel. 

Saturday 18 October 2014

The Empyrean Key

4 Stars/5

Thanks to J L Tomlinson for giving me this book to review.

In Ardentia, Jahna has spent all her life living in the safety of Groden Cove with her two best friends, bloodthirsty Lilac and bookworm Silko, and her mother. But her mother will not tell her about their Narcean abilities or who her father is. However, Jahna’s fate is linked to the Narcean Soothsayer Friziel and the dying King Myole as evil is threatening war torn Ardentia. When Jahna learns about her lineage and the peace of Groden Cove is disturbed, Jahna, along with her friends are sent on a quest to restore an artefact called the Empyrean Key.

The Empyrean Key is a really enjoyable fantasy book, with action a slight hint of romance and vivid detail heavy story. The book was a bit slow especially the first half as it spend way too long in Groden Cove, but the second half picks up and gets better.

Jahna is a complex character, she comes across as a normal teen but is also protective and is desperate to find out about her past and her powers. Silko and Lilac are amusing but very different characters and really care about Jahna and the three make a dysfunction trio.

This is a good book and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I would recommend The Empyrean Key to fans of YA fantasy books.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Aquila: From the Darkness

4 Stars/5

Thanks to T L Searle for giving me this book to review.

Aquila has always kept herself distant from everyone, apart from her mother and her best friend, Aaron, who she is in love with, because she is not normal as she has wings. One day on an impulse Aqua finally reveals her true self to Aaron only to be rejected and she flees, but she is followed by Lucas and when she nears exhaustion he takes her to Celthia, a city carved into the mountain full of people similar to her called Angeli. When her home is attacked and her mother taken by the Angeli’s enemy the Dragone, Aqua must train to find and save her, but the master of the guard, Liam, does not trust her, though she has growing feelings for him. With Aqua different from everyone at Celthia and a boy August who is linked to her, will she find all the answers about her mysterious past.

Aquila: From the Darkness is a very enjoyable paranormal book, full of action, secrets, romance and unique species from any other book I have read. The book started out a bit too detail heavy but I got sucked into the story of Aqua, though it was a little bit predictable.

Aqua is a protective, determined and mature girl who has always had to hide who she is, but I did find it unbelievable that she was so brilliant at her training after only one month. All the characters are really well written and I liked them all, my favourites had to be Liam and August.

This book ends on a big cliff-hanger and I am really looking forward to the next book Aquila: Into the Light as there are lots of unanswered questions. I would recommend Aquila: From the Darkness to fans of YA paranormal books. 

Sunday 12 October 2014

Otherworld Nights

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Group Plume for giving me this book to review.

Talia’s son Adam has always had a fascination with fire, and after his hands have started to heat up when he gets upset, she feels that she needs to know what is happening to him. She makes an appointment with Professor Vasic as the last place she can turn to in order to get answers, but will he be able to tell her what is happening with Adam?

Cassandra is getting old, and tired of life, losing all interest in feeding, and having even less interest in making her yearly kill in order to survive the next year. Aaron returns to find her maintaining her existence, but will he be able to convince her to kill to last another year?

Clay and Elena have never married, but he has decided that the least he could do is give her an uneventful honeymoon. However, the local mutt population are not cooperating. Will Clay be able to deal with the mutt without Elena learning of it?

Elena and Clay and the twins head up early for the Pack’s Christmas gathering in Canada, and get caught up in the investigation of the potential murder by mutt of local kid Dillon Mitchell. Will they be able to find out who did it, and more importantly, be able to do it without the twins finding out their secret?

Otherworld Nights is an entertaining anthology of 8 stories set within Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series. Several of these stories have been published on her website previously, whilst several are new. I would recommend this book to anyone who has read the Otherworld series, and is interested in learning more about the characters which we see there.

Thursday 9 October 2014

Tortured Souls

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Sea Dragon Press for giving me this book to review.

Kacie has always seen ghosts, and it has ruined her life, causing her mother to leave and her father to blame her, and causes nightmares every night of gruesome murders. However, her life changes when, at a party, her crush, Logan, saves her from a ghost and invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of people who investigate the supernatural. As they help Kacie control her powers, they are also looking into a haunted mansion where a demented cult leader, the Foxblood demon, murdered 13 children and is now using their souls to come back to life. With the Foxblood demon’s sights set on Kacie and the murdered children haunting her, will Kacie, along with Logan and the other members of the Orion Circle, be able to banish him before he possesses her.

Tortured Souls is an enjoyable YA paranormal novel with some action, creepy suspense and a sweet romance, which felt like a teen version of Supernatural set in a high school. It was a fast paced book but did slow down during the middle. One thing I did not like about this book was that everyone accepted easily that the paranormal existed and those who did not were portrayed as being closed minded and wrong.

Kacie is a nice normal teen who has had a hard time growing up, but I did find her a bit annoying and I felt she had to rely on others too often. There are lots of really good secondary characters in this book and I liked the sweet romance between Kacie and Logan and I liked that there was not a love triangle.

I did not enjoy this book as much Shadow Fire but it is still an enjoyable novel and I am looking forward to the next book in the Orion Circle. I would recommend Tortured Souls to fans of The Holders by Julianna Scott and Finding Sky by Joss Stirling.

Monday 6 October 2014

Of Darkness and Crowns

4 Stars/5

Bale, the moon goddess, is residing in Prince Caben, darkening his mind and soul, causing him to hunt down the woman he loves and sacrificed himself for. But he is still hearing his old self telling him that he still loves Kal and that Bale is causing him to want to kill her. Kaliope, the leader of the reformed Nactue Guard, has vowed to look after Caben’s kingdom as well as finding a way to save him. With a traitor within her midst and her powers growing which she cannot control, her mission to save Caben causes conflict in the Nactue and may be clouding her judgement. When the time comes to destroy the goddess of chaos, will Kaliope be able to do it if it means losing Caben?

Of Darkness and Crowns is a very good new adult sci-fi/fantasy novel with action, a warped romance and unexpected twists. This book was told from the POV of both Caben and Kaliope and it is very addictive as I could not put the book down.

Kal is still strong and protective, but her loyalties are tested and she struggles a lot in this book with both with her responsibilities and with what happened to Caben. Caben is a really interesting character in this book as he is very dark and not the good guy we know from the last book, but you could still see hints of the old him, which makes you doubt if it is Bale which has changed him or if it is how he would react if he got power. I didn’t like the romance as much as the last book as they did not spend much time together and it was very twisted.

While I slightly preferred Of Silver and Beasts more than this book it is still really good and I am looking forward to the next book. I would recommend Of Darkness and Crowns to fans of Trisha Wolfe’s other books especially the first book in The Goddess Wars series, Of Silver and Beasts. 

Saturday 4 October 2014

Of Silver and Beasts

4 Stars/5

In the sand covered country of Cavan, when she is a child Kaliope’s father injects mercury into her, but she is saved by the goddess Alyah. Now as a 19 year old she is chosen as the head of the Nactue Guard, sworn to protect the Empress, but her first mission is to protect Prince Caben, heir of the neighbouring kingdom. When Cavan is attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope, along with hundreds of other citizens, are taken. Kaliope and Caben, and the strongest are forced to fight in a caged arena to become free. While trying to keeping them both alive and defending her heart from Caben and to save her empress’s life which is linked to a stolen relic, Kaliope discovers she is linked to Bale, the banished goddess of chaos but is she is able to stop her from awakening.

Of Silver and Beasts is a really good New Adult book, but I cannot figure out what genre it is, a mixture of sci-fi and fantasy, which is action-packed, romantic and with a dark atmosphere, though not what I was expecting. This book has an interesting mythology, and I wanted to find out what was going to happen next.

Kal has a fierce, strong and resilient exterior but this covers up a scarred interior that protects her heart but she is devoted to her friends and empress. Caben comes across at first as a spoiled prince but as we get to know him we discover he is brave, clever and has a bit of a fragile ego. The romance developed fast but considering the situation they were in it was not unrealistic.

I really liked this book and had a cliff-hanger ending and I hope the next book, Of Darkness and Crowns, is just as good. I would recommend Of Silver and Beasts to fans of NA sci-fi/fantasy books.