Wheels Gone Cats PUBLISHER: PARLIAMENT HOUSE PRESS Synopsis In a future where violence is encouraged and duels are required by law, Dathin Long has the answer: devolution. He proposes a medical procedure that will restore humanity to the state of primal bliss—to pure reptilian instinct, before […]
By law, any child born in Idara is free, even if that child is born in a slave brothel. But as Cinder grows into a beauty that surpasses even that of her mother and grandmother, she realizes that freedom is only a word. Partial synopsis […]
Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault Publisher: Parliament House Press Some see it… Some don’t… People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline’s best friend and ex-boyfriend are among […]
Nine While Nine Publisher: Parliament House Press For fans of This Savage Song! Find Out About Other Books by Stasia Morineax at http://stasiamorineaux.wixsite.com/stasiamorineaux Isabeau Finne’s perfect world utterly unravels when she meets Death’s right-hand man one fateful night, spiraling her life into a world of […]
The year is 2030, and climate change is making life on Earth more challenging. Fourteen-year-old Jasmine Guzman is struggling to come to terms with the abduction of her twin sister, Jade, and her mother’s illness. Things go from bad to worse when a series of bizarre occurrences make Jasmine wonder if she’s losing her mind.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Book: Finding Jade
Series: Daughters of Light #1
Author: Mary Jennifer Payne
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Dundurn Group
Page Count: 216
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Paranormal
My Review: ★★★
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Dun Durn, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Jasmine has always been different from most kids her age–she was born a twin. She grew up close to her sister until a few years ago when Jade was abducted. Jasmine and her mother have never recovered from the incident, understandably. With no body, or trace of evidence, there was no closure for them.
Life in 2030 was hot, no matter where one lived. After a drastic climate change, much of the world has been changed past the point of inhabitation. The conditions make it difficult for anyone to thrive. Jasmine’s mother, riddled with a debilitating disease, only grew worse when the abduction happened. Jasmine has worked hard ever since to help her mom out in any way possible, alongside her mother’s close friend Lola.
When Jasmine is transferred to a new school, she realizes that something strange is going on. Most of her classmates are made up of twins. Introduced to the world of demons, Jasmine learns that she is a part of a special network of individuals who have access to unusual abilities. There, she meets a boy named Raphael who has a hankering for helping her in the times that matter the most.
Jasmine learns through a series of extraordinary events that her sister is alive, but is stuck in a place called The-Place-in-Between. More sinister than it sounds, Jasmine must quite literally face her demons in order to rescue her long-lost sister from the shadowy realm.
I like it when I go into a book not really knowing what to expect. I like even more when a book takes the reins and leads me down a path that I don’t foresee. Finding Jade had a lot of surprising attributes to it that make it stand out. However, a few of those attributes could ultimately be its downfall, as some are under-developed and without must investigation. Needless to say, I thought this was an interesting take on the paranormal topic of angels and demons. While I didn’t necessarily like parts of the backstory, I appreciated the author’s ingenuity and ability to converge several (seemingly random) paths into one.
Things that I liked:
#1 There is a lot of diversity among the characters. Both Jasmine and Jade are of Chilean descent, and the book is mostly set in Toronto which has a lot of diversity in and of itself.
#2 The concept, while a bit unpolished, was interesting. I did not expect the book to travel in the direction that it headed toward, which made for a surprising read.
#3 I loved the (random) variation of settings, and how they were tied into the plot. The-Place-in-Between, aka a Pergatorish “Hell-like” state where people would become stuck in was original and rather creepy. I felt like I was stepping onto a London street at night knowing that Jack the Ripper was on the loose when reading these scenes.
Things that I didn’t like:
#1 I felt that there were several aspects of this book that were left without much explanation. Granted, this is the first book in a series, but I found that it would have been more beneficial to have more information on specific topics such as Lola’s Ibeja doll, the Seers themselves and what all they are actually capable of, and more on Raphael (but I’m certain more is coming on him in Solomon’s Ring.
The Seers were never painted into a full picture for me.
Seers are genetically connected to this chick called Lilith, who was apparently Adam’s wife before Eve. She’s gotten a bad rap over the centuries because she held supernatural powers and led armies into battle, refusing to be subservient to men. Good for her, right? But because she used her girl power without shame and men could not control her, they made up nasty rumours about her. Rumours that she was a demon, a vampire, and an evil whore. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: not a lot has changed between guys and girls over the years. Kind of depressing. Instead of spreading this stuff on social media, guys back in the day wrote trashy rumours on scrolls and cave walls. Nice.
While we do get some background information, (with some jabs at the male gender – another thing I didn’t care for) I couldn’t seem to grasp the entirety of their capabilities and entire purpose.
#2 SPOILER ALERT!!!
I found Jasmine’s reaction to finding her sister so…odd. A lot of time was spent in the first portion of this book with her pondering her sister’s disappearance. Yet, when she discovered she was alive and successfully rescued her from The-Place-in-Between, she almost seemed indifferent. No, I don’t expect her to be jumping up and down from that moment on. I just found her to have a lack of engagement with her sister’s return. It was weird.
[I found Jasmine’s reaction to finding her sister so…odd. A lot of time was spent in the first portion of this book with her pondering her sister’s disappearance. Yet, when she discovered she was alive and successfully rescued her from The-Place-in-Between, she almost seemed indifferent. No, I don’t expect her to be jumping up and down from that moment on. I just found her to have a lack of engagement with her sister’s return. It was weird. (hide spoiler)]
END OF SPOILER.
#3 While the setting clearly takes place in Toronto, I had a hard time envisioning where the characters were throughout. The proximity of the schools, what they were like, the subway scenes, and The-Place-in-Between settings were only briefly touched upon. Especially seeing how this takes place in a dystopian future, I was looking for more detail on the different locations, as well as the drastic variances between them and the eras in which the characters travel.
Overall, I thought this was a unique read. While I had some issues with underdevelopment of some aspects of the plot, I thought the characters were decently-developed and played into the plot well. I’m curious to see where they will end up in Solomon’s Ring.
Sexual content: Kissing only.
Violence: Moderate – there were some scenes particularly in The-Place-in-Between that were grotesque, including decapitation of some characters.
When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother. Partial synopsis provided […]
Shea MacNamara’s life just got complicated. When a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, fifteen-year-old Shea moves to Cape Cod to live with a grandmother he’s never met. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he meets a girl along the shore who changes […]
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Series: Wintersong #1
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Page Count: 436
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings
Cover Artist: Anna Gorovoy
My Rating: ★★★★★
I was not a child of beauty; I was a child of the queer, the strange, and the wild.
Wintersong is not a story that everyone will appreciate. I say that because of the style in which it is written. Its prose are beautifully artistic, but may not resonate with every reader because of the depth of conversation to which it addresses. Instead of a story being handed to the reader on a silver platter–no questions to ask, no thoughts or feelings to decipher, no reflection to behold–it is a story which challenges innermost thoughts with notes, images, feelings–not words. And I loved it.
If there is one word to describe this book, it would be raw. Raw experiences. Raw emotions. Rawness on all accounts.
It hurt. Hearing my music like this, played in the hands of someone who understood me so completely—in a way, not even my brother had known—hurt. My music was elegant, transcendent, ethereal, and I could not bear to behold its beauty. I longed to pull it back beneath my skin, to hide it away in the shadows where it properly belonged, safe where no one could judge it for its flaws.
It has been a while since I have read a character with such developed inner-monologue and outer-dialogue. We travel through the labyrinth of thoughts, wishes, hopes, and dreams Liesl embodies. We see her make difficult decisions, for selfish and selfless purposes. We see her transform from the unremarkable and “plain” girl Leisl, into the woman Elisabeth. We see her understand what it means to sacrifice for another.
I do solemnly swear that I accept your sacrifice, the gift of your life, selflessly and selfishly given.
Leisl, (and Elisabeth’s) relationship with the Goblin King is tumultuous, bewitching, and real; besides the fact that he’s a Goblin King…It glimpses upon the passage from maiden to matronhood and the trials of what marital union call of a person. I love the dark alluring character and mystery of Der Erlkönig and the Goblin King, as they are two halves to a whole.
The Goblin King had his tricks, but I had my stubbornness. We would see who prevailed in the end.
Wintersong had a Phantom Of The Opera feel to it: an enticing and elusive man wants a girl for her music, not to mention her soul. Because of the dark undertones and mature nature of the story, I personally wouldn’t recommend this book for young adults, along with the fact that there are some descriptive sexual scenes. I tend to be more conservative, but I’d say this book is for eighteen and up.
My one and only issue with this book was that it was a bit drawn out in the middle. The book is almost divided into two separate stories, and once the second story took center stage, the pace began to lag. I understand why it was drawn out, because it takes a person time to sort out their feelings, to grow and to understand themselves and others at a deeper level. I think this aspect may turn some people away from the book. However, I found it to be all more realistic and relatable. I appreciated that Jae-Jones didn’t force her characters to miraculously change overnight, and allowed them to change naturally and upon their own accord.
Hands down, 5 stars. This may be a new favorite. I appreciated how much the reader could take away from this story, and it wasn’t strictly written for entertainment purposes. There is a heart behind its words, pulsing and humming with life and thought. I am highly anticipating it’s companion read, to be published in 2018.