There’s no denying that YA Fantasy is a common genre read among book lovers. Many books in this genre have become powerhouses of attention. No wonder why it’s so difficult to get to all of these books because there are just so many! While there […]
Month: January 2018
Episode 3 of a 4 part Steampunk Fantasy set in an alternate universe. A tenuous alliance and the hunt for a kidnapper. Can sworn enemies become allies? Synopsis provided by Goodreads. Book: Raven Episode 3 Series: Chronicles of Steele Author: Pauline Creeden Publication Date: September […]
Here we are again!
January is already almost over! It was a busy month for ARCs, and February is proving to be just as busy! I have a total of ten ARCs to complete this month, and hopefully I’ll be able to get to a few backlist reads as well!
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power.
Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own.
New alliances and old feuds will remake the nation, leaving Abi and Luke questioning everything – and everyone – they know. And as Silyen Jardine hungers for the forgotten Skill of the legendary Wonder King, the country’s darkest hour approaches. Freedom and knowledge both come at a cost. So who will pay the price?
Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.
When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?
After being branded during the battle of Jericho, Moriyah has had no prospects for marriage--until now. She hopes to please the man, but things go horribly wrong and she is forced to flee for her life. Seeking safety at one of the Levitical cities of refuge, she is unprepared for the dangers she faces, and the enemies--and allies--she encounters on her way.
When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.
Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.
Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.
With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?
Despite the odds, Kalinda has survived it all: Marriage to a tyrant. Tournaments to the death. The forbidden power to rule fire. The icy touch of a demon.
That same demon now disguises itself as Rajah Tarek, Kalinda’s late husband and a man who has never stopped haunting her. Upon taking control of the palace and the army, the demon brands Kalinda and her companions as traitors to the empire. They flee across the sea, seeking haven in the Southern Isles.
In Lestari, Kalinda’s powers are not condemned, as they are in her land. Now free to use them to protect those she loves, Kalinda soon realizes that the demon has tainted her with a cold poison, rendering her fire uncontrollable. But the lack of control may be just what she needs to send the demon back to the darkest depths of the Void.
To take back the empire, Kalinda will ally with those she distrusts—and risk losing those most loyal to her—to defeat the demon and bring peace to a divided nation.
Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.
Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.
Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.
Through the eyes of twelve-year-old Lorraine this haunting novel from the award-winning author of Hidden and Hush gives insight and understanding into a little known part of history—the Irish potato famine.
It is the autumn of 1846 in Ireland. Lorraine and her brother are waiting for the time to pick the potato crop on their family farm leased from an English landowner. But this year is different—the spuds are mushy and ruined. What will Lorraine and her family do?
Then Lorraine meets Miss Susannah, the daughter of the wealthy English landowner who owns Lorraine’s family’s farm, and the girls form an unlikely friendship that they must keep a secret from everyone. Two different cultures come together in a deserted Irish meadow. And Lorraine has one question: how can she help her family survive?
A little known part of history, the Irish potato famine altered history forever and caused a great immigration in the later part of the 1800s. Lorraine’s story is a heartbreaking and ultimately redemptive story of one girl’s strength and resolve to save herself and her family against all odds.
Tuscany, 1096 AD. Luca, young heir to the title of Conte de Falconi, sees demons. Since no one else can see them, Luca must keep quiet about what he sees.
Luca also has dreams—dreams that sometimes predict the future. Luca sees his father murdered in one such dream and vows to stop it coming true. Even if he has to go against his father’s wishes and follow him on the great pilgrimage to capture the Holy Lands.
When Luca is given an ancient book that holds some inscrutable power, he knows he’s been thrown into an adventure that will lead to places beyond his understanding. But with the help of Suzan, the beautiful girl he rescues from the desert, he will realise his true quest: to defeat the forces of man and demon that wish to destroy the world.
In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.
Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it's a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl--a subspecies of dragon--who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.
Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.
Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.
When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.
What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?
That's it for now! Hopefully I won't get any more dumped on me before the end of the month because it's quite a lot already! What books are you looking forward to coming out in February? Let me know in the comments below!
You guys! I can’t believe I’m just now hearing about this! If you too, have found yourself in the dark, lucythereader, a fellow booktuber is hosting a Bronte reading club in celebration of Emily Brontë’s bicentenaryë. If you want to know all of the details, check […]
Release day January 30, 2018! Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her […]
When Amy starts having strange dreams, everything changes. Night after night, she becomes trapped in a shroud of black - a void of silence but for a male voice calling for a girl named ‘Marla’.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Series: Betrothed #1
Author: Wanda Wiltshire
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Publisher: Pantera Press
Page Count: 315
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Parnormal
Cover Artist: —
My Rating: No Rating – DNF
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
DNFing at 35%
I was a bit hesitant going into this read. I saw that it has been compared to the Twilight series with touches of Harry Potter. While I didn’t come across anything similar to Harry Potter, there were definite resemblances to Twilight with the whole “everyone loves the main character” thing. If anything, this book is more similar to A Court of Thorns and Roses in the essence of the purpose and character functionality.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t really anything that pulled me into this plot. I disliked the main character Amy/Marla from the get-go. She constantly tries to feigned popularity and beauty, when she knows she has both. Not only that, but her subtle-no-so-subtle attraction to her best friend Jack is obvious to the reader, (and to Jack) and comes as no surprise that she beings to consider a romantic relationship with him.
Jack pulled me against him and gave me a hug. It felt nice to be all wrapped up in his arms.
In 35% of this book, Amy already had some sort of romantic attachment to three different guys. This isn’t over a long span of time either. So, what is the message being portrayed here? It’s okay to go from one guy to the next when a more attractive one comes along? Trying people on for size just to see if it’d work towards your benefit doesn’t count as being shallow? I think it does.
Amy begins to have dreams about a man named Leif, who naturally, turns out to be a prince to the Fae. In her dreams, Leif calls her “Marla” which she finds out later on is her real name. Leif tells Marla that they are betrothed, and destined to be married since before they were born.
This is where the similarities to A Court of Thorns and Roses come in.
#1 All of the prominent (or, basically all) characters are drop-dead gorgeous.
#2 Leif, next in line to the throne, is the most attractive man in the world, just like Tamlin, and Rhysand both were portrayed. Also, he’s always shirtless. (You know–it impedes the wings.)
“There is only one thing that can distract a female from her betrothed–make her question her commitment to him. Two things actually, one is the prince and the other is a king–particularly her own king. There is not a fae woman born, partnered or single, who, when in his presence, can resist the desires of her king.”
In other words…
Why, oh why, must each and every character in a position of power be the most attractive person ever? Or should I dare ask the real question here–why are these characters formulated as objects of lust rather than actual characters with feelings and normal character-y things?
#3 Another similarity is the emphasis on “possession” of the female in a relationship. Leif reveals the history of Marla’s parents, and how his father–the king–desired her mother for himself. When he discovered that she chose someone else over him, he loses his marbles.
“Your mother was no longer pure in my father’s eyes so when she offered to relinquish her husband and return to him, he refused her. And as punishment for choosing your father, he decided that if he couldn’t have Finelle, then Finelle couldn’t have her child.
Leif also showcases the same idea when Marla admits that she thinks he is a figment of her imagination. His possessiveness over her drives him to find her in the human world to prove that he is not fake and makes it clear that she is his, and his alone.
While I know this element seems to ensnare a lot of female YA readers, I just don’t see how this is a healthy example of a relationship? Possession of a human shouldn’t exist. Possession can literally be translated into domination. I don’t agree with this formatting for a relationship as it doesn’t call for mutual love and/or respect between both parties.
Overall, I don’t see this book sending a great message to its readers. Instead of having much depth, it felt like I stepped into an episode of The Bachelor Pad. If you are a fan of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, this may be more up your alley, but beware: from what I’ve seen so far, there isn’t much to take away from it.
Vulgarity: Minimal. 9 total up until the point I stopped reading.
Sexual Content: Some. There were not any explicit scenes as of yet.
I am not assigning a star-rating as this is a DNF read.
Andddd we’re back with another Top 5 Wednesday! And this one may be filled with a little bit of… Regret? Remorse? Ridicule? I guess we’ll find out… Let’s be honest here, folks, we’re all here to have a little fun and discuss some books! (What’s […]
You will laugh, cry, and cling to the edge of your seat as you follow this thrilling, international adventure, and epic battle between the ultimate good set against the ultimate evil.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Book Title: A Brush with the Beast
Series: Untitled #1
Author: Richard Sones
Publisher: Richard Sones
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Page Count: 292
Genre: Christian Fiction, Fantasy
Cover Artist: —
My Rating: ★★★½
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
What an introduction to a new end-times series. I mean that in a good, yet horrified way (if that’s even possible to do.) This plot orchestrates a complex, and plausible timeline for Biblical end-times events and how they take place. For these characters, the book of Revelations is no myth, it’s reality.
It’s truly difficult to find a book along these lines as “likable.” I don’t think I’d ever say to someone that this is my favorite book, just because of the nature of its contents. It’s horrifying to think of these things happening. If you know anything about how Revelations dictates the second-coming of Jesus Christ, then they would know that the only good to come of it will be the fact that Jesus is returning for his followers. Everything else, this world, people, everything as we known it, will completely diminish. (It made me think how insignificant so many of the “must do’s” and “must haves” in life are.)
Despite its frightful story-line, this book also has a lot of hope to offer its characters and readers alike. For those who know and follow God, the terror that occurs with these events isn’t so influential and doesn’t sway them from following their beliefs.
“It is absolutely true that God promised to take care of use. But that doesn’t mean that all of his children are wealthy and comfortable all the time. He takes care of us beyond the way the world is able. He takes care of us in a way that nothing else in the world can. Through him we have hope when everything looks hopeless. Through him we have peace when our world is crumbling around us. He drives fear out of our hearts. He brings us to the top of the brightest mountain when we are in the bottom of the darkest valley. There are no bitter circumstances or fleshly pains able to take what we have from God. Jesus demonstrated firsthand that suffering and even death was worth enduring to bring to us life and peace.”
While this read is not an easy one, I found myself often appreciating the lengths in which it took to highlight the fact that Jesus Christ, and the unparalleled act of sacrifice he made for all of mankind, cannot be trumped.
The reader gets to experience viewpoints from several different influential characters with very different purposes. Nick Gooseberry, Sarah Johnson, and Fanak (the Fox) are the main three, with several other minor characters peppering the scenes. Nick, a successful IT businessman, allows a physical plight to drive him into taking extreme measures in order to no longer feel pain. His choices have major consequences and drive him down a dark, and unfathomable path. Sarah, an unsuspecting middle-aged woman, works to make ends meet, but also to fund a toxic addiction which winds her up in jail. However, she discovers that even in bad situations, good and growth can come from them. Fanak, a young Palestinian man, grew up knowing a life of turmoil. Driven by his hate, he coordinates several attacks on his enemies in order to bring them to their knees.
“Never trust an evil man.”
The first 20 pages or so took me forever to get into. I don’t know if it took me more time getting used to the writing style, or to the fact that Nick Gooseberry’s character was so unlikable from the get-go. I couldn’t place him in my head, or figure out what he “was playing at.” It was such an odd introduction to the story that I didn’t know what to think. Once I got past that point and met some of the other characters, I was able to delve into the story.
Reflecting on Nick’s character specifically, I believe he required (and still requires) the most work. (view spoiler)[He jumps from rich business owner to Anti-Christ with not much explanation or contemplation on his end, and I just couldn’t believe his transition. (hide spoiler)] I found that he was rather inconsistent with his character traits, despite his candor, and transformed from one being to the next without much thought. Seeing how there is a sequel to come, I hope there will be some snippets from the past revealing more of his change than what was provided here.
Similar to Nick, I think Sarah could have used a little more delineation in her reactions to what was happening in her life. She sort of floated from one incident and interaction to the next, without much reaction. While we did get to witness more of her transformation, I felt that her humanity was left behind at times.
Fanak was probably the most consistent character of the three. Never deviating from his purpose, he always knew what his end-goal was.
“Sometimes we are called upon to make great sacrifices for a great cause. The greatest sacrifices are often made by the greatest people.”
Clash is a major theme visible throughout all aspects of this plot. Conflicts between morality, religions, beliefs, power, and prestige are all driving factors behind the major issue. This evident theme makes up for the incongruity of the story-telling itself. The way the story was told, and how it jumped from character to character resulted in gaps of time without much explanation of what happened between. It made the plot somewhat choppy, and at times, hard to follow. However, with the knowledge that certain forces, people, and purposes were working against one another, it helped to tie things together enough for me to retain an idea as to what all was going on that wasn’t being explained up front.
Something I appreciate about this book (which is undoubtedly unpleasant for most, if not all readers), is how well it reveals the evil of sin. I remember having the same reaction when watching the Noah movie that came out in 2014. Biblical accuracy set aside, that movie ensnared just how evil humankind was in that period to prompt God to wipe out the entire race except for Noah’s family. There were many times that I second guessed what I was reading in A Brush with the Beast, due to language, pagan practices, and just the overall “yuck factor” I felt at different times. Then I realized, this is probably the point. As Christians, it’s easy to want to look for the good in life, the good we do, and how good God is. Yet, we cannot (as sinners) recognize the good there is without recognizing just how disgusting sin is. It’s an abomination to God, yet, all believers and non-believers alike, are riddled with it. The author did a great job at capturing this crucial element that makes the end-times so tumultuous.
I gave the rating that I did not for this book’s likability, but for its believable construct. There are many factors within that make it a difficult read. Equally, there are many factors that make it an encouraging read. There were multiple times when I was caught completely off-guard with the way the plot turned and was not expecting. I didn’t want to go into too much detail to not give anything away! If you enjoy end-times reads, with little lead-in information, and lots of unexpected twists and turns, this may be one you’ll like to check out. Just make sure you are aware of the content before diving it! (Included at the beginning of this review.)
Vulgarity: Quite a bit. Mainly by one of the main characters, Nick.
Sexual content: Some, although nothing explicit. There is a discussion of a man wanting to marry his grandson, as well as a pagan practice that ends up with sexual exploitation.
Violence: Quite a bit, including infant sacrifice and other pagan rituals.
“I can’t change what’s happening to me, so I might as well be happy.”
“Those of us who belong to Jesus are never caught in any circumstance.”
“God uses the difficulties and conflicts that come our way to transform us. We gain a deeper understanding of people who are in pain by experiencing pain for ourselves.”
“The Lord is not opposed to our having troubles. He uses troubles to strengthen our character and cultivate our patience and compassion. Without troubles we would be shallow and insensitive.”
Have you ever wondered how much of a book addict you are? I certainly have! Especially when I started participating in book blogging and reviewing, I felt like an amateur (and still do) while trying to understand the ways of book bloggers and how to […]
Episode 2 of a 4 part Steampunk Fantasy set in an alternate universe. For Captain Jack Grant, the hunt has just begun. Can he capture the elusive Raven Steele, or will she slip through his grasp? As both sides take on new alliances, they will […]
But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder's all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi's past.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Series: The Androma Saga
Author: Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
Publication Date: January 16, 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Page Count: 512
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Cover Artist: —
My Rating: ★★½
I received this copy from the publisher via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
A soldier, yes. But so young, with so much responsibility. It was a mistake. No matter how strong the person, everyone makes mistakes.
My thoughts on this read were initially, and have remained quite indifferent. While there were aspects of Zenith that I liked and appreciated, there were equal parts I didn’t care for. In the end, these points seemed to have canceled each other out, making it even less impressionable.
I have to admit, I was a little skeptical going into this read (as I always am with Sci-Fi’s). This genre varies so much and can be difficult to nail down. While the plot was relatively straightforward, I felt that the minimal world (or worlds, seeing we are in outer space) building and character development were big drawbacks to my liking this read more.
Before I break down the issues I had with the book, I’d like to mention that there are some great qualities here as well. Diversity amongst the characters is obvious. The text touches on a wide berth of character demographics and origins, creating the idea that we are dealing with a large area that the characters originate from. The various backgrounds, specifically with Androma’s team, create interesting crew dynamics. While the diversity may not be on the scale of Star Wars, it’s something worth noting.
Secondly, I thought the pacing throughout remained consistent. While the book is written with several point-of-views, as well as in different tenses, its consistent helped with delivering a constant, fluid story.
Despite these positive points, there were quite a few things that I didn’t care for.
One of the biggest being that the plot was anticlimactic. If there had been a climax, it was ill-placed as there was nothing towards the end to really gear up the pace and intensity. Without a climax, it makes me wonder how this book will move forward? Either the sequel will be jam-packed with action (which it better be to make up for that ending) or it will simply draw out the plot which would have been better to pack it into a stand-alone novel.
Secondly, main characters felt like they were only moderately developed. I would have liked to get to know them more intimately and who they really are. Androma’s character works against itself. She’s gained the title “bloody baroness,” yet, I failed to see the ruthlessness that would accompany such a title? In the instances where she did take someone’s life, there was too much work involved to make the reader believe she didn’t care about killing another. This forced action and her not-so-bloody-baroness reactions didn’t mesh. Other characters remained rather underdeveloped. Characters like Breck and Gilly barely get any singular page-time other than displaying their womanly awesomeness and skills. I think the lack of depth in a majority of the characters ate into the rest of the plot.
The last issue I had was the underdevelopment of the world(s) this takes place in. Clearly, the crew is out in space, so it’s not as easy to establish that. However, more time outside the ship and on land of some sort would have helped this along.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad read. It felt like it wasn’t a complete read, and that something was missing (the climax!) I’m not sure if this is a series I will continue on with or not.
Vulgarity: Quite a bit.
Sexual content: Some, but not with much detail.
Violence: Quite a bit.
“War was a heartless thing, claiming lives left and right. But it was the survivors who had to continue battling even after the fight was over.”
In Mundir, the gods are real. When Lars arrives, following his dying mother’s last instructions to find his family there, all the gods take notice. With a mysterious compass and a gift from the God of Death, Lars will fulfill his mother’s dying wish or […]
Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Book: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow
Series: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1
Author: Mary Weber
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Page Count: 20 CDs
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Cover Artist: —
My Rating: ★★½
I’ve seen a lot of reviews on this book about how confusing it was, and how readers felt blindsided by the plotline. I’d like to highlight that I had similar feelings, especially the further the plot advanced.
Before I get into my review, here’s a short synopsis:
Set in a futuristic world, post-World War, corporations in alliance with an alien race orbiting Earth govern the world. Children of one of the heads of the Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena, Sofi and her brother Shilo are forced to compete in the bloody virtually Colosseum-style games.
A techie, Sofi operates the game behind the scenes, navigating her brother through the physical portion. When the games go awry, and a bomb decimates the battlefield, Shilo goes missing. Sofi believes he is still alive, while everyone else doesn’t. Shilo’s data is wiped clean and there are no trails to figure out where he’s gone. But Sofi has vivid dreams, giving her glimpses to where Shilo may have been taken to; the ice planet of the Delonese.
Needing help from a foreign ambassador to get to the planet, Sofi must enlist Miguel’s help, who is not only an ambassador but an ex-lover. Tensions high, the two must figure out how to get past their past in order to find Shilo, and to escape the blackmailers hunting Miguel.
This book took a turn that I was completely not expecting. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way, however, the way the book began and the way that it ended didn’t flow well. I’d like some more clarification and answers to some of the big questions enticing the reader throughout! There is no doubt that the author took a stab at creating a creative plot. However, without necessary flow, it makes it a confusing read. Part of the frustration comes from the “romance,” rather, past-romance between Sofi Snow and Miguel that keeps trying to take center stage when it needs to stop trying so hard. Their strained relationship creates more tension for the plot, but also creates another backstory that isn’t hashed out well, if at all.
Now, I know this story takes a lot from The Hunger Games trilogy.
And that was a huge drawback for me especially in the first quarter of the book. While Sofi doesn’t necessarily remind me of Katniss, Miguel is a spitting image of Finnick in the way he acts and obtains information from those around him. Sofi, too, is very promiscuous (and I’m not sure why she needs to be) from what seems to be out of her own satisfaction. Despite these resemblances, I thought the idea that the world post WWIV being run by massive corporations was creative, and even possible. I like when futuristic worlds are created to be tangible, not just fantastic. Considering how much pull some companies and industries have in today’s world, it creates the idea that something like this could happen.
The interesting part is the addition and appearance of the alien Delonese race and their planet which rotates the Earth like an extra moon. They align themselves with the governing parties to become allies of Earth. Despite this, their foreign appearance doesn’t really come on the scene until later in the story.
As the plot moves on, the similarities to The Hunger Games are fewer and further between. The biggest draw-back in the world building is the physical description of it—because there hardly any. The story jumps from scene to scene, with little description given to the reader about where they were and are. Moving from scene to scene gave me vertigo.
The characters themselves are unrealistic. Both Sofi and Miguel are situated in roles that don’t seem realistic for teenagers to be in. Perhaps Sofi could be some tech genius—they are out there. But Miguel? He’s a foreign diplomat at the age of sixteen, already highly esteemed, as well as a well-known playboy. At sixteen. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it’s plausible.
The last 80% of this book is where I started to get interested. However, I found its finale to be nondescript, rushed, and again, without explanation. How does Sofi really evaporate? Yeah, I’m not sure either. I hope we find out in the sequel. If I don’t get some answers there, then I won’t continue on with the series if more is planned to come.
These numbers may not be 100% accurate, as I took notes anytime I came across something.
Sexual Content: Nothing explicit, yet “sleeping around” is talked about a lot.
Violence: Moderate – there are the “games” in the beginning where several characters die in rather gross ways. Although they aren’t graphic, the implications are there.