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 […]
Six months alone in the labyrinth has made her strong. But the search for the exit means gambling on an old ‘friend’ and going against everything she’s been taught to survive. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Children of Daedala Series: Children of Icarus #2 Author: […]
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.
In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never […]
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 […]
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.
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Released January 2, 2018! Book: The Wolves of Winter Author: Tyrell Johnson Publication Date: January 2, 2018 Publisher: Scribner Page Count: 320 Format: ebook Genre: […]