Sixteen-year-old Rags is the most feared Rustler in the world, and for good reason. When she’s not raiding the post-Yellowstone Kingdom’s established settlements for supplies to keep her frontier, Rondo, alive another day, she’s fending off witch hunt-happy villagers who want her rare blue eyes […]
Tag: Young Adult
Release Day, May 1, 2018! In the beginning, there was silence. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Song of Blood & Stone Series: Earthsinger Chronicles #1Author: L. PenelopePublication Date: May 1, 2018Publisher: St. Martin’s PressPage Count: 384Format: eARCGenre: Young Adult, Fantasy, RomanceCover Artist: —My Rating: Since […]
Being a Prince, J’ahalid is no stranger to the fact that his kingdom requires protecting. When he Sees the Dragon Riders of Torvald, he knows that dragons are the answer to his problems. Prince Of The South Author: Ava Richardson Publication Date: July 2017 Publisher: […]
THE PLOT THICKENS as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Series: The Lady Janies #1
Authors: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Listening Length: 13 hours and 48 minutes
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Humor
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: ★★★★★
This is by far the most enjoyable and entertaining Audiobook that I’ve listened to, to date! Going into it, I didn’t realize My Lady Jane was a historical fiction retelling with a huge side of humor and fantastical twists. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and would recommend it to anyone!
Not only is the story very well written, the narration by Katherine Kellgren absolutely makes this audiobook come to life. Being the only narrator, Katherine does an amazing job at differentiating between several different characters. Her voice is dynamic and mimics the situation naturally and effortlessly.
Because Katherine’s vocal style is so natural, it makes connecting to the characters incredibly easy. Her ability to change accents is effortless and gave me the impression that I was listening to several different narrators depict the characters instead of one!
If you desire a good laugh, a little bit of (distorted) history, and some very likable characters, My Lady Jane is the next pick for you!
Sexual content: There are some discussions about the topic, but its executed in a way that isn’t awkward for the reader–just funny.
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 […]
Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets… and secrets hide in every shadow. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Ace Of Shades Series: The Shadow Game #1Author: Amanda FoodyPublication Date: April 10, 2018Publisher: Harlequin TeenPage Count: 416Format: eARCGenre: Young […]
Garden of Ashes (Snow SPark Saga #2)
PUBLISHER: PARLIAMENT HOUSE PRESS
PUBLISHER: PARLIAMENT HOUSE PRESS
It’s the one place no rustler ever wants to end up. Having survived Rondo’s destruction, sixteen-year- old Rags has been taken captive by the Kingdom and sentenced to ‘rehabilitation’ at the Kingdom’s Threshing Floor, a notorious prison camp for hardened criminals.Those who refuse to serve the Kingdom go in…no one comes out. Faced with this nightmarish reality, Rags is forced to use everything she knows as a rustler to survive against starvation, a cruel ward master, and torture at the hands of the Kingdom’s ruler, Hyperion. Given only two options—death, or conformation to the Kingdom’s ways—she’s forced to play the Kingdom’s twisted game. With the help of the Kingdom’s second-in- command, Henrick Oreson, and its charismatic luresman, Colton Caelan Fieldson, Rags must find a way to play a convincingly false role she was never meant to play and show the Kingdom she can be ‘rehabilitated’ to its standards. But with the deciding evaluation rigged in the Kingdom’s favor, failure is imminent…unless she can find a way to turn lies into truth and achieve the impossible: actually, escape the Threshing Floor.
Kathryn Lee Martin, known as 'Ryn' by friends and colleagues, spends
her days saddling up the literary horse and hitting the “what if” trails on
a quest to tell the outlaws’ and underdogs’ stories. Not one to shy away
from the darker side of stories for the older young adult audience, her
works often explore impossible odds and dire futures, falling into a
fusion of post-apocalyptic science fiction meets the gritty lawlessness of
the old west with a dash of fantasy and steampunk. Putting her
unfortunate characters in situations where faith and fighting often go
hand in hand, she’s not afraid to make things difficult for them and
when she’s not corrupting society on paper, she’s usually leading the
rebellion to save it.
An avid outdoors woman at heart, Kathryn spends her days living a quiet, faith-filled life on her family’s small farmstead where she can usually be found working in her vegetable garden, spending time with her family, and playing the role of ‘critter mom’ to a border collie, several cats, three goats, and a donkey. Prior to choosing to follow her dream of becoming an author, she spent almost a decade joyfully working at a small town, local gourd farm as a parts maker, part of the finishing department, and a proud member of its seasonal field crew.
Website: https://www.rynleewrites.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rynsagequill/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/RynSageQuill/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/RynSageQuill Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RynSageQuill/
Cursed: The Hunger Inside
PUBLISHER: PARLIAMENT HOUSE PRESS
A war rages between kings and clans for centuries, nations split and kingdoms fallen. Caught in the midst of poverty and bedlam, twenty-year- old Aldor faces a choice: leave home and start anew, or stay and protect what little he has? Aldor has only made one friend in his life and has never seen a legendary creature before. As soon as he steps beyond his door, he finds himself an outlaw, hunted by ghosts, dragons, and bandits. Forced into joining a team of misfits in a race to recover a sacred, lost artifact—Haran’s Stone—Aldor finds unexpected friendships and adventure with a huntsman, a smuggler, a scientist, and a princess. Just when their quest begins to appear promising, disaster strikes, wielding the unexpected—and the terrifying! Aldor’s life will never be the same as he struggles with fear, loss, love for the very first time. As the roots of his world crumble to dust, Aldor and company mustn`t lose themselves in a fury of cannibals, monsters, and illusions; their greatest challenge yet.
Casey M. Millette, sixteen, has been into writing since she was five.
Her love of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia has
inspired her to write the Cursed series. Casey lives just outside Atlanta,
Georgia with her family and cat, Hudson. You can follow her on the
Casey M. Millette Facebook page, Instagram, and her website:
My name is Christy Snow. I’m seventeen and I’m about to die. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Identity Series: Eyes Wide Open #1Author: Ted DekkerPublication Date: December 26, 2012Publisher: Outlaw StudiosPage Count: 66Format: ebookGenre: Young Adult, Christian Fiction, Mystery, ThrillerMy Rating: ★★★½ “Christy was familiar […]
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.
Series: Children of Icarus #2
Author: Caighlan Smith
Publication Date: April 1, 2018
Page Count: 336
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Dystopia
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: ★★
Finding one’s way through a maze can feel like an eternity. For the Icarii, eternity is a probability with their trek through the labyrinth surrounding Daedala.
“Fey Bell” as the nameless main character has been nicknamed, has existed on her own in the labyrinth for six months now. Now that she has the journal explaining how to get out of the dismal place, she needs only one thing: to translate it into her language. In order to do so, she must seek out help from her former group, the Fates.
However, she left Fates on bad terms. Collin, the group’s leader, has had it out for her since he discovered that she was faking to be his little sister, Clara. With her best friend gone, the Executioner no longer around to teacher her, and no one to help her, she much depend on herself for everything–and for getting the answers she needs to unravel the journal’s secrets. Little does she know that Fates are the least of her worries.
1) Children of Icarus: ★★
All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.
”Six months is a long time in the labyrinth.”
There’s always a lot riding on sequels in a series. If certain aspects aren’t delivered in the first installment of a series, I hope that the sequel will shed some light on those areas that I think are important to touch on as the reader. Unfortunately, Children of Daedala simply didn’t deliver as much as I had hoped for. While some aspects were much more tolerable, the plot did not develop as much as it needed to the really engage the reader.
The entire plot of Children of Daedala takes place in the labyrinth. Little information of the labyrinth itself is given and it is difficult to get a good sense of where the characters are. I constantly felt lost, which is ideally the point (since everyone is lost), but it’s also difficult to tell a story not really understanding the surroundings.
The society within the labyrinth itself takes on a different form. The Icarii literally enter a new world when they entered the labyrinth and they must learn how to survive. The best way to survive is by strength in numbers. Several pods of Icarii are developed, where the groups’ members look after and protect one another.
But where there are people, there is treachery. Supplies are limited in the labyrinth, including hunting grounds, freshwater, medical supplies, and weapons. It isn’t uncommon for fighting to happen between the groups for these resources. These fights, however, aren’t always provision-related. Bad blood exists between Kleos and Harmonia, two groups with a long and dark history. When the main character finds herself being shoved between the two groups after Fates is ransacked, she must dig to the bottom of the mystery in order to discover who is at fault.
Within these groups exists hierarchy. Being out on her own for six months had made “nameless” a sought out legend among the other Icarii. Nicknamed “Fey Bell” (after the silent bell she wears around her neck) she tries to remain elusive as she searches for the labyrinth’s exit. However, she can only make it so far without help. She must take measures into her own hands to have the mysterious journal the Executioner left her translated. The leaders of the groups have their own agendas and are constantly taunting her when they cross paths. Wanting to remain out of the drama, she tries to limit her interactions with them, but can only succeed for so long.
Pacing & Readability
The pacing mimics Children of Icarus. It is slow, slow, slow. In three hundred plus pages, not a lot happens. Even during the climax in the final pages, nothing grabbed me. Without having many variations in the pacing, it made this a difficult read to get through because it was slow and unengaging.
Point-Of-View & Characters
The point of view is again from the perspective of the main character, who again remains nameless throughout the entire story. “Nameless'”–I’ll refer to by her nickname of Fey Bell–character grows tremendously from Children of Icarus–but only in her capabilities. In many ways, she still acts quite immature for her age, which becomes tiresome to read. Honestly, I think I stuck it out through this book just because I want to find out what her name is! Otherwise, I don’t think I would have made it this far.
There are several characters in this series, and it is difficult to keep them all straight. With little distinction between them physically, many of these minor characters blended together.
For me, Ryan was one of the more interesting characters in this series. Sadly, his character became rather flat in this sequel. I felt he could have been utilized in more effective ways to keep that initial intrigue going, but that simply didn’t happen.
Theo becomes a more prominent character in this sequel. Becoming a “sort of” love interest, he’s constantly riding the fence of being trustworthy. Because his character also suffers from flatness, I found him and his motivations to be transparent and without surprise.
Elle’s character blossomed before my very eyes. I think I didn’t recognize her in Children of Icarus because I was so distracted with all of the gore and overall treachery. While she doesn’t have a massive role in the plot, what she represents makes her all-the-more important to bring up.
The main antagonist against is the labyrinth itself, but later on shifts to other characters as well.
It’s easy not to take chances when the price is someone else’s secrets.
Survival is the entire point of this series. Survival in the labyrinth, survival from one another, and survival from oneself in specific instances is constantly on the characters’ and readers minds.
⇒ Mental illness
”Elle is the beautiful one. I always knew it, but at first I thought it was just her exterior. I thought what was inside Elle was cruel. And it is. Elle has a cruel side, an inhumane side, a manipulative side, but that like her physical beauty, is just something else in the way of the beauty inside. A part of Elle, deep down, is still the child she was when she entered the labyrinth. That child is inside all Icarii, but most Icarii kill that child to survive. Instead, Elle killed her sanity, and used its corpse to shelter the child. Because of that, a part of Elle will always have her innocence. A part of her will always have Prosper.”
Represented by Elle’s character, mental illness becomes a large theme throughout this installment. This theme also exists in the first book, but I think I was too distracted by everything else to really notice it. While I believe this adds an interesting addition to the plot, I’m not sure if I actually like the way Elle’s character is represented. Perhaps it is because I feel that her (and everyone else’s) character is left incomplete. In a positive way, however, I feel that Elle’s able to bring opponents together.
“But thank you. For looking out for Elle.”
“It’s easy to look out for Elle,” Risa says, then gestures to the gauze in my hand. Maybe not always easy, but it’s easy to want to, you know?”
Things that I liked:
⇒ The main character’s growth from the first book.
⇒ We finally get a little more explanation behind the Icarii.
Things that I didn’t like:
⇒ Still not having a good sense of the world or where the characters are at. Scenes blend into one another.
⇒ The slow pacing and anticlimactic end which was supposed to be a massive “cliffhanger” for the next book.
⇒ While we get a better idea as to how the Icarii started, the entire backstory needed a lot more explanation.
Overall, I wasn’t thrilled with this sequel, and found it to be without much purpose. I really was hoping for more progression, but this entire book felt like a “time filler” until the next book in the series is published.
Vulgarity: Minimal. Only five words were counted.
Sexual content: Minimal – kissing scenes only. However, there are some references to more going on between some characters.
Violence: Quite a lot. While this installment isn’t as gory as it’s predecessor, there’s still a decent amount.
Release Day April 3, 2018! Triplet queens born on the island of Fennbirn can be many things: Elementals. Poisoners. Naturalists. If an oracle queen is born, however, one with the gift of sight, she’s immediately drowned, extinguishing her chance at ever taking the throne. But […]
I think we all have someone that we looked up to, or still look up to, throughout our lives.
I know for myself, there were several people at different times of my life that have had a large impact on forming the person that I am today. Without these teachers and/or mentors, I wouldn’t have some of the passions that I possess, wisdom that I’ve gleaned, and a general sense of who I am.
I’ve also received a lot of direction from mentors and teachers in different books. Whether they are non-fiction, or fiction-based, some characters have been very influential and inspirational in my life. I think anyone can find new mentors that they can look up to and learn from in books.
Here’s some of my favorite five mentors/teachers in books that I’ve read.
Jesus Christ from the Holy Bible
By far the most influential person I’ve ever encountered, this man literally changed my life. A good portion of the New Testament is filled with teachings and sermons given by Jesus.
It’s amazing how simple many of his lessons are, yet how profound as well. I could quite literally talk about him, and his teachings all day, everyday, but will sum them up for the sake of this post. Not only has he taught me how to go through life on a day-to-day basis, he taught me why. Why is it important to love God, and love others as I love myself? Well, isn’t that the wonderful mystery of self-sacrifice? There’s nothing more beautiful than putting others above yourself. Without this, I’d be the most self-centered person on the planet. Jesus not only helps to bring balance in my life, but meaning, encouragement, and literally so much more. Really, I can’t say enough about him.
Apostle Paul from the Holy Bible
Another mentor figure in the New Testament of the Bible is the Apostle Paul. What makes his story so powerful is his conversion. He was the opposite of what Jesus stood for, yet, took a figurative U-turn when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. To me, his life shows that anyone has the ability to change the path they are on. Not only that, but once the truth is revealed, it cannot be denied. For myself, his story and teachings have been incredibly impactful, especially in the sense of leaving “myself” in pursuit of something much greater than me.
Gandalf from The Lord Of The Rings
Gandalf has always been one of my favorite fictional characters. I watched the movie series before reading the books, but loved him even more once I had finally picked them up.
His calm, comical nature is admirable. Tolkien put a lot of time and effort into creating his character, and developing such a strong presence throughout his books. What I love about Gandalf the most is that he never passes up an opportunity to learn. The part where he talks about the “small things” giving him hope always made me reflect on my own life, and focusing on if I appreciated every aspect of it, big or small, or not.
Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, & Mrs. Whatsit from A Wrinkle In Time
This interesting trio brings “bizarre” to an entirely different level. Bizarre, yet memorable. Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit, with all their quirks, were incredibly significant characters. They focused on bringing out the best in Meg, Charles, and Calvin by pointing out their faults. Instead of sugar-coating the situation, they challenged the kids to accept parts of themselves that weren’t necessarily “likable.” Even so, these aspects of our characters can grow, change, and morph into something beautiful and powerful.
Brom from Eragon
Lastly, I wanted to mention Brom from Eragon. Although he doesn’t get much page time, his impact on Eragon as a mentor is evident through the entire series. While he’s rather crass, he’s real, honest, and isn’t afraid of a challenge.
A good mentor must be willing to put himself at risk for the benefit of his mentee, and that’s exactly what Brom does. While it honestly took me some time to like Brom’s character, I really appreciated him at the end of the series, and all that he did for the greater good.