Archive for the ‘7’ Category
For the past six months, something has been happening to young people in Santa Feliz. Week after week, there’s news of another teen changing shape, transforming from human to wild animal and back again. The federal government has stepped in, running public service announcements calling for affected youth to turn themselves in for “orientation and training.” Josh Saunders has seen the news reports, but he is still unprepared when it happens to him. one minute he’s arguing with his mother’s boyfriend and the next, he is looming over the man, blood dripping from his claws—he has transformed into a mountain lion. When he switches back to his human body, he knows his life has changed forever. He has become a Wildling.Trusting only his best friends Des and Marina with his secret, Josh tries to return to regular living. But an encounter with Elzie, another Wildling, brings him unwanted attention from the authorities. And when an accidental betrayal reveals Josh’s secret, his carefully constructed cover is ripped apart, forcing his friends to intervene. They must grudgingly put their trust in others, including other Wildlings—and, most challenging, in each other— if they ever hope to save him. (from Amazon.ca)
I had fun reading this book. It wasn’t too bad, and it was interesting enough to keep me going until the finish. What I enjoyed was the switching of narration between Marina and Josh. I can’t seem to choose which one I like better. Both of them were interesting and fun to read. Both of them seemed to have developed throughout the novel. Josh goes through a lot more and it seems there’s lots to be expected from him. Then there’s Desmond, who’s the comic relief of the novel, but I also enjoyed reading about him as well. He seems to be the ‘outsider’ of the group but I’m hoping that’s not the case (if you know what I mean)
When Elzie came into the picture, at first I didn’t seem to like her. She’s very abrasive and hard to like – but that’s just the way her personality is. As you progress further into the book, you start to like her and her strong independent personality is suddenly likable.
The plot of this book was pretty good, a nice mixture of school life, action, comedy, and even a bit of romance in some parts. It’s all interesting. There’s a bit of background information on the Wildlings, but you’re still left with questions unanswered and how Josh fits into the big picture. The big climax towards the end was pretty good, although I found the ending a little lackluster and not packing a punch like I expected it to. There’s no cliffhanger ending (perhaps that’s a good thing for some?) and perhaps because I’m so used to it, it caught me off guard.
I’ll be picking up the second one when it’s out, I’m curious as to how Josh is going to fit into the big plans. Come to think of it, there’s quite a bit to look forward to in the next book! I most definitely recommend this for YA readers.
I give it a 7/10
Thanks to Penguin for giving me a review copy!!!
Mercy Thompson’s sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf. She’s tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire. But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself … and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble. (From Goodreads)
I get weary when I try to read something that falls into this type of genre, because I think it’s going to be filled with glorified fluid swapping moments, not much of a plot, with cliched characters that will induce moments of eye rolling from me. Thankfully, I was wrong and I’m glad I’m wrong. It was the total exact opposite of what I thought it was going to be.
I liked Mercy’s character a lot. She’s a tough girl, but has a bit of feminine side, but I like that she’s able to take care of herself (in a fight, and in maintaining her life). I liked her job as a mechanic, it’s certainly different and gritty, and her character most certainly goes well with the setting. Her ‘gift’ as a walker was your average fancy term for ‘shapeshifter’ but she turns into a coyote. Which is also different and interesting to see. I really liked how she differs from a lot of the urban fantasy heroines out there. She’s definitely natural and likable. The rest of the characters are also well done. I liked how there’s a little bit of everything supernatural, it’s almost like it’s a subtle hint or taste of the things the reader will encounter as they go through the series.
The plot itself was okay. It had its’ lulls here and there and sometimes it got just a little too hard to follow. The world building was also all right – again nothing special but the mood and the tone of the book was well done. The romance is there (some reviews I’ve read said there was not enough of it, I say it’s perfect and it should stay that way) and the chemistry seems to be developing (and might possibly grow as the series continues further). The action and mystery aspect of the book was also well done. The action scenes were well written, and there’s plenty of them to go around.
I most definitely recommend this to any urban fantasy reader. Those that dislike the hyper sexualized female roles will like this one, as Mercy is definitely not that! sure the cover can be deceiving but give this a try, it was a great read.
I give it a 7 out of 10.
Bonus points to the cover. I rather liked it.
Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home–her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power–and the courage to fight her own inner demons? (From Amazon.ca)
I really liked the way this one was written. It was such a unique and great idea to mix a common social issue with the concept of the Four Horsemen. It’s certainly different and I liked it. It made a whole lot of sense,and did put a lot of things in perspective.
What I liked the most? is the Kurt Cobain version of ‘Death’ he was just plain awesome. I loved it whenever he appeared, he always had some sort of ironic witty comment to contribute. I’d have to say, he was one of my favorite characters in the book.
The way Lisa’s hunger is described, especially during a scene where she’s on a date with her boyfriend, the description of the food, the smells, especially the fries! I was almost hungry myself! this, I thought was a great way of writing. It was so well done, you could almost taste and sense of what Lisa is feeling and what she’s missing out on. What I liked the most about Lisa is, she grows and develops as a character. She finally sees what she’s doing to herself in a rather eye opening revelation (so to speak)
This book was a great way of tackling a very common issue among teenage girls and I most definitely recommend this. It’s put in an interesting manner by using the Four Horsemen and taking a problem plaguing young girls and putting it together. It’s different and makes an interesting read. I say give it a try, it’s worth a look through – it’s a fast read and worth the time.
I give it a 7 out of 10.
In this action-adventure-fantasy, 12-year-old Pete (Irish) Kehoe thinks he’s an ordinary kid-until trees start talking to him and an old woman tells him he’s chosen to defend the mystical Otherworld against the King of Demons.”No way!” he says, until a demon kidnaps his kid sister, Kathy. Then Irish and his two friends, Streak and Huff, time-hop to this besieged world of Celtic mythology to rescue her. But . . . are they ready to deal with a shape-shifter, a death fog, demon warriors, killer earthquakes and vicious flesh-eating wulgoars to save her? Can Irish’s ancestor, the ancient Celtic warrior hero Cuchulain, or the talking trees, help the boys triumph over evil?This middle-grade adventure story targets readers age 9 and older. It’s appropriate for boys, girls or older readers who appreciate fantasy and authentic Celtic mythology with non-stop action. (From Amazon.com)
What I really liked about this book was the vast amounts of Irish mythology. I don’t know much about it, and have not read much that uses this type of myth so it’s something different for me to read. It’s different, but it’s also so action packed it was like watching one of those adventure movies that are meant for the younger crowd (like Neverending Story, for example). The writing style was good and easy to understand, the setting was very well done and easily pictured, but I really liked how the author tried to make the Irish characters even ‘talk’ in their Irish accent. That, I thought was really well done and it helped give the characters a more real feel to them and it was well written enough that you could even imagine them talking in their Irish accent.
The book is small, and because of the action in this book, reading through it goes fast. There’s a little bit of character development, but the action takes up most of the novel. It’s nice to see familiar mythological characters, Cuchulain for example, and what helps a lot is there’s a list of characters’ names, and places in the beginning, with a pronunciation guide (whoever thought Sidhe was pronounced so differently?!) this was extremely helpful and useful.
The story overall was really good – it hit a bit of a rut towards the ending, but it was still a great adventure to read nevertheless. It’s a great story to read for all ages, however those that liked the Pendragon series by D J Machale should give this one a chance!
I give it a 7 out of 10.
Note: thank you to the author for giving me a review copy of this book!
Kit Corrigan has always dreamed of being a star. But in order to get there, she needs to break up with Billy, who’s going to Korea, and leave her family in Providence, Rhode Island, to move to New York City. There, she finds small roles and a city that’s tough to live in. After she meets with Billy’s father, Nate, things get a little easier. But Nate is a lawyer who defends mobsters, and soon Kit realizes that she has to do what he asks of her. Kit’s life starts to feel beyond her control, especially once she uncovers a mystery that she needs to solve in order to protect the people she loves. (From Amazon.ca)
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I read this book. It was interesting, and the writing really did well for the time period depicted (1950’s). The dialogue used the slang used during those days, the clothing described and the various characters all fit well for the setting and it painted an easy picture while reading the book.
Despite her naivete, I liked Kit quite a bit. She might have seemed like a girl someone could easily take advantage of (and she was being used and tricked), but inside she had this spark that was let loose every so often (especially when she was upset) which was entertaining to read, but also gave her a distinct personality too. Her relationship with Billy is less than perfect, and sometimes I think Billy deserves a good punch to the gonads for being such a hot tempered jerk.
As to the plot, it was pretty good. I did like the little bits involving the mob, and thought perhaps it should have focused more on that (who doesn’t like mob stories?!) but there were fragments of that through the book. I was actually expecting more of a gangster type book with Kit in the middle of the mess (which she was, sort of) it wasn’t really so though – it’s more of a drama surrounding Kit and members of her family tied with Billy and Nate’s.
The mystery itself was all right, definitely not what I expected, but the ending, the ending caught me off guard! I was near flabbergasted and utterly blindsided with that one. Definitely a job well done!
I expected a bit more from this book, but otherwise I thought it was a good read, and well worth the time spent. The setting, dialogue, and characters were excellent and true to the time period. This is definitely worth a read through.
I give it a 7 out of 10.
Lena is a naive, awkward teenager struggling to understand the complexities of living in German-occupied Holland. She copes by convincing herself that she doesn’t care, that what happens around her is not her concern (though she does feel some guilt about not helping a Jewish friend who has been taken away). Lena is thrilled when Sofie, a charming, flighty, irresponsible girl, befriends her. Sofie persuades Lena to go on a hunger journey, but things quickly go wrong. The girls have to rely on two young German soldiers, one of whom, Albert, takes a fancy to Lena. (From Amazon.ca)
I really did enjoy reading this book. It shows how war can rear its’ ugly head, and it brings out the worst qualities in average every day people. It shows a different point of view (as Lena is not Jewish). However, like most books which take place during this awful period in history I couldn’t help but feel so much anger towards some of the characters, and because of this I think the book does a great job in bringing out emotions from the reader.
Of all the characters in this book, I hated Lena’s father the most. He was an awful horrible man who treated his family with such disrespect. He was so selfish and horrid. I felt like wringing his neck when he gave himself more helpings of food when his wife needed more, and his children were practically starving. He wasn’t self sacrificing or did things for the sake of his family. He just cared about himself. To make things even worse, he also didn’t like the idea of Lena and Sarah being friends because of his own prejudices. He was just a character I could not stand to read at all. He was just so hateful and selfish. There were other characters that made me see red, but then the review would then be an awful long hate list.
At first, I thought Sofie was really fun to read, she seemed like a such a fun person to be around with. However when things turned around and looked bad, she would chicken out and let Lena do all the hard work. I had to agree with Lena, there were plenty of times where you just wanted to slap Sofie hard for her stupidity! I’d say about the second half of the book I was starting to dislike Sofie.
Plot wise, I thought the book was good. It was a little slow to start out but once the setting and the atmosphere was established the book got interesting. I really did like Lena and Albert together. I understood her reluctance to be with him, and her resistance to reciprocate his feelings, but I thought Albert was really a nice character despite who he’s fighting for. The book does a good job in showing a ‘human’ side to who we would normally consider our enemies, yet on the other hand, showing who we would consider our ‘allies’ as not so friendly at all. Naturally, it only takes about several moments for Sofie to do something ridiculously stupid and puts Lena into a huge bind – again. However I admire Lena for her courage and maturity. She matured ten times faster than Sofie did (Sofie eventually sees a bit of reason, but not until literally the last few pages of the book).
I did enjoy reading the little epilogue, but I feel as if more should have come out of this story. I wanted to know what happened once Sofie and Lena had reached their destinations! I wanted to know if Lena and Albert end up being together! what about Lena’s father? does he get his come uppins? it’s these little things that weren’t revealed, yet I thought if they were, the book would have probably received a perfect 10 from me.
However, don’t let that deter you from reading this book! I thought this was a great novel showing how war can bring out the best and the worst qualities in people. It shows how sometimes the people you expect to act in a certain way could act the exact opposite, and possibly worse. I really do recommend this book to those interested in the Second World War and Resistance activities.
I give it a 7 out of 10.
Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real. Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.
But they know.
They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.
I am Number Four.
I am next.
The book really did grab my attention. At first. The idea and concept was interesting yet for some reason I can’t help but think I’m reading about Superman and his teen years in Smallville. That’s not to say the book was bad, it was good, yet there just some parts in it where it made me think why the hype over this book?
The writing was good. I liked how John started developing his powers throughout the book. It was also nice to see that he wasn’t about to be bullied around by Mark (who’s a total twit but he eventually does learn the error of his ways). He does stick up for himself and does fight back so at least he’s got a backbone. He is likable although he’s your average every day kid with superpowers. However I couldn’t really entirely like him as a character, it just seemed as if he was lacking in personality and there wasn’t much to him except that he was not from Earth and has tremendous super powers.
I really did prefer the sidekicks in this novel; Henri, Bernie Kosar, and Sam. All three were my favorites. Both Henri and Bernie deserve a lot of kudos for what they went through for John (and their actions literally drove me to tears). Sam also proved to be a very loyal friend and pull through for John, and their friendship is a good one. It does give John a nice stable element in his life where he’s always had to pick up his bags and go whenever things were to go wrong.
The plot was all right. It was really exciting and fast paced for the first part of the novel and as John learns new skills, and learns about his home world and people, you learn more about his background and why he’s here with Henri. I liked reading this part of the book, and it also gives you information on Henri and what his purpose is. Everything seems to be going well, including a couple of scraps with Mark, and some troubles with hiding his real identity. Then throughout approximately halfway through the pace slows down. John’s fallen in love. For some reason this just slows down everything and it gets annoying and infuriating. John seems to be oblivious to the danger surrounding him, and his romance with Sarah, although sweet, just seems to be more of a page filler than anything else.
At this point of the book, I was starting to get frustrated. I don’t really give a dime about Sarah and John. There’s killers out there out for John’s head and all he’s really caring about is when the next time he gets to see Sarah. Oh for crying out loud. Really? you have to have pages and pages of this? I stuck with it, and tolerated it, in the hopes I’ll get rewarded in the end.
Yes, I was rewarded! the last third of the novel focuses on a lot of action (and I mean A LOT) and when another of John’s kind comes into the picture the action is increased threefold. I loved reading this part. There was so much going on at once but it was such a gripping read you couldn’t tear yourself away. The ending doesn’t really leave the reader in a cliffhanger but it does point the way for the second book.
Even though the pace does slow down midway, sticking through with it does end up being rewarding. It is a good book for young adult readers and I’m wanting to know what’s going to happen next. From what I hear, I’d read the book first then see the movie.
I give it a 7 out of 10.
An invisible, uncrossable physical barrier encloses the Unified States. The Line is the part of the border that lopped off part of the country, dooming the inhabitants to an unknown fate when the enemy used a banned weapon. It’s said that bizarre creatures and superhumans live on the other side, in Away. Nobody except tough old Ms. Moore would ever live next to the Line. Nobody but Rachel and her mother, who went to live there after Rachel’s dad died in the last war. It’s a safe, quiet life. Until Rachel finds a mysterious recorded message that can only have come from Away. The voice is asking for help. Who sent the message? Why is her mother so protective? And to what lengths is Rachel willing to go in order to do what she thinks is right? (From Amazon.ca)
It’s an interesting book within many in the current trend of dystopian fiction. What I really enjoyed is the clever idea of the background on how the setting came to be in form of a history lesson from Rachel’s mom. She poses it in a question and answer (Rachel gives the answers in good detail) format so the reader is informed on the background information needed to understand this novel.
It does take a while to get started, despite the length of this novel (about 219 pages) I’m not sure why the pace was unbelievably slow for such a thin book. You do feel a lengthy lull and you wonder where this is all going to end up. Also, I am not sure what to think about Rachel. One the one hand, I liked her for her strength to do what was right, regardless of the consequences. Yet there was just something about her that I didn’t like. Perhaps it was her personality?
The book does take a turn for the more interesting as it progresses. Despite the fact that I am not really a fan of Rachel in the first place, she does develop into quite a character within the last third of the book. When she meets Pathik, things get even more interesting and you’re left with a tremendous cliffhanger at literally, the very last pages of the book. That got me pulling my hair out.
What irked me the most about the book is the name of other countries besides the US (Unified States). What was that all about? why were they named such strange names and how did it come to be? to be truthful, the names of these other countries sound like they should be different planets instead. Maybe they’re inhabited by aliens? I don’t know, it sure sounds like it though. Although the pace of the book was slower than usual, it changes towards the end and the pace suddenly becomes faster than the speed of light. It’s inconsistent and uneven.
I will look for the second book only because this one ended in such a huge cliffhanger I am curious to know what’s going to happen next. Not sure if I could recommend this one, take it or leave it as there are much better novels featuring dystopias out there.
I give it a 7/10
Sixteen-year-old Ethan is a lonely and beaten-up teenager, living in a small village in Switzerland. He is disconnected from his parents, hates his life, and escapes in his hidden dream world – the old ruins. One day, he gets a mysterious invitation to join what seems to be an educational train built to create ‘new world leaders’. Ethan reluctantly accepts.
From the moment he steps on the StudyTrain, something happens to him. He meets people he admired and likes, and that like him! Lord Althulos, guardian of the train and headmaster of the school, is the father figure Ethan never had. All seems peacefully and quietly going his way, as if the odds have turned. Pretty soon, Ethan discovers the wonders of the 500-year old train. The Delivery Room in particular, where all the knowledge of the world and of all the previous students-now-world-leaders is saved, opens Ethan’s eyes. He gradually transforms into a strong, knowledgeable but rather egocentric individual. Krixit, rival of Lord Althulos and member of The Untouchables, helps him go through that transition, offering him power, energy and tricks he would never be exposed to otherwise.The pivotal point in the story is the recognition of Ethan as the long awaited leader of The Untouchables by Krixit. He get the symbol of that leadership, The Knights’ Grand Token, together with a difficult task: to fly the train to Shanghai –where Althulos’ powers are weakest – where The Untouchables want to reclaim the StudyTrain and reinstate their powers and status. (Blurb provided by the author).
I never realized it, but reading this book was fast. Really fast. I didn’t even realize I was close to the finish until I saw how many pages I had left to read. It was most definitely a story that can keep your attention and literally does take you for a ride.
What I found really interesting in this novel is Ethan (main character) has issues. A lot of issues. He’s been bullied, his family life at home isn’t so great, so he retreats to the old ruins for escape. Even with these sorts of issues you do feel sorry for him. Until he steps on the train. Although it’s nice to see him finally being liked and being able to be friends, he changes. He starts becoming more cocky, and more of a jerk and then I start to wonder why he was being bullied in the first place (perhaps because he’s been a jerk??). Now I’m not sure if this is done on purpose, but if it is, it’s a good job. He went from being a nobody to a somebody with a huge attitude problem. So I found him a little hard to like. There really isn’t much to say about the other characters. They’re secondary and don’t really play such a huge part in the novel. Lord Althulos is interesting and reminds me a bit of Dumbledore from Harry Potter (although both have very distinct and different characteristics).
The plot was good and interesting. However I’d like to know a bit more about the magic system and how it worked. It’s obvious Ethan is very well gifted in certain aspects and I wanted to know more about it. A little background information would have helped.
I also thought that although the story was very well done, and very good, and the pace just went really quick. Perhaps a little too quick? I felt as if I might have inadvertently skipped pages but it just happened to be that the pace was at almost breakneck speed that it did indeed feel as if the reader missed out on something.
Nevertheless, it was a good book and from what I hear there’s going to be more in the series lined up. It does look interesting and I will be looking forward to reading more about Ethan and his adventures.
I give it a 7 out of 10.
Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia’s led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it’s revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Kiernan, and the only life she’s ever known. Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins – long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control – she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl. Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history, forever. (From Amazon.ca)
I’m so glad I read this book. It got me back into reading the Fantasy genre which was certainly lacking. What can I say, but that I really enjoyed reading this book. The fantasy isn’t heavy handed, it’s light, and the magic system is simple and easy to understand. The background history and information of the setting is mentioned throughout the book so the reader isn’t left confused but with a general understand on the layout of the land.
I was upset when Sinda learns of her origins and is sent away. What in the world was that about??? it’s like they just casted her out like an overused toy. That got to me! and what’s even worse is Sinda just walks along with it. I realize she’s really powerless to do anything, but she could have at least put up a fight. The main issue I had with her as a character was her tendency to hesitate, at the wrong times. She was just wishy-washy at times and it got frustrating. Keep in mind, I did like her though, it was just this part of her character that just did not go well with me. Throughout the book she did develop into a stronger person and I enjoyed reading her relationship with Philantha. Philantha is an interesting teacher, although the way she teaches is different than what you might expect from other magic users. I certainly took a liking to her the moment she decided to take Sinda under her wing, Philantha wasn’t afraid of what others thought of her. That was admirable, but in a sense I think that gave Sinda a bit of a backbone to grow.
I fell in love with Kiernan. I absolutely loved him as a character. Some characters you just fall for. This is one of them. Not only was he such a great friend, but even after arguing horribly with Sinda, he still managed to forgive her. I fell for him when he came to find her. That just hit me and I thought to myself this guy has just become awesome in an instant. Kiernan and Sinda did make such great friends, of course naturally as the story progresses, you can feel the chemistry between the two of them grow and although obvious of the outcome, it’s still nice to see the two of them together.
The plot of the book was good although the mystery and intrigue did not happen until you read further into the story. It wasn’t bad as you’re literally set up with a good slap in the face in the first chapter. The pace of the book was steady although you do experience a bit of a lull when Sinda is with her Aunt. Yet it’s a welcome lull to what’s in store for the reader throughout the later half of the novel. The ending was also really good yet I can’t help but wonder if there is going to be a sequel with this one. If there is, I would not hesitate to pick it up. I would love to read more about Sinda, and about Kiernan of course!
This book was a decent read with a simple and easy to understand magic system, a nice well written fantasy world with characters that aren’t overly complex but not the most simple either. Perfect for YA readers who want a decent story, with subtle fantasy that isn’t over done.
I give it a 7/10.