31 August, 2012

On hiatus.

Since I am going back to Uni and stuff I haven't had time to update and I doubt I will have time to update so I am going on an indefinite hiatus. I am still reading and writing few sentences reviews on Goodreads. :)

11 August, 2012

The Vindico by Wesley King

The VindicoName: The Vindico by Wesley King.
Pages: 272.
Publication: 14th June 2012/Putnam Juvenile.
Rating: ½
Buy It: Amazon

"The Vindico are a group of supervillains who have been fighting the League of Heroes for as long as anyone can remember. Realizing they’re not as young as they used to be, they devise a plan to kidnap a group of teenagers to take over for them when they retire—after all, how hard can it be to teach a bunch of angsty teens to be evil?

Held captive in a remote mansion, five teens train with their mentors and receive superpowers beyond their wildest dreams. Struggling to uncover the motives of the Vindico, the teens have to trust each other to plot their escape. But they quickly learn that the differences between good and evil are not as black and white as they seem, and they are left wondering whose side they should be fighting on after all . . ."

Review.

Five teenagers are kidnapped and become protegees to super-villains. They learn how to use powers and some get capes. However, when the line between good and bad blurs, these teens may just have to choose a side.

The Vindico possesses a very simple writing style that is better aimed towards a younger age group. It is stuck between trying to make the content more mature yet the writing lets it down.

King also got caught in the ever dangerous story no-no: introducing too many characters at one time. You meet the five protegees chapter after chapter so when you get to chapter Six you do not actually remember the first character you read about. Add five more characters, the super villains as well as the super heroes and that is just too many characters for 272 pages. The characters in turn are not well developed and all the protegees seem to take the whole situation in their strode.

The book has insta-love in it also, which is BAD on this blog. Thankfully, it does not play a huge part in the book so it was easy to skip past.

The book relies heavily on the concept of death but it is talked about in an uncomfortable way. I know super-villains do not really have much care for causing someone death but these super-villains talk about death in a strange way where they convey no emotion; no pride or regret. It was just strange to read for me. As writing, it did not read well at all.



Final Thought.
Despite the interesting concept of "X-Men meets Breakfast Club", King fails to execute a story that would connect with anyone.

09 August, 2012

06 August, 2012

Billow by Emma Raveling

Billow (Ondine Quartet, #2)Name: Billow (Ondine Quartet #2) by Emma Raveling.
Pages: Unknown.

Publication: 5th July 2012/Mandorla Publishing.
Rating: 
Buy It: Amazon 


"It has been six months since ondine Kendra Irisavie arrived in Haverleau, the hidden capital of the water elemental world.

Six months since she discovered her destiny as the sondaleur.

Six months since a series of devastating events left behind their mark. 

Now, as she enters the chevalier elite program in her final year at Lumiere Academy, Kendra continues forward on her prophesied journey against the Shadow. Obsessed with what she must do to keep those around her safe, she struggles to balance her powerful magic and the demands of her fate with the challenges of friendship, the complications of romance, and the bonds of family. 

Meanwhile, the threat of the Shadow looms larger. Kendra and her friends investigate a series of puzzling human and elemental disappearances in the city of Lyondale and uncover a horrifying tactic used by the Aquidae in the war.

When danger strikes close to home, Kendra must separate the truths from the lies and choose who and what to believe. 
Even if it means facing what she fears the most."


Review.
It has been six months since Kendra had to fight her mother and lost her close friend Ryder in Whirl. She is not dealing with the aftermath of the events as well as dealing with her role as the Sondaleur. When mysterious kidnappings occur, Kendra and her friends end up knee deep in danger. Kendra is back and is fighting for than just herself.

I was excited to read Billow after reading Whirl. Raveling has created a unique and interesting world which is detailed and layered. Billow is a good second book in the way that you see the characters and the story growing. Billow was exciting. It had many twists and turns that keep you on your toes while reading the story.

My biggest problem with Billow is Kendra. I disliked her character in this book. She has lost her wit and sharp tongue. All she did was say how she was the Sondaleur and needed to use her virtue all of the time. This was repeated in the book way too much and it annoyed me. I am aware of the weight and the assumptions she has to live up too but it still annoyed me. 

It was great to see more of Julian in the book, he brings out the best and the funny in Kendra. He is a character with many dimensions. Tristan is not as prominent in Billow and I actually forgot what he was like as a character which I do not thing is a good sign for my memory! :P 

Final Thought.
Although, Billow did not live up to Whirl, Billow is still a very good follow-up which leaves you wanting the third book.

August Releases: Part 2

Click the cover to be sent to the book's Goodreads page.

AuracleWake (Watersong, #1)Survive

Innocent Darkness (The Aether Chronicles, #1)The Waiting SkyThe Lost Girl

The UnnaturalistsEvery DayPizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous

05 August, 2012

August Releases: Part 1

Foretold (The Demon Trappers, #4)Losing Lila (Lila, #2)The Iron Wyrm Affair

Onyx (Lux, #2)False Memory (False Memory, #1)Defiance (Defiance, #1)

Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)Starling (Starling, #1)Skylark (The Skylark Trilogy #1)

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

Insignia (Insignia, #1)Name: Insignia (Insignia #1) by S.J. Kincaid.
Pages: 444.
Publication: 10th July 2012/Katherine Tegen Books.
Rating: 
Buy It: Amazon | Kennys


"More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.

Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test, and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War Three. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?"




Review.
Insignia revolves around Tom. He is a gamer and a con with a gambler for a father. Blending in is what Tom does until he gains the attention of the military, something he could only dream. However, it is not as easy as he may think, he has to make big decisions which will affect him for the rest of his life.  

Insignia is a book that you can have no expectations of the story. I had no idea what I was going to read, all I knew was, that I was excited to read it. Did it live up to my excitement? I am not really sure. I enjoyed it. It was well written, with well developed characters but if Kincaid had a more detailed premise explaining the story, would I have read it? I honestly do not know.

Kincaid is one of few writers who has mastered subtly building a story full of details. He has written characters with different personality quirks and distinct personalities but brought together create great conversation, especially between Tom and Vik.

However, the book was nothing what I had expected. Insignia appeals to both male and females. Since Tom is fourteen in the book, it also appeals to the younger masses. However, I felt that Tom is written as being a bit older and I wish he was, maybe sixteen years old instead of fourteen.

Final Thought.
Insignia has what young people want in a science fiction book; futuristic gadgets, humour and action, anguish and a sprinkle of romance.

26 July, 2012

God Save the Queen by Kate Locke

God Save the Queen (The Immortal Empire, #1)Name: God Save the Queen (The Immortal Empire #1) by Kate Locke.
Pages: 352.
Publication: 3rd July 2012/Orbit.
Rating: 
Buy It: Amazon | Kennys

"Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist. 


The undead matriarch of a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. A world where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath), Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day, and leeches are considered a delicacy. And a world where technology lives side by side with magic. The year is 2012 and Pax Britannia still reigns.


Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it is her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But when her sister goes missing, Xandra will set out on a path that undermines everything she believed in and uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire. And she is the key-the prize in a very dangerous struggle."


Review.
Alexandra or rather Xandra lives in a world where the plague did not wipe out much of the population but rather transformed them into vampires, werewolves and goblins. Queen Victoria is ruling the empire after 175 years, as a vampire. Xandra is halvie with a vampire father and a human mother. She works for the Royal Guard protecting the aristocracy of Britain. Her life is turned  upside down when her sister goes missing and she learns that everything is not and everyone are not what they seem, even Xandra herself. 

Xandra is a great female lead character. She is feisty and full of wit. She is brave and strong but is not made of stone. She has realistic reactions to events that occur which often does not happen in books. The book is also full of other interesting and unique characters such as Church, who is Xandra's mentor, her siblings, the goblin prince as well as the handsome werewolf Vex who seems to have Xandra in his sights. 


At the beginning of the book, two characters are introduced a girl and a guy. For some reason I thought the guy might play a bigger part but he just disappears and I was disappointed because he seemed like he could have been interesting. I do not know, I just wanted to get that off my chest. 


The only real problem I had with the book is how fast Xandra's relationship escalated. You know me and insta-love. Thankfully, this was not actually insta-love, no-one was declaring anything but I felt that the trust between Xandra and her partner was built far too quick.

Locke has created a wonderful world that is well structured and detailed in her debut novel. It is not quite steam-punk yet it has elements of it along with urban fantasy. Locke's back stories for Britain and the monarch as well as the creatures and causes was interesting as well as believable. Locke has a knack for little details that help build a solid foundation for a series. The book did not lag, and moves at the right pace to keep you reading page after page.

Final Thought.
God Save The Queen is full of mystery and intrigue. The book takes twist and turns and will have devouring the pages.

20 July, 2012

Skinned by Robin Wasserman

Skinned (Cold Awakening, #1)Name: Skinned (Cold Awakening #1) by Robin Wasserman.
Pages: 3680.
Publication: 9th September 2008/Simon Pulse.
Rating: Buy It: Amazon | Kennys
"The Download was supposed to change the world. It was supposed to mean the end of aging, the end of death, the birth of a new humanity. But it wasn't supposed to happen to someone like Lia Kahn.


And it wasn't supposed to ruin her life.


Lia knows she should be grateful she didn't die in the accident. The Download saved her--but it also changed her, forever. She can deal with being a freak. She can deal with the fear in her parents' eyes and the way her boyfriend flinches at her touch. But she can't deal with what she knows, deep down, every time she forces herself to look in the mirror: She's not the same person she used to be.


Maybe she's not even a person at all."

Review.
Lia had it all. She was the perfect, all rounded, achieving daughter. She had a handsome boyfriend and was popular in school until the accident. The accident where she should have died but instead was saved by The Download. The accident she should not have even been in.

Skinned starts off a little confusing as you are thrown into the story without truly understanding what The Download is. The book contains 'technotalk' and lacks description of some of the technologies used. I was reading it and I felt as if I had missed the chapter or two that explained what was going on. Those chapters come eventually, maybe even a little to late.

Skinned lacks a enticing plot. There was only about two pages of action in the whole book. Sure, the story's concept is interesting but nothing exciting really happens. Nothing that truly builds Lia's character. All she does is lightly tread on the line of her old life and the new life she can embrace being 'skinner.' Some believe she has great personal growth in the book, but I did not see it. I guess this has to do with the book being a part of a trilogy. You need something to keep the readers reading. I, for one, will not be continuing the series. 

Lia character is one that is more annoying than interesting. She seems to have a lot of repetitive thoughts that I do not want to read about...again. You know I lack sympathy for whiny characters and I get it, Lia deserves to be whiny: she was not meant to be in the car but she was and now it is her who lives with the consequences.

Final Thought.
Skinned does not excite or intrigue but what it does do is raise some interesting questions about humanity and can we truly be replaced with machines in the future.

Extra.
Wasserman re-released Skinned in 2011 under the new title 'Frozen.'
Frozen (Cold Awakening, #1)

18 July, 2012

Elemental by Emily White

Elemental (Elemental Trilogy, #1)Name: Elemental (Elemental Trilogy #1) by Emily White 
Pages: 260.
Publication: 5th June 2012/Spencer Hill Press.
Rating: 
Buy It: Amazon | Kennys

"Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn't mean she should. 

But she wants to. 

For ten years—ever since she was a small child—Ella has been held prisoner on an interstellar starship. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers.

Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories?
Is Ella the prophesied Destructor… or will she be the one who's destroyed?"

Review.
Looking at the reviews of Elemental, many of them are at the four and five star mark. I feel as if I am reading a different book. When I first began Elemental, I was disappointed because I was expected something completely different. I got over that and began reading the book with a blank opinion and it turns out that I did not enjoy reading Elemental.

Elemental is confusing. I found it very hard to follow all the different races, species or was it religions? I am honestly not sure. I read through the book feeling as if I was missing something because the whole race/species/religion thing just did not make sense.

None of the characters in Elemental are special. Ella, who has been held captive for ten years adapted to her new life too fast in my opinion. I get it though, the book is only 260 pages so White does not have the space for realistic pacing. Ella is quite a bland character. She has no personality in the book.

All the relationships in Elemental also moved to fast for me. Between Ella and Meir, Ella and Cailen, not so much Ella and Malik.  

I think what annoyed me the most was the ending and who was the traitor. I felt myself sighing because they were the only character I enjoyed throughout the story.

Final Thought.
Overall, Elemental was disappointing for me. It turned out to be completely different to what I expected. As it is, it did not enthrall me in any way.

14 July, 2012

Burn Mark by Laura Powell

Burn MarkName: Burn Mark by Laura Powell.
Pages: 416.
Publication: 19th June 2012/Bloomsbury USA.
Rating: ½
Buy It: Amazon | Kennys | Easons


"Glory is from a family of witches and lives beyond the law. She is desperate to develop her powers and become a witch herself. Lucas is the son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition—the witches’ mortal enemy—and his privileged life is very different to the forbidden world that he lives alongside.

And then on the same day, it hits them both. Glory and Lucas develop the Fae—the mark of the witch. In one fell stroke, their lives are inextricably bound together, whether they like it or not ..."

Review.
Gloriana also known as Glory dreams of burning witches on trials. Her mother who has disappeared from her life was a witch and Glory hopes she will also gain the Fae and become a witch. At fifteen Glory lives a life beyond her years with her law breaking family who pull off scams to make money. Glory cannot wait to develop the Fae so she can become head of her coven.

Lucas who is also fifteen seems to have the world at his feet. He has a nice family and home and he plans on becoming an Inquisitor just like his Dad. However, Lucas's life falls apart and he must take a new path when he develops the Fae on the same day as Glory. The Fae intertwines their lives in a way neither of them could expect.

Burn Mark is very interesting. Powell has done a great incorporating witches into what otherwise is the same world that we live in now. The history is the most interesting part of the book.

Glory and Lucas are interesting characters. They are two very different people but Powell did not write it in a way that felt over cliched. Glory is strong willed and brave. She will not let anyone walk over her or make decisions for her. She is not afraid to say what she thinks. Lucas is a nice boy. He believes in doing the right thing even if he goes about it in the wrong way. He stands up for others. 

I found it hard to connect with this book. I did not feel I was living the story with the characters. Burn Mark is long at over 400 pages, probably too long. At times I found myself getting bored and trying to get through it as fast as possible. 

Final Thought.
An interesting book with an interesting concept but does not hit the mark. (No pun intended, no really.) It lacks action and spark that give a book something special.

07 July, 2012

July Releases: Part 2

Here are the rest of the July YA releases. Click the cover to be sent to the novel's Goodreads page.

Lucky FoolsShadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)The Unquiet

Small DamagesSomething Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1)Cold Fury

Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)Drain YouGuitar Notes