The Swan Riders by Erin Bow (Prisoners of Peace #2)| REVIEW

The Swan Riders by Erin Bow (Prisoners of Peace #2)
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on September 20th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Pages: 384
Format: ARC

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

The Swan RidersGreta Stuart had always known her future: die young. She was her country’s crown princess, and also its hostage, destined to be the first casualty in an inevitable war. But when the war came it broke all the rules, and Greta forged a different path.

She is no longer princess. No longer hostage. No longer human. Greta Stuart has become an AI.

If she can survive the transition, Greta will earn a place alongside Talis, the AI who rules the world. Talis is a big believer in peace through superior firepower. But some problems are too personal to obliterate from orbit, and for those there are the Swan Riders: a small band of humans who serve the AIs as part army, part cult.

Now two of the Swan Riders are escorting Talis and Greta across post-apocalyptic Saskatchewan. But Greta’s fate has stirred her nation into open rebellion, and the dry grassland may hide insurgents who want to rescue her – or see her killed. Including Elian, the boy she saved—the boy who wants to change the world, with a knife if necessary. Even the infinitely loyal Swan Riders may not be everything they seem.

Greta’s fate—and the fate of her world—are balanced on the edge of a knife in this smart, sly, electrifying adventure.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

*** CHECK OUT THE REVIEW FOR BOOK ONE: THE SCORPION RULES ***
** MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS: READ AT OWN RISK!!!**
* Received an ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada for a honest review *

First Line:

One of the advantages of a purely mechanical body is that you can literally bang your head into things in frustration.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟           PLOT 🌟🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟    ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟        WORLD 🌟🌟🌟🌟


The Swan Riders by Erin Bow is the sequel to The Scorpion Rules and the conclusion to the Prisoner’s of Peace duology. It literally picks up where the first book leaves off and takes us on a long a grueling journey of self discovery and what it means to be human. I definitely had a much better reading experience this time around and here is why:

The Good

First off I want to talk about the interesting plot, or lack there of. But I mean that in a good way. Through out the whole book there is a war of rebellion going on the in background, but the story doesn’t focus on overcoming that. The Swan Riders focuses on the characters and the struggles to stay human. It was not plot driven that’s for sure; definitely all about the characters.

Greta still remains one of my favorite aspects of the story. She is no longer human. She gave that right up at the end of The Scorpion Rules to save Elian. She is now AI (artificial intelligence). Now she is Talis’ most prized valuable. She goes through major growth moments over the course of the book and remains the strong and in control character I love.

Talis on the other hand does a total 180. We see him become human again. With that comes hardships and pain. He is dying now. I don’t think in the last 400 years has anyone seen Talis as vulnerable as he was in The Swan Riders. But I think that was such an important aspect to the story. We need to remind ourselves of where we come from and remember to stay humble in the process.

Bow knocks it out of the park with her writing. I was fully immersed within the story because of it. The way she weaves her scenes, characters and dialogue together was masterful. Where as I had some trouble following her writing in The Scorpion Rules, that was not the case this time around.

It was fun to read about a post apocalyptic Canada. The descriptions really made the world come alive for me. I thought it was very unique and creative. I loved the world Bow has created here.

I absolutely love the cover of The Swan Riders. It follows the redesigned look of The Scorpion Rules but switching out the scorpions for swans and using a very pretty blue as the background. It’s simple yet sci-fi looking which is totally fitting for this new world that Bow has built.

The Bad

Sadly the romance level in The Swan Riders was rather dull. I get that it doesn’t play a huge role in the story, I just wish there was a little more of a spark between the love interest that played out this time around. Greta and Elian just have nothing going for them, especially since I felt more of spark between Greta and Xie from The Scorpion Rules. But that’s alright, it didn’t take away from my overall satisfaction of the book!


I am definitely satisfied with how the Prisoner’s of Peace has ended. It has left just enough open for you to wonder what’s next, but not enough for you to be pulling your hair out for the sake of it.

Let me know what you guys thought of The Swan Riders by Erin Bow! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

Sig 3

TWITTER | GOOD READS | INSTAGRAM | BLOG LOVIN’

#NoLongerHuman

Erin BowTEN THINGS ABOUT ME:

1. I’m a physicist turned poet turned YA novelist.
2. I am world-famous in Canada, which is kind of like being world-famous in real life.
3. I wrote a book about Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy: THE SCORPION RULES, Simon & Schuster Fall 2015
4. I wrote a not-at-all-cute book with a talking cat in it: PLAIN KATE (called WOOD ANGEL in the UK), Scholastic Fall 2010
5. I wrote a book about cat’s cradles that can repel spirit zombies: SORROW’S KNOT, Scholastic Fall 2013
6. All these books will make you either cry on the bus or snort milk out your nose. I am dangerous to your dignity and should be stopped.
7. I think Hufflepuff is the best house, Xander was the best Scoobie, Five was the best Doctor, and Spock was the best everything.
8. I am married to another novelist, and we can actually pay our bills.
9. My daughters want to be scientists.
10. My bookshelves will always be full.

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (Prisoners of Peace #1)| REVIEW

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (Prisoners of Peace #1)
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on June 7th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

The Scorpion RulesGreta is a Duchess and a Crown Princess. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Start a war and your hostage dies.

The system has worked for centuries. Parents don’t want to see their children murdered.

Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He’s a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives—and is severely punished for it. His rebellion opens Greta’s eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. And Greta discovers her own quiet power.

Then Elian’s country declares war on Greta’s and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to deliver punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed…unless Greta can think of a way to break all the rules.

🌟🌟🌟

3 Stars

First Line:

Once upon a time, at the end of the world.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟           PLOT 🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟         ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟        WORLD 🌟🌟🌟

No, blowing up cities doesn’t work, not in the long term. You’ve got to find something that the people in charge aren’t willing to give up. A price they aren’t willing to pay.

Which leads us to Talis’s first rule for stopping wars: make it personal.

The Scorpion Rules – Erin Bow

The Good

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow was definitely an interesting read for me. I’m a bit confused still even after reading it to be honest, but that’s not a bad thing. It follows Greta, a Child of Peace in a dystopian future of Canada. A world ruled by an AI, Talis as he tries to keep the peace among warring nations.

I loved that this book got a cover change. I disliked the previous cover and I can say that was one of the reasons I never picked the book up to begin with. But with this new cover it definitely drew me in to give it another shot!

I loved Greta as a character. All her life she knew that there was a chance that she was going to die as a Child of Peace. Let me explain what that means. So all the ruling nations of the world must give up their heir to Talis the AI. They live on a precepture with all the other children until they turn 18 and can return to their nations. The purpose behind this is to try and prevent the nations from going to war because if they do their child and only heir will die. Now flash forward back to Greta. She is strong, and intelligent and a natural born leader. I love how she interacts with the other children and friends, as well as her budding romance with Da Xia.

Talis on the other hand was the life of this book. You only hear of him in the beginning half of the book through reciting of his laws, and they were sassy as hell. Then by the last half of the book he makes his appearance through one of his Swan Riders (he took over her body with his operating system). Let me tell you, he doesn’t disappoint. He is just as sassy in person as he is in his law making.

Everyone needs to read this book, even just to meet Talis. He will by far go down as one of my favorite villain type characters!

I wished for impossible things. It was never going to have been a fairy tale for us. There are no fairy tales about two princesses.

The Scorpion Rules – Erin Bow

The Bad

There was nothing inherently wrong with this The Scorpion Rules, but I did find a couple of disappointments. One being the plot and pacing. I thought it was very dry and slow at times. I mean it spends a lot of time farming and playing around with goats. Yes I’m being serious.

Unfortunately Bow’s writing didn’t quite sit well with me. It felt a little all over the place in certain chapters then others and left me confused a lot of the time. It was quite unique, but it just didn’t work for me.

The love triangle was a bit exhausting at times as well. But I did like that Greta made a decision in the end and we were left hanging with who she might end up with.

Let me tell you something that I learned from my youth, from a sage called the Road Runner. You can walk off a cliff and the air will hold you. Only, don’t look down.

The Scorpion Rules – Erin Bow


Like I said before, there was nothing out rightly wrong with this, it just didn’t blow me away. I did enjoy it as a whole though and will definitely be picking up the sequel! Let me know what you guys thought of The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

Sig 3

TWITTER | GOOD READS | INSTAGRAM | BLOG LOVIN’

#OneWrongMove

Erin BowTEN THINGS ABOUT ME:

1. I’m a physicist turned poet turned YA novelist.
2. I am world-famous in Canada, which is kind of like being world-famous in real life.
3. I wrote a book about Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy: THE SCORPION RULES, Simon & Schuster Fall 2015
4. I wrote a not-at-all-cute book with a talking cat in it: PLAIN KATE (called WOOD ANGEL in the UK), Scholastic Fall 2010
5. I wrote a book about cat’s cradles that can repel spirit zombies: SORROW’S KNOT, Scholastic Fall 2013
6. All these books will make you either cry on the bus or snort milk out your nose. I am dangerous to your dignity and should be stopped.
7. I think Hufflepuff is the best house, Xander was the best Scoobie, Five was the best Doctor, and Spock was the best everything.
8. I am married to another novelist, and we can actually pay our bills.
9. My daughters want to be scientists.
10. My bookshelves will always be full.

Weekly Cover Reveal Recap | August 15 – August 21

Weekly-Cover-Reveals

Hey guys!

Here are the covers that were revealed during the week of August 15 – August 21. Click the author to hop on over to their GoodReads page to add it to you’re TBR!

CONTEMPORARY

The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren

Published by Amulet Books

April 4th 2017

The Last Thing You SaidLast summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted apart, swallowed up by their grief. Now it’s a year later in their small lake town, and as the anniversary of Trixie’s death looms, Lucy and Ben’s undeniable connection pulls them back together. They can’t change what happened the day they lost Trixie, but the summer might finally bring them closer to healing—and to each other.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Published by Speak

August 2016

The Truth About ForeverIn The Truth About Forever, when asked how she is coping with her father’s death, invariably seventeen year old Macy Queen’s answer is “fine,” when nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, she is drowning in grief while maintaining a flawless façade of good grades and unblemished behavior. Though she feels lost when her boyfriend heads to “Brain Camp” for the summer, she finds herself a job with the quirky Wish Catering crew, and meets “sa-woon”-worthy Wes, whose chaotic lifestyle is in direct opposition to her own.

As the two share their stories over the summer, Macy realizes she can no longer keep her feelings on ice. Though it feels like her future ended with her dad’s death, Macy’s learns that forever is all about beginnings.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers

February 14th 2017

We Are OkayMarin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since that day four months ago—the day she left California with only her cell phone, wallet, and a plane reservation. No one knows the truth of those final weeks of summer, when everything changed. Not even her best friend Mabel, whom Marin has completely shut out. But even from thousands of miles away, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. She can still hear the waves crashing on Ocean Beach and smell the sweetness of her grandfather’s cakes, which she’ll never taste again.

Now that winter break is upon her, and the campus has emptied, Mabel is coming to visit, forcing Marin to face everything that’s been left unsaid for months and finally confront the loneliness that began so many years before with the loss of her mother.

FANTASY 

Frostblood by Elly Blake (Frostblood Saga #1)

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

January 17th 2017

Frost BloodSeventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable, and she’s not sure she’s willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon. All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king’s tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead (The Glittering Court #2)

Published by Razorbill

April 25th 2017

Midnight JewelA refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.

By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin. But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (Untitled #1)

Published by Knopf

March 28th 2017

Blood Rose RebellionSixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

DYSTOPIAN

The Burning World by Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies #3)

Published by Atria

February 7th 2017

The Burning WorldBeing alive is hard. Being human is harder. But since his recent recovery from death, R is making progress. He’s learning how to read, how to speak, maybe even how to love, and the city’s undead population is showing signs of life. R can almost imagine a future with Julie, this girl who restarted his heart—building a new world from the ashes of the old one.

And then helicopters appear on the horizon. Someone is coming to restore order. To silence all this noise. To return things to the way they were, the good old days of stability and control and the strong eating the weak. The plague is ancient and ambitious, and the Dead were never its only weapon.

How do you fight an enemy that’s in everyone? Can the world ever really change? With their home overrun by madmen, R, Julie, and their ragged group of refugees plunge into the otherworldly wastelands of America in search of answers. But there are some answers R doesn’t want to find. A past life, an old shadow, crawling up from the basement.

Soul Finder by Jacinta Maree (The Immortal Gene #2)

Published by Inked Rabbit Publishing

September 16th 2016

Soul FinderSince being discovered as Soulless, Nadia has become a target for both terrorist groups and government corporations. Now, her only hope for survival rests in the hands of the man sent out to kill her: Diesel, the Mad Dog terrorist.

Diesel is determined to free himself of the never ending curse of reincarnation and the haunting memories that plague his mind. But when his search leads him to Nadia, a greater desire stills him from taking her life.

Unable to see into Diesel’s cracking mind, Nadia instead puts her faith into his strength, fueled by eleven generations of unmatched rage and insanity. Their tight-rope relationship balances the two between life and death, love and rage, trust and betrayal.
Tension pulls at the hems of their dangerous companionship, and as time runs out all madmen must eventually make their choice.


Well that’s it for this week! Are you looking forward to any of these books? Let me know in the comments below! Stay tuned for next weeks cover reveals!

Until next time,

Sig New

TWITTER | GOOD READS | INSTAGRAM | BLOG LOVIN’

August 2016 Releases

ANTICIPATED RELEASES

Hey guys!

Every month I post the books that I’m most excited about that are going to be released. For August I’m bringing you five exciting releases. Let’s check them out:


The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

Release Date: August 2nd, 2016

The Beauty of DarknessLia and Rafe have escaped Venda and the path before them is winding and dangerous – what will happen now? This third and final book in The Remnant Chronicles is not to be missed.

Bestselling author Mary E. Pearson’s combination of intrigue, suspense, romance and action make this a riveting page turner for teens.

.

.

.

.

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The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay

Release Date: August 2nd, 2016

The Assassin GameWho will be left after lights out?

At Cate’s isolated boarding school, Killer is more than a game- it’s an elite secret society. Members must avoid being “Killed” during a series of thrilling pranks, and only the Game Master knows who the “Killer” is. When Cate’s finally invited to join the Assassins’ Guild, she know it’s her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs.

But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save the Guild. But can she find the real assassin before she’s the next target?

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Three Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger

Release Date: August 2nd, 2016

Three Turths and a LieA weekend retreat in the woods and an innocent game of three truths and a lie goes horribly wrong in this high-octane psychological thriller filled with romantic suspense by a Lambda Award–winning author.

Deep in the forest, four friends gather for a weekend of fun.

Truth #1: Rob is thrilled about the weekend trip. It’s the perfect time for him to break out of his shell…to be the person he really, really wants to be.

Truth #2: Liam, Rob’s boyfriend, is nothing short of perfect. He’s everything Rob could have wanted. They’re perfect together. Perfect.

Truth #3: Maia has been Liam’s best friend for years…long before Rob came along. They get each other in a way Rob could never, will never, understand.

Truth #4: Galen, Maia’s boyfriend, is sweet, handsome, and incredibly charming. He’s the definitely of a Golden Boy…even with the secrets up his sleeves.

One of these truths is a lie…and not everyone will live to find out which one it is.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Release Date: August 9th, 2016

NevernightIn a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Release Date: August 30th, 2016

A Torch Against the NightA Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.

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Let me know if you guys are looking forward to any of these books this month! I really can’t wait to get my hands on them.

Until next time,

Sig New

TWITTER | GOOD READS | INSTAGRAM | BLOG LOVIN’

Starbright by Hilary Thompson | RELEASE DAY + GIVEAWAY

STARBRIGHT2

Hey guys!

I have an exciting post for you today! It is the release day for this cool new series by Hilary Thompson from Oftomes Publishing. Check it out!


STARBRIGHT

About the series

Title: Starbright
Author: Hilary Thompson
Publisher: Oftomes Publishing
Release date: June 14th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Goodreads  |  Book trailer

Justice BuriedJustice Buried by Hilary Thompson
Published by Oftomes Publishing on June 14th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Pages: 330
Series: The Starbright Series #1
LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

The people need Justice, but she’s not listening.

One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three dystopian cities. Now the community of Asphodel is trapped underground, waiting for the prophesied maiden of Justice to rescue them.

Sixteen-year-old Astrea is supposed to be this savior – too bad for them she isn’t a believer. Astrea fights her fate until discovering a power she never knew she had, and a handsome ally she never expected. With her life in danger, Astrea must choose between saving her city or herself.

This thrilling young adult adventure is the first in the richly-imagined Starbright series, which is laced with mystery, mythology, romance, and magic. Justice Buried will have you questioning fate versus free will along with Astrea’s strong female lead, and wondering who can be trusted when everyone is keeping secrets.

 


Balance BrokenBalance Broken by Hilary Thompson
Published by Oftomes Publishing on June 14th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Pages: 290
Series: The Starbright Series #2
LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Balance Broken is the second in the Starbright series. In the first book, Justice Buried, Astrea fights to remain independent in a world which demands she submit to an ancient prophecy. In Balance Broken, she learns that independence means little when the world is depending on her.

The world cries for Order, but she’s igniting a revolution.

One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three cities. Now, Asphodel no longer lingers underground, and the Starbright Maiden of Justice has returned.

Everyone has faith in Astrea’s ability to save the world – but only she knows the dark truth about her powers.

Astrea teams with Stian, Lexan, and Zarea to enlist the help of Lord Hadeon of Tartarus. They hope Hadeon will aid in attacking Asphodel’s First Leader Keirna, but the Destroyer usually takes lives, not sides.

As Astrea discovers life outside of Asphodel, she begins to wonder whether the remaining world is too broken to save – especially since the price of freedom just might be her own life.


Destiny RisenDestiny Risen by Hilary Thompson
Published by Oftomes Publishing on June 14th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Pages: 373
Series: The Starbright Series #3
LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

The world cries for Peace, but she can’t stop fighting now.

One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three scattered cities. Now Asphodel has risen, Tartarus no longer burns, but Elysium still waits at the edge of the earth.

Trea’s destiny is still uncertain – but with her own personal prophet to help, the choice will finally be hers to make.

Three Sisters.
Four fallen stars.
Seven minutes to determine the future of our world.


About Hilary Thompson

Hilary ThompsonHilary Thompson was born to parents who made a habit of taking roads less traveled. But she was also a first child, and an independent, willful child, so she has made a habit of taking a few roads on her own.
After trying on hats made for artists, architects, restaurant and retail workers, landscape
designers, legal secretaries, and professional students, she retreated back to her first
loves of education and writing.
Hilary now teaches high school full time, writes whenever and wherever she can, and reads as much as her eyes can handle. She also tries not to spoil her own independent, willful children or neglect her wonderful soul-mate of a husband too much. She tends to ignore laundry baskets and dirty dishes.

LINKS:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Good Reads

Pinterest | YouTube | Tumblr | Google+


Giveaway Details

What: Ebooks of each book in the STARBRIGHT series
Eligibility: Open internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway


See you next time,

Sig 3

 

Transferral by Kate Blair | REVIEW

TransferralTransferral by Kate Blair
Published by Dancing Cat Books on October 24th, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pages: 194
Format: e-Book

NEW-4-STARS


London, England, present day. This is the world as we know it, but with one key difference: medical science has found a way to remove diseases from the sick. The catch? They can only transfer the diseases into other living humans. The government now uses the technology to cure the innocent by infecting criminals.

It is into this world that Talia Hale is born. Now sixteen and the daughter of a prime ministerial candidate, she discovers that the effort to ensure that bad things happen only to bad people has turned a once-thriving community into a slum, and has made life perilous for two new friends.

When Talia’s father makes an election promise to send in the police to crack down on this community, Talia can only think of how much worse things will be for her friends. Will she defy her father to protect them, even if it means costing him the election?


NEW-REVIEW

** I received the e-ARC version of this book in exchange for an honest review. **

Transferral by Kate Blair is a standalone young adult science fiction novel. In a world where criminals are punished with diseases from the good citizens of the city, we follow the daughter of the politician who supports these actions as she goes through a self evalutation of right and wrong. This book begs the questions: when are the lines blurred between good and evil? Is this the route our world might take in the future to eradicate crime in our cities? Is this just another type of segregation between the upper and lower class?

A very thought provoking story that everyone should get a chance to read!


NEW-LIKESUNIQUE CONCEPT

I loved the idea this book put forth. Criminals being punished with illness depending on the severity of their crimes. Living in our world now where there is so much violence, murder, rape, and gangs sometimes a prison sentence just doesn’t seem like enough. Blair puts the idea in your head in the beginning of the book that this protocol is beneficial to a better country, but by the end of the book you’re left thinking, is it really worth it?

A part of me wants to say yes, murder and rape should carry a heavier sentence then life in prison, but the other part of me struggles with the idea of the less fortunate citizens who have no choice but to steal and make their money illegally in order to survive. I think the real problem lies in the division between the rich and the poor.

THE WRITING

Blair does a fantastic job with telling her story. I love books that make you question and think about the way you live your own life, and this book does that. The writing was well done and well planned out. The story was very cohesive and never once boring. Blair was able to capture the essence of both the rich lifestyle and the poor lifestyle through her vivid descriptions and dialogues between the characters. Truly thought provoking!

THE CHARACTERS

I really liked the characters in the story especially Talia and Galen. They come from two very sides of the spectrum with their own ideas of what right and wrong are. I liked how they were able to come together and work hard for a common goal but still keep to their individual charms. And the character growth from Talia was also very clear and to the point.


NEW-DISLIKESTHE ENDING

This may be a bit of a personal issue, but I was not quite satisfied with the ending. I felt it was a bit abrupt and didn’t really hold strong like the rest of the book did. For me, a standalone book should end with the story-lines being neatly finished and that’s something that I felt didn’t happen. We don’t get to know what happened with the Transferral program after the big publicized event that occurred, we don’t know what happened to Piers after his incident at the end, and we don’t get to hear from Tig again after she became ill. These are jsut some of the examples I wish were cleared at the end so the story could come to a close and leave me satisfied.

But besides that, the book was a great read!


NEW-IN-CONCLUSIONI would recommend Transferral by Kate Blair to everyone I know. With it’s unique concept of good vs. evil, and amazing writing, I feel like many people would enjoy it. It definitely left me questioning my own views and opinions on crime and punishment.

So go check out this book and let me know what you thought!

Until next time,

Sig New

NEW-THE-AUTHORKate BlairKate Blair is a native of Portsmouth, UK, and is now a

Canadian citizen living in Toronto. Transferral is her first novel.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson | REVIEW

Steel HeartSteelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Delacorte Press on September 24th, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy, Sci-fi
Pages: 386
Format: Paperback

Steelheart-Rating


Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart – the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning – and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.


Steelheart-ReviewSteelheart by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in the Reckoners trilogy. It follows David as he searches and stalks the Reckoners, a team of individuals who has made it their mission to put an end to every Epic in their nation. His whole life has revolved around finding a way to kill Steelheart and he believes he needs them to make his plan a reality.

A book about a world where there are only super villains and no super heroes, will David achieve what he’s centered his life to do? Or will the Epic’s be too much for him and The Reckoners to handle?

“Never throw the first punch. If you have to throw the second, try to make sure they don’t get up for a third.”


Steelheart-Plot-+-writingTen years ago, Calamity entered Earth’s orbit. Since then it has bestowed some regular human beings with super powers unexplained by science. The people effected are known as Epics. When David’s dad is murdered trying to protect one the Epics named Steelheart, David makes it his life’s goal to eliminate him. When his plans have finally come together he must find the one team that is also trying to terminate Epics, The Reckoners. With their help he believes that he will accomplish the biggest assassination the new world has ever seen!

Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart is, hands down, a phenomenal opening for his new Young Adult trilogy. He has skillfully created a new world with the empowered Epics vying with each other for supremacy, the humans attempting to survive, and the resistance group called the Reckoners. Suspenseful, fast-paced, and with an arch sense of humor, Steelheart is brilliant.

His writing was superb and the world building was flawless. I was at the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next and then plot twist after plot twist. BAM. It ended. Have you ever read a book where you’re certain you know what is going to happen and you think you have all the plot twists figured out and then when it’s revealed going in a whole different direction your jaw just drops? Well that’s what Steelheart does to you. I was so certain I knew one of the characters was an Epic because of the hints dropped here and there. But what I wasn’t expecting was that ending/reveal. Sanderson has truly mastered the art of story telling.

“I’ve seen Steelheart bleed.
And I will see him bleed again.”


Steelheart-CharactersThis books boasts a colorful cast of characters human and Epic alike.

David our protagonist was extremely likable. Even though he has focused his whole life on revenge, he still comes off as genuine and sweet. He definitely has the awkward end of the teenage years down pact with his lame jokes and analogies. But he is also strong willed and a careful planner.

“You’ve got passion to kill but you need to find passion to live.”

Megan was so badass. She has these constant mood swings and I never understood why until the end. But damn can that girl take action. I would risk my life in her hands that’s how much I trusted her. She also had this complexity about her. She never talks about her past and doesn’t like to open up much to her friends and partners. So she was very interesting to read.

The Prof and the other Reckoners Tia, Cody, and Abraham were a great addition to the story. Although we don’t get much back story on these characters except The Prof, they still add to the story. Each one has their strengths and purpose to bring to the story and worked well as a team. I’m curious to see how they fair in the future.

“You can’t be so frightened of what might happen that you are unwilling to act.”

Finally the main Epics of the story, Steelheart, Firefight, Conflux and Nightwielder. All were powerful, frightening, and fantastic villains. Their powers were all very unique and well thought out. It would have been interesting to get their perspective in the story, but I’m quite satisfied with the way it was written. My liked them all individually and have a hard time choosing a favorite among them!


Steelheart-Setting

“Sometimes, son,” my father said, prying my fingers free, “you have to help the heroes along.”

The world building was Epic (all the puns intended). Newcago is the new world’s version of Chicago. Steelheart has transformed it into a city of steel and darkness with the help of Nightwielder. I loved how dark and gritty it was. People only lived to survive. Never wanting to stand out and get themselves killed by the Epics who ran the city. It was very dystopian like. I couldn’t imagine living in complete darkness all the time and never seeing the sun again. I can picture how pale and malnourished the citizens must have looked without good ol’ vitamin D.


Steelheart-In-ConclusionSteelheart by Brandon Sanderson was an amazing supervillain filled book. Would I recommend it to everyone? Hell yes I would. It was epic from beginning to end. When you think you have everything figured out, you better rethink that because you’re about to be mind blown.

Get up and go buy this book. What did you guys think? Would you want to be an Epic? Do you believe there can be good Epics in this new world? Let me know down below!

Until next time,

Sig New


Steelheart-about-the-authorAuthor 27Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.

Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.

Hunter by Mercedes Lackey | REVIEW

HunterHunter by Mercedes Lackey
Published by Disney-Hyperion on September 1st, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Dystopia
Pages: 384
Format: e-ARC

Hunter-Rating


Centuries ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were slashed open allowing hideous fantastical monsters to wreak havoc; destroying entire cities in their wake. Now, people must live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the evil creatures constantly trying to break in. Only the corps of teen Hunters with lightning reflexes and magical abilities can protect the populace from the daily attacks.

Joyeaux Charmand is a mountain girl from a close knit village who comes to the big city to join the Hunters. Joy thinks she is only there to perform her civic duty and protect the capitol Cits, or civilians, but as cameras follow her every move, she soon learns that the more successful she is in her hunts, the more famous she becomes.

With millions of fans watching her on reality TV, Joy begins to realize that Apex is not all it seems. She is forced to question everything she grew up believing about the legendary Hunters and the very world she lives in. Soon she finds that her fame may be part of a deep conspiracy that threatens to upend the protective structure built to keep dark magic out. The monsters are getting in and it is up to Joy to find out why.

SpaceHunter-Review** I received this e-ARC from Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion **

*** DNF – 26% ***

Hunter by Mercedes Lackey is the first book in the Hunter series slated to release at the beginning of September. When I requested the ARC back in July I was really intrigued by the synopsis and the cover. I thought, “Cool, Monster Hunter Reality TV. I can get into this!” Boy was I ever wrong. Let’s find out why.


Hunter-Plot-+-WritingThough the synopsis sounding unique and interesting I was soon to realize it was slow and tedious. I was only able to get 6 chapters in which is close to a hundred pages before I just couldn’t will myself to continue on. Though the plot sounded promising, it was the info dumping that killed it for me. I spent so much time trying to process all the info that I was beginning to get a headache. Readers don’t need all this information from the get go. A good author knows that little bits of information spread through out the whole book will set the story up.

As for the writing, I found it to be off putting. I didn’t like the narrative from Joy and had to put the book down several times because the writing of the story was confusing and too much all at once.


Hunter-CharactersThere’s not much to say about the characters as I could not finish the story, but I can say from what I did manage to read Joy was intolerable. She was a bit cocky and her inner monologues were very annoying.

What I did like were her magic Hounds. I thought they were the coolest part of the story and very unique. I quite thoroughly enjoyed reading about them and what they could do. Other than that I have nothing more to say about the characters.


Hunter-In-ConclusionIn conclusion, Hunter by Mercedes Lackey was just not for me. I wish I could have gotten to the end, but sadly I was ready to pull my hair out from confusion, boredom and lack of interest.I’m sure there is potential for this story in the end and hopefully it will appeal to someone out there. Too bad it couldn’t be me.

I have never DNF’d a book before, and writing out my honest opinion proved a little difficult. I never want to trash someone’s hard work and I hope that with this review it doesn’t come off that way. (Sorry for the babbling)

Until next time,

Sig New

SpaceHunter-About-the-Author

Mercedes LackeyMercedes Lackey entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70’s she worked as an artist’s model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts & Music, a small recording company specializing in science fiction folk music.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown | Review

Red RisingRed Rising by Pierce Brown
Published
by Del Rey on January 28th 2014
Genres:
Young Adult, Romance, Sci-fi, Dystopia
Pages:
382
Format:
Hardcover

Red-Rising-Rating


The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.


Red-Rising-ReviewRed Rising by Pierce Brown is the first book in the Sci-fi Dystopian trilogy Red Rising. It follows Darrow, a Red miner that is in the process of cultivating the planet Mars with the res of his people. After a tragedy he is swept up to be the spear head of a revolution against the Golds. He must become one and infiltrate the system from within.

With a lot of action and adventure we get to see Darrow overcome every obstacle as he climbs the Gold ladder and make his wife, Eo’s dream come true.


Red-Rising-Plot-and-WritingDarrow is a Red. In a world many years into the future, civilization is split into a caste system by eye color. Reds are miners, Obsidian are soldiers/police, Browns are servants etc. Then there are the Golds, the elite class. They reign over all other colors. The best humanity has to offer. Darrow is not a Gold, and could care less. He enjoys being a Helldiver, making a difference for the future of humanity. Cultivating a new planet for future inhabitants, but after one wrong move and an act of defiance by Eo which doesn’t end well, Darrow knows things have to change and Eo was the fuel to his fire.

“We grew together, and now are grown. In her eyes, I see my heart. In her breath, I hear my soul. She is my land. She is my kin. My love.”

With a lot of plot specific terms, it made it quite difficult to follow the story at times. I found myself often getting confused with the new lingo and the effects they had on the plot line. But besides that, I found the plot line really enjoyable. There was a lot of growth and eye opening sequence of events that always kept me on my toes as the reader. I began getting really invested in the story when Darrow was being transformed into a Gold that I began asking myself curious questions. “How is Darrow going to handle this? Darrow’s in real trouble now, is he going to get out of it? OMG, what just happened? etc”

Pierce Brown took an over used plot line (Hunger Games style), and made this journey a remarkable, and refreshing experience. He brought the world to life with story specific lingo, a great cast of a variety of different types of characters, deep plot lines, and a cruel hierarchy. What may have been a simple premise transforms itself into a highly brutal and violent setting, full of blood, hate, vengeance, and ultimately hope – a hope to make a difference amidst the sins of the world, amidst the blood on their hands. He turned a savage story into a story that was vastly thought provoking.


Red-Rising-CharactersThere were many notable characters in the story worth mentioning but I strictly want to talk about Darrow. He was so complicated and intricate that no one else really compared to his level. He starts off as a hard working, yet sometimes reckless teenage boy who is so involved with his family and community of Reds. It’s not until he is truly tested after Eo’s act of defiance do we get to really see his true character.

Never in my life have I read a character that has gone through so many emotions and hardships in one book like Darrow has. We see him in love, dealing with grief, and have suicidal thoughts. We see him angry and vengeful, broken down and vulnerable. We see his bravery and leadership skills, and we see him struggle morally. My heart weeps for him and his experiences. His growth throughout the story is insurmountable and he is truly a hero who fights for whats right.

“You do not follow me because I am the strongest. Pax is. You do not follow me because I am the brightest. Mustang is. You follow me because you do not know where you are going. I do.”

In the future installments I would like more insight like this with more of the characters! Especially Mustang and Sevro~


Red-Rising-SettingI haven’t read many stories set in space so I didn’t have too much experience in the genre of Science Fiction. So because of that my eyes were open to the creative world Brown created. With vivid descriptions and the vast landscapes it really felt like I was on Mars! My favorite part of the story was when Darrow and Eo sneak off to find this little green forest habitat on the vastly red planet. They lay on their backs in the grass and star up at the sky. All their hopes and dreams for a better future are all brought to life through the scenery. A calm, peaceful, and lively scene before the chaos of the story ensues. Beautiful way to end such a happy moment in the book.

“ ‘I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.’ ”

Red-Rising-In-ConclusionBrown has given us glimpses into a vast and complicated world. We have only seen a small part of it so far but what I’ve seen is dark, cruel and intricate. I could use a little less confusing lingo and more insight into other characters as much as Darrow was explored though. But it was an amazing read and definitely worth continuing on! I can’t wait to see what happens next in book two!

If you’ve read Red Rising by Pierce Brown, I would love to hear what you thought of it! Was it as great for you as it was for me? Let me know in the comments and let’s start a conversation!

Until next time,

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Red-Rising-About-The-AuthorAuthor 10Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.

Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard | Review

Red QueenRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Published
by Orion on February 10th 2015
Genres:
Young Adult, Romance, Dystopia, Fantasy
Pages:
383
Format:
Hardcover


The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the center of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Review

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is the first book in the Red Queen series. It follows Mare Barrow, a red blooded commoner in a world ruled by the silver blooded. Her whole life is uprooted when she finds out that she has a special power of her own despite those only being for the elite silvers. Now forced to live a silver life while working against them in a red rebellion, what will she do?

I went into Red Queen with an open mind. Ever since it’s debut, there have been a ton of mixed reviews. Some really good ones, and some not so good. But I don’t like to let reviews stop me from reading a book. Everyone has their own personal likes and dislikes and the book sounded very interesting to me. Separating the author from the book, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It may have taken me over a month to actually finish it, but I got there.

RedQueen3

Victoria Aveyard should be applauded for her writing abilities. The story is very well written. She takes an interesting plot and makes it grand. I honestly felt like I was watching a movie in my head while reading it. She built a fantastic world filled with super powers, war, love, and especially DECEIT. For once in my life I actually did not see that plot twist coming.

The wide variety of characters set the tone for the story. You have Mare, our heroine. Courageous, genuine, and visionary. She does everything in her power to change the world so that both Reds & Silvers can live harmoniously without iron fist ruling. But that also brings us to her not so great traits. She’s reckless, rash, and easily manipulated. If she truly wants to bring about the changes to her world, she’s going to have to grow and learn more about herself before she screws things up again.

Cal and Maven, the silver princes were typical Ying and Yang. Where one was brave, the other was timid. Where one was strong, the other was weak. Where one was good, the other complete evil. You have to read to find out who is who. And let me tell you, you won’t be disappointed.

RedQueen4

Not all is perfect in Red Queen though. The story dragged on until the huge climax near the end. This was the reason which lead me to take so long to finish it. I just wasn’t invested enough in the storyline around the middle and really hoped at times, that something major was going to happen. It just kept going and going at a snail pace for me.

Overall, I had a really fun time reading Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I would highly recommend that you don’t listen to the negative reviews this book has unfortunately received, and go in with an open mind. Let me know if you’ve read it, and lets start a conversation!

Until next time,

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About the Author

Author9Victoria Aveyard is a writer repped by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. She splits her time between her hometown East Longmeadow, Massachusetts and Los Angeles. After graduating with a BFA in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California, she decided to try her hand at writing a novel. Her debut RED QUEEN came out of the terrifying, unemployed year after college.