Current Contests/Announcements

The story of the Orange Cake Click here to find out more.


Check out the NKOTB Book Tag Meme Here!

Having trouble leaving a comment? If you have trouble commenting then please click on the refresh button, this usually fixes the issue. I also use comment moderation for new commenters to the blog.

Posts Tagged: Century: Future

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Audio Review: The Remedy by Suzanne Young

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: The Remedy by Suzanne YoungThe Remedy by Suzanne Young
Narrator: Rebekkah Ross
Series: The Program,
Also in this series: The Program, The Treatment, The Epidemic
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on 21 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: The Program, The Treatment, The Epidemic

Place(s) Traveled To: Corvallis, Oregon // Eugene, Oregon // Portland, Oregon // Lake Oswego, Oregon

First Line(s): It’s time to say good-bye.

When it came to Suzanne Young’s book THE PROGRAM (my review) I fell hard and I was sad when the series was over as I just loved this world that she created. When I heard that Young was writing a prequel duology I was both excited and scared and sad. I was excited because I wanted more of this world and I was scared because I wasn’t sure if THE REMEDY would live up to its predecessor and I was sad because our old friends wouldn’t be in this one. I should not have worried though as Young totally knocked things out of the park with this creepy origin story to how The Program came to be. THE REMEDY is told from the POV of Quinlan McKey who is a Closer. That is she is a girl that pretends to be girls who died in order to help grieving families move on.

Quin’s life is never fully her own due to the work that she does and its something that her father has had her do for the past 11 years. Which is far far longer than the recommended time to be a closer. In THE REMEDY she’s sent out on a long term assignment not long after coming off a job and as a result she begins to lose herself a little. Quin has never lived a normal life but in this role she gets to experiment with what may have been if her life was different and she likes it. Quin also begins to uncover some shocking facts and learns that all may not be what it seems with the company that she works for and with the world in general. There seems to be an epidemic starting and if she isn’t careful she might get sucked in.

The Remedy Quote

I didn’t think that I would like a character more than Sloane from THE PROGRAM but Quin totally wins the reader over with her actions. She’s smart and vulnerable and as a reader you just want her to find peace and happiness. You want to shake her father for making her do this work and you want to slap Deacon for some of the things that he does. I was totally invested in THE REMEDY and found myself coming up with reasons to drive around town just to listen to more of this story. Its twisty and turny and there are just some things you can’t see coming until after they’ve happened. Rebekkah Ross is a fantastic narrator and her voice just totally sucks you into this story and won’t let you go. Ross *is* Quin and you can’t ask for any more than that when it comes to a books narrator.

THE REMEDY was a total emotional roller-coaster ride for me and just when I thought I had things all figured out Young would toss in some new fact or detail to totally surprise me. THE REMEDY left me in awe an amazement and I just don’t understand when everyone isn’t totally buzzing about this story. Its realistic and stunningly written and I love trying to find all the connections between THE REMEDY and THE PROGRAM. Its a book that can be read independently of the other series but I think it just becomes all the richer for reading in the order that it was written in. THE REMEDY is one of the best books that I’ve read so far this year and I can not wait to see where Young goes with this series next.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - The Remedy

Add Altered by Jennifer Rush to Goodreads (Click here for my review.)

Add The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

five-stars
Divider

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy EngelThe Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
Series: The Book of Ivy,
Also in this series: The Revolution of Ivy
Published by Entangled Teen on 04 Nov 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Dating & Sex, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Family, Friendship, Futuristic Romance, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 282
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: The Revolution of Ivy

Place(s) Traveled To: Westfall, Unknown

First Line(s): No one wears white wedding dresses anymore.

THE BOOK OF IVY by Amy Engel is one of those books that I hadn’t heard much about until I recieved an ARC of its sequel THE REVOLUTION OF IVY (goodreads). It was also around that time that talk about BOOK OF IVY started to appear in my social media streams and while I haven’t been much into dystopian reads of late I decided to give this one a chance. Like most YA dystopians THE BOOK OF IVY is very thin on details. There isn’t a whole lot of world building or history given to why the world is how it is. As a reader you are immediately thrust into the every life of this society that has formed in the bones of the former United States and its up to the reader to figure out what’s going on.

At first, I thought THE BOOK OF IVY was going to be a standard ‘girls are only good for making babies’ sort of story which is all too common a theme in YA dystopia and so I was hesitant on the story. But then there was just something about this one that really lulled me into its pages. Amy Engel’s writing is seductive even as it doesn’t have a ton of substance behind the words. I found myself engrossed in Ivy’s story and found this book really hard to put down. I liked her struggle between what she had been raised to do and what she wanted to do. And most of all I liked Bishop.

Book of Ivy Quote

Bishop is one of those book boyfriends that I’m surprised I don’t hear much about. He’s smart and funny and he appreciates Ivy for who she is. He doesn’t have lofty expectations of her nor does he expect her to be a simpering housewife with him the general of the household. He’s sweet and caring and the sort of character that you really wish you could meet in real life. He’s the bright light in an otherwise cliched and fairly typical YA dystopian novel.

THE BOOK OF IVY is what I’d call a brain candy read and would be perfect for a day at the beach. It doesn’t take a lot of thought and makes for a good distraction. Its a really fast read with a likable main character even though it does lack for a bit of a plot. As I said the writing is seductive so while you are reading the story its easy to forgive its flaws and just get lost in the nuances and flow of the words. THE BOOK OF IVY is one that I think would be great on audio with the right narrator as it really is a lyrical story. I was invested enough in Ivy’s story to read the sequel but its not a series that will win any awards. If you like YA dystopian then you’ll probably enjoy THE BOOK OF IVY. I also think those new to dystopia will enjoy it as well.

irishdarkblue

IR - Book of Ivy

 

Add Matched by Ally Condie to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-half-stars
Divider

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Audio Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: Fairest by Marissa MeyerFairest by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles,
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 27 Feb 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Family, Friends to Lovers, Futuristic Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Short Story / Novella, Young Adult
Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Traveled To: Luna

First Line(s): She was lying on a burning pyre, hot coals beneath her back.

FAIREST is a novella in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series that was published between CRESS (my review) and WINTER but chronologically comes before CINDER (my review). FAIREST tells the background of Levana from her days as a teenager in her sisters court until not long after she becomes queen of Luna. Its a prequel story and can act almost as a standalone and for me its a book that I wish I had skipped. In the Lunar Chronicles books Levana is the big bag, the character that is the most feared and the ultimate evil that Cinder and her merry band of misfits has to beat. But in FAIREST Levana comes across as a paranoid, obsessed, and not quite on her rocker. She’s more pathetic than terrifying and as such she looses something in my eyes as a result.

What was interesting about FAIREST was the background it gives of events that happen before Cinder and company are born. Its interesting to see Luna’s side of the conflict with Earth and the origins of the idea behind Letimosis. There are seeds in this story that turn into story lines in the main series books and its also interesting to see some of the characters before they were teenagers. As a whole though I don’t really see the point of FAIREST in the series and if you aren’t totally in love with the Lunar Chronicles then you might want to skip it as I wish I had done.

The narrator for FAIREST is the same as in the other books, Rebecca Soler, and I almost wish that they had chosen a different voice for Levana as a way to separate her from the rest of the characters. FAIREST is the darkest of the Lunar Chronicles books and Soler’s voice is almost too light for the story. Though as a whole I do always enjoy what Soler brings to this series and its part of why I keep returning to the audio versions of the book. Especially since I tried and failed many times to get into the print version of FAIREST.

irishdarkblue Fairest Quote
three-stars
Divider

Friday, January 22, 2016

Audio Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Cress by Marissa MeyerCress by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles,
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Fairest, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 14 Feb 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Futuristic Romance, Love & Romance, People & Places, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Survival Stories, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Fairest, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Traveled To: Earth’s Orbit // Luna // Sahara Desert // New Beijing, The Commonwealth // Africa

First Line(s): Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixteen hours.

CRESS is the third book in Marrissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series which are all dystopian sci-fi stories that are loosely based on fairy tales. CRESS is the story of Rapunzel and mainly follows the character of Cress and Captain Thorne but as with the other books in the series the story ARC often shifts POV to include all the main characters we’ve met so far. Cress is Lunar but unlike most from Luna she has no gift and is referred to as a shell. She’s feared by those on Luna as the Luna gift doesn’t work on her and she can’t be manipulated that way. However, she was taken as an infant form her family and raised in seclusion and so can be manipulated in other ways as she’s starved for love and affection.

But even though Cress wants to be liked and to please her Luna guardians she’s not a weakling. She isn’t the strongest of the characters, physically, but mentally she can blow most away and her talent behind a computer knows no equal. She is courageous when she decides to defy her country in order to help Cinder and sets off a chain of events that frees her from her satellite prison and brings her closer to the merry band of misfits. Of all the books in the Lunar Chronicles series I’ve enjoyed CRESS the best. I really liked her relationship with Thorne and I liked how she changed and grew over the course of the book and learned just how strong she truly was. My biggest disappointment was that because the POV is so divided now we didn’t get to spend as much time in Cress’s POV as I would have liked.

Cress Quote

In terms of plot, there is a lot of movement but not a whole lot of concrete action. Things happen and its not boring but there is still A LOT of ground to cover in the final book, WINTER, in order for this motley crew to overthrow a kingdom and save the people of Earth from the wicked queen. I’m worried that the next book will be rushed and convoluted especially after some of the reveals that happen in CRESS. I still get frustrated every time they refer to needed an antidote and my eye gets a little twitchy but I am trying to move past that though I don’t think I will succeed until the series is over.

For me, there weren’t a ton of crazy big reveals and I was able to predict many things before they happened. Heck, there are things that were revealed in this book that I was predicting in CINDER (my review) so in terms of mystery its not the best for an avid reader of mysteries. That said I can see the appeal of this story and the fun that people have with it. The series does get better as the story progresses even though I think the author relies too much on switching up the POV. When things get a little difficult to explain Meyer’s just has another POV take over and so at 75% in there is a whole new voice to learn. Its frustrating and unnecessary and probably my second biggest complaint of the series.

Rebecca Soler returns to narrate CRESS and I love what she brings to the table with her narration. Of all the characters in this world her voice seems best suited to Cress and she really helps bring that character to life. Cress is young and innocent as a result of being so sheltered and Soler really breaths life into her character. I’m not sure when I will read WINTER, its a heafty book weighing in at 824 pages and I’ve enjoyed listening to these on audio and am currently waiting in line for a copy to come in at the library. This series started off rocky for me but I am looking forward to seeing how it all ends and if my theories are correct or not.

irishdarkblue

IR - Cinder

 

Add Cinder by Marissa Meyer to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-half-stars
Divider

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Audio Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles,
Also in this series: Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 03 Jan 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Futuristic Romance, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 10 Hours 6 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Traveled To: New Beijing, The Commonwealth (Future)

First Line(s): The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.

Small fact about me. I have issues reading the last book in a series so there are times when I’ll wait to read a series until all the books are out (and yes, this totally is a trait of my mother but we won’t share that with her, right friends?). Another small fact, hyped up books and I don’t always get along. So its because of those two small facts that I waited until now to give CINDER by Marissa Meyer’s a shot. Because even though I know that hyped books and I are like oil and water I still get pulled into the buzz around them and right now everyone seems to be all aglow over the upcoming release of WINTER (Goodreads) which is the final book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I thought to myself, if I start CINDER now and liked it I can then bounce from book to book and get to WINTER around publication and therefore not end up with yet another unfinished series on my plate. For I do hate to say goodbye to a beloved story.

Unfortunately, CINDER and I didn’t really get along as well as I would have hoped. First, there were just too many things that happened for convince. Like Cinder’s net-link in her brain so that she can easily look up anything that she could ever possibly think of so it makes getting out of tight situations so much easier. CINDER was also highly predictable. I pretty much knew very early on just how this whole book was going to go and not just the book but the rest of the series too. This is not something that a reader should be able to guess at only 20% into a story. Friends on Twitter tried to feed me red herrings but seriously folks that just frustrates me more than the predictability of a story. If I’m right just say I’m right and no cryptic bullshit…because I am not a fan of the cryptic. I was also bored throughout most of the story because once again in a YA fantasy/sci-fi book nothing happens until the tale end of the story. I get that CINDER is the first in a series and since its a futuristic world that there is more setup and world building involved than your typical contemporary read.

Cinder Quote

I get it I do and if the world building was there I may have enjoyed things more as I unearthed the treasures of this futuristic Earth. But the world building was just not there. There was very little detail given other than the very basic of things. We’re in the future…ok so flying cars! And internet everywhere. Hmm…what else can we toss in robots? OK! Oh and aliens who aren’t really aliens but lets give these former humans POWERS because why not?  Yup…OK we now have a futuristic world no more details. Oh wait…in the future things must get worse before they can get better so lets give this one lots of dystopian qualities because dystopia is HOT HOT HOT now. It was just all so very generic and as such made it hard to visualize this world that Cinder lives in. And then we get to my other least favorite part of CINDER. This is probably the part that I disliked the most in the book and turned me off the story more than anything else. The virus that was quickly spreading and killing off the world’s populace. The virus that seemed to change from person to person in the blink of an eye. The virus that had no clear means of how it was spread. That no one could figure anything about despite being so technologically advanced.

Another small fact about me. I am a science nerd and at one time thought about becoming a Virologist. So if there is one thing I know about its viruses and this book just things wrong on so many levels. But the most basic of which was how throughout the book they were all looking for an antidote. It was said over and over and it just made the science nerd in me cringe each and every time. Why you might ask? Well, I’m glad you did. Let’s do a quick google search on the word and see how antidote is defined.

ANTIDOTE: an·ti·dote / ˈan(t)iˌdōt/ noun

1.  a medicine taken or given to counteract a particular poison.

Do you see the world virus in there at all? No? Now lets do another quick google search:

VACCINE: vac·cine / vakˈsēn/ noun 
  1. a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease

Now of these two words which is the most likely to use to combat a deadly virus? If you said vaccine then you get a gold star. I could have forgiven and overlooked so much on CINDER and how terrible its plague was written if Meyer had just gotten this one small word right. Ok, maybe not but this incorrect use of the word antidote really made my eye twitch and just grated on my nerves in its wrongness. And because I listened to CINDER on audio I wasn’t able to change the word in my head everytime it came up because someone else was reading the story to me. Which just made it all the more pronounced.

Even though there was much about this book that annoyed me, I did enjoy Rebecca Soler’s narration of it. I liked how she breathed a little bit of life into a dull story because this is one that I’d tried in print several times over the last few years but I kept putting it aside as it never grabbed my attention. Soler was Cinder and I liked what she did with the story. However, CINDER is a book that often jumps POVs and in that head-jumping way that I dislike so much and so there are several times when we are in a male POV and as such I would have preferred a male narrator. Granted since CINDER is filled with head-jumping this wouldn’t be an easy thing to do but Soler didn’t do the best with male voices and it was often hard to tell who was supposed to be speaking since they all sounded alike.

In the end I was left with a feeling a disappointment there was nothing about this book that had me dying to move on to the next book in the series SCARLET (goodreads). Other than the fact that my Lunar Chronicles obsessed friends on Twitter say that SCARLET is their favorite and its better than CINDER. I just wish that I felt the love of CINDER that they did because the premise was interesting it just fell apart throughout its execution.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Cinder

 

Add Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
Divider

Monday, May 11, 2015

Audio Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Audio Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia GrayA Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Series: Firebird,
Also in this series: Ten Thousand Skies Above You
Published by Harper Audio on 04 November 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Parallel World, People & Places, Sci-Fi, Social Issues, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Length: 9 hours 18 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Ten Thousand Skies Above You

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England // St Petersburg, Russia // San Francisco, California // Coral Sea (Future)

First Line(s): My hand shakes as I brace myself against the brick wall.

Its no secret that I can be picky with books and so I was a little wary of Claudia Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You as it was a book a lot of my friends were talking about and hyped up books and I don’t always get along. Since I do like audiobooks I thought that I would try A Thousand Pieces of You in that format and was a little unsure of it at first. I didn’t trust one of the main characters and then there was that learning curve of trying to figure out just what was going on. A Thousand Pieces of You thrusts you right into the action and while I liked it I just wish there was a little more explanation at the start on what was going on.

By the 50% point though I was totally hooked on this story. I mostly loved the events in Russia and I think that was in part because they were Theo-less. I just got such a creepy vibe from him and that was in part due to the age difference between him and Marguerite. What I did like, was Marguerite. She was a strong character who was just trying to find the truth about what happened to her father. I liked how she wasn’t boy crazy and that she made the best of all the various situations that she found herself in. I didn’t always agree with her choices when she was living the lives of other Marguerite’s but I do understand why she made them.

Thousand Pieces of You Quote

Overall, I did enjoy A Thousand Pieces of You. Once the story got going I couldn’t listen fast enough though there were moments where things seemed to contradict themselves and I found that frustrating. There were things that happened that certain people shouldn’t have known. However, things got to be a bit shaky at the end with hints of WTF-ery that just made me roll my eyes. There were things that happened that made me roll my eyes and I think it took away from the story a bit as it pulled back some of the earlier punches that this novel threw.

The ending of this also starts to set the stage for things to come in the next book in the series and while I get that the seeds need to be set I do think that there were times they were a bit distracting in A Thousand Pieces of You. That said though, this is a book that I would recommend as overall it is a fun and unique read. If you like audiobooks then you might want to check this one out as Tavia Gilbert did an amazing just bringing this book to life. Gilbert didn’t have it easy either as there were many accents that she needed to cover throughout the length of this story. Accents can always be such a tricky thing in an audiobook and Gilbert nails them every single time.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Thousand Pieces of You

Add Hourglass by Myra McEntire to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (Click here for my review)

four-stars
Divider

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: The Forever Song by Julie KagawaThe Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden,
Also in this series: The Immortal Rules, The Eternity Cure
Published by Harlequin Teen on 15 April 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Asian American, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Monsters, People & Places, Romance, Sci-Fi, Survival Stories, Suspense, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Immortal Rules, The Eternity Cure, The Brothers Piggett

Place(s) Traveled to: Old Chicago, Illinois // Eden // (Future)

First Line(s): The outpost gate creaked in the wind, swinging back on its hinges.

I was so excited to receive a copy of The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa as I couldn’t wait to see what happened after I blitzed through the first two books (The Immortal Rules & The Eternity Cure) last year. The Forever Song picks up a few weeks after The Eternity Cure ends with Allison, Jackal and Kanin tracking Sarren as he carries his super-red lung virus to Eden. The release of which will wipe out the rest of  humanity and vampires alike and essentially mean the end of everything. While life in a vampire and rabid world may not be ideal the human race is hanging on – even if tentatively – and they aren’t ready to give up the fight.

Along the way Allison struggles with retaining her humanity and struggles against the monster inside of her as Sarren has taken away the her hope and attacked her core. This struggles causes a rift between her and her maker, Kanin, but her blood brother is delighted at the idea. And Allison faces her greatest threat when she sees just what traps and surprises that Sarren has left for her along the way. Sarren is even more diabolical than ever in this book and yet you do have to admire his evil genius as he wages his psychological warfare on Allison. The bright light in the story though is Jackal who is always on hand for a witty one-liner or caustic comment and I just love him more and more.

The Forever Song is a fast paced read and I think that fans of the series will enjoy how it all ends. Its a roller coaster ride of emotion filled with things you expect and ones that make shock. I may have even shed a tear or two over some moments at the very end. While I didn’t love this book as much as the first two I did enjoy it and was happy with how Kagawa wrapped up her series. The character ARCs are all believable and my issue was more with the pacing of the ending than anything else. It just seemed a little rushed compared to the build up of getting our heroes to Eden to stop the second apocalypse. There were also a couple of things that seemed to convenient and pushed the boundaries of believability. I also hold an irrational sadness against this series because it did come to an end. I always hate when a series ends and have been known to avoid a final episode or final book just so that it will not end.

The Forever Song isn’t my favorites installment in the Blood of Eden series but as a whole it does fit in well with the two books that came before. I think that there is a lasting appeal to the series that will terrify and delight readers for years to come. Kagawa is a brilliant writer and has a gift for playing with the emotions of her readers. While I do hate to say goodbye to Allison and her cohorts I am looking forward to her next series, Talon, and seeing how she takes on the dragon mythology.

irishdarkblue

four-stars
Divider

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Short Story Saturday: Diverse Energies – Solitude by Ursula K. Le Guin

Posted by Irish in 2.5 Stars, 3 Stars, Review, Short Story Saturday, Young Adult0 Comments

Short Story Saturday: Diverse Energies – Solitude by Ursula K. Le Guin

Short Story Saturday: Diverse Energies – Solitude by Ursula K. Le GuinSolitude by Ursula K. Le Guin
Series: Diverse Energies,
Also in this series: The Last Day, Freshee's Fogurt, Pattern Recognition , Gods of the Dimming Light , Next Door, Good Girl, Pocket Full of Dharma, Blue Skies, What Arms to Hold Us, Diverse Energies
Published by Tu Books on 01 November 2012
Genres: Adolescence, Anthology, Dystopian, Family, Girls & Women, GLBT, Health & Daily Living, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

 

Short Story Saturday is a feature here at Ticket to Anywhere where I start to read some of the various anthologies I have, one story at a time. Starting with Diverse Energies which the book synopsis describes as  “In this stunning collection of original and rediscovered stories of tragedy and hope, the stars are a diverse group of students, street kids, good girls, kidnappers, and child laborers pitted against their environments, their governments, differing cultures, and sometimes one another as they seek answers in their dystopian worlds. Take a journey through time from a nuclear nightmare of the past to society’s far future beyond Earth with these eleven stories by masters of speculative fiction. Includes stories by Paolo Bacigalupi, Ursula K. Le Guin, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, Daniel H. Wilson, and more.”

Place(s) Traveled To: Eleven-Soro

First Line(s): My mother, a field ethnologist, took the difficulty of learning anything about the people of Eleven-Soro as a personal challenge.

Solitude by Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the longer stories in the Diverse Energies Anthology and it really felt long. For me, this one just seemed to drag and I really couldn’t bring myself to care about the main character Ren. I often found her to be aloof and uncaring and couldn’t bring myself to like her very much. There were a lot of set up in the story but not much really happened. There just seemed to be no point to the story and it just ended before you learned what happened to Ren or to her mother and brother. I like Le Guin’s writing style and its because of it that I kept reading until the end. Solitude was also the last story in this anthology so I also felt I owed it to the book and myself to finish it to the end. Though if Solitude had been a full length story I would most like have marked it as a DNF.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
Divider

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Short Story Saturday: Diverse Energies – What Arms to Hold Us by Rajan Khanna

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Short Story Saturday, Young Adult0 Comments

Short Story Saturday: Diverse Energies – What Arms to Hold Us by Rajan Khanna

Short Story Saturday: Diverse Energies – What Arms to Hold Us by Rajan KhannaWhat Arms to Hold Us by Rajan Khanna
Series: Diverse Energies,
Also in this series: The Last Day, Freshee's Fogurt, Pattern Recognition , Gods of the Dimming Light , Next Door, Good Girl, Pocket Full of Dharma, Blue Skies, Solitude, Diverse Energies
Published by Tu Books on 01 November 2012
Genres: Abduction, Anthology, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, People of Color, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 33
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

 

Short Story Saturday is a feature here at Ticket to Anywhere where I start to read some of the various anthologies I have, one story at a time. Starting with Diverse Energies which the book synopsis describes as  “In this stunning collection of original and rediscovered stories of tragedy and hope, the stars are a diverse group of students, street kids, good girls, kidnappers, and child laborers pitted against their environments, their governments, differing cultures, and sometimes one another as they seek answers in their dystopian worlds. Take a journey through time from a nuclear nightmare of the past to society’s far future beyond Earth with these eleven stories by masters of speculative fiction. Includes stories by Paolo Bacigalupi, Ursula K. Le Guin, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, Daniel H. Wilson, and more.”

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown

First Line(s): If gollies had ears, Ravi might have heard the other driver coming straight at him.

What Arms to Hold Us by Rajan Khanna is an interesting if a little confusing story in the Diverse Energies anthology. Its a story that I found to be well written but had a hard time trying to pin point just what was going on. There wasn’t much background given for this strange dystopian world and the reader is just thrust into this world. Then before you know it the story has ended and you are left wondering. What Arms to Hold Us isn’t a bad story but there just wasn’t enough of it to really get a feel for it. It just feels unfinished and I would like to see more of it just to know what the point of it all was.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
Divider

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Short Story Saturday: Grim – Better by Shaun David Hutchinson

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Short Story Saturday, Young Adult0 Comments

Short Story Saturday: Grim – Better by Shaun David Hutchinson

Short Story Saturday: Grim – Better by Shaun David HutchinsonBetter by Shaun David Hutchinson
Series: Grim,
Also in this series: The Key, Figment, The Raven Princess, Thinner Than Water, Before the Rose Bloomed, Beast/Beast, The Brothers Piggett, Untethered, Light It Up
Published by Harlequin Teen on 25 February 2014
Genres: Adaptation, Adolescence, Anthology, Diseases, Friendship, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Sci-Fi, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 30
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Deathday Letter, Violent Ends

 

Short Story Saturday is a new feature that I am doing here on Ticket to Anywhere where I start to read some of the various anthologies I have, one story at a time. One of the anthologies that I am focusing on now is Grim edited by Christine Johnson which is described as: “In the days when fairy tales were first spun, they weren’t the sweet and cheerful stories we tell today. Back then, fairy tales were terrifying. They were a warning to the listener to stay out of the night, to keep away from the mystical and ignore the mysterious.”

Place(s) Traveled To: Hamelin Space Ship

First Line(s): I feel real.

Original Story: Pinocchio The Pied Piper

I was never a huge fan of the whole Pinocchio story but in Better by Shaun David Hutchinson I have seen a potential in it that I never have before. Hutchinson’s version is much darker than the original and really lives up to promise of what I thought the Grim anthology should be. Hutchinson takes this pretty bland story and transports the reader into a futuristic world where a group of humans are flying through space looking for a new home. Think Across the Universe by Beth Revis but where things don’t go as well. Better is a quick read and I loved the promise of it. This is the sort of retelling that I was hoping every story in this anthology would be when I picked it up. Better is also a story that I would enjoy if there was more to it but at the same time I think that its pretty solid as it is.

Edit: I originally thought this story was based on Pinocchio but have since learned it was really The Pied Piper.

irishdarkblue

four-stars
Divider