Monday, April 21, 2014

Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull

Middle Grade time! I read every book Brandon Mull writes, and his latest release is book 1 in the Five Kingdoms series, Sky Raiders.

The Story-
 It's Halloween and Cole and a group of friends head to the scary haunted house downtown. When they arrive, things are a bit boring, but then they get invited into the basement, and everything changes. Cole's friends are kidnapped, and he follows them down a mysterious passageway in hopes of a rescue. However, the passage doesn't spit Cole out anywhere on Earth, but instead dumps him in a place called the Outskirts.

He too is captured  and sold to a group of Sky Raiders that salvage floating castles in the sky. His friends are taken to the High Shaper and Cole swears to find them, but that's tough when you're a slave. He meets a young girl named Mira, who has deep secrets and is an enemy to the High Shaper. Together they try to escape, but the royal forces are after them. In a world where shapers are able to change reality, Cole and Mira are in trouble.

My Thoughts-
Another great beginning to an awesome series. If you read Fablehaven, then you know what I mean. In this story Cole is our main character and I can't wait to see how he grows. Hints are given that at some point he will become a powerful shaper, though in this book he has no powers. He is an awesome kid who is heroic at every turn, even though he doesn't believe himself to be different.

The imagination and details that are present in the story are so fun. Shapers rule the five kingdoms, with the most powerful ones able to create what they want. I loved the different environments we read about, from a child's candy land to castles of doom. Shapers in each kingdom are different, and in this book we read only about one of the kingdoms. I can't wait for the others. There are so many places Mull can take this series.

A middle grade winner- 4.5 stars!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Welcome to YA Friday. Today I am looking at a book I read while away for Spring Break. I nabbed it off my sister's bookshelf :) It is Ten by Gretchen McNeil, a YA thriller.

The Story-
Meg and Minnie are on their way to a secret party on Henry Island. Supposedly it will be the party of the year, and TJ, Minnie and Meg's crush will be there. A huge storm arrives just as they get off the ferry, and soon the girls find themselves stranded on the island, with the ferry not coming back until Monday.

Their panic fades when TJ comes to their rescue and brings them up to White House Rock, where seven other party guests await. The party and drinking begins, but the night turns weird when they watch a strange DVD that declares, "Vengeance is Mine". The teens head to bed with the shivers, only to awaken to find one of their own hanging from the rafters. Soon they begin dropping like flies, and they have no idea why or who is doing it? Who will survive the weekend?

My Thoughts-
As an older reader, this book reminded me of the Agatha Christie novel, And Then There Were None. Younger readers might not have the same reference and will hopefully not know what to expect. The author gives this story a strong YA twist, with a young woman's death being the catalyst that sparked the vengeance.

The fun of the story is trying to figure out who the killer is and how each character is related to the plot of revenge. I have to say, this book doesn't hold it's punches. The author is brutal in the character's killings and often cringe worthy. Nothing too bad, and I think it's right up teenager's allies. Great details are given about each character, which allows the reader to tie everything together in the end.

A total thriller with a lot of twists and turns. It even had me wondering who the real villain was, and I had to laugh when I realized I'd missed a clue right in the first few chapters. 4 Stars!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Live to read giveaway

I'm reposting this because of mine own error. Sorry it came up blank last week. I hope everyone will checkout the 250+ book giveaway at Live to Read!

The Emerald Ring (Cleopatra's Legacy) by Dorine White: 250+ Book Giveaway! (USA/CAN)

Enter to win my book plus 249 others from Live to Read

Sunday, April 13, 2014

And the winner is...

The Fool for Books Hop winner, as randomly picked by rafflecopter, is... Michelle Tamasa! Congrats, you win a copy of Panic by Lauren Oliver :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Break

Taking the week off to spend with my family :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Live to Read giveaway

The Emerald Ring (Cleopatra's Legacy) by Dorine White: 250+ Book Giveaway! (USA/CAN)

Enter to win my book plus 249 others from Live to Read

Friday, April 4, 2014

Exodus 2022 by Kenneth G. Bennett

I'm not doing a YA today, instead I have a great Sci-Fi mystery for everyone. The book is Exodus 2022 by Kenneth G. Bennett.
The Story-
Joe Stanton is in agony. Out of his mind over the death of his young daughter. Or so it seems.
Unable to contain his grief, Joe loses control in public, screaming his daughter’s name and causing a huge scene at a hotel on San Juan Island in Washington State. Thing is, Joe Stanton doesn’t have a daughter. Never did. And when the authorities arrive they blame the 28-year-old’s outburst on drugs.

What they don’t yet know is that others up and down the Pacific coast—from the Bering Sea to the Puget Sound—are suffering identical, always fatal mental breakdowns.

With the help of his girlfriend—the woman he loves and dreams of marrying—Joe struggles to unravel the meaning of the hallucination destroying his mind. As the couple begins to perceive its significance—and Joe’s role in a looming global calamity—they must also outwit a billionaire weapons contractor bent on exploiting Joe’s newfound understanding of the cosmos, and outlast the time bomb ticking in Joe’s brain. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts-
I really enjoyed this book. It gave off a Genesis type of feeling. First we have Joe, he is a wonderful and intelligent man. I like that even though he hears "voices" he rationally works his way through his problems and is logical when he finds out the real reason. His girl friend is also sane and steady. She loves Joe and stays with him through the weird stuff and even joins in the mystery. Both characters are well written and their back stories keep their character's fully fleshed.

The plot of the book is also interesting. Humans have pretty much destroyed the environment and within a few decades the oceans will be so acidic that ocean creatures will not be able to survive. So, what do they do? Read the book. There is also allusion to a divine creator and  evil. I enjoyed how the author worked them both into the plot. The ending is so good, and the sacrifice humbling.

Only one pet peeve to mention, and that is the stereotype that Conservatives are evil humans that are extreme. Luckily, those are brief. Great book- 4 stars!