Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Summary:(from goodreads) In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
Review: I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started reading this book. The plot was interesting although, I was surprised at how much of it was the more political aspect. The fantasy element is definitely what kept things exciting. The characters were all well developed. The books switches perspective between Cleo, Jonas, Magnus and Lucia. I liked the two boys better than the girls. I didn't really mind them, but Cleo and Lucia both did things that annoyed me. I thought Magnus and Jonas had a lot more development. One thing that surprised me about the book was how much death and violence there was. I guess I should have expected it because of the war and conflict that happens between the kingdoms. One thing I liked was at the beginning of the book there was a map and a list of all the important characters and their roles. This made it a lot easier for me to keep track of who everyone was especially at the beginning before I got to know the characters.Overall, This was an enjoyable book. I think fans of fantasy should give this one a try.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

Summary:(from goodreads) Anyone who’s had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It’s all about Before and After. What I’m talking about here is the ka-pow, shake-you-to-your-core-and-turn-your-bones-to-plastic kind of crappy.Sixteen-year-old Laurel’s world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel’s life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss—a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.  
Review:  I really liked this book. This is a character driven book and I really connected with Laurel. Even though I have never dealt with anything even close to what she is going through. I liked the buildup of her relationship with David. It was very slow and subtle which isn't something that is seen very often. This book is not really focused on the romance it's just there as a little side note. The way the characters develop is really great. Laurel changes a lot of the course of the book but at the same time she is still so much the same.  It's kind of hard to explain but I think the reason I fell in love with this book is because it felt so real. There was nothing overly dramatic or unrealistic. I am really excited to read this author's other books. My only complaint about it is that the immediate aftermath of the accident was not emotional enough. This isn't a huge deal because the whole book is emotions and dealing with how to move on, but I still noticed it. Really, I loved this book.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Unwholly by Neal Shusterman

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.
Summary:(from goodreads) Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself. 
Review: This is the second book in the unwind series. I read the first book in this series years ago and so it was difficult for me to remember some of the details as i jumped back into this world. However, this didn't affect my enjoyment of the story all that much. This book deals with a lot of the problems surrounding unwinding and there is even a small amount of history about how this society came to be. I really liked all of the characters in  this book but my favorites were Lev and Cam. Both of them have some interesting things going on and I think they will both play a big part in the next book. The plot of this book was pretty well paced and I liked the alternating perspectives. I don't think the story would have been as good if we were limited to one character. I am excited for the next book even though there is a small part of me that this series is going to get a little bit repetitive. Lets' hope that things will stay new and exciting for the rest of the series.