Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dead Zone by Robison Wells

Series: Blackout (bk. 2, Final Book)

Genera: Near-Future Dystopian Sci-fi/Thriller

Subjects: terrorists, viruses, superpowers, abilities, war, military

Setting: Washington and Oregon, the Cascade Mountains

POV/Tense: 3rd person POV, past tense: Jack and Aubrey, mainly, but also: Krezi, Tabitha, Alec and others

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 373 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “Homeland meets Marie Lu’s Legend in the explosive sequel to Blackout, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Ally Condie called “a thrilling combination of Wells’s trademark twists and terror. Fantastic!”

America is at war—and five teens are caught in the crossfire.

It began with a virus. Then a series of attacks erupted across the nation. Now the true invasion has begun, and a handful of teenagers with impossible powers are America’s only defense.

Robison Wells blew readers away with his first novel, Variant, which Publishers Weekly called “a chilling and masterful debut” in a starred review. In Dead Zone, he delivers his most nail-bitingly tense read yet—and an electrifying conclusion to a two-book series that’s perfect for fans of The Maze Runner and I Am Number Four.

Praise for Blackout

“Wells knows how to snare readers’ attention and hold them spellbound.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“In a world where terrorism is an increasing threat, this fast-paced book brings it home.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This eerie look at an all-too-possible future is tense and gripping.”—Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Gone series”

My Review:  Dead Zone is an awesome sequel, but still not as good as Blackout. I’m fine with that because I really enjoyed both. This 2 book series is filled with action, danger and super-powered teens. It’s a real thrill ride and great for fans of X-Men and the Gone series by Michael Grant. These teens are called Lambda’s by the military. They got their powers from a virus.

I really enjoyed the characters. Aubrey is my favorite. She’s got the ability so go unnoticed by those within a certain radius. It isn’t true invisibility, but it makes her a good spy and assassin, and that’s why the military wants to use her. She’s in love with Jack, who has enhances senses. They have a good romance together. He uses his super hearing to relay what Aubrey is saying when she’s on a mission. There’s Krenzi, who can heat things up and make them explode or light on fire. Rich can understand how any machine work and use it with expertise. Tabitha has telepathy and can talk to people in their minds, but they can’t talk back (she can’t read minds). Alec can implant memories.

I didn’t enjoy this as much as Black Out because the first book introduced us to what was happening and the characters, and this book centers around Russia’s invasion into the US and tracking down a specific Lambda. It’s still an interesting plotline. I really like how the team has to work together and use their skills. Some may not like what they are doing and what they are ordered to do. Teens should not have to kill people. It’s questions the ethics of war and right vs. wrong. The deeper message of this book is do what you think is right. Help save your country, and keep people alive. Don’t let people use you for their own gain.

Dead Zone is the 2nd and final book in this duology. I hope Robison Wells has something just as awesome for use to read in the future. His other series includes Variant and Feedback. His brother is Dan Wells, author of the Partials series. I recommend this series to fans of: X-Men, The Gone series by Michael Grant, Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, Reboot by Amy Tintera, The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Braken, and other sci-fi series that include teens with abilities or that are soldiers and spies.

Cover Art Review: Nice explosion image. The red makes it look scary.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Remember Me by Romily Bernard

Series: Find Me (bk. 2)

Genera: Suspense/Thriller/Realistic/ Contemporary Romance

Subjects: hackers, computers, high school, mystery, murder, crime

Setting: Peachtree, Georgia

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Wick Tate

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 355 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “In the sequel to Find Me, Wick Tate, sarcastic teen hacker, is back and once again dealing with criminals and corrupt cops…and a brooding new love interest. Will Wick persevere when some secrets refuse to stay hidden?

Wick had thought her troubles were over.

But she should’ve known better.

Not only is she embroiled in a new murder case, which starts with a body with “Remember Me” carved into it and doesn’t stop there, but she also discovers new evidence surrounding her mother’s suicide…which leads her right back to her imprisoned deadbeat dad. And she has to deal with her flirty new hacker friend, Milo, sniffing around—which her boyfriend, Griff, isn’t too happy about.

The pressure might be too much as secrets—including Wick’s own—climb to the surface.

Remember Me is an edge-of-your-seat thrilling read that’ll have readers turning the pages at lightning speed!”

My Review:  Remember Me, the sequel to Find Me, is an awesome thrill ride full of hacking, mystery and murder. This series is one of the few realistic fiction series that I actually enjoyed. It’s like something out of a movie or TV show. Wick Tate is a funny and sarcastic heroine. She like all you favorite hacker/techie characters combined. In the first book her hair was red (Like Charlie on Supernatural) but now it’s blond. She and her sister Lily have been official adopted by Bren. She’s got a new life and an awesome boyfriend named Griff. Things are going well…sort of.

Carson, that blackmailing cop has got another case for her to investigate with her hacking skills. Something about Judge Bay, who he thinks is a dirty judge. Wick goes to the judge’s costume party and a woman there is murdered and there’s message on the body saying REMEMBER ME. Wick continues to look into Bay’s past and start helping his son with a school project. She’s also looking into the murder.

We meet a new character name Milo, who’s the best “builder” and creates awesome tech. There’s some romance and fight and stuff happens. Wick’s got a lot going on and her sister and Bren could be in danger. Also she’s getting these anonymous DVD of her mother being interviewed by cops. Her mother died jumping off a roof, so Wick hope that she can find out why.

This series is kind of cyber-punk, but mostly and story of suspense and a thrilling mystery. It’ll keep you guessing who the killer is. It’s also got southern style, since it’s set in Georgia, near Atlanta. Awesome guys, and kickass heroines. It’s a real page-turner.

Cover Art Review: I wish that this cover wasn’t gray. Black or white would have given it more contrast so the image that the test is over could stand out better. It works well when it’s really small.

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Series: Firebird Trilogy (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Sci-fi/Romance

Subjects: multiverse, parallel universes, science, love

Setting: California, England, Russia, and the Ocean

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Marguerite Caine

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 357 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.”

My Review:  I’ve been anticipating this book for a long long time and now I finally read it. I remember at Claudia Gray’s signing for Spellcaster at Anderson’s Bookshop, when she mentioned that she was writing a series called Firebird. I thought it sounded awesome and couldn’t wait and now that I read it I can say that it definitely was awesome.

This pretty cover is not some disguise for a book that’s no good. The book inside is just as wonderful as it is on the outside. It’s sci-fi and has multiple settings in different versions of the world. This is pretty much the best YA book about parallel universes that I’ve ever read. It’s kind of like Unremembered and Unforgotten by Jessica Brody, except, instead of time travel, it’s parallel worlds.

It starts out with Marguerite in London, which seems to be futuristic. Marguerite is from a world almost just like ours, and from California. Apparently she’s living in London in this other universe and has a British accent. Marguerite paints portraits in her universe, but in this world there no art supplies in her apartment. Theo is in Boston and has to travel to her. They are tracking down Paul who may have killed Marguerite’s father back in their world. Claudia Gray really knows how to write love interests and heroines. I loved Bianca, Lucas and Balthazar, but now I get to love Marguerite, Theo and Paul. Theo is somewhat cocky and funny, while Paul in kind of intense and hard to understand. Both are very smart guys.

Later on in the book Marguerite is in a universe in which she’s a Grand Duchess of Russia (her mom is descended from Russian nobility). This world it’s less advanced and like the early 1900s instead of 2014. I really enjoyed the Russian setting. It reminded me of The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges. St. Petersburg, Russia at Christmastime is a perfect setting for this time of year. I’m not a fan of historical fiction, but this part of the book feel more fantastical that historical.

This book is very complex and entertaining. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for more. I recommend it to those who enjoyed: Parallel by Lauren Miller, Tandem by Anna Jarzeb, 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil, The False Memory Series by Dan Krokos, Unraveling and Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris, Unremembered and Unforgotten by Jessica Brody, and other parallel universe book, and The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges, which is set in Russia.

Cover Art Review: I love the use of watercolor texture and the city skylines. This is my favorite cover of the year and even won a cover love award on EpicReads. It’s so gorgeous that I wanted to buy it so bad, but I didn’t because I had already got it from the library. It’s just the most enticing cover ever.