Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Nightmare Dilemma by Mindee Arnett

Series: Arkwell Academy (bk. 2)

Genera(s): Paranormal Romance

Subjects: supernatural, boarding schools, dreams, humor, magic, magical creatures, mystery, mythology, nightmares, sirens

Setting: Somewhere in Ohio (Chickery) at Arkwell Academy

POV/Tense: 1st person, past tense: Dusty

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 380 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Macmillan: Tor

Summary/ product description: “The second in a thrilling new fantastical mystery series

Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty’s as shocked as everybody else. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker, but that’s easier asked than done. Eli’s dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies.

To make matters worse, Dusty’s ex-boyfriend has just been acquitted of conspiracy and is now back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. But this order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty’s heart.

As Dusty takes on both cases, she begins to suspect they’re connected to something bigger. And there’s something very wrong with Eli’s dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined.”

My Review:  As far as sequel go, The Nightmare Dilemma was pretty good. Not as good as the first book, but good enough. I love the narration and the humor. Dusty is a great main character. She’s funny and always saying smart-remarks to people.

This series is riddled with clich├ęs of other YA PNR books about boarding schools. But the humor and twists in the story make it more unique. It’s not a vampire boarding school, it’s more like Hogwartz for all paranormal being. You have the nature-kind: fairies, mermaid, and dryads. Dark-kinds: demon, hags and sirens. Witch-kinds: wizards, witches and psychics. Dusty is a half-kind. Half nightmare (which is a dark-kind). She can go into people dreams. Her and Eli together can see the future in dreams.

Dusty and her friends make a great team. They actually call themselves the Dream Team when they investigate stuff. Eli is very attractive and seems like a great guy. He and Dusty are not really romatically involved, but the dream-seeing thing forces intimacy. Selene is a good friend. She and Dusty act like sisters. They are roomates and it reminds me a lot of the House of Night series with Zoey and Stevie Rae. And Selene is a siren, and she can fly.

The plot was not as interesting as the first book. There wasn’t some huge mystery, but I never expected who specifically was behind the attacks. It wasn’t just one person. The Nightmare Dilemma is still worth reading. This series is worth reading if you like House of Night, Vampire Academy, Harry Potter, Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep, Winterhaven trilogy by Kristie Cook, Legacies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edgehill or any other paranormal boarding schools. There’re new characters to love and a lot of magic!

Cover Art Review: The vector art on the cove is cute and fun. It fits the story.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Reboot by Amy Tintera

Series: Reboot Duology (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi/Romance

Subjects: soldiers, zombies, death, love, action, adventure, survival

Setting: Texas

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Wren

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 365 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover and soon in Paperback

List Price: $17.99/$9.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.”

My Review:  I loved Reboot more than I thought I would. It sounded so interesting and I’ve waited way too long to read it. Now I finally make time to read it and it’s the best take on zombies I’ve ever read. It started out with tons of action, and it continued through out the book.

There’s this disease that causes people to come back to life if the die. The longer they’re dead, the stronger, tougher and less emotional they are. Adults who Reboot just turn into mindless zombies that attack and want to eat people. Children (or those under 20) who Reboot adapt and don’t change as much. They still are themselves, but HARC is trying to make them into super soldiers.

I loved the characters. Wren is very tough. I can see why they compared this book to Maximum Ride. She’s like Max, but minus the wing and with less of a smart-mouth. Not that wren doesn’t have a sense of humor. Callum is the one who bring out the humanity left in here. Callum is pretty much my new book boyfriend. So what he if he died and came back to life 22 minutes later? He’s cute, funny and always an optimist. He very different from Wren and balances her out. They’re perfect together. He’s hilarious sometimes. He’s always smirking at Wren and takes her training pretty well. He’s not the most obedient Reboot, but he becomes loyal to Wren. I really loved their romance. Kissing does happen eventually, but it’s mostly Callum flirting and Wren trying to not flirt back. Its not instant love, but it develops in a believable way. Also, not love triangle. Why would anyone want someone beside Callum, anyway?

Other characters include Ever. She’s Wren’s roommate. She’s an under-60 and is more emotional. She has something very bad happen to her. Leb is an adult human that goes on missions with Wren. He’s very helpful.  There are some rebels and other reboots we meet.

The plot was perfect, as far as I’m concerned. Since this is only a duology, not a trilogy, Rebel will be the final book. I feels like this story could be bigger, but what happened was perfect for a first book. I image that Rebel will be about taking down HARC completely. Reboot was a great set up. I can’t wait to read Rebel. I recommend Reboot to fans of Maximum Ride, Divergent, Shatter Me, and Glitch (Heather Anastasui),

Cover Art Review: I love the minimalistic style used. The lines and number against the black is simple and makes you wonder what the book is about inside.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Taken by Erin Bowman

Series: Taken Trilogy (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi

Subjects: mystery, post-apocalyptic, love, experiments, survival

Setting: Claysoot and part of was was once the USA, now called AmEast and AmWest

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Gray Weathersby

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 360 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover and now in Paperback

List Price: $17.99/$9.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?”

My Review:  Taken surprised me. Though, I kind of predicted what was going on the Claysoot. It wasn’t aliens like I hoped, but more like something from Maze Runner. Fans of Divergent, Maze Runner or the Gone series by Michael will love this. The story is from the first person POV of a boy, and it’s believable. When Grey’s brother is Heisted on his 18th birthday, Grey starts to question the town he lives in. He and Emma go over the wall and find out about the world beyond it.

 This book starts out as a mystery, and ends as an action packed dystopian thriller with adventure and romance. Gray meets another girl outside the wall named Bree. Bree’s from a place like Claysoot and she’s very strong willed like Gray. There’s a bit of a love triangle. I do like Gray as a narrator. He wasn’t mean or too perfect. He had his flaws, but he was pretty much a dependable character.

The plot is really interesting. It’s hard to review this book since I could end up spoiling the whole story, but there were some things that were pretty obvious right away. The people of Claysoot don’t have technologies we have today, and the Heist was described as a bright like descending with a lot of wind. Since it’s not a UFO, I was sure it was a helicopter. It’s pretty obvious how the boys are being taken. What’s amazing is what’s going on beyond just Claysoot. The world building in interesting. Similar to other dystopian books, yet a unique idea. I still wish we knew what state Claysoot was. I guessed Colorado or Utah, or even Virginia.

This story was pretty and epic and I can’t wait to read Frozen. I downloaded the novella Stolen and am going to read that next. I waited a whole year to read this book. I actually met Erin Bowman last year and got my copy signed. I recommend this to fans of: Maze Runner, Gone, Divergent, Under the Never Sky, Shatter Me and The Hunger Games.

Cover Art Review: I love the colors used in the cover. The type on the spine is amazing. I love it.