Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rebel by Amy Tintera

Series: Reboot Duology (bk. 2)

Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi/Romance

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

Setting: Texas

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense rotating between Wren and Callum

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 340 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover and now in Paperback

List Price: $17.99/$9.99

Publisher: HarperTeen
Summary/ product description: “Wren Connolly thought she'd left her human side behind when she dies five years ago and came back 178 minutes later as a Reboot. With her new abilities of strength, speed, and healing—along with a lack of emotions—Wren 178 became the perfect soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Then Callum 22 came along and changed everything.

Now that they've both escaped, they're ready to start a new life in peace on the Reboot reservation. But Micah 163, the Reboot running the reservation, has darker plans in mind: to wipe out the humans. All of them. Micah has been building a Reboot army for years and is now ready to launch his attack on the cities. Callum wants to stick around and protect the humans. Wren wants nothing more than to leave all the fighting behind them.

With Micah on one side, HARC on the other, and Wren and Callum at odds in the middle, there's only one option left...

It's time for Reboots to become rebels.”

My Review:  Rebel is the sequel-finale to Reboot. It’s full of awesome and told from not just Wren’s perspective, but Callum’s too. I should of not waited a year to read this, and am so happy to have read it now, but sad because there is no 3rd book. Wren, Callum, Addie and the Reboots from the Austin HARC facility arrive at the Reboot Reservation. It’s ran by a Reboot named Micah. Micah seems like a great guy at first, but it turns out he hates humans and want revenge.

Callum wants to protect the humans in the cities and rescue the Reboot. Wren agrees with him, but she feel like she doesn’t care about the humans and she’d rather just take Callum and run off to some other state. The Reboots at the reservation are amazed with Wren because her 178 is the highest number they’ve ever seen (higher number of minutes dead before rebooting. This means she’s stronger and faster at healing.)

I loved Callum’s POV. Why couldn’t the first book have his perspective too? He’s such a great guy. There’s a bit of a gender role reversal thing going on in this book. Usually female are more emotional and sensitive (supposedly) but Wren’s the tough one who shows no emotion (except when Callum makes her feel something) and Callum’s the charming one who’s full of humor and emotion. Callum is Mr. Optimistic and makes the best of every situation and finds solutions. Wren’s scarred–literally–and was sort of brainwashed by HARC, but falling in love with Callum is changing her perspective of a lot of things. I just love the romance of this book. This has got to be one of my favorite YA couples. Alson, another character I enjoyed was Addie. She’s so hilarious. She’s funnier than Callum even. There’s so much banter between Wren, Callum and Addie. I love it. Then we meet Wren’s old trainer, Riley. He’s a pretty cool guy and knows about Wren’s past with HARC.

This finale brings everything to a memorable close. There’s action and romance and sci-fi stuff. It’s such a great book and I wish there was a third book though it’s unnecessary. I’d call it Return and it would have a black cover with a green barcode over the title and maybe horizontal lines this time. I hope there’s a novella from Addie’s POV someday soon. I recommend this series to everyone who read dystopian book. In case you didn’t know, this is sort of a zombie book, but more like iZombie meets the 5th Wave. With a romance as great as Fortris (Divergent). Wrenallum? Calwren? Anyways, it’s a great series!

Cover Art Review: The clock like cover is interesting and cool. Minimal, simple.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Crash by Eve Silver

Series: The Game Trilogy (bk. 3)

Subjects: action, adventure, aliens, extraterrestrials, fighting, games, survival

Setting: Rochester, New York

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Miki Jones

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 357 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen: Katherine Tegan

Summary/ product description: “A thrilling action/suspense novel for fans of The Fifth Wave about contemporary teens pulled in and out of an alternate reality where battling aliens is more than a game—it's life and death.

Miki’s life is falling apart around her. Her dad and best friend are lying in the hospital. The Game is glitching, making missions more frequent and more deadly. And someone close to her is waiting for the right moment to betray her.

Miki feels like she’s hanging on by a thread and the only thing keeping her tethered is Jackson’s hand in hers. Yet telling him how much she needs him, how much she loves him, feels like the biggest challenge of all. And if Miki really wants the missions to end for everyone, she’ll have to let go and be ready to fight when the walls between the Game and reality come crashing down. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that she’s got a whole lot left to lose.

Crash is the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Game trilogy fans won’t want to miss.”

My Review:  Crash is the finale to The Game Trilogy. What started in Rush, continued in Push, now end in Crash. Everything crashes together. Miki, Jackson and their team are pulled into the game once again. Things are acting strange inside the game. Lagging and pixilation and things happening out of order. Once again Miki meets with Lizzie, Jackson supposedly dead older sister. She was caught in the game when she died. Lizzie says the game isn’t what it seems. That the Committee are not who they say they are and that the Drau might not be the enemy. There’s a lot more to the game than killing aliens to save the human race. I just love the twist/truth about the game. It’s something I suspected, but it’s still interesting. To avoid spoilers, I will just say read it and find out.

I love the character still. Jackson is amazing and will be one of my favorite YA guys, along with Tuck from Unearthly and Sam from Shiver. Jackson is Mr. Sexy, smirky, cocky and truly caring even when he acts like he doesn’t care. He feels guilty for Lizzie’s death, so that’s why he acts like a a-hole sometimes. He’s sarcastic and funny and he knows how to crack Miki’s serious attitude. Miki likes to be in control all the time. She’s had a lot of grief with her mother dying, but Jackson makes her feel happy. Luka is pretty interesting in a guy-friend way, and so is Tyrone, though he and Miki only see each other in the game.

I’d put this series right up there with The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey and The Maze Runner by James Dashner. This series in unique and you should read it if you haven’t. I love the sci-fi elements. The aliens are interesting and different. They remind me of the angels in Angele Burn by L.A. Weatherly. Also kind of like In the After by Dimitria Lunetta. There’s action and and gaming stuff, so it’s like Eye of Minds by James Dashner too. I’m going to miss this series. I hope the author has something else in the works.

Cover Art Review: Why is it not metallic like the previous books? Glossy is boring. The cover design itself is amazing as always.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ember & Ashes by T. M. Goeglein

Series: Cold Fury (bk. 3)

Genera: Action-Adventure Thriller/Sci-fi

Subjects: mafia/mob, mystery, missing persons, abilities

Setting: Chicago, Illinois

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Sara Jane Rispoli

Age/Grade Level: Teen 12+

Length: 321 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Penguin: Putnam

Summary/ product description: “Sara Jane Rispoli is on the wrong side of the Russian mob, but closer to finding her family than ever. And she's willing to do whatever it takes to finally end this terrible journey even if the price is her own life.

The very cold fury that has seen her through the worst of her troubles is now killing her; she knows the cure, but she can't sacrifice the deadly electricity until she's rescued her family. But when she finally does rescue them, it's not the happy reunion she pictured. And the torment doesn't stop there, not even when she finally discovers Ultimate Power. Only destroying the Outfit completely can end this terrible nightmare.

Old enemies return to seek vengeance, double-crosses abound, and even more mysteries are uncovered as we rocket toward an end no one saw coming.”

My Review:  Flicker and Burn is the finale to the Cold Fury trilogy. This series is action packed and show cases the city I am closet to: Chicago. This series is unlike any I’ve ever read. It’s a crime thriller, but has a paranormal/sci-fi element.

Sara Jane has an ability called cold fury. She can use it see a person’s deepest fear and make them see it too when she looks in their eye. She can use it to make them do what she tells them (compulsion). She also has electricity in her body because of some enzyme and the gold in her eyes. She can shock people with it, but it also hurts her. The author denied this was paranormal when I asked him. So, I’ll say its sci-fi.

I love the setting so much because I live in Chicagoland. I like picturing places I’m familiar with. There’s a part in the book where Sara Jane and some student take a field trip up to the sky deck on the Sears Tower (or now the Willis Tower). 103 stories up. I’ve never been on any of the sky decks downtown, but I can imagine it’s amazing. The photos I’ve seen are amazing. Also, lots of tunnels, trains and driving on streets in the story. I’ve been on the Blue Line and the Red Line trains only. Going under ground to board a train is kind of scary. Definitely had an easy time picturing the setting.

The character are great of course. Sara Jane is like Maximum Ride and Katniss Everdeen, except in the contemporary world and with a strange power instead of wings. Sara Jane is a boxer, so she can kick butt. She’s very tough and somewhat serious, but she uses sarcasm. She’s friend with Dough, who’s gay and used to be fat, but lost weigh because of some drugged icecream in the previous book. He’s awesome and obsessed with movies. He’s got a little more serious, mostly because the drug withdrawal. He stupidly takes up smoking even though Sara Jane keep telling him how bad it is.

There’s so much action and mystery in the story. I love the mystery of this “ultimate power.” Sara Jane has a note book and some clue and they have theories to. It’s a surprise what it is. There’s so many crazy events and plot twists. This book is such a mind-blowing finale. I don’t think I could’ve asked for more. The ending is perfect. I waited a year to read this. Should have read it sooner. I read both the first 2 books as ACRs, and met the author at a Pre-Pub event. He’s cool. All three books are signed. If Cold Fury wasn’t offered as an ARC at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, I doubt I would have ever discovered this great series. I’m so happy I did.

Cover Art Review: Fits the subject. Like the Chicago photos.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs

Series: The Hero Agenda (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Sci-fi/Romance

Subjects: superheroes, supervillians, abilities, superpowers, conspiracies

Setting: Boulder, Colorado

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Kenna Swift

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 295 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $16.99

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Summary/ product description: “Kenna is tired of being "normal". The only thing special about her is that she isn't special at all. Which is frustrating in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary— which she hates.

She’s secretly working on an experiment that will land her a place among the Heroes, but when a Villain saves her life during a break-in at her lab, Kenna discovers there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to good and evil and who she can trust.. After all…not all strength comes from superpowers.”

My Review:  Powerless is superheroes, supervillains, and those who fit in neither category. Kenna is powerless, an ordinary. Her mother is a scientist who works for the heroes and her father was a superhero and now is dead. When a group of villains break into her mother’s lab, Kenna fights back. These villains don’t seem as evil as Kenna’s been told, though. They don’t kill her and one tried to wipe her memory. It doesn’t work because of Kenna’s secret. She’s immune to superpower because a serum that her mother created for her to take.

Kenna meets Draven, a villain who actually wants to the right things. He’s the one with the memory power. He doesn’t want Kenna to get hurt. Kenna finds him very hot and attractive. Draven is the love interest of this story. There are other Villians: Dante, who wants to rescue his twin Deacon from the heroes’ labs. Nitro, who has energy blasting powers. Quake is Nitro’s brother. Kenna’s best friend, Rebel, is the daughter of the president of the heroes’ organization, and she has telekinesis. She’s the girlfriend of a villain. Jeremy, another hero, is a technopath.

This story is full of action and awesome superpowers. It’s fun like all of Tera’s books. There’s humor and bickering and well-developed, interesting characters. There are twists you will never see coming, maybe. I mean, I saw them coming. Some may be obvious, but I’m happy when I’m right so I don’t mind. I’m so excited to read the sequel. I’m happy this isn’t a standalone.

I recommend this book to those who enjoyed V is For Villain by Peter Moore, Illusive by Emily Llyod-Jones, Blackout by Robison Wells, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Red Queen by Victoria Avyard, The Young Elite by Marie Lu, or anything superhero-related. Also fans of Tera Lynn Childs’s Sweet Venom series.

Cover Art Review: I love the way the title looks and how it’s sideways. I also like the spark and the eye. Eyes are overused on covers, but this one is pretty interesting. It reminds me of the cover of Crash by Lisa McMann, though.