Friday, January 29, 2016

Will to Survive by Eric Walters

Series: The Rule of Three (bk. 3)

Genera(s): Apocalyptic Dystopian Sci-fi

Subjects: blackouts, survival, thriller, pilots

Setting: The suburban neighborhood of Eden Mills, which is a real place in Ontario Canada, west of Toronto, near the Credit River, but supposed to be set in the USA for this series.

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

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 310 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Macmillan: FSG

Summary/ product description: “As this apocalyptic trilogy hurtles to a chilling conclusion, Adam is pushed to the edge of his endurance and sanity.

Adam has killed again. It had to be done, part of him knows that, but murder changes a person. It can certainly change a teenager who's already grown up too quickly, too harshly, in the wake of the catastrophic global blackout five months ago. In the name of safety and survival, Adam and his neighbors have turned their middle American suburban neighborhood into a fortress, defending against countless enemies. But what's lurking in the dark is a greater danger than ever before: somebody who wants to destroy the neighborhood and Adam at any cost. Soon, the hunted will have to become the hunter . . . and Adam hates himself for what he will have to do. Because sometimes even the dark is not cover enough for things that would never happen in the light.”

My Review:  Will to Survive is the 3rd and final installment of the Rule of Three trilogy. If you’re not familiar with this series, it’s about a guy named Adam, who’ father is a pilot and who he himself knows how to fly a plane too. With the help of an old ex-military guy named Herb, Adam’s neighborhood of Eden Mills bands together to survive post-blackout.

A few months ago, a computer virus caused everything with computerized component controlling it to stop working. No phones, newer cars, laptops, and no electricity unless you have a generator or engine. Eden Mills for the sake of the story is supposed to be in the United States, near the north shore of one of the great lakes. In actuality it’s west on Toronto, Canada, near Mississauga, Ontario, along the Credit River, where the author lives. Maybe some stuff was changed for the US edition. I’m not sure if there is a Canadian edition.

In the previous book, Fight for Power, a young officer named Brett went rough and tried to kill Adam and Herb. He was helping the ex-military run group called the Division. Adam is now feeling paranoid that he could be attacked at anytime. It’s just a matter of time before Brett comes back and attacks Eden Mills again.

Herb is trying to strengthen the defenses. They decide to build another wall to encompass other neighborhoods close by. Adam, Lori, Herb and Todd go up in the Cessna plane to scout the area, looking for any that could help them. They create allies with other communities trying to survive, and develop trade. They’re trying their best to bring civilization back.

There’s also some romance between Lori and Adam. It’s kind of sweet, but not as important as the survival stuff. I like the humor and banter in the dialogue, especially Todd. Todd is a hilarious guy. He loves food and keeps talking about how much he misses the food they used to have. There’s also some action in this series, but I feel like parts of this book move too slow. I wish it was more thrilling. There’s definite appeal to a male audience with this series, but I enjoyed it anyways.

This series is a lot like Ashfall by Mike Mullin, minus the ash. Also it makes me think of the TV show Revolution, because the blackout. I recommend this book if you liked: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick, The 5th Wave, the Ashfall series, Life As We Knew It/The Last Survivors series.

Cover Art Review: Cool cover illustration reflecting the stories content. It is a little busy looking, but it is also eye catching.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Unraveled by Gennifer Albin

Series: Crewel World (bk. 3)

Genera: Sci-fi Dystopian

Subjects: Utopias, fate, abilities, resistance to government, love, alternate history

Setting: Arras

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Adelice Lewys

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 286 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Macmillian: FSG

Summary/ product description: “Autonomous. Independent. Dangerous. They tried to control her. Now she’ll destroy them.

Things have changed behind the walls of the Coventry and new threats lurk in its twisted corridors. When Adelice returns to Arras, she quickly learns that something rotten has taken hold of the world and Cormac Patton needs her to help him reestablish order. However, peace comes at a terrible price. As the Guild manipulates the citizens of Arras, Adelice discovers that she’s not alone, and she must let go of her past to fight for mankind’s future. She will have to choose between an unimaginable alliance and a deadly war that could destroy everyone she loves.”

My Review:  I really enjoyed this series. It’s unlike any other dystopian book I’ve read. It’s alternate history, which you’d know if you read Altered or the Cypress Project prequel. On Earth it’s only 16 years after WWII, but in Arras, where time move 12 times as fast, it’s about 200. In Altered Adelice meet her biological father, Dante, who’s only aged 16 months since she was born (because 1 month of Earth = 1 year on Arras). He is part of the Agenda, the rebellion to stop Patton and the Cypress Project.

Adelice goes back to Arras. Patton wants to marry her and parade her around as the face of Arras. She’s not only a Crewel who can weave, but a Tailor who can alter. Some say she’s the Whorl. Altering is an ability that usually only men can posses, but she can do it. She’s not as good as Dante or Erik at it though. She wants to alter Patton while in his possession. She sacrificed herself to help the Agenda and save Arras.
She gets to see her sister Amie, who has aged two years in the time Adelice was gone. No longer is she 13, but 15. Practically a woman. Amie wants to be a Spinster like her sister, but lack the ability to see the weave in the looms. Adelice rather she be a dress designer like she originally wanted to be before Patton altered her memories.

Jost plans to rescue his daughter Sebrina from the Eastern sector. Adelice, Erik and Dante get a chance to help him with that, but they discover a deadly virus affecting the citizens there. Adelice in in love with Erik. She and Jost broke up in Altered when she told him she couldn’t be a mother to Sebrina if it came down to it. I really liked Jost better in the first book. I was team Jost all the way, but Erik isn’t too bad. It’s just that my brother’s name is Erik too.

I did love this series. It’s been so long since I read Crewel as an ARC and only just read Altered and Unraveled back-to-back. I’m kind of disappointed in the open-ended ending. If you finished this series too and want to check out how I think the book should of ended, scroll down below my cover review.

Cover Art Review: Lovely emerald green color. Love the hourglass. I love these new covers so much.

How Unraveled should have ended (SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO DID NOT READ THE BOOK)

Although the author only left hint of the possibility, my theory in that Erik altered himself and Jost, switching each other’s appearance. Erik tried healing himself while disguised as Jost. Adelice is convinced she sees Erik’s eye in Jost. Gennifer Albin is very Crewel to not give us a concrete answer, so I’ll write the ending for her. :)

“I know you’re not Jost,” I say. He freezes and his eyes meet my gaze. With that look I know now more than ever whom those eye belong to. “Erik,” I say.
“Yes,” he replies.
“You altered your appearance. Why?”
“Because Jost wanted me to. He wanted to sacrifice himself for us.”
“Can you change you face back?”
“I can’t,” he says.
“Can’t? Or won’t?” I ask.
“I won’t. I need to let Sebrina know she still has a father.”
“Okay then. Keep it. I still miss you face, but if’s it’s for Sebrina or Jost, I suppose I can make that sacrifice. So, for Jost?”
“For Jost.”
“For us,” I say.
“For us,” he replies. And his lips meet mine.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Homecoming by Kass Morgan

Series: The 100 (bk. 3)

Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi

Subjects: survival, re-colonization, space colonies, outer space

Setting: 300 years in the future, in a space colony called the Arc, and on the East Cost of what was the United States.

POV/Tense: 3rd person POV, past tense. Rotating between Clarke, Wells, Bellamy and Glass.

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 340 pgs.

HC/PB: Paperback

List Price: $12.00

Publisher: Hachette: Little, Brown

Summary/ product description: “Weeks after landing on Earth, the Hundred have managed to create a sense of order amidst their wild, chaotic surroundings. But their delicate balance comes crashing down with the arrival of new dropships from space.

These new arrivals are the lucky ones - back on the Colony, the oxygen is almost gone - but after making it safely to Earth, GLASS's luck seems to be running out. CLARKE leads a rescue party to the crash site, ready to treat the wounded, but she can't stop thinking about her parents who may still be alive. Meanwhile, WELLS struggles to maintain his authority despite the presence of the Vice Chancellor and his armed guards, and BELLAMY must decide whether to face or flee the crimes he thought he'd left behind.

It's time for the Hundred to come together and fight for the freedom they've found on Earth, or risk losing everything - and everyone - they love.”

My Review:  Homecoming is the action-packed finale to The 100 trilogy (at least it seems to be a finale). The series comes to a satisfying conclusion. The drop ships comes down bringing adult and kids from the Colony. Vice Chancellor Rhodes takes charge and doesn’t keep his promise of letting the 100 be free of their past crimes. Well’s father, the Chancellor is not with them since he was in a coma.

Many of the people from the drop ships are injured and Clarke does her best to treat their wounds. Bellamy is taken as prisoner and is supposed to be executed for almost murdering the Chancellor, who he now discovered is his actual father. In the last book Wells and Bellamy discovered they were half brothers, so that makes Octavia only his half-sister. So now he as technically 2 illegal siblings. Of course, they’re kept this a secret from the Vice Chancellor.

With Bellamy as a prisoner, the Colonist have difficulty hunting and doing other survival things. Wells tries to teach the basics of hunting, fire-making and building. Rhodes is reluctant to accept help from kids, especially criminals. Glass and Luke are planning on escaping the camp since Luke was supposed to be an executer and he does want to kill anyone. The Earthborns from Mount Weather help Clarke, Bellamy and Wells. The other violent Earthborns see the new colonists landing as an act of war.

This series was very fun and exciting are far as dystopians go. It’s go awesome survival stuff, romance, humor, interesting character and a cool setting. The combination of a forest setting and a space colony setting gave it variety. The story also had flashbacks in a san-serif font so you’d know if it took place in the past and prevented confusion.

I think I enjoy these books more than the TV shows. The TV show confuses me a lot and I don’t understand how they could have been on the Arc for 97 years only and already the Earthborns have a new language, odd animal mutations, and weird weather. In the book’s it’s only 300 years and the Earthborn speak English and are more like farmers. Also the character inconstancies on the show are weird. Wells was black and is dead on the show, and yet his father survived. Clarke’s mother was on the ship, not on Earth, in the show. It’s completely different.

The 100 (season 3) returns Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 9 eastern/8 central.

Cover Art Review: This cover is terrible. They look dirty and I kind of hate that it has characters from the show on it.