Friday, August 26, 2016

Flying by Carrie Jones

Series: Flying (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Sci-fi/Comedy

Subjects: aliens, alien hunters, cheerleaders

Setting: New Hampshire and Maine

POV/Tense: 1st person, present tense: Mana

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 249 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Macmillan: Tor

Summary/ product description: “New York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones introduces sassy alien-hunting cheerleader Mana in Flying, the launch of a sparkling new YA SF series.

People have always treated seventeen-year-old Mana as someone in need of protection. She's used to being coddled, being an only child, but it's hard to imagine anything could ever happen in her small-town, normal life. As her mother's babying gets more stifling than ever, she's looking forward to cheering at the big game and getting out of the house for a while.

But that night, Mana's life goes haywire.

First, the hot guy she's been crushing on at school randomly flips out and starts spitting acid during the game. Then they get into a knockdown, drag-out fight in the locker room, during which Mana finds herself leaping around like a kangaroo on steroids. As a flyer on the cheerleading squad, she's always been a good jumper, but this is a bit much. By the time she gets home and finds her house trashed and an alien in the garage, Mana starts to wonder if her mother had her reasons for being overprotective.

It turns out, Mana's frumpy, timid mom is actually an alien hunter, and now she's missing--taking a piece of technology with her that everyone wants their hands on, both human and alien. Now her supposed partner, a guy that Mana has never met or heard of (and who seems way too young and way too arrogant to be hunting aliens), has shown up, ordering Mana to come with him. Now, on her own for the first time, Mana will have to find a way to save her mother--and maybe the world--and hope she's up to the challenge.”

My Review:  Flying is a crazy, hilarious sci-fi thrill ride. At times the humor may seem a little over the top, but that’s the fun of it. It’s sci-fi comedy. This is the first book of a new series by Carrie Jones, author of the Need series, which was also fun and creative. Much like that series, this one is set in New England, New Hampshire and Maine.

Mana is a cheerleader. She’s the flyer because she’s short and her friends September and Lyle are bases. Mana has a crush on a drummer named Dakota, but during a basket ball game a guy attacks Dakota. It turns out that Dakota is an alien and a jerk. The guy beating his up is named China and he’s an alien hunter. China’s a bit cocky and weird and claims that Mana’s mother is an alien hunter and his partner. Mana thinks he means partner in love, even though he’s only in his 20’s. That’s not what he meant, of course.

Mana’s mom is missing and she supposedly has a chip with some important information of it. Enemy aliens are likely holding her hostage if she’s not dead already. Mana and China end up letting Lyle in on this too and they go on an adventure-investigation. They go to a facility in Maine that China works at and met an alien Fae named Pierce. Mana also discovers that she herself has abilities and start to doubt whether she herself is human.

That last 50 pages are so crazy and full of twists. This book may have took me a while to read because I was so busy with back-to-school stuff, but once it gets going it is really fast paces. I recommend it to fans of Daniel X by James Patterson, Taken by Kimberly Derting and Rush by Eve Silver.

Cover Art Review: Very funky. Fits the book perfectly.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Rebellion by J. A. Souders

Series: The Elysium Chronicles (bk. 3)

Genera: Dystopian Sci-fi/Romance

Subjects: underwater colonies, Florida, love, memory, brain-washing, psychological, nanotechnology

Setting: Florida and a sea colony called Elysium

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense, rotating between Evie and Gavin

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 333 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $18.99

Publisher: MacMillan: TorTeen

Summary/ product description: “The thrilling conclusion to J. A. Souders’s riveting SF psychological thriller series for teens

In this conclusion to J. A. Souders’s thrilling, twist-filled Elysium Chronicles series, Evie Winters and Gavin Hunter return to the isolated, dangerous underwater city that they fought so hard to escape.

Back in Elysium at last, Evie has finally found her true-self hidden under layers and layers of false memories implanted by the woman she knew as Mother. Thanks to the intervention of her father, she knows the horrible truth about Mother and her insidious plans for her city. With the help of the love of her life, Gavin, and her best friend, Asher St. James, she’s determined to free her people from the cruel dictatorship of Mother’s laws. But how do you free people who don’t know they need rescuing?

Working with the growing Underground rebellion, Evie tries to remove Mother from her position by force—with disastrous results. As the body count rises, Evie must find a way to save Elysium before Mother destroys them all.”

My Review: Rebellion is the finale to the Elysium trilogy. If you are unfamiliar with the series, it’s set in an under water sea colony that used to be a resort, but then a woman who calls herself mother killed her father, the owner and took over. Evie is her daughter, but not by birth. Evie keeps getting her memories erased. There’s a boy named Gavin who comes from the surface and romance happens. I recommend it if you like dystopians or the idea of sea colonies. If you have not read the series, then spoilers ahead because this is a review of the final book.

This book, like the previous book, is told from 2 point-of views: Evie and Gavin. I don’t recall the first book having Gavin’s POV. Evie knows that she used to be an Enforcer and she met her birthmother. She meets a woman named Nadia and discovers the Underground, the people living in a place called the Caverns in an underdeveloped hidden section of Elysium. They are planning a rebellion against mother. Also Gavin has to go to the surface because the other have nanites in them that could wipe their memories it the leave.

Gavin goes to his mother, who thought he was dead. Apparently his little brother angered the mayor of their village and now they’re not allowed to trade or be full citizens. Gavin gets pissed about this and the mayor tries to bribe Gavin for information on his son Asher and Evie’s whereabouts. Meanwhile Evie and the Underground come up with a plan that involves wearing mask with her face on them and gaining the trust of the citizens and help to take down mother.

I was a bit disappointed with this finale. I loved the first two books, but this one felt lacking and also the ending left a lot of questions, as crazy as it was. There was not as much romance or action or adventure. Having to wait and extra year to read this book that was not worth the wait. I still like the character and love the setting, but this felt like it was trying to imitate other dystopian finales at least until the very end. I just wish things went differently.

Cover Art Review: I like the cover. Evie is wearing an Enforcer cloak here. I’m not sure if the dress is what they wear too.