Book Review

Book Review: Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult dystopia + sci-fi
Length: 384 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Ember
Release Date: September 24th, 2013
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

David wants Steelheart — one of the Epics said to be invincible, who killed David’s father. For ten years, David has studied and planned for revenge. He wants to join the Reckoners. These rebels assassinate the Epics, super-powered tyrants. He has seen Steelheart bleed.

ALWAYS ON EDGE.

Does anyone else feel that way reading a Sanderson book? No? Just ME?

I feel like every time I read his books (and this is my…10th? book) he keeps me on edge constantly. No matter the genre, characters, setting, etc. I never know quite what’s going to happen, and when it appears a touch cliche, I am then TOTALLY caught off guard by the reveals. And this is why I keep coming back.

I absolutely loved David. Oh my goodness, so cute and adorable. I laughed out loud so many times reading this because his attempts at being smooth were undeniably precious. He was a gem of a main character who really grew up and took in the world around him to survive in the post-apocalyptic waste land.

My feelings towards dystopian books dropped off after reading The Hunger Games and Divergent so I haven’t picked up many (if any) since. I kept putting Steelheart off for this reason. But no longer! I must finish this series. The world building around these Epics and all of their powers is completely fascinating. Sanderson knows how to create a masterpiece in regards to magic/power systems so I can’t wait to know the final details for this one.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult sci-fi / dystopia
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: murder, gun violence, magical powers (energy blasts, control of elements, etc.), physical altercations, car wrecks
  • Content warnings: witnessing the loss of a loved one

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Book Review

Book Review: The Extinction Trials (The Extinction Trials #1) by S.M. Wilson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult Sci-Fi
Length: 384 pages
Author: S.M. Wilson
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Release Date: January 1st, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival.
Welcome to the Extinction Trials.

In Stormchaser and Lincoln’s ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win.

But in a land full of monsters – human and reptilian – they can’t afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other..

OKAY, LOVED THIS.

I’m easily swayed by all things dinosaurs. This was no exception. I was clearly smitten from the beginning and I have definitely ordered book two.

When I see a tagline, I often ignore them because they really don’t live up to the comparison. The Hunger Games + Jurassic Park? I can actually say this book felt exactly that way. Our dear characters are put into a trial to see who’s going to the land of the dinosaurs. Once there, they start to realize that clearly those above them know more that’s going on then they’re willing to tell. Not to mention, all of the DINOSAURS. So yes, I was pleasantly surprised that I was not let down at all by this.

I love these characters. Stormchaser and Lincoln both have some flaws, and opinions they’re unwilling to compromise on. I like that along with their flaws, there’s many strengths. I love that their conflicts weren’t absurd and Stormchaser and Lincoln both found ways to lean on each other when needed. Future romance? I would not be opposed to that.

This story is really interesting! There’s opinions on both sides on whether or not the dinosaurs need to go or if they can cohabitate with humans. I feel there’s so much more to this world that I can’t wait to explore.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: dinosaur attacks (not overly brutal), physical altercations, murder

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Book Review

Book Review: Bone Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace #1) by Kathryn Purdie

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 480 pages
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 3rd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

STARTED STRONG.

Fighting a tiger shark? Yeah, that’s a strong start.

I liked where things were going and how it was set-up. I was imagining a lot wider plot that would connect back into the characters..but alas, that was not the case. Everything took place in a small city, and it felt that way. There was this reiteration about a flute that went on for 450 pages. That’s mostly what I gathered from this.

Multiple POVs are my jam, and I liked having them here. I did find myself confused at times with who was speaking if I had to stop in the middle of a chapter. Their own voices didn’t resonate enough from the page to really help me grasp the character.

What was the thing with the owl?! I’m still confused, and have too many questions. This mythical owl kept showing up to further the plot by being the answer the characters needed. It was a cop-out. I’m guessing the owl plays a bigger role in book two? Maybe? I don’t know.

This is a quick read, and definitely fits in the young adult fantasy category. Besides struggling with the POVs, I did like the writing style because of it’s pace and not drawn out sentiments.

Ooooo, I haven’t even mentioned my true downfall with this one, the insta-love. Oh goodness, the instant love. We literally changed paragraphs and Bastien went from wanting to stab, to wanting to kiss Ailesse. Does not work for me.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kiss
  • Violence: swords/knives, physical altercations, explosions

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Book Review

Book Review: Majesty (American Royals #2) by Katharine McGee

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Dystopian / Contemporary
Length: 370 pages
Author: Katharine McGee
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Is America ready for its first queen?

Power is intoxicating. Like first love, it can leave you breathless. Princess Beatrice was born with it. Princess Samantha was born with less. Some, like Nina Gonzalez, are pulled into it. And a few will claw their way in. Ahem, we’re looking at you Daphne Deighton.

As America adjusts to the idea of a queen on the throne, Beatrice grapples with everything she lost when she gained the ultimate crown. Samantha is busy living up to her “party princess” persona…and maybe adding a party prince by her side. Nina is trying to avoid the palace–and Prince Jefferson–at all costs. And a dangerous secret threatens to undo all of Daphne’s carefully laid “marry Prince Jefferson” plans.

A new reign has begun.

THIRD BOOK PLEASE?

That’s what I need after seeing how this one ended. Book three. THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE.

I thought this was a good follow-up to American Royals. The drama is wild as ever and so many things continually happen that keep you turning pages. Not to mention, I love the shorter chapters and quick pace.

I adored Beatrice’s story line. Without a doubt the best story in here. Beatrice came into her own as a queen. I loved that she got to say a proper good-bye to those who deserved it and made a true love connection with Teddy. They were precious and I absolutely ship them. Both of them together are such a match. I would have loved a longer book just to get more of their (and other’s) relationships.

Daphne Deighton. I can’t even talk about her. I hated the way her story ended. I got the vibe of it and why it was written that way, but it still screwed over too many people and I just want her to get her due. She just drags down this book.

Sam’s story was positive and I’m grateful for her character arc because whoa, I was struggling with her attitude. I love that she really grew up and fought for what she wanted. Sam worked things out well and I love her relationship with Marhsall.

Nina’s POV fell by the wayside here. She kinda fit into everything, kinda didn’t. I did like the way things ended up for her and that she took time to figure out what she wanted before making a decision. I think if there’s more to the story we’ll get even better insight for Nina.

This installment was shorter than the first when I think it needed to be longer. There was good stuff here, just needed some longer stories to really connect with everything rather than flying by.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia / contemporary
  • Language: some light
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a closed door scene
  • Content warnings: grief from losing a parent

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