Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Genre Dystopian, Young-adult
Series: Legend #1


Hardcover, 305 pages


Publication: November 29, 2011by Putman Juvenile


Source: Purchase for my own reading.

||BUY NOW||AMAZON||BOOK DEPO||

||SUMMARY||
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.



||REVIEW||

Legend is set in a futuristic Los Angeles, where the United States no longer exist. There is one type of ruling government, which is The Republic. Anyone who is against the republic is known as The Patriots. The Republic issues a trial/test that everyone must take at the age of 10, to determine their fate in life. If you get a high score, you’re looking at a college education and working with the republic, like a top military figure. If your score is average, you will get something similar to a high school education, and a low score will result in a manual/poor labor. Finally, if you’re worst of the worst and you fail the trail, you’re sent away to a “camp”.

The story is told in the first-person perspective, with alternating chapters between our hero, Day and our heroine, June. The layout for this book is very unique, Day’s chapters are written in gold and June’s chapters are written in black. I have never seen this type of format before in any books I’ve read which makes this novel stand out more. Legend has a Romeo and Juliet feel to the novel, where June is the Republic’s prodigy child and Day is a poor street-smart kid who is the Republic number one most wanted criminal.  The way they think and act is almost one in the same, but at the same time are total opposite, with June living in the life of comfort and Day wandering the streets for whatever he can find and sell. As I mentioned before June and Day are one in the same except their gender and where they live, but they are both likeable-kick ass characters.  

I pretty much loved everything about this novel; it’s full of action, mystery and a sprinkle of romance (yay for no love triangles!). The only flaw is the world-building and the ages of the characters, I wish I knew more about The Republic and The Patriots. Also the characters are both 15 years-old and the way they think and act are so mature for their age, and at times makes it unbelievable. Theses are just small flaws that don’t take about from the great storytelling.  While Legend is somewhat predictable at time, it’s still a gripping read that will keep you on your toes and flipping through the pages till you reach the end.  I can’t wait to read the second book in the series, Prodigy which hits stores January 2013. 



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

REVIEW: The Reckoning by Alma Katsu

Title: The Reckoning
Author: Alma Katsu
Genre: Historical-Romance/Paranormal
Series: The Taker #2


Hardcover, 352 pages
Publication: June 19, 2012 by Galley Books

BUY||AMAZON||BOOK DEPO||

Source: ARC, Publishers


||SUMMARY||

SECOND IN ALMA KATSU’S GRIPPING SUPERNATURAL TRILOGY THAT BEGAN WITH THE TAKER


Lanore McIlvrae is the kind of woman who will do anything for love. Including imprisoning the man who loves her behind a wall of brick and stone.
She had no choice but to entomb Adair, her nemesis, to save Jonathan, the boy she grew up with in a remote Maine town in the early 1800s and the man she thought she would be with forever. But Adair had other plans for her. He used his mysterious, otherworldly powers to give her eternal life, but Lanore learned too late that there was a price for this gift: to spend eternity with him. And though he is handsome and charming, behind Adair’s seductive fa├žade is the stuff of nightmares. He is a monster in the flesh, and he wants Lanore to love him for all of time.

Now, two hundred years after imprisoning Adair, Lanore is trying to atone for her sins. She has given away the treasures she’s collected over her many lifetimes in order to purge her past and clear the way for a future with her new lover, Luke Findley. But, while viewing these items at an exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Lanore suddenly is aware that the thing she’s been dreading for two hundred years has caught up to her: Adair has escaped from his prison. He’s free— and he will come looking for her. And she has no idea how she will save herself.

||REVIEW||


The Reckoning is the second book in Alma Katsu’s The Taker Trilogy, which takes places where the first book left off. Lanore has started her new life in a new place with a new man, but the past has finally caught up to her. Adair, the man that gave Lanore immortality has finally escaped captivity and he is seeking revenge for the person who put him there: Lanore. Lanore knows Adair will stop at nothing till he finds her so she seeks aid from the people she only knows; the other immortals.

I’ve wanted to read The Taker for a long time but never got the chance to. Then the second book in the trilogy was released, so I took a chance hoping there was enough background information to get through the book. As I thought, the book provided enough information that made everything easy to follow. This book is written very different from any book I’ve ever read before. The chapters alternate between Lanore and all the other characters. When it’s Lanore’s chapter it is written in the first person perspective and the other character chapters are told in third person. There is not much action in the book, but the characters are so interesting that you’re glued to the page. There was a lot of flashback sprinkled through the book, which gave readers a more in depth perspective of the characters.

While this is more of Lanore’s book, I was especially intrigued with Adair. He is an evil-cruel man but it was interesting to see how he adjusts to the twenty-first century. He had to learn everything from the clothing, transportation, technology, to theway people think now a day. Readers see how he slowly changes, that there is another side to Adair. Which make us wondering, is it really possible for people to change? This was a captivating novel, which will have readers hungry for the final book. The Reckoning is a blend of brutality, retribution, betrayal, and the power of love, unquestionably a series not to be missed. I definitely suggest picking up the first book, The Taker to get the full experience of the series!

This book contains some graphic scenes, and is not suitable for readers under 18 years old. 


**Thank you to Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books for sending me an arc of this novel**

Thursday, June 14, 2012

[Review] Soul Born by Kevin James Breaux

Title: Soul Born
Author: Kevin James Breaux
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Soul Born Saga #1

Paperback, 316 pages
Published on November 30, 2010 by Dark Quest, LLC

Purchase book||AMAZON|| BOOK DEPOSITORY||

Source: Author

||SUMMARY||
All Opal wanted was to be respected as a wielder of magic, but her teachers passed her over time and time again. When a mysterious warlord embarks on a conquest to destroy the lands of Illyia Opal seizes an opportunity to step out from the shadows of her instructors and take her rightful spot among them.


Tala, an alluring young elf, was banished from her tribe, hunted and nearly killed by the beasts that dwell in the deep forests, but more than anything else she is a survivor. Joining forces with an ancient elemental power Tala finds herself in the center of an unrelenting human war. She never wanted any of this.


Flesh like leather and bone as strong as steel Karn, a veteran from the first kingdom to fall, is fueled by vengeance. While pushing ever headlong into battle Karn begins to recall memories of another life; ghosts that haunt his dreams.Through death of soul, their world is born.


||REVIEW||

Soul Born is the first book in Kevin J. Breaux’s Soul Saga series. Having read Mr. Breaux series out of order, I already knew the outcome of the book. When reading a book I like the element of surprise and mystery, and to not know the end until I get there! So when I started this book I couldn’t stop thinking about the second book, even though it centers on a different group of characters. Soul Born focuses on three main characters; Opal, Karn and Tala. Opal is a powerful mage, Karn is a warrior and Tala is a beautiful elf that was exiled from her tribe. The readers are dropped into an unexplained scene at the beginning of the novel with Karn fighting the guards, and where his lover Opal comes to rescue him. A lot of things are happening in the first one-hundred pages or so, and the secondary characters were a blur to me. There were so many characters and multiple plots/problems all occurring at once that I felt overwhelmed and confused as what was occurring. For example there was a council of mages, but there were so many, I didn’t know who was who. As I read past the half way mark, everything started to make more sense as information is brought forward.


As I wrote before I’ve read his second novel, Blood Divided before Soul Born…and while they all had the same exceptional elements for a great fantasy novel, Blood Divided was written better in my opinion. The characters didn’t stand out as much as the 2nd book’s characters. The characters in this book like the second book are neither good nor bad. The choices they make might seem to be bad, but then again people do crazy things for love or what they believe is right/in their best interest. After reading about Karn, Opal, and Tala in the second novel, it was great to see how they were before everything happens in book two. While not the best in the series, it is still pretty good. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys an action packed fantasy novel.  


Monday, June 11, 2012

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda [Audiobook]



||SUMMARY||

Don’t Sweat.  Don’t Laugh.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.
Gene is different from everyone else around him.  He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood.  Gene is a human, and he knows the rules.  Keep the truth a secret.  It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.
When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him.  He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

The Hunt is available now in audiobook format, kindle and hardcover edition. 

||PURCHASE THE AUDIOBOOK ON AMAZON||
My REVIEW of The Hunt


Macmillan has generously provided us with a clip from The Hunt Audiobook, check it out below!! 

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Review: The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Title: The Hunt
Author: Andrew Fukuda
Genre: Young-Adult, Dystopian
Series: The Hunt #1

Hardcover, 293 pages
Published May 8, 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin

Purchase Book ||AMAZON||BOOK DEPOSITORY||

Source: Publisher, and I bought a hard copy for myself

||SUMMARY||
Don’t Sweat.  Don’t Laugh.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him.  He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood.  Gene is a human, and he knows the rules.  Keep the truth a secret.  It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.


When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him.  He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?



||REVIEW||

I remember hearing about The Hunt long before it was to be published, people were raving about how good this book was all over the blogosphere.  The premise for the book sounded interesting, I’ve really enjoyed the dystopian genre so I couldn’t wait to start the book.  About 48 pages into the book I wanted to give up! Why? It was wayyy too similar to The Hunger Games, and I couldn’t stop myself from comparing the two when I read it. I mean this is not a long book at all, almost 300 pages.  The whole lottery/game, hunt, training, grooming the potential winner for the media, even the mention of the frilly dress lady all reminded me of The Hunger Games.  A couple of chapter later, things started to pick up, the author did a great job keeping the trepidation going as Gene (main characters) fights to keep his identity hidden. I kept wondering when they will figure out there’s a heper (human) in the mist of vampires.

The vampires in The Hunt are the scariest and at the same time weirdest vampires I have ever read about it. They are insidious blood-lust predators, going crazy just at the sight and smell of hepers.  Their equivalent to laughing is scratching their wrist, when showing affection they rub their elbows into the other person’s armpits…everything is just so different and bizarre. The characters in this book are so one-dimensional, including the main character Gene. While the book kept my attention when it mattered, I didn’t feel anything for the characters. Like I said before the author did a good job with keeping the suspense at time, but the writing felt so monotonous.  A good point that other readers brought up was the lack of back story. When we are first introduced to Gene, he’s already on his own living among the vampire society…we didn’t even know his name yet! I think his name was not mentioned till a little over 100 pages (sigh).

Overall The Hunt was a good but not great start to a new series. The ending was left on a cliff hanger with a big revealed relating to Gene. Would I read the next book? Maybe. I might borrow it from a friend or library just because I want to know what happens next. There is still a lot of unanswered questions about the vampire society, the hepers that lived in the dome, and Gene’s love interest Ashley June. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy dystopians, but if you’re looking for an action packed/fast pace novel…then this might not be the book for you. 


**Thank you St. Martin's Griffin for sending me an e-Arc of the book**