February 3, 2016

a-madness-so-discreet-cover

Grace is a desperate girl in a desperate situation. Placed in an asylum for the insane to hide dark family secrets, Grace retreats into her mind to escape. Escape the monster at home. Escape the horrors of the asylum.

A desperate plan is hatched to allow her to escape her prison and find herself useful in the unknown science that would become forensics.

With the help of Dr. Thornhollow and her two friends from the asylum, Grace finds a way to reconnect with life, use her gift of observation and dish out some satisfying revenge.

This books has sat on my bedside table for two months waiting to be read. I like the author’s other books, Not A Drop To Drink and In A Handful Of Dust, but something about the story line just was not that interesting. I could not have been more wrong. This a fast-paced read with compelling characters.

The scenes in the asylum are appalling along with the practice of lobotomy to subdue inmates. The horror of Grace’s situation is vivid and nauseating. Seeing a glimpse of the care for the mentally ill in the 1850s is not a pretty picture. The author does a good job of showing the true insane and the other inmates that are inconvenient for family or the community.

Surprised myself by how much I like it!

3 1/2 out of 4 stars

January 7, 2016

Soundless-Richelle-Mead-675x1024

Fei lives at the top of the mountain in a village that mines precious metals and sends the cargo to the Township by zip line. The zip line is the only communication with the world below. Metals go down. Food comes up.

Fei also lives in a village where everyone is deaf. Sign language is the only language. Now the unthinkable is happening. People are beginning to lose sight as well.

As the people Fei cares about begin to see less and less, Fei’s hearing comes back in a rush and begins a prophecy that could free her people from slavery and restore the health of each and every person.

This was an okay book for me. I like the Chinese mythology and art portrayed but the characters were flat and the romance was meh.

2 out 4 stars

January 4, 2016

Nightfall

Marin and her brother live in a village by the sea. In her world, Day lasts for fourteen years. At the end of Day, all of the villagers pack up their belongings, put the houses back exactly how they found them and sail for the desert before the fourteen years of Night. Anyone who stays in the village when Night arrives is never heard from again.

Marin’s best friend, Line is nowhere to be seen as the whole village boards the boats that will take them away from the Night. When Marin and her brother finally find Line and return to the docks, all of the boats are gone and the sun is sinking on the horizon. What creatures fill the Night and how will they ever survive?

This is a great story with a suspenseful plot. The quest of the three main characters to escape is fast paced and scary.

3 out of 4 stars

December 3, 2015

the-scorpion-rules-erin-bow

Greta is a crown princess, a duchess and also a hostage–A Child of Peace.

In this future society, environmental disasters have not only changed the landscape of Earth but country borders have also changed. Wars have decimated the population globally.

A self-aware AI, Talis, worshiped and feared by the people of Earth, has devised a solution to war. Confiscate a child from the ruling class of each country. If war is declared, the aggressor and defender country’s children die in the dreaded Grey Room. No discussion. No appeal.

As Greta’s country and Elian’s (the newest hostage) dance around the declaration of war, Greta and Elian become increasingly close and desperate to save each other.

Greta may have found a way to survive the Grey Room and save Elian but she will give up everything, even her sense of self.

This is a great, new take on a Dystopian idea. The sense of doom hanging over the hostage’s head is interesting to see played out. Some hostages are angry, some are resigned. Until Elian comes along and shakes everything up, none of them see a way out.

Talis, the AI, is also truly frightening. His sense of morality is completely skewed, but fascinating to read.

Great Book!

November 12, 2015

dumplin-cover

Willowdean is not your typical beauty queen contestant. She is not small, perky or evenly toned. She has big hair, a big body and a big attitude–on the outside. On the inside, Willowdean has the same fears and insecurities as everyone else.

She is tired of bullies at school putting her down and the other non-perfect student at her high school. She has a crush on a boy that is totally out of her league.

Will must find the courage to overcome grief, demand respect, go for the boy she likes and lead the charge of misfits at the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant.

I liked this book with a but…I did tire of Willowdean’s moping and all-about-me attitude. Sometimes she read so much into a situation that she hurt the people around her for little to no reason. Sometimes I wanted to kick her in the seat and tell her to GET OVER IT or change it.

She finally does but goodness.

2 1/2 stars out of 4

November 5, 2015

wrath and dawn

Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but in the novel The Wrath and the Dawn, revenge also carries heat.

Shahrzad’s  best friend was murdered by the King of Kings, one of many wives murdered at dawn. One dawn. One life. Over and over.

Shahrzad decides that the best way to make the Caliph pay is to take his life and end the violence he has bestowed on so many.

So she marries him and waits for the sun to rise.

This Arabian Night tale has intrigue, magic and a violent curse. Nothing is as it seems. Is the Caliph a monster or a victim as well? Is your first love your only love? Can you fall in love with someone you hate?

Great story. Great Characters. Can’t wait until May 2016 to find out what happens next!

October 27, 2015

beastkeeper-cat-hellisen2

Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents–people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive.

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.

This story has a wonderful, creepy, Halloween vibe to it.

October 12, 2015

Are you looking for a great Halloweenesqe book

with the right amount of creep?

This series is for you!!

Blue Lily Lily Blue2  The Raven Boys2The Dream Thieves1

Blue lives with her mother and eccentric aunts in a modest home. On the inside, this residence is anything but modest. The Aunts run a dial-a-psychic phone line, commune with spirits and meddle in each others’ lives.

From early on, Blue is told that she will kill her true love with loves first kiss. So she protects herself and others by deciding to never fall in love. Until one day, into her living room, arrive Raven Boys (so called for the prep school they all attend) searching for answers to a centuries old mystery. Now all bets about love are off.

This is a terrific series with a great cast of characters. Blue and the Raven Boys-Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah- set out to find the hidden king and extract from him the promised wish. Each character has a different idea on how that wish should be used, of course. The periphery characters are also charming and creepy. Living in a house full of Aunts that can see the future or know your deepest desires puts a wrench in any teenager’s life. Blue is no exception. The Aunts can be fun and loving or vicious and cunning depending on the circumstances. Also used to great effect are characters that are not traditional people. Glendower the hidden king, Gansey’s broken down Camaro, ley lines and the dreaming tree all have larger-than-life parts to play in the adventure.

Each book, in my humble opinion,  is wonderfully paced and leaves you wanting more. The terrible sense of doom that hovers over the relationship between Blue and the Raven Boys hurts the heart. Each book gets consistently creepier, as well. As the boys get more desperate in the search for the hidden king, more shady characters follow and menace-looking for the riches that are believed to be buried with the king.

The next book in the series is due out in February 2016. Now is a terrific time to get lost in a new series.

Ember in the Ashes

Ember in the Ashes
Ember in the Ashes
by Sabaa Tahir
Laia, once from the ruling class of Scholars, is now a slave trying to hold onto her brother–the only family she has left.
Life is not easy for the ruling Martials either. Elias has trained since age 6 in a brutal military school where failure is death.
Can Laia and Elias help the other to finally know what it means to be free?
This was my favorite book of the summer!
Pages: