Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I loved this book. Lee is forced to flee her home after her parents are murdered. Disguising herself as a boy, she heads west during the Gold Rush. Keeping her ability to sense gold a secret, as well as her true identity, she begins a dangerous, life changing adventure that teaches the meaning of trust, friendship, and courage. Lee is a wonderful, empowering character who learns to take charge of her own destiny, and works selflessly to ensure the survival of everyone in her wagon train to California.

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Micro Review: Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Vader’s Little Princess is a funny look at Vader as a dad to the spunky Leia. The author’s sense of humor shines through his touching illustrations that borrow from the movies, giving a new look at Vader. Occasionally overwhelmed by his clever daughter, the Sith lord finds his hands full as he tries to juggle fatherhood with ruling the galaxy. Moments of tenderness and frustration abound, delighting the reader with lines from the movies put into a new light. This comic book is highly recommended for fans of the original trilogy.

Grade:  B+

Review copy borrowed from my local library

In this irresistibly funny follow-up to the breakout bestseller Darth Vader and Son, Vader—Sith Lord and leader of the Galactic Empire—now faces the trials, joys, and mood swings of raising his daughter Leia as she grows from a sweet little girl into a rebellious teenager. Smart and funny illustrations by artist Jeffrey Brown give classic Star Wars moments a twist by bringing these iconic family relations together under one roof. From tea parties to teaching Leia how to fly a TIE fighter, regulating the time she spends talking with friends via R2-D2’s hologram, and making sure Leia doesn’t leave the house wearing only the a skirted metal bikini, Vader’s parenting skills are put hilariously to the test.

Review: Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

So glad I checked this out of the library. Roan wants one thing – to be pilot. Too bad his dreams are crushed when his application to the Pilot Academy is rejected. Resigned to attending plant school, Roan thinks his life is over before he even enters middle school. Then a surprise invitation to attend Jedi Academy arrives, and since he’s so desperate to get off of Tatooine, he accepts.

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Review: Illicit Night with the Greek by Susanna Carr

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

This is going to be a rambling review.  The taboo aspects of this story didn’t bother me.   How everybody treated Jodie did. Her parents ignored her and shuttled her from one distant boarding school to the next, eager to rid themselves of her presence so they could selfishly pursue their lives without having a kid around. Stergios and his family treated her horribly, when all she wanted was some place to call home and someone to care for her. She was 15 years old when she first met them, and they couldn’t get rid of her fast enough, either! I’m just thinking what a crappy childhood that would have been, and what a strong person she must be to not be even more messed up than she was.  Jodie had zero positive role models while growing up.   ZERO.  The only reason her dad showed any interest in her at all was to ensure he received his massive child support checks from her mother.  How sad is that?

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Review: Dreaming Death by J Kathleen Cheney

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I wanted to read Dreaming Death because it sounded different.  I was in a bit of a rut last year, sticking with the tried and true and reading a lot of series romance.  I decided that for this year, I would switch it up, and read a mix of genres.  I am loving the urban fantasy titles I’ve picked up, and was hoping for the same success with this fantasy.  While parts of it were fascinating, I had a huge problem with one of the characters, and it marred my enjoyment of the book.

This is an interesting premise.  Unfortunately, I found Mikael to be a spineless wimp, at least until he met Shironne, and Kai was a sullen turd. I shudder at the thought of grudge-holding Kai being the next king.  He is the favorite of the king to take control of the throne, and all I could think was, “That’s the best candidate you have?”  Ugh!  I didn’t buy the reasons for his behavior, and just thought he was being immature and petty.  I hated this guy, and it was a struggle to get through scenes he was part of.

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#Zombies Review: Waking Up Alive by Emma Shortt

 

Contains Spoilers!

Polly Parker has things good in deadly chaos after the zombie apocalypse.  She’s snug as a bug in a secure building in Chicago, just waiting for the wakers to die.  She occasionally ventures outside to give herself something to do, and when the mathematician runs into Tye LeBow, she turns her cushy life on end.  Letting Tye into her home, and her life, is a huge risk for Polly, one that she’s very careful about making.  The last time she tried to help someone, she was viciously assaulted, proving that the zombies aren’t the only monsters prowling the streets.

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Mini Review: Nightfall by Ellen Conner

May Contain Spoilers

I loved the action, but struggled with the protagonists. They aren’t particularly likable, or rational, which made me doubt they would, indeed, survive the end of the world.  Jenna, in particular, behaves with extreme immaturity, which both grated and made me wish, even for a moment, that she would be the next victim of the demon dogs.  She is more upset that Mason freezes her out emotionally than she’s mad that he kidnapped her, tying her up and tossing her in the trunk of her car before driving her to his isolated cabin in the woods.  He only does it to “save” her from the end of the world, but since she doesn’t believe that the end of the world is nigh, she should have been a lot more pissed at him than she was about that incident.

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Review and Giveaway: City of Light by Keri Arthur

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I am a big fan of Keri Arthur’s Souls of Fire series, so I was excited to check out City of Light.  This is the start of her Outcast series, which has a futuristic, post-apocalyptic feel.  The main character is a déchet, an artificially conceived super-solider with both shifter and vampire DNA, and she’s been trained to seduce enemy shifters to divulge their deepest secrets.  She can alter her image, she’s immune to poison, and she can talk to ghosts.  She’s also pretty kick ass in a fight, and can better than hold her own in most instances.  She has one major weakness, and it’s almost her downfall several times during the story.  Tiger was in charge of the nursery in one of the déchet bunkers, and after the shifters won the war and attempted to eradicate all traces of her kind, she was forced to watch all of her young charges, as well as every other individual in the bunker, die horrible deaths when toxins were pumped into the structure.  When she learns that a child is in danger, she drops everything to save her and ends up leaping from the frying pan into the fire.

It’s been over a hundred years since the end of the war, and Tiger has spent most of that time hiding in the bunker.  The shifters dumped cement into the bunker to permanently seal it off, but luckily for Tiger, it only filled the top levels, leaving the rest of the structure intact.  There are secret entrances that she makes use of to steal in and out of her home, which is populated with the ghosts of her young wards, as well as the deceased warriors that inhabited the lower levels.  This was one of the largest plot holes for me, because it make zero sense that the victors of the war would completely overlook the fact that the military bunker had more ways in than the ones they sealed.  Especially when it was so close to their city.  They were so confident that they killed everyone in the bunker that it was inconceivable to them that someone actually survived.  With all of the times Tiger entered and exited her home, it was inconceivable to me that nobody noticed.

After the shifters dropped bombs to end the war, their weapons tore rifts between this world and the next, letting in monsters more terrifying than those they fought during the war.  Now blood-thirsty monsters dominate the night, causing the city dwellers to live under perpetual artificial light. Not only do the humans and shifters have to worry about vampires, but the Others from beyond the rifts also hunt during the night.  It’s during a monster infested night that Tiger’s ghosts send her out into the darkness.  There is a child out there, unprotected, soon to be a snack for the vampires.  Without a second thought, Tiger races out to save her, and also finds an injured ranger, a shifter that specialized in the murder of déchets.  Tiger manages to save both of them, and turns her quiet life on its ear.

There’s a lot of action and near death episodes in City of Light, and that kept me engaged in the story.  Tiger can’t trust anyone – not her new acquaintances, not an old friend she’s been reunited with.  There’s something off about everyone, some darkness she can’t quite place her finger on.  When she learns that someone is kidnapping young children for unknown, but most assuredly nefarious purposes, she begins to suspect government ties to the crimes.  With time running our, she knows she only has herself and her ghosts to rely on.

I thought some of the world building was a little weak.  I didn’t think this post-war world was sufficiently fleshed out, especially when it came to the government structure and the ruling hierarchy.  Some of the supporting characters also felt flat and one-dimensional.  The lead up to a few of the action sequences seemed drawn out, leaving me to hope that the battles would soon begin.  These are typical gripes I have at the start of a new series, and I’m hoping some of my concerns will be expanded on later in the series.  I did enjoy the book, and I’m looking forward to the next title in the Outcast series. 

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by Publisher

The first in an all-new futuristic fantasy series from Keri Arthur—the New York Times bestselling author of the Souls of Fire novels.

When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between this world and the next, they allowed entry to the Others—demons, wraiths, and death spirits who turned the shadows into their hunting grounds. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay….

As a déchet—a breed of humanoid super-soldiers almost eradicated by the war—Tiger has spent her life in hiding. But when she risks her life to save a little girl on the outskirts of Central City, she discovers that the child is one of many abducted in broad daylight by a wraith-like being—an impossibility with dangerous implications for everyone on earth.

Because if the light is no longer enough to protect them, nowhere is safe…

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