Author: Lorraine Thomson
Series: The Dark Times
Publisher: Bastei Entertainment
Sorrel lives in a world with no power, little food, and limited people and entertainment. She is fairly content in her walled in village, though, where everyone works together to get by. She has her mother, her siblings, and the boy she likes seems to have chosen her back. Things seem to be ok, for the most part, until the day that the mutants came. They ripped her family from her, and took David and several other kids from the village as hostages. Sorrel sets out on a journey that she may or may not survive, determined to get David and her youngest brother, Eli, back from the mutants, or die trying.
I really enjoyed this Thomson novel. It has been a while since I have read a dystopian, so it was fun to journey back in to a dystopian land. The world-building was well done in this book. The only real issue that I had with it, is that we don’t really get any type of a back-story at all as to what lead to this new era. It would have been nice to have gotten some hint as to the past issues that lead up to the now. That may very well be a personal preference, though, and did no really detract from the visualization of the current world. The main players are all well developed, if not always likeable. Likeability in the mc’s is certainly not something that is a must-have for me to enjoy the book, although I do need to understand their motivation, which was evident in this case. One thing that this book has, that I was not expecting, was the added bonus of making me consider morality: Who truly were the “good” and “bad” beings, in this case? Was it the humans or the mutants? Were any of them truly good or bad, or is it a matter of the position that you can place yourself in to see their point of view the most easily? I was not expecting that out of this novel at all, but it was certainly there. I always enjoy it when a book can make me consider things a bit deeper. The only other criticism that I found was that it did drag a bit in some parts, although it picked back up soon after, so it was not an issue to push through those areas. Overall, this was a good start to, what will be, a new trilogy. I’m looking forward to the next installment.
Author: Lisa Carlisle
Series: The Berkano Vampire Collection
Nalia has held a grudge against that Makara Coven since they turned her away as a child. In order to secure their assistance in helping save her village from the vampires, she swallows her pride and agrees to return to them for help. After an attack, however, she winds up stranded. As she is alone, and attempting to find her way, a starving vampire finds her and offers to help her. That help won’t come free, though. Nalia must make a tough decision. The wrong choice could prove devastating, and not only to Nalia herself…
Witches and Vampires from Lisa Carlisle…do I need to day more? Ok, fine, I will! The newest work is a standalone in the Berkano Vampire Collection (No worries, they can be read in any order!). This is the first of this collection that I have read, but I definitely want to read more! Carlisle’s world building was phenomenal, as always. It was so easy to get lost in this world, and just want to stay there. The character development was also as great as her other works. Each of the characters was fully fleshed out, and it was easy to see where and why they belonged in the story. I love everything that I read from Carlisle, but this is easily one of my favorites. I hope that you guys enjoy it as much as I did!
Author: Linsey Miller
Genre: Fantasy/YA Fantasy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Sallot Leon, better known as Sal, is a street fighter and an excellent thief. Sal, however wants more from life than robbing nobles and fighting. In the midst of a robbery one day, Sal finds a flyer for auditions for the position of Opal in the Queen’s Left Hand- her personal assassins, named after the rings on her left hand, and decides to go for it. The auditions turn out to be not only training, but a fight to the death with the other contestants. This is a fight that Sal may not be prepared for, but is determined to win and get revenge for their country that was destroyed by the nobles that are in the capitol and the heart of Elise, who they are growing closer and closer to. Will Sal survive to live out this dream?
Guys, I finished this book, and immediately said that I needed more! Seriously, check my Twitter feed! This is that wonderful rare occasion where I have trouble believing that this is a debut novel. The characters were so well rounded and fleshed out. I absolutely loved that the main character, Sal, was gender fluid. It made this character all the more interesting, and definitely an underrepresented community that we should see more of. Miller writes characters that you want to become invested in. The world building was so lovely, and easily visualized. It had enough romance in it to add to the story, but not so much as to make it the focus. This is written as a YA Fantasy, but truthfully it is just a very well written Fantasy that would appeal to anyone looking for that type of escape. I can’t wait to find that escape again in the next installment!
Author: Heidi Heilig
Series: The Girl from Everywhere
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
This sequel to The Girl from Everywhere finds us once again aboard the ship Temptation, where it is now Nix’s turn to take the helm and try and change fate- this time the fate is her own and Kashmir’s. After everything that happened in Hawaii, the crew find themselves back in New York where Nix finds out that it has been seen that she is destined to lose her love. She can’t imagine her life without Kash, and is determined to find a way to change this destiny, when the possibility presents itself. Is it possible to change fate? What is she willing to give up to change time?
This is one of those wonderful instances where the sequel was as good as, or possibly better than, the original book in the series. Heilig’s writing is rich and captivating. Her characters, even the secondary ones, all have great depth. The world building is absolutely phenomenal. I would say that it is even better in this installment than it was in the first. I loved that this book had some chapters told from Kash’s POV, so we got an even better look in to his mind and thoughts. Although I have always been a fan of the Fantasy/Sci-Fi genres, I have never been one to be caught up in anything involving time travel. This series, however, has grown to be one of my favorites. The only hesitation that I would have, is that this was originally slated to be a duology. The ending left it open to the possibility of further installments, though, if the author chooses to do so. I, for one, fervently hope that she does, because I would like to see the story go a bit further, and have some questions answered, before we call it the end.
When Darkness Whispers
Haunted by an unclear past, biologically enhanced Marine, Eva Montreaux, can’t be distracted from her mission. With Americans being murdered on the island of Okinawa, it’s critical. But when her investigation brings her face to face with Marcos Delacruz, it triggers memories. Ones she lost. Memories that somehow include him.
You guys will remember this wonderful author from my past review of her novel Knights of Stone: Mason, you know, the series with the hot Gargoyles! She’s back with this new novel, which promises to be very different, but looks like it will be awesome. I, personally, can’t wait to get my hands on it! Of course, my review will follow once I do. It releases this Thursday, May 11, so pick up a copy!
Author: Gregory Little
Series: Unwilling Souls
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Ses and the Artisan Guild are on the run, after she unwittingly revealed their headquarters while saving her father and keeping the gods imprisoned. She placed her trust in the wrong person, Murien. They now must make the long journey to their new headquarters, Ocypode. Once they arrive, however, things are not the way that they expected them to be. They are worse. Meanwhile, Murien is sent undercover in the Pit to infiltrate the apprentice smiths. Things begin happening there, and he doesn’t know who he can trust- quite the turn of events. The gods have servants who are on the move, and putting plans in to action, and Ses is forced to team up with unlikely allies to get to the bottom of it.
I was blown away by the first book in this series, Unwilling Souls. Unfortunately, a lot of time when that happens, the sequels can’t live up to the original. I am so, very, happy to say that was not the case here! The phenomenal world building from the debut only got better. The character building continued, and the characters became more complex. This story was just as gripping as the last, and was so enjoyable to read. I look forward to much more from this author!
Author: Scott Hawkins
Publisher: Broadway Books
Carolyn and her adopted siblings have been raised in the Library, by Father, since their parents were all killed in an incident many years before. They are all Librarians, in the broadest sense. They are tasked with, collectively, learning literally everything- each about their own catalog. Father, however, wrote the Library. He is what one would consider a god of the age. The problem: Father is missing, and possibly dead. The Librarians know that there will be a battle brewing to take his place, and Carolyn has been preparing for that. She has a plan…
This was one of the strangest, and most odd, novels that I have read in a very long time possibly ever- and I loved every second of it! This dark fantasy gripped me from the beginning, because I just needed to figure out what was going on. Honestly, I’m not sure that I really did until close to the end. The structure was laid out in a very different way, but it really worked for this novel. The characters were all very well developed, and fully fleshed out, especially the MCs. I wasn’t entirely sure what to think about Carolyn, the protagonist, throughout most of the book. I liked her, I disliked her, then I rooted for her again. The world building was spectacular. While it is technically set in “our world”, it’s a different world altogether. (Sorry, it’s a bit difficult to explain without spoilers!) I will reveal to you that there were some scenes that may be a bit difficult for some readers. They are not gratuitously placed, in my opinion, they fit in to the plot of the novel. If you want a story that will keep you wondering what is going to happen next, scratching your head, and that is wholly original (not something I can say very often!)- this book may just be for you!