Archive for July, 2013

ender 1

5 stars

Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) – Orson Scott Card

Synopsis:

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
Ender’s Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Review:

Let me first start off by saying that I originally thought this was going to be some kind of Stephen Spielberg type of book like E.T or Super 8 but I was wrong!

This is a fantastic book.  It is superbly written.  It is not necessarily fast paced but the story is extremely engaging.  I was hooked from the start.  I read it in one day!  It is a somewhat dark story because “Ender” is a very sad child/genius/creation who does not want to hurt anyone but it’s in him and he gives into it, not always unnecessarily, but he lets that helpless feeling rule him.  He is constantly bullied and tormented yet he goes on.  “Ender’s” character is very easy to have empathy and sympathy for whether you are a child or adult.  I think we all have a little bit of “Ender” in us.

It is an easy to follow storyline with only one exception: there are times when military personnel are discussing “Ender’s” progress and it was hard for me to tell who was speaking to who and when it occurred.  That was about the only complaint I had, well that and the fact that I was given this book for my birthday in June and my brother “conveniently” forgot to tell me that this book is apart of a quadrology so I do not have the rest of the books yet, BUT I WILL!

Think of it as a cross between, War Games, Hunger Games and Battlestar Galactica…the first book at least 🙂

There is a little bit of language but nothing too over the top and some of the fighting can get a little rough but it’s not too bad either.  I would recommend for pre-teen and up.

List of Books in Order:

First Meetings in Ender’s Universe (Ender’s Saga #.05)…Novella on Ender’s father

Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1)

War of Gifts (Ender’s Saga # 1.5)…Novella on forbidden religious holidays at Battle School

Speaker For The Dead (Ender’s Saga #2)

Ender in Exile (Ender’s Saga #2.5)…Novella on the lost years of Ender between the ages 12-35

Xenocide (Ender’s Saga #3)

Children of the Mind (Ender’s Saga #4)

Major motion picture to be release in 2013!

fallen 4

3 stars

The Fallen and Leviathan (#1-2) – Thomas Sniegoski

Synopsis:

On his eighteenth birthday, Aaron begins to hear strange voices and is convinced he is going insane. But having moved from foster home to foster home, Aaron doesn’t know whom he can trust. He wants to confide in the cute girl from class, but fears she’ll confirm he’s crazy.

Then a mysterious man begins following Aaron. He knows about Aaron’s troubled past and his new powers. And he has a message for Aaron: As the son of a mortal and an angel, Aaron has been chosen to redeem the Fallen.

Aaron tries to dismiss the news and resists his supernatural abilities. But he must accept his newfound heritage — and quickly. For the dark powers are gaining strength, and are hell-bent on destroying him….

Review:

Ok, so it took me awhile to read all of this book.  I am not sure why, I just couldn’t get into it.  First off, it is written in the third person (which I really have a hard time with).  Although the use of this mode of narration is very handy because you get to feel ALL characters feelings and hear their thoughts but that also cause the book to jump around A LOT.  It didn’t just jump around at each chapter, it jumps at random points and it makes it a little hard to follow.

The way it jumps around makes it hard for me to convey the pace of the book as well because some of the jumps happen in the past and some jump to another character who has some “down time”.

Another thing that bothered me was how the angels/nephilim could talk to animals.  I know that seems like such a small thing but it really felt like I was reading Dr. Doolittle, maybe that was just me but it kind of felt cheesy.  I really wanted this to be fantastic, the cover is what grabbed my attention.

Even after reading the first book I am still not sure what the arc of the story is.

I love fallen angel stories but this one just did not grab me.  I will try to continue the series but I make no promises.  I hate not finishing a series but reading one that takes me days and days to complete each book is like torture.

List of Books in Order:

The Fallen (Fallen and Leviathan #1-2)

End of Days (Fallen #3)

Forsaken (Fallen #4)

Armageddon (Fallen #5)

 

 

time keeper 1

4-stars

The Time Keeper – Mitch Albom

Synopsis:

In this fable, the first man on earth to count the hours becomes Father Time. The inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world–now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began–and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.

Review:

I really enjoyed this book.  It is a very easy and short read with only 224 pages.  I found it very inspiring.  Anyone who lets time rule their world should read this.  Some of it can be a little confusing because it starts off thousands of years ago in “Dor’s” time and later he’s in the present but he remembers or is told things of the past.  It is not distracting though.

The theme of the book is seems very simple but Mitch Albom turns it into something that every single one of us has molded our lives around.  The story has 3 different characters lives that intertwine with each other and each character learns something from the others, even “Dor” who is Father Time has a lesson to learn.

Can you imagine if there was no such thing as time, if there were no counting minutes, hours or days.  How would you live if you had no measurement or concept of time passing?

I would recommend this to any age.

I know I usually read a book every two days or so but I have fallen a bit behind.  I have been trying to stock up my Etsy store 🙂

I am currently reading “Fallen” by Thomas Sniegoski and I am about halfway through the first book so hopefully I will have a review for you tonight!

I didn’t want anyone to think I dropped off the face of the Earth…which I tend to do sometimes.

OOOHHHH BTW…For those of you who are interested/obsessed with “The Name of The Wind” by  Patrick Rothfuss….It was optioned as a TV Show!!!

Check it out here: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/07/patrick-rothfuss-name-of-the-wind-television-show

dark kiss 2

4-stars

Wicked Kiss (Nightwatchers #2) – Michelle Rowen

Synopsis:

My kiss can kill.

I used to be ordinary Samantha Day, but that’s changed. Now, after one dark kiss from a dangerous boy, I can steal someone’s soul…or their life. If I give in to the constant hunger inside me, I hurt anyone I kiss. If I don’t…I hurt myself.

Bishop is the one whose kiss I crave most, but if I kiss him, I’ll kill him. Then there’s another boy, one I can’t hurt. One whose kiss seems to miraculously quell my hunger. They’re both part of a team of angels and demons that’s joined forces in my city to fight a mysterious rising darkness, an evil that threatens everyone I know and love. I just wonder if I’ll be able to help Bishop—or if I’m just another part of the darkness he’s sworn to destroy….

Review:

May Contain Spoilers

This series is not your typical fallen angel series, it is not the forbidden type of relationship that you normally see.  Don’t get me wrong, there are consequences but not like what you expect.

I enjoyed the mind-melds in this book and there were a lot more of them.  I liked being able to get into “Bishop’s” head and I also loved the fact that you get to know more about his past.  There are a lot of questions answered in this book which is good that it was mapped out as a duology since there are no plans for a 3rd (but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen).

I really enjoyed this series.  The story arc is tightly worked and is beautifully written.  It was a page turner for me.  The only thing that I wish could have been different was the triangle between “Sam”, “Bishop” and “Kraven”.  There was always, in the back of my mind, the feeling that there should have been more emotion between “Sam” and “Kraven”.  I WISHED there would have been a bigger connection between “Sam” and “Kraven”.  I know triangles take alot of work to get them just right and it didn’t really work in this case.  That was the only disappointment for me.

The pace is very fast in this book and a lot happens.  It is full of romance, deceit, action and mystery.  I wish the story could go on in a 3rd book.  Don’t get me wrong, it ends beautifully but another adventure would be fun 🙂

List of Books in Order:

Dark Kiss

Wicked Kiss

starcrossed 2

4-stars

Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) – Josephine Angelini

Synopsis:

Dreamless continues the story of Helen Hamilton, a shy girl living on Nantucket Island whose desire for an ordinary life was thwarted when she discovered she is a Scion, a descendant of a Greek god and a mortal. Each Scion has a power, and Helen’s is the ability to travel to Hades.

Helen is determined to use her talent to stop a war amongst the gods and change her destiny, which is to live a life patterned after that of the tragic Helen of Troy. But her quest may cost her Lucas Delios, the boy she loves.

Review:

I had a hard time starting this one.  It took me 3 days just to get past chapter 1.  I can’t say if it was because the story started slow or if I am just stuck in the last series I finished (The River of Time)…the dreaded book “hangover”.  Once I got past that though the story did pick up and kept my attention.

I did have a hard time at the beginning because “Helen” kept switching from the real world to the Underworld and the way that it’s written is really hard to read…for me anyway.  Since she is the only one who can descend there is no one there she can talk to so it’s a lot of reading adjectives and feelings.  It does eventually change so if you are reading it, don’t give up.

I really wish the truth about “Helen” and “Lucas” would come out already…it’s making me mad. 🙂

I am still enjoying this series and can’t wait to read the next.  Hopefully the library will get it back soon!

List of Books in Order:

Starcrossed City (Starcrossed #.05 – Where Daphne meets AJax in NYC for the first time, where it all begins)…This is only a 9 pg. ebook

Starcrossed

Dreamless

Goddess

waterfall 3

4-stars

Torrent (River of Time #3) – Lisa T. Bergren

Synopsis:

Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times.
 
But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.
Review:
I am in love with this series.  I would recommend this to ANYONE.  There is action, romance, betrayal.  The way the author meshed the present with the past in the form of the words they use and the actions they portray was perfect.
The love story between “Gabi” and “Marcello” made me wish for the days of chivalry.  I am not a touchy feely/ PDA type person but the interaction between makes you dream of that kind of relationship.
I think this book probably had the fastest pace of the 3.  I got through this one in half a day.  I just could not put it down.
I got all three books from the library but I can promise you that I WILL own these and re-read them from time to time.
There was no language, a little sex (after marriage) but it’s not graphic just implied. Some of the battle scenes can be graphic but it’s not too bad.
List of Books in Order:
Waterfall
Cascade
Torrent
Bourne (#3.1 Novella)
Tributary (#3.2 Novella)
Deluge (Fall Release 2013)