Archive for book review

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Posted in Science Fiction Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on July 13, 2013 by teensreadteenbooks

One of the books I read this summer that I thoroughly enjoyed was Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I can’t wait for the sequel to be released, named Crown of Midnight, on August 27th, 2013. When I look for new series, I specifically look for novels with a kick-ass female lead character, similar to Katniss in Hunger Games or Katsa in Graceling. I find it funny their names are so similar =) Several factors went into my choosing of this book. The synopsis made me squeal when I read it, the illustrated cover drew me in, and everything about it made me lust for more!

The novel follows the young, but extremely talented Celaena Sardothien. She’s an 18-year-old, mysterious, and beautiful girl but also an assassin in the kingdom of Adarlan. She’s captured and imprisoned for her crimes, left to rot away in the salt mines of Endovier.  After a long year with several failed escapes of the prison, Celaena is visited by a man named Chaol Westfall, the Captain of the Guard. He brings her in front of the Prince Dorian, the Crown Prince of Adarlan. Realizing she won’t survive much longer in the mines, Celaena accepts the Prince’s  deal, agreeing to be his champion in his father’s tournament to find a new royal assassin. She’s escorted to Adarlan under the false identity of Lillian Gordaina, where she begins her training and tests against the other male opponents. As the tournament begins, things go amiss when challengers mysteriously begin to get killed one by one. Celaena, Chaol and Dorian work together to figure out what’s going on in the kingdom.

The novel is filled danger, action, and mystery behind every corner. When you think you understand what’s going on, Maas sends the book down another path that you’d never expect. Of course, you can’t have a teen book without the classic love triangle. What team are you on? Team Chaol or Team Dorian? =) Likewise, I simply love Celaena’s character. She’d stubborn, intelligent and able to manipulate men to her advantage. She can kill people whenever she wants in ways the reader wouldn’t think of, earning her the reputation and resect she deserves. There’s even Celaena’s mysterious (magical) past that Maas only touches on briefly in this book, leaving her readers hanging and asking questions.

Anyone who loves this book would like Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers or Defiance by C.J. Redwine.

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

Posted in Science Fiction Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2013 by teensreadteenbooks

Sorry for not posting in a while, but things have been hectic these last few months. I’m preparing for my next step in life by attending Young Harris College in the GA mountains. It’s taking a lot including going to orientation which was an amazing experience. I’m going to continue writing reviews every now and then, because I love sharing my thoughts about the books I obsess over.

Today, I will be reviewing the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. It came out a few years ago but recently came into my hands. The books in order go: the Demon King, the Exiled Queen, the Gray Wolf Throne, and finishing with the Crimson Crown released this year.

The first book follows a guy named Han Alister, nicknamed Cuffs for the ones on his wrists and a girl named Raisa, the princess heir of the Fells. They live opposite lives, but one day, they run into each other unknowingly.

Han lives between two towns, one being Marisa Pines with his friend Dancer and the other being Ragmarket with his mom and little sister. He’s dirt poor and being the man in his household is hard to deal with considering how food is in such short supply. He tries to escape his reputation as a street lord and murderer when it threatens his family’s lives. One discovery will change Han’s life forever.

Princess Raisa is known to be headstrong and somewhat rebellious due to her mixed blood from her mother, the Queen, and her father, the patriach of the Demonai (warriors who kill wizards when they step out of line). These warriors were created during a time called the Breaking where a corrupt wizard named the Demon King nearly destroyed the world. Princess Raisa’s ancestor, Queen Hanalea the warrior, stopped the wizard and saved the world. She created a document called the Naeming which set rules for wizards and queens in the future. Raisa lusts to know the darker side of her kingdom so she can help people when she inherits the throne.

This book series digs into each characters’ lives, exposing their deepest feelings and fears to the audience. The reader sides with Han and Raisa as they push their ways though darkness that has been festering ever since the Naeming was created. There’s love interests around every corner, leaving you wondering who loves who. Their stories provide two perspectives of how people live in the same kingdom, and it only gets better when Raisa and Han meet for the first time!

The Seven Realms series is similar to Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore.

Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

Posted in Science Fiction Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2013 by teensreadteenbooks

Anyone heard of the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth? It’s only the most popular, most anticipated movie to come out this year. There’s two books in the trilogy currently, Divergent and Insurgent, with another coming out October 22, 2013 to be named Allegiant.

The series follows sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior who lives in a society where people are divided into factions. There’s Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave) and Erudite (the intelligent). When Beatrice takes the aptitude test, she finds she doesn’t fit into just one faction, but three (Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless). She is called a Divergent and to never tell  anyone. When Choosing Day comes around, Beatrice must leave her dull life in Abnegation and Beatrice decides to join the Dauntless. Nicknaming herself Tris, Beatrice tries to fit in and survive the hardcore, dangerous initiation of a Dauntless initiate. Tris must push herself to place higher in the ranks of initiates so she doesn’t get cut before being named a full-fledged member. Along the way, she must keep her secret hidden even from the boy she falls in love with. Tensions heighten between the factions, and Tris sees what being divergent really means.

The divergent trilogy is one of the best apocalyptic series out there right now. I love the action scenes that Tris and the Dauntless bring to the book. It keeps the reader begging for more but also worrying for Tris’s safety. The relationship between Tris and Four is unstable but sweet nonetheless. Despite all the obstacles, their love survives. Likewise, the enemy faction  in the book definitely threatens the main characters of the book, but Roth creates an amazing ending filled with loss and love.

Anyone who likes the Divergent Trilogy would like the Matched trilogy and the Hunger Games trilogy.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Posted in Science Fiction Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on May 7, 2013 by teensreadteenbooks

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I will be covering The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. The next book to be released October 29th will be named Never Fade.

The book main character is named Ruby. She is 16 years old and survived a plague that killed almost all the kids in America. Every child that survived it including her develop abilities that created fear in the adult community. In an attempt to contain the kids, concentration camps are created all over the nation. These “camps” are a nightmare for the kids because there’s experimentation, torture and murder. Ruby has spent 6 years in the camp hiding because her ability is dangerous, and others like her don’t stay long in camp. When the truth comes out about her ability, she is offered an escape she can’t resist. Though once outside, Ruby realizes her rescuers may not be the right people to be with. She escapes them as well and meets up with a group of other escapees hiding in a van. They take her into their group and continue their search for the kid refuge called East River. Once they arrive, things aren’t as they seem. Love is found, battle ensues, and an ultimate sacrifice is made by one of the characters.

The Darkest Minds is a suspenseful, apocalyptic novel that paints a darker picture of America after a disease strikes. The characters including Ruby and her group of friends have a great dynamic that leads them to succeed throughout the novel. Ruby especially was interesting to learn about because of her fear of herself and her ability. It’s interesting to think about how powerful she is but see how much she considers herself a monster. The constant struggle between the kids and the people trying to stop them is intense and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

I recommend the Gone series by Michael Grant and the Michael Vey series by Richard Paul Evans to anyone who likes this book!

Hope you enjoyed! 🙂

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Posted in Science Fiction Reviews with tags , , , , , on May 4, 2013 by teensreadteenbooks

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I have been reviewing a bunch of series so far, but for this post, I am going to talk about a book that was recently put in stores, and I rather enjoyed it! It’s by Rachel Hartman, and it’s named Seraphina.

The book follows Seraphina, a young woman living in the city of Goredd, where dragons take human form inside the city under a peace that has lasted 40 years. Eventually, she decides to leave home to get away from her father, a lawyer who defends dragons in court. The two never really got along, but Seraphina finds herself a position in the royal household as a court musician. But just as she joins the court, Prince Rufus is murdered in a draconian fashion. Tensions are high between the two races, and Seraphina has a secret that makes her fear both sides. With the help of her dragon teacher, Orma, she keeps her secret under wraps as long as she can. Seraphina walks a dangerous path as she befriends and eventually falls in the love with Prince Lucian Kiggs, the captain of the guard. He’s naturally curious and skilled in interrogating, and Seraphina interests him deeply. The two work together closely to find out who murdered Prince Rufus.

In this book, I was very pleased with how Hartman created essentially two different worlds. The physical world that Seraphina lives in, seems medieval in nature and defiantly fits the setting I have created in my head. The world inside Seraphina’s head is even more interesting because it makes Seraphina who she is while it also risks her life. The relationship between Kiggs and Serpahina made me smile because of their sarcastic, curious spirits. They work well together despite the many fights they get in. Overall, I was pleased with the book for its adventure and mystery. The dragon aspect of the book just made me extremely happy!

Anyone who likes this book would love the Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini. Both have dragons in them! Where could you go wrong?

Lorien Legacies Series by Pittacus Lore

Posted in Science Fiction Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on May 3, 2013 by teensreadteenbooks

Going back to a more mainstream book, the Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore follows a guy named John who is number four (if it isn’t obvious from the title). The books in the series are I Am Number Four, the Power of Six, and the Rise of Nine. The next book, to be released later this year, will be named the Fall of Five. The first book of the series, I am Number Four was made into a movie a couple years ago. Click the link for the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5djHG3hPu0

To be more specific, John was born on a planet called Lorien, but his planet was attacked by another race of aliens called mogadorians. Escaping their planet with their lives, John and eight other kids were part of the Garde, gifted with legacies (abilities) and were destined to one day rebuild their world. Each child also was a given a cepan (protector) to protect and train their garde member. Along with that, a spell was cast on the nine garde kids, making them impossible to kill out of order unless they join forces. As the mogadorians come to earth to hunt them down, the first three are killed. John is fourth and is the next target. When John moves to Paradise, Ohio to stay under the radar, he finds a best friend named Sam, a girlfriend named Sarah, an enemy named Mark, and a dog named Bernie Kosar. Eventually though, trouble comes to Paradise, and an all out war breaks loose.

The next two books involve John evading the mogadorians and the authorities that think he’s a terrorist. More members of the Garde are introduced and have adventures and dangers of their own.

One of the best things about the Lorien Legacies series is the action scenes. There are gun fights, sword fights, giant monsters, and people using their abilities to survive. It’s the aspect of science fiction that I truly love. Also, the mystery aspect of the book keeps the reader wondering. Pittacus Lore does an excellent job of keeping some information secret from the readers until the right moment. Lastly, all the characters, especially the members of the Garde, all have unique personalities which clash but get them to work together when necessary.

Anyone who likes the Lorien Legacies series would like the Maximum Ride series and the Gone series (in a previous post).

Jumper Series by Steven Gould

Posted in Science Fiction Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on May 3, 2013 by teensreadteenbooks

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One of the series I love that is not well-known and not a best seller is the Jumper series. You may or may not have seen the movie Jumper starring Hayden Christensen. It’s based off of the first book that I’m about to talk about, but it definitely takes a different spin on the plot. If you want to see the movie trailer, click this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMasdjup_JU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

There’s three books in the series. In order, they go Jumper, Reflex and Impulse. All written by Steven Gould, the stories follow David, a man who can teleport wherever he wants, whenever he wants.

In the first book, David ends up escaping his abusive father, moves to NYC, and begins robbing banks. Eventually, David meets Millie, a girl from Oklahoma who he falls in love with. Despite his happiness, everything eventually catches up with David as his mother is killed, and the NSA consistently attempt to capture him in order to use his abilities for their own use.

In the second book, Reflex, the reader finds that David married Millie. Also, David occasionally works for the NSA on cases he deems morally sound. While on a mission, David is kidnapped by a powerful criminal organization with influence of American agencies and Brian Cox, David’s NSA handler, is killed. While David is tortured and experimented on, Millie figures out a way to rescue her husband.

And in the last book, Impulse, which just recently was released, David and Millie are helping people in need all around the world. Alongside them is their teenage daughter, Cent. Like a teenager, Cent wants a normal life with friends and a school and a boyfriend. She has been forced to live in hiding her whole life because of the men who tortured her father and other agencies looking to manipulate them. Eventually, Cent discovers she can jump like her father. With this revelation, her parents agree to put Cent in a small town high school in the middle of nowhere. She meets friends, takes of snowboarding, and even falls in love. But that doesn’t come without trouble. Cent also takes on the bullies in town which ultimately brings attention to herself. Cent tries to balance her jumper life with the one she’s always wanted, but it ends up being harder than she originally thought.

In this series, Steven Gould creates amazing stories with David and his family. Each book progresses perfectly as David builds a family and matures into a man. The relationships Gould builds between his characters help the reader understand the situation they’re in. Likewise, the science fiction aspect of the book is great. Who would have thought to make a book about a teleporting man? The overall series captivates the audience and makes it hard for the reader to set it down.

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