Review: Firstlife (Everlife #1) by Gina Showalter


Title: Firstlife
Author: Gina Showalter
Publisher/Year:  Harlequin 2/23/16
Length:   332 Pages
Series:  Everlife #1


Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t where the boy she’s falling for lives? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

My Thoughts

I’m a girl who’s at times swayed to read a book based by the cover art more so than the plot, and i have to say that the cover of this one drew me in more than anything.  The interesting thing is though, that there’s a unique story here – one that really intrigued me from the get go.  While i’m going to say that overall this was a fairly decent book, it was a bit slow moving at times, and i’m still not sure what to make of this first installment of the series.

Like the summary says, our leading lady is Ten – a girl who when she was born was marked by both realms of this interesting world as being something special.  Each seems to think that she’s got the ability to bring great change to their society yet, she’s given the chance to choose which side she wants and through a series of events from her family, and her life, she doesn’t know what to choose which results in her being sent to an asylum of sorts where she’s punished, tortured and forced to lead a horribly bad life.

Throughout this story, it’s basically grounded in communications between 2 guys who are sent from either realm to sign her, and these boys notes back to their superiors.  What we see is that what starts out though as a ‘job’ of sorts turns into something much more when both guys (Killian and Archer) somehow get emotionally attached.

We see a lot of death, a lot of scheming, an interesting backstory of how Archer and Killian know each other and have come to be enemies, and along the lines, there’s quite a bit of romance brewing.  Ultimately, secrets are revealed, and yet some continue to fester, but all in all, we see that there’s so much more to the realms and to the world that even those in the realms know, and that means that the need for Ten to make a choice and bring the world to it’s knees in a sense is that much more important.

The decision that she makes at the end is somewhat surprising since i actually didn’t think that she’d ever choose – but i think that there’s more than romance and good v bad behind that choice and we’ll have to see how it plays out in the next book.  All in all a fairly interesting problem that we have.

the biggest downside that i have though with this one though to be honest, is that like i said earlier, it was a bit slow.  I mean, our author does a great job with describing where we are and what they are seeing – what’s going on and all that, but i feel like there were chapters where things just dragged a bit and it was only through the fact that i HATE putting books down that i made it through.  At least the ending was a decent cliffhanger so i’m invested and can’t wait now until next february to get the 2nd one.

On that note – happy sunday all and i’ll be back soon!

Review: Red Rising (Red Rising Series #1) by Pierce Brown


Title:  Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher/Year:  Random House Publishing 7/15/14
Length:   401 pages
Series:  Red Rising #1


“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power.  He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

My Thoughts

I love this first installment to the series.  There’s a lot of complexity of what we can really call it since it’s clearly a mix of dystopia, sci-fi and YA, but all in all, it’s one of my favorite blends of a series.   The description tells us that it’s a bit Hunger Games and a bit Enders Game and i’d have to say that it’s not a bad description.

We are introduced to our main character Darrow who’s a Red – the lowest of the low in caste on Mars, and he’s trying to show that his ‘neighborhood’ in the underground which is the least fortunate can actually accomplish things.  It’s when his drilling team actually collects more valuables than the Gammas which are the highest of the Reds, that he thinks the tides are turning, yet his clan still doesn’t get the rewards of that.  His wife Eo tries to get him to see that there is something worth fighting for here, and of course that leads to her death and his (in a sense).

That’s kind of where the meat of our story begins.  It’s after Darrow is killed that we see that maybe what he knew isn’t quite accurate.  He’s brought back to life since he wasn’t fully dead, and he’s transformed into a Gold – the highest of the highs in caste on Mars, to help further the objectives of a rebellion of sorts.  It’s also at this point in time when he realizes that Mars is much more established and colonized than anyone knew – the life above is actually something quite extravagant, yet there are all these awful motives to doing things – and it’s his job as a pawn to try to insert himself into society and beat the system.

This is kind of where the Hunger Games bit comes through, and there’s another series that i liken this to – The Testing, where you’re seeing ‘survival of the fittest’ and whatever else you want to call it.

The bulk of the story from this point on is where Darrow has gone through his transformation to look the part of a Gold, gets into the Institute with the goal of getting an apprenticeship and then a position in the high government of sorts so that the rebellion party (Ares) can overthrow things.

What’s nice about this story is that we see that while Darrow is a Red at heart, he adapts to be a Gold, yet never loses the best parts of who he was – his bond to Eo his deceased wife, and the goal that he’s been put here to deliver on.  He does however fight his own internal battles time and time again because he sees that he’s becoming a monster of sorts – when he’s put into positions to be a leader, yet may have to kill to maintain that role.  It’s only when he looks back at his lineage, as a Red, to really find the best justice and lead by example.

Where this first installment goes is not surprising at all, but the journey is one that really sets us up to understand how the different relationships that he makes are going to help continue the story.  There’s lore of The Jackal that he’s trying to understand, there’s Mustang who can’t be all that she seems, there’s Sevro who’s parentage is an interesting twist in the story and there’s Cassius who we want to see come to terms with things and switch sides, but don’t know if it’s possible.

The ending  – that’s something that i can’t wait to see how it plays out.  There’s a lot of choices put in front of Darrow to further his goals in this game, and i think that he surprises a lot of folks in what he does and the speed in which he makes his decisions, but i think that there are going to be so many ramifications that will really take this story in an interesting and complex direction.  So on that note, i’m super pleased that the 2nd and 3rd books are out already so i can just dive right in and continue the story.  Have a great day all!

Review: The Hunt (Project Paper Dolls #2) by Stacey Kade


Title:  The Hunt
Author: Stacey Kade
Publisher/Year: Disney – Hyperion 4/7/2015
Length: 384 pages
Series: Project Paper Doll #2


Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. Now that she’s on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life.

But accepting Zane’s help means putting him in danger.

Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently.

To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?

My Thoughts

I really enjoy this series and i think that we’re finally starting to see how complex and mixed up things are – and not necessarily in a good way.  We remember the ending of the first installment of the series – where Zane and Rachel managed to break Ariane out of GTX, at the same time she learned that her ‘father’ had been lying to her for the past 10+ years too – so all in all, not the best of days.

So now she’s on the run and Zane is coming along with her since he’s on the hunt for his mother who she now knows where she’s been ‘hiding’.  We can only imagine that things will continue to go from bad to worse and it does!

They are on the run, and manage to some how get to his mom’s and when they get there, it’s a shock to see that Zane’s mom is none other than Mara – the nurse that was re-assigned once Ariane was forced to kill the mouse all those years ago.  It’s upon seeing her that we get another shock – that Mara works for one of the competing labs now – and thinks that Ariane is Ford – one of the other hybrids that’s part of that other lab. the thing too with the other hybrids is that they’ve never managed to assimilate into society and are rather alien like in their mannerisms.  They also have this bond that keeps them tethered to one another, and we quickly learn that their ‘keeper’ has them on some stimulant that they need in order to survive.

Where we go in this 2nd installment is on the journey with this happy couple as they try to figure out what the next move is and how to survive since we know that Ariane is supposed to go to and win the Trials.  It’s never easy since we find that GTX and the lab that Mara works for is now after them, and no one is safe.  You still have to wonder who you can trust.  Ariane is put into several situations where she’s some how forced to choose between alien or human, zane or Ford – and well, that’s never good.  especially when things seem to be moving in a great direction for the happy couple at one point and then in the next scene – it goes all pear shaped and upside down.

What i really like about this though is that there’s still that third lab that you don’t hear about – since the 2 have discounted his methods because it has to do with viral physics or something like that.  They just don’t think that he’s a threat.  I think that we’re going to see something quite interesting and rather twisted happen now that St John (the 3rd doc) has appeared at an interesting time, and has taken capture of one of our favorites in this series.  Life or Death and a mad scientist doctor really makes for an interesting story.

So….the question that comes up is what’s going to happen with Ariane and Zane, Ariane and the other hybrids and Ariane in general?  i want to see her happy with her love life and see her free – but i don’t know if that’s something that can happen.  So….another 2 weeks until i can get my hands on The Trials and we’ll see then.

Review: The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1) by Stacey Kade


Title:  The Rules
Author: Stacey Kade
Publisher/Year: Diseny – Hyperion 4/8/2014
Length: 432 pages
Series: Project Paper Doll #1


1. Never trust anyone.

2. Remember they are always searching.

3. Don’t get involved.

4. Keep your head down.

5. Don’t fall in love.

Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival-and that of her adoptive father-depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans, to hide in plain sight from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”

But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts Adriane in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening-and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules.

My Thoughts

First of all, i’m still not sure why this series is call ‘Project Paper Doll’ since there’s no reference to it in this first book.  I can make my assumptions based on how things are going, but i think that they should have set that one up a bit better.  In any event, i’m kind of mixed about this one and i’ll tell you why.

For the first several chapters i was having this weird sense of deja vu – thinking that i had already read this and wondered why i was reading it again.  then i realized that i was thinking about another series that i had just recently read – The Clone Chronicles by Heather Hildenbrand.  I thought for a second that this was a bit of a duplication of sorts since there was all this talk about being in a lab, under lock and key of a medical staff, and then having this leading female some how have to impersonate a living person.  Well – after about 6 or so  chapters, i realized that perhaps that’s where the similarities ended.  thank goodness.  (although that’s not to say that i didn’t enjoy the other series, since i really did).

So onto this one – now that i was adjusted and on board with the fact that i hadn’t read it yet.  What we have here is an interesting mix of sci-fi (she’s an alien/human hybrid) and YA to the core (we have our high school angst and all that goes along with being a teen) and then a bit of dysopia (a very small bit since it’s not quite at the THG level yet but we’re going there i think).

Ariane – our lead has been cultivated in a lab – as part of an experiment of sorts, and she had been training her whole live to use her powers for some task that she wasn’t aware of, she just knew that she didn’t agree with what they wanted her to do.  to kill.  It’s only after she’s broken out of the lab one night and then hidden away in plain sight that she gets to have a life.  or so she thinks – although not much of one since her father has all these ‘Rules’.  She’s basically not allowed to do anything – since she can’t be found…and of course you know that once she breaks one rule in the hopes of living her own life, things rae going to come crashing down.

The other bit of this is that there’s clearly more to the secret than she knows even.  There has to be more of a motivation for why sh’es not allowed to do anything – for why her father is the way that he is, and for why some of the kids that she associates with are as they are.  They have their own darker stories too – although none of them are really relevant to us, aside from Zane – the boy that causes her to break her rules.

What we have here in this story is a ‘coming of age’ bit – where we see Ariane finally decide for herself that she’s not going to be bound by all of the rules that she’s been given.  We also see Zane come into his own.  He’s been living in the shadow of his older brother who was a star and everyone adored.  now that his brother is in college, he’s left to fall short of everyone’s expectations, especially that of his father.  He also has to live with the issue of his mother leaving – it was the morning after his brother’s graduation party and ironically his own birthday that she up and left, leaving zane behind to deal with the broken pieces of his life.

So you can see that there’s going to be a great dynamic here -2 teens who have nothing really to support them in life and of course that means that they will gravitate towards one another.  Knowing that Ariane has all these secrets that she can’t share with Zane and Zane being the guy that just wants someone to love him.

We see their struggles with just about everything, and how Ariance knows that by spending time with Zane and his ‘friends’ that her secret will come out – yet she still feels the need to do it.  It’s when there’s no way to keep things a secret anymore that things start to get exciting and that’s in the final chapters of this first installment.  Our author has set up such a false sense of security for us, that even i didn’t realize the twist until it was too late.  I think that there’s going to be something great here in this series since it has the beginnings of THG and all of the great ‘fight to the death’ mentality that we all know and love in this genre.  I can’t wait to see what ‘The Hunt’ – book 2 will bring us and thankfully i have that in my library waiting for me.  So, the question is  – will they escape, will both Ariane and Zane survive, and what will it means for the trials.  Who’s going to be on their side when they need help and can’t they trust anyone?  even each other?

Review: The Betelgeuse Oracle by Joseph Macchiusi


Title: The Betelgeuse Oracle
Author: Joseph Macchiusi
Publisher/Year: The Betelgeuse Oracle 11/19/12
Length: 379 Pages


Every civilization has ended in collapse. Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome. All were sophisticated cultures brought low by unanticipated forces greater than themselves.

What forces hasten the collapse of our civilization? Not nuclear war, or climate change, or even an asteroid strike.

For millions of years the supergiant star Betelgeuse has waited patiently on Orion’s right shoulder. Now its moment has arrived. It severs the single thread suspending Western civilization over a great abyss.

Something we take for granted disappears forever. Everything changes now that it is gone. Electronic equipment fails. Aircraft plummet from the sky. Motors cease to work. Distances that seem trifling by car become days-long slogs. Food and water are scarce. Forces awaken that have remained dormant for centuries. In a matter of hours, Western civilization teeters and falls.

James Muir is trapped in the midst of this huge calamity. Struggling to reunite with his wife and young daughters, he suffers bizarre, overpowering visions. A mysterious Voice berates him in ancient Egyptian. Amazed, he comprehends its command to embark on a quest for something it identifies only as “the Stone.”

Hunted by cadres of well armed, highly trained militiamen, haunted by the erosion of his own sanity, James flees urban warfare, riot and pillage. He joins a group of desperate strangers, united to escape a metropolis transformed into a burning, violent wasteland.

But what awaits them beyond the fringes of the city? The further they get, the stronger is the painful tug exerted by the Voice on James’s exhausted mind. As strangers grow into friends and lovers, James comes to realize that the thing called the Stone has a fanatical will of its own. Even if he survives the trek, he may not be strong enough to match the Stone’s baffling power.

The Betelgeuse Oracle is a sweeping saga of loss and heroism, mysticism and visceral horror. Reading this novel will change the way you see the world.

My Thoughts

When i started reading this book, i wasn’t exactly sure what i was getting since the prologue – the introduction to the story was in a different writing style than i’m used to.  I wasn’t sure to be honest that i was going to stick with this book since it seemed a bit more vulgar than i’m accustomed to – a bit more ‘dirty’ than i like, but i think that it was intentional in the sense that if you get past that, then you’ll get into the heart of the story and there’s so much more there.

What we have here is a story of survival – and of sci fi meets dystopia.  (I feel like this and the last story that i read were in the same area).  Anyhow, we have a lead who is put into a position where he’s given power and powers yet all he wants to do is find a way to be with his family.

There’s so much going on here – a lot of personalities and characters that some how become integral to the story without distracting too much from the main flow …in general.  I’ll admit that there were parts that i just wanted to skim through, read rather quickly just to keep the story moving.  don’t hate me – i still got to the same place at the end of the book.

While i usually associate dystopia with places in the US so i can get a full grasp on things, this too a heritage and worldly feel that kind of left me thinking about things differently.  It’s nice to change things up a bit, so i would say that if you’re looking for the next sci-fi dystopia that’s just different enough from what you’re reading, then check this one out.  Enjoy!

Review: Glitch (Lost in Time #1) by Brenda Pandos


Title: Glitch
Author: Brenda Pandos
Publisher/Year: Obsidian Mountain Publishing 1/31/14
Length: 260 Pages
Series: Lost in Time #1


Blue Eyes and his illegal slip of paper are about to shatter Abby’s perfect world.

When a mysterious guy from the forbidden zone sneaks a note to a beautiful young girl from Brighton, she must decide if she should turn him in or follow what the note says.

Eighteen-year-old Abby has no trouble following Brighton’s rules. For one, she’s OCD about checking her Date of Death clock latched to her wrist, making sure her decisions never shorten her lifetime, and two, she enjoys the peace Brighton has to offer. But when her best friend returns from her Advice Meeting–a glimpse into the future–shell shocked and won’t tell Abby what’s happened, she’s worried what awaits her meeting in a few days. The stranger with blue-eyes warned her not to go, but does Abby dare enter the forbidden zone to get answers? Or is she doomed to live the life her glimpse is about to show her?

My Thoughts

What do we have here.  A bit of Dystopia and a bit of sci-fi fantasy – all rolled into one.  Interesting mix right?  We start off in a time where there’s a world inside of a bubble (or walls if you want to be technical) because those who live inside are the survivors – people who were either The Chosen or who were deemed to have value to society after the attack or outbreak of a virus turned people into zombies.  The people who live in the walls now are the descendants (and some are actual survivors) – trying to live their lives as they were laid out.  Each person in this life has a DOD watch – a watch that provides them with their date and time of death so that they know what they need to do to increase their lifespan or what they are doing to make it decrease.

We meet Abby when she’s just ‘coming of age’ in a sense – she’s finally at that age when she’s allowed to meet her ‘Compliment’ – her future self…odd right?  This is where the sci-fi bit comes in.  at the age of 18, you’re able to have a 10 minute conversation with your future self to see what you will become and all of that.  What makes things complicated is that the day before Abby is set to go, she takes a tumble while playing baseball and meets the most beautiful blue eyed boy who gives her a note that says ‘don’t meet your compliment’.  Blue eyes are taboo for some reason and well, no one doesn’t want to meet their compliment – so abby’s all out of sorts.

She goes anyway, and this is where she learns that she’s a glitch.  Her name isn’t on the board and things get more strange from there.  After she’s met a compliment, she’s leaving only to overhear whispered voices saying ‘that was close’.  So she’s thinking that something’s up.

Fast forward a night or 2 when she and her best friend Elle have decided that Blue Eyes is from outside of the walls and that they have to find him and their plans just get more and more complicated since their escape route is found out and they have to re-plan.  While that would be enough, Abby is then kidnapped and taken over the wall and that is where the story really gets good for her.  Much more sci fi to come.

Outside the walls, Abby is enlightened to learn that what she was taught all her life isn’t really the truth, it’s what the society and government want people to believe to keep them in order.  Maybe there were no zombies – the people outside have never seen them.  Life outside the walls is quite amazing too – the land is great, there’s so much air and freedom – and those are all things that Abby was led to believe aren’t the truth.

If that wasn’t enough, she learns that she’s valuable to the government since she’s…..’The Oracle’.  I don’t know about anyone else, but all of these things just take us a bit too far in the fantasy direction.  anyhow – the oracle has the ability to time jump and well, jumping through time they all go.

I’m going to stop there since we’re really going all over the place.  while there’s a lot of great stuff going on here, i’m still not sure where i want to classify this book – as dystopia or Fantasy – so i’m leaving that up to you.  what we do have though is a great YA romance since we see Abby and Blue Eyes begin to realize that there’s a connection – and we see that there’s more to the world than Abby and the folks in Brighton were taught which is exactly what we hope for in this genre.  There’s a bit of confusion throughout though which is intentional i know – that Abby’s compliment keeps getting called Anna – and it’s only in the last statement in this first installment that we find out why – and i guess the intention is to make it a cliff-hanger which it does, but now i’m also confused.

So – all in all, i’d say that the shell is a good one – i’m into it, i’m just not sure what i’m supposed to think genre wise so i’m a bit all over the place.  Oh well – decent enough to read though if you guys are interested in something new that’s YA, Dystopian / Sci-fi.

Review: Ruins (Partials #3) by Dan Wells


Title: Ruins
Author:  Dan Wells
Publisher/Year:  Harper Collins 3/11/14
Length: 464 Pages
Series: Partials #3


Our time is almost up.

As the clock ticks closer and closer to the final Partial expiration date, humans and Partials stand on the brink of war. Caught in the middle, thousands of miles apart, are Samm and Kira: Samm, who is trapped on the far side of the continent beyond the vast toxic wasteland of the American Midwest; and Kira, now in the hands of Dr. Morgan, who is hell-bent on saving what’s left of the Partials, even if she has to destroy Kira to do it.

The only hope lies in the hands of the scattered people of both races who seek a way to prevent the rapidly escalating conflict. But in their midst appears a mysterious figure, neither human nor Partial, with solemn warnings of a new apocalypse—one that none of them may be able to avert.

The final installment in the Partials Sequence is a thrill ride of epic proportions, as the last remnants of life on our planet fight to determine its final fate.

My Thoughts

I feel like the plot lines of this final installment became more divergent (sorry for the wording here) – but that’s honestly a GREAT thing . When we left off in book 2, we were on 1 true journey, and maybe a 2nd sub story, but book 3 really makes things even more complicated and faster paced.

We learned that Kira and Samm made it to ParaGen in Denver and found that there was a civilization alive of humans that were able to successfully reproduce.  We also learned that it was due to the capture of 10 Partials who were harvested on an on-going basis for their blood/phermones which is the only cure to RM and a way to keep humans alive.

The question is, what is the cure to the Expiration date which is plaguing the Partials and killing them off?  If that wasn’t a strong enough plot line to stand on it’s own and to keep readers interested (i know that i would have been intrigued given all the medical and tech speak so far), there’s so much more going on.  There’s a division of people in East Meadow and even along the NY/CT border.  Partials are fighting Partials, Humans are not sure what to do, and during this, there are even bands of humans and Partials that are working together.

What i loved about this final installment is that we had learned a lot about The Trust in the first installments, but not about all of them.  in this book, we really learn a lot more about most – and there are interesting twists the whole way through.  when you think that you have discovered who one may be, you’re not necessarily right, and you’ll never understand their motivation or what side they were on since the Trust didn’t trust each other.

We go on the journey with Nandita and the girls who we learn are also not really human, and i still don’t know if we can trust Nandita and understand which side she’s on.  We continue on the journey of trying to figure out who Kira’s father was – and while we uncover that he was the leader of the Trust, we don’t know what his end goal was – and we’re not sure that we’ll ever know since no one knows where he is.  what we do find are Paritals that have even more gene mods than others had ever seen before, making them even more efficient killers and particularly dangerous – making things even more complicated for Kira and her gang.  At the same time, we continue to see human leaders go rogue and not in a good way.

All throughout this story, the big questions continue to be around whether the nuke will be detonated and what that will mean for the east coast.  We also wonder who’s going to survive – if the only baby that will live is Arwen or if Khan will live too and even if we’ll ever understand what’s going on with him.  What’s causing his disease since it’s not RM exactly.

it’s jam packed full of excitement, death unfortunately, but bonds form where they were never expected.  I really enjoyed this finale – and i think that it brought so many things to closure that we really needed to see.  While you lose hope during the book, and not all of it is restored since there’s a dark and ugly twist in everything, you get the closure that is to be expected and the wrap up of a story of survival and friendship.

What i really wanted to find out is how the love triangle/quadrangle would play out and i was a bit nervous for a long time while reading this.  Not only do we not know if Samm and Kira will ever be united again, we see the feelings come back up for Marcus and Kira when they cross paths eventually and that just makes things all that much more interesting.  Heron and Calix don’t leave Samm wanting for attention though – that’s for sure – and that makes the dynamic even more compelling to read.  Marcus’ comic relief throughout is also a great way to take things down the notch when necessary given the serious tone of most of the book.

All in all, very pleased with how the story progressed, and the path that it took us.  If only we could really see how things turned out after the last page – but,…..i guess that’s all to be in our imagination.  Now hopefully we don’t have to worry about things like all this happening in the next 50 years or so – which is when the story takes place  – but i guess we’ll never know.

Review: Seraphina (Seraphina #1) by Rachel Hartman


Title:  Seraphina
Author: Rachel Hartman
Publisher/Year:  Random House Children’s Books  7/10/12
Length:  480 pages
Series: Seraphina #1


Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

My Thoughts

What do you get when you cross a dragon with a human?

SERAPHINA (and perhaps at least 18 others)

Gotta love stories that dabble into the fantasy realm when they aren’t looking at angels, vampires, werewolves and things like that.  I have found that i LOVE to read those types of stories since they are familiar, yet it kind of seems like they all take a different twist that i find myself trying to guess where the twists are going to go and what characteristics they are going to have for their species.  not the case with Dragons.

the only other story that i’ve read recently that had some level of Dragon-ness or monsterness is Fire by Kristin Cashore.  i think there was some sense of dragons but more so as monsters than anything else.  regardless – i liked the diversion into the dragon realm and to see how those 2 species lived amongst one another

so, we are introduced to Phina, who is 1/2 dragon since her mother was a dragon but kind of hid that fact from well, just about everyone that wasn’t a dragon.  She was able to fit into her ‘human body’ well, and not let on that she wasn’t what she appeared to be.  interestingly, the man that fell in love with her then finds himself in a situation where he’s left surprised by a child that’s part dragon, and he himself gets into a profession where he’s the legal counsel defending all things dragon when they are brought against society/the palace for infractions

i like the plot line of a treaty that was put in place ages ago that generations may not support, and want to fight back and overturn.  that’s something that resonates with a lot of different non sci fy type stories.  i also liked the fact that there were all these factions in the society that were either fighting for or defending the dragons – showing that you can’t be told what to do – you have to make your own choices on that one.

what i want to get to know more about are

1)the quig developed figurines

2)the ‘grotesques’ that are in phina’s mind- who are they, how did they just appear to her, and can she ‘speak’ to all of them and can they talk to each other

3) what happens with Lucien and Phina (and Selda for that matter)

all so much to look forward to in book 2 (when ever that one comes out)