Sunday, May 31, 2015

Defiance - Defiance #1

The stunning cover drew my eye to Defiance and the story sealed the deal. 

Rachel without a doubt is one of the most believable characters in a dystopian setting I have ever read about. Since Rachel's mother died shortly after she was born and her father was the Commander's best tracker it seemed natural Rachel would grow up more a tom boyish and less girly. Not afraid to get her hands dirty Rachel has a one track mind and will do anything to get what she wants. Instead of conforming to the ridiculous cast system in place Rachel walks a dangerous line that puts not only herself in danger but everyone else she cares for.

Logan had a hard life as a child, his mother broke one of the cast systems laws and was beat to death for him leaving Logan an outcast. Ignored and treated like scum while a child Logan learned how to fight and survive. Using this to his advantage Logan convinced the Commander's best tracker to train him and thus ends his life as an outcast. Despite being proficent at defending himself Logan's real skill is inventing and technology. With Logan's quick thinking and logical mind he is a formidable opponent. 

The Commander is a hard man, he keeps the city safe from the things from the wasteland and expects total obedience from anyone living in his city for that service. Unable to survive in the wastelands the citizens obey the Commander and his the strict laws of the city. Clearly the Commander is not someone who lucked into the job, he is cunning and ruthless. 

Despite the characters who I all liked for one reason or another I had issues with the writing. The grammar was bad in parts and it drew my eye from the story. For that reason Defiance is not getting a five star rating.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rise of the Huntress - The Last Apprentice #7

Rise of the Huntress followed the layout of earlier books in the Last Apprentice series of having one major foe as the focus.

Tom having sold his foe to the fiend in exchanged for a chance at stopping inevitable darkness in the The Spook's Sacrifice has really made Tom's life change. In order to keep the fiend from collecting Alice has to be near Tom all the time and it is clear The Spook does not like this at all. Despite numerous orders for them to cease being joined at the hip Tom ignores his master and keeps Alice close. While Tom wants to follow the orders of The Spook it is becoming clearer that Tom is venturing out on his own and wanting to do things his way. Having received over two years of training Tom is quickly becoming more confident and making decisions for himself. Clearly Tom is growing into a strong willed man.

Alice continues to use dark magic despite the pleas of Tom and the orders from the Spook to cease. Alice's one and only concern is keeping Tom safe. While a nice idea the way Alice goes about constantly saving Tom bothers Tom a lot since he has sworn to fight the dark not use it in his aid.

The Last Apprentice series continues to get darker, bloodier, and have more death. While this is most likely the cause of the fiend being lose in the world I do hope that some good luck heads Toms way since a lot of bad things happened to everyone in Rise of the Huntress. It seems like all the characters need something good to remind them of hope.

I am anxious to continue with the Last Apprentice series and learn the fate of Tomas Ward, Alice, and the Spook.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Spook's Sacrifice - The Last Apprentice #6

Of all the books in the Last Apprentice series up to this point I consider The Spook's Sacrifice to be the weakest by far. In my opinion less was going on and the story did not hold together as well as previous stories.

Having a couple years of training under his belt Tom is learning that the world of the dark is far more vast then he could ever have imagined. Eager to continue with his training and learn what his Mam wants Tom cannot wait for her visit to the country. Yet it is not all fun and games for Tom with Alice banished Tom has to maintain what his master ordered and ignore Alice every time she tries to contact him which is not easy for Tom by far. While Tom sees Alice as a very good friend it seems that is all he sees her as.

Alice continues to walk the line between light and dark. While she does not want to be a malevolent witch she also does not hesitate to use dark magic if it means saying Tom. Even with good intentions dark magic corrupts and Alice continues to use dark magic to protect Tom. Alice is steadfast in her belief that Tom belongs to her and it is clear by this point she has a crush on Tom.

The Spook seems to slowly be fading from the story. While still around the Spook appears less and is often at odds with Tom. While this may help Tom grow into a full fledged Spook faster I do like the Spook and hope to see him play a bit more of a prominent role in the rest of the Last Apprentice series.

All in all The Spook's Mistake was not a bad book just not as good as previous books. I noticed some grammar mistakes and while the story did not stop it seemed slow at parts. When I finished The Spook's Sacrifice I felt like I had read a much smaller and simpler story then previous books. Hopefully this is not a trend that continues.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Throne of Glass - Throne of Glass #1

Throne of Glass has been on my to-read list for a good while and while I have read mixed reviews about Throne of Glass I figured it was time to give it a try.

 Celaena Sardothien came off as a walking contradiction and I liked that about her. A deadly assassin who likes to dress up and be girly was a nice twist. While I liked that twist other parts bothered me like Celaena's stubbornness it was too much at times and exaggerated to be unbelievable. Having been at the salt mines Celaena knows her fate she fail and despite that Celaena seemed to constantly get in over her head with mysteries in the castle thinking she would just handle them on her own. 

The crown prince drove me crazy especially his womanizing ways. It always comes off as unbelievable  to me when a man is a huge womanizer then suddenly just interested in one woman. 

The Captain of the Guard was my favorite character by far and the most believable. Keeping a distance and eyes alert Chaol did not forget who Celanena was or why she had been sent to the salt mines. While it was clear some people pitted Celaena for having been in the salt mines Chaol was always quick to remind them Celaena was a person who killed for money and I adored that about him. With Chaol duty always came first.

A lot was going on with the story, mystery, love, action, and magic were all woven together to create a fast paced storyline. While I never got bored reading Throne of Glass I did not care for certain parts of the story. At times the writing was not my favorite either. Despite this I would like to read the second book eventually.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wrath of the Blood Eye - The Last Apprentice #5

Wrath of the Bloodeye was a bit different from previous books in The Last Apprentice series but I still enjoyed Wrath of the Bloodeye a good deal.

Since the Spook is aging and realizes that his knowledge on certain aspects is limited the Spook sends Tom to apprentice with a former apprentice of his. Bill Arkwright is a Spook that is familiar with staff combat and all things dark that dwell in water. The first half of Wrath of the Bloodeye really just focuses on Tom learning to cope with Arkwright and adjust to his style of training. It is not until the second half of the story that the story shifts and goes back to Tom fighting the dark.

Tom is continuing to grow as a person and coming into his own, with almost two years of training he is getting a strong footing in understanding the dark and how best to fight it. Yet despite all his knowledge of the dark and what it can do to him should he falter Tom's biggest weakness is Alice. Continuing to tempt Tom Alice constantly leaves Tom feeling confused, worried, and fearful of the Spook losing his temper over Alice. 

Alice still struggles with her upbringing and all that she was taught of dark magic. While Alice has put some of it aside she has not forgotten a lot of it and does not hesitate to use dark magic to keep Tom safe. This creates all kinds of problems for Tom and it seems like Alice is far darker in Wrath of the Bloodeye then in previous books in The Last Apprentice series. 

Unlike previous books in The Last Apprentice series the main villain is carried over from Attack of the Fiend and it seems like this trend will continue for more of the series. I do hope to learn more about the Fiend since he is complex and obviously wants Tom on his side.

I am eager to start the next book in The Last Apprentice series since this one ended on a note that has me wondering what is going to happen next.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Fool - Virutal Arcana 0

The Fool is a serial style book so it is a short read. Since it was short I am still a bit unsure about everything. Very little beyond meeting the characters was mentioned but I would like to learn more.

Kelsey is a seventeen year old girl who loves books and coffee unfornantly for her books are extremely rare and caffeine intake is limited by a bracelet that monitors how much a citizen is allowed to drink every day. Go over that amount and government officials come calling to see why. Fear of breaking the rules keeps Kelsey in line and she does her best to make sure her sister follows the rules as well.

Keekee, Kelsey's twin sister, is the opposite of Kelsey in almost every way. Hooked on virtual gaming Keekee will do almost anything to play a video game which is against the law. Due to Keekee obsession with virtual games the family has had to move to the last providence in the nation that is not filled with government puppets Get caught breaking the law one more time and it is brainwashing for Keekee so she can work as a government agent catching other rule breakers yet despite this Keekee does not seem to care too much and pretty much continues trying to do what she wants so she comes off as selfish.  

Xander is still a mystery and I do like that about him. He conveniently shows up at the right place at the right time so it almost seems like he sought out Kelsey. 

The major downfall of The Fool is instant love. It is unbelievable and annoying, while it did annoy me seeing it in The Fool thankfully it was not a huge focus however I am fairly sure it will continue into the next book and continue to annoy me. 

Attack of the Fiend -The Last Apprentice #4

Attack of the Fiend has been my favorite book in the Last Apprentice series so far. 

Thomas has come a long way since the day he left his family's farm to be an apprentice to the local Spook. More and more Thomas is learning that he cannot just blunder his way through being a Spook with blind luck and using his head. Taking what the Spook has taught him Thomas has used all that knowledge to his advantage. While Thomas still struggles it is clear that he is growing up and becoming more a Spook then a lucky person.

Alice continues to mystify as she once again walks the line between good and bad. It is still not clear what Alice's fate will be but it is clear that her feelings for Tom are evolving. While I still want to see some of the story from Alice's point of view I do enjoy that she is a mystery and constantly keeping me guessing on what she will do.

Everything continues to get darker, the world is facing an intense darkness and it appears that Tom will be the one to battle that darkness one day. The evil in Attack of the Fiend was the best so far in my opinion. It kept me turning pages to find out what happened and I want more evil that wants nothing but to be evil.

I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series.

Judge and Jury

Judge and Jury is a fast paced thriller that had me eagerly turning pages to find out what happened next.

Andie DeGrasse is a typical mom trying to make a career and raise her son when she is called in for jury duty. Little does Andie know that it is trial of the century for  mob boss, Dominic Cavello who has no intention of doing time for the numerous murders he ordered over the years. 

FBI special agent Nick Pellisante has made it his calling to bring down Cavello no matter the cost. Determined to see justice brought to Cavello Nick walks the line between legal and illegal as he attempts to outwit Cavello and keep civilians safe. 

The writing was fast paced and to the point which I liked. I also liked that the chapters are shorts just a couple pages at most which is a nice change. Mature content was included with intimate scenes and some blood/gore.

Greed - The Seven Deadly Sins #2

While I do not feel Greed is as riveting and as much an emotional roller-coaster as Vain I still took a lot from the story.
Spencer started out as an a typical rich kid, a Father and Mother who gave Spencer everything and then some. Never once did Spencer seem to appreciate the lifestyle his parents provided for him or his younger sister Bridget. For Spencer everything was about him and what he wanted which was lots and lots of money. Thankfully that side of Spencer did not stay dominant for long. Upon learning that Bridget is pregnant Spencer takes charge by standing up to his Father and whisking Bridget away so she can keep her unborn child. Seeking refuge on a ranch in Montana Spencer starts to realize that money cannot buy everything.

Cricket was an interesting character who totally lived up to her potential. Often Cricket seemed like she belonged in a different era and normally that bothers me but it never came across as forced or out of place in the story and it was refreshing to see an out of place character fit into a story so well. At times I did have some issues with the way Cricket was so secretive but once I learned Cricket's secrets I see why things were done the way they were.

Their was a love triangle which I am never a fan of but the love triangle in Greed was well done and totally believable. If more love triangles were done in this style I would not dislike them so much.

Even though I gave Greed five stars I was not overly fond of the parts where Spencer was dreaming. I get that they were suppose to show how Spencer let Greed rule his life but they felt out of place at times and often too long. Despite this I look forward to reading Fury.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Perfect Ruin - The Internment Chronicles #1

The lovely cover is what drew me to Perfect Ruin and if I had not paid money for Perfect Ruin I doubt I would have finished it. The story moved super slow and contained a ton of fluff. 

Morgan was a horrible character who just relied on everyone else to do everything for her including thinking. Never once did she rely on her own strength instead she always turned to her betrothed Basil or her best friend Pen. For at least the first half of the book the story was all about Morgan questioning her sanity and pretty much the same thoughts repeated over and over. When something actually happened with Morgan she was super lucky and always got out of it unscathed.

Basil was nothing more then the shield for Morgan. He clearly loves her with all the stuff he put up with and his constant desire to protect Morgan. 

Pen was an okay character. While she did not dream of the ground she did not conform to rules of Internment well and constantly questioned authority. 

Lex was the most interesting character by far. As a young boy his urge to peer over the edge drew him to break the rules and take a peek. The price his eyesight and this not only put Lex in darkness physically but also mentally. Lex obviously has many demons and hopefully he is more of a focus in the rest of the series.  

Since the story did pick up towards the end I would consider reading the next book in the series. While fluffy the writing was nice and I loved specific parts of the book just for the flow of the words and the beautiful way they fit together. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Night of the Soul Stealer - The Last Apprentice #3

Night of the Soul Stealer continues the story of Thomas Ward and his apprenticeship to the local Spook.

With winter fast approaching it is time for the Spook and Tom to head to the Spook's winter house. Upon arrival at the winter house Tom is shocked to learn that it is full of witches and once again he shares his dwellings with creatures of the dark.

Thomas is one awesome character, despite knowing his duty as the Spook's apprentice he is still a thirteen year old boy and that shows a lot. Despite his problems in the previous books Tom continues to keep secrets from the Spook and tries to solve problems on his own. This just causes things to blow up and make more problems for Tom. However Tom is getting to the point where he thinks harder about what to do and several times I thought he was going to ask the Spook for help and I hope he gets to that point one day. 

Alice is still a bit of a mystery. Continuing to walk the line between good and bad it is hard to get an overall feel for Alice which makes her feel a lot more real in several ways. I really wish that some of the story was told from her point of view even though Alice is not shy about speaking her mind I want to know more about the way she sees things.

I enjoyed the writing and the flow of the story. Night of the Soul Stealer was a bit darker then the previous books but everything is well thought out and nothing was confusing or left me wondering what happened.