Monday, October 31, 2016

Crown Review #16 - Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns - Kendare Blake

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Series: Three Dark Crowns, #1
Length: 398 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

Crown Review #15 - Going Wild

Going Wild - Lisa McMann

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Series: Going Wild, #1
Length: 384 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Charlie Wilde knew her life would change forever when her family moved from the city of Chicago to the suburbs of Arizona…and that was before she found the bracelet. After putting it on, she notices odd things start to happen. Suddenly Charlie seems to have the speed of a cheetah and the strength of an elephant—and that’s just the beginning. She would be thrilled about her transformation if she had any idea how to use the device or control her amazing powers. So Charlie is forced to put her trust in new friends to help her uncover the surprising truth behind the mysterious bracelet.

Crown Review #14 - Labyrinth Lost

Labyrinth Lost - Zoraida Cordova

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Series: Brooklyn Brujas, #1
Length: 336 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Crown Review #13 - Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Series: Anna, #1
Length: 320 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas's life.

Crown Review #12 - UnDivided

UnDivided - Neal Shusterman

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Series: Unwind, #4
Length: 372 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Proactive Citizenry, the company that created Cam from the parts of unwound teens, has a plan: to mass produce rewound teens like Cam for military purposes. And below the surface of that horror lies another shocking level of intrigue: Proactive Citizenry has been suppressing technology that could make unwinding completely unnecessary. As Conner, Risa, and Lev uncover these startling secrets, enraged teens begin to march on Washington to demand justice and a better future.

But more trouble is brewing. Starkey’s group of storked teens is growing more powerful and militant with each new recruit. And if they have their way, they’ll burn the harvest camps to the ground and put every adult in them before a firing squad—which could destroy any chance America has for a peaceful future.

Crown Review #11 - Magonia

Magonia - Maria Dahvana Headley

Rating: 2/5 Stars
Series: Magonia, #1
Length: 309 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

This review may have some spoilers! If you don't want to be spoiled, do not continue!

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. 

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. 

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia. 

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

Crown Review #10 - Pawn

Pawn - Aimee Carter

Rating: 4/5 Stars
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1
Length: 270 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

A single test determined her entire future…until she was given a way out   

Kitty Doe had one chance to prove she could be worthwhile to society. Instead, she walked out of her ranking test as a complete failure, with a permanent "III" tattooed on the back of her neck. At seventeen, she's facing a lifetime of cleaning sewers…and being separated from Benjy, the boy she's loved for as long as she can remember. 

So when Kitty is offered a chance to escape her fate, it seems like an easy choice. If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family—a VII—she will be famous. And for the first time, she will matter. 

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed…and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only just beginning to understand.

Crown Review #9 - UnSouled

Unsouled - Neal Shusterman

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Series: Unwind, #3
Length: 432 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they’re not just running away from something. This time, they’re running towards answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to ending the unwinding process forever.

Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. He knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human.

With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, their paths will converge explosively—and everyone will be changed.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Crown Review #8 - Pulse

Pulse - Patrick Carman

Rating: 4/5 Stars
Series: Pulse, #1
Length: 371 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

In the year 2051, who has a pulse?

With the help of her mysterious classmate Dylan Gilmore, Faith Daniels discovers that she can move objects with her mind. This telekinetic ability is called a “pulse,” and Dylan has the talent, too.

In riveting action scenes, Faith demonstrates her ability to use her pulse against a group of telekinesis masters who are so powerful they can flatten their enemies by uprooting streetlights, throwing boulders, and changing the course of a hurtling hammer so that it becomes a deadly weapon. But even with her unusual talent, the mind--and the heart--can be difficult to control. If Faith wants to join forces with Dylan and save the world, she’ll have to harness the power of both.

Patrick Carman’s Pulse trilogy is a stunning and epic triumph about the power of the mind--and of love.

Crown Review #7 - Uprooted

Uprooted - Naomi Novik

Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 438 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Crown Review #6 - UnWholly

UnWholly - Neal Shusterman

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Series: Unwind, #2
Length: 432 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simltaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question.
However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.

Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.

Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live.

Crown Review #5 - The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey

Rating: 4/5 Stars
Series: The 5th Wave, #1
Length: 457 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Crown Review #4 - Cinder

Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #1
Length: 395 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Crown Review #3 - TimeRiders

TimeRiders - Alex Scarrow

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Series: TimeRiders Series
Length: 425 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912.
Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010.
Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026.

Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, ‘Take my hand ...’

But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren’t rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose—to fix broken history. Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That’s why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world..

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Crown Review #2 - Unwind

Unwind - Neal Shusterman

Rating: 6/5 Stars
Series: Unwind, #1
Length: 335 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

Crown Review #1 - Wake

Wake by Lisa McMann

Rating: 3.7/5 Stars
Series: Wake Series, #1
Length: 210 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can't tell anybody about what she does they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant.