Everland

“To die will be an awfully big adventure”

Title: Everland

Author: Wendy Spinale

Series: Everland # 1

Publication: May 10th 2016 by Scholastic Press

Pages: 312

Source: OwlCrate

Summary from Goodreads:

London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders — the German army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a daredevil boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?


My Thoughts:

I find myself growing increasingly disappointed as I sit here to write this review. Everland had the serious potential to be mind-blowing, amazing, and delicious. It mixed one of my all time favorite legends/fairy tales with a dystopian, virus riddled reality and steampunk architecture. It had everything it needed to succeed, except the most important thing of all: the writing.

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Alight

“If it’s war they want, they messed with the wrong girl.”

Title: Alight

Author: Scott Sigler

Series: The Generations Trilogy # 2

Publication: April 5th 2016 by Del Rey

Pages: 448

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Alight reveals to readers the further adventures of Em, Spingate, O’Malley, Bishop, and the other young heroes introduced in Alive. In Alive, Em fought to assert herself as leader and her friends tried to comprehend their own mysterious identity; now she must wrestle not with the challenge of winning power but the grave responsibility of having assumed it, and she and her friends must contend with a grim fact: the revelation of their identity is not an answer but another question—and one with terrifying implications.

My Thoughts:

Scott Sigler, you have done it again you slimy bastard. This book… ugh.. how am I even supposed to talk about this book? Much like Alive, Alight has left me in a very peculiar predicament. I CAN’T TELL YOU WHAT I LIKE AND DISLIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK WITHOUT SPOILING EVERYTHING! Alight is a wondrous tomb you must explore for yourself to get the full effect of the mummy jumping out of the corner, you get me? I can’t tell you about the characters, I can’t tell you about the plot, I can’t do didily squat. So, instead, I’m going to do one of the things I do best and leave a string of gifs in my wake. Enjoy, you precious people you. Interpret this as you will.

Do with those gifs what you will, the meaning is up to you (though it will make sense when you read the book). Alight is an amazing adventure with twists and turns so catty-wompus you won’t know what hit you until it’s too late. You will be left with unanswered questions, surpassed expectations, and a mind full of so much ‘wowza’ you won’t know what to do with yourself until October. If you haven’t started this series yet, shame on you. Get on this bandwagon, it’s a darn good one.

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Tell The Wind and Fire

Maybe that is the only thing I have ever learned about love: love is when you save someone no matter what the cost.”

Title: Tell The Wind and Fire

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Series: Standalone?

Publication: April 5th 2016 by Clarion Books

Pages: 368

Source: Publisher in exchange for honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

My Thoughts:

Well, right out of the bat I had no idea this was a retelling of A Tale Of Two Cities when I jumped into this book. Zip. Zilch. Nada. So, I found myself pleasantly surprised at recognizing little details here and there throughout Tell The Wind and Fire. I cried, I laughed, and I did everything that this book wanted me to. I felt just as broken as when I read the original – and that’s saying something.

Tell The Wind and Fire was, for lack of a better description, pretty awesome. I mean, there was enough of the old to bring back that hint of nostalgia – but there was also a fresh twist, a sense of vibrancy that breathed new air into an old classic.

I think, despite the obviously amazing scope of pretty much everything, that one of the best parts of this book is the complexity of the character development. Each character has a specific line they follow. A carefully hand-crafted and intricate thread that winds through each and every element of the story. There is not one thing that is not important – and it makes this book all the more wonderful. Everyone has a secret and everyone’s secret is either their downfall or their salvation. Each piece is an unstoppable force – each character is an irreplaceable role in the story. Lucie, Ethan, Carwyn… they’re all pieces of a larger puzzle.

Overall, Tell The Wind and Fire was a surprise in more ways than one. The writing was astounding, the character development was, and the plot was both wholly original all while paying homage to its predecessor.  This is a story of the battle between good and evil, between light and dark. It is a story that will strike you with its subtle power and even more subtle message. Balance is the most important concept of all, what are you willing to do to achieve it?

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Glass Sword

“No one is born evil, just like no one is born alone. They become that way, through choice and circumstance.”

Title: Glass Sword

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen # 2

Publication: February 9th 2016 by HarperTeen

Pages: 444

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

My Thoughts:

Glass Sword is an action packed sequel to a book that I loved and that blew my mind to smithereens last year. Much like Red Queen, Glass Sword has surpassed all of my expectations, ripped my heart out and stomped all over the little pieces – all while making me feel things that I cannot even begin to fathom or describe for you. Terror, disgust, pain, sorrow, longing, happiness, joy… none of it comes close because this book is all of those things combined and also so much more.

Because I cannot bring myself to explain things without spoiling them, giving away spoilers for the first book, or reducing myself to a pile of quivering snot and tears – this review shall consist mostly of reaction gifs.

My opinion on Shade:

Anybody can betray anybody:

Everything else:

 

Me at the end:

So yea, that just about sums it up. READ IT!

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Raging Sea

“Your city has been demolished. Your friends are dead and gone. Enemies roam your lands. Soldiers have taken your people. Torn them from the arms of their mothers, all to cut them open and see how they work! Does none of this burn your passions? Where is your fury?”

Title: Raging Sea

Author: Michael Buckley

Series: Undertow # 2

Publication: February 2nd 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 384

Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

In the first book of Michael Buckley’s Undertow trilogy, the Alpha arrived and the world was never the same. At the start of the second book, most of south Brooklyn is in ruins and the nation is terrified. Nearly everyone that Lyric Walker loves is either missing or presumed dead, including the mesmerizing prince Fathom. It’s up to Lyric to unite the Alpha before the second wave of a cataclysmic invasion wipes out mankind for good.

My Thoughts:

Much like my feelings after reading the first book in the Undertow trilogy: wow. Once again, Michael Buckley has blown me straight out of the water – pun intended. This book was exactly what I need right now. It pulled me in, it made me forget everything besides what was going on right on the page and therefore in my head. It makes you feel such a broad spectrum of emotions – it will make you laugh (one of my favorite parts was Lyric’s four steps of shoplifting, it was hilarious), it will make you ugly cry until you resemble an over-boiled blow fish, and it will make your heart both sing the praises of love and want to beat it to death with some sort of blunt weapon – a sledge hammer is preferable. Raging Sea is exactly what the title promises – a raging sea of emotions, action, and an overwhelming spectacle I will never forget. 

This book picks up a little after Undertow ends, a few weeks I think – to be exact. Lyric is on the run with Bex and Arcade, and none of them know if their loved ones are alive or dead – all they know is that somewhere, the organization Tempest is holding Alpha hybrid children, their parents, and a bunch of other Alphas prisoner. So, who you gonna call? LYRIC WALKER! Goodness, I love that girl. She might be stubborn, slightly pushover-y, but she is an overall badass who understands just what is at stake throughout the entire book. She, Bex, and Arcade are planning to storm Tempest when they find it and free their people, while simultaneously being on the run because Lyric has been wrongfully labeled a terrorist after the events on Cony Island. Needless to say, hilarity, chaos, and all manner of shenanigans ensue.

Raging Sea delivered on all fronts. We have some serious character development both in Lyric and almost all of the side characters (that moment at the end with Arcade, Lyric, and Bex hit me right in the feels) We’ve got a plot racing at the speed of light – but perfectly so. It’s not too slow, not too fast. A perfect balance between having time to take in certain details all while being caught up in the chaos of a war you know you are loosing.

Additionally, and I repeat myself here: LYRIC WALKER. That girl is a godsend to YA literature (especially the dystopian/apocalypse kind). She is witty, steadfast, and hell bent on saving her parents as well as every other person trapped in Tempest. She does not break, but she is willing to bend – and that is what makes her so remarkable. She can pick her battles, she knows when to act like she’s playing along and when to unleash hell. She is powerful – she abuses her power and feels like shit afterwards. She might be part Alpha, but she is human at the core – where it counts. She is real, she is a hero. Lyric is someone I would be willing to follow into battle and a prime example of why is at the end of the book. She is willing to do what needs to be done and yet she refuses to let harm come to anyone when she knows that she alone can end it.

Now, one order of business I have to mention. Fathom. Fathom, Fathom, Fathom – my precious, prickly cinnamon roll from book one was the only issue I had with this book. Though, issue is too strong of a word. I love Fathom, I love him with Lyric and I love his character and how he thinks. What I had a “problem” with, was the stupid ass fight Lyric had with him, herself, and Arcade. It was unnecessary, things were resolved earlier and then they were ripped apart for no good reason other than what seems to be to create drama. While I still loved it, and I would never let something that petty bother me usually, I just expected a bit more out of them after reading Undertow. The two of them, in Lyric’s words, burn and are dangerous like gasoline and fire – and boy is it true. I will go down with this ship, Lord help me.

Overall, Raging Sea has infinitely deepened my love for this series. I am head over heels and ready to dive head first into the chaos these books bring. After that cliffhanger at the end (curse you, Buckley), I find myself anxiously awaiting yet another masterpiece to hit the shelves. Raging Sea is a phenomenal continuation of an amazing series and I cannot fathom (see what I did there?) how I am going to get myself through another year of waiting. Michael Buckley, you have done it once again. You ripped out my heart, fed it to a giant octopus, and laughed maniacally while doing so. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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