SUPREMACY by Christin Lee @SupremacyAuthor #YA #UrbanFantasy #BookReview

Supremacy (Supremacy, #1)Supremacy by Christin Lee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 stars.
Supremacy is a #YA #UrbanFantasy set in Texas. Seventeen year old Kate Parker has perfect recall. It allows her to remember everything that’s ever happened to her.

When out searching for a stray dog she meets Lucas a nineteen year old Spanish student, and helps him fix his motorbike. They become friends and Kate must introduce him to her over-protective family. But Lucas is even more protective of her, it is what he has been trained to do.

When Kate discovers that there is much more to Lucas, she becomes obsessed with finding answers. He takes her to a secret society and a whole new world opens up for her. We find they are destined for a future together in a battle against those who want to wipe out the human race.

This popular storyline had lots of potential, the secret society was interesting. The dialogue style of writing took up more than seventy-five per cent of the book. This method denied me, as the reader, the opportunity to empathise and feel a part of the story. There was little building up of layers to the story, anticipation or the characters. Some of them need work, Kate’s father’s reactions were childish and didn’t fit the character of a leader in his expertise. I wasn’t even sure about Lucas, he verged on the edge of being abusive, both mentally and physically to Kate, apologising after he’d hurt her, like any abuser. YA fantasy is a competitive market, this is book #1 of the series and I feel it needs to up its game to stand a chance.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

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QUINTINA by Meghan Riley @PixieChaser Book #2 Starseed series #YA #SciFi #Bookreview

Quintina (The Starseed Series #2)Quintina by Meghan Riley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quintina is book #2 of the Starseed series and continues the story from book #1 Anna. Where book one took place on Earth, book two is now set on a far away planet called Enki and takes the book well into Sci-Fi.

Anna wakes to find herself in what she believes to be imprisonment in a hospital, surrounded by people she cannot communicate with. With regular sedation she drifts into memories and dreams, flitting from her life back on Earth to further recall about others who seem familiar.

Slowly Anna recovers, begins to communicate with those caring and guarding her and with their help she finds she can speak their language as more memories return. Anna learns that Enki is home and that she was sent to Earth for seventeen years as part of a Starseed program, but friends here were able to recall her when they feared she was in danger.

Now known as Quintina, Anna’s memories of the night she was first sent to Earth are vital in revealing the enemy within. A plan is hatched to rescue an innocent man, but it hinges on getting the King to believe their tale, and seventeen years is a long time between events.

The story will continue in book #3.

As I read the first book over two and a half years ago, it took a while to remember the storyline. Book two plunges the reader into a new alien world and alien technology all of which are given lots of descriptions. Book one’s storyline is hinted at as Anna recalls her memories. I think I would have enjoyed a short storyline recap at the beginning of the book to get me back into the series. The world of Enki is well thought out, but for me the time between action was drawn out too much by the mundane. Book two moves a long way from book one with it’s seventeen year old main character, love triangle story arc. On Enki Anna is twenty four and the romance hinted at is much older, which to me potentially skips the genre from YA to NA.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT RESTHAVEN by @ErikTherme #YA #Mystery #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Judith, she blogs at http://judithbarrowblog.com/

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Judith has been reading Resthaven by Erik Therme

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 My Review:

Rest Haven is quite short and I finished it in one session.  I haven’t read YA fiction before and it’s not really my thing so I’m trying to be fair.

Erik Therme’s writing style flows well and is easy to read. But the story is light on both descriptions of setting and of characters. As a reader,  I much prefer  descriptions to give me a sense of place and I like to, to some degree, to be able to picture a character.

The book is an interesting one of mystery and suspense, with various themes on peer pressures, friendship, life struggles, cruelty and death.

However it’s a slow starter; the plot only takes shape well into the book; perhaps not so much a plot as a series of action scenes with many twists and turns.

I found it difficult to empathise with any of the characters, even  Kaylee (who takes on the first person point of view). I think this is because they are presented all at once and, at first, there is very little to distinguish one from another except by name. Although, I need to say, this is remedied later on in the story where they become rounded as the reader learns more of each character’s past and current lives.

Even so, I think it would help if the characters were re-worked to be given more depth and different backgrounds from the beginning. The characters all seem to derive from unhappy, almost dysfunctional circumstances.

However, the dialogue seemed realistic enough for a group of fifteen year olds; the slang, the throw away sarcastic comments fitted in well with the characters.

On the whole I think this book would appeal to any teenager who wants a quick read of mystery and suspense. I think I’m just too old!

Links to buy

Amazon .co. uk http://amzn.to/20QDreP: 

Amazon .com: http://amzn.to/25x1wOn

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT KEY OF MYSTERY #YA #Fantasy #AmReading @karenalainehunt

Today’s Team Review is from Shelley, she blogs at http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

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Shelley has been reading Key Of Mystery by K. H. Mezek

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Author: K.H.Mezek

Category: YA Urban Fantasy

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Review:

Sera and her family are thrown into turmoil following the death of her father, but after the family receive an odd black box containing a key as part of his last will and testament, strange occurrences lead Sera to investigate the ‘accident’ that took her father’s life.

Alienated by her so-called friends she has to learn to adapt to her new social standing and downgraded home life. Sera’s mother is of no help to her, nor is her brother, so it falls to her to seek help from a group of otherworldly strangers.

I found the first half of the book to be quite slow with a huge amount of information about the funeral of Sera’s father, her unstable emotions over the sudden demise of a much loved parental figure, and the introduction to the ‘Key of Mystery’. I would have liked to have been thrown into the story from the beginning but it didn’t really start to pick up pace until I was just over half way through.

As with most YA fantasy books, the main character often falls for the bad boy above all others, and it’s no different in this novel, however, I didn’t feel any real connection between Sera and Peter at all. He wasn’t the charismatic bad lad that would attract our attention, instead he was cold and two dimensional. We are told by the author that Sera is attracted to him but there was no real depth to the relationship.

I couldn’t really warm to any of the characters. At times I felt as though certain figures had been added to cover all possible teen dynamics and it became disjointed.

The idea of hidden cities, lost treasure and mysterious keys is a fabulous one and the author’s description of the denizen and dream scenes is very visual. I would have liked fewer characters with more depth to them and a much faster start. The second half of the book seemed far too rushed and the complex scenes weren’t given enough time to fully develop.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT RESTHAVEN by @ErikTherme #YA #Horror #WeekendBlogShare

Today’s Team Review is from Barb, she blogs at http://barbtaub.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Barb has been reading Resthaven by Erik Therme

I’m not usually a horror fan, so when Erik Therme sent me his new release I had to first think about YA horror as a genre. [See Chunky Teen Soup and other #YA #horror tropes.]  But I was interested in the book for two reasons. The first is that I read his debut novel Mortom (see my review here) and called it one of the most well-written books I’ve ever not liked.

The second is the way he published the book. It went through the 30-day reader-selection process at Kindle Scout and was selected for publication after making it to the final stages. Kindle Scout says, “Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.”

[NOTE: for more on Erik’s publishing journey, see Crowdsourced publishing: An Iowa City author’s journey with Kindle Scout]


Blurb 

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The last thing Kaylee wants to do is participate in a childish scavenger hunt–especially inside the abandoned retirement home on the edge of town. When she finds a bruised, deaf boy hiding inside one of the rooms, she vows to lead him to safety . . . only to discover the front doors are now padlocked, and her friends are nowhere to be found. Kaylee is about to learn that not everything that goes ‘bump in the night’ is imaginary, and sometimes there are worse things to fear than ghosts.
 
  • Book Title: Resthaven
  • Author: Erik Therme
  • Genre: YA Horror
    Length: 220 pages
    Release Date: Kindle Press (April 12, 2016)
    Purchase Links: Amazon Universal Link

4 gold starMy Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Resthaven

I have a little problem with Erik Therme’s books. I think they are terrifically written books with a great sense of pace and individual style and full of characters I really do not like. At all.

In Resthaven, the main character is fifteen-year-old Kaylee, who has transferred to a new school following her parent’s divorce. She’s furious at her parents, misses her old life and friends, and mortified when her mother forces her to attend a party given by one of her wealthy new classmates. Kaylee’s seething resentment holds the other girls up to a toxic lens as each of them reveals their own personal tragedies. She’s especially furious when the hostess takes them to an abandoned retirement home on the grounds of her house and sends them off on a scavenger hunt. Very soon the girls find themselves locked inside the crumbling structure, only to discover that they aren’t alone.

Author Therme ticks off the standard YA horror tropes is businesslike fashion. The building itself is not only abandoned and derelict, but almost completely dark because boards have been nailed across all window openings. The girls split up almost immediately, and despite the way they tell each other on a regular basis to stick together, they each keep heading off alone, facing the inevitable injury and danger as the building’s secrets are revealed.

And that’s where things got interesting for me. The girls are by turns mean, cowardly, jealous, self-serving, capable of betrayal, stupidity, empathy, and the occasional nice gesture. Each of them is aware that she is outside of the popular crowd. Indeed, there is apparently another party that day to which none of them were invited. In other words, they are like almost every teenager anywhere.

The stakes rise steadily as the dangers multiply. And without providing spoilers, I can say that when it comes to the usual tropes we expect to see—characters bonding under adversity, perhaps forming romantic attachments as one girl’s twin brother arrives, or facing a pivotal dark moment that turns this into a coming of age story—well, those things don’t actually happen.

Instead we get characters who behave realistically under increasing pressure and danger. They struggle to make what they encounter fit into their world view, with only limited success most of the time. And at the end three of them take away the one thing—friendship—that, I believe, each wanted most of all.

So, yes. I don’t like horror. I don’t like the girls in Resthaven. But I do like Erik Therme’s writing. As I said about his last book, it’s just that good. Therme is not interested in having the story “cure” any of his characters’ problems. Most people aren’t any better off at the end than where they started, and character development is at best subtle. Therme is a writer who is more interested in poking his characters—poking them hard and then even harder—to see what they’ll do.

But unlike his last book, this one holds out some promise of the characters bonding as they are instead of as they are changed into by their experience. I would give Resthaven four stars. These characters aren’t for everyone. They certainly aren’t warm or adorable, or even particularly likeable. And the structure of the story itself—no chapter divisions and little imposed editorial structure—might not appeal to everyone. But if you like good writing, a sense of pace, plenty of atmosphere and danger, and a strong voice, then I recommend Resthaven.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE OWL GODDESS by @JennyTwist1 #Mythology #SundayBlogShare

Today’s Team Review is from Jessie, she blogs at http://behindthewillows.com

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Jessie has been reading The Owl Goddess by Jenny Twist

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You know me, I hate to reveal too much about a book in a review. I promise, no big spoilers but I’ve got to tell you something this time…

… the owl goddess, her name is Athena and she lives on a spaceship.

Talk about food for thought!

Let’s just say that when I start out a book and “regular” people are named Zeus and Athena, Artemis and Aphrodite, there are expectations and ideas that pop into my head. When those “regular” people met some other mostly regular but more stone-age-ish other people and they have names like Atlas and Prometheus and Pandora… More ideas occur.

As it turns out, I meet a character named Pandora, I just hold my breath the whole time waiting for the you-know-what to hit the fan, because you know it has to… it’s Pandora! You don’t even need any extra foreshadowing when you have a name like that!

For the first part of the book I wasn’t a very good reader. Instead of just putting my faith in the story and letting it flow, I couldn’t stop wondering what the author was up to and guessing how what I knew about those names was going to fit in.

Then there was a turning point about halfway through the book. Suddenly both the characters and I had a grasp on what was going on and I finally settled in and enjoyed the unfolding of the tale.

Would I recommend it? The author did a really nice job crafting her story around Greek mythology yet writing something totally new. I think this will not only be a hit with young adults who already know and love Greek mythology but also an excellent way to introduce kids, who would rather read about space travel than where olive trees came from, to the classic tales.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

THE VAMPIRES NEXT DOOR by @ElleKlass #YA #Paranormal #Bookreview

The Vampires Next DoorThe Vampires Next Door by Elle Klass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Vampires Next Door is book #1 in The Bloodseeker Series of YA Paranormal books. It opens with a prologue set in St Augustine, Florida 1823. A young girl is rescued by ghostly apparitions, given a protective amulet and informed she is a Slayer.

Present day, sixteen year old Alison is home alone in her apartment she shares with her Mom. Neighbours are having a loud party and she reports their unsocial behaviour. Nearby, Rodham has disturbing visions of Vampires and can zone in his telepathic abilities to communicate with Alison.

A quick friendship forms between Rodham and Alison and they agree the neighbours show all the signs of being Vampires, Alison, an avid bookworm knows all about such creatures from her vast reading experience. Concerned about missing policemen, they sneak into the neighbour’s flat looking for bodies, but discover a strange glowing amulet which speaks to Rodham.

An old book which came with the amulet informs them about Slayers and Bloodseekers and they find themselves in a real life paranormal world. Alison’s Gran arrives for a visit, but soon reveals she too is a Slayer. Bloodseekers, once crushed are again becoming strong and seven magical Slayers must join to defeat them once more.

A quick, light, easy read, I felt this book was let down by poor editing, including using dialogue for info dumping, over use of adjectives and places where I felt the plot jumped and I was left flailing trying to work out where people or events had come from.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE FINAL VIRUS by @carolJhedges #YA #Dystopia

Today’s Team Review is from Georgia, she blogs at http://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Georgia has been reading The Final Virus by Carol J Hedges

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#Bookreview for The Final Virus by Carol J Hedges @caroljhedges

I don’t generally read YA books but having enjoyed another book by Carol Hedges I chose The Final Virus and was delighted I did. This is the start of a series but can be read as a standalone and for me its greatest strength is in the superb characters the author creates. You know exactly who everyone is and they are as real as they would be if they were sitting right next to you, which with Mr Neots I’m glad is not the case as he really is a despicable man.

We have Will, a popular boy at school, and with the girls, he’s kind to his younger sister Dahlia and they are both struggling since their father was killed in an accident at work. At least they are told it was an accident but Will doesn’t believe it and sets out to find the truth. Amber is a rather strange girl who sees terrifying visions about the end of the world and lives a lonely life with parents who are mostly absent. As already mentioned there is the odious Mr Neots a teacher from school who hates his family, apart from his equally revolting daughter, Kayla, his pupils and everything about his life as he seeks to better himself. I felt dreadfully sorry for his son Chris. But best of all we have Ned and I think we should all have a character as useful in our lives.

And then of course there is…The President.

At the start of this story there are just the usual teenage life issues going on but gradually there are more and more hints about the perfect, and totally controlled, world they are all now living in since the old one was practically destroyed in a cybercrash. Will and Amber gradually come together and this is very well handled as they are total opposites so their relationship evolves naturally and wasn’t rushed which I liked a lot.

For me the read occasionally felt a little rushed but that is probably because I’m not a YA and like to take my time with the build up towards events happening in stories but I’m sure this book will be hugely enjoyed by those who are. Well-written and with many thoughtful points to consider such as the four horsemen and the stick people, I highly recommend.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and this hasn’t changed my opinion of the read one iota.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

SCHOOL OF DEATHS by Christopher Mannino @Ctmannino #YA #Fantasy #TuesdayBookBlog

School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder's Secret, #1)School of Deaths by Christopher Mannino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

School of Deaths is book 1 of the Scythe Wielder’s Secret series aimed at middle grade/ YA readers. The plot involves 13 year old Suzie taken from her home to a world filled with men, where she will be trained as a soul reaper. Heralded as the only female in a million years to be chosen, she faces prejudice, danger and adventure as she battles “Deaths”, befriends elementals and finds a strength within inherited from a long lost relative.

I liked the idea of a school of Deaths and was interested to see the direction the author would take the storyline in what is a very popular storyline arc in this genre. For me this teetered too much on the edge of the Harry Potter/ Percy Jackson books and I found myself comparing characters and points, particularly with HP, too often. However if it is meant to be Fan-Fiction then there is a different spin on it.

Here are a few examples; Cronk – bumbling kidnapper/ rescuer who is a teacher (Hagrid).
Wire rimmed glasses (mentioned only once) but, felt unnecessarily like Harry’s glasses.
School of Deaths, confusingly called a college throughout the book – Hogwarts.
Hann could easily have been Snape.
The Elemental slaves were like House-elfs.
Luc was like Malfoy.
Suzie had loads of visions (Theme from much of Harry Potter)
Game of Boskery – Quidditch
Travelling back to the mortal world was like apparating in HP or travelling by Floo Powder.

The writing style could also use a good edit and some of the content needs checking for suitability in this reading age group, dialogue is clunky and often overlong with too much use of the very basic dialogue tags. Readers of any age deserve the very best in writing, for instance there were 1060 uses of the word “said”, there are so many better ways to make dialogue vivid to the reader rather than using an empty word such as this, it will also give characters much needed elements to make them all sound individual and different. Slimming the book by stripping it down to short sharp sentences where every part takes the story forward, would allow for more elements that make the story unique and give it a chance to shine through in a very popular genre marketplace.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

I was given a free copy of this book by Book Publicity Services

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE FINAL VIRUS by @carolJhedges #YA #Apocalyptic

Today’s team review is from Barb, she blogs at http://barbtaub.com/

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Barb has been reading The Final Virus by Carol J Hedges

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My Review: 4 stars out of 5

Back in 2007, SciFi writer Bruce Sterling proposed “An Eschatological Taxonomy“. (Yeah, I had to look that one up too. Apparently, eschatological means the study of the end of the world. Who knew?) According to this world-ending events scale, Carol Hedges’ new post-apocalyptic YA thriller is a level 2—

Global civilization destroyed; millions (at most) remain alive, in isolated locations, with ongoing death rate likely exceeding birth rate. Chance of humankind recovery: slim. Many non-human species die off, but some remain and, over time, begin to expand and diverge. Chance of biosphere recovery: good.”—http://www.openthefuture.com/2006/12/an_eschatological_taxonomy.html

 

So readers might be surprised to meet the main characters—teenagers who live in suburban houses, attend high school, go to the mall, and play video games on their home computers. At school, they are taught the history of the previous century’s disaster, The Great Cybercrash. Following the destruction of much of the world’s population due to climate change, worldwide crop failures, and plagues, a single company—Globaltraid—under a seemingly immortal President, led the remnants of humanity back to relative prosperity in a regenerating world. Or did they?

High school senior Will begins to question this version of events when his father is killed in a mysterious workplace “accident”. He is accompanied by the class outsider, Amber, who sees ever-increasing visions of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. With the help of Ned—an artificial intelligence construct with a video-game addicted multiple-personality disorder—Will and Amber begin to kick over the stones that their world is founded on. What they find underneath could kill them. And destroy the world.

There were so many things I loved in this book, such as the way the action was set in a suburban location so normal it took a while to realize that for this Earth, the setting was anything but normal. I particularly liked the creepy President, a man so ancient he has trouble remembering to care about anything except his own ongoing survival. Both Will and Amber’s characters were believable as the high school’s golden boy and outsider girl. And even the supporting characters such as Will’s little sister, and the brother and sister of Will’s nemesis Mr. Neots, were fun to read if less well-rounded.

There were some pieces that didn’t work for me. Even in a low-tech post-apocalyptic tale like this one, the science was dubious at best. Okay, maybe there was an instantaneous and globalwide virus that caused every machine in the world to fail simultaneously. Didn’t anyone ever hear about backups? If most of the world’s ecosystem is wiped out, what are Will’s town and the others using for raw materials to make their cars, computers, and provide their food? And don’t even get me started on Ned, the all-powerful computer (who somehow survived the cybercrash and hundreds of years later still can hack current code?), or on the fact that despite it being centuries later, there has been no noticeable change in dress/morals/family structure/customs/language/housing/machinery? Why are all parents invisible, evil, or dead? And especially why is it that apparently only the descendents of white middle-class types have survived?

But even with these elements, I would give The Final Virus four stars. I enjoyed the way it kept adding twists and turns at each step. Amber’s semi-prescient premonitions contrasted well with Will’s appealing cluelessness, both in their developing relationship and in the unfolding events. I realize that it’s already a little long for a novella, but I wish that the ending had gone into more detail about events and their wrapup. Maybe fodder for a sequel?

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com