Review – The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes.
Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.
In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.
But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

The first thing i need to mention about this book is that there is self harm, not by the main character but it is by someone close to her.

I had been thinking about listening to the audio-book for months when i picked it up. I was bored and needed something to listen to while at work. When I started listening to it, I was iffy about it. Originally I was not a fan of any of the characters and I almost gave up about third of the way in, but i was told it would get better so i kept on reading.  The entire first half  of the book nothing made sense! It was getting very confusing in certain parts. There is very little to no explanation of anything in the first half but once the second half starts you figure out what exactly is happening and why. The first half of the book went really slow but once things started moving I could not stop listening to it

-Spoilers Ahead-
I was trying to not get attached to the characters but the more I read(well listened) the more I became attached to the characters.  I was intrigued as to why Nadia could remember but nobody else could. As the story goes on we find out that Canaan is actually not on Earth but on an entirely different planet. We find out that the people on the planet were supposed to be colonizing the it so that they could see if life was sustainable there. the farther in the story you get the more you find out about why Canaan is the way it is and who the original settlers were and why Grey is so important to Nadia.

Overall after you get to the second half of the book it is fantastic.  It improves ten fold which is nice. The story becomes much more fast paced and everything ties in. The person who does the voice for the characters does a great job at narrating each character and does them each justice.

3.5 Bards

The Forgetting


Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

Book Review: Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.

For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.

Release Date: March 21, 2017

Holy hell, I don’t even know where to start.

There is SO MUCH HAPPENING in this book.  Let’s see, if you came here looking for a book about a serial killer, you found it.  If you came here looking for a post-apocalyptic book, you found it.  If you were looking for a government conspiracy novel, you found it. I went into this book woefully unprepared for the story I got, but in a good way.  I love it when a book takes me by surprise and keeps me on my toes.  Honestly, I could have read this book in one sitting if it wasn’t for the pesky thing called work that gets in my way most days.

The novel is separated into parts, but the most interesting part isn’t necessarily the rotating narration between Min and Noah, but the different structure that their narration takes individually. Both are being treated by a psychiatrist for their condition (not even sure if that is an appropriate way to describe being murdered on your birthday, but I’ll go with it for now), but Min’s story is filled with italicized flashbacks to her traumatic experiences, while Noah’s includes a transcript from his sessions with their psychologist.  Personally, I really liked the addition of the transcripts because it gave a really eye catching change to the novel.  But the whole structure was well done.

I can understand why this book was compared to Lord of the Flies, but only in the sense that it really showcases the different ways humans can act during times of distress.  Although I will say that Tack was by far the best secondary character in this book and I can tell you exactly why: one of my best guy friends in high school was totally the same.  Always mouthing off when it wasn’t necessary, but in a witty and sardonic way that begged attention.  He was a very good comedic relief in a lot of ways for this book, as it’s pretty heavy and his humor is welcome levity.
Freaking never-see-it-coming twist at the end, Batman!

Seriously.

You will not see this coming. I’m still coming to terms with it.  I think readers will be pleasantly surprised that they were duped the whole time, I certainly was, especially if they read a lot of books, this twist was never something I’d considered or seen before.

I don’t even know how to talk about it without giving any of it away, so I’m just going to say I had the chance to ask Reichs about it during our interview (which is below), but it was off the record because SPOILERS.

There are still a lot of questions to be answered and waiting the next year for the sequel will be almost unbearable because I NEED TO KNOW.

Overall, I’m giving Brendan Reich 4 Bards! Look for my coverage of his Launch event with Renée Ahdieh and our interview, coming up in a few minutes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Day Zero by Kresley Cole

Ashes to ashes . . .
Evie Greene’s story of the Flash is just one of many. All over the world, those connected in some way to the lethal Arcana game—like Death, Jack, and Fortune—must first survive a horrifying night of blood and screams.

We all fall down.
Some will have to grapple with new powers; all will be damned to a hellish new existence of plague, brutality, desolation, and cannibalism. Find out who they lost, why they endure, and what they sacrificed in order to live past Day Zero. . . .

This novella/short story collection is set up a bit differently from most, and Cole acknowledges that at the beginning with a small forward explaining the original intention of this collection.  Originally, this was going to serve as a guide for the possible television series that was proposed for this story, so each card in the major arcana, all 22, are given names, descriptions, information on their Arcana powers and traits, and those that are still alive during the game are given their own short story about where they were and what was happening to them on “Day Zero,” or the day the Flash occured.

Readers are treated to a bonus story featuring Death toward the beginning, showing him as he prepares for the new games, each of the icons fading from his skin.

This is a kind-of spoiler-y review, but since all but maybe one or two of these characters have shown up in the main novels, I don’t really find it too pressing.

We pretty much just get to see where each of the cards, including a rehash of Evie, were on the night of/day of (depending on where in the world they were at the time), and it gives small glimpses into who they were prior to their participation in the game.

The Sun is with his two romantic partners, their polyamorous relationship is going so well he was planning to propose to them on the day that the Flash happened.  You know, after they throw a bitchin’ rave in an abandoned insane asylum.  He also *Spoiler Alert* wakes up to them attempting to suck his blood, having been turned into bagmen (Queue The Princess Bride gif).  But he pulls a Michonne and keeps them around by chaining them together and dragging them along.

Fortune is a gun cartel leader’s daughter in Brazil with a wicked desire for revenge and her ability to steal luck from others pretty much causes her father’s death, although I’m not sure if she is aware of that, or if it is just something that the reader realizes.

The Hanging Man is still the inactivated card, and a lot of fandom members speculate that Jack is actually the inactivated card, but considering the entire entry in the book is blacked out (clever), Cole keeps us in the dark on this.  I assume that in the fifth installment the Hanging Man will come into play, as all players in the game must be either killed or participate, so it seems unlikely that we’d continue to not know who this card is. To be honest, I’d be a bit disappointed if Jack turns out to be the inactive card, because it just seems to predictable to put Evie in the middle of a love triangle with two major cards.  Not only do we already have to deal with the triangle as it is, but if it’s between two cards? It just seems too…obvious?

You get a glimpse into the life of Tess, The World, and how she can apparate to her crush’s house, where she finds him masturbating to her yearbook photo.  So romantic.  She also almost takes herself out of the game by simply attempting to save her parents’ lives, which is really sad.

Poor Circe, though.  She’s my little ocean queen. She not only lost the love of her life, but also ended up leaving him at the alter during the Flash because the ocean called her to her watery temple. She’s probably my new favorite addition to the canon of characters, and I’ve liked her since she showed up at the end of Dead of Winter.

Overall, I give this book a solid 3 bards.  It doesn’t really give us that much insight into things other than the character backgrounds.  These backgrounds are limited, and I’d consider this really just a collection of information that benefits the author to help keep her canon in order rather than something readers absolutely had to know.

My review of Arcana Rising will be up Thursday, September 8.

threebards

 

 

 


Book Review: Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

18712886

It was on her nineteenth birthday that the soldiers came for Kelsea Glynn. They’d come to escort her back to the place of her birth – and to ensure she survives long enough to be able to take possession of what is rightfully hers.
But like many nineteen-year-olds, Kelsea is unruly, has high principles and believes she knows better than her elders. Unlike many nineteen-year-olds, she is about to inherit a kingdom that is on its knees – corrupt, debauched and dangerous.
Kelsea will either become the most fearsome ruler the kingdom has ever known . . . or be dead within the week.

This was a different take on a dystopian novel.  They essentially went back to having a Monarchy after the democratic system didn’t work.  So it was set in the future but felt like you were reading a book set in the way back past.  Does that make sense??  If you have read this book help me out with the description!  I thought it was an interesting way to write a dystopian novel because the terminology was familiar, thus not needing an in depth explanation of the  culture and setting of the book.  I could have used some more information as to why they went back to this system but I think we will learn more in the upcoming books.

I really liked that this was not your typically fairytale/ romance/ princess book.  The princess did not need a handsome guy to save her, she saved herself.  Also there was like no romance in this book, there didn’t need to be any.  This was about a young girl finding her way and being an all around bad ass.  It kind of reminds me of a Game of Thrones type storyline.  Minus the incest and dragons.  The Mace reminds me of the Hound, and there are brothels and such.

Kelsea is a great character, she is normal looking and you really get to explore her strengths and weaknesses.  She is not perfect and has flaws and insecurities but that is what makes a great lead in a book.  I also really like the Fetch.  I can’t wait to read more about him!!!  I thought the book was great, it was a little long but worth it!  I would warn younger readers about the content in this book, its more like a PG 16 book.  There is definitely some strong language and adult sexual content and violence.  Other than that I would totally recommend this book to everyone!!

So good!

5 Bards

fivebards

 

 

Book Review: Talented by Sophie Davis

13466202Block it out. Impossible for Talia Lyons. When you’re a Mind Manipulator, it’s hard enough to block the thoughts of others, let alone your own.

Block it out. The pounding, siren-ready world Talia inhabits as she trains with her fellow Hunters, the country’s top-secret covert operatives. The physical demands. The emotional toll.

Block it out. The secrets that Talia’s boyfriend is hiding. Talia’s unbidden feelings of frustration and annoyance toward her teammate, the Casanova of the compound. The wondering why she cares what he thinks.

Block him out. Ian Crane. The man behind the bloodshed marring Talia’s memories of her murdered parents. The man she’s determined to kill.

Block it all out. Focus.

So I received this book at BEA directly from the author Sophie Davis, and we bonded about being from NC.  I was hesitant to read this because if I didn’t like it, and had to give it a bad review I would feel super bad.  Fortunately I really liked the book.  There were a few problems, but overall not enough to turn me off of the book.

I thought the story was really good.  The concept of this dystopian world was realistic and really well explained.  I thought at times her explanations and descriptions were a bit wordy but almost necessary to gain a good picture of this new world.  Also while I’m talking about things I didn’t care for, the cover, Talia is supposed to have unruly curly hair.  The chick on the cover has straight hair… It bugs me more than it should.

Anyway back to the story, I kind of want her talent, it sounds cool.  And Erik, yum, new man crush there.  I am looking forward to the next book, I hope we get some answers and some stuff resolved!  Good job Sophie Davis!

4 Bards

fourbards

 

 

Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

 3636Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

So I guess I am one of the few people that did not have to read this in high school, so I thought better late than never.  I have to say the cover is less than appealing to look at, it doesn’t really make me want to read the book.  Anyway I read it and really enjoyed the book.  It was short but good.  I do not understand how they made a full length movie from it but I guess I will have to go see it.

I can see why you read it in high school.  It makes you think about memories and feelings and while you would love to get rid of the hurt and sadness, you would also have to get rid of the pleasure, and happiness, and the feeling of being content.  It would be a very boring life.

I wish the ending had a bit more, but there are 3 other books (they have been added to my to read pile).  I thought the writing was excellent.  I loved Jonas and The Giver’s relationship, there was something special there.  I cant wait to read the other books.  Also if you have not read this book or it has been a long time I encourage you to pick it up.  It was a great short read.

4.5 Bards

four.fivebards

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched (Matched, #1)Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

I know, I know I am late to the game on reading this.  It has been on my bookshelf for far too long.  I think I liked Delirium so much that I couldn’t read this one since they came out so close together.  Let me just say that the most terrifying thing in this book was the idea that there are only 100 of everything.  If someone told me I could only listen to 100 songs and read 100 books for the rest of my life, I couldn’t do it.  Also yikes, they have controlled free time?  I have to admit the idea of being matched with a mate instead of having to find my own has some appeal.  But overall I would not survive long in this world.

Alright back to the book.  I thought the premise was good, however, I didn’t really connect with Cassia or her story.  I found her to be bland and she didn’t offer much to the story.  Ky contributed all the personality, drama, and intrigue.  I kind of wish the story was written from his point of view.  I could tell from the beginning that she was going to try to get to know him better. Xander was just boring, and there seemed to be no chemistry with those two.  Condie kept referring to the Cassia’s parents as having the ideal relationship, a mix of friendship and romance, and it was clear that was not what Xander and Cassia were going to have.

I found the ending of the book to be a bit of a let down.  I know there are other books in the series but I thought it would be better if Cassia were to escape and then the book would end.  That way the reader would be compelled to read the other book.  As it is not I do not feel the need to read the other books in the series.  I am fine leaving the end of the story at Matched.  It’s a shame because the concept was so cool and unique, but the story wasn’t there for me.

Overall I found the book to be good, but not great.

threebards

 

 

Book Review: Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner

11558256Ever since she escaped the city within the Wall, Lark Ainsley’s wanted one thing: to find her brother Basil. She’s always believed he would be the one to put an end to the constant fear and flight. And now, hidden underground in the chaotically magical city of Lethe, Lark feels closer to him than ever.

But Lethe is a city cowering in fear of its founder, the mysterious Prometheus, and of his private police force. To get the truth about what happened to Basil, Lark has no choice but to face Prometheus.

Facing her fears has become second nature to Lark. Facing the truth is another matter.

Lark never asked to be anyone’s savior. She certainly never wanted to be anyone’s weapon. She might not have a choice.

 

 

 

I liked this book slightly better than the first book in the series.  At least this time they were not hiking through the woods for the majority of the book.  If you want to see my review for Skylark click here.  So Shadowlark picks up where Skylark leaves off.  Lark is hiking in the woods to reach another city where her brother might be.  I thought Lark was slightly more likeable this time.  Oren’s character started to develop more as the story went on.  He grew on me. I thought the other characters that were introduced were better developed and likeable than the ones in Skylark.

The plot was interesting.  It was however predictable.  I called the plot twist the moment it was brought up.  I don’t know if that is because I read so much that I can figure that out quicker or if it was truly that obvious.  Parts of this book had me so lost it was frustrating.  At one point Lark kept indicating that she was a shadow like Oren, I was like when did that happen?  Did I miss that?  So does she go all feral and eat people???  Or is she speaking metaphorically about how she is dead inside?  Either way I was left scratching my head.

One thing that I actually liked was the training that Lark went through.  I thought it was a great explanation of magic and renewables.  It helped me understand what was going on with Lark and the rest of the people.  I wish the explanation had come sooner but at least it came.  I also kind of dig the zombie like creatures.  That they have potential to switch from human to shadow and back, and that they have potential to be cured.   I thought that idea was neat.  My one question is why doesn’t Lark’s power work with other shadow people like how it works with Oren?  It seems like it should.

I am going to give it 3.5 bards.  Maybe the last book in the series will be better!  But at least this was better than the first.

3.5bards

 

 

 

Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

18710190The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

 

Sadly, this book was a struggle for me to get through. The writing was good, the dialogue was good and the characters were the same, but the plot was lacking. It almost seemed like a completely different book with the same characters as the two before it.

I get where the author was trying to go, but it didn’t work. My biggest issue, the one that I just couldn’t get over was that all the main players in this book were supped to be 16 but it was totally non believable that they were that young. Having to fight, plot, defend an entire city, deal with death every other chapter, losing family, falling in love, is all expected of these characters and I just don’t buy it. Regardless of a situation you are thrown into, you will have moments that you act your age, and these people did not.

And let’s not even get started on the genetically damaged and genetically pure aspect of the book. That idea was totally beat to death and not even believable with how much it was played into. Her idea was good in that its an interesting concept to believe the U.S. government would go to drastic measures to try and develop a genetically pure race of humans, but how it was approached in this book made me groan, loudly.

2 Bards

twobards

Book Review: Deliver Me by Kate Jarvik Birch

One People. One Union. One Future.

Wynne’s entire life is dictated by the Union: the clothes she wears, the books she reads, even the genes she inherited. And like every other girl in the Union, Wynne dreams of being chosen as a Carrier on her 16th birthday—one of the elite selected to carry the future generation within her womb. Wynne and her best friend Odessa are certain they will both make the cut, but when Odessa is chosen and whisked off to a life of privilege, Wynne is left behind to work as an assistant, delivering perfectly planned babies for the Union.

As Odessa slips deeper and deeper into the role of Carrier, Wynne begins to see the Union for what it really is: a society that criminalizes the notion of love, and forbids words like mother and family.

For the first time in her life, Wynne is faced with a choice: submit to the will of the Union, or find a way to escape and save Odessa before she is lost forever.

I am predicting big things for this book.  It was really good, like Hunger Games good.  Deliver Me has all the qualities a YA book needs to make it a hit;

  • Realistic Dystopian society
  • Strong Female lead
  • Social commentary
  • Romance (but it was not the main focus of the book)
  • Displays of real true friendship
  • Social Injustice involving children
  • At least two books (could be three)

It has all that and it was a fantastically written book.  The characters are all well developed and likable, the plot was great and predicts a future that is plausible, and the pace of the book was great.  It works for both younger readers and older readers, which in my opinion is one of the great things about the YA genre.  I love that a teen can read this and get one meaning (and enjoyment from the action and romance) from the book, while an adult can read this and delve more into the social connotations implicated in these books.  Don’t get me wrong I loved the action, suspense, romance parts of the book but if you look beyond that it has also has that deeper meaning that makes for a great (dare I say it?) classic book that can be relatable for generations past, and future.

Let’s go back to the premise for a second, we meet Wynne and Odessa (what cool names BTW), and they are waiting anxiously to see if they are picked to be carriers.  We later learn that means to carry babies (one a year) for the Union.   For the girls this seems to be the perfect life, for if you don’t get picked you have to be a worker.  Personally I would rather be a worker because I have never wanted to be pregnant.  Without giving too much away let’s just say nothing is as it seems, and stuff gets real.  I loved that there is this glimmer of romance budding but I doesn’t really play a big part in the plot.  I really like the showing of how much one person can actually love their friends.  There were parts that were horrifying and sad but they needed to be in there so I respect that.   And the end… grrr!  Let’s just say I cannot wait for the next book to come out…  I suggest grabbing this book as soon as it is released!

5 Bards

fivebards

 

Follow
Get every new post delivered to your inbox!
Join our other followers!
Powered By WPFruits.com
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers