Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore (Lorien Legacies book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the first two books in the Lorien Legacies, I am Number Four and The Power of Six, Stop! I don't want to ruin the series for you.

The Rise of Nine is told from three different viewpoints. Four tells the story of tracking Sam in the U.S. and the story of locating Eight is alternated between Six and Marina (Seven). Three different type faces are utilized to help keep track of the various viewpoints.

Since the battle with the Mogadorians at the lake in Spain and at their base in West Virginia, the known Lorien Garde has split up to prepare for their next battle. Six, along with Marina (Seven), Ella (Ten) and Ella’s unofficial Cepan, Crayton, are on a flight to India in search of a possible member of the Garde. Residing in the Himalayan Mountains, Crayton believes the boy may be the one to possess all of the Legacies like Pittacus Lore and be the only chance to defeat the invincible and powerful Mogadorian leader, Setrakus Ra. His impending arrival on Earth is a sign that the remaining six members of the Lorien Garde are now a viable threat as they are coming into their Legacies. Six would rather head back to West Virginia and meet up with John Smith (Four) and his friend Sam than go on Crayton’s hunch.

Four is slowly recovering from his battle in the Mogadorian hideout to take back his chest. Having to leave Sam behind, Four is with Nine and the two are not getting along. Four has a dream that Setrakus Ra is holding Sam hostage and will let him go if Four comes back to fight him. Nine believes that the two of them need to rejoin Six and the others to train for their fight against Setrakus Ra. But Four is unwillingly to let his friend Sam be tortured and when Bernie Kosar lets him know that they aren’t that far from the compound.

Soon they realize that the federal government is working with the Mogadorians when their hideout is raided. The two are able to escape but not before learning some truths. The government has Sam and Sarah, who never sold Sam out. Only with the knowledge that they are in the western part of the U.S., the two boys hitch a ride on a freight train to begin their journey.

Upon their arrival in New Delhi, their taxi is soon commandeered by what at first glance seems to be rebel forces until they notice the number eight painted ion all of the doors. The leader, Commander Sharma, states that they are expected and to come with him. Deciding to take a chance, the Lorien head out with the caravan, soon they run into trouble and find themselves fighting for their lives. Six, Marina and Ella use their Legacies to ensure the opposing forces retreat. Commander Sharma tells them they must climb the mountain before dark to reach Vishnu.

Waiting together, they reach the top to find a lake with a statue of Vishnu in the center. Commander Sharma tells the three Garde members they must pass a test before speaking to him. Using their legacies, Six, Marina and Ella each prove their worth and to Sharma’s disbelief, Eight shows his true form. Telling Sharma that he no longer needs his services, Eight joins the three Garde members to begin training for their fight with Setrakus Ra.

Will Four and Nine be able to rescue Sam and Sarah? Is Eight as powerful as Pittacus Lore as Crayton believes or is it someone else? Where in the world is Five hiding and what are their Legacies? Can the seven remaining Lorien Garde join together to save Earth and themselves from Setrakus Ra?

Visit the series website.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Obsidian, Stop! I don’t want to ruin one of my favorite series for you.

Katy Swartz and Daemon Black now share a connection since he saved her life. Not sure what the connection means, Katy is attempting to stay away from Daemon while he is actively pursuing her. Wanting the kind of love that her parents had, Katy is having a hard time believing that Daemon is actually interested after the way her treated her in the beginning. Playing cat and mouse, he bets her that by New Year’s Day, she will have admitted her true feelings for him.

On top of everything that is going on with Daemon, something just isn’t right with Katy. Since being ill, strange things have been occurring with Katy, like her locker opening on its own or a glass falling out of the cabinet. After telling Daemon about her unexplainable abilities, he warns her to keep a low profile. But when the new kid in school, Blake Saunders, shows an interest in her, Katy cannot help but wonder what a relationship with a human boy might be like. And Daemon is deeply hurt.

What is going on with Katy and her newfound abilities? Can she have a relationship with Blake or will her feelings for Daemon win out? Who exactly is Blake and what secret is he hiding? Can the two boys put aside their dislike for one another to keep Katy safe from the Department of Defense?

Even better than the first book in the series, Daemon and Katy’s story continues in Opal out December 11, 2012.

Visit Jennifer Armentrout's website.

Monday, August 20, 2012

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Child prodigy, Colin Singleton, likes a specific type of girl. To him, appearances do not matter, but every girl he has ever dated has been named Katherine. Never a Katie, Kathy, or even Catherine, nineteen girls named Katherine in fact. And all nineteen have dumped him. When Katherine the Nineteenth breaks up with him, Colin is devastated. In an attempt to cheer Colin up, the only friend he has ever made, Hassan Harbish, decides that the two of them need to take a road trip. Their parents reluctantly agree and the boys head off for destination unknown in Colin’s car, Satan’s hearse.

After traveling a few days, Hassan is unable to bring Colin out of his funk. They soon see a roadside sign promoting the tomb of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. Hassan persuades Colin to see just what exactly they might have. Two boys from Chicago; one part Jewish, the other Sunni Muslim, soon find themselves in the small, backwoods town of Gutshot, Tennessee and in the presence of “paramedic in training” Lindsey Lee Wells.

When Lindsey’s mother Hollis offers the two boys jobs for the summer, Hassan jumps on the opportunity and Colin sees it as time to mathematically figure out where his relationships have gone wrong. Soon the two boys are fitting into small town life. Is Colin really a washed up child genius? Can he get past his hang ups about girls named Katherine? Will he be able to open his heart to love where he least expects it?

  Oh John Green, why have I waited so long to discover your books! Humorous to the point I laughed out loud, this is one book not to miss.

Visit John Green’s website.

Rift by Andrea Cremer (Nightshade prequel book 1)

Reading Alert: Even though Rift takes place in the Nightshade world, you don’t have to read the trilogy in order to understand this book. Rift will provide Nightshade fans with the background information on the Witches’ War.

“She can battle darkness, but she can’t fight love.”

AD 1404 Scottish lowlands

Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow dreams of a life in which “she could live by her sword and her courage.” The daughter of a nobleman, a life of marriage and motherhood lies before her. Her only hope of escape is the debt of her life her father owes to the Conatus. When her birth didn’t progress as it should have and both mother and child were near certain death, their lives were saved by the sudden appearance of a Conatus trained midwife. Unfortunately her services came with a price. Ember was pledged to the Conatus during her sixteenth tear and her arrival at their keep “is considered a harbinger of the Order’s future. One way or the other.”

When her old friend Alistair Hart arrives with Barrow Hess to escort Ember to the Conatus’ keep at Terrmunn, Lord Morrow tries his best to delay her inevitable journey. After a fight with Morrow’s best three men, Hess prevails and preparations are quickly made to leave within the hour.

Upon their arrival at Terrmunn, they are greeted by the Conatus and a neighboring lord named Mackenzie. Ember is relieved to be out of the carriage and is slightly worried about her older sister Agnes, who was ill throughout the trip. Lord Morrow is thrilled to learn that Lord Mackenzie has a bachelor son. He hopes to work out a deal that will satisfy the Conatus and secure a husband for Ember. Alistair tells Ember she will have to undergo a trial but he is unable to provide any details. Ember just hopes that she will be able to choose the path she wishes to take.

The morning of the trials, the initiates meet Father Michael who explains the process. Every person will choose which path they wish to follow; craft, knowledge or war and must pass the test to continue or they will be asked to leave. Even after seeing all of the books of knowledge, Ember knows that war is the path she must follow. With the Guard watching, Barrow leads Ember to the beginning of her path and gives her a lantern and a dagger. Finding herself in the wine cellar, she quickly realizes she is not alone. Ember kills the revenant and sees the way out of the cellar. Father Michael greets her at the end and lets her know she was the only initiate to choose the path of war. He tells her a bit about the mission of the Guards and offers to answer any questions. He then takes her to the barracks to begin her new life.

The Guard commander, Lukasz, begins by asking who amongst them will become Ember’s mentor. Sorcha, the only woman in the Guard, is about to offer when Lord Morrow comes barreling through the door. Infuriated by her choice, he begs her to reconsider and marry. When Ember refuses, he accuses Conatus of bewitching her. Barrow steps forward and say that he is going to be her mentor and orders Morrow to leave. He does and Ember fears Barrow offered to make her father depart. Having never been a mentor before, he says it is time to become a teacher and will train Ember. She is thrilled.

Having dinner one last time for the foreseeable future with her family, Ember feels that she is at her own funeral. Agnes continually sobs and her father attempts a last ditch effort to forge a marriage contract with Mackenzie, only to be shot down. Making a drunken scene, Morrow accuses Conatus of being witches and dinner is over. Ember tells Agnes goodbye and Alistair offers to show her to her room. Barrow stops him and says that Ember is his responsibility.

Showing her to her room, Ember notices its sparseness and that her life is finally changing. Sorcha will have to show Ember some things about dressing and Barrow leaves her for the night. Her past is now her past and her future is with the Guard. Setting into her new life, Ember begins her training with a passion. But as she discovers what Conatus is really about, Ember knows that she made the right decision.

Will Ember make it as a member of the Guard? What happens when the secrets of Conatus are discovered by someone who will hold it against them? What are Alistair Hart’s true motives regarding Ember? Will Ember finally lose her heart to love and will her feelings be reciprocated? And what choices must be made when a member of the Guard invites dark magic in and sides must be chosen?

In this thrilling prequel to the Nightshade trilogy, the beginnings of the Witches’ War is told. Ember’s story is concluded in Rise out on January 8, 2013.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Kill Order by James Dashner (Maze Runner prequel)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the three books in the Maze Runner trilogy, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

The Kill Order begins with the events that occurred when the solar flares struck Earth and destroyed one half of the world’s population. All of this transpires thirteen years prior to Thomas entering the Glade in The Maze Runner. The story is about a small group of survivors who fled New York for the Appalachian Mountains outside of Asheville, N.C. and what happens when the Flare is released into the world. Very few questions are answered and no new information about Thomas and Teresa’s roles with WICKED is provided.

Visit James Dashner's website.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

With the nuclear destruction of the Earth, what is left of humanity now lives in subterranean communities. Everyone at birth is implanted with a port that connects with a V-chip located at the base of the brain. The V-chip connects each person with the Link. With no emotions, thoughts or actions of their own, humans are nothing more than mindless robots. Order first, order always is the motto everyone lives by. Anomalies are rare and almost always fixable. In extreme cases where anomalies cannot be repaired, humans are deactivated.
Zoe has been experiencing glitches with her connection to the Link for two months now. Vowing each day to report the problem to a Regulator, her unknown view of the world around her is too stimulating to give up. While waiting on a subway train one day, Zoe sees a young girl starting to fall from the platform onto the tracks below. Unable to stop herself, she is able to save the young girl from certain death by levitating her back onto the plat5from. Zoe fears the secret of her glitching and the power of telekinesis is out when she sees a green-eyed boy watching her.
While in class at the Academy, Zoe experiences another glitch. She is almost caught when the teacher asks her why she is not responding to her page. Gathering her things, she reports to the room where an older man waits for her. She knows her gig is up when the man informs her that he is there to check her Link. He is starting the test when the green-eyed boy comes into the room. After subduing the man, he flees into the hidden tunnels with Zoe. Climbing up a long flight of stairs, Zoe and Adrien come to a door that leads to the surface. Adrien is about to open the door when Zoe panics. All of her live she has been told that the world above ground is too toxic for humans. Adrien tells her that it is all a lie and most of the Community government buildings are above ground. When Adrien mentions the Resistance is comprised of people with gifts like hers, he lets her know that is able to see the future and that is how he was able to locate her. Zoe is still terrified and wants to turn herself in. Adrien lets her know that painful experimentation not deactivation will be her life.
With time running out, Zoe realizes what her options really are. She could go back to the Community to face deactivation or head to the surface with the possibility of dying in the toxic environment. “Or just maybe, having a chance to escape.” Zoe decides to go with Adrien.
Can Adrien be trusted? What is really on the surface? Why has the Community lied about everything and kept its citizens numb through the Link? Who exactly is the resistance and what is their purpose? How man y others have special gifts like Zoe and Adrien? What happens when Zoe has to assimilate herself back into the Community? Who notices that Zoe is glitching and what does she do when they reveal their gift? And what happens when Zoe remains disconnected from the Link and begins to not only experience human emotions for the first time but finds herself in the midst of a love triangle?

Book two in the Glitch trilogy, Override is due out February 19, 2013.

Visit Heather Anastasiu's website.