Thursday, November 29, 2012

Promised by Caragh O'Brien (Birthmarked book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the first two books in the Birthmarked trilogy, Stop! I don't want to ruin one of my favorite series for you.

The time has come for Gaia Stone to lead some of the people of Sylum back to Wharfton and the Enclave in order to survive. Unfortunately not all of the changes since her departure a year ago have been good. Babies with the right genes are highly prized and sought after while status deeply divides the citizenry. When diplomacy and negations fail, is all that is left terrorist threats? In this gripping conclusion, Gaia finds what matters to her most and what she is willing to sacrifice in order to achieve peace.
Ruled (Book 2.5)
Ruled is an ebook novella that takes place after Prized that offers a glimpse into the mind of Leon Gray and sets up the beginning chapters of Promised.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Reached by Ally Condie (Matched book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the first two books in the Matched trilogy, Stop! I don't want to ruin one of my favorite series for you.

"All will be sorted."

In this stunning conclusion to the Matched trilogy, Reached allows readers into the minds of not only Cassia Reyes and Ky Markham, but Xander Carrow for the first time. Not wanting to spoil a terrific story for you, just know that Ms. Condie doesn’t disappoint. Fans of the series will have all of their burning questions answered.

Visit Ally Condie’s website.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Variant books by Robison Wells

Book one - Variant

"Trust no one."

Seventeen-year-old Benson Fisher has been shuffled between thirty-three foster families since he entered the system at the age of five. Some placements last several months. One only lasted a few hours. Currently with the Coles, all of his free time outside of class is spent working in the family owned gas station without pay. Looking for some stability in his otherwise chaotic life, he applies for a scholarship to Maxfield Academy, a private school in New Mexico. Arriving from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Benson is shocked to see that the campus is surrounded by a twelve foot tall chain link fence topped with razor wire and security cameras.

After driving through a thick steel gate set into a tall brick wall, the school representative, Ms. Vaughn, drops Benson off at the main building. She tells him to find Becky Allred and promptly leaves. Walking up the stairs he notices the upper story windows are crowded with faces looking down on him. Some are banging on the windows and shouting, which he cannot hear, but others just stare. He notices that not everyone is wearing a school uniform. Some are wearing old fashion looking outfits while others are dressed like rappers. Suddenly, the front door opens and a boy and a girl run out chasing after Ms. Vaughn’s car. The boy stops are warns Benson not to listen to Isaiah or Oakland when they say “we can’t get out of here.” He chases after the girl leaving Benson behind.

Benson is greeted by Becky who informs him that she conducts all new student orientations. He begins to question Becky about what he has seen so far. He asks about the kids at the windows and she lets him know that they are just excited to meet him. She avoids answering about the runners by linking arms and entering the building. When Benson asks about Isaiah and Oakland, Becky becomes flustered and states that every school has troublemakers. He demands to see the principal but she states that her job is to be the first person to talk with all new students. Everyone at Maxfield has a job and there are no adults around.

Becky takes Benson to the floor where the boys’ dorms are located and drops him at the door. On the other side, the hallway s packed with boys waiting to meet him. They greet him warmly and one leads him into a quiet room and begins to talk about the gangs. Without the gangs, Maxfield would resemble Lord of the Flies. Isaiah’s group believes in being civilized and the other groups operate like gangs. He and Becky belong to the Society, the largest group at school who believes in following the rules.

Someone begins banging on the door and some of Isaiah’s boys try to keep them out. Isaiah tells Benson that one of the other groups, Havoc, is trying to get in. Society’s jobs include administration, teaching and security. Benson is not happy to learn that they are supposed to keep everyone inside the gate. Finally, the boys in the hallway break into the room and their leader is dressed in a hoodie, wearing gold chains. He also sports a tattoo around one eye and looks like he is itching for a fight. He introduces himself as Oakland and says that his gang takes care of their members. He verbally bullies Isaiah and tells Benson not to believe his nice boy act. Joining up with Havoc means they protect one another’s back.

Looking for a way out and not to assimilate, Benson gets into a fight with Oakland. Between the two of them, Benson can hold his own but is quickly outnumbered when other Havoc members join in. Benson is getting a pretty good beating when Oakland suddenly falls. Behind him stands the guy who chased after Ms. Vaughn’s car, Curtis. "He said he doesn’t want to join Havoc or the Society.” Curtis said. “That means he’s in the V’s.” he looked at Benson. “Isn’t that right?” Benson nods his head and with that he is the newest Variant at Maxfield Academy.

Benson learns that Havoc wants complete rule, the Society thinks that playing by the rules is their ticket out and the V’s consist of everyone else. They aren’t accepting of the situation and are buying their time until they can figure out a way to escape. Everyone at Maxfield is the Benson; no friends, no family, no one to know they are missing. And when Benson comes across the secret behind Maxfield, he realizes that playing by the rules could mean death and escape is nearly impossible.

Is Maxfield Academy a prison, school or laboratory? Who runs Maxfield and what secret does it hold? Will Benson be able to escape and be able to take anyone with him? What is the purpose of holding the students prisoner?

Book two - Feedback

"They are not alone."

SPOILER ALERT! Do not read any further if you don't want to learn the secrets of Variant and Maxfield Academy if you have not read the first book.

Picking up immediately where Variant left off, the secrets of Maxfield Academy run deeper than Benson Fisher ever imagined!

Visit Robison Wells' website.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Irises by Francisco X. Stork

“Two sisters. Three Men. One Decision.”

Eighteen-year-old Kate has dreamed of going to college at Stanford to become a doctor since her mother took her for a visit four years ago. She promises her mother to continue to work hard to earn a scholarship and to keep her dreams a secret from her father, who wants her to go to school in El Paso and her younger sister Mary. Kate continues to work hard for her college dreams even after the accident that left her mother in a vegetative state.

Sixteen-year-old Mary would like nothing more than to stay at home and paint. An aspiring artist, she studies her influences to see how to become a better painter. The two sisters deal with the unexpected twists in their lives, each in their own separate ways. Their minister father has kept his two daughters on a tight leash as they deal with the care of their mother at home instead of removing her from life support. Never having a close relationship, the bond between the two sisters is put to the test when their father suddenly dies, leaving them alone to care for themselves and their mother.
Not only does a new world open up for the girls now that they are no longer living under the strict confines of their father but the pressing responsibilities of caring for themselves and their invalid mother come down. Three men, each offering what they think the girls need, come into their lives in the hopes of swaying their futures. Mary meets Marcos in art guild, a gang member who is trying to better his life and help her out of her shell. Kate's boyfriend Simon offers marriage and stability for the family. And Andy sees Kate's ambition and suggests that she shouldn't throw away her dreams of Stanford. When the question arises of what to do with their mother, the girls become divided on what is best for her.

What will Kate and Mary decide about their mother? Will Kate choose to follow her dreams and go to Stanford or marry Simon to provide for everyones' futures? What part will Andy play in Kate's future? Can Mary find her way back to her love of art and will Marcos help with that endeavor? Will these two sisters find their way back to each other or will their split be permanent?

Visit Francisco X. Stork's website.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Caster Chronicles book 4)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the third book in the series, Beautiful Chaos, Stop! I don't want to ruin the story for you.

"Is death the end ... or only the beginning."

In the aftermath of the climatic events at the end of Beautiful Chaos, Ethan Wate is forced to leave everyone and everything he had ever cared about behind. On a journey to head back to the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, Ethan must complete a seemingly impossible task.

Back home in Gatlin, Lena must work with her friends, family and even trust long-time enemies to bring Ethan home to those who love him and to rectify the shocking events that occurred during the Eighteenth Moon.

What is the reason for the events that caused Ethan to be separated from those he loves? Can Lena rally those on Gatlin who can help bring Ethan home? And what price will Ethan and Lena ultimately pay?

With twists, turns and unexpected developments occurring up until the end, readers will be satisfied with how the events in Gatlin are wrapped up. The film version of Beautiful Creatures will be out in theaters on February 13, 2013.

Visit the Beautiful Creatures novels website.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima (Seven Realms book 4)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the first three books in the series starting with The Demon King, Stop! I don't want to ruin one of my favorite series for you.

Raisa 'ana Marianna has ascended the throne as Queen of the Fells but the queendom is far from peaceful. Everyone wants to become Raisa'a consort, including the wizard Micah Bayar. Her father, Lord Averill Lightfoot Demonai hopes to make another clan match with Reid Nightwalker Demonai, his newly appointed heir. The new king of Arden, Gerard Montaigne, has the Fells in his sights as his newest conquest, whether it be by marriage or by force. Raisa's deepest wish is for the Fells to be at peace once again; no more fighting between the wizards, the clans and the Valefolk. Her other wish is to marry for love, not political gain. The former streetlord turned wizard, Hanson Alistair has stolen her heart.

Han Alistair finds himself in a situation he doesn't think he can win. Desperately wanting to be with Raisa as her equal, not as her "down low lover", Han is also busy trying to protect her life from whoever is trying to assassinate her. Discovering a secret that will bring peace to the Fells, Han soon is in a fight to save his own life as he attempts to bring new information to light. On a constant lookout for not only Raisa's safety but his own, Han finds himself in the midst of the battle to be named the new High Wizard against Micah Bayar. And when wizards start turning up dead in Ragmarket, all signs point to Han.

Who is killing the wizards in Ragmarket and why? Can the Fells once again be a peaceful queendom? Whose agenda will win out in the end? Will Han live to unveil the secret he discovered after it has been lost for the last thousand years? What is this secret? What impact will it have on the Fells? Can Raisa survive to be the queen she desperately wants to be? And will Raisa and Han have the happily ever after they deserve?

In this epic conclusion the the Seven Realms quartet, readers will be shocked and well rewarded with the ending to the story of the Fells.

Visit Cinda Williams Chima's website.