Friday, September 26, 2014

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave book 2)

Please visit the Recaptains blog if you need a refresher on the first book in the series.

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, The 5th Wave, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

“How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.”

Before Cassie Sullivan and Evan Walker began their mission to rescue Cassie's little brother from Camp Haven, they agreed to rendezvous at a hotel four miles away. Now that Camp Haven is an enormous crater, everyone but Evan is there. Cassie was adamant to go there and Ben/Zombie agreed even though Ringer thought their hideout was too close for comfort. Cassie and Ringer don't agree on Evan's alien/human story. Sam/Nugget is safe but Zombie is wounded where Ringer shot him in the side to keep his promise to Nugget. Knowing that their safe days at the hotel are numbered, Ringer is going to check out a nearby cavern to see if it is safe to inhabit.

Soon after Ringer leaves, their safe haven is compromised. Teacup turns up missing. She has gone after Ringer. Sam is angry with Cassie over the death of their father. Ben tries to mediate between the two of them but Cassie sees just how injured he really is. The inevitable happens and they are discovered. Cassie is stunned to find the roles have been reversed; she is now the caretaker for an injured Even. Evan knows the danger that lurks outside and nowhere is safe.

What does Ringer find at the caverns? Will it be a safe haven for everyone to attempt to ride out the 5th wave? Are there any other human survivors there? Where is Teacup found? Can Cassie’s brother get over his grief to see that his sister isn’t to blame? What danger is Evan hiding from the others? Did anyone else survive the explosion at Camp Haven? Can the 5th wave be stopped?

Readers will be left hanging waiting for the final installment to see if the 5th wave can be stopped and humanity saved.

Visit Rick Yancey's website.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini (Worldwalker Series book 1)

"Worlds Collide. Magic Reigns. Love Burns."

Lillian "Lily" Proctor and Tristan Corey have been best friends since childhood. Over the years, Tristan became one of the popular students while Lily was shunned for her severe allergies and embarrassing rumors about her mother. Tonight, he has promised to take her to a party. Throughout their Salem, Massachusetts high school, Tristan is known as a ladies man. Lily has harbored a secret crush since she discovered boys were different from girls. Everything between them changed three days ago when Tristan finally kissed Lily. No matter how sick she gets at school that day, Lily is determined to let nothing stop her from going to the party with Tristan. After leaving science class together, Tristan isn't certain that Lily feels well. She has hidden an allergic reaction from him. Tristan is leaning up against her at their lockers when a shout breaks them apart. Miranda, a sophomore, is in disbelief that Tristan and Lily are together. Lily and Tristan don't talk about his love life but she is pretty sure the two of them were together a few weeks ago. Speechless, Miranda looks at Lily before setting her sights on Tristan. Tristan isn't kind to Miranda and sends Lily on to class. Before she walks into her classroom, Lily hears Miranda slap Tristan across the face.

Not sure where the two of them stand, Lily waits after school by Tristan's car for a ride home. Her psychotic mother is in no shape to drive so she doesn't have a choice but to ride with him. Tristan is in no mood to talk. Dropping Lily off at home, Tristan tells her that he will pick her up later for the party. Lily finds her mother in the garage with her potter's wheel. Her mother comments that she looks unharmed but that she almost came to school to get her. Lily notices the mess her mother has made in the garage and that her meds have slurred her speech. Her mother says that the principal never called so the girl must have beat up someone else. She seems to know the difference between what happened her and what could have happened. Lily takes her mother into the house before making some phone calls.

Lily's parents have been in Salem since the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, as have Tristan's. Her father doesn't answer the phone. No big surprise since he stays away for his sick daughter and crazy wife, who is an embarrassment to him. Samantha Proctor goes around town saying she knows everyone's dirty little secrets. If she happens to be wrong, she just says that someone like them is doing it instead. Samantha's mental breakdowns increased around the same time Lily's reactions accelerated. Her sister Juliet answers and knows that something is wrong. Lily tells her about their mother and asks if she can come over and stay with her while she goes to the party with Tristan. Juliet questions her attending because her allergic reactions could be numerous. They will talk about it. Juliet arrives and checks on their mother. She tells Lily that their mother is paranoid. She believes that another Lillian is going to take her Lillian.

At the party, Tristan is concerned about Lily having a reaction. She assures him that she is going to be fine. Inside, they meet up with Scot, the host of the party. He lets them know that Miranda is there. Tristan and Lily decide that Tristan should just get the confrontation over with sooner rather than later. Tristan leaves. Scot begins to make his move on Lily. He gets her a bottle of water that gets jostled from her hand. Scot goes to replace it. He comes back with a cranberry spritzer saying that he is out of water. Lily takes a sip and thinks that it tastes slightly off. Scot goes on about how her and Tristan are now together and he has always thought that she was pretty. Lily begins to get hot, her body temperature runs abnormally high, and Scot suggests that they head towards the back of the house since everyone is smoking on the front porch. He takes her to his bedroom. She is surprised to find that he has his own balcony and he offers to leave the door open. He takes her out to a loveseat and they sit down. Scot begins to kiss her as she realizes that something is terribly wrong. Scot admits to spiking her drink with a little vodka and she begins to have a reaction. She needs to get to Tristan and Scot tells her where to find him. Turns out he and Miranda are half naked in the bathroom. Seeing them, Lily's condition gets worse and she begins seizing. She has an out of body experience and sees herself on the floor. In the background she hears a faint voice saying, “You are sick in this world. Come to me and be the most powerful person in the world.” No, Lily says to the voice and herself. Tristan panics and rushes to get her to the hospital. He and Breakfast, a boy at the party get her into Tristan’s car. She tells him that she won’t make it to the hospital and he rushes her home to Juliet. There, they place her in the bathtub and fill it with ice. Breakfast is worried that she is going to die. Her temperature begins to drop.

Lily wakes up in bed with Tristan holding her. Up until just a few days ago, that was her biggest wish. Now she just wants to get up without waking him but she does. He asks how she is doing and can’t believe Scot drugged her drink. She can see how angry he is. Lily looks at him and says that Scot didn’t leave her for another girl. Lily remains calm but Tristan gets angry. He never promised her anything and he isn’t ready to be faithful to her. She tells him that doesn’t make him a good person. She sees him leave and Lily knows that their friendship has been irrevocably damaged. He won’t be there when she has bad days at school. She changes clothes and heads down to the shore. With her mind finally clear, Lily wishes she could just disappear. The same voice from earlier fills her head and asks, “Are you ready to go now?” Yes, Lily says and wonders if this is now her mother feels. “I’m done here.”  Lily’s mind is clear for a few moments before the voice comes back. “It will be terrifying. It was for me.”

That was Lily’s only warning about what was to come. First, she is numb, no sensory perception and disembodied from herself. Then the two vibrations come and stop just as quickly as they started. Then, Lily is able to feel her body again. She is still in the same spot on the shore but things looked different. There is no smog on the horizon, the air seems fresher and there is more marine life in the tidal pools. She looks behind her and sees the familiar shoreline but that is all that is the same. Lily is still in Salem, just not the same one she was in moments ago. This Salem is now a city larger than Boston. She rushes towards it, only to be stopped by a fortification wall that looks as if it has been there for hundreds of years. She is spotted by the soldiers on patrol and they refer to her as the Lady of Salem. Looking closely at the soldiers, nothing about them seems medieval. In fact everything looks old and modern at the same time. Lily realizes that she must be a doppelganger for their leader by the way they treat her with the utmost respect.

They bring her inside the walls and she asks to go home. They take Lily to her citadel. Lily walks inside and finds that she doesn't go back to her own home. She isn't sure what to do when she hears Juliet. She rushes up the stairs to her sister but stops short when she gets a good look at her. Taking in the differences in this Juliet's appearance, Lily's mind recalls what her mother said earlier, "There isn't a Juliet who doesn't love you." Lily wraps Juliet in a hug and whispers that she is lost and the new Juliet says that it is okay. Juliet leads her down a hallway to her rooms. She opens the door by placing her hand on it and her necklace flashes. Lily asks how she did that and Juliet replies by asking "Who are you?" A familiar but worn-out voice replies "She is me." Juliet and Lily are both confused and the voice answers that she brought her here with her consent. Juliet asks the sickly girl what she has done. The girl replies that she has brought another version of herself into this world. The girl, now in bed, waves Lily over and introduces herself as Lillian. Lily sees that apart from minor variations she is looking at herself. Lillian explains that they are versions of one another. Lily finds out that her mother isn't crazy but is able to see infinite versions of the universe. The mother in this world killed herself to get them to stop. Juliet begs Lillian to send her back. She has kept her secret, even from Rowan. She tells both Lily and Juliet that she brought Lily there for a reason. Once Lily is past her fear, she’ll want to stay. Lily asks Lillian to let her go back home. Lillian says to what; slowly dying and pining over Tristan. Angry, Lily realizes that Lillian needs her. She threatens to leave and Juliet begs Lillian to stop her. Lillian says that Lily will be back "because you can't run from yourself forever."

What is Lily so ill in her own world? Why is Lillian so ill in her world? Why did Lillian bring Lily to the alternate Salem? What will Lily find outside of the Citadel? Who exactly is Lillian in her version of Salem? What secrets has Juliet kept for Lillian, even from Rowan? Will Lily be discovered? Can Lily find her way back home or will she be stuck in this alternate universe forever?

Part fantasy, part science fiction, with a splash of the Salem Witch Trials, readers will eagerly await the second book in the Worldwalkers series.

The trilogy will continue with Trail of Tears in Fall 2015 and conclude in Fall 2016 with Traitor's Pyre.

Visit the Worldwalker trilogy website.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Heir of Fire by Sarah Maas (Throne of Glass book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, Stop! I don’t want to ruin my absolute, all-time favorite series for you.

Please visit the Recaptains blog if you need a refresher on the first two books in the series.

“She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.”

Celeana Sardothian’s world was turned upside down by all of the events that occurred at the end of Crown of Midnight. She has been in Wendlyn for the past two weeks and decided almost immediately that she couldn’t carry out the King of Adarlan’s plans. He wants her to assassinate the King and Prince at the midsummer ball and steal their naval defense plans so that he can attack. Failure to do so will result in the deaths of Chaol and Nehemia's family. Celeana vowed on Nehemia's grave to free Eyllwe. She must locate and destroy the Wyrdkeys the King has used to build his empire. While in Wendlyn, she decides that the first step she must take in order to succeed is to go see Queen Maeve of the Fae. She has certainly been living long enough to know the answers Celeana seeks. Unfortunately, all of Celaena's plans crumbled when she first laid eyes on Prince Galan Ashryver and saw how his subjects loved him. Dejected, Celaena has hit rock bottom, Drinking and lounging on rooftops during the day and gambling at night.

She climbs down from the roof one day to meet face to face with another vagrant. Celaena realizes that she is in horror shape, so unlike her normal put together self. Trying to back away, a voice chuckles behind her. The vagrants of the alleyway make themselves scarce when the male Fae warrior comes towards Celaena. He is taking in her smell, not the one of her unwashed body but the one that marks her true heritage. She hopes that he doesn't call out her name or the Prince would come back into the city and all of her plans would be laid to waste. Striding up to him, she tries to maintain her bravado for the crowd knowing that the Fae won't be fooled. He tells her "let's go" the two of them mount horses. Not knowing if her sarcastic attitude was from her drinking and new level of apathy, Celaena asks the warrior his name. Rowan, he states and he is taking her to where she has been summoned.

Chaol is trying to keep Celaena and Dorian's secrets safe from the King but Celaena's from Dorian as well. When Aedion Ashryver, the King's infamous General of the North and Celaena's cousin arrives back in court, Chaol wonders how he didn't realize Celaena's secret earlier. Looking at Dorian, Chaol sees that Dorian may be starting to put two and two together. As Aedion reports to the King about his delay,  Chaol notices that Aedion wears the same black ring as the other members of the king's trusted circle. Even if he speaks to the King in a less than dignified manner, Aedion is still under his control. Bypassing the main table, Aedion sits with Chaol and Dorian where he begins to bait the two men. He inquires of the king's new assassin and Chaol is thankful that he sent Celaena away. He wonders how badly she will react when she discovers the bloodshed Aedion has done in Terrasen. Realizing that Dorian is quickly losing his calm, Chaol makes an excuse for the two of them to leave the room. Walking back to Dorian's tower, Chaol waits until they are safe from eavesdropping to ask Dorian if he is alright. He says that he is but Chaol stops him from further details. He doesn't want to know anything more in order to keep his secret safe in case he is questioned (tortured by the King). Dorian asks why he sent Celaena away but Chaol just walks away.

After traveling for several days with the silence stretching between them,  Rowan and Celaena arrive at a Fae outpost high in the mountains. He takes her into an office located in a tower. There Celaena comes face to face with Maeve for the first time. She quickly realizes that Maeve knows all of her secrets. Maeve tells Celaena that she didn't approve of her parents' marriage and her mother promised to let her see Celaena once she was born. Eight years passed without her mother's promise being fulfilled. Maeve wants Celaena to master her Fae abilities before she will allow her to enter the Fae kingdom. Maeve wants Celaena to reclaim her crown and become the Queen of Terrasen.

What happens when Queen Maeve forces Celaena to master her Fae powers? Who is Rowan? Why did her mother renege on her promise to the Fae Queen? Will Dorian realize who Celaena really is? Can Chaol keep Celaena safe? Why has Aedion Ashryver really returned to Rifthold? Does someone else in the castle know Celaena's secret? How will Celaena handle her assignment in Wendlyn that the King gave her? What lies ahead for Celaena and Chaol?

The story will continue with book four hopefully sooner rather than later. That ending killed me!

Visit Sarah Maas’ website.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

"Money can't buy a good first impression."

Seventeen year old Caymen Meyers and her single parent mother live in the tiny apartment above her mother's store, Dolls and More. Her father split as soon as her mother found out she was pregnant and his wealthy parents paid her mother off to keep her from seeking support. They reside in a small beach town where only two types of people live; the rich and people who sell things to the rich. Caymen is working for her mother when a rich boy about her age comes in. He is looking to buy a doll for his grandmother's birthday. She helps him pick something out and tries to keep her sarcastic attitude towards the wealthy in check. She barely succeeds. Wrapping up his purchase, Caymen notices that his name is Xander Spence from his credit card. He begins to catch on to her humor and tries to get her name. He is unsuccessful and leaves. Xander has made an impression on Caymen, whether she likes it or not.

Mrs. Dalton is a frequent customer in the shop. She comes into the shop one day to check on a doll that she ordered for her granddaughter's birthday. Caymen lets her know that it will be delivered the next day. Mrs. Dalton is unable to come back in and tells Caymen know that she will be sending her grandson Alex instead. She asks how Caymen's mother is and she answers ok. Mrs. Dalton leaves before her mother, Susan, comes in from the grocery store. She asks Caymen to leave the shop unattended (an unusual request) and finish carrying the bags up to their apartment. She finds her mother sitting on the couch and lets her know that she will finish unpacking later. At the end of the business day, she finds it odd that her mother never came back down to help in the shop like she normally does. Caymen finds her mother cooking dinner, which is unusual. She offers to clean up while her mother lies down to read a book. Caymen sees that her mother didn't eat much and on her way to her room, she sees that she has fallen asleep.

The next day Caymen is surprised to see Xander come back into the shop. It runs out that Xander is called Alex by his grandmother, Mrs. Dalton. This time, Xander is determined to learn her name. He calls his grandmother to let her know that he has the doll and that the owner says hello. When he says that it isn't Susan, Xander finally learns Caymen's name. He smiles and Caymen doesn't want to admit to herself how that makes her feel. On Saturday, Caymen goes into the shop early because she couldn't sleep. She is startled when the phone rings and it is Xander. He has been to the bakery and has muffins to share. She opens the shop door to let him in. He is surprised to learn that she lives above the shop. They start a game of asking each other questions but neither really learns much about the other before Xander leaves. When her mother asks her who called, her the first time in her life, Caymen lies. She doesn't want her mother to know about Xander.

Soon, Xander and Caymen find themselves spending time together and have more in common than they could have imagined. It seems both are expected to take over their family's respective businesses. Caymen knows that Xander oozes money but when she discovers that he is the heir to a hotel chain, she discovers just how rich he is. With her mother’s experience with her father, Caymen is leery to become involved with a rich boy, no matter how cute he is or how much he understands her. Rich boys seem to have short attention spans when it comes to girls. She knows her mother will never approve of Xander.

Can Caymen overcome the differences between her and Xander to see that maybe they belong together? Is Xander serious about Caymen or is she just a passing interest? Why is her mother acting strange? Will Caymen ever reconnect with the father who abandoned her? What will Caymen's mother say when she finds out about Xander?