Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassin book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy, Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph, Stop! I don’t want to ruin one of my favorite series for you.

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

“Because love is stronger than death.”

Brittany, December 1488

Annith is annoyed that she is still at St. Mortain's convent, waiting for her turn to serve Death. She has watched both Ismae and Sybella come, train and leave as novitiates to serve Mortain. Ismae is currently at court and while Sybella is on her fourth assignment. No one has heard from either in over six months. When a new girl, Melusine, arrives at the convent, Annith escorts her to the infirmary. Leaving her with Sister Serafina, Annith goes to alert the abbess of Melusine's arrival. As she nears, Annith hears the voices of the abbess and Sister Eonette. Annith listens in. Sister Vereda is ill and this leaves the convent Sightless. With Duchess Anne's rule over Brittany shaky, her unexpected illness could not come at a worse time. When Sister Eonette is dismissed, Annith scampers down the hall so as not to get caught. She informs the abbess of the girl's arrival whom was expected. After a brief discussion about the girl, the abbess says that maybe Annith could serve as novice mistress until she is called by Mortain. The abbess laughs at the look of disgust on her face. Annith explains that she doesn't want her other skills to weaken so that she wouldn't be ready for Mortain's call. The abbess sends her on her way.

Having lived in the convent since a newborn, Annith learned that collecting secrets and keeping them to herself helped her survive the former abbess, a tyrant called the Dragonette. She rushes unseen into the private chapel off the abbess's office to eavesdrop on the conversation with Sister Thomine. Annith can scarcely believe it when the abbess declares her plans to make Annith the new Seerees. She is so distraught that she barely hears Sister Thomine's dismissal. Annith pulls herself together and tries to think of a plan to change the abbess' mind. She runs into a clutch of older girls and they ask her if she knows why the abbess has meetings going on. Annith says she doesn't and one girl, Sarra, cannot believe that Saint Annith isn't in the know. Unable to keep her anger under wraps, Annith snaps at her and earns her admiration. Since no one knows, Annith promises to find out in the next day or two.

Not wanting to be stuck at the convent, Annith begins her plan to ensure that the abbess doesn't make her the next Seerees. She shows all of the Sisters that she is the superior novitiate and the only choice for Mortain's next call. Annith only realizes after the fact that by helping Sister Serafina nurse Sister Vereda back to health that she has shown the abbess how truly dedicated she is. When she is called into the abbess’ office one day, Annith is completely unprepared for the conversation. The abbess proudly informs her that she is to start training immediately with Sister Vereda to become the next Seerees. The abbess is disappointed that Annith is devastated over being chosen for what she sees as a great honor. Annith silently wonders if the Dragonette spilled her darkest secret when she promised not to. The abbess tells Annith that this is Mortain’s will and she has two choices; accept or be cast out. The abbess reassures her that there will be a widowed father looking for a new wife to care for his children. Annith does ask for time to pray and reflect before making her decision. The abbess reluctantly agrees to three days.

Annith must formulate her escape plan quickly. She agrees to train with Sister Vereda because the abbess is getting ready to go on a trip. It will be the perfect time to snoop for answers. She hopes to find out more about her birth mother and the circumstances that led to her being dropped off at the convent as a newborn. With all of the training the Dragonette gave her, she cannot believe that Mortain’s purpose for her is to stay at the convent. She knows that she will not survive being locked away for the rest of her life, never leaving the island. After the abbess departs, Annith searches her office and only finds a diary of sorts that the Dragonette kept that details some of the horrific events of her upbringing. Deciding that she won’t find anymore information, Annith makes her escape plan. Forging a message from the abbess requesting her to join her on the mainland, she packs her bag. She decides to make one last stop before leaving, Sister Vereda’s room for the Tears of Mortain. Unable to place a drop in her eye without waking Vereda, Annith decides to take the entire bottle in the hopes that no additional novitiates will be sent on missions without the gift of Tears. She is determined to find the abbess and ask why her to be the next Seeress.

What is Annith’s secret that the Dragonette kept for her from the others? Why does the abbess want Annith to become the next Seeress? Who is the first to discover Annith’s defection? Where does Annith flee to? Can she find Ismae and Sybella? Is Mortain’s will for Annith to be a Seeress or is it something else? What will Annith find outside of the convent walls?

Fans of the series will be delighted to see how the stories of Annith, Ismae and Sybella  wrapped up.

Visit Robin LaFevers’ website.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the quartet, The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves, Stop! I don’t want to ruin one of my favorite series for you.

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

Blue Sargent's senior year of high school isn't starting like she planned or hoped for. Her mother has been missing for over a month. She left behind a note that said, “Glendower’s underground. So am I.”  Her dreams of attending college seem out of reach. And the curse that her kiss will cause the death of her true love is haunting her. She told Adam Parrish about her curse when he demanded to know why Blue wouldn’t kiss him. Blue also told him that he wasn’t her true love. The Aglionby boys year is in a state of upheaval when their new Latin teacher is none other than Colin Greenmantle. Greenmantle hired the Gray Man to killed Niall Lynch and find the Greywaren, who turned out to be a who (Ronan) and not a what. Gansey is trying to fight his ever-growing attraction to Blue for Adam’s sake. Their friendship has turned rocky since he agreed to let Persephone “connect” him to Cabeswater. Ronan’s newest secret is Adam himself. The Gray Man has decided to become the man that Maura believes him to be.

Will Maura be found? Is she really underground with Glendower? What are the consequences for Adam now that he is connected to Cabeswater? Can Gansey and Blue continue to fight their mutual attraction? Does she tell Gansey about her curse? Will Greenmantle discover the secret of the Greywaren? Does Gansey come any closer to finding Glendower?

Fans of the Raven Cycle will be left clamouring for the final book in the quartet due out in 2015.

Visit Maggie Stiefvater’s website.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Four: a Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

One choice will free him."

Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation's faction leader did the same. Tobias's transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened "Four," he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

In "The Transfer," readers witness Tobias's aptitude test, Choosing Day, and the moment he is given the infamous nickname "Four."

"The Initiate" provides readers with a glimpse into Tobias's Dauntless initiation experience, including an epic game of late-night Dare; his first tattoo; the beginning of his passion for training new initiates; and his nascent understanding of the danger of being Divergent.

In "The Son," Tobias struggles to find a place in the hierarchy of the Dauntless. He also begins to suspect that a foul plan may be brewing within the Dauntless leadership and discovers a truth about his past that could greatly affect his future.

"The Traitor" takes place two years after "The Son" and runs parallel with the early events in Divergent. In this robust story, readers follow Tobias as he uncovers the details of an Erudite plan that could threaten the faction system, and makes plans of his own to keep Abnegation safe. At the same time, Tobias is getting to know a new transfer initiate: Tris Prior.

Taken from Barnes & Noble.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman

Unwind - Book One

Here is the link to one of my very first blog reviews I wrote for Unwind way back in March 2010. At the time, Unwind was a stand alone title. There were no plans at the time to expand the world into the now completed four book series.

UnWholly - Book Two

SPOILER ALERT! Please don’t read any further if you haven’t read the first book in the dystology, Unwind. I wouldn’t want to ruin the story for you.

Since the high profile revolt at the Happy Jack Harvest Camp led by Connor Lassiter, Risa Ward and Lev Calder, unwinding has moved to the forefront of society. It is something that can no longer be ignored. In fact, a ban has been put in place that seventeen-year-olds can no longer be unwound. Body parts are now becoming scarce. Connor is in charge of the Graveyard since the death of the admiral while Risa works medical detail. Things are tough for Conner, always wondering when the Juvenile Authority is going to decide to take over and if the ADR (Anti-Divisional Resistance) will come through with much needed supplies. There is discontent brewing through the Graveyard with the arrival of a new AWOL.

Mason Michael Starkey was storked or abandoned on a doorstep. Never really wanted by his adoptive parents, he has been bullied his entire life. The kids all call him Storky and he stays in trouble. Always knowing the day would probably come, Starkey has always made several plans to escape. The Akron AWOL is his hero. When the juvey-cops come in the middle of the night to take him to be unwound, he eventually makes his escape. Starkey is later found by the Anti-Divisional Resistance and taken to the Graveyard. There, he finally meets face-to-face with the Akron AWOL and Starkey is not impressed by Connor.

Camus Comprix or Cam is literally a superior specimen of the human body and mind. He was literally created using the best parts of unwound teenagers; intelligently designed. Major contributors have spared no expense to see him thrive and be the best of the best. When he is revealed to the world, shock waves ripple through society. To make him seem more “human”, the company behind his creation thinks a girlfriend is in order. Cam has eyes for only one, a wheelchair bound girl.

Miracolina Roselli was conceived for the sole purpose of being a donor for her older brother when he was stricken with leukemia and no match could be found. She has always known that her purpose now is to be tithed. Even on the day she is to go to the harvest camp, her parents regret their decision and attempt to stop it. Miracolina has other plans and happily goes, leaving her family heartbroken. Just before the van she is riding in arrives at the Wood Hollow Harvest Camp, Miracolina is captured by the resistance group, where she meets Lev Calder. She is furious.

Why have the authorities not raided the Graveyard? Who is behind the creation of Cam and why did they do it? How did Lev get involved with the resistance group? Is Starkey to be trusted? Who will be betrayed? And who will uncover the truth behind unwinding?

Once again interspersed with advertisements, newspaper articles and snippets of the law, readers will be thrusted into the debate to unwind or not.  

UnSouled - Book Three

There is no safe place for the AWOLs and the key to ending unwinding may lie back where it all started.

UnDivided - Book Four

The journey to end unwinding comes to the final showdown.

Visit Neal Shusterman’s website.
Visit the Unwind movie site. The movie is currently listed as being in development.