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Tag Archives: YA fantasy

Terra Soul by S.J. Abraham

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Terra%20Soul%20Cover_zpsd6ycqimvLoveys, I want to tell you about a story I’m excited about! So I had the privilege of working on this super-fun, YA, sci/fi novel and I loved it! Here’s the book blurb:

Ayla thinks she’s just a comic-book nerd with a photophobia until the day a space fold forms in her living room and her father drags through it to the alien world of Karanik, her birthplace. When she discovers that soul-drinking aliens have infested Earth, she must embrace who she truly is in order to save it.

This story is great for young adults, boy and girls. It’s got aliens, teen angst, adventure, basically the world coming to an end and all that great stuff. I really enjoyed it and I think this author will have more amazing stories to tell. So check out Terra Soul on Amazon!!


Promised by Caragh M. O’Brien

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13010211Hi friends! Well, Promised is the final book in the Birthmarked trilogy. Here’s what I love about this trilogy, it’s such an interesting storyline! From the beginning with Birthmarked, this idea of having to give up your kids for the “greater good” just adds a deep level of intensity and emotion. Then taking Gaia to this place where the women have control over everything–such an intriguing dynamic. And with Promised, Gaia returns as a stronger woman, but still with insecurities and moments of immaturity and indecision. I have to say, however, that Gaia is a very good character. She’s very flawed, but she’s interesting, and at heart, she’s a good person with good intentions.

Her relationship with Leon is an up-and-down kind of thing. They obviously care for each other, but they always seem to be keeping things from each other and doing things without talking them through with their partner. Leon’s feelings for Gaia are obviously very deep and he’s devoted to her. Sometimes Gaia seems less devoted. I read a review where the reader felt like Gaia harbored feelings for Peter and Will, and I can definitely understand that perspective. But she’s proves several times that she’s committed to Leon.

I did feel like the ending came with some depressing aspects. *SPOILER AHEAD*

The fact that Gaia’s ability to have children with Leon was taken from her felt so heavy and sad after all they had gone through. Also, the fact that they had taken her eggs, so while she couldn’t carry her own babies, women around her would be carrying them and having them and Gaia would never know who her own children were–that just felt devastating to me. Maybe it’s the mom in me, but that felt like too much. I was, of course, glad that Gaia and Leon end up together and can raise her sister. But the other part was so dark and depressing.

Anyway, overall, this series is so different from everything else out there, and you have to appreciate the creativity that goes along with that. I enjoyed the writing and all the suspense and action in this final book. I definitely recommend this book for YA futuristic/fantasy readers.


Sever by Lauren DeStefano

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New%20Severx-inset-communitySo remember how I raved about Wither, the first book in the Chemical Garden trilogy? Right, and then I just muddled through Fever, a little unsure about how much I liked that one but still needing closure? Well, Sever just came out! The final book in the trilogy. I picked this one up at the library and read it in the span of about 24 hours.

I gave myself a little time to reflect on my feelings after reading Sever, before writing this review. To be honest, I was annoyed when I first finished the book. (I’m trying to avoid spoilers because I know my sister Sara hasn’t read it yet. We’ll see if I can pull that off.) Without giving names, an important character dies in this book and I was frustrated by that.

But after thinking it over, I feel that maybe that specific death helped pull together the other characters and leave room for moving on. I think perhaps I’m just a little tired of all the depression in these YA futuristic/fantasy books. Beginning with Mockingjay, I just felt the depressing aspect outweighed the enjoyment. I recently finished read Promised (Birthmarked trilogy, we’ll talk about it soon), and again, I felt the ending was heavy and sad. I think maybe these authors are so intent on being real, that they end up being depressing. For me, if I’m taking time out of my schedule to read, I don’t want those hours to leave me depressed and unsatisfied. A little realism is good, but please don’t make me depressed.

Anyway, back to Sever, I liked the pacing, and the twists and turns were good. I like to be surprised and I definitely was. And now that I’m a few days removed from the story, I think my overall opinion is good. The story wraps up pretty well. If you’ve read Wither and Fever, definitely read this one. You’ll want to know the ending, just expect some sadness. Wither remains my very favorite of the three, but I’m glad I stuck with this series to the end.

Angelfall by Susan Ee

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ImageOhmigosh. I just finished Angelfall by Susan Ee and I am trying to get a hold of all my thoughts! As usual, I was introduced to this book by my sister Sara. She got it for Christmas because it was on her wish list, and she immediately handed it to me and said that I needed to read it ASAP because it’s awesome. So, so right. At the beginning, it reminded me of Hunger Games because our main girl has a younger sister she loves and needs to take care of and a mother who is unreliable and emotionally unstable. But that’s where the similarities ended really.

Basically, angels have descended and completely destroyed the modern world. If I had one complaint, it would be that I don’t feel we got enough history. There are so many unanswered questions about what actually happened and who’s in charge and so on. I know the author was setting the scene for the next book in the series, but I think we needed a little more to go on. Anyway, our main girl, Penryn (love that name!), is on a mission to save her little sister from the scary angels and she has to team up with Raffe, an angel, to do it. They form sort of a shaky alliance at first, but over time, they really do need each other for survival. The ending sort of leaves you hanging, but it feels like an appropriate ending and it worked. I will definitely be reading the next book.

What I found so cool and interesting was the supernatural aspect of this book. For a believer like myself, the thought of angels and demons and all that isn’t so unfamiliar. I am really interested in seeing how the author develops the “God” figure. She has Raffe, an angel remember, as an agnostic. I was thinking, there’s a verse in Scripture that tells us that even “the demons believe, and tremble” (when speaking of believing in God. James 2:19). For me, this was a really thought-provoking book. Raffe talks to Penryn about the angels that fell from heaven and the nephilim (I think I’m spelling that right). Those aspects of the story came from the Bible so I found them to be really intriguing.

Overall, great characters, great pacing, and a fascinating storyline. Though I have to warn you that there are some dark parts and things that make you cringe. Still, this was a really great book and I’m hooked on the series. 🙂


Insurgent by Veronica Roth

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So I just finished reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth, the sequel to Divergent. I have to say I’m always a little skeptical that a sequel will live up to its predecessor, and lots of times, if the sequel isn’t strong enough, I drop out of the series. I loved Divergent. And Insurgent was a really good follow-up. *Spoilers ahead so beware.

We pick up with Tris and Tobias and I felt like the author did a good job of portraying the strengths and weaknesses of their relationship and developing their characters. I never got tired of following Tris through the story, though some aspects disappointed me somewhat. All the lies and secrets between her and Tobias don’t really set the foundation for a mature relationship, but they each have their reasons for that. Still, Tris choosing to side with Marcus at the end felt over-the-top to me. I could understand her logic, but I wish she’d included Tobias in her thought process and been honest with him. I wish she’d tried harder to convince him of what she thought was right instead of seemingly stabbing him in the back by siding with his abusive father. Still, despite that, you know that Tris sees what she’s doing as more important than saving her relationship with her boyfriend–and you’ve got to appreciate that. She’s a strong female character–very flawed, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And for once, we see a girl who will sacrifice her relationship for what she knows is right. She stands for more than romance! 🙂

Moving on, I really disliked Marcus’s character. I don’t like how the author wants us to see both good and bad in him. We can see that in most characters, that doesn’t make him a good character. If he’s not held accountable for his bad choices, then it just feels like injustice. I was thankful that toward the end, Tris clarified that she wouldn’t help save him if it came to that. She wasn’t overlooking what he had done. (Though it felt like it at times.)

I hope we see more of Caleb in the next book, his betrayal was a shock but made me wonder if there’s more to him than what we saw. And I’m glad to say that I will be reading the next book as soon as it comes out. Veronica Roth has done a great job with this series so far and I’m excited to see where she takes Tris and Tobias!

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien

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So I just finished reading Birthmarked. This is one that’s been on my list for a while. It’s about this society where midwives have to give the first three babies born every month (that they deliver) to the Enclave, or advance them, as they call it. The Enclave is supposed to be a perfect society, so in theory, the babies are actually being given an advantage. The people living outside the Enclave are all very poor. However, only perfect babies are accepted. Gaia lives with her mom and dad and is in training to be a midwife like her mom. She wasn’t a candidate for advancement because of her scarring. She was burned as a small child. The story begins with Gaia performing her first delivery and subsequently handing over the baby to the Enclave. Before she can get home that night, she’s told that her parents have been arrested and she should run. But she doesn’t. She breaks into the Enclave to find her parents and things sort of spiral out of control from there. Just as no society can be perfect, the Enclave has its share of secrets and problems. I thought the plot was great, and I really liked Gaia’s character. I definitely recommend this book for fans of YA dystopian novels. I’m really looking forward to reading Prized, the next book in the series. As a mother myself, it was kind of disturbing to think of all these babies being taken from their mothers at birth though. I can’t imagine that kind of pain. So, I felt like that element of the story really stood out to me. I thought it drew a more emotional connection for me as a mom. So–good characters and good plotting.

The Fallen by Thomas Sniegoski

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 So, I’ve just finished reading book 1 in The Fallen series and I have to say that it’s pretty cool. Aaron is just about to turn 18; he’s a boy who’s spent his whole life in foster care and finally settled with a great foster family. But he turns 18 and weird stuff starts happening. He can hear any language and understand it. Things start to unravel quickly. Aaron learns that he’s a Nephilim–the child of a human mother and an angel. That the Powers are out to kill all of his kind and that he might just be the One so many have been waiting for. Like I said, I’ve only read book one, so I’m not sure how the series plays out. I really enjoyed this book–but there are a couple of things I could mention. Like the fact that Aaron can supposedly forgive sins. This is all make-believe, of course. But that just felt a little extreme to me. Going a little too far. Also, he can understand any language–including his dog’s language. So there are lots of conversations with his dog. While some of this is funny (dog saying, “Want to play ball.”), some of it was a little silly. But I’m thinking the dog has an important role to play in the following books, so maybe it’s necessary to get to know him like this. Aaron is a good character–strong, determined, not annoying. The spiritual aspect of the book is interesting–the idea of fallen angels wanting to reunite with God, and such. I’m thinking there was a TV movie made about the book, but I haven’t seen it. Overall opinion–I liked it. Haven’t decided if I’m going to keep on with the rest of the series yet.