Book Review: A House Of Rage And Sorrow by Sangu Mandanna

Book: A House Of Rage And Sorrow by Sangu Mandanna

Published September 2019 by Sky Pony Press|336 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: The Celestial Trilogy #2

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy

One kingdom. One crown. One family.

“Maybe it’s time the great House of Rey came to an end. After all, what are we now? Just a house of rage and sorrow.”

Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail?

As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole.

The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.

I LOVED this book so much!  This was the book I didn’t know I was in the mood for but was glad I read it.  I definitely read it at the right time.

Esmae was so easy to relate to, and the grief and rage she felt the entire book was so easy to relate to.  It’s been a couple of year since my grandma died, but I’ve been missing her a lot lately, and this book really hit home right now.  How Esmae felt was so really, and I was a sobbing mess by the end of the book.  I feel like it happens so rarely now, but the rage and grief was there throughout the whole book.  The events of the last book really changed things for Esmae, and she is no longer the person she was in the first book.

I actually loved that we see if throughout the book.  It would have been very easy for it to not be included, but the author didn’t shy away from it.  It was really refreshing to see how present and visible it was.  There were so many different paragraphs and sentences that really resonated with me, and this book is so much better than the first book.

I really liked the first book, but this one really blew me away.  I felt like we really got into the story, and there are so many lies and so much betrayal that I didn’t know what to expect.  You think you know what’s going on, but the more time you spend in this world, the more you realize that you don’t know what’s real and what’s not.  This series is definitely under-rated, and I really wish it got more attention.

I loved that we got a few chapters from Titania’s POV!  I really like the relationship Titania and Esmae have, and Titania is a great character.  I know she’s a sentient ship, but Titania is pretty awesome, and I loved seeing things through her eyes.  That aspect of it made me think of the Binti novellas by Nnedi Okorafor.  Those are great reads, so I definitely recommend them if you haven’t read them.

As much as I loved this book, there are a couple of things I didn’t like.

For one thing, I kept forgetting that the book was set in space, and all of the places mentioned were individual planets, and not neighboring countries or territories.

And two, I couldn’t picture the different planets.  At all.  There’s not a lot of description, and because you’re seeing roughly one place on each planet, there’s a lot that you’re not seeing on the planets.  I think that’s why it felt like the places were neighboring countries instead of planets.

This story is definitely more about the characters and what they’re fighting for, but I would have liked a little more description of the places we see.  Still, it will be interesting to see how things play out in the last book.  There’s a lot going on, but I’m glad we have a list of characters at the beginning, because there are a lot of people to keep track of.  It was easier in this book, and I think it’s because of that cast of characters at the beginning.

5 stars.  I loved A House Of Rage And Sorrow, and this series is worth reading.

Book Review: Wires And Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer, Illustrated by Douglas Holgate

Book: Wires And Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer, Illustrated by Douglas Holgate

Published January 2019 by Square Fish|240 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: Wires And Nerve #1

Genre: YA Graphic Novel- Sci-Fi/Fantasy

In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new,action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold.When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder, Cress, Scarlet, Winter, and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.

I really liked Wires And Nerve!  I keep wanting to call it Wires And Nerves, for some reason, but that’s definitely not right.

I loved the Cinder series, which is why I picked this book up ages ago.  It’s been on my book shelf for literal years, and since I’m in this mood to read all of the books on my bookshelf that I haven’t read, I knew it was time to read it.  I didn’t like it nearly as much, but I still really liked it.

Iko, of coure, is awesome, and the format was perfect for her story.  I’m glad we get a book about Iko!  I loved seeing what she was up to, and she really is perfect for the job she had to do in this book.  I keep forgetting that Iko is an android, because she has so much heart and personality.  One of Cinder’s guards has no problem reminding her that she’s not human, and I feel like it definitely got to her.  I wish we saw a little more of that, but maybe in the next one.  I’m pretty sure we would have gotten that had this book been a novel, but I’m also having a hard time picturing this book as a novel.

I did read this book in one sitting, which wasn’t a surprise because it’s a graphic novel.  It did work well for this particular story, and I can’t really put my finger on it.  It just worked.  Even though we see what’s going on with all of the other characters, part of me wished we spent more time with them.  I know we’ll get glimpses of them in the next one, and I can always go back and re-read the original series.  It just wasn’t the same, now that they’re all off doing their own things because all is relatively right with the world (and moon).

As much as I liked it, I also had a hard time getting into it.  I don’t know if it’s because we’re seeing the ever after, and all of the work that goes into, or if I’m just not in the mood for it, but I had a hard time loving it the way I loved the Lunar Chronicles.

It’s still great, and I definitely recommend it, especially if you love the Lunar Chronicles and haven’t read the graphic novel yet.

4 stars.  I really liked Wires And Nerve, but I didn’t love it as much as I wanted or hoped to.

Book Review: Verify by Joelle Charbonneau

Book: Verify by Joelle Charbonneau

Published September 2019 by HarperTeen|320 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Verify #1

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Meri Beckley lives in a world without lies. When she turns on the news, she hears only the facts. When she swipes the pages of her online textbooks, she reads only the truth. When she looks at the peaceful Chicago streets, she feels the pride everyone in the country feels about the era of unprecedented hope and prosperity over which the government presides.

But when Meri’s mother is killed, Meri suddenly has questions that no one else seems to be asking. And when she tries to uncover her mother’s state of mind in her last weeks, she finds herself drawn into a secret world full of facts she’s never heard and a history she didn’t know existed.

Suddenly, Meri is faced with a choice between accepting the “truth” she has been taught or embracing a world the government doesn’t want anyone to see—a world where words have the power to change the course of a country, and the wrong word can get Meri killed.

I didn’t like Verify at all!  Don’t get me wrong, the idea is cool, and as a reader, I loved the message that words are powerful, but the story didn’t work for me.

I wasn’t particularly interested in Meri, or what happened to her.  She seemed to come around to rebellion pretty fast, even though she really struggled with it.  I wish she had struggled with a little bit more, because it felt really rushed and fast.

It also felt like it happened over the period of a few days, and if that’s the case, she went from knowing absolutely nothing about this group to being the leader of a revolution in a matter of days.  I really wish it were more clear the period of time in which this book is taking place.

I had no sense of the timeline, and when this book was supposed to be taking place.  It seems to be taking place decades later, but it was not clear how far in the future we were.  It also wasn’t clear how we got to the point that they were able to erase words to the point that no one knows how they’re pronounced, and all in the span of a few decades?  How were they able to change history that quickly, especially because there are going to be people who remember words like verify?  Something about that didn’t sit quite right with me.

Clearly, anything having to do with time didn’t make sense to me.  I feel like I didn’t miss anything as far as that goes, but I feel like a lot more could have been explained in this book.

Also…how is there no bookish black market in this world?  Like, I love the Great Library series by Rachel Caine, where the Library Of Alexandria is around and in control of all books and knowledge.  There’s a black market and burners, and it’s just so weird to me that people were so willing to give up prized editions of books instead of said books circulating some sort of black market.

I know there’s this group hiding things like The Federalist papers, and it’s possible there are other groups doing the same thing, to varying degrees of success.  But no black market for books?  Really?  I find that a little disappointing.

And the revolution Meri finds herself in charge of?  It was really thrown together, and it’s no wonder it didn’t seem to work.  It felt like they wanted to do something but didn’t want to put a lot of effort or thought into it, and just went with the first thing that came to mind.

I really feel like I can’t make sense of this world.  I am having a hard time getting over that, because it didn’t feel like it was put together very well.  Or at least, in a way that got me interested.  I feel like my review is all over the place…much like this book, so I think I’ll wrap it up with my rating.

1 star.  This definitely wasn’t the book for me, though I liked some of the ideas in it.

Book Review: Day Zero by Kelly deVos

Book: Day Zero by Kelly deVos

Published November 2019 by Inkyard Press|432 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Day Zero Duology #1

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Thriller

If you’re going through hell…keep going.

Seventeen-year-old coder Jinx Marshall grew up spending weekends drilling with her paranoid dad for a doomsday she’s sure will never come. She’s an expert on self-heating meal rations, Krav Maga and extracting water from a barrel cactus. Now that her parents are divorced, she’s ready to relax. Her big plans include making it to level 99 in her favorite MMORPG and spending the weekend with her new hunky stepbrother, Toby.

But all that disaster training comes in handy when an explosion traps her in a burning building. Stuck leading her headstrong stepsister, MacKenna, and her precocious little brother, Charles, to safety, Jinx gets them out alive only to discover the explosion is part of a pattern of violence erupting all over the country. Even worse, Jinx’s dad stands accused of triggering the chaos.

In a desperate attempt to evade paramilitary forces and vigilantes, Jinx and her siblings find Toby and make a break for Mexico. With seemingly the whole world working against them, they’ve got to get along and search for the truth about the attacks—and about each other. But if they can survive, will there be anything left worth surviving for?

I really struggled with Day Zero.  I had a hard time getting through it, and I was pretty close to actually not finishing the book.  I liked the ending, but getting there was challenging.

My main issue with Day Zero was the beginning.  Things were slow and confusing, and the world didn’t make sense to me.

Jinx lives in a world where there are two political parties- the Spark and the Opposition.  It seemed like the Democrat/Republican parties were around before giving way to the Spark/Opposition parties.  I feel like we can’t say that definitively, because I also felt like we had no world-building or background on the world that Jinx and her family lives in.  I couldn’t begin to tell you how things go to a point where the Spark and Opposition were duelling it out in an election.

Even at the end of the book, I had a hard time telling you who was responsible for what, and what they did and why they did.  It was a little more clear towards the end, but I was massively confused at the beginning of the book because it wasn’t clearly explained what was going on.

And, as much as I hate saying this, I wasn’t a fan of the names of either group.  It felt too simple- almost like they were placeholders in a draft that was never changed.  Of course, the two parties can be called whatever the author wants to call them, but I think I just wanted something cooler.

I also had a hard time keeping the characters straight, and how they were all connected.  I figured it out in the end, but it took a while to get there.

Actually, I think that describes this book pretty well.  It took a long time for anything to interest me, and even though I did like the book in the end, it was too late at that point, because I didn’t care about what happened to the characters.

Except for Charles, because I really liked him, and I want him to be okay.  I really want him to be okay in the next book.

As for the rest of the characters?  I didn’t particularly care about them or what happened to them.  I felt like I only knew them on a surface level, and even though you could probably say the same about Charles, I really connected to him more than I did the other characters, and I’m not sure why.

2 stars.  I liked the ending but it wasn’t enough to give Day Zero a higher rating.  I was too confused at the beginning, and I didn’t really care about what happened to most of the characters.

Book Review: The Light At The Bottom Of The World by London Shah

Book Review: The Light At The Bottom Of The World by London Shah

Published October 2019 by Disney-Hyperion|320 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: The Light At The Bottom Of The World #1

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters.

At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father’s been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people,often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he’s innocent, and all she’s interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.

When she’s picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.

Now, she’ll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture–and her father might be lost forever.

The Light At The Bottom Of The World sounded pretty cool!  I mean, I can’t remember coming across a book that takes place underwater that’s not about mermaids.  The concept is pretty cool, and that drew me in.

I like that because earth is a terrible place to live in the distant future, we’re living underwater instead of heading to space.  I already mentioned not remembering coming across something like that before.  If I have, then I obviously don’t remember.  I read a lot and it’s amazing I can remember what I read a few months ago, much less years ago.

Back to the book, though.  Living underwater has its consequences, and you hear about people losing hope and getting sick because of it.  It’s interesting people went underwater but we make it work despite the horrible conditions earth is in.

Even though I liked the concept and surviving underwater is pretty cool, I wasn’t as interested in this book as I thought I would be.  It’s not the first time I’ve picked up a book because it sounds cool, read it, and find that I’m not that into it. It definitely won’t be the last.

I get why she’s trying to get to her father, and I don’t blame her.  But for the life of me, I could not tell you what happened to him.  I know she finds out where she is to get him, but I could not tell you what happened to him after that.  Considering she spends the whole book trying to get to him, you’d think what happened to him would stand out more.

I had a hard time getting into this book.  The world was interesting, but I wanted more.  It’s underwater London, but I had a hard time picturing it.  I kept forgetting we were underwater, and even though it seemed like it would be this oppressive place full of despair and hopelessness, it didn’t feel that way to me.  Things weren’t what they seemed, and we definitely find that out.  But I still kept forgetting we were underwater, and it felt like it could have been happening anywhere.

I just didn’t feel invested in Leyla’s mission to get her dad.  As bad as it might be, it was just hard for me to care or be interested in what happened.  Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood for this book when I read it.  Maybe I would have felt this way no matter when I read it.  We’ll never know, least of all me, but I did finish it, so it did keep me reading.

2 stars.  I wanted to like this book more because I liked the concept but I had a hard time with this book.

Book Review: DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff

Book Review: DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff

Published June 2019 by Alfred K Knopf Books For Young Readers|448 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Lifelike #2

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Lemon Fresh has seen better days.

After the climactic battle in Babel, she finds herself separated from Ezekiel and Cricket in the wastelands. Lemon’s abilities to manipulate electricity mark her as a deviate, and deadly corporate operatives are hunting her to use as a weapon in the war between BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelus Technologies. Instead, Lemon finds herself falling in with a group of fellow deviates—a band of teenagers with astonishing abilities, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Major, who may hold the secrets to Lemon’s past.

Meanwhile, Cricket finds himself in possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for a head-on collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel finds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a plot that may see him reunited with his beloved Ana.

And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world.

Honestly, I don’t know what I think about this book.  I felt the same about the first book in this series, and that continued with this book.

I liked Lemon Fresh, and she has an interesting time in this book.  It was the same with Cricket, but I didn’t really care about what happened with Eve.  It was interesting to see how the groups that Cricket and Lemon Fresh ended up had so many connections to each other.  Personally, I wish we saw more of that but with how things went with Lemon Fresh, I’m not that surprised we didn’t.  And I did feel for Lemon Fresh, because I wanted a different story for her.

I think Lemon Fresh was my favorite to follow.  Hers is the one I remember more, though Cricket had his own challenges.  I felt like we didn’t get enough of Eve for me to have strong feelings either way.

I know people love Jay Kristoff, and this series, but I had a really hard time getting through this book.  I could only read a couple chapters at a time before needing to put it down and do something else.  I felt like it took me forever to get through this book.  I struggled to get through Lifelike when I tried to re-read before this one, and I remember having a hard time getting through it when I read Lifelike for book club ages ago.

I think I read this one because I wanted to know what happened next.  For some reason, Eve’s family made me think of the Romanov’s, and how people think Anastasia survived her family’s execution.  Part of me is wondering if it’s just coincidence, or if there is some inspiration there.  Either way, I wanted more about that, and it didn’t happen.  Which is fine, because I’m glad we followed Lemon Fresh and Cricket.  Still, I would have liked a chapter or two from Eve’s perspective.

Both Lemon Fresh and Cricket narrate, but it didn’t really work for me.  I thought it was confusing and their chapters sounded exactly the same.  It took a while to figure out who was narrating, and by the time I got settled into who was narrating, it switched, and I’d start the process all over again.  Maybe I’m just really used to books where it’s obvious who’s narrating.

I’m not sure if I’m going to going to finish the series.  Part of me does want to know what happens next, but I don’t know that I’m invested enough to keep going.  It’s an interesting world, and I wish we knew more about what life was like before this world started, and what life is like everywhere else.  It seems pretty contained to a Southern California-type area, at least from what I can gather from the map.  So it makes me wonder what it’s like everywhere else in the U.S.

2 stars.  Overall, Deviate is just okay.  I really liked Lemon Fresh’s story, but I don’t know if it’s enough to keep me reading.

Book Review: Shatter City by Scott Westerfeld

Book: Shatter City by Scott Westerfeld

Published September 2019 by Scholastic Press|416 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Impostors #2

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopia

When the world sees Frey, they think they see her twin sister Rafi. Frey was raised to be Rafi’s double, and now she’s taken on the role…without anyone else knowing.

Her goal? To destroy the forces that created her.

But with the world watching and a rebellion rising, Frey is forced into a detour. Suddenly she is stranded on her own in Paz, a city where many of the citizens attempt to regulate their emotions through an interface on their arms. Paz is an easy place to get lost…and also an easy place to lose yourself.

As the city comes under a catastrophic attack, Frey must leave the shadows and enter the chaos of warfare – because there is no other way for her to find her missing sister and have her revenge against her murderous father. 

 

I really liked Shatter City! It was an interesting read, and I was curious to see how things would work out after the way Impostors ended. It didn’t disappoint, and I definitely want to know what happens next.

It was interesting to follow both Frey and Rafi. It was pretty interesting to see how they did the good old twins pretending to be each other thing. Even though this series follows Frey, there is part of me that wonders what things are really like for Rafi, and I’d love to see a chapter or two from her perspective. I don’t think I need a whole book from her perspective, or even a good chunk of any book following her, but a chapter or two could be interesting.

We see more of the world that Frey lives in, which was really nice. It makes me wonder how much more of the world we’ll see in the rest of the series, and I can’t wait to see if we’ll stay pretty close to where we’ve been, or if there will be a lot more traveling involved. If she’s going to go after her father, she can’t go far, but she’ll also need allies, so I’m curious to see if anyone will help her, or if they’ll just go along with it.

It also makes me wonder about the geography of the world she lives in versus where the original Uglies trilogy took place. Is it close to where Tally’s from, or in a completely different area? I’d kill for a map of Frey’s world just so I know where things are in relation to each other.

I feel like Rafi and Frey really come into their own in this book. There’s definitely room for growth and change, of course, but Rafi does some things I would not have expected. And Frey…I felt for her. She has a lot to deal with, especially with the revelations about her brother.

I did not see that coming, and I so want more about him and how he got to that point. That’s a story I really want to know, even though I know we’d only get bits and pieces. And that’s assuming we get anything else during the rest of the series.

I really hope we see them in a world where they don’t have to deal with their father. It makes me wonder who they’ll become and how they’ll change if he’s someone they don’t have to deal with or worry about. I’m pretty sure we won’t see that but I can’t help but wonder what their world would be like if he wasn’t a factor.

I’m also curious to see if we’ll see Tally. She’s definitely mentioned, and her story was definitely finished. But part of me wonders how she is, what she’s up to and if she wants to help get rid of Frey’s dad. I want Frey and Rafi to deal with this on their own, but part of me does want Tally to randomly show up and help out.

4 stars. I really liked Shatter City, and I really liked seeing how big this world is.

ARC Book Review: Glow: Book 1, Potency by Aubrey Hadley

Book: Glow, Book 1, Potency by Aubrey Hadley

Expected Publication is February 13, 2019 by Ruby & Topaz Publishing|Expected # Of Pages: 699

Where I Got It: I got Glow as an e-arc from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Series: None

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

The Maasai Mara Sleeping Syndrome has returned after a six-month hiatus. This time, it’s popped up in New York, and it’s wiped out an entire homeless shelter.The same night of the outbreak, Harper, a seventeen-year-old girl, stumbles across a glowing figure in the desert outskirts of her neighborhood. As her suburb goes on lockdown, Harper finds herself isolated from her friends and family, and soon begins to suspect that the events — though thousands of miles apart — may have something in common. Harper must find her bravery and embark on a plot-twisting adventure that will have her looking for answers in unexpected places… and worlds.

I was looking through the books on netgalley one day, and came across this book.  It looked interesting, and the idea is pretty cool.  For the most part, I didn’t like Glow.

It started off really good, and I think that’s why I ended up being so disappointed in it.  Harper has this really protective mother who homeschool’s Harper and her sister.  Harper’s barely allowed to the leave the house, and her mom has one of the neighbors watching the house in case Harper leaves.  You’re not really sure why her mom’s like this, especially since it seems like things were like this before the Maasai Mara Sleeping Syndrome.

At first, I was definitely intrigued, and it seemed like we had a mystery on our hands.  We eventually learn what’s going on, but that’s when the book started to lose me.  Once her neighborhood goes on lockdown, and she gets whisked away on this…adventure, I started to lose interest.  It was hard to keep track of what was going on, and it had the potential to be really interesting.  Instead, I was really bored, and it was page after page about why one group was better than another, and Harper trying to figure out this new world.

It’s sci-fi and it felt like I was reading about the end of the world.  I expected a lot more action and excitement and danger, and I didn’t get any of it.  It felt really slow, and we’re told things as opposed to seeing them.  It was a lot longer than it needed to be, and too much time was spent explaining things.  It looks like this book is the first book in a series, even though I couldn’t find any information about a book two.  I expect to see the world and story get set up but we got more than what we needed.

I’m not interested enough to pick up any other books in this series (if there are any) and I’m not completely sure where things are headed in any future books.  With the how the book ended, it seemed like there was going to be a lot of waiting until the next thing happens, and I don’t particularly want to read through pages and pages of Harper waiting until the next big thing happens.  I could be wrong, but I just don’t particularly want to find out.  Especially if it’s anything like this book.  Hopefully not though.

My Rating: 1 star.  I like the idea, and it started off really good!  It just got bogged down in the details, and I really did expect a sci-fi story involving aliens with an apocalyptic feel to be more exciting and action-packed.

Book Review: The Last 8 by Laura Pohl

Book: The Last 8 by Laura Pohl

Published March 2019 by Sourcebooks Fire|357 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: The Last 8 #1

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

A high-stakes survival story about eight teenagers who outlive an alien attack—perfect for fans of The 5th Wave

Clover Martinez has always been a survivor, which is the only reason she isn’t among the dead when aliens invade and destroy Earth as she knows it.

When Clover hears an inexplicable radio message, she’s shocked to learn there are other survivors—and that they’re all at the former Area 51. When she arrives, she’s greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves The Last Teenagers on Earth.

Only they aren’t the ragtag group of heroes Clover was expecting. The group seems more interested in hiding than fighting back, and Clover starts to wonder if she was better off alone. But then she finds a hidden spaceship, and she doesn’t know what to believe…or who to trust.

I liked The Last 8!  It’s an interesting read, but I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to.

Don’t get me wrong, you can’t go wrong with an alien invasion causing death and destruction on a worldwide scale.  At the same time, though, aliens invading earth seem a little bit…dated.  I hate saying that, I really do.  I liked Clover, and the world but something about the book seemed old, even though it’s a pretty new release.

I really liked Clover and we see her struggle a lot throughout the book.  I loved that there was a content warning at the beginning of the book, and that Pohl had a list of resources at the end of the book.  I thought how Clover acted throughout the book was really realistic, and understandable considering everything that happened to her during the book.  Especially at the beginning.

It’s an interesting group, and I loved that there are survivors of an alien invasion at Area 51.  Why does this not come up more?  There’s a lot going on with this group, and while I wasn’t surprised at why they survived, I am curious to see where things go.

I thought the book wrapped up really well, and I was surprised to see that it’s going to be a duology.  I think there’s more story to tell, especially with how things ended, but I’m also hesitant to read the next book.  I’m a little worried that it will feel added on, especially since I only have a vague idea where things are headed.  It’s definitely a book that can go either way- there’s enough closure that it works well as a stand-alone but there’s enough there that the story can continue on.

3 stars.  I liked The Last 8, and I especially liked Clover but I also didn’t love it.  I feel like this story is one I’ve read before.

Book Review: The Fever King by Victoria Lee

Book Review: The Fever King by Victoria Lee

Published March 2019 by Skyscape|375 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Feverwake #1

Genre: YA Sci Fi/Dystopia

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

The Fever King is an interesting one!  I’m really glad I read it, and I ended up really liking it!

The setting was really interesting.  It’s a futuristic America that’s been torn apart by a magical virus, and there’s elements of fantasy and sci-fi.  It seems like there’s a lot to explore in Noam’s world, especially since America isn’t the America we know.  At least in terms of geography.  In terms of refuges and immigrants, the world Noam lives in is all too familiar, and very, very real.

I really liked Noam, and he’s such a different character than Dara.  To a certain extent, he’s more trusting of others than Dara.  That surprised me, considering how Noam grew up, but I also don’t blame him.  I feel like I might have done the same thing if I were him.  I do get his decision to stay behind, though.  I mean, no one would ever suspect him, and he definitely seems like the sort of guy who is underestimated.  I can’t wait to read the next book to see how things turn out for him.

I’m not sure how I feel about Dara.  I did feel for him, and it sounds like things weren’t easy for him.  I do get why he acted the way he did, and I did like him a little more by the end of the book than I did when we first met him.

I don’t have anything else to say about The Fever King.  The world is pretty interesting, and I’d love to see more of it.  I really liked how magic was used in this book and I feel like there’s more to it than what we see.  Especially with how everything came about.  I’d love more backstory on that, but I don’t have a lot of hope we’ll see it.  Either way, I hope we get at least a little more with the magic.

4 stars.  I really liked The Fever King, but I didn’t love it.