Book Review

Book Review: The Gauntlet (The Cage #3) by Megan Shepherd-4 Stars

The Gauntlet is the final book in The Cage series, and while I found it thrilling and interesting, it was my least favorite book in the series because of the ending.

In The Gauntlet, Cora and her friends escaped from the Kindred and are on a ship with Bonebreak, a mosca. They left behind Cassian who was being tortured because Cora needs to run the Gauntlet so humans can be considered intelligent like the other species.

There was a lot of drama, death, surprises, and twists (and a little romance) throughout this novel. Cora is so strong, as is all the others who escaped with her, but they as humans can only fight for so long without help from others. The actual gauntlet sounded incredible and interesting, a total mind warp that pushes you in every direction. With certain species on the brink of war with one another and ready for a complete take over, can Cora successfully complete the Gauntlet to save humanity and her friends, and be considered as worthy as the others?

With plenty of action and heart stopping shockers, The Gauntlet was super intriguing but as the final novel, it was slightly disappointing because of the decision a certain character made at the end.

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Book Review: Broken Crowns (The Internment Chronicles, #3) by Lauren DeStefano-4 Stars

What do you do when both kings love their country, to the point of taking drastic measures such as MURDER to keep their home the way it’s always been? “Broken Crowns” picks up where “Burning Kingdoms” left off- Morgan and her friends who escaped to the ground are realizing the horrors of two combating kingdoms and everyone is trying to plan how to remedy the situation. I really didn’t care for the second book, and I didn’t think I would ever finish this one-it was SO slow moving but the turning point happened when Basil and Morgan finally  make it back to Interment from the ground and find Celeste…(no spoilers!) I thought Celeste’s plan to unite the two kingdoms was very brave and seemed exactly the kind of decision she would make!

The character’s were very well thought out, as they have been from book one. No one is boring or flat, and every character offers something to the point of the novel, they aren’t just fillers. Pen was my least favorite character in book two, but I absolutely loved her in “Broken Crowns.” She is brilliant, stubborn, loyal, and thinks for herself. While on the ground, Pen calculates that Internment is sinking slightly each time the jet from Havalais travels back and forth, which could eventually cause serious problems for Internment. My favorite quote in the book came from her: ” A girl should never stop thinking…otherwise we’ll become what our world thinks of us….dull, simple creatures that must belong to someone lest we hurt ourselves” (p. 224)

Although it took me some time to get really in to it, “Broken Crowns” is full of shockers and twists you don’t see coming. DeStefano created such imaginative worlds with impressive characters that really draw you in to the story. I felt it was the perfect wrap up to this trilogy.

Book Review

Book Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd-5 Stars

the cage

Ever since I read The Madman’s Daughter, I vowed I would read anything that Megan Shepherd ever came out with. The Cage is about 6 teens that were taken to a human zoo and kept in a cage by the Kindred, who are like alien-human things. The cage has different environments that are supposed to make the teens feel at “home” on Earth. Tundra, farm, ocean…The Kindred have solid black eyes that instantly reminded me of the demons on Supernatural, they keep their emotions cloaked, and hard metal-like bodies. The 6 that were removed from their earthly home are Cora, Lucky, Rolf, Nok, Leo, Yasmine (who dies in the beginning) and then Mali, who joins the other 5 later on. The Kindred require the  6 of them to uphold 3 rules: Solve the puzzles, Stay healthy by eating the food provided to them and sleeping, and procreate by the end of 21 days. WHAAT?! They have all been paired up in terms of procreating-Lucky & Cora, Rolf & Nok, Leo & now Mali.

One of the Kindred seems different than the others-lets his emotions slip sometimes, tries to be a friend, and that is Caretaker, Cassian. Cassian, for some reason, pays more attention to Cora, and the others start to catch on. Cassian is tall, bronze, and handsome. LOL! But really, he’s like an alien, so I’m not so sure about all that, but there is definitely such an attraction between him and Cora that midway through the book I just wanted them to kiss already and fall in love, even though he isn’t hardly human…what is wrong with me?!

On to some of the characters. As with The Madman’s Daughter series, Megan’s character development is awesome. None of the characters were flat, but they weren’t over-described either. I really liked Cora. She is headstrong and brave, but she did really tick me off with the whole escaping talk. Like, even if you can escape, you don’t even know where you are, so how are you going to get back home?? I really liked Lucky as well. He was funny and sweet. Rolf was cute at first, being all nerdy and smart, but started to become a jerk. And I hated Nok from the beginning.

The world that the author created was really creative and innovative. I liked the idea of a environment that can change with mind control. The Kindred claim the 6 have been placed in this cage for their protection and all the Kindred want to do is see them thrive in the environment while they watch and research how they act and develop. Between the changing scenery, the shadowy black figures constantly watching behind the windows, headaches and lies, the 6 captives begin to go crazy. All Cora wants to do is get out and return to her home on Earth.

The ending really threw me. I totally did not see that coming. I need book 2 ASAP!!

Book Review

Book Review: Burning Kingdoms (Internment Chronicles book 2) by Lauren DeStefano-3 Stars

Goodreads

I read the first book in this series, Perfect Ruin, last August and I loved it! It’s a great otherwordly, dystopian, romance packed fantasy! So needless to say, I had high hopes for book two. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it as much as the first one. You can read my review on the first book here. The Internment Chronicles tells the story of another city floating in the sky.

I felt like there was just too much random stuff thrown in and it took away from the main goal of the story, figuring out how, if possible, to get back to Internment.  Morgan and various others have escaped the floating city in their flying machine. The new world they find could have easily been described and discovered in less than 100 pages, but it kept on and on.  I was expecting more intrigue and excitement that she and her friends uncovered on the ground but I was left with a plot that kept spinning in circles. The world building at times was exciting, and it is almost like  the 1920’s mixed with the far future?!

I absolutely detested Pen in this book. I get that she was uprooted from her home, but so was everyone else! She really got on my nerves. At first I was also getting annoyed with Celeste, but I grew to like her and appreciate she and Morgan’s friendship towards the end of the book. I fell more in love with Basil than I did in book one, but then Judah has to throw a kink in things…While the plot did jump around and annoy me, there were certain revelations and secrets that were revealed that I can’t wait to see elaborated on in book three. I just wish there would have been more conclusions because it ended with a cliffhanger and the plot didn’t progress in a practical way. That said, I do still want to read the conclusion, obviously, so I can figure out what the heck happens!

*Sidenote* The new covers are hideous. -_-

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Book Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano- 5 Stars

Synopsis from Goodreads: On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream, unless you approach the edge. Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close can lead to madness, like her older brother Lex, a Jumper. She takes solace in her best friend Pen, and in Basil, the boy she’s engaged to marry. When she investigates the first murder in a generation, she meets Judas. The suspect was betrothed to the victim, but Morgan believes he is innocent. Nothing can prepare Morgan for the secrets she will find – or whom she will lose.

Welcome to Internment. A world above a world, a floating city in the sky, cut off from the ground and whatever is over The Edge. In Internment, pretty much everything is decided for you, where you live, whom you marry, except the fact that you can chose to be whoever you want…an artist, a doctor, as long as you don’t approach The Edge. Once you do, life as you knew it is ruined.

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The main character in Perfect Ruin is Morgan Stockhour. Morgan has her parents, stubborn Jumper brother Lex and his wife Alice, her best friend Pen, and her betrothed, Basil. I loved the chemistry between Morgan and Basil. In a world where your birth, marriages, and deaths are determined, Morgan and Basil seemed truly in love, so much that they would still choose each other even if it hadn’t already been predetermined. I LOVED Basil! He was so sweet and loving to Morgan, standing by her even when she thought she’d lost it all. Parents enter the queue when they want to have a child, and usually the betrothed’s parents have their child at the same time. At school, students read from history books such as The History of Internment, and are forbidden to talk of such things like the ground or the Edge. I really enjoyed Morgan’s character. She starts off as someone who is unsure how to feel and what to think, since she is judged for being the sister of a Jumper, one who tried to go off the Edge. Morgan thinks she might be crazy for having dreams and thoughts about the ground, and she’s afraid of what might happen. Once she starts to understand the reality of this place she thought was her home, she turns into this strong, fearless, girl who will fight for love and truth.This novel had me transported to Internment, just the way the author described the city and the different rules they must follow. The people of Internment believe in the Sky God, who supposedly saved them when the God of the Ground wanted to destroy them and start all over, but some people, including Morgan, start to question the Sky God, the king, and all that Internment stands for when murders start occurring in their little city. The only issue I have with this book is that the first half was a slow buildup, lots of background, description, and history which I enjoyed reading, but I felt the last part of the book was rushed and I didn’t feel some things really worked with the flow of the novel. Otherwise, this was an awesome book and I can’t wait to read the others in this series!

Book Review

Book Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam-5 Stars

This book received very low ratings on Goodreads, and I’m not sure why. I love it, and think it’s brilliantly awesome! Plus, just look at the gorgeous cover! elusion

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12369550-elusion?from_search=true

Elusion is an almost dystopian type novel. There’s still different cities and states, but it is still separated into different sectors of town, kinda like how we have the ritzy areas in my city, and the poorer communities, but there aren’t factions like in Divergent nor districts like The Hunger Games. But, the citizens have to wear O2 shields because the air is so awful, and acid rain pours down requiring special umbrellas. The premise is this: You can escape to Elusion with a special app, visor, and wristband. You can visit these special locations: Thai beaches, go mountain climbing, etc., and you can’t get hurt, nor feel anything but joy, happiness, and elation. Except, people are getting hurt. Suspicious things are happening, and Regan is determined to get to the root of it. Regan’s father, David Welch, created Elusion with the help of Regan’s best friend, Patrick. After David dies, Patrick is obviously in charge, and making Elusion the most coveted phenomenon in the world. Once Elusion is targeted for being dangerous, Regan feels she needs to find out what is really going on, because she doesn’t want to believe her father is responsible for what some people are claiming. I think this novel is spectacular. The authors created a world that I felt sucked in to, actually in Elusion, not just reading a book. The ending for me was somewhat expected, but the details of it I hadn’t really expected! (not to go into too much detail as to avoid spoilers!) As for the characters, I felt Regan was a very fleshed out character, but I would have liked to see more depth to her mom’s character. I loved the impending romance between Regan and Josh but again, would have liked more about his character too.  Overall, this has been one of my favorite books so far in 2014, and I can’t wait for the sequel! I definitely recommend you check out Elusion!