Title: Nearly Gone
“Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother’s job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone’s skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn’t trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.
Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn’t figure it all out soon—she’ll be next.”
I am someone you don’t want to watch horror movies with because I rant at the dumb things people do in them. I was ranting at the main character of this book. Even when she knows something is a set-up she still does exactly what the bad guy wants her to do. I also felt like the author couldn’t decide whether she wanted this to be a mystery or an urban fantasy novel then decided what the hell it will be both. However the fantasy aspect of the book was utterly unnecessary. I think it was just there to make her main character “special”. This another book that disappointed me because it could have been so much better.
Title: The Girl With All The Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Series Name: N/A
“Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her ‘our little genius’. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.
Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.”
So the synopsis omits the post-apocalyptic zombie-esque background. The four main characters of the book are well-written and even the head-chopping scientist can be empathized with (she is trying to find a cure despite the dubious means of doing so after all). The ending was unexpectedly poignant and brought the novel full circle.
Author: Mindee Arnett
Series Name: Avalon #1
“Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.
Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they’re damn good at it. Jeth doesn’t care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents’ ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he’ll go to get the freedom he’s wanted for so long.”
Interesting enough but nothing to write home about. Though the plan of the bad guys regarding the metatech replacement seemed a bit far-fetched. There are a lot of ships that would want/need this and it would be hard to produce enough replacements.
Title: The Univited
Author: Sophie Jordan
Series Name: Uninvited
“When Davy Hamilton’s tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn’t feel any different, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone.
Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.”
The concept of a “murder” gene isn’t new. Nor is the idea of genetic tests being used to single out unwanted traits. The book was interesting enough, but nothing that really stood out to me as new and exciting.
Author: Aimee Carter
Series Name: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
“For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed
and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.”
Not great and not horrible. Pretty much your standard dystopian novel. I was rather disappointed with the rebellion though. The synopsis plays it up but really it doesn’t seem to become important until the last 1/3 of the book. The rest of it is Kitty learning to be Lila.
Title: The Familars
Author: Adam Jay Epstein
Series Name: The Familiars #1
“Is the kingdom’s fate in the hands of an orphan cat?
Running fast to save his life, Aldwyn ducks into an unusual pet store. Moments later Jack, a young wizard in training, comes in to choose a magical animal to be his familiar. Aldwyn’s always been clever. But magical? Jack thinks so and Aldwyn is happy to play along.
He just has to convince the other familiars the know-it-all blue jay Skylar and the friendly tree frog Gilbert that he’s the powerful cat he claims to be.
Then the unthinkable happens. Jack and two other young wizards are captured by the evil queen of Vastia.
On a thrilling quest to save their loyals, the familiars face dangerous foes, unearth a shocking centuries-old secret, and discover a destiny that will change Vastia forever. Their magical adventure an irresistible blend of real heart, edge-of-your-seat action, and laugh-out-loud humor is an unforgettable celebration of fantasy and friendship.”
This is a cute series that would be a good precursor to introducing a child to the Harry Potter series. The writing and plot are both simpler.
Title: Born of Illusion
Author: Teri Brown
Series Name: Born of Illusion #1
“A gifted illusionist, Anna assists her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums, and mentalists in 1920’s New York. As the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini—or so Marguerite claims—sleight of hand illusions have never been a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her own gifts secret from her opportunistic mother. Because while Marguerite’s own powers may be a sham, Anna possesses a true ability to sense people’s feelings and foretell the future.
But as Anna’s powers intensify, she begins to experience frightening visions of her mother in peril, which leads her to explore the powers she’s tried so long to hide. And when a mysterious young man named Cole moves into the flat downstairs, introducing Anna to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, she is forced to confront her past and rethink everything she’s ever known. Is her mother truly in danger, or are Anna’s visions merely illusion? And could the great Houdini really be her father, or is it just another of Marguerite’s tricks?”
An interesting combination of magic (ala disappearing doves and seances) and magic (ala precognition and empathy). Throw in the the possibility of an illegitimate daughter of Houdini and you have yourself a story. Though I have to say I totally called the bad guy.