Book Review: The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

beautyBook Review: The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

Book three of The Remnant Chronicles starts off right after Lia and Rafe’s dangerous escape from Venda. Once they are safe, they are quickly faced with the decision of how to save two different countries. A change in Rafe’s status means that they are forced to make some tough decisions. But can they act in time to save the people they love from Venda?

Sigh. I couldn’t read this book fast enough. Such a great series. I was very pleased with the ending (eventually). I also appreciated that we learned a little more about Pauline but still kept true to Lia, Rafe, and Kaden’s journey. Definitely don’t read this series out of order.

Quotes

On change:

“You are who you needed to become, Lia. We’ve both changed out of necessity.”

On things being for the best:

He nodded. “You’re right. It’s probably the best.” Bitterness rose in my throat. I hated things being for the best. They never really were. It was a phrase that sugarcoated the leftover crumbs of our options.

On love and choice:

“Everyone deserves to be loved, General, and not because a piece of paper commands it. Choice is powerful and can lead to great things if not held in the tight fists of a few.”

Recommended Grades: 7-12
Genre: Action Adventure
Overall Opinion:   Highly Recommend
Source: ebook from Edelweiss

Book Review: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

heart

Book Review: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

This is book two in The Remnant Chronicles. Lia and Rafe are hoping to find out a way to escape from their captors, and Kaden is trying desperately to keep Lia safe from the Komizar. As Lia nurtures her gift, the people begin to welcome her into the clan, further complicating the situation.

So I was really nervous when I read this book because I LOVED The Adoration of Jenna Fox, but only liked the sequels. That is not true for this series. In fact, I’ve already noted the publisher so I can try to beg and advance copy when I’m at TLA. This book was even better than the first one. There is an ending I never saw coming (warning-cliffhanger), and some interesting character growth. While this book doesn’t have you guessing about who the prince is like book one, it has tons to keep you interested. Some new characters your heart will break for, and cheer for, and some you just want to punch in the face.

Quotes:

None, but there are some beautiful passages…I just forgot to write them down.

Recommended Grades: 8-12
Genre: Action Adventure
Overall Opinion: Highly Recommend
Source: ebook and audiobook (listen to at faster than normal speed though)

Book Review: Defiance by CJ Redwine

defianceBook Review: Defiance by CJ Redwine

Rachel’s quiet life in Baalboden is interrupted when her father goes missing. Having trained in secret, she knows she can find him, but it isn’t that simple. First she must convince the cruel leader to allow her to go; even if the cost is steep.

I was surprised about how many mixed reviews this book got. Yes, I guess it could be classified as dystopian, but I think it is more action adventure. Unlike other reviewers, I don’t think this story line just repeats other plots. This is the start of what I’m sure will be a great series. I listened to this on audio and really enjoyed it. The main reason that I’m torn on an above average/average review is that I think there is still a lot of the story to be told. I’m excited to read book two and see how the story evolves.

Quotes

“Instead, I cradle her to me and feel the missing pieces of my slide firmly back into place.”

“Lucky for me, they’re too shortsighted to understand a man’s true weapon isn’t something that slides into a scabbard.”

Recommended Grades: 8-12
Genre: Action Adventure
Overall Opinion:   Average/Above Average
Source: audiobook

Book Review: The Living by Matt De La Pena

The LivingBook Review: The Living by Matt De La Pena

Shy thinks he is just going to earn some extra money working for a summer cruise, but when a passenger commits suicide in front of him, his life is forever changed. Everyone wants to know what the passenger said to him before jumping overboard, but Shy just wants to put the whole thing behind him. With people following him, and the girl he likes engaged to someone else, things can’t get any worse…until the tsunami hits.

This book is action from start to finish. Already reading book 2. Lots of interesting plot development and complex issues. That poor kid is going to need some serious therapy. He he.

Quotes:

UGH…I had a few great ones, but I deleted the audio book for space and forgot to get them written down first. There is a hilarious one about when Shy has butterflies in his stomach. You’ll know it when you get there.

Recommended Grades: 9-up (some language)
Genre: Action Adventure
Overall Opinion:  Recommended
Source: Free audiobook thanks to audiobooksync.com (check out their free audio books in the summer if you haven’t already).

Book Review: Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott

fireandfloodBook Review: Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott

Tella’s brother is facing a life-threatening disease. When given the opportunity, she chooses to participate in the Brimstone Bleed when the organizers promise her a cure for winning the contest. The problem? The Brimstone Bleed won’t be easy, and there is a chance she might not even survive. Tella finds friends in unexpected places and challenges around every corner.

I’d gotten this book last year at the Texas library conference but just hadn’t had a chance to read it yet. After listening to Victoria Scott on an author panel, I knew I had to pick it up. She is just as witty and creative in her novel as she is in person. This story is quick paced and full of expertly crafted characters. I read both books back to back and now have to anxiously wait for the conclusion. Sigh. Hehe.

Quotes

None, but this is another case of consuming a book so fast I didn’t stop to write anything down. I made up for it in the next book!

Recommended Grades: 8 and up (does have some mature language, but contextual)
Genre: Action Adventure
Overall Opinion:  Recommended
Source: Book

Book Review: The False Princess by Ellis O’Neal

The False PrincessBook Review: The False Princess by Ellis O’Neal

Nalia lived the first part of her life thinking she was the princess, only to discover that she was simply impersonating the princess because a prophecy predicted that someone would try to kill the princess. Forced into a new unexpected life, Nalia; now Sinda, discovers that even more secrets await.

Loved this book! Reminded me of The False Prince in some ways, but creative in its own right. Some beautiful relationships and a creative story that got richer as it progressed. Hard to say too much without giving away spoilers.

Quote

AUGH I had several of these, but the audiobook wouldn’t let me go back to them easily, so you get only one…sorry.

“I would stay in Treb. I would try to make a life here, after all, what was the use of running away when what I really wanted to run away from was myself?”

Recommended Grades: 7 and up
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Overall Opinion:  Highly Recommended
Source: Audiobook

Book Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

mortalheartBook Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

The third book in His Fair Assassin series weaves Annith’s story and the other two stories together. Annith grows tired of waiting her turn to serve St. Mortain, so when she realizes that the Abbess never intends for her to leave on a mission, she takes matters into her own hands.

This has been an interesting trilogy for me because I have loved each book equally. Each book is based loosely on history, but full of action and great characters. I love the flaws and rough edges of these characters. While I did relate to some more than others, I think that each book has its own merits.

Quotes I liked:

Annith on tears: “Tears sting at my eyes and try to crowd their way up my throat.”

Annith on love: “It is all too easy to conjure up all the obstacles that face us, and it is tempting, oh so tempting, to tie his love to me for all eternity so that I am the final one he will ever love. But it is too close to what the abbess tried to do to me: to bind me so close to her that I could not love or live on my own, could not make my own choices. “No,” I say firmly. “I do not want a love if it must bind it to me in such a manner, for does not the very binding of it make it less like love?”

Recommended Grade: High School-Adult
Genre: Action Adventure/Historical
Overall Opinion: Recommended
Source: Book (arc)