Review: Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

LegendTitle: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Dystopia/ sci-fi/ post-apocalyptic
Links:

Blurb:
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

My Review:
Actual Rating 3.5 Stars.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I’m invested enough to continue with this series. However, initially I really struggled to get into the story. I felt it was very slow-paced at the start, and there was hardly any dialogue so it was difficult to feel a connection with the characters. At around the 30% mark I contemplated throwing in the towel, but I didn’t, and I’m glad that I persevered.

What I like most about this book is the two main characters – June and Day. Initially I was a bit luke-warm on June. She appeared to be spoiled, a little selfish and naive; which was surprising for someone so intelligent and keenly observant. She redeemed herself as the story progressed, particularly towards the end where she made a difficult decision in order to do the right thing. That took huge guts and she embraced that decision with gusto.

Day was a shoo-in for me from the first minute. I never doubted that his intentions were genuine and he struck me as a modern day Robin Hood type, a rebel with a heart. I love the developing relationship between him and June, and I can relate to the strong attraction they feel toward one another: It’s believable.

The plot was fairly predictable, and I guessed everything that happened pretty early on; though there were enough twists and turns to keep my attention.

The book is well written and the prose is decent, but after a 2 month long Jennifer L. Armentrout read-a-thon, there wasn’t anything uniquely stand-out about it for me.

I read the paperback and I struggled at the start with the style choice for Day’s POV. I understand and like the idea of two different style pallets for the different POV’s, but using a bold font for Day was the wrong decision in my opinion. It was jarring to read; however, I got over it as I got hooked into the story.

I’m invested enough now to continue the story, and I look forward to seeing where the author brings it next.

Review: Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

ObsessionTitle: Obsession
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: standalone, spinn-off from the Lux series
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ sci-fi
Links:

Blurb:
This is a stand alone novel that is an adult spin-off of the Lux Series You do not need to read a Lux book to read Obsession and vice versa.

He’s arrogant, domineering, and… To. Die. For.

Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something… unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter?

My Review:
Holy smoking aliens, this book is so hot it’s scorching!!

I’m a massive fan of the Lux series, and I was intrigued enough about Hunter and Serena from the scenes in that series to read Obsession. I’m glad I did as I loved it.

Hunter starts out being a total douche, and I could relate to Serena’s initial sense of fear around him. As the story develops we start to understand him a little more, and I found myself changing my opinion of the Arum. Hunter thoroughly redeems himself in his one-man/alien quest to protect Serena from the Luxen who are out to kill her. That she falls for him is totally believable, and I was readily rooting for both of them by the end.

I love that Jennifer writes so many bonus scenes, and novellas, from different POV’s, showing different sides to the story. Obsession has inspired me to read Lux again, now that I have a different interpretation of the motivations behind Arum like Hunter.

This book is definitely not for young teens though, as the heady mix of sex and violence are for mature readers only.

Another epic read from the NA, YA, Paranormal, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Queen!

Cover Reveal: Destiny Rising

Today is the cover reveal for Destiny Rising, the third book in my True Calling series. I am excited to share this cover with you. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

Destiny Rising
Destiny Rising (True Calling #3)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction/Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: August 30, 2015

Blurb:
Every choice has a consequence.

Once again, the world is on the brink of momentous change. As revolutionary organization Saoirse prepares to battle the government for control of Earth and Novo, Ariana and those she loves must join humanity’s fight for justice and freedom.

As haunted memories resurface, old discoveries and new realities conspire to shatter her world forever.

Torn in one direction by her unique connection to childhood sweetheart Zane, and pulled in the other by a relentless passion for her fiery fiancé Cal, she must make the hardest decision of all. While embarking on a road to self-discovery, her psychic gift evolves and the full extent of her powerful ability is revealed.

Then fate lands another savage blow and she faces the most horrific choice of all. Forced into striking a deal with the enemy, she must make the ultimate personal sacrifice or risk everything she holds dear.

When destiny finally rears its head, what will the future hold?

You can find Destiny Rising on Goodreads

You can pre-order Destiny Rising here:
Amazon
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca
Amazon.au
Barnes&Noble
Apple/iBooks
Kobo

Start the series for free!
True CallingTrue Calling (True Calling #1)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction/Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: August 1, 2014

Blurb:
Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.

As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.

You can find True Calling on Goodreads

Start the series for free! Grab your copy of True Calling for free here:
Amazon
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
iTunes/iBooks
Kobo

SiobhanAbout the Author:
Siobhan Davis is the author of YA science fiction romance series True Calling.
A self-diagnosed ‘teenager forever’—at least when it comes to books, music and movies; Siobhan is totally addicted to teen fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. Siobhan loves baking, crime novels, shoes, bags, make-up, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward).
Siobhan has forged a successful corporate career, in Human Resources, over the last twenty years.
A member of the IWI writers group, Siobhan resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.
Contact Siobhan at: www.siobhandavis.com

You can find and contact Siobhan here:
Website
Author blog
Book website
Facebook
Twitter
Google +
Goodreads

Sample chapters, quotes, reviews and book excerpts are all available to download from the authors website

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Destiny Rising. These are the prizes you can win:
– e-copies of the whole True calling series by Siobhan Davis. Which is the following books: True Calling, Lovestruck, Beyond Reach, Light of a Thousand Stars and Destiny Rising.
– one 10$ amazon gift card

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


banner Lola's Blog Tours

Review: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

ScarletTitle:  Scarlet
Author:  Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genres: Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner

My Review:

Talk about blowing it out of the water! Wow! What an amazing follow up to Cinder.

I enjoyed this book much more than the first one – the writing was vastly superior and it was action-packed and fast-paced from start to finish. I struggled to put it down.

When we rejoin Cinder she is incarcerated and awaiting her extradition to Luna. With the aid of handsome fellow prisoner, Captain (ahem!) Carswell Thorne, she manages to escape and sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. I really felt for Cinder as she grappled to come to terms with her new elevated status as Princess and Most Wanted Fugitive.

Kai has been left shell-shocked and confused by the revelations about Cinder, and he is also struggling to deal with Queen Levana’s demands and juggle the new world of global politics. His feelings for Cinder are pitted against his loyalty to this people and he really is in a difficult predicament.

Levana is a despicable character – nasty to the core. Ugh. Skin crawling.

I loved the addition of Scarlet and Wolf in this installment. Scarlet is in a tailspin over her grandmother’s sudden disappearance and she ends up joining forces with Wolf to try and locate her before it’s too late. I was initially conflicted over Wolf’s true motivations and I kept changing my mind. This part of the plot was expertly crafted and full of suspense and intrigue. I loved it! The burgeoning romance between Scarlet and Wolf was really sweet.

The only teeny tiny thing I didn’t like was the lack of romance. I kept hoping that Kai and Cinder would be reunited, but it never happened. Usually, I don’t like stories without a strong romance thread, but I’m happy to eat my words in relation to this book.

All in all, an amazing read and I look forward to reading more in the series.

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Sidenote: I bought a paperback of Cinder in my local bookstore for €8.40, however, I went to Kindle for Scarlet and was SHOCKED at the price. £9.14 which translates to over €12 for an ebook. That makes no sense at all. Ebooks cost very little to produce when compared with a paperback or hardback. I almost didn’t download it, but I was desperate to know where the story was going so I swallowed the bitter lump in my throat and purchased it. This type of corporate greed makes my blood boil, especially when it’s already a massive bestselling series and the publishers are making a fortune. Half the target market are teenagers so it really sickens me that they are being exploited in this way. Anyway, I just had to get that off my chest. I’m seeing it more and more and it disgusts me. BTW, this is in no way a criticism of Marissa because she has no control over pricing. I just hate blatant corporate greed. (Stepping off my soapbox now)

Cover Reveal: The Duality Bridge (Singularity #2) by Susan Kaye Quinn

Today is the cover reveal for The Duality Bridge by Susan Kaye Quinn. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

TheDualityBridge_Cover
The Duality Bridge (Singularity #2)
By Susan Kaye Quinn
Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: late summer 2015

You can find The Duality Bridge on Goodreads

First book in the series:
The Legacy Human (Singularity #1)The Legacy Human (Singularity #1)
By Susan Kaye Quinn
Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: March 2, 2015

Blurb:
What would you give to live forever?

Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.

When immortality is the prize, winning the Game is all that matters.

The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn’s new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.

You can find The Legacy Human on Goodreads

You can buy The Legacy Human here:
Amazon

Susan Kaye QuinnAbout the Author:
Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the Singularity Series, the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, and the Debt Collector serial, as well as other speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her work has appeared in the Synchronic anthology, the Telepath Chronicles, the AI Chronicles, and has been optioned for Virtual Reality by Immersive Entertainment. Former rocket scientist, now she invents mind powers, dabbles in steampunk, and dreams of the Singularity. Mostly she sits around in her PJs in awe that she gets to write full time.

GET A FREE STORY, subscribe to Susan her Newsletter

More about Sue:
Website
Facebook
Facebook Page
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon
Pinterest

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of The Duality Bridge. These are the prizes you can win:
– 5 paperbacks – The Legacy Human or any other Susan Kaye Quinn book

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


banner Lola's Blog Tours

Review: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

CressTitle: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Rating: 5 Stars
Genres: Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

My Review:

Cresstastic.

Totally amaze-balls. Seriously freaking loved it. Actually, I think I want to marry this book.

Every book in this series gets better and better and I’m salivating at what Marissa has in store for us with the fourth book. Roll on December.

This book was action packed from the first-minute and it never let up the whole way through. I loved the addition of sweet Cress and her crush on Thorne was adorable. Thorne comes into his own in this book and we start to understand who he really is. Thorne tries to convince everyone of his brilliance and he’s full of bravado and swagger. But it’s all a front.

Cress hero-worships him and it’s through this developing relationship that we see Thornes vulnerabilities and self-esteem issues. Cress only wants to see the good in him and this actually forces Thorne to be honest with himself. He doesn’t believe he has any redeemable qualities but through his protective care of Cress, we come to realize that that isn’t the case at all. He is humbled in her presence.

Character development is really strong in this book and Marissa is very talented at creating likable though flawed characters who progress as the plot moves along. I loved all the different perspectives and I never once felt conflicted over the voice – it was always clear who was narrating. (Unlike, say, Allegiant where I often had to check if it was Four or Tris speaking.)

There was a good twist with the doctor that I didn’t see coming. Me likey.

Poor Cinder – she was really struggling with her heir-apparent responsibilities. What an impossible situation for a sixteen-year-old to find herself in.

The last quarter of the book galloped along and I swooned at the ending with Cinder and Kai finally indulging in some lip-locking. About bleeding time!

I stayed up half the night reading it because I literally could not put it down, despite the head nodding and eye flickering.

Totally epic read and I can’t wait for the next book.

Sidenote: I’ve received a recommendation to read Fairest but for some reason there is no Kindle edition on Amazon.co.uk. I went onto Amazon.com to see if I could download it from there – then I saw the price – $9.99 for an e-Novella. You have got to be kidding me. I’m not going to get on the soapbox again but let’s just say that I will not be reading Fairest now. I’m not that desperate to read about Queen Levana that I’d pay that extortionate price.

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

CinderTitle: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy Science Fiction
Links:

Blurb:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My Review:

This book has a very interesting premise – a modern twist on a classic fairy tale. Intriguing, right?

While I liked it, I didn’t love it; though, I’m interested enough to continue the series as I want to see where the author takes the story from here.

Cinder is a sought-after highly skilled cyborg mechanic in New Bejing. While she feels emotions, she often can’t express them (she can’t cry or blush though the latter is a major bonus point in my view.)

Her step-mom is a prize cow and her eldest step-sister is a nasty piece of work. Cinder is close with Peony, her younger step-sister, and she is fond of her android assistant Iko.

Cinder crosses path with Prince Kai and they strike up a friendship which develops into a flirtation and possibly something deeper. Cinder suffers from huge self-doubt as a result of her cyborg status and she goes to great lengths to hide her true nature from Kai.

Character development is strong and Cinder is a likable MC. Some of the scenes at the end were difficult to read, but that’s only because the emotion was dripping off the page and it was easy to cringe at the awkwardness of it all. These scenes were very well executed.

The writing is good, but there was nothing stand-out about it for me. I thought the pacing was a little off in the middle and I found myself skimming some sections. It reminded me a little of the Legend Series by Marie Lu in parts (A love-interest Prince who becomes Emperor and has to juggle a minefield of global politics, technology-driven future world, and a crippling plague that forces the Emperor to make some difficult choices.)

I really enjoyed the technology of this future world and it was right up my street.

The biggest issue I had was with the plot; I felt it was too predictable. I figured out Cinder’s true identity pretty early on and that took away from my enjoyment of the story.

The plot, flow, and writing, all improved in the last quarter of the book and the last few chapters, in particular, were brilliant.

There is no way I’m not continuing with this story given that ending and I’ve already started Scarlet.

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Why I love Science Fiction

The Oxford Dictionary defines Science Fiction as, “Fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.”

I’ve been an avid science fiction fan since I was a little girl, though it is fair to say I was mainly into films and TV shows back then. I can still remember going to the cinema to see the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ when I was only 8 or 9, and I was hooked on the Star Wars series from that point. My mom loves to recount tales of how I used to hide behind the sofa, with a cushion obscuring my face, as I braved glimpses at Dr. Who on the TV. She says I refused to allow let her switch it off, though it clearly terrified me! (On a side note, excellent parenting Mom!!)

I’ve been a voracious reader my whole-life, and I exasperate my husband as I constantly have a book in my hand or my trusty kindle by my side. However, I only got into reading science fiction as an adult. A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was one of the first classic sci-fi books that I read, and it is still up there at the top of my list of all time sci-fi greats. Written in 1931 it describes a frightening vision of the future, and I think Mr. Huxley was ahead of his time in his thinking, and analysis. I also love The Hunger Games series; those books just blew me away.

When I first started writing fiction, in my early thirties, I wrote lots of chicklit/romance, and I secretly harbored an ambition to write crime/thrillers. Mostly because those were the genre’s I was reading back then. Around this time, I commenced employment with an IT company and my interest in technology piqued. Then I got sucked into the YA genre, and I’ve read lots of dystopian science fiction and for me, and my writing, it was organic from that point.

In 2010, the CEO of the company I work for gave me a book to read called the 2020 Workplace. It is written by Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd and is intended for human resource professionals like myself. Essentially it is about innovative ways to attract, retain and develop the employees of the future. It describes the future workplace in some detail and draws an analysis between technological advancements of the last ten years, and planned developments for the next ten years. To see how far we have advanced in such a short period is breath-taking, as is visualizing the future and how far we will develop technologically in my lifetime. While this book added value in my corporate life, it also set my creative juices flowing.

I love imagining what the futuristic world will be like, and trying to second guess how technological and medical advancements will shape the culture and society of the future. The universe is vast, and so much is still unknown and unexplored and as a writer, that opens up limitless creative opportunities. I am particularly enamoured with stories that are set in space and those involving alien races—I think it all stems back to my early childhood obsession with the Star War series. To think that regular space-travel is being realized during my life-time is truly incredible.

A good science fiction story for me (whether it is a book, TV series or movie) has to strike the right balance between technology and human emotions.  Particularly, showcasing how human nature evolves and deals with advances in technology and medicine, and the impact of that on human relationships and their environment. Unless it has a good mix of those things, it will not hold my attention for long. In writing True Calling I’ve tried to achieve these aims, and completely given in to my reader-sci-fi-geekiness.

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of science fiction stories and with some interesting new releases coming to our cinema screens and bookshelves soon, I know I’ll have plenty to indulge my passion.

Star Wars