Young Adult

Renegades

Renegades (Renegades #1) By: Marissa Meyer

Plot:

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Review:

Why do YA superhero books have to start out killing a baby? I understand setting up a tragic past, but come on do something else, please.

It took me a while to get into Renegades, partly, I believe, because it reminded me a lot of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. As the world was revealed and the characters more developed those similarities lessened, but it was still a world recovering from an apocalypse, still had young adults with powers making stupid decisions and being emo.

Nova and Adrian are frustrating characters for me, they’re both smart kids, capable of critical thinking, but they have both swallowed the kool-aid so completely on their respective sides that they can’t seem to see the negatives. They’d walk right up to the edge and then turn around, they couldn’t take that final step. It was annoying.

My fear is that the next book, which is supposed to be the final one, doesn’t try to fix things, that it picks a side and you’re supposed to just accept the problems that come with it. Surely that’s not where she’s going with this.

I was disappointed with the level of world building. What there was only really existed for the Renegades. The rest of the world didn’t matter, it was just sort of there ignored in the background.

There was some potential here, but I wasn’t thrilled with really anything in this book.

3/5

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Triple Threat (Lois Lane #3) By: Gwenda Bond

Still loving these covers, the hardcover is awesome

 

Triple Threat (Lois Lane #3) By: Gwenda Bond

Plot:

For the first time, Lois Lane has almost everything she wants. Non-temporary home? Check. Dream job? Double check. Incredible BFFs? The absolute best. And now, her online crush, SmallvilleGuy, is coming to Metropolis. If all goes well, they’ll turn their long-distance friendship into a some-kind-of-fairy-tale romance. But when does all ever go well? Before she can check boyfriend off her list, Lois must take down a mad scientist plus a trio of mutant teens, protect the elusive flying man from the feds (including her dad), and navigate her very first date with SmallvilleGuy. In the follow-up to FALLOUT and DOUBLE DOWN, Gwenda Bond’s reimagination of DC Comics’s first leading lady takes on her toughest challenge yet: Love.

Review:

One of the things I love most about this series is the lack of teenage angst and drama. It’s not a complete lack, but it’s not enough to be annoying, just believable. Sadly, “Triple Threat” changed all that and there was a definite increase in the angst and drama. It wasn’t a ton, but it was enough to affect how much I enjoyed the story.

Lois spent a lot of time worrying that she was keeping too many secrets, but then didn’t really stop until forced too. She also spent a lot of time reacting emotionally to the fact that she finally gets to meet her online boyfriend. That was mostly alright, though. We also got to meet TheInventor, who was not who I thought he was going to be, but as soon as he was revealed I mentally kicked myself.

The story itself was the weakest of the series so far. It felt rushed at the end and I’m not sure if Lois’s story would have been accepted by a paper with the reputation of The Planet, but then I recently watched Newsroom and I could just be projecting their high ideals.

Things were quickly resolved, but there were still questions, and it left me feeling like I’d skipped pages, only I hadn’t.

Overall, the series is excellent. I would love books like this set with these characters only as adults. For now I will keep reading their teenage versions, especially if Gwenda Bond keeps writing them.

3.5/5

Frogkisser! By: Garth Nix

Frogkisser! By: Garth Nix

Plot:

Poor Princess Anya. Forced to live with her evil stepmother’s new husband, her evil stepstepfather. Plagued with an unfortunate ability to break curses with a magic-assisted kiss. And forced to go on the run when her stepstepfather decides to make the kingdom entirely his own.

Aided by a loyal talking dog, a boy thief trapped in the body of a newt, and some extraordinarily mischievous wizards, Anya sets off on a Quest that, if she plays it right, will ultimately free her land—and teach her a thing or two about the use of power, the effectiveness of a well-placed pucker, and the finding of friends in places both high and low.

Review:

I’ve been excited about this book since I saw the cover. How could I not be? That is such an awesome cover. Sadly for me the book didn’t quite live up to it.

It took me two weeks to finish which never should have happened considering it’s a middle school read. I just couldn’t get into it. It was slow up until the end and even then it was light on action.

All the things I like about Garth Nix were missing. The world was kind of interesting, but not really. I liked that Anya was a strong princess that rescued herself, but didn’t really like anything else.

It was a disappointment, but I’m still excited for anything that Garth Nix comes out with.

2/5

Lost Stars (Journey to Star Wars- The Force Awakens) By: Claudia Gray

lost-stars

Lost Stars (Journey to Star Wars- The Force Awakens) By: Claudia Gray

Plot:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Eight years after the fall of the Old Republic, the Galactic Empire now reigns over the known galaxy. Resistance to the Empire has been all but silenced. Only a few courageous leaders such as Bail Organa of Alderaan still dare to openly oppose Emperor Palpatine.

After years of defiance, the many worlds at the edge of the Outer Rim have surrendered. With each planet’s conquest, the Empire’s might grows stronger.

The latest to fall under the Emperor’s control is the isolated mountain planet Jelucan, whose citizens hope for a more prosperous future even as the Imperial Starfleet gathers overhead…

Review:

Wow was not expecting this when I picked up a young adult Star Wars novel. I’d heard good things, but I still didn’t expect to have a book that so capably portrayed both sides of a conflict. Gray showed how two people raised on the same planet with different ideals could look at the same things and come to different conclusions. It didn’t make one better than the other either. Yes one ended up on the “right” side, but you could see clearly why the other was still on the “wrong” it was very well written.

From the start I suspected that the ending would be sad and when I got to the halfway point I thought it was pretty much guaranteed but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I wish there’d been a bit more, but the ending was touching.

Very happy with this book and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who’s a Star Wars fan, no matter what the age.

5/5

Goldenhand (Abhorsen #5) By: Garth Nix

goldenhand

Goldenhand (Abhorsen #5) By: Garth Nix

Plot:

For everyone and everything there is a time to die. Lirael is no longer a shy Second Assistant Librarian. She is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, with Dead creatures to battle and Free Magic entities to bind. She’s also a Remembrancer, wielder of the Dark Mirror. Lirael lost one of her hands in the binding of Orannis, but now she has a new hand, one of gilded steel and Charter Magic. When Lirael finds Nicholas Sayre lying unconscious after being attacked by a hideous Free Magic creature, she uses her powers to save him. But Nicholas is deeply tainted with Free Magic. Fearing it will escape the Charter mark that seals it within his flesh and bones, Lirael seeks help for Nick at her childhood home, the Clayr’s Glacier. But even as Lirael and Nick return to the Clayr, a young woman from the distant North braves the elements and many enemies in a desperate attempt to deliver a message to Lirael from her long-dead mother, Arielle. Ferin brings a dire warning about the Witch With No Face. But who is the Witch, and what is she planning? Once more a great danger threatens the Old Kingdom, and it must be forestalled not only in the living world but also in the cold, remorseless river of Death.

Review:

I love this world.

After reading Clariel I meant to go back and read the first three but I didn’t get around to it before reading Goldenhand, because of that I think it took me a little while to remember certain things about the characters. It’s been close to ten years since I read them though.

It was like returning to old friends once I got there. Everyone makes an appearance and the story was building up to be as epic as the last. I told my husband when I had less than a hundred pages to read that the book was going to be a cliffhanger because I couldn’t see it reaching a satisfying conclusion in time. I was sure that’s what was going to happen and I was kind of excited, but then everything was neatly wrapped up. It was disappointing and felt rushed. Everyone was paired up and allusions to the future were made and then the end.

I don’t know if Nix is just tired of writing Old Kingdom books or was under deadline or what, but I wanted more. Kind of sad. I’m still rating it four out of five because the rest of the book was awesome, it was just the ending that left me dissatisfied.

4/5