Thunderhead, the lovechild of Google and Alexa, helps in the everyday up keep and inner workings of the future Earth wide society. But, it does more… whether or not it can feel emotions or, has just mastered mimicking them is a question that even Thunderhead queries of itself. That being said, it still cares deeply for mankind and only has its best interests in mind. However, having no physical body of its own, it is unble to protect the good from the evil acts of the wicked, namely blood thirsty and power hungry scythes. Not having any other options, Thunderhead enlists the assist of a human man that it has come to think of as a son.
Greyson Toliver has very little love in his life but the majority of it has come from the virtual hands of Thunderhead. With non-existent parents and siblings consumed by their own lives, Greyson has no one to turn to but the soothing voice of the ever present Thunderhead.
For its part, it embraces him, and shows him all the love that it possibly can, knowing that he has nowhere to turn to for it. But, when Thunderhead asks him to do something that would cause him the greatest pain he has ever felt Greyson has to decide if his love for Thunderhead is more important than accomplishing his lifelong dream. Thunderhead, for its part, has to decide if humanity at large is worth it sacrifing the being that is the closest it’ll have to as a beloved son… A worthy sequel to a book that made us ponder the finality of true death, we are now left to consider the fragility of life and what would we really be willing to risk to save it.
A book based in a far away but plausible future, Scythe is the story of what humans might do if they were able to conquer death through the power of technology. With death no longer being the ultimate threat to humanity, over population takes its place. To combat this, some take on the organized and accepted role of Scythes. If mankind as a whole is a garden, then they are the dutiful gardeners, tasked with the formidable responsibility of picking who to ‘glean’ and who to allow to live. But, with great power comes even greater prospects for missuse.
Citra and Rowan are chosen as scythe apprentices by the Honorable Scythe Faraday, and end up coming face-to-face with a man who in our time would have been considered a serial killer who hunts his victims without any threat of repercussions. When they fear that their own master has fallen victim to this heartless man, Rowan and Citra will stop at nothing to expose the happy killer and bring him to justice.
But, all is not what it seems and the deeper they dig, the more unpleasant secrets they unearth about the Honorable Order of the Scythe with Scythe Faraday having quite a few of his own… A wonderful read with a fresh new take on the future and what places life and death hold in it, Scythe is a highly recommended read.
THE GILDED WOLVES
We loved this The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. Set in golden age of Paris, this buddy heist theme novel stars Severine, the bastard son of the Vanth House. Enrique, historian extraordinaire. Zofia, mathemation and explosion expert. Tristan, younger adoptive brother of Severine and forger of all things plant life. Laila, chief, dancer, and holder of a secret that may literally end up tearing her apart. Totting a strong plot, lots of backstory, easy to follow dialogue, and a likeable cast of characters, it was an enjoyable ride from beginning to end! Our favorite element was the forged animals and Laila’s backstory.
We were disappointed that the author choose to once again make Ruby doubt her love for Arcus by adding yet another man into the mix, Kai. It would have been nice if this book centered completely around Ruby mastering her fire and the blossoming relationship between her and Arcus. The addition of Kai, the emphasis on her encounter with Minax, and the spirits need of her and power, made the story seem cliche. It lost us with the roaming spirit, love triangle, and the main character is the savior of the world troupes.
Frost Blood by Elly Blake fell flat overall. I really wanted to like this series but the girl-who-falls-in-love-with-every-cute-dude-she-meets troupe is getting old. I feel like the protagonist is built up to be this strong, willful, self-sufficient young woman but then all of that is diminished by the author having her become attracted to every able bodied young guy she sees. I will say the first book was good up until page 251. Ruby (the protagonist) is a fireblood who watches her mother be murdered by frostblood soldiers and then is herself tortured by them but then falls in love with one who is later on revealed to be the true king of the frostbloods…. but she’s also kind of thinks his brother (the evil king of course) is cute too and willing kisses him. The prophecy aspect just takes away from the book as a whole. I really wanted to enjoy this series, but I just couldn’t.
This is our second read by this author and we were not disappointed! Fractured Truth hits the ground running as soon as you start reading the first page. Brynn and Wilco, her cadaver sniffing K9, find the body of local Bone Gap Trallevers girl. What is odd about the girl’s murder is that nothing else was done to her. No rape, no fight, just stabbed through. And the note written in the victim’s own blood called her a … Jezebel. Brynn is doing her best to help with solving the murder but her liquor/pill addiction is causing her more grief than she can handle at the moment. Couple that with a sick grandmother, a clan that has turned against her, and an encounter with Kevin Doogan (love interest from previous book), Brynn has a lot troubles vying for her time. Not just a mystery, this short book tackles addiction, rejection, depression, loneliness, and redemption, all without getting too heavy. The ending broke our hearts by the way but it was realistic to a fault. A wonderful read, have some tissues handy when you get to the final chapter.
This book was sent to us in exchange for an open and honest review.
Splintered Silence by Susan Furlong reads like watching a GOOD Lifetime movie with the southern charm of In the Heat of the Night. If you enjoy a thriller/mystery with a strong yet flawed protagonist as well as a loyal canine companion, this is the novel for you. So, park your trailer and sit for a spell. It’s time to figure out who Splintered our once peaceful Silence…
The Upworld by Lindsey S. Frantz is a thrilling YA, delightfully missing fluff and love triangles, this novel earned 10 out of 10 stars and a rating of PG-13. If you enjoy adventure, loyal cats, romance, and a heroine who’s a logical thinker with X-Men level super powers, you’ll enjoy this book just as much as I did. Now hurry up; finish your pine nettle tea and chirp for Luna. We’re about to go Upworld…
The Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian is a YA novel based in an 17th or 18th century alternate Earth where gem stones can give some people power, while driving others insane.
.. Filled with excellent world building, and no subplots to bog down the main one, we recommend this book to anyone who loves YA fiction less the dystopian future feel. But, be forewarned, not all happy endings are truly, happy endings…
WAS IT HER
Was It Her by Chanel Hardy is a roller coaster ride! A thrilling CW (the television station) style teen drama, you’ll enjoy this novel if you’re into characters with hidden second lives to discover, mysteries that keep you guessing, and dirty little high school secrets.
The Disasters by M. K. England is a sci-fi YA novel recommended for anyone who enjoys underdog stories with satisfying plot lines, developed characters, and happy endings. Our one pet peeve is that towards the beginning, the cursing is gratuitous. It quiets downs about 4 chapters in. The only thing this story is missing is a SEQUEL… So come on flunkies, the Swift Kick is fueled up and ready to go! It’s time to be The Disasters…..
…I’m Still Having Dreams About This…
Caraval by Stepanie Garber is not your typical YA ( no love triangles). You’ll enjoy this book if you ever loved Alice in Wonderland but wished it had a bit more bite. This book is an elaborate trip into an elusive lucid dream, filled with abstract wonders and cunning characters. But, be forewarned, wishes can come true… and it could happen to you…
The Terranauts by T.C Boyle is written like a documentary on a 90s reality show, this novel is FULL of gray area characters that make you go from loving them to hating them and back. A good read with an easy to follow plot, you’d love this book if you ever wanted to see a MTV’s The Real World and CBS’ Survivor mashup. So pack your bags, put on your makeup, and wave to the cameras as the air locks close. You’re a Terranaut now, welcome to the Ecosphere!!!
If You Like Law & Order, This Is The Book For You
The Scavenger by J. L. Willow is an overall good read. Filled with just enough gritty street drama to be appealing to adults while still safe for older teens, I recommend it to anyone who enjoys watching TV procedurals and perhaps high school dramas.
WHERE DO THE CHILDREN PLAY
No Games Here
Where Do the Children Play by Tom Evans, is a coming of age story set in 1950’s America. It’s filled with intrigue, wonder, and moments that will make the heart melt, all told through the innocent voice of a child. We thoroughly enjoyed this novel and hope to read more from the author soon. You’ll love it too if you enjoy such movies as Stand By Me and Mystic River. So stow your favorite baseball cards, grab your bikes and let’s go! We’re about to find out Where the Do the Children Play…
A Sour Book and a Bitter Read
The novel, Vinegar Girl, by Anne Tyler garnered a star rating of 2. Dry, plain, and lacking in substance, this book failed to meet expectations. If you are into PBS Masterpiece style dialog with Hallmark Movie level drama/romance, this could be a good read for you.
THE CRAZY ONE
The Crazy One by Rebecca Markus should be a movie!!!
I was so enthralled by this book that I read it in less than a week. Lucy is not just crazy, she’s entertaining. The author placed this book beautifully and as the reader, we get to watch as Lucy goes from the obsessive fangirl, to the Crazy One.