Book Review: Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Some Quiet Place Title: Some Quiet Place written by Kelsey Sutton
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published by Flux Books
Page count: 256
Format: Ebook (Read on Barnes and Noble HD+)
Rating: 4/5
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #43

Elizabeth has always felt different…and everyone around her can feel it too. Ever since she was in an accident when she was a child she has never been able to feel any emotions. She can’t feel fear, worry, sorrow but she can see them as well as other elements like wind and fog. They walk the earth, unseen…silent ghosts among humans. There is one emotion who just won’t leave her along…Fear. He constantly barrages her with terrible things that would make any normal human being scream in terror but it doesn’t affect her. Not even her best friends death or the hard blow of her fathers fist can make her feel any pain.

Dreams of a young boy and his older sister fill her sleeping hours and she patiently goes through the motions of each day…that is until stirrings of  feelings start to form in her stomach as she entertains a friendship with a boy from school…or is it something darker that begins to awaken the emotions within her?

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review via NetGalley.

I initially fell in love with the cover of this book, isn’t it gorgeous? I love the muted colors and the mysteriousness of it. It has this really strange mixture of darkness and grace that is something that is really hard to capture. This has to be one of my most favorite book covers.

I loved this book. I thought the story was really intriguing right from the beginning. I read the description but even after reading it, I didn’t really know what to expect from it which is a quality I really love in books. I love stories that are unpredictable and that I can’t figure out the direction in which it’s heading.

I thought the writing was superb. It was really fluid, graceful and beautiful. It was definitely a dark fantasy type novel and I hadn’t ever really read a story with a plot quite like it. It was definitely original and was just a breath of fresh air because of that. I love YA dystopian novels but it seems like the YA market is just saturated with books of that subgenre so this book’s plot was a welcome break from that.

I thought it was interesting because the main character as I mentioned in my small description of the story above, cannot feel any emotions but I found myself feeling a multitude of emotions for her. I felt bad for her, I felt sorry for her, I loved for her (I’m not going to be too specific about that you’ll have to read it to find out about that!) and I felt pain for her. That was interesting to me how that worked as a dynamic…me as a reader connecting with the character in that way. There are two romances in this book that I felt very torn between and that were really interesting in their own respects, I’d have to say they were probably one of my most favorite parts of the story. I would have really liked to see a bit more of courageous as he was one of my favorite emotions in this book.

I ended up giving this book a 4 out of 5 rating which I think was really well deserved. I really wanted to give it a 5 but I did have a few problems with it but they weren’t major problems, they were really just minor things having to do with the characters background and the emotions. I am looking forward to reading more from this author because I really like her writing style…I also just found out today that she has released a sequel to this book which I will definitely read…I’m VERY intrigued by a sequel and it is called Where Silence Gathers, very intriguing indeed! I would definitely recommend giving this book a read, especially you YA fans out there, you won’t be disappointed!

Book Review: Blood of the King by Bruce Blake

17154941Title: Blood of the King (Kirro’s Journey Book #1) written by Bruce Blake
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Best Bitts Productions
Page count: 354
Format: Ebook (read on Barnes and Nobles HD+)
Rating: 5/5
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #32

Kirro, a lowly farmer who has been thrust into living the life of a soldier after getting into some trouble back in his home village, is just trying to survive. Even if that means cowering under bodies of fallen comrades in order to go unnoticed by the savage Kanosee warriors that he and his fellow Erachanian soldiers are fighting.

Unfortunately for Kirro, the battle takes a turn for the worse when the King himself lays dying beside Kirro. Mustering up an ounce of courage, Kirro attempts to move the King to safety where he meets the King’s Shaman and soldiers tasked with keeping him safe. In spite of their efforts, after a most unfortunate encounter with a few brutal Kanosee soldiers, Kirro is the only one to come out alive. Though alive, his life has never been in more danger as the King’s Shaman has cursed him with the task of delivering a vial of the King’s blood to the world’s last Necromancer whom can use it to raise the King from the dead to save his kingdom. In order to reach the Necromancer, Kirro must travel to a treacherous land, encounter beings whom he previously thought couldn’t possibly exist and most importantly he must be courageous and learn believe in himself…something Kirro has never been able to do before.

I received a copy of Blood of the King for review from the publisher through NetGalley. I was excited to read this book because when I read the book’s description it was clearly a fantasy title and fantasy is my favorite genre.

I really loved this book, I gave it a much deserved 5 out of 5 because I thought it was awesome. I loved the storytelling and the world building. I really liked the way the author describes the characters and the environments in this world. It definitely has a very strong epic fantasy feel to it.  This book really has everything…there are warriors, undead, dragons, magic, sorrow, sex, treachery and romance. All of these things combined make for a really interesting, entertaining read.

I found myself growing to love some of these characters and I was really sad when some of the characters were lost. There were also pieces of the story where I felt so touched and also parts of the story where I was on the edge of my seat and couldn’t put the book down because it was so good!!

My favorite thing about this book was that the main character, Kirro, starts off really weak. He doesn’t believe in himself and when we first encounter him he seems like a really big coward. But the interesting thing here is that he grows throughout the book. It definitely is “Kirro’s Journey”. I loved seeing him transform to the point where he has pride and confidence in himself and where he is able to stand up for himself and actually fight. I didn’t like him at first and found him rather annoying but I think this is actually the point and really works in the story. I did actually find myself rooting for him pretty fast though and by the end of the book he just became one of my favorite book characters. This is the first book in a series (yes!) so I am definitely wondering where this series is going to and I am anxious to keep following Kirro’s journey and see what happens to him. I will definitely be reading more!

I really recommend giving this book a read if you are a fantasy fan! It’s a really fun, good sized read that will have you not wanting to stop reading!

Book Review – Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh by Katie Hamstead

Title: Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh written by Katie Hamstead
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Published by Curiosity Quills Press
Page count: 250
Format: Ebook (read on Barnes and Nobles HD+)
Rating: 5/5
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #31

When the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten receives a message from Aten that a Hebrew woman will bear him a son to be heir to his throne, he sends his most trusted commander to Thebes in search of the perfect Hebrew woman. When it looks like one of her younger sisters are favored by the guards, headstrong and educated Naomi offers herself in place of her sister convincing the guards that she is the better choice for the Pharaoh.

When she reaches Amarna, the seat of the Pharaoah’s home, Naomi is stripped of her Hebrew and is renamed as Kiya, Queen of Egypt. With her wit, loving heart, and strength she easily becomes one of the Pharaoh’s most beloved and treasured wives much to the dismay and jealousy of his first wife Nefertiti. As Kiya becomes closer to the Pharaoah and beloved of almost everyone, Nefertiti will stop at nothing to thwart Kiya’s reputation with their husband and the plans for her to produce the heir. Soon Kiya finds herself not only struggling to preserve her life against Nefertiti’s endless scheming and threats but also to be true to her husband when she finds herself falling in love with a Hebrew guard, and preserve her identity as Naomi, the Hebrew princess whose faith in the one God endures.

I received Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely loved his book. I always find pieces of historical fiction really interesting and this book was nothing short of EXTREMELY interesting. I’ve always been hugely fascinated by anything having to do with Ancient Egypt so you can imagine my excitement about the opportunity to read this book!

I adored Kiya as a character. I feel like the author made me fall in love with her from the very beginning of the story. We experience the story in the first person so it was easy to feel like I was experiencing the story through Kiya’s eyes so of course I felt fear when she felt it, I felt joy when she felt it and my stomach knotted when something terrible happened to her. It was really easy to be really invested in this story. That made it really hard to put this book down, that and the fact that the story itself is written really well.

There is a lot of intrigue and drama throughout the book…things that Kiya (Naomi) struggles with daily. I find her inner struggles to be the most interesting topics throughout the story. It’s interesting to see her struggle to keep in touch with Naomi when everything in her environment pressures her to be Kiya, the Queen, the intended mother of the heir. It was interesting to see her struggle with staying true to her faith and her culture which she amazingly manages to do despite all the things that are stacked against her. She is such a strong and inspiring character.

I truly felt for her in regards to the budding romance we see between her and the guard Malachai. Although I won’t say too much on this because I don’t want to give anything away about specific things that happen in the book, my heart just burst because of their situation and the tenderness you can tell is between them. It gives you hope for her future but you can tell that future is still a very long way off if it ever comes at all.

I really liked seeing her journey as a character. The Naomi we meet at the beginning of the story seemed like a child to me, which judging from the time period she sort of was even though it mentions that she is older than usual marrying age…which I would imagine to be pretty young at the time. The Naomi we see at the end of the story stands in stark contrast to the Naomi we were introduced to…she of course has borne children but she is also wiser, stronger and has known more heartache.

The story sort of ends with a cliffhanger that makes me think that this is going to be a series…I actually skipped on over to the writer’s blog in order to see if I could find any details on that and yes!!! This is going to be a trilogy and the next book is going to be coming out in October. How excited am I for a second book in this series? Super excited, can’t wait! I will definitely be looking forward to reading more of this story and more from this author!

If you are a fan of historical fiction or just young adult novels in general I would heartily recommend reading this book! It is a fantastic read and you won’t be able to put it down! I think it’s a light read in the fact that it goes by so fast because you won’t want to stop reading once you start!

Book Review: The Island by Jen Minkman

Title: The Island written by Jen Minkman
Genre: YA Fiction – Dystopia, Sci-Fi
Published by Self- Published (Createspace)
Page count: 105
Format: Ebook (read on Barnes and Nobles HD+)
Rating: 3/5 – I liked it
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #30

Life on the island begins when you are ten years old. It is then that you break away from your parents and go to live at the manor where you will learn how to become an adult and take care of yourself. This is the reality of life for Leia and her twin brother Colin.

As Leia and Colin try to survive under the tyrannical reign of Saul, the leader of the manor, curious Leia stumbles upon secrets that are being withheld from them. When Leia meets a fool – a young, handsome boy who lives on the other side of the wall that secludes their part of the island, she discovers more than what she bargains for and her world changes forever.

I received The Island from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was first drawn to The Island because of it’s beautiful, striking cover. It’s haunting! It’s one of those book covers that immediately draws your attention and piques your curiosity. Reading the description made me that much more intrigued because it sounded amazing.

It is a piece of dystopic fiction which is a subgenre that is right up my alley as you can tell by the myriad of dystopian literature books I read and review on this blog.

The Island is different though. It is a dystopian story about a society whose beliefs and mythology is based on Star Wars. This was really a really interesting concept to me and I was eager to dig into the story to see what it was all about and where the author would go with this concept. When I was reading through the story I didn’t really see how that part of the story fit in with the rest of it but it does get wrapped up nicely for us towards the end. I felt myself really interested in knowing how the society came to build their beliefs based on Star Wars and how it is tied to this “book” the main character keeps mentioning but towards the end we do get a good explanation as to how this all came about.

I didn’t love the story as I do most dystopic novels but this story was really short and I think that if it had been longer with more detail and more story I would have loved it more. It was a really short, light read (Goodreads puts it at 105 pages) and you will breeze through it because it is definitely interesting…I do think that the pace of the story and content of the story was written really well for the length of the book albeit, short. I really liked the ending of this story, it ends on a really hopeful note which I loved. This story is just so different and original.

I’d have to conclude that although this is not among my favorite dystopic stories, it is definitely interesting and worthy of a read. Like I said, it is a super light read and I read it in a few hours. The premise is interesting so it will keep you interested, I just wish it were longer!

Book Review: Data Runner (ARC) – Sam A. Patel

Title: Data Runner written by Sam A. Patel
Genre: YA Fiction – Cyberpunk, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Published by Diversion Books
Page count: 231
Format: Ebook (read on Barnes and Nobles HD+)
Rating: 5/5
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #28

Seventeen year old Jack Nills lives in a society where information has a price. The internet is no longer a public domain but is owned by corporations and information has a value. When his father incurs a pretty hefty gambling debt, faced with no other options Jack decides to enter into the dangerous occupation of becoming a Data Runner – information couriers that receive and deliver often highly sensitive information between corporations. When data runners start to turn up dead it is obvious that a piece of highly valued sensitive information is being couriered and Jack along with fellow data runners must be extra vigilant in their efforts to transit information and keep their lives in the process.

I received an ARC of Data Runner from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Reading the synopsis of Data Runner, I was immediately intrigued and the book cover reinforced my interest that much more. In the past I haven’t read many cyberpunk books (if any) but I love anything Sci-Fi and have always wanted to venture more into this genre and I must say that I am hooked, not only to the genre but definitely to this series.

I absolutely loved reading Data Runner. I love it when an author has the ability to not only tell a great story but to give us a great experience while doing it. Reading Data Runner was an AWESOME experience. This is such a fun book! This story is action packed and the great thing about it is that the action NEVER stops. The action literally starts on page one all the way down to the very last page. I felt like I was on a nonstop roller coaster ride that kept jerking me in my seat and making my heart beat fast and my breath catch in my throat or like I was in a really intense, fast car chase through a very trafficky downtown where we have to bob and weave vehicles. So fun!

Data Runner is the author’s first book and I am stunned…I’m just stunned. I thought it was really well written…usually in ebooks (or physical books even) you get these random typos that sort of impede your reading experience but I never had to worry about that with this book so that left my reading experience just really seamless. I also haven’t read too many books that have a male lead, especially YA books (although this is my second in a week) so I wasn’t sure if I would identify with the main character but I loved it.

Something I found really interesting about this book was the weaving of Parkour into the story. Before reading this book I didn’t know what Parkour  was and I am really intrigued by it. The book does explain Parkour throughout the story but I feel like it’s given to us through a more personal perspective through Jack’s narrative so I ended up Googling it to get more examples and even Youtube videos of Parkour. I feel like after doing that I have a deeper sense of what it is. I just love that it’s not just something that’s thrown in the book as a mention it was worked in really well and just adds another piece of depth to not only the story but to the character of Jack as well.

I think the premise of this book is really interesting with the corporations running pretty much everything and information being sold and whatnot. The profession of an information courier itself is highly interesting to me especially since I’m studying to be a Librarian. The idea that information can be owned and therefore sold, is just so interesting and it’s just a really interesting and fun concept in this book.

Lastly, I love the cover to this book!! I really like how he is jumping through the 1’s and the 0’s (literally the “information”). So cool! It definitely drew my eye to it!

I gave Data Runner what I feel is a very much deserved 5 out of 5 rating and I can’t wait to see what is in store for this series. I will be on the lookout for book two! I definitely recommend this to fans of YA dystopian novels or Sci-Fi fans. This book I have to say sits side by side with Enders Game on my list of favorite Sci-Fi novels now. It is being published on June 25th (this month, yay!) and you can preorder it through the author’s site (http://samapatel.com/preorder-data-runner-now/). Happy reading everyone and I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did!