Wednesday, July 01, 2015

4.5 star review for The Last Academy


The Last Academy 
By: Anne Applegate

Published: April 30, 2013 by Point

Genres: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mythology, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Supernatural 

RATING: 4.5 stars

Overview:
What is this prep school preparing them for?

Camden Fisher arrives at boarding school haunted by a falling-out with her best friend back home. But the manicured grounds of Lethe Academy are like nothing Cam has ever known. 

There are gorgeous, preppy boys wielding tennis rackets, and circles of girls with secrets to spare. Only . . . something is not quite right. One of Cam's new friends mysteriously disappears, but the teachers don't seem too concerned. Cam wakes up to strangers in her room, who then melt into the night. 

She is suddenly plagued by odd memories, and senses there might be something dark and terrible brewing. But what? The answer will leave Cam—and readers—stunned and breathless, in this thrilling debut novel.

Snack Size Review:
I found this a thought provoking book that had a good traction to it. For a debut novel, I thought it exceptional. It took me a couple chapters to get into it, but I felt the author did a great service to its young main character by sticking to what that age's typical reactions would be and troubles with friends. Many of us... older... and hopefully... wiser, may baulk at this, but I felt it lent to the authenticity of the characters. It had a dose of mythology mixed in, but wasn't explained until the later half of the book. For those who aren't familiar with certain mythologies (I don't want to spoil it) it could be confusing. Some writing seemed a bit forced, trying to write in poetic proise where it seemed awkward, but overall it had suspense, thought provoking philosophical concepts and compelling characters. 

Siren's Fury by Mary Weber: 5 star review for shattering my mind... again!


Siren's Fury (Storm Siren Trilogy, Book #2)
By: Mary Weber

Published: June 2, 2015 by Thomas Nelson / HarperCollins
Genres: High Fantasy, Supernatural Abilities, Magic, Un-human Creatures, Kingdoms and Swords, World Building, Suspense, Action, Thriller, Horror, Romance, Court/Political Intrigue, Mystery, Dystopian, Apocalyptic, Steampunk 



Technically 4.8 rounded to 5

Overview:
"I thrust my hand toward the sky as my voice begs the Elemental inside me to waken and rise. But it's no use. The curse I've spent my entire life abhorring—the thing I trained so hard to control—no longer exists."

Nym has saved Faelen only to discover that Draewulf stole everything she valued. Now he’s destroyed her Elemental storm-summoning ability as well.

When Nym sneaks off with a host of delegates to Bron, Lord Myles offers her the chance for a new kind of power and the whispered hope that it may do more than simply defeat the monster she loathes. But the secrets the Bron people have kept concealed, along with the horrors Draewulf has developed, may require more than simply harnessing a darker ability.

They may require who she is.

Set against the stark metallic backdrop of the Bron kingdom, Nym is faced with the chance to change the future.

Or was that Draewulf’s plan for her all along?


Review: 

Holy Mother of All Books....



That was exhausting. I literally collapsed reading this latest installment to the Storm Siren Trilogy.



From overwhelming joy, nerve wracking fear, heart gutting grief, soul searing anger and mind blowing surprise... my soul was overwhelmed with the cornucopia of emotions wrought out of me. 


Let me start with my three favorite characters. Eogan, Nym and Rasha. But let's get to Mr. Darcy in the flesh... Eogan. Can I just reiterate how much I love this man? He pushes Nym to look for the best in herself no matter what. Even if its from a memory of him. Their love was so powerful.


The ending of the last book had me crying out for "my prreeeccciiiooouuuusssss." Yes. I wailed for Eogan. And for all that Nym lost. Nym.... oh honey. I wanted to bang her in the head and squeeze her to pieces at the same time. As strong as she was and brave, she still had so much to learn about herself, others and life. Her journey in this book is one I think we've all taken in our own way. It's what makes her so relatable in such an unrelatable world. But I could feel all her emotions and left me a shell shocked.


Rasha has become one of my favorite characters. This girl was so awesome. She had this grace, yet massive spunk that made for a rare combination. We got to see much more of her and you will fall in love with her too. Mary left a lot for us to discover about her and her background so I am pacing for the next book.

I won't spoil this for you, so all I can say is that this was more a more strategic book and the tension and emotion was so powerful I had to put the book down every once in a while. It was overwhelming me.


My daughter actually brought me a bunch of tissues and all three hugged me... a first... because I was sobbing like at a funeral of a best friend... for huge chunks of the book. The whole length of the book. It seriously took my heart and ripped it out. Gutted.


Mary yet again delivered another power packed, mind bending novel full of convoluted and elaborate plot twists that left my head spinning.


Mary used her skills to create a new vision of other countries in this world. She developed complex and variant lands that were juxtaposed to make for a bizarre and intriguing landscape. The last book had some thrill, but pails in comparison to the horror in this book. Darkness, evil, nasty creatures and gruesome practices were integrated throughout the book and invaded my mind. 


There was some serious nausea for a few sections. Mary's super descriptive and meticulous writing created vivid and tactile scenes that will probably haunt my dreams for the next week.


I did find the pace a tad slow for the first half, but that may be in part to how impatient I can be. Nym's impatience to do what she needed certainly bleed through the pages and seeped into my heart. I needed answers and the anxiety was killing me.


I can proudly declare that I was a wreck reading this. Which, as you know, makes me shout of the excellence of the writing. Character development is another big aspect for me and I was not disappointed. Mary has a soft hand when it comes to her characters. She writes deftly with organic development, not "oh-my-character-needs-to-grow-up" paragraphs plopped into a scene or chapter. It flows... sometimes without conscious awareness of it till you look back and get an "ah-ha" moment. 

Mary's ending was yet another kick in the pants. Holy Cannoli, I sat up shrieking several times. The chapter yet again made me almost wet my britches. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES are you to skip to the END. PROMISE ME! You MUST read the whole thing. Because if you don't... it will make NO SENSE. But when you do get  there... Holy Herd of Cows.... what a cliffhanger. Yet again!


Another standing ovation for an incredible book!


I am clapping like crazy with grabby hands for book three. I think the wait just my kill me!