Tag Archive | Dystopian

REVIEW: Mortality by Kellie Sheridan

Mortality by Kellie Sheridan

Series: The Hitchhiker Strain #1

Read: January 28-30, 2017

Format: Kindle (NetGalley)

My Book Rating: 4 Stars

Publisher: Patchwork Press

Release Date: March 19, 2013

Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic (Zombie)

Pages: 254

Reading Challenge(s): 2017 YA Reading Challenge, Beat the Backlist 2017

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

After surviving a deadly plague outbreak, sixteen-year-old Savannah thought she had lived through the very worst of human history. There was no way to know that the miracle vaccine would put everyone at risk for a fate worse than un-death.

Now, two very different kinds of infected walk the Earth, intent on nothing but feeding and destroying what little remains of civilization. When the inoculated are bitten, infection means watching on in silent horror as self-control disappears and the idea of feasting on loved ones becomes increasingly hard to ignore.

Starving and forced to live inside of the abandoned high school, all Savannah wants is the chance to fight back. When a strange boy arrives with a plan to set everything right, she gets her chance. Meeting Cole changes everything. Mere survival will never be enough.


REVIEW

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

This poor innocent book was received from NetGalley a little over a year ago. Due to it’s past release date it kept getting set aside in order to read and review books that were not yet released. I’m sorry to the author AND to myself, because this book was great!

This is a dual POV story set in a post-apocalyptic world. The zombie apocalypse is here, and to make matters worse, a “vaccine” was distributed, but all it did was turn those who were vaccinated and then infected into living zombies.

The story switches back and forth between Savannah and Zarah, two girl trying to survive pretty much on their own. Savannah is the character we spend the most time with. She’s 17 and sick of being cooped up in the high school, she wants to prove she’s grown up up enough to be out there fighting with the adults. She can definitely handle herself. Zarah on the other hand is more of a pacifist. After teaming up with Liam, a classmate, when it becomes clear they’re on their own they set off on their own trying to stay safe. She leans on Liam a lot to take care of her.

It was interesting to see how each of these very different girls handle the situation they’ve been forced into. I was also surprised to find that this wasn’t a typical zombie novel, we got to see some insights that I did not expect! When the girls paths cross it’s really hard to know who to root for.

This is actually only like, the fourth dystopian zombie-type novel I’ve ever read and only the second with true classic zombies. It had similarities to The Walking Dead, but it absolutely stands apart from the show.

My only minor qualm was in the sort of insta-love between the two sets of characters. I’m giving it a pass because for Savannah it wasn’t really instant, it just came sort of out of nowhere. For Zarah the build up just wasn’t shown because she didn’t have as much of the story as Savannah did. I don’t think most teen readers will have a problem, and honestly, I didn’t really either.

The ending had a slight cliffhanger, but if there wasn’t a sequel the reader wouldn’t be left completely hanging. There’s some closure, and the mission Savannah set out on does reach a somewhat satisfying end point.

I’ll probably read the second book in this series at some point down the line.

 

SHOULD YOU READ IT? If you’re into zombies and teen fiction yes. It’s a fast paced enjoyable read.



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QUOTES

We were prepared for this, but my heartbeat still quickened. This was everything I had been waiting for, but suddenly I was less enthusiastic. My hand shook and I fumbled loading my weapon.

 

He wasn’t dead, and that was a very, very good thing. Then it hit me—this situation was still far from a good one. Letting out a strangled gasp, I clasped my hand over my mouth. He was probably still alive, but I might never see him again.

 

I would never be given the chance to bury my parents or my brother. I’ll never even know if there is anything left of them to bury. But I’m trying not to think about that.

 

Cole had come up with this entire plan in less than ten minutes.
And people say I’m impulsive.
No. I was just the idiot who agreed to this insanity.

 

“Come out with your hands over your head.” Apparently I wasn’t the only one reliving every action movie ever made.

REVIEW: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Read: November 16, 2015
Format: Ebook (Kindle)
My Book Rating:  3 Stars
Genre: Dystopian Romance

Confession: I was sucked into this book by the beautiful cover, what can I say? I’m a sucker for girls in pretty dresses. And royalty. Yeah, I’m a sucker for a princess story too.

The Selection takes place in a futuristic world in which the caste system plays a heavy role. Really, the only way to move up a caste is by marriage. The heroine of this story, America— a middle caste girl—is in love with Aspen, but he’s in a lower caste than she is, which is pretty taboo.

Enter THE SELECTION – a contest, similar to TV’s The Bachelor – in which 35 girls are selected from all castes and compete for the chance to marry Prince Maxon. Of course, America want’s no part of this, but to appease her family, she agrees to enter and—surprise! She’s selected. She makes it very clear from the get-go that she doesn’t want to be a princess, but Prince Maxon agrees to let her stay, because there are sparks between them, and every day she stays means more support for her family back home.

What I liked about this story: America, I think she’s an interesting character and I like that she’s not in love with the prince just because he’s a prince. I also love the idea of the story, basically a dating game to pick a worthy princess for the kingdom.

My list of dislikes is a lot longer, however…. First of all, the character depth is pretty shallow all around. I liked America, she was probably the most in depth character. But everyone else fell flat. More importantly, the plot fell flat for me. I love character driven stories, but the characters need to be stronger than these were, and the plot needs to be based on more than a reality TV show. It felt as though the author wanted to write The Bachelor, but with a prince and girls competing to be a princess, then said, “Oh, dystopian stories are in. I’ll just throw a dystopian world in the background and call it good.” The beginning set up was good, but then it was just kind of tossed aside. There were the rebel attacks, but we really don’t know much of anything about them. It all just felt so shallow. I wanted more substance. And don’t get me started on Aspen. I really didn’t care what happened to him. He’s not even worth America’s time. Prince Maxon seems like a genuinely good guy, so I really want him to be the one to come out on top, but….

To add to my list of grievances, this book didn’t even have a proper ending. There are cliffhangers, and then there are books that end so abruptly you flip back to make sure you didn’t somehow miss 50 pages. This is the latter. In my version of a proper cliffhanger, there’s some sort of subplot happening in the story that wraps up at the end of the book, while the larger overall story arc is still going. The author needs to leave the reader satisfied, but wanting more. I didn’t feel that here.

I really struggled with a proper rating to this book. Part of me wants to give it a 2 star rating, because it is so shallow. But, because I will continue to read, just to see what comes next in the story, I settled on a 3. This book is average at best, it’s light and fluffy and lacks any real substance. We’ll see how book two goes.

Would I recommend this book? Only to younger teen girls who want to read a light and fluffy romance. Or maybe to die hard fans of The Bachelor who can’t get enough. For those looking for a book with a complex plot or interesting characters, skip this one.

REVIEW: Paperglass by A. R. Ivanovitch

Paperglass by A. R. Ivanovitch

Series: War of the Princes #2

Read: January 4-15 2016

Format: Kindle Ebook

My Book Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: YA Fantasy

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Paperglass is the sequel to Haven and picks up a year after the events in the first book. If you haven’t read Haven yet – What are you waiting for? The book is amazing!

Anyway, in Paperglass we find our heroine, Katelyn, graduating from high school, ready to set off in the world. After leaving her peaceful haven in Haven (see what I did there? Sorry…) Katelyn vowed never again to leave Haven for the war-torn outside world. Then, everything changes. A man commits an act that puts many lives in jeopardy, including Kaelyn and her friends. Soon she finds that Haven’s government is hiding things from it’s citizens and Katelyn is tasked with using her talent of finding anything to lead a rescue team to the outside world to rescue a group of Havenites who have left their protective country and ventured into what was unknown to them, but a world Katelyn knows all too well – she bares the scares.

Unwilling to bring more people to the outside world and risk their lives, she sneaks off to rescue the team, led by an individual going by code name Paperglass. Once back on the outside, Katelyn finds herself in an alliance she doesn’t quite trust, and three other surprises are waiting for her.

Paperglass reunites us with characters we knew and loved…and hated from Haven, as well as introducing us to new characters and more of the outside worlds war and politics. There are twists and turns, just when I think Katelyn is home free, safety is torn from her. Everything is so well thought out and put together, it just flows from one scene to another. The only reason it took me 11 days to finish this book was because I had to read another book for my job.

If you loved Haven, Paperglass will surely keep your attention and leave you desperate to find out what happens next, in book three of the War of the Princes series, Monarch.

NOTE: Paperglass was previously released under the title Dragoon.

REVIEW: Haven by A. R. Ivanovitch

Don’t forget to enter to win the ghostly romance The Way Forward by Jill Bisker over at THIS post!

 


 

Haven by A. R. Ivanovitch

Series: War of the Princes #1

Read: January 3-5 2016

Format: Kindle Ebook

My Book Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book. Wow. This is the kind of book that keeps you turning the page, not wanting to put it down, saying ‘just one more chapter!’ only to get to the end and need to dive into the next book ASAP. That is Haven.

Katelyn Kestrel is the heroine of this series. Seventeen years old and a bit of a rebel, Katelyn doesn’t just accept the way things are, she questions them. Growing up in Haven, an isolated kingdom/country nestled in a hidden mountain valley, she knows that to try to find a way out is the greatest law, punishable by imprisonment or worse. However, Katelyn can’t help herself. She’s always had an instinct about finding what she’s looking for, and finding her way out of Haven is no different. She suddenly finds herself in a cave, forced to choose between taking the safe route and going back, or helping a wounded soldier in her path. Katelyn helps the soldier and that’s where the story really begins.

There is a minor-almost-love-triangle in this book. Katelyn has strong feelings for her rescued soldier, Rune, but the other young man she meets, the Common Lord Dylan Axton, has his eye on her as well, showering her with gifts.

Katelyn discovers secrets about herself and her people and soon, Haven’s fate is entirely in her hands.

The world building in this book is captivating. There were little things that drove me a little crazy, like the Haven people’s superstition that name alliteration was good luck (hence our heroine being Katelyn Kestrel, sister to Kevin Kestrel, friend of Kyle Kiteman, etc.) I quickly forgot all that once the plot moved forward. The powers are very cool, and the military and royal hierarchy well thought out.

The best part of this book though? It’s a fantasy novel done right. The reader is not inundated with pages and pages of description, we’re given just enough to set the scene to feel as though we’re there, and then we move on. As I stated before, I could not put this book down. I said ‘just one more chapter’ for a good seven chapters before forcing myself to go to bed. I told myself I would get some work done before starting book 2, however I’m already almost 20% into Paperglass and let me tell you, it’s as good if not better than Haven!

There are plenty of questions left unanswered in this book; for example, if the Haven people have been secluded from the Outside World for over 700 years, why do they still speak the same language, albeit with a strong accent? At least some of these questions are answered later in the series (which I only know because I’ve started the next.)

In my opinion, this is a must read YA title for readers looking for a strong heroine, adventure, magic, and alternate history. I did deduct half a star because there were more than a couple editing errors, perhaps not enough to distract the average reader, but definitely enough for me to catch.

Haven and the rest of the series was originally self-published and now available from Alloy Entertainment.