Thursday Review: Angel Fall by Susan Ee


The Blurb:

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

The Review:

I had mixed feelings about this book. It was a very interesting concept, and I loved the protagonist. But toward the end of the book it got kind of…. sick. Like graphically sick. The world building was interesting, but it didn’t feel consistent. I would expect society to have completely crumbled a year or two after an attack like this, but world-wide in a matter of months? Again, I don’t doubt the devastation the angels can wreak upon a society, but I think people, even defeated people, would cling to normal life longer and try to stick to a regular society before going completely nuts and becoming street gangs roaming in the darkness.

Or maybe they would, but I needed more background to see WHY it got so bad so fast. Especially because life alongside the angels in the city seemed semi-normal. Humans are way subservient, but life seemed semi-normal.

I don’t know. I’m going to give the second book a shot when it comes out, because the characters are worth it. But I just couldn’t get a firm grasp on the world and it got really really gross at the end.

The Thursday Review: Daughter of the Goddess by Rita Webb


The Heart.
The God of Love seeks a bride who is pure in heart and full of life—full of soul. Instead of a woman, he finds a child with laughter in her heart. Waiting for her to grow up, he befriends her, pretending to be nothing more than a blue-eyed boy with wild, tangled hair.

The Soul.
Left on the temple doorstep, a young girl turns the lives of the priestesses upside down . . . until one summer day before her eighteenth birthday, a traveling oracle tells her she is to marry a stranger in a foreign land.

The Nightmare.
An ancient demon—half-man, half-snake—wants to destroy anything the gods love. When she was a child, he haunted her dreams, but now he stalks her across the countryside. If he catches her, he’ll devour her.


I’ve been watching this book on the “People who bought Persephone also bought…” list for awhile. When Rita sent me a review request, I was thrilled to have the chance to read this novella. It was adorable. It was like a fairy tale set in Ancient Greece. Peaches is a horrifically neglected girl(Think Matilda levels of parental negligence) who is given to a local temple to be raised as a priestess. Despite her horrific upbringing, Peaches becomes a strong, beautiful woman. Everyone who sees her knows there’s something special about her. She sees a mysterious boy that no one else ever seems to notice and she has also gotten the attention of a less pleasant being. I knew where the book was going the entire time, but it was still a lovely story. Sweet, romantic, uplifting, and wonderful. It’s .99 cents. Read it.


Thursday Review: Caller of Light by TJ Shaw



Carina McKay is an outsider. With one parent of royal blood, she’s not nobility, yet not a servant either. The only comfort in her mundane existence is her love of Critons, the large fire-breathing creatures that protect the border of her homeland. But her destiny changes forever the day she catches the eye of King Marek Duncan.

Marek’s heart is closed to love. After an arranged marriage withers to a bitter end, he dedicates his energy to protecting his kingdom. Yet he’s searching for something more–the Caller of Light, the one who summons Critons.

Carina’s beauty and willfulness intrigue Marek, and he’s determined to have her. When his enemies try to come between them, he discovers just how much he will endure to protect her. Together, they can unlock a love that binds their souls, but only if they find the strength to follow their hearts.


Cinderella meets Dragonriders of Pern

I don’t know why I don’t read traditional fantasy more often. I always end up loving the books! Always! And Caller of Light was no exception. Shaw builds a completely unique world full of Critons, which are essentially dragons. The Critons bond with their riders but they sometimes need assistance from a caller. Unfortunately the last caller dropped off the face of the earth over a decade ago.

Meanwhile, Carina is our spirited underdog. Abused and treated as a servant in her own house she captures the heart of a King. Her evil half sister is willing to do whatever it takes to sabotageCarina and Duncan’s relationship. Meanwhile there’s political intrigue and looming threats of war in Duncan’s kingdom

The only thing I didn’t like, and yes, I know, this is crazy nitpicky, I didn’t like that Criton was capitalized. I get that their sentient super special cool dragon like creatures, but you don’t capitalize dragon, you capitalize the dragons name. I don’t think I would have noticed at all had I not just had to do a global edit for something very similar. But I did notice, and the word criton was used here about as often as the word horse would be used in a western so it just kept poking at me.

However, I just read a long book and my only complaint whatsoever is the capitalization of one word. I think that speaks volumes for how GOOD this book is.

Thursday Review: Clockwork Angel/Prince


I’ll admit, I was really hesitant to read this spin off series by Cassandra Clare. I love the Immortal Instruments series, but I didn’t know if I cared about any other people in that universe, particularly in the past.

I’m so glad I checked these out of the library on a whim. I love them. The adventures of Will and Tess and Jem are every bit as fascinating as the adventures of Jace and Clary. I felt like Clockwork Angel started kind of slow but once it got going I was hooked. I literally just sat on my couch until I was done reading these books. I really like Tess, and I’m also really appreciative of the way Cassandra Clare handled the whole back in time thing with womens rights and what not. I’m all for historical accuracy, but it was really nice to read a modern acting protagonist and still have the old setting, but at the same time I felt sometimes it was a little jarring. Will isn’t all that rude by modern day standards so sometimes I kind of forgot when it was set and wondered why everyone seemed so shocked by his behavior.

Clockwork Prince I felt had faster pacing than Clockwork Angel, but I’m really not feeling the whole love triangle thing between Will, Jem, and Tess. I don’t actually feel like Tess is all that conflicted, she obviously has stronger feelings for Will, but she just feels sorry for Jem. It’s heart wrenching and all, but more condescending and predatory than dramatic. And again this is a place where I feel like the fact that it’s set in the past is jarring because the characters act so modern but then skip right on to marriage.

But my dislike of love triangles aside, I didn’t stop reading this book until I was finished. I didn’t put it down whatsoever. It was an action packed fun read and I can’t wait until the third book comes out.v

Thursday review: The Maze Runner Series


Since I read this series in such quick succession, I’m going to review them all here because I’ve reached that point where it’s difficult to separate them into different books in my head. So if some of the details I post for book three are in book four, apologies 🙂

Maze Runner by James Dashner

Amazing book. It kept the suspense running the entire time through. I didn’t put this book down until I finished it. The pace was so fast and the story line was so tight that I was a bit out of breath when I finished. It’s not the best book in the whole world, but it moved so fast I honestly couldn’t tell you if there were flaws in the story telling. I highly recommend for anyone looking for a fun quick read

The Scorch Trials

And this is where the series starts to fall apart. Don’t get me wrong, I still finished this book very quickly and it was an enjoyable read but I absolutely couldn’t get past the premise. In this book it is revealed that the world the characters escaped to after solving the maze is devastated. Solar Flares have scorched a chunk of the planet and decimated the population, and as if that wasn’t enough a deadly virus was released called the Flare which pretty much turns people into zombies that aren’t dead. Reavers essentially.

The group learns that they are somehow the answer to this problem and the maze and everything else was calculated to get information based on their reactions. Then they learn they’ve been infected. If they want the cure they have to get through the scorch (a really bad patch of land where all the zombies live).

There’s a betrayal that I really don’t understand. I really think the whole purpose of the betrayal was just to make me hate a character, but then it’s explained away and rationalized except that the rationalization makes no sense. It’s fun to read, but if you allow yourself the time to stop and think you’ll find yourself scratching your head and going…. why?

The Death Cure

Okay, and this is where the series implodes upon itself. All consistency and logic was lost. Sorry, but in what universe is


An airborne highly contagious plague released on purpose to eliminate a portion of the population after the bulk of said population was supposedly killed off by solar flares. Seriously? Rationale here? We’re really expected to believe some random scientific group went “oh by golly, humanity survived extinction, lets see if we can do it again.” Really? The people that are left are huddled in tight groups, wouldn’t it just be safer to drop a bomb? I could buy it IF the population hadn’t been destroyed yet with the flares, and the disease wasn’t intended to be contagious and just mutated. But that’s not the case as we see in the next book.

Then, THEN we’re supposed to believe that these kids are the answer because they’re immune (I’ll buy that) but that’s the reason for the maze and the trials. The scientists need to study their neural activity to see how it responds to what’s essentially torture and high stress situations.

I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure you don’t look for cures for diseases in neural patterns. Even if something in their brain made the disease not take root, that couldn’t be replicated anymore than you can give a person a photographic memory.

Also, why actually put them through a maze? Dose them with adrenaline and give them a rubix cube or something.

THEN the ending. Seriously? Seriously?

And the characters were completely lost in this one. They were never terribly developed to begin with, but one major character dies in what’s basically a throwaway line, another character (who was supposedly about Thomas’s age) works for wicked (the government) and is a nurse, oh and the other guy, again, described as being not much older than 16 in book 2, is a trained pilot.

Where are we getting the resources to put teenagers through nursing school and flight training in the midst of a zombie apocalypse and scorched planet?

The characters scattered memories also don’t jive with the picture painted of the planet. I guess life in the cities is pretty normal, but that certainly doesn’t seem the case in the next book. *sigh* oh well. It was a quick read

The Kill Order

This is actually a prequel, and no, it doesn’t give you Thomas’ story or Teresa’s, just random cranks who we never see again in the whole series.

This book starts with the government releasing the flare, and all the consistency errors I had in the other book here are quadrupled. So, they release this virus on purpose, and supposedly the mutation is that it takes longer to kill people. Originally it killed the victims in 24 hours.

So here’s my question. Government people, you have helicopters, you have weapons that can disintegrate people with a single blast, and to control the population you choose to release a virus in small pockets of people with the expectation that it will spread and kill within 24 hours of contact.

Wouldn’t it be easier to USE those weapons instead of flying settlement by settlement and shooting people with darts loaded with the virus? Half the darts killed the people by severing arteries when released. That seems a rather blatant waste of resources. Or, if they MUST use a virus, how about releasing one we have a known cure for. It’s not like the remnants of civilization have well stocked antibiotics.

Or, here’s another thought, why kill off anyone with a virus at all? If the resources are so scarce and you only want to worthy to survive, why not…. Use the planes, collect the resources, and keep the walled cities stocked in places like Alaska where they are based. Top scientists of the world, ever heard of Darwin? Or did all the GOOD scientists get killed in the flare. 2/3 of your population was just wiped out by a solar flare a year ago. The people left are living mostly in shacks struggling to find food and water. Nature may just balance itself out in a more natural way.

Ignoring all that, I would have found the characters much more compelling if any of the characters had been in the rest of the series, like I don’t know, this is 13 years before the maze and there’s a small child that “couldn’t be more than five” could they have cheated a year or two and made the girl Teresa instead of DeeDee? That would have explained Teresa’s fanatical devotion to Wicked.

I also felt this book went way overboard with the violence, and was just way too sad. I felt sick when I hit the end.

Thursday Review: Mark of Athena


I was planning on doing the Maze runner series today but then I realized I had somehow missed this one!

I love Rick Riordin. I made myself wait until I completely finished Persephone and had an outline of the series complete before I let myself read Percy Jackson, just in case it was too similar. It was worth the wait. The first few books in the series were alright, but It really picked up in the middle then just kept going.

I was nervous about the new series. I didn’t care about Jason, I liked the old camp, and I didn’t think anything could top the epic battle that ended the original series

I was wrong. The Lost Hero, the Son of Neptune and the mark of Athena have been fantastic. I love the new characters, it’s fantastic to see them all together (finally!). It was really great getting to finally experience Annabeth’s point of view.

I really love these books but they are also the few young adult books that make me feel too old for YA. Every time things start to get heavy, some extremely silly thing happens (monsters chasing Percy with cheese balls?). But I’m not then intended audience, middle grade boys are. Riordin balances the needs of his actual audience with telling a great story really well.

I can’t wait for the next one to come out. Sadly, it’s going to be a long wait.

Thursday Review: Tournament of Chance


Tournament of Chance is a fantasy novel by S.G Rogers. Here’s the blurb

When a beautiful commoner enters the Tournament of Chance archery competition, her thwarted victory sparks a revolution in the oppressive kingdom of Destiny. Although Heather never believed the legends about the restoration of Ormaria, after three shape-shifting Ormarian wizards awaken from a long magical slumber, she joins their perilous quest to regain the throne. Heather battles vicious predators and angry trolls to free the wizards’ magic, but at a horrendous cost. She is unexpectedly torn from the arms of the man she loves and hurled back in time to fulfill a prophecy not yet written. The ensuing maelstrom tests Heather’s survival skills, wits, and endurance. Will she become an unwritten footnote in history, or can she trust the magic to lead her back to her one true love?

Yeah. I included the blurb because there is NO way I could sum up this story without major spoilers, but OMG, this story was SO good.

Rogers deftly wields a plot line that would take me three books to see through into one. It’s fast paced and fascinating! There were spots I wanted it to slow down a bit to get more of a reaction from the characters but that was mostly because I didn’t want it to end. I loved Heather, and Dane, and Jo, and Shimmer, and… You know, I loved everyone. This was a completely developed world. The time travel aspect was really interesting, and I really liked the way magic worked in this universe. I’ll be on the lookout for more books from this author for sure!

Thursday Review: Walking the Dog


Walking the Dog, by Linda Benson captured my attention this morning and kept me reading until I finished the last page. I finished it in one sitting, which is no easy feat when you have a three year old wanting crazy things, like breakfast.

Walking the Dog is intended for a middle grade audience, though I think the story could be enjoyed by a much older audience. Jared Westen is an average sixth grade boy who struggles in math and is really annoyed by his little brother (I was with him there). Everything is going great for him until he notices Sophie Best.

She’s beautiful, even with the scar on her face, but his parents don’t want him to hang around her because she has a troubled past. Jared finds a way around this by volunteering to walk dogs with her at the animal shelter.

I enjoyed the book, and I was really surprised at how riled up I got reading it. I hated his parents. Hated them. His mom expects Jared to watch his little brother all the time, and at one point in the book says something about how it’s his responsibility not to let anything happen to him. You know whose responsibility it is to make sure nothing happens to a child? The parents. Period. When his little brother goes missing later in the book, I was kind of hoping Jared would say something to his mother like “you lost track of him? But he’s your son. He’s your responsibility, how could you have let this happen.” Which if you’re wondering is verbatim what his mother said to him at a point in the book. Their stance regarding Sophie was ridiculously selfish and unfair. And had their actions been presented in a favorable light, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this book. But they weren’t, so they put me strongly in Jared’s camp.

I think this was a great read, and Linda Benson is definitely an author to keep an eye out for. I think her name is going to get pretty well known if she keeps releasing books like Walking the Dog, The Girl Who Remembered Horses, and Six Degrees of Lost.

Thursday Review: Normalish


“Becka’s acting strange, stranger than usual”

Normalish, by Margaret Lesh was a pretty good book. I really enjoyed it. It’s so strange how I JUST finished reading Perks of a Wall Flower and picked up this book. They are very much alike, and both outside of my usual reading realm. I have to say, between the two, I preferred this one.

Normalish follows a freshmen named Stacy as she copes with her fathers death, her sisters mental illness, and all the angst that comes with high school. The boy she sees as a friend wants to be more, and the boy she wants to go out with starts dating her best friend, leaving Stacy with no one to talk to about what she’s going through.

She falls back on her family. Her strange, wonderful family that eat Tofu turkeys, sushi, and tamales for Christmas dinner. Together they try to put their lives back together, and if they can’t ever get back to normal, then at least they know they’re normalish.

My favorite bit of the book was the boy at the mental institute, Bobby. I really enjoyed that entire subplot, heart wrenching as it was. I also love Stacy’s voice. I love how matter of fact she is, I don’t know why, but I like self-deprecating humor. Every time she called herself ridiculous, I smiled. The only complaint I had in the entire book was the way the Anthony situation was handled. I wanted more of a conversation, or at least that conversation to be public, but it was still awesome.

You can find out more about this book Margaret Lesh’s blog: and you can buy it in ebook stores everywhere.

Thursday Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower


The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a young adult novel told through letters by Stephen Chbosky. I bought this book for book club and ended up tearing through it in one day. It’s an intense read. The author takes the events in the book and spins them on their head a few times and it’s… intense.
The Good: This book was very well written, very very very engaging, and all kinds of literary fun. The twists were unbelievable. This is definitely a book to reread because you’ll get a whole different story the second time through
The bad: The character felt too young to be in high school. In retrospect that makes sense, but in the context of the book, other characters react to him or situations like he’s in seventh grade. There’s lots of “Do you understand what just happened?” and OMG, a senior is going out with a freshmen, the perv. When I was in high school, and now, teaching high school, there wasn’t much in the way of an acknowledged age difference between seniors and freshmen. There is from an adults perspective, but not from the kids themselves. It just kept throwing me, but by the end of the book that attitude was mostly gone.
The spoilers: WARNING…. SPOILERS

I couldn’t get over the suicide note/poem. It was so sad that his friend showed him this poem, and Charlie latched onto it without understanding it was a cry for help. It really added another layer to everything about Michael. I kind of liked that Charlie still never seemed to get that the poem was Michael’s suicide note. It made all his thoughts that much more tragic.

The thing with the Aunt just put this whole new spin on the entire book. I’m really curious how all of this is going to translate to film.