Thursday, August 17, 2017

#Review - Last Breath by Karin Slaughter #Thrillers #Suspense @SlaughterKarin

Series: The Good Daughter #0.5
Format: E-Book, 176 pages
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Witness Impulse
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher
Genre: Thrillers / Suspense

The fantastic prequel to The Good Daughter, the stunning new standalone from the No. 1 bestselling author of the Will Trent and Grant County series.
Protecting someone always comes at a cost.
At the age of thirteen, Charlie Quinn’s childhood came to an abrupt and devastating end. Two men, with a grudge against her lawyer father, broke into her home – and after that shocking night, Charlie's world was never the same.
Now a lawyer herself, Charlie has made it her mission to defend those with no one else to turn to. So when Flora Faulkner, a motherless teen, begs for help, Charlie is reminded of her own past, and is powerless to say no.
But honor-student Flora is in far deeper trouble than Charlie could ever have anticipated. Soon she must ask herself: How far should she go to protect her client? And can she truly believe everything she is being told?

Last Breath, by author Karin Slaughter, is the prequel to The Good DaughterThis story takes place in the year 2004, 15 years after 28 year old Charlotte "Charlie" Quinn survived a brutal attack on her family that ended her mother's life. Even though it was her father's job that led to her mother's death, Charlie is now a defense attorney. She struggles to pay her bills, but she is also married to the love of her life, Ben Bernard, who works for the DA's office. 

Charlie has a different set of values from her father, but that can't stop her from getting caught up in a devious game concocted by a rather smart young woman. While at a Girl Scout event, Charlie is approached by a bright young girl named Flora who claims she wants to be emancipated. That things at home are not exactly good. Flora, who lost her mother at a young age, reminds Charlie of her own loss. How can Charlie turn away Flora's request for assistance when she drives so many emotions? In a way, Last Breath reminds me of that old age story about of the spider and the fly. "Will you walk into my parlor? said the Spider to the Fly." 

The story tells of a cunning spider, in this instance 15-year old Florabama Faulkner, who uses a bit of cunning and flattery to lure Charlie into her web. There are so many layers of deceit, and betrayal, that you must hold on until the final page to see how things actually turn out. At 176 pages, this story is just the right length to get everything you want out of the story. Slaughter has been at the top of my list of authors to turn to when I need a brilliantly written story, with twisted characters, and layers upon layers of curious poses. She is the master of plot twists, and all of her characters have issues which makes them more enjoyable to read about. 

Karin Slaughter is one of the world's most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 36 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her sixteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novel Pretty Girls. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her Will Trent series, Grant County series, and standalone novel Cop Town are all in development for film and television.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday #Review - Buried Heart by Kate Elliott #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Court of Fives # 3
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

The explosive finale to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's captivating, New York Times bestselling young adult series

In this third book in the epic Court of Fives series, Jessamy is the crux of a revolution forged by the Commoner class hoping to overthrow their longtime Patron overlords. But enemies from foreign lands have attacked the kingdom, and Jes must find a way to unite the Commoners and Patrons to defend their home and all the people she loves. Will her status as a prominent champion athlete be enough to bring together those who have despised one another since long before her birth? Will she be able to keep her family out of the clutches of the evil Lord Gargaron? And will her relationship with Prince Kalliarkos remain strong when they find themselves on opposite sides of a war? Find all the answers in this beautifully written and exciting conclusion to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's debut New York Times bestselling young adult trilogy!

Choose between your parents.
Choose between your friends.
Choose between your lovers.
Choose who you are.

Buried Heart, by author Kate Elliott, is the third and final installment in the author's Court of Fives trilogy. For those who may be new to this series, the series is a high-fantasy adventure with a heroine who captures the imagination of fans from Sarah J. Maas, Rae Carson, and Victoria Aveyard. Set in the very Greek like setting of Efea, Half Saroese, half Efean Jessamy aka Spider has come a long way from the first installment. She's gone from being a nobody with the dream of becoming one of the finest Court of Fives contestants ever, to being a guiding light in a dark world that has been divided into Commoners, and Patrons.

Now she must choose a side and her destiny. As the story continues from Poisoned Blade, Jessamy has escaped from Saryenia and is on the run from King Nikonos who seized power in the most brutal way possible, and allied with enemies from East Soro. The only possibility left for Jessamy is to find a way to make Prince Kalliarkos the king of Efea, and hope that he can end the oppression that has long gripped his country while not losing what made him so appealing to her. But, will becoming the King, change who Kalliarkos is? Kal's actions in this book are really twisted, and that's saying a lot without actually saying anything spoiler-y.

Jessamy faces tough choices; does she become the face of the rebellion, or does she encourage others, like her father General Eslada, to fight alongside her and a surprising group of rebels led by an even more surprising leader? Jes's journey has been anything but easy. She is still being hounded by Lord Gorgaron who really did a number on her family. Jessamy knows that no matter what she does, her family is in harms way. She's already lost one sister who choose a different path, she doesn't want to lose anyone else. Except for the fact that misguided racists call her a mule, she speaks several languages fluidly, and is daring, and isn't afraid to jump in and get her hands dirty. 

Jessamy is a curious sort of character who has learned so much from her father who taught her how to survive in the brutal world where she is supposed to be seen, but not heard from. There are some current day issues with racism, sexism, and how it affects how Jessamy. It affects who she is, and who her parents are. It affects how she plans her future out, and whether or not she's make the right choices. I haven't talked much about Jessamy's parents, but I have to say that I really liked her father this time around. I respected him so much because he tried hard to make up for his mistakes. Even though he made a terrible choice, his love for his family is unmistakable.

I was blown away by Jessamy's mother, and how powerful she becomes in a very short manner. I knew she was feisty, and determined, but you really understand where her daughters get their strength from. I haven't talked much about the forbidden romance all that much. It has hanged over this series from the first time that Jessamy met Efean Royalty Kalliarkos while competing against each other in the Court of Fives competition. There are similarities, in a way, from living in this society, to living in the south in the early 20th century. It is definitely not something that is encouraged in this world. In fact, it could end up with Jessamy being killed if she is caught. 

The ending of this series didn't surprise or shock me. It was pretty much how I had hoped it would end with some twists, shocks, surprises, and plenty of awesome action scenes to bring the series to a beautiful ending. I do, however, wish that we would get an explanation as to what happened to one of Jessamy's sisters. I won't spoil who I am talking about. You will just have to read Poisoned Blade to find out more.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday #Review - The Keep of Ages by Caragh M. O'Brien #YALit #Dystopian

Series: The Vault of Dreamers # 3
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

In the fast-paced, high-stakes conclusion to Caragh M. O'Brien's Vault of Dreamers trilogy, Rosie travels to a derelict theme park to shut down dream mining once and for all.
Driven by fear when Dean Berg kidnaps her family, Rosie Sinclair strikes out across the country to rescue them. When an elusive trail leads her to Grisly Valley, the contaminated ruin of a horror theme park, Rosie has to consider that Berg may once again be manipulating her every move to make her fearful, priming her for a final, lethal dream mining procedure. As Rosie struggles to outmaneuver Berg, she unearths the ultimate vault of dreamers and the hint of a consciousness more powerful and dangerous than any she's imagined before. Faced with unspeakable suffering and otherworldly beauty, Rosie must discover how to trust her mind, her friends, and reality itself.
Propulsive and deeply speculative, The Keep of Ages concludes the Vault of Dreamers trilogy with stirring possibilities for what it means to be alive. 

The Keep of Ages is the third and final installment in author Carah M. O'Brien's The Vault of Dreamers trilogy. As the story picks up, Rosie Sinclair returns home for the first time in 6 months to find her family missing. Rosie knows that her fight against Dean Berg won't truly end until she can find a way to stop him once and for all. Even if that means traveling to the ends of the world. Rosie wanted to expose Berg's manipulation of dreamers but was caught and spent time stuck in what's been called a vault of dreamers. For months, she was kept asleep while having her dreams mined.

Rosie's dreams are unusually vivid which is like cat nip to someone like Dean Berg who is looking for a way to save himself from his own health issues. Rosie's journey will take her to a former amusement park in California. An amusement park which coincidentally has at its center piece The Keep of Ages where Rosie discovers an even more stunning surprise. Rosie must find a way to save her family, especially her sister Dubbs. Dubbs leaves a cleverly written message for Rosie to find that leads her to a woman in California. A woman who may hold the answers to Rosie saving her family and bring down Dean Berg. But, Berg won't be easily defeated or stopped, and he's got a few surprises up his sleeves.

The most curious characters in this book are Lavinia Jacobs, who once worked at the Forge School before Berg came along and turned it into something else entirely, and Dubbs. I loved Dubbs. She's just as adorable as you can imagine, and clearly clever as well. We get appearances by Burnham Fisk as well as Linus Pitts who we found out had a camera lens inserted in his left eye. Unfortunately for Linus, his road to redemption takes a bit longer while trying to find a way to regain Rosie's trust in him. Rosie meets a curious character in this book called ARSELF, and that's all I can say about this character without spoiling a huge part of the story.

In closing, The Keep of Ages is a fairly quick paced story with plenty of twists to keep the reader satisfied. The most interesting part of the story for me was the Grisly theme park. Here you get plenty of interesting twists and a character who defies explanation. Rosie has grown up as a character, and in the end, she may not be the badass that people were expecting, but to survive everything that she has been put through, who's going to complain at how she ends up?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday #Review - Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol #YALit #Science Fiction

Series: Secondborn # 1
Format: E- Galley, 321 pages 
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: 47 North
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult, SyFy

Firstborns rule society. Secondborns are the property of the government. Thirdborns are not tolerated. Long live the Fates Republic.
On Transition Day, the second child in every family is taken by the government and forced into servitude. Roselle St. Sismode’s eighteenth birthday arrives with harsh realizations: she’s to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history, and her elite firstborn mother is happy to see her go.
Televised since her early childhood, Roselle’s privileged upbringing has earned her the resentment of her secondborn peers. Now her decision to spare an enemy on the battlefield marks her as a traitor to the state.
But Roselle finds an ally—and more—in fellow secondborn conscript Hawthorne Trugrave. As the consequences of her actions ripple throughout the Fates Republic, can Roselle create a destiny of her own? Or will her Fate override everything she fights for—even love?

Secondborn is the first installment in author Amy A. Bartol's Secondborn series. 18-year old Roselle St. Sismode lives in a world where first born children are given every opportunity to succeed; where second born children are sold to the government to do what they want; and where third born children are hunted down and killed by a group known as Censor's. For Roselle, everything she's ever done has been under the spotlight of cameras everywhere. Which means that everyone knows who she is. A dangerous proposition considering the world she lives in, and the powerful people who are watching her every move. There is no hiding or pretending that she's anyone else but who she is. 

Roselle's mother is known as the Clarity of Swords. If you are looking to nominate the worst mother of the year, look no further than Othala St. Sismode. She is so obsessed with her firstborn son Gabriel, that she, like other firstborns, truly believed that Roselle would harm her brother in order to be bumped up and become the heir to the Swords. But, that is not who Roselle is. Roselle has spent her whole life being trained to survive against all odds. Good thing otherwise this would have been a very short story. On Roselle's 18th birthday, we are introduced to Transition day. It is a day where Roselle is stabbed in the back one more time by her own mother who fails to protect her. 

Where she finds that she is going to have to become the lowest ranked member of the military (Tropo) which is fighting a brutal civil war in which the survival rate is extremely low. Where she and her mentor Dune are attacked by rebels known as Gates of Dawn. Where she has her first, but not last encounter with her very own nemesis in the form of Agent Kipson Crow. Where she also encounters Hawthorne, the one person who may be the one to stand alongside her. Let me just say that I adored Roselle from the moment I met her, to the final page of this installment. 

She is a badass. She knows weaponry like no other. She can fight without needing anyone to back her up. She has an attitude that backs up her actions, but she also understands that someone desperately wants to see her dead and gone. Someone who tries to toss in every imaginable obstacle in her way to prevent Roselle from getting her happy ending. She is also caught in a struggle between forces that want to see her rise up, and those who are playing a dangerous political game that can have devastating consequences for all involved.

Secondborn employs a society that is divided by fates. There are nine different fates; Virtues, Swords, Stars, Atoms, Suns, Diamonds, Moons, Stars, Seas and Stones. It is also a society that forces its citizen's to have a moniker. Monikers are a symbol of class and caste. It carries a person's identification and other vital information. There are some funny, and some questionable scenes in this book. Roselle meets a variety of different characters. Some you see again, others are like intentional props used only when she needed something to get her out of a dicey situation. Is the book perfect? Nah. There could have been a bit more world building. 

There could have been less focus on the way that Roselle looks as well. Especially the crazy leg shaving scene. Or, how she is forbidden by three powerful characters from cutting her own hair. Yes, you read that right. The romance is a bit weighed down whenever she is around Hawthorne. She is a totally different character. Sometimes, one that I don't like. But, for me, who is always looking for something a bit different, this was actually a good start to hopefully a grand adventure in the next two installments. One could call this a coming of age young adult dystopian novel. You could also call this new adult since Roselle is 18 when the story begins. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

#Stacking the Shelves Version #250

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Thanks for Shopping by!
This is actually from the past 2 weeks. 
Hope you find something you are interested in!
Have a great weekend!

This Weeks Reviews: 

Monday - Promise of Ruin by Cuyler Overholt (Historical Fiction)

Tuesday - Reign of Serpents by Eleanor Holmes (YA, Fantasy)

Wednesday - The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski (YA, Fantasy)

Friday - The Ends of the World by Maggie Hall (YA, Thriller)

*Received from NetGalley/Edelweiss*

*Received from Publishers*

*Borrowed From Library*

Friday, August 11, 2017

Saturday #Review - Danger's Halo by Amanda Carlson #SyFy #Dystopian @amandaccarlson

Series: Holly Danger # 1
Format: Kindle, 300 pages
Release Date: September 18, 2017
Publisher: ACI Books
Source: Author
Genre: SyFy, Dystopian, Futuristic

153 years in the future, Earth doesn’t look much like it used to.

Holly Danger’s current assignment, gleaned from a set of foggy instructions and a handful of coin stuffed into a slot, is to pick up a street kid who’s about to terminate himself off a cliff. And, as a rule, she doesn’t turn down currency. Her job as a salvager keeps her fed and clothed above the norm, which isn’t saying much.

The norm in this city is a scrape-by existence in a post-apocalyptic world, where the rain never stops, food is always scarce, and the elite have deserted the ranks in search of something better. Picking up this urchin won’t take much time, even if he’s located outside city limits. Her craft is fast, her weapons deadly, and her tech has been optimized as well as it can be for a climate clogged with iron dust.

But things take a big turn when she decides to become the boy’s guardian instead of hand him over. Outskirts have descended on the city, and their plans don’t include playing nice. When her crew is backed against a graphene wall, it’s a good thing her Gem is primed and ready to go. It’s almost as deadly as she is…

Danger's Halo is the first of three installments in author Amanda Carlson's Holly Danger trilogy. Carlson is also the author of such series as Jessica McClain, Phoebe Meadows, and Sin City Collectors. Carlson takes a wild leap of faith into a new genre for her, Futuristic Science Fiction. Protagonist Holly Danger lives in a city that was devastated by a meteor hit 60 years ago. She is what the author calls a salvager, and she is really good at her job. She also has her own crew which I'll reveal shortly. 

As the story begins, Holly is hired to find a kid and bring him back. She encounters the kid (Daze) who is thinking about jumping off a cliff. The kid claims that if he jumps, he can find his way to the Flotilla City that left 30 years ago to a destination unknown. He also claims that he stole something important from a bad man. A bad man who clearly understands that Holly & her crew are a danger to his plans for the future and the city. Then, Carlson starts to peal away the layers. Who encouraged the kid to jump? Why is this person so intent on taking out Holly's crew? And, what exactly did Daze steal that is so important?

The thing you should know about Holly is that she is not Jessica, nor is she is Phoebe. She is a woman who survived the streets as an orphan after she lost her mother. She owns a former military drone called Luce. She is a brilliant pilot, as well as someone who knows all the ins an outs of her city and can escape almost any situation because she is always loaded with survival in mind. She is a character who is MacGyver like in her brilliance of putting things to getting, and salvaging what she needs from all over the city she calls home. She doesn't trust easily, but is prone to making human errors. 

She found a group that is eclectic in nature, & watches each others backs even when the chips are stacked against them. This group includes Bender, Darby, Lockland & Claire who we don't meet in this story. We do meet another character called Case, who is considered an outsider because he isn't from this area. Case and Holly's relationship isn't one of romance. It one that comes together for the greater good, and to save Holly's crew from being killed off. This story is filled with futuristic technology that the author goes to extremes to explain. The book does end on sort of a cliffhanger ending which will most likely continue into the next installments Danger's Vice, and Danger's Race. 

Friday #Review - The Ends of the World by Maggie Hall #YALit #Thriller @MaggieEHall ‏

Series: The Conspiracy of Us # 3
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Genre: YA / Contemporary /Romance

The thrilling conclusion to the series, a “Da Vinci Code-style thriller for teens.”
Power balances on a knife’s edge. Destiny is uncertain. And love is the most terrifying thing of all.
The Circle of Twelve is not who Avery though they were. Neither is Avery.
Her mother is dead. Betrayal and attraction and history have tangled the strings that bind her, Jack, and Stellan. And now, Avery and her friends must put aside their own problems and focus on putting a stop to the most dangerous conspiracy of all…
From London to Russia to Egypt, from the chill of underground crypts to the flash of paparazzi cameras, Avery West will finally have to confront whether her fate means salvation—or destruction.

The End of the World is the third and final installment in author Maggie Hall's The Conspiracy of Us trilogy. I have seen this series being called The DaVinci Code meets Gossip Girl. Since I never once watched Gossip Girl, so I shall let other's explain that comparison to me. I do, however, agree that there are a whole lot of similarity to this series and The DaVinci Code. That being sad, 17-year old Avery West's life has been a whirlwind journey from the beginning of this series, to the strange, and twisted ending that reveals a whole lot of what Avery, Stellan, Jack, and Elodie have been facing.

As the story opens, Avery is mourning the loss of her mother. A mother who held a whole lot of secrets from Avery that may or may not have saved her daughter so many emotional moments that she's experienced from the first book onward. She is the girl with the purple eyes. The supposed heir to a powerful group known as the Circe. The one who has already been caught up in a love triangle between Jack Bishop, the boy she's known forever, and Stellan Korolev, the boy who is apparently a descendant of Alexander the Great, and therefore, the boy who is supposed to unite the bloodlines with Avery as the 13th family.

As with it's predecessors, The Ends of the World once again travels all around the globe (Jerusalem, Egypt, France, Rome) in search of answers and in hopes that someone actually survives to see the future they have fought so hard for. Can they finally find the answers to Alexander The Great's mystery, or will a powerful family bring it all crashing down on their heads? In my previous review of Map of Fates, I called the book a dark story because of the number of characters who are killed off. The author once again leaves nothing to chance, and I mean nothing. If you are expecting answers before the ending, hang on to yourself because you are in for a very bumpy and exciting ride.

In closing, I will absolutely recommend this series. Maggie Hill has such a wonderful imagination, and her characters are living in a world that 99% of the world will never see. There has been danger and deception at every turn. However, at no point did I believe that Avery was this rich young woman who was given everything she ever imagined by Paris Hilton. That is so far from the truth. Her relationship with Jack & Stellan was sorted out in a way that makes sense. The addition of Stellan's younger sister Anya may have gained him a bit of an advantage truth be told.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday #Review - Ride the Storm by Karen Chance #Urban Fantasy @CasPalmerSeries ‏

Series: Cassandra Palmer # 8
Format: Paperback, 608 pages
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: Signet
Source: Author
Genre: Fantasy / Urban

Next in the New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series featuring Cassie Palmer, whose ability to see the future and talk to ghosts gets her mixed up with vampires, fae, and non-stop action.
Ever since being stuck with the job of pythia, the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up on the lifetime’s worth of training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the fabled pythian court. Catch up on the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It’s been a trial by fire that has left her more than a little burned.
But now she realizes that all that was just the warm up for the real race. Ancient powers that once terrorized the world are trying to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them…

Series Overview: The New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series featuring supernatural seer Cassie Palmer in a world of vampires, mages, werewolves, and fae.

Ride the Storm is the Eight installment in author Karen Chance's Cassandra Palmer series. The novel picks up right after the last one, Reap the Wind, left off. Readers have been eagerly waiting for several years to find out what happens to Cassie, her lover, the Master Vampire Mircea, and her friend (and possibly more), mage John Pritkin. The author has been teasing and tantalizing readers with bits and pieces of information while we yearn to find out if Cassie will ever learn about the full extent of her powers while chasing Pritkin's soul back to sixth century Wales. 

Cassie, as the supernatural world's chief seer, has been expected to learn about a thousand years worth of supernatural politics quickly. But, when you are thrust into the job without any training, things quickly spiral to places where the unexpected soon happens. One asset that Cassie does have, is her necromancer ability to connect with ghosts. An ability she received from her own father. There are quite a lot of ghosts in this story. This asset has helped her more than a few times out of jams that didn't look so good for our heroine. 

Even though Cassie was brought up in a Tony Soprano like vampire home. Even though she was bound to Mircea by happenstance, and has vampire bodyguards. She has never felt as though she was compelled to do their bidding over the Silver Council, or her own Pythian Court. Cassie's main goal has been to save Pritkin, who is her mentor & bodyguard & hopefully more. His soul has been traveling through time, and every time she and Rosier gets close, they are returned to the present by someone who thinks she's intentionally trying to screw with the time line. Cassie has more than enough on her plate with traveling back in time hoping to save Pritkin. 

She also has to chase down & stop a rogues named Johanna who is trying to usurp her powers and help Ares break through a previously unbreakable door. A door which was put in place by Cassie's own mother. A mother who was considered to be one of the more interesting Goddesses of mythology. And finally, to prove that she is able to be her own person capable of making her own choices and not allowing the other factions of the supernatural world to control her. Ride the Storm covers a whole lot of ground & issues this time around. We get more back stories from Pritkin, Mircea, and even Rosier and his connection to Arthur. 

One could say that Rosier is in the story more than anyone else, except Cassie, of course. But, no worries, there are some surprises as well. A whole lot of lingering and frustrating storylines are resolved in ways that are expected, and unexpected. The author isn't afraid of writing full throttle action scenes from the first chapter, to the last chapter, and the final battle in this story is pure badassery. We know that Chance isn't afraid of putting Cassie into life or death situations where she has to think on her feet, and not just run away and hide. 

I have been eager to learn the truth about Cassie's parents and what really happened to them. We've been teased and taunted, and finally Chance gives us a chance to understand who they really were, and why they did the things they did in order to save Cassie. Cassie's growth as a character has finally come to bear. She is able to stand on her own two feet and push back against those who have not exactly been supportive at times. It's nice to actually see a bit of maturity take place with Cassie even though she deals with so much that one could say it's time for a nice vacation.

Even though it has been several years, (2015) since the previous installment was released, I have to say that the wait is worth the trouble. There is very little down time in this story. Cassie is involved in numerous action scenes where she must pull a rabbit out of her hat in order to survive. Cassie has been through the ringer, and it's fair to say that if the author chooses to end her series after this book, I would be sad yes, but I would also be grateful that Cassie no longer has to deal with so many deadly challenges.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday #Review - The Wood by @ChelseaBobulski #YALit #Fantasy @FeiwelFriends

Series: Unknown
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Release Date: August 2, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult / Dark Fantasy 

After her father goes missing in the woods that they protect, Winter tries to seek the truth in what happened, why the wood is changing, and what it all has to do with the arrival of a mysterious stranger in this thrilling YA debut.
When Winter’s dad goes missing during his nightly patrol of the wood, it falls to her to patrol the time portals and protect the travelers who slip through them. Winter can't help but think there's more to her dad's disappearance than she's being told.
She soon finds a young man traveling in the wood named Henry who knows more than he should. He believes if they can work together to find his missing parents, they could discover the truth about Winter’s dad.

The wood is poisoned, changing into something sinister—torturing travelers lost it. Winter must put her trust in Henry in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.

Bobulski’s eerie debut is filled with friendship, family, and the responsibilities we choose and those we do not.

The Wood is author Chelsea Bobulski's debut novel. Winter Parish comes from a long line of those who have been tasked with protecting The Wood. The Wood is a strange place, a magical place, a whimsical place that can only be entered by those who have the blood. A place not even her own mother can enter. It is a place that is filled with gates and thresholds that have a tendency of dropping travelers from all over the time traveling spectrum into Winter's world. The woods is also littered with evolved species that the world has never seen before or won't see for years to come.

The Guardians job is to monitor the wood, and ensure that any and all travelers are sent back to their own time. It is also the job of the Guardian to ensure they never cross over the threshold in to the modern world. By night, the Wood becomes a dark, and dangerous place. A place nobody wants to be caught for fear of never escaping again. Winter was been trained to understand that there are three main rules to being a Guardian. 1. Do no travel from the path. 2. Do not linger after dark. 3. Do not ignore the calling. A Guardian isn't supposed to be able to walk off the path. But.... 

20 months ago, Winter's father disappeared in a mysterious manner. Winter became the newest Guardian. Thankfully, she had been trained from an early age to be her father's replacement. There are ten guardian families who have bound their families to the Wood. The Parish families connection goes back generations. But, there are nuisances to her father's job that he never spoke about to Winter. His disappearance is just one of the things that makes Winter want to dive into the truth behind what really happened to him with hopes that she can bring him back alive even though he's been declared dead.

But, first she has to discover why a boy from 18th Century England is so eager to return over and over again to the Wood, and why her Uncle Joe wasn't there to save her father. 
Henry is clearly connected to the woods and knows things Winter hasn't been told. A boy who may hold the answers to what really happened to Winter's father as well as his own parents who also disappeared. Winter must also figure out what is happening to The Wood, while also traversing the real world expectations of being an above average student who can't tell her so called best friend what she really does. 

The Wood has a kind of open ending where the author should be expected to write a sequel. After all, there is a huge question hanging over Winter's future and her role as a Guardian, as well as her relationship with her best friend Meredith, and her mother who has had her own hell to deal with since the loss of her husband. The Wood is a pretty decent story with a plot line that is clear and not hidden under other unnecessary components. There is a decent amount of action, and also a bit of romance. Winter is considered to be intimidating at times, and unapproachable at other times. But she is quick and clever in times of trouble. The plus as to why I would recommend this story is the originality. I love when an author comes up with an original and not copied another authors material.