Monday, September 1, 2014

Review: The Glory by Mister JMI


The first in a new series, The Glory is a fun, funny and exciting character-driven sci-fi adventure that follows Adam Whitlock, a young, brilliant, fiercely determined boy who gives up everything to join the United States Space Force in hopes of becoming captain of the fabled and prestigious warship, The Glory.

On his rise to the top, Whitlock gains a great friend and ally in Nathaniel Oaks, as well as a bitter rival in Omar Baptist. Despite his extraordinary talent and dedication, Adam Whitlock’s path is riddled with opposition from naysayers and nonbelievers.

Meanwhile, Admiral Douglas C. Calhoun is tasked with quelling the rising tensions between mankind and the Kelzmisians, a group of alien races, as their long-standing Cold War is about to turn hot.

Stargaze. Trail Blaze. THE GLORY.
 
 
My Rating
 
3.5
 
 
My Review
 
The Glory is an excellent beginning to a series, and a wonderful work of science fiction. There were a lot of things that I enjoyed about the novel, and had a lot of trouble putting it down. With only a few slow moments, it was an enjoyable ride all the way to the end - which will leave readers eager for the next installment.
 
What I loved the most about The Glory was the characters. It's easy for sci-fi novels to get so lost in the concept that realistic characters can be overlooked. But the characters of The Glory are reason enough to give this novel a chance. The protagonist, Adam Whitlock, stole my heart from the very first time in which he added a name to the rapidly growing list of people he needs to prove wrong (an idea that I may just have to borrow). Despite his talent and drive, Adam's character has a bit of an underdog feel, given everyone who thinks he's crazy. Most of us have dreams that seem just as unlikely, so he's very easy to relate to and impossible not to root for. But, unlike most "underdog" characters, he's got a real firecracker personality. He's hot-headed, passionate, and sure of himself. It's fantastic. 
 
Just as much as it was enjoyable to read about him, it was enjoyable to see his friendship evolve with Nate. There's nothing better than great friendship in literature, and the relationship between Nate and Adam is one of my favorites. In addition, Omar Baptist may not be a good person, but he's a good character. Any antagonist that can make the readers hate them and want to cry for them is a good antagonist in my book. I can't think of a character that wasn't well developed or enjoyable to read about. Throughout the novel, the voice in dialogue was on-par.
 
On the flip side, I would have liked to see a little more world-building in this new era. A lot of information was tossed out in the beginning, which is an interesting style, but a lot to take in at once. Some of the relations between earth and other alien races seemed to be barely brushed over within the actual story, while they are a fairly major part of the concept. There also wasn't too much about the Glory itself once the plot really got kicking - although I can't complain too much, since the plot did get very engaging, despite a few disjointed scenes.
 
That being said, I loved the description and setting of the Academy, and not just because I'm partial to stories that take place in my home-state of Ohio. It's an interesting place, and handled beautifully. While reading, I really felt like I was growing up and moving through the Space Academy with the characters, but not in a way that dragged. It was interesting to see the growth in both characters and plot, and how everyone changed over time.
 
All in all, The Glory has plenty of action, a lot of fun, and unforgettable characters. It's a great read, and I look forward to getting my hands on the second book of the series. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: E By Kate Wrath


A poignant tale of love and friendship in a world beyond hope…

Outpost Three: a huddle of crumbling buildings choked by a concrete wall. Cracked pavement, rusted metal, splintering boards. Huge robotic Sentries police the streets, but the Ten Laws are broken every time one turns its back.

Eden is determined, smart, and a born survivor. Stripped of her memories and dumped on the streets of the Outpost, slavers and starvation are only the beginning of her problems. A devastating conflict is coming that threatens to consume her world and tear her newfound family apart.

Life is harsh. It makes no exceptions. Not even for the innocent.
My Rating
4.5
My Review
E will grasp onto readers from the very beginning and hold onto them throughout the entire ride. It was hard to stop reading at all, with the fast pacing and engaging plot. A must-read YA, E is dark, exciting, heart breaking, and thoroughly enjoyable.

There is a lot more than meets the eye with this novel. When Eden first awakes, remembering absolutely nothing of her past, readers are thrown right alongside her into this new world, with Wrath crafted and developed gorgeously. It is a dark kind of future in which the dangers of criminal gambling, extreme poverty, and human trafficking seem a lot more like our past. You know, aside from the robot law enforcers.

Not only does Eden have to worry about figuring out who she used to be, but she has to survive sickness, starvation, and being sold to slavery. One little mishap could have her facing deadly consequences at the hands of Matt, the sector's criminal mastermind and resident mob boss type, or losing herself all over again to the unstoppable Sentries. If this weren't already bad enough, a criminal powerhouse from sector two wants to invade and engage in a full out war - and, supposedly, he makes Matt looks like a ball of sunshine. There's definitely no shortage of plot, stakes and pace in this novel. However, all of the major conflicts did have the whole "identity wipe" thing seem pretty forgotten. Eden didn't spend time at all really trying to figure out who she used to be, which is understandable, but I still would have liked to see more consistency in that. However, this is only the first book and the next installment of the series may very well bring this back to light and answer all my questions.

But if E has a strong plot, it has even stronger characters. Eden is a great POV to read from, as she always felt true to her character and held admirable qualities. I enjoyed Matt as a character, as he is so incredibly complex, as well as Miranda. Both of those characters have juicy layers under hard exteriors, and that's always fun. But what really stole my heart was the relationship between characters.

If you know me, you know that I love a good, swoony, romantic couple. Well, one of my all-time favorite relationships is from this novel. And it's not a romantic one. Yes, it still both comfortably warmed and achingly burned my heart, but the relationship between Eden and Oscar is platonic. Although they aren't related, they really feel like a brother and sister. I loved every scene they had together, as well as the lighter tone Eden had only with Oscar around.

All in all, I loved E. and I definitely recommend it. In fact, I have half a mind to break the law and have a Sentry wipe my mind, just so I could read this book again for the first time.

 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Vision by Lisa Amowitz

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 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly awaiting!

(So, technically, I already read and reviewed this, but you should be waiting on it, because it's awesome.)


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Title: Vision
Author: Lisa Amowitz
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Expected Publication Date: September 9, 2014

BLURB:
The light is darker than you think… 

High school student Bobby Pendell already has his hands full—he works almost every night to support his disabled-vet father and gifted little brother. Then he meets the beautiful new girl in town, who just happens to be his boss’s daughter. Bobby has rules about that kind of thing. Nothing matters more than keeping his job.

When Bobby starts to get blinding migraines that come with scary, violent hallucinations, his livelihood is on the line. Soon, he must face the stunning possibility that the visions of murder are actually real. With his world going dark, Bobby is set on the trail of the serial killer terrorizing his small town. With everyone else convinced he’s the prime suspect, Bobby realizes that he, or the girl he loves, might be killer's next victim.



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My young adult novel BREAKING GLASS is available now 

AmazonBNOblong Books 

The light is darker than you think.


Visit me on the web at: lisaamowitz.com



Breaking Glass on GOODREADS 

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Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot.
Lisa has been a professor of graphic design at  Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly eighteen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children.
BREAKING GLASS which was released July 9, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series will be released in 2014 along with an unnamed sequel in the following year. LIFE AND BETH will also be released in the near future. So stay tuned because Lisa is very hyper and has to create stuff to stay alive.
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