Tag Archives: Young Adult

Review: Storm of Chaos (Heirs of Destiny 3)

Storm of Chaos (Heirs of Destiny 3)

by Andy Peloquin

Reviewed by JMD Reid

A new threat arises in the City of Shalandra. The Gatherers have more than one way to destroy it in the name of their death god. Evern and Kodyn both have to set aside working on their true reason for being in the city to deal with this new attack.

The Azure Rot Disease has mutated. It now kills in hours instead of weeks. It’s quickly clear it is not natural. While they have been dealing with the political machinations, the Gathers have been readying an even deadlier assault.

Evern has other problems to worry about, too. Hailen’s heritage was revealed by Briana to the Secret Keepers, a priesthood who do not reveal the truths they guard. To save their lives, Briana has no choice. But now Hailen is their prisoner to aid in their research.

Aisha, here to aid Kodyn, has her own problems. She needs to find a way to control her powers before they destroy her. She can’t just give them up, though. The strength they give her is necessary to save the city.

Will she survive?

Peloquin weaves his storylines together, the characters pasts, missions, and desires all entwining and branching off. Conflicting interests, various groups, and politics all vie for dominance in a city on the verge of exploding. For the Gatherers have other ways to attack.

The story flows fast, action bursting across the pages. The characters face even greater danger as the story hurtles you forward. It’s a hard book to put down, most pages leading you to want to keep reading to find out what happens next.

Fans of Fantasy need to check out this series. It’s a thrill to read. The prose is good, the action clear, and the characters have their strength and flaws.

You can buy Storm of Chaos from Amazon. Check out Andy Peloquin’s website, connect on Linked In, follow him on Google Plus, like him on Twitter @AndyPeloquin, and like him on Facebook.

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Review: Crucible of Fate (Heirs of Destiny 2)

Crucible of Fate (Heirs of Destiny 2)

by Andy Peloquin

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Things are off to an explosive start. In the aftermath of the Gatherers attack on the Pharus’s palace, Briana is fully orphaned. Her father, with all his knowledge, died to save the day. Before she can even grieve, her enemies are already moving against her. How can she find revenge as she’s thrown from the house she’s always known.

Evren and Hailen are forced to come clean with their secrets as they realized that Kodyn and Aisha also plan their own theft in the city of the dead. Though the two groups are after different artifacts, all are contained in the same Serenii tomb. And thanks to Hailen’s blood, he’s the only one with a chance of unraveling those secrets.

But how can Kodyn and Aisha complete their mission with the city being thrown into chaos? The Gatherers and their death cult also have to be stopped. As Kodyn pursues his criminal contacts, Aisha has to grapple with her burgeoning powers.

The same powers that led to her father’s madness and death. Will she suffer the same fate?

Last, Issa is ordered to guard Briana in honor of her father’s sacrifice. The Blade in training will have to steal deal with the hatred of her superior who seems to want to destroy her. How can she defend Briana and maintain her brutal training regimen? A Blade has to be stronger than flesh. Will hers sustain her?

The plot threads started in the first book are all tightened here as her disparate characters are now working and fighting together. They have to figure out the Gatherer’s plans and how the priests of the Long Keeper are involved. Politics, civil instability, and prophecy that may be fulfilled by a Buddhist-like man all spin together. Peloquin drives the story forward while adding plenty of twists and turns. This book rushes forward towards its exciting climax.

If you like Peloquin’s books, then this will be a welcomed thrill. Fans of exciting fantasy need to check out this series. You don’t have to read the other books in this world (though they will only enhance your enjoyment of this series) to dive into this series.

Peloquin has created a fantastic world for his readers to explore!

You can buy Crucible of Fate from Amazon. Check out Andy Peloquin’s website, connect on Linked In, follow him on Google Plus, like him on Twitter @AndyPeloquin, and like him on Facebook.

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Review: Trial of Stone

Trial of Stone (Heirs of Destiny 1)

by Andy Peloquin

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Three stories intertwined in Trial of Stone!

Peloquin is back with a new story set in his universe that the Hunter and the Night Guild fill. Kodyn and Aisha, members of the Night Guild, are traveling to the City of Shalandra, escorting Briana back to her father after her kidnapping. They also have another goal: to steal the Crown of Pharus.

To achieve full membership in the Night Guild, Kodyn has to prove his worth. He has a bold idea to use his connection with Briana to get his hands on the most valuable jewels of the Shalandrans. Not only will he have to figure out how to steal the crown, but he’ll have to protect Briana from the Gathers, the cult that kidnapped her in the first place.

Meanwhile, Evren, the young thief who helped the Hunter, has been hired by the Beggar Priests to recover a deadly artifact from the hands of the Shalandrans. The church believes that their treasured Blade of Hallor is a deadly weapon similar to the Hunter’s. The church needs it stolen before a prophecy is fulfilled.

Unbeknownst to Evren and his escort, the young lad Hailen has stolen away with them. The ward of the Hunter has powers in his blood. The power of the long-dead Serenii flow through his veins. Evren will have to keep him safe while figuring out how to get his hands on the Blades.

Lastly, Issa, a poor citizen of Shalandra, has snuck into the proving fight to become a Blade of the Long Keeper, a deadly order of warriors devoted to protecting the city. They are sworn to the God of Death, drawing power. If she can survive her trial, then she will earn her position even with her low rank in the city.

She’s up against a horde of youths who all want the same thing. She’ll have to fight with not just her limbs, but with her brain. Quick wits will see her threw as much as strong arms. Will she make it?

These three stories swirl around in this fast-paced, fantasy novel. Andy Peloquin is building on the work of his last two series to have a new series. His world is large enough to hold all manner of interesting stories, and book one is off to a great start.

The story flows fast. The characters are fun. Each plot line has its own goals that, on the surface, seem to have nothing to do with each other. Peloquin guides his story well. Character decisions flow organically, and only a few coincidences get the plot going.

It’s a great, fun story that fantasy fans of all ages can read. No need to have enjoyed his earlier works, though, of course, they will only add color to this exciting tale! If you’re a fan of good fantasy, then check out Peloquin’s work!

You can buy Trial of Stone from Amazon. Check out Andy Peloquin’s website, connect on Linked In, follow him on Google Plus, like him on Twitter @AndyPeloquin, and like him on Facebook.

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Review: Shattered Night (The Extraction List 4)

Shattered Night (The Extraction List 4)

by Renee N. Meland

Reviewed by JMD Reid

In a world where economic collapse has plunged even the U.S. into the third world, Riley, her boyfriend Cain, and her friends are returning from a mission to rescue Olivia from a life of forced prostitution in Italy. Thinking they found a safe place for Cain to recover from his injuries, instead, they find their new home under the control of the sadistic Keagan.

An old enemy of Cain, Keagan is eager to get revenge on the freedom fighter. Riley and her friends are going to have to find a way to survive in a town where all the weapons are in Keagan’s control. Can they buy enough time for Cain to recover before Keagan executes his plan of revenge?

Shattered night is the fast-paced conclusion of the Extraction List! This dystopian, young adult series is a wild read. The plot twists and turns as the fortunes ebb and flow for the heroes. Meland keeps you on your toes while the story keeps you reading.

This is the definition of a page-turner.

The characters are raw and real. The emotions punch you hard. This series is a must-read for fans of the genre!

Leave Me Lost is available from Amazon.

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Review: Skyward

Skyward

by Brandon Sanderson

Reviewed by JMD Reid

It’s hard being the daughter of a coward.

Spensa, a young girl living on an alien planet, wants to be a pilot like her father. An alien race known as the Krell have driven Spensa and her people to Detritus, a planet far from Earth. Three generations back, their spaceship crash-landed here while the incredible orbital debris keeps them pinned on the planet. As a child, her father was among the first to fight back.

Only in the middle of a pivotal battle, he fled.

Living with the stigma of his cowardice, Spensa wants to prove her own worth. She wants to be a pilot like him, but will her society let her? While they espouse equality and merit, will she ever truly be allowed to fight to protect her people?

Skyward is about a young woman struggling to get out from the shadow of her father. It’s a story about pain and loss, hope and duty. It’s a story about the resilience of the human spirit in the worst of circumstances, a tale of belief and faith. Is Spensa like her father? Will she be a coward, too?

Or can she make her own destiny?

This was a fast-paced and engrossing story. Sanderson has penned another excellent tale, this time in the science-fiction universe. It’s not the hardest science, the technology is never explained, but it’s well-written. It’s full of great characters and powerful emotions.

This is a must-read for fans of Sanderson and good stories alike!

You can buy Snapshot from Amazon!

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Review: Nyssa Glass’ and the Electric Heart

Nyssa Glass’ and the Electric Heart

by H.L. Burke

Reviewed by JMD Reid

It’s not surprising for the final Nyssa Glass novella that we return to the beginning. Back in the first book, she was hired (and strong-armed) by a mysterious person into breaking into the Dalhart manner and finding out what happened. Now that same person needs her again.

And he’ll stop at nothing to get her.

When a police investigator from her home country arrives promising to return Nyssa to justice, the young woman leaps at the opportunity to prove her innocence in the murder of her mentor Mr. Gallowy. But nothing is ever as it seems, and Ellis will have to pick up the pieces and figure out what happened to his fiancee.

Nyssa will have to use all her wits as she’s confronted with the last secret of Dalhart and the consequences of her actions in the first book.

What a conclusion to this series. Once again, we dive into the identity. What makes a person a person? What if there’s a copy of that person? Which is the original? Does being a copy make you different or the same? So many questions posed by the emotional climax of the Nyssa Glass novella.

If you haven’t read this series, then you need to. Burke has created gold with this series. It is full of heart, wonderful characters, fun action, and nerve-wracking tension. Some of the best young adult literature out there. Fans of fantasy and steampunk of all ages will love this series.

You can buy Nyssa Glass and the Electric Heart from Amazon!

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Review: Nyssa Glass and the Juliet Dilemma

Nyssa Glass and the Juliet Dilemma

by H.L. Burke

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Nyssa Glass and Ellis Dallhart are trying to both leave their pasts behind and escape from their country. Nyssa, still wanted for murder, and Ellis stunned by his father’s work, just want a fresh start. The young couple have their opportunity, their new documents, and their tickets on an airship that will take them away from it all.

Only for another young couple to rob them and take their new identities.

Nyssa and Ellis will have to find a new way to escape the country as they become embroiled in a young couple fleeing the girl’s tyrannical uncle. Will this young Romeo and Juliet prove reliable allies, or will their own misdeeds cost Nyssa and Ellis everything?

What a great follow-up to Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors. Nyssa and Ellis make a cute couple, still in this awkward stage of their relationship, not sure what they really are to each other. More than friends, but not quite lovers. But they are in it together, dealing with the complication the young couple eloping have caused them. Ellis being in a wheelchair adds another dimension that allows Burke to come up with creative solutions to their problems. The pair compliment each other well. They’re both intelligent, but Ellis’s caution and Nyssa’s daring work well to balance each other and lead them to their success.

Another great young adult novella from Burke. Fans of fantasy and steampunk need to check out this delightful series!

You can buy Nyssa Glass and the Juliet Dilemma from Amazon!

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Review: Son of a Kitchen Witch

Son of a Kitchen Witch

by Tim Hemlin

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Bobby Hawthorne is the son of a witch. His mother, a chef who owns a restaurant, has a secret she hides from her Texan neighbors. She can whip up more than one kind of magic in the kitchen. But Bobby, he’s normal. Just another teenage boy, going to high school, crushing on the new girl Angelina, joining his own garage band.

Normal. Nothing out of the ordinary. His life no different than any other teenage boy even with a witch for a mother.

But all that changes when Skip Macintosh walks into his life. He’s the new business partner for his widowed mother’s restaurant and Bobby’s not happy. He’s sure Skip’s up to no good. With Angelina’s help, he’ll delve into the truth and discover just what happened to his father.

Oh, and stumble across a centuries old war between the fundamentalist Blackthornes and the witches they want to exterminate. Bobby and Angelina will have to learn fast about the hidden world of magic around them if they want any chance of surviving the darkness rising about them.

Son of a Kitchen Witch is a phenomenal YA story. Hemlin has crafted a rich world of colorful witches living beneath the noses of normal people. Magic and wonder lurks around every corner. The characters are fun and populated by personalties that will keep you reading. Bobby is a solid character and has great chemistry with Angelina. The pair work well together.

It was refreshing having the main character just no about his mother’s secret powers. It’s all so upfront in the beginning. I’m Bobby, my mom’s a chef, and she’s a witch sort of thing. To him, it’s nothing special.

This is a great, fun read that puts a very American spin on the story of witches living among us in the real world, blending Texan culture and Native American mythology together into something unique and enjoyable. If you’re a fan of fast-paced, YA stories, then you need to give Son of a Kitchen Witch a read!

Son of a Kitchen Witch is available from Amazon!

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Review: The Extraction List

The Extraction List

by Renee N. Meland

Reviewed by JMD Reid

 

B00V8KADEY.01.LZZZZZZZIn the wake of an economic collapse in the United States and a plague that devastated Europe, the world is a darker place. Crime is rampant in the US, particularly juvenile crime. When Riley’s brother is killed by gang violence, her mother goes on a Crusade to save the children. The Parental Morality Act is passed, and Riley’s mother is the face of this controversial legislature. If a parent is found unfit to raise their children for committing a crime, unemployment, alcoholism, or many other reasons, their children are placed in a boarding school run by the government.

Children live in fear of the day government agents will come and take them. When Riley’s name ends up on the extraction list, despite her mother’s prominence, she is forced to flee. Riley is plunged into danger as her mother and her mother’s friend Bo make contact with a guide, a man who sneaks children and their families out of the country. Cain is a dangerous man, but will he be enough to guide Riley to safety?

This young adult novel is a fast-paced read, thrusting you into the dark, dystopic future. What starts as a good idea, to save children, spirals so far out of control. Claire, Riley’s mother, is forced to confront the horrors she helped create when she championed the Parental Morality Act. The writing flows swiftly, leaving you wanting to keep turning the pages. This story is unflinching when tackling the world that Riley is put into.

The Extraction List is a great read, illuminating the problems of depending too much on the government to change behavior of its citizens. Change through force will never be lasting change. And force is the only tool the government has at its disposal. So be careful the power you give your government. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

The Extraction List is avalable from Amazon.

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