Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication date: December 2013
Pages: 374
Source: e-book from the library
For: At Suey's suggestion
Series: Starbound, Book 1

Summary (from goodreads):
Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth. 
I enjoyed this a LOT more than I expected to. Generally, I've found a lot of YA space books to be kind of lacking in good solid science. Not that this is super good with science (there's a lot of stuff that you kind of have to roll with), but I found that those things didn't bother me. I was intrigued enough by the plot and the characters that I kind of forgot to be bothered. I found the ending to be surprising and I'm wanting to read the next books. Glad I listened to Suey and got my hands on this. I needed a good YA space book that entertained me enough to ignore the bad science :)

Reminded me a bit of Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking series

s-factor: !
maybe one or two

mrg-factor: X
some implied stuff

v-factor: ->->
a bit of fighting gore

Overall rating: ****

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mini Reviews 20

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
Summary: *spoilers for The Kiss of Deception*
Lia and Rafe are being held captive in the kingdom of Venda with no chance of escape. While trying to navigate the horrors of being prisoners, they are also trying to learn all they can about their captors and are surprised to find much to praise in them. But their situation becomes more dire as the Komizar is determined to use Lia and her gift for unknown purposes.

My Thoughts:
Honestly, I can't remember what happens. I read it a few months ago now and I did like it. It was interesting how nothing they did was easy and no way out seemed plausible. Although I thought a few things seemed mighty convenient. Pearson managed to get all the characters into some seriously dire straits and I just didn't know what was going to happen to Lia. Now I need to read up on what actually went on.

The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
This is not the Robin Hood you remember from those sweet, sly foxes in the Disney film. Robin an his band of grim and tired outlaws are nearly forced into hiding and inundated with those who also loathe sheriff of Nottingham and all he does to his people. But will things work out for them in the end or is there no happy ending in sight?

My Thoughts:
I love how it was messy and not what you expect. I loved Robin and I loved how very realistically it was portrayed that, yeah, they lived in the forest: no roofs, rain, dirt, etc. They didn't have an easy or terribly envious lifestyle. Things were not idealized, and I loved how Marian rocked the bow. Rather sad to read at times, but so glad I finally did it (thank you, Angie).

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
When her father is brutally murdered, Kate is drawn into a world full of revenge, secrets, and hidden gold. She follows the trail of those who killed him, determined to take them on single-handed, but ends up in an alliance with some unlikely characters, soon to be friends.

My Thoughts:
This one was kind of good and bad for me. I think I was most interested in it for the local factor - a lot of it takes place right here in Arizona and even some of it near to where I am. That made it more interesting to me. Otherwise, I was kind of meh about the story and the characters. Her whole motivation for chasing folks down and being insane and doing stuff she shouldn't, at times was a bit unbelievable. I did, however, enjoy the story. For a wild west flavor, check it out.

Winter by Marissa Meyer
Summary: *Spoilers for the first three books*
Winter has been stuck under the thumb of her stepmother for years, but despite her delicate appearance and wandering mind, she's got more power than anyone knows. Cinder is ready to take on Queen Levana and determined to incite the Lunars to rise with her. With the help of her friends and some new allies, they are ready for an uprising, until everything seems to go wrong.

My Thoughts:
A nice finish for a series I adore. I loved how things worked out in the end, I loved seeing how hard it was for Cinder and all the characters. Winter was a really unique kind of person and I often had a hard time figuring out what to think of her and what she was thinking. All together, I think this is a fabulous and unique fairy tale retelling series that I just plain enjoy.

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Lee has a gift, an unusual power that her family has tried to hide for years: she can sense gold. Her life seems ordinary enough, until all she has and loves is suddenly taken from her unexpectedly. Now Lee must make her way across the country, hoping to escape her past and make a future, but how can she when everyone around her would do anything for gold?

My Thoughts:
Interesting, unique, a bit strange. Reminded me a bit of Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel. I loved Lee and the things she was determined to do. She had a difficult life and I thought her reactions to things was realistic. I didn't like how everything seemed to be put off for a later book, but I guess they had plenty of troubles along the way. A different kind of story, you don't often read about people going west and the difficulties that must have been.Though, two westerns in one mini review post!
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