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Review – Death Weeps October 30, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4.5 stars, Paranormal, Young Adult.
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Title: Death Weeps

Author: Tamara Rose Blodgett

Publisher: Tamara Rose Blodgett

Publication Date: May 18, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1475200867

Available at: Amazon Kindle

From Goodreads:

Caleb faces possible jail time for using Clyde as a undeadly weapon. When he’s exonerated with probation lasting a year, Caleb has to watch his every action. Tensions run high when after the death of Jade’s only relatives, she must live with an undesirable foster family who are anything but what they seem….

Life gets complicated for everyone when the scientists responsible for the paranormal manifestation threaten a parellel world to Caleb’s own. In a bid to stop the destruction of their world, while saving his own, Caleb must defend two peoples against the long arm of the Graysheets.

Time begins to run against him when he discovers through an unlikely source that his friends have been given a drug that causes progressive insanity. Can he find the antidote in time to save them? To save Jade?

Review:

I’m not sure where to begin this review or what to say. I loved this book so much! If you do read this book, you should read Blodgett’s Savage series because there is crossover. If you happened to read my review of Savage Vengeance or if you read the book, then you know a little bit of what happened. Read my review here. In Death Weeps, we get the story from Caleb’s point of view and more information about the crossover.

What I love about Blodgett’s writing is that in this book it becomes more polished while maintaining its original flavor. There were moments when the book got a little over the top but that’s what makes it great! It’s what I’ve come to expect of these books. It’s like a comic book with a big balloon word that says “pow!” You expect a little over the top punch.

Caleb and the gang have gotten older and their maturity has reflected such a change. It was a job well done. Their growth was seamlessly integrated into the story as there was a lot of action to absorb.

Clyde’s character was also more fully developed. If you haven’t read the novella, Death Inception then do. It gives you a more in depth look into his past and how he became a zombie. I kind of fell a little in love with Clyde when I read Death Inception.

The Graysheets, the evil government agents, are more heinous then ever. I grew to hate them even more. As the book wore on, Caleb’s purpose in life became even more clear and he may be meant for more then simply escaping the clutches of the Graysheets.

If you haven’t picked up this series, what are you waiting for? It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s romantic. The final book is coming out soon. I’m both looking forward to it and dreading it as I don’t want this series to end.

Review – Flicker October 23, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Fantasy, Young Adult.
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Title: Flicker

Author: Kaye Thornbrugh

Publisher: CreateSpace

Publication Date: May 26, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1477479292

Available at: Amazon Kindle

From Goodreads:

When sixteen-year-old Lee Capren is spirited away to Faerie, she is forced to serve capricious faeries as a prized portrait artist… and live as their prisoner.

A chance encounter with the charming Nasser grants Lee a chance for freedom—but what felt like mere days in Faerie spanned years in the human world, and Lee no longer has a home to return to.

Nasser is a Seer—a human with magical powers—and Lee is quickly plunged into his world: a sprawling city teeming with magic and mystery, where supernatural creatures walk hidden among humans. With the help of a rag-tag group of teenage Seers, Lee must master her newfound magical talent and outwit a cunning faerie determined to destroy her.

Review:

After reading the premise for this book I had high hopes for this book, I was not to be disappointed. The writing was smooth and breezy. The characters were well developed and the plot was well paced.

Lee in particular reacted just like any other 16-year-old would react when confronted with the sudden knowledge that shape-shifting faeries existed. She reacted badly. One part of me wished she had shown more mettle, another part of me realized that she was only sixteen! She’s just a kid! Naturally she’s going to freak out a little.

The character I liked the best was Filo, which may come as a surprise. He was bristly and moody. Yet he was badly used by the fae so there was just cause for his behavior. He had to harden himself to the abuse he had suffered. He also felt he had been abandoned by everyone he had ever cared about. Bottom line was he was damaged.

Jason was a bit of a wild card. He was unruly and impetuous. He really was spontaneous, but I also wished he would grow up a little. I also wished he’d be more understanding of his brother, Nasser. Of course he acted just like any teenager would though. Once I had that understanding I was able to tolerate him a little better.

Nasser was like a rock. He was steadfast and comforting. I really responded to him. He had a gentle, caring nature. I liked how he’d show Lee how he felt in little ways. I really liked the romance between Lee and Nasser. It was sweet and very romantic. I thought it might have been a bit like insta-love? But the explanation that went into it made it seem acceptable.

All of the teenagers in the book had qualities that were endearing. I took to them well. It was fun reading about them and by the end of the book I had a lot invested in them. The antagonists were equally fleshed out. None of them were shallow, cardboard cut-outs. Byrony in particular was well-rounded and that gave the book a lot of depth.

The empathy with the characters was great. You could really feel the tension the characters felt when they were in danger. That added a lot of excitement. Except there was one point when the characters were bored. I felt the pace slow down considerably at that point. I did think that served a point though. When the action revved back up again, it was even more exciting then it was before.

This was a very strong debut novel. I was sorry to see the book end. I hope there are more adventures with the Seers from Flicker in the future!

* A free copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review – The Raven Boys October 19, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4.5 stars, Paranormal, Young Adult.
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Title: The Raven Boys

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: September 18, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0545424929

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Review:

This story is pretty straightforward with the focus on the hunt for Gwendower, a lost king who has magical powers. It still had unexpected twists and turns. There was also a lot of emphasis on the relationship between the boys and then the boys and Blue. I thought that each point was well done. You could really feel Gansey’s obsession with his quest and that added tension to the book.

Blue had been warned away from Gansey and the rest of his friends but she persists in getting to know them. It’s Gansey’s quest for Gwendower and his sheer personality that holds the group together. Gansey took care of his friends as if they were his brothers. They were his family.

Blue is fiercely independent and refuses to take any handouts from the other boys even though they are so much better off then she is. I liked how comfortable she was with the boys being the only girl. Yet she managed to maintain her own femininity. I also liked how she managed to be both eccentric yet sensible.

All of the Aglionby boys had distinct personalities with their own stories to tell. I won’t recap them, I’d rather let you discover them for yourselves. I thought that Stiefvater did a masterful job of encompassing each boys’ story within the book and making it complete. Yet none of that detracted from the main objective of the book. It all meshed very nicely.

All the subplots of this book managed to meld together with the book’s plot in a seamless cohesion. Making this book a real pleasure to read. I did have a lot of unanswered questions in the end of the book. Hopefully they’ll be answered in the sequel. It wasn’t by any means a cliffhanger. It was simply a mystery left to be solved in subsequent books.

Review – Journey to Hart's Halo October 10, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 3.5 stars, Sci-Fi, Young Adult.
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Title: Journey to Hart’s Halo

Author: Lou Hood

Publisher: we(e)press

Publication Date: January 20, 2012

ASIN: B0070YHQCE

Available at: Kindle

From Goodreads:

JOURNEY TO HART’S HALO is a near-future fantasy adventure, set in 2033 on the world’s first international space colony.

The project of eccentric technology billionaire Dr. Oliver Hart, Hart’s Halo is about to be populated by Zero Colony. Space-crazy twelve year old Davey Randolph’s dream is to win two of the twelve spots, for him and his mom, in a global lottery to spend five years aboard the Halo.

Constructed as a puzzle-propelled mystery, Davey needs the help of an international cast of clever and quirky pre-teens, and to conquer his own feelings of being an outsider, to solve the puzzles that will lead to a shocking discovery about the true fate of his missing father.

With new quantum physics from The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, futuristic technology, and space travel and habitation, it is a modern myth of epic scale.

Review:

Davey Randolph has Halotisis. He’s desperate to get on Hart’s Halo. He even enters the Hart Lottery by hacking into his mother’s email account. What he never dreamed of was winning the lottery! Now, thanks to his puzzle solving skills, he’s on his way to the space colony itself!

This was a fun book. I didn’t think I’d get so engrossed in it. The puzzles were fun. Davey was cute and so was Grace, his young friend. There was nothing new about a space colony but the puzzles did keep it fresh. Somehow Hood managed to keep the story going despite the recycled plot as well.

The characters were endearing and I think that’s what really drives the story. Davey was a good kid with a lot of smarts. He wasn’t aware of how smart he was which made him all the more appealing. He wasn’t particularly geeky either. He just liked puzzles and learning. Neither was Davey particularly mature for his age like most authors make out young characters to be in books these days. He acted his age and it was fun.

His friend Grace was the same way. She acted her age and they both had a lot of fun. There were some sobering moments as well. I didn’t respond to them as well as I did the lighter moments. But the kids reacted as I would expect they would.

The end plot was a little crazy. It was backed by a little too much by hard talking science that I found a little hard to take. It was basically introduced in conversation and it amounted to a monologue by one of the characters with only interjections of “Cool!” by the other participants. If you’re not into science you may not be too interested in it. I just kind of skipped it.

The book ended a bit too abruptly for me. I suppose it’s because there’s going to be a series.  I would have liked a bit more closure though. I felt like it was a bit too rushed.

I had a fun time with this book. The puzzles were inventive. The characters were fresh. I look forward to seeing where Lou Hood takes this series.

Review – Journey to Hart’s Halo October 10, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 3.5 stars, Sci-Fi, Young Adult.
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Title: Journey to Hart’s Halo

Author: Lou Hood

Publisher: we(e)press

Publication Date: January 20, 2012

ASIN: B0070YHQCE

Available at: Kindle

From Goodreads:

JOURNEY TO HART’S HALO is a near-future fantasy adventure, set in 2033 on the world’s first international space colony.

The project of eccentric technology billionaire Dr. Oliver Hart, Hart’s Halo is about to be populated by Zero Colony. Space-crazy twelve year old Davey Randolph’s dream is to win two of the twelve spots, for him and his mom, in a global lottery to spend five years aboard the Halo.

Constructed as a puzzle-propelled mystery, Davey needs the help of an international cast of clever and quirky pre-teens, and to conquer his own feelings of being an outsider, to solve the puzzles that will lead to a shocking discovery about the true fate of his missing father.

With new quantum physics from The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, futuristic technology, and space travel and habitation, it is a modern myth of epic scale.

Review:

Davey Randolph has Halotisis. He’s desperate to get on Hart’s Halo. He even enters the Hart Lottery by hacking into his mother’s email account. What he never dreamed of was winning the lottery! Now, thanks to his puzzle solving skills, he’s on his way to the space colony itself!

This was a fun book. I didn’t think I’d get so engrossed in it. The puzzles were fun. Davey was cute and so was Grace, his young friend. There was nothing new about a space colony but the puzzles did keep it fresh. Somehow Hood managed to keep the story going despite the recycled plot as well.

The characters were endearing and I think that’s what really drives the story. Davey was a good kid with a lot of smarts. He wasn’t aware of how smart he was which made him all the more appealing. He wasn’t particularly geeky either. He just liked puzzles and learning. Neither was Davey particularly mature for his age like most authors make out young characters to be in books these days. He acted his age and it was fun.

His friend Grace was the same way. She acted her age and they both had a lot of fun. There were some sobering moments as well. I didn’t respond to them as well as I did the lighter moments. But the kids reacted as I would expect they would.

The end plot was a little crazy. It was backed by a little too much by hard talking science that I found a little hard to take. It was basically introduced in conversation and it amounted to a monologue by one of the characters with only interjections of “Cool!” by the other participants. If you’re not into science you may not be too interested in it. I just kind of skipped it.

The book ended a bit too abruptly for me. I suppose it’s because there’s going to be a series.  I would have liked a bit more closure though. I felt like it was a bit too rushed.

I had a fun time with this book. The puzzles were inventive. The characters were fresh. I look forward to seeing where Lou Hood takes this series.

Review – The Crown of Embers October 9, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4.5 stars, Fantasy, Young Adult.
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Title: The Crown of Embers

Author: Rae Carson

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Publication Date: September 18, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0062026514

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

She does not know what awaits her at the enemy’s gate.

Elisa is a hero. She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn’t.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from both foreign realms and within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears once and for all, Elisa must follow the trail of long-forgotten–and forbidden–clues from the deep, undiscovered catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her goes a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man who–despite everything–she is falling in love with.

If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

Review:

Elisa is now trying to consolidate her power as Queen of Joya d’Arena. She’s undermined from other members of her quorum. There’s also a threat of Invierne spreading across the land once again. She sets out on a holy mission to seek a magical power to once and for all give her all the strength she’ll ever need.

If anything, this second book in the Fire and and Thorns series was even better then the first and I loved the first. Elisa character evolved as you read on. You have to remember, she’s the queen of her country and a war hero at the age of seventeen. That in itself is remarkable. So if she’s malleable and pliable at first, it’s understandable. But by the end of the book she manages to find the will to stand up for what she believes in and become the queen her country needs.

One of the things that I still love about Elisa in this book is that she’s still a normal girl. Although she might have lost some in the previous book, she’s still a little overweight. In fact her predilection for pastries is well known at court. She’s still not a drop-dead gorgeous beauty. Elisa became even more real to me because of those qualities and I loved her for it.

Elisa is also falling in love with Hector, the Captain of her Royal Guards. The romance is natural and it progresses slowly. No insta-love here! I loved reading about Hector and Elisa! I think I’ve become a romance fan. If you’ve read my blog for a long time then you know I wasn’t always a fan, but for this book it was my favorite part.

The story ends in a stupendous cliffhanger. It was well done though. I thought it was one of the best cliffhangers I’ve ever read. You could tell the book was just about to end and that you’d have to wait for the next book even though you were desperately hoping it wouldn’t happen. At least that’s how I felt. I’m desperately hoping the next book publishes sooner rather then later.

Review – Stormdancer October 5, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 5 stars, Fantasy, Steampunk, Young Adult.
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Title: Stormdancer

Author: Jay Kristoff

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Publish Date: September 18, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1250001405

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
The hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger—a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.

Review:

This was a strong debut novel from Jay Kristoff and I loved it! I loved the Asian influence that reeked of Japan. I loved the complex world building. I loved the rich culture he infused throughout the book. I also loved the elaborate technological inventions he inserted in the book here and there.

What I really loved or rather, who I really loved was Buruu, the thunder tiger. He was magnificent! Buruu had a strong primal voice in the book as a main character. His bond with Yukiko was something I was particularly jealous of.

I did like Yukiko though. Yukiko was someone you felt for because her father became such a wastrel. She had to grow up before her time. Yet at the same time she cried out to be just a sixteen-year-old. She was capable and she could really fight well.

The shogun was the best villain. He was maniacal and evil. I truly felt hatred for him and his careless callous ways. The Lotus Guild was even worse. The way they were polluting the land and in turn, killing the people and the animals? Atrocious.

Even the finale of this book was strong. It left me feeling satisfied as far as knowing everything there was to know. The only problem I had was the the book had to end. I was left with a book hangover and with nothing more to read of Buruu and Yukiko’s adventures.

Review – Vessel October 3, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 3.5 stars, Fantasy, Young Adult.
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Title: Vessel

Author: Sarah Beth Durst

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Publish Date: September 11, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1442423763

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe in this mystical, atmospheric tale from the author of Drink, Slay, Love.Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate—or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

Review:

I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand I really loved it. The desert culture. The girl raised to be the vessel for her goddess. The trickster god! On the other hand, Liyanna was too obeisant to Korbyn in the beginning of their relationship and I felt no spark of kinship with her. In fact, I didn’t really connect with her until much later in the book. The only female character I really connected with right off the bat was Raan, another vessel from another village. She had a streak of rebellion in her that I could relate to.

The pace of the book is methodical. I didn’t have too much of a problem with it but some readers found it slow. In fact, I enjoyed the pace of the book. What I did have a problem with was the Emperor. I thought the way his story was inserted was jarring and incongruous. I also didn’t find it very interesting. There’s also a romance in the book that I didn’t find very romantic. There’s a love triangle in the book, but it came off all wrong.

I did love Korbyn, the trickster god. He was enigmatic at times yet open and available as a child at others. He was so multi-layered, you could continually peel back the layers like an onion and discover more facets to his character. He was sexy and charming. He was wise. He was definitely my favorite character.

This is most likely a stand-alone book as most questions are sufficiently answered in the end of the book. Sarah Beth Durst is an author I will definitely look out for as she’s written other books in this genre.

Review – Defiance September 25, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult.
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Title: Defiance

Author: C.J. Redwine

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publish Date: August 28, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0062117182

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan–the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

Review:

I have to admit, I’ve been looking forward to the release of this book for awhile. To my consternation I found that it was written in alternation points of view, Rachel’s and Logan’s.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out, but to my surprise it worked out well and I came to enjoy it.

Rachel is a sixteen-year-old girl who has suddenly come under the protection of Logan. I didn’t take to her immediately. She seemed a bit too petulant and sulky. The more I read the more I liked her though. What I took to be petulant and sulky was actually humiliation. She had professed her love to Logan when she was fifteen and he had rejected her. Who wouldn’t be humiliated? As the book went on, there were moments I became impatient with her but I think she was just acting like any sixteen-year-old would have done in such impossible situations.

What I loved about Rachel the most was how she was such a kick-ass warrior in such an oppressed misogynistic society. She was a fiercely independent woman in a culture that stressed that women were nothing more then chattel. I think it spoke volumes to have such a strong heroine. And she showed a lot of soft emotions as well showing you don’t have to be a one-dimensional person.

I loved Logan! He was absolutely gush and crush-worthy. He’s smart and kind. He takes his responsibilities seriously and he always tried his best with Rachel despite the animosity she felt and showed towards him in the beginning of the book.  I loved Logan’s inventions. The mix of inventor and warrior was too sexy to resist.

What I loved about Rachel and Logan the most was how their love evolved. It grew from mutual circumstances and time spent together. No insta-love here! There was a lot of give and take too. Although there was one point I felt Logan got a bit too needy. Maybe that’s just me. That was towards the end of the book. I don’t want to give too much away.

The Commander was one of the most evil tyrants I’ve come across. He made a great bad guy. He was just someone you love to hate. The Cursed One was a fantastic monster. It reminded me of a wyrm. Together they added some great tension to the book.

There’s enough resolution to leave you satisfied in the end. Yet there’s also an opening for more books in the future. It’s a well done ending to a very good book. I did have one pet peeve. Only I can’t mention it without giving away a spoiler. Needless to say something was repeated endlessly and I got tired of the repetition. That’s all I can say. It was something I was able to brush off though.

Review – The Lost Girl September 19, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4.5 stars, Sci-Fi, Young Adult.
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Title: The Lost Girl

Author: Sangu Mandanna

Publisher:  Balzer + Bray

Publish Date: August 28, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0062082312

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself.

Review:

Eva is an echo. She was created to take the place of Amarra if she were to ever die. Eva’s life is spent studying Amarra’s life and following the Loom’s strict laws. She knows at any moment her familiars or the family that she belongs to could execute a Sleep Order on her which would end her life.

From the very beginning this book draws you in. The plot itself is wholly engaging and as I learned about Eva’s life my sympathy for her grew. She was so trapped by the laws confining an echo. What stolen pleasures she had were precious and few. I admired her need to define herself individually. She had desires apart from her life as an echo. In this way she rebelled against the laws that governed her life. Eva also showed a lot of strength in adversity.

I liked Sean a lot but I kind of wondered why one of her guardians became so intimate with her. I thought that the people in charge would have had better sense then that. It made for a good story though. So while Sean was really conscious of obeying some of the laws, yet he was willing to bend other rules. He picked his battles. Although I thought that he should have been  His respect of her need to have an identity that wasn’t an echo of Amarra was what made me like him the most.

I loved this book. It was fast paced and I became really invested in the characters. In the end I was only disappointed with the fact that the follow up book hasn’t been released yet.