Review: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Romance/Sci-Fi

img_0160 Cress is the third installment in the very poplar Lunar Chronicles Series. If you aren’t familiar with these books…they are modern day/somewhat futuristic fairy tale retellings that are simply awesome! All of the lead female characters are kick-ass strong, smart, and self sufficient. There’s just the right amount of fairy tale-like romance to keep it intriguing without going too mushy. Because they are a series…all the books continue the same large story line with each one highlighting a different girl. Cinder (a Cinderella retelling) was the first…and my review of that book can be found HERE. The second installment is Scarlet (a Little Red Riding Hood retelling) and my review of that book is HERE. Cress (a Rapunzel retelling) is probably my favorite book in the series so far!

“Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”

In this book, the action is pretty much non-stop as we are at a point where universe-wide war is on the brink. This part of the story begins with us finally meeting  Cress, the computer genius/hacker girl, who has spent the majority of her life held prisoner in a Lunar satellite hidden away from civilization. Her orders come from Queen Levana and she has been charged with tracking down Cinder. Cress wants nothing more than to be rescued from her jail and and help Cinder put a stop to Queen Lenava and her evil plans….but she is watched very closely and is limited to netscreens as her sole source of communication with the outside universe.

When Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne plan a daring rescue mission for Cress, she thinks all her hopes and dreams have been answered. But the rescue goes awry and Cress will soon learn all that everyone has risked to try to save her. In the meantime, Queen Levana will stop at nothing to make sure that her marriage to Emperor Kai goes off without a hitch. Cress may not have realized that the world’s safety will rely on her, Cinder, and Scarlet…but she’s about to find that out.

I absolutely loved this installment of the series! In fact, I think it might be my favorite so far. Tons of action, plenty of twists & turns and I just adore how the storyline is unfolding. The characters, the world building, all of it… YA fantasy at its finest! If you love fair tales, fairy tale retellings, or just some cool fantasy world building in general….definitely check this series out!

My Rating: 5/5 fun and entertaining stars

Cress – Amazon

Scarlet – Amazon

Cinder – Amazon

My First Audio Book + Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

My First Audio Book + Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

Genre: Horror, Science-fiction

img_4731 Yesterday, I experienced my very first audiobook….and I was pleasantly surprised. I have heard from quite a few people who love listening to audiobooks and I’ve been curious about whether or not I would enjoy them or find them lacking in some way. Having mixed feelings about audiobooks would be the best way I can describe why I haven’t picked one up until now….the idea seems interesting but why not just actually read the real book?

It seems as if the main time and place most people seems to enjoy audiobooks is in their car for a long commute to/from work. The majority of my driving time includes me shuffling my kids around, so that doesn’t really work for me. Plus…I do really enjoy listening to music while I drive…and so do my kids. Another common time it seems people enjoy audiobooks is while doing household chores. Now…THAT is something I have plenty of 😉 I usually reserve the majority of my TV watching time for when I am folding the mounds and mounds of laundry that seems to come out of the wood work around my house. However, having the TV on while I am trying to complete other tedious household tasks like cleaning bathrooms or floors, often just becomes a distraction and the chore ends up taking me longer than it does if I just have music on in the background. Yesterday, I figured I would give an audiobook a try…I really needed to get bathrooms cleaned and it’s likely my least favorite task ever. I decided on World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War for two reasons; because it seemed fitting for an October spooky read and because it was listed on multiple sites as a selection that can be a better experience listening to the audio version rather than actually reading.

The experiment ended up being a huge success for me! First, I can definitely understand why this book works so well as an audio book (I’ll expand on that in my review below)…and second, I was so engrossed in listening to the story that I forgot I was  actually scrubbing toilets! Seriously though….this audiobook is a total length of 6 hours and 3 minutes and I finished it in one day. In that time, I was a cleaning fool….I cleaned the entirety of my upstairs including; bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting, baseboards, pulling back furniture, washing bedding….everything! Granted, I did have to stop here and there to take breaks when my kids came home from school and needed me, but for the most part…I spent the majority of the day cleaning and it really didn’t feel like it at all. So…I get it…I get why audiobooks are so loved by people and I’ll definitely continue listening to them. That being said….I’m likely going to be very choosy about which titles I listen to over actually reading. I still 100% think the majority of books should be experienced by reading the actual words….but I think certain books might be better experienced in audio form. For example….my next audiobook choice will be Tina Fey’s Bossypants because I have a feeling a comedian’s book might fit into the category of one that’s better heard than read, especially since it’s narrated by Tina Fey, herself. Audiobooks can be a great option to crack away at your “to be read” list while keeping your hands busy with certain mindless tasks. I’ll still have to experiment with just what kinds of tasks I can listen along to… because I did notice that I could easily become distracted and miss a part of the story (not a huge problem because you can jump back in 10 second intervals when needed). Listening would work for me for most household chores and likely routine food prep & cooking…although, I’m not sure I could follow a new or involved recipe at the same time as actively listening to a story. For tasks like; Yardwork, cleaning, sorting, organizing, folding, etc…..audiobooks are perfect! And I’m sure, if I had a long driving commute each day, audiobooks would work for me in that instance too.

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On to my review of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks:

This book was originally published is 2006 and it initially had mixed reviews solely due to who the author is. Max Brooks, son of Mel Brooks, was a previous writer for SNL so people seemed to assume that this book would be comedy based and were disappointed to find out that it is not.

I would consider this story to be along the lines of a good mix between the TV show, The Walking Dead and the movie, Outbreak. World War Z is the first person account of the days, weeks and months that led up to The Great Panic or World War Z….the ultimate zombie apocalypse. Even though it’s technically about zombies…I assure you, this isn’t a silly or tongue in cheek story full of blood and guts with the sole purpose of a gross-out factor. There is a larger story behind the zombies that focuses on society’s collapse, people’s response to disaster and mass casualties as well as the depths of human survival. The format in this book works very well for this story line: it’s written as a selection of face to face interviews of different people from all around the world and their experience with World War Z.  That is the main reason why I think this particular book is on lists for books that are better listened to rather than actually read. There is a full cast of narrators for this audiobook….more than 30 total…some of them including; Paul Sorvino, Martin Scorsese, Henry Rollins, Rob Reiner, and Max Brooks as the actual interviewer. There are complete first person accounts of the end of life as we know it from people all around the world. Because of the wide range of voices and accents in this audiobook selection…you really feel the full scope of just how devastating and encompassing this world wide pandemic is.

While this selection definitely works well in audiobook form, I can imagine it would be plenty good to actually read if that is your preference. It was a fantastic story that had me interested the entire time and definitely makes you think, look around, and consider just what would happen if a pandemic like this one did actually occur. It’s a great creepy choice if you are looking for something hair raising to pick up for the month of October….or for someone who generally likes this type of genre. If you are a fan of horror novels, zombie stories or even just post-apocalyptic tales….this one will be right up your alley!

My rating: 4.5/5 Stars

World War Z – Amazon

Review: Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction

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Golden Son is the second book of the Red Rising Trilogy. This review is going to be rather short, sweet, and to the point because I already wrote out a full review of Red Rising HERE. So…if you have not yet read the first book in this trilogy, STOP HERE and do not continue onto this review as it may contain spoilers of the first book.

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OK…..so for those of you who have read Red Rising, but for some reason haven’t yet continued on with the trilogy…you definitely need to! I do wish I wouldn’t have waited so long in between books…because 5 months worth of time and reading other books left me feeling a tad lost at the beginning of Golden Son. Pierce Brown does do a fantastic job of sort of reviewing (without it being redundant) and reminding the reader what went on in the first book, so that helped. But it did take me until page 70 or so to really feel like, “ok, ok…I remember this now”. Again…this is totally my fault for waiting so long and in no way a reflection of the book itself. I just wanted to mention it just incase anyone else is in my shoes of having read the Red Rising a while ago…give it time….it comes back to you.

Golden Son is practically all non-stop action! There was not one point in this book where I was bored or hoping for it to be over. The science-fiction part is a tad stronger in this book than the first, so some of those parts had me feeling a little overwhelmed as Sci-Fi isn’t my usual genre of choice. At the start of the novel, we find Darrow in the heart of Golden society, still working to bring the ruling class to it’s knees from within. Non stop action, betrayals, twists & turns throughout…all with even more world building and plot development made me enjoy this second book even more than the first. It’s a definite recommend from me!

My rating 4.5/5 Stars

Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

img_4143 “Are you happy with your life?”  Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked man who kidnapped him at gun point knocks him over the head rendering him unconscious. When Jason wakes up, he finds that he is restrained to a bed in a strange room with strange people looking down on him. He soon realizes that the life he knew…his career, his wife, his son….those things are no longer part of his life. People he’s never seen before are calling him their friend and colleague, his home is in the same location…but looks completely different, the college where he was a professor has never heard of him, his wife’s cell phone number rings to a stranger, and his 14 year old son appears to not even exist. How can this be?? Is Jason crazy or just confused…or is someone playing a trick on his mind? As Jason tries to separate reality from dream, he soon learns about a world in which the choices we make can alter the reality of our current lives….and a world in which we can see those alternate realities play out before our eyes.

I was excited to read this book since I was a fan of Crouch’s Wayward Pines Trilogy when I read it a few years ago. I’m not normally a huge sci-fi fan…it’s one of my lesser read genres, but the Pines Series was enjoyable for me and I was looking forward to trying this one out when I was given the opportunity for an e-ARC from Netgalley.

This was an engaging, sometimes thrilling and very interesting sci-fi thriller that kept me interested from start to the finish. Dark Matter is a new and (for me) unique take on time travel. Instead of exploring the travel through chronological time & history, this book looks at traveling through alternate realities of the same time. Traveling through and seeing all the different ways a persons life may be different, all at the current time period, if alternate choices had been made at critical times in life. It’s a very interesting concept and one that definitely makes you think and can give some room for great discussion. It’s not exactly an alternate history or a do-over type story…it’s different than that, but you’ll just have to read to see how as me saying more will give away too many spoilers.

At certain points in the story, the “science” talk got to be a bit much and sometimes I felt my eyes start to glaze over. I’m sure plenty of other readers may not share the same sentiment….but I would have preferred a tad more in depth character development in place of the physics discussions. But it was still a great plot that I found unique and very engaging.

So you’re probably wondering why the 3.5 star rating… The reasons it wasn’t a 4 star for me were some inconsistencies that irked me…as well as one particular part of the plot I thought would have been better to have been omitted. Again…this is the type of story that is really hard to review fully without giving away major plot spoilers… So, I’ll leave out any more specifics here and would welcome further discussion via comments once anyone reads this book and wants to discuss.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

*** Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing and Blake Crouch for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Review: The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand by Stephen King

img_4040  *PHEW* That was one beast of a book! I know I’ve said it before…but I am a HUGE Stephen King fan. I haven’t read anywhere near all of his work, but I’ve read quite a bit (somethings more than once). The Stand is one of his novels that I’ve been putting off for years…. at least 20, I assume. I can remember being about 15 years old and reading The Shining  for the very first time and falling instantly and madly in love with it (I still am) and then my mother told me that I definitely need to read The Stand. For whatever reason, I never did. And then last year, I completed the PopSugar Reading Challenge and one of the prompts was “A Book Your Mother Loves”…low and behold if The Stand wasn’t one of the three titles that she gave me. Again….I skipped over it, I think largely due to it’s length (I was nearing the end of the challenge and just wanted to be done with it and quickly). Now, finally….20 years after it was first suggested to me, I can say that I have read (and loved) Stephen King’s The Stand.

In the middle of a June night in 1990 …a man named Charlie Campion, a now deserter of the US Army, grabs his wife and young child and flees the Army base minutes before a crucial lockdown occurs. They don’t know where they are going and they don’t really have a plan…all they know is they need to get AWAY. The panicked family makes it to a small Midwest town where Campion crashes the vehicle into a set of gas station pumps. When the station attendant, along with a few customers, run to the aid of the people in the vehicle…all they find are three bloated and infected bodies in the front seat of the car. An ambulance is called and soon after the CDC is brought in… but it’s too late. The infection, quickly referred to as Captain Trips, is so contagious and easily spread…that before anyone can even understand what is happening, 99% of the world population is dead.

And this is where the modern world ends and the new world begins: A world in which the 1% of the population who survived and are immune to Captain Trips have to choose sides – or are chosen for a side. The good of the remaining world are following a frail 108 year old woman named Mother Abigail…all with the hopes of saving what is left of the human race. The others have pledged allegiance to the epitome of evil and destruction…a lethal man with a terrifying smile and unspeakable powers, Randall Flagg. When the end of the world comes down to an epic battle of Good vs Evil, who will stand victorious in the end. Does human nature change without the presence of modern day society?

“Show me a man or a woman alone and I’ll show you a saint. Give me two and they’ll fall in love. Give me three and they’ll invent the charming thing we call ‘society’. Give me four and they’ll build a pyramid. Give me five and they’ll make one an outcast. Give me six and they’ll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they’ll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.”

Wow….powerful, right?!? When I read the above passage, I was immediately blown away. I sat and reread it at least two more times and actually dog-eared the page (something I almost never do) so I could find it again easily. This books touches on so many topics ranging from; good vs evil, to religious mania, to human nature, to the constraints of modern day society, to responsibility, to love and hate….it’s just an incredibly epic story woven with some of the BEST characters I’ve ever read about. Nick Andros, Stu Redmand and Tom Cullen were just three of my many favorites from this book. There are so many fantastic  personalities and story lines in The Stand…even some of the more minor characters get such an in-depth look into their lives and personalities that you cannot help but be drawn right in.

Saying that Stephen King is one masterful storyteller with one hell of an imagination isn’t anything new or unique….but it’s still the truth. This is not a short, quick read….at over 1100 pages, it won’t be something you pick up on a whim, but if you do decide to dive in, I can almost guarantee you will not be disappointed. I am a very quick reader and often stay up way too late getting just a few more pages in and this still took me just shy of 13 days to read. But it was one enjoyable and wild ride each step of the way. If you are a Stephen King fan and, like me, just haven’t picked this one up yet….get on it! If you are someone who would normally shy away from King’s normal Horror genre, I think you’ll like this one.

My Review: 5/5 Stars

***If you do decide to read this masterpiece, I definitely suggest you pick up the newer 1990 Complete & Uncut version. The Stand was originally published in 1978 at a fraction of what the original manuscript entailed. King had originally written over 1200 pages and the publisher, Doubleday, literally could not print a novel that long. As King explained to Time in 2009, “Doubleday had a physically limiting factor in those days because they used a glue binding instead of a cloth binding, and the way it was explained to me was that they had so much thickness they could do before the glue just fell apart”. Not to mention, Doubleday was also concerned with the ability to sell a book of that size for the going cost of hardcovers at the time and still turn a profit. So, the original 1200 page manuscript was slashed to an 823 page revision and was an immediate Hardcover Best Seller. Those cut pages didn’t say lost and in 1990, King was convinced to restore the story to a much closer version of it’s original intended length as well as update some more modern cultural references. The story and characters are the same as the original 1978 version, just with the added depth that Kind had always intended.

Review: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) By Marissa Meyer

img_3001 Scarlet is the second installment of The Lunar Chronicles Series.  If you haven’t read the first installment, Cinder, you definitely need to start there. My review can be found HERE.

In the start of this book, we meet Scarlet… an 18 year old young woman who is distraught over her missing grandmother and the police’s disinterest in her disappearance. Once Scarlet decides to go off on her own to find her, she meets a man named Wolf who, at first, seems mysterious and maybe even a little bit dangerous. But he agrees to help Scarlet as he thinks he may know who took her grandmother and even where she may be. Scarlet is understandably weary of Wolf and she’s not quite sure if he can be trusted or if he is leading her right to danger.

We also get a follow up of Cinder’s situation since her capture at the end of the first book. The two character’s paths cross and intertwine to create one cohesive story that very much continues the original storyline started in Cinder. I was actually worried that this second book wouldn’t give us enough follow up story to Cinder or that it would be more of a almost stand alone….but it’s not. Scarlet is definitely a true sequel and…while me meet new characters and get new story lines…the original storyline following Cinder and her path is continued seamlessly.

As with Cinder, I absolutely loved Scarlet…. and think I actually liked this second book a tad more than I liked the first.  I’d actually love to say more about specific characters and story lines in the book, but I honestly don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who is considering reading this series. If you love Fairy Tale retellings (this is a spin on Little Red Riding Hood), with a little sci-fi twist thrown in….definitely check this series out! There’s just something like a good YA fantasy series that never fails to give you some fun entertainment. The Lunar Chronicles are a well written, fun, engaging and entertaining story line that I highly recommend.

My Rating: 5/5 fun & entertaining stars

Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

img_2861  I’ll start this review by saying Red Rising is one heck of a wild ride! If you enjoy Dystopian novels with a fun fantasy/sci-fi twist, this one is for you.

Darrow is a Red….the lowest caste in a color coded society in the far future. Reds are the workhorses of society who believe they are working to make the surface of Mars inhabitable for future generations. They spend their very short lives sacrificing and working hard all the while believing they are making a better life for their children. Darrow’s job is to be a Helldiver and he operates a very large and complicated drill meant to mine Helium3  from miles deep under the surface of Mars. At sixteen years old, he is married to the love of his life, EO. One of the many things that I enjoyed about this story was that the romance between Darrow and EO wasn’t your typical dystopian teenage angsty type of love. Their relationship felt so real, authentic and genuine. The overwhelming love and admiration Darrow feels for his wife is so obvious and apparent.

All their lives, the Reds are taught to believe that they are both inherently different and less than other colors. Especially the Golds, who are the top caste and the governing force of society. What happens when Darrow finds out that everything he’s ever known his entire life is a lie? Mars already is inhabited….in fact, it’s a bustling, thriving and successful society and has been for a very long time. All the while, the Golds are content to let the Reds remain living and working underground solely to provide for them….basically keeping them as slaves. Soon after realizing this, Darrow is introduced to an underground group of rebels who wants nothing more than to stop the Golds and their selfish abuse of power. And they decide that Darrow is their man…the one who will infiltrate the Gold caste and take it down from within. Unfortunately for Darrow, he has absolutely no idea what it is he’s about to get himself into.

I know what you are thinking….not another Dystopian fantasy novel. But….wait! This is so much better and quite a bit different than most other Dystopian novels. Red Risisng is like The Hunger Games’ older, deeper, wiser, yet slightly more disturbed brother….with a little influence from his friend, The Game of Thrones. There is some fantastic world building in this novel which is one of the things I love about a good fantasy story….jumping out of everyday life, into a completely different world. This book definitely gives you that.

The cast of characters are also fantastic. Not a single one of the many people in this story are one dimensional or flat. Brown makes you feel for each and every one…weather those feelings are; sympathy, love, hate, anger or frustration…each character becomes so real. There are also some very epic and intense battle scenes that will make The Hunger Games feel like child’s play. Added to that are some fantastic strategy, betrayals and twists all throughout the story.

Red Rising is the first in a three book series that is a good mix of; dystopia, sci-fi and epic war/battle fantasy all rolled into one. This first installment is so good and finishing it has me very excited to move onto the second book, The Golden Son.

If this genre is something you normally like, definitely read this one!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Ok…. I’m going to start off by saying…I LOVED this book! It was so cool and so much better than I had anticipated it would be. When I initially read the synopsis, I was a bit skeptical and sort of hesitant to jump in…I mean…a futuristic retelling of the Cinderella story?? Really? But yeah…it’s good. Really good.

Cinder is the first installment in the 6 book Lunar Chronicles series, all loosely based on different fairy tales. All with a futuristic, sci-fi twist and none of the “Damsel in distress, waiting for a prince to save me” stuff (bonus!). Cinder (and from what I hear… all of the books) has a very independent, self sufficient, head strong, and smart female protagonist.

Cinder takes place in New Bejing, far into the future… 126 years after WW4. Lihn Cinder is a cyborg (half machine, half human) girl under the legal guardianship of her stepmother who despises her. She also lives with her two stepsisters and works as a local mechanic to earn money for her family. As a cyborg, she doesn’t have the same rights as other people and she’s seen as a sort of social pariah in the community. I loved her character! She’s totally badass and doesn’t take any crap from her mean stepmom & stepsister and their nasty treatment of her. She stands up for herself and calls them out on multiple occasions for their rude and unfair treatment of her.

This story takes place in a time when mechanical androids are commonplace for everything from housekeepers, to medical workers, to companions. A deadly plague is ravaging civilization and nobody is sure where it came from, how it started, or how to stop it. Not to mention, there is also an evil Lunar Queen who will stop at nothing to become empress and overtake the earthling people. Yes…there’s a prince, Prince Kai…he’s pretty awesome too. He meets Cinder when he goes to her mechanic stand to hire her to fix his personal android and (of course) falls for her. But…really, this isn’t a love story and Cinder isn’t all that interested in Prince Kai at first and has no intention of looking for him to be her “savior” from her life.

This was just a fun story to read and I got through it pretty quick. Yes, the plot twist was predicable for me…I saw it coming a mile away…but I don’t really care. Marissa Meyer has one hell of an imagination coming up with this storyline. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment in the series, Scarlet…which is a retelling of Red Riding Hood. From what I understand, while each of the books follow a different main character, all of their stories intertwine throughout the series.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufma & Jay Kristoff

“The universe owes you nothing, Kady. It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is if you do something worthy of remembrance.” 

 

 

 

img_2194Illuminae is probably the most unique book I’ve ever read. The format is unlike anything I’ve seen before. Pretty much the entire book takes place via interviews, email conversations, surveillance footage, medical reports and military documents.

The year is 2575 and people are inhabiting the far reaches of the universe. Two mega-corporations are at war with each other and thousands of civilians are caught in the line of fire. Kady and Ezra are forced to evacuate their home onto different ships to avoid further enemy attack. All the while, a devastating plague has been released with deadly results. Illuminae is the first book in what looks to be a very interesting and unique trilogy. img_2195

I picked this book up solely on a recommendation of my cousin, David. I don’t normally read sic-fi at all and it’s definitely not one of my favorite genres, but this book is good! The story line is great, main characters are awesome (kick ass female heroine), and again….the format is just too cool!

This is definitely a book that is best read in hard copy as opposed to an ebook, in my opinion. I love my Kindle and enjoy reading on it equally as much as I do a hard copy of a book. However, in this case, I feel like you might lose some of the uniqueness for this particular book on an e-reader.

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Don’t let the size of the book (599 pages) deter you from picking it up. It’s a faster read than it seems like it will be. Most of the pages aren’t completely full of text and you’ll find yourself moving through it quickly. If you decide to give it a try, be patient…the unique format took me a bit to get used to, but once I did…I quite enjoyed it.

 

 

My Rating 4.5/5 Stars

Review: Angelfall Series (Penryn & The End of Days) by Susan Ee

Angelfall Series (Penryn & The End of Days) by Susan Ee

Genre: Fantasy, Science-Fiction

Published: August 28, 2012 (Book 1), November 19, 2013 (Book 2), May 12, 2015 (Book 3)

My Rating: Overall Series rating is 4/5 stars. I will summarize and review each book individually below. I read this entire series while I was on a family Florida vacation in a matter of 6 days. It was a quick read for me and definitely held my interest.

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Book 1 : Angelfall

 

Goodreads Description:

“It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.”

My Review:

4/5 Stars

Yep…cool story! I don’t read a ton of fantasy or science-fiction. But I liked this story a lot….even though I don’t feel as strongly about it as most of the other reviewers seem to.
I teetered in between a 3 & 4 star rating up until about 75% through and the last 25% won me over to a 4 star. Angels, demons, hellions…what’s not to like!
I love the Angels vs humans storyline…it’s totally unique to anything I’ve read before. I also love the fact that these angels aren’t the normal cherub type we normally think about. I just wish there was a little more background to the story & characters given….like a little bit more about when the angel attack first started. Instead, I feel like the book sort of plopped us in the middle of a story line that had been started elsewhere. Maybe that info comes in book 2 & 3??
I really enjoy the characters. Penryn & Raffe are pretty awesome each on their own, but I do love them together even more.
Finishing this book had me excited to start the second book in the series.

 

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Book 2: World After

Goodreads Description:

“In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?”

My Thoughts:

5/5 Stars

I liked the second installment of this series better than the first!
The first was very good….his one is great!

I loved finally getting a bit more background on the storyline and the characters. Another thing I really like is that the budding romance between Penryn & Raffe seems so genuine and real. It’s not all fast with the hot & heavy lustfullness that I usually detest with romance storylines.
I can’t wait to start book 3!

 

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Book 3: End Of Days

Goodreads Description:

“End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy. After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?”

My Thoughts:

3.5/5 Stars

World After (Book 2) was definitely my favorite book in the series. This one was my least favorite. I still enjoyed it, but something about the storyline felt a bit rushed to me.
I was slightly annoyed with Penryn’s teenager boy-crazy whining in this book…which I feel like wasn’t a part of the previous two books.
Where this book shines is in the extra bit of sci-fi & fantasy twist with the monsters in this book. The descriptions and imagination of the author are pretty awesome! Reading about The Pit had me seriously creeped out, feeling like I was right there. Not to mention the descriptions of the hellions, locusts, etc…very cool!
The ending left me a bit disappointed. I was hoping for more…I don’t know…something heavier or something that would evoke feelings other than a cutesy “Awww”.

Overall, I’d rate this series a 4/5 star. I’m glad I read it and I definitely recommend it if you like fantasy type books. The imagery and descriptions of the scenery & characters are fantastic!