IRON WIDOW by KIRAN JAY ZHAO

While this draws on a few real characters in history, make no mistake, it is a Sci-Fy, Fantasy, Futuristic tale that touches on the place women still have in society. Second. Disposable.

And then it just dives right in to giant fighting machines called Chrysalises, transforming robots that battle with mecha aliens that have almost destroyed everything. The pilots are boys. The girls or concubine pilots give of their life force and no one seems to care that they lose their lives.

Except 18 -year-old Zetian. She has plans of revenge after her sister died during one of these fights. She doesn’t use normal weapons. She takes on her pilot with her mind and is the only one returning. With a nickname. Iron Widow.

She has turned the tables on the boys and will now use them as ‘fuel’. They are afraid of her and what she can do. They try pairing her with the strongest male pilot in Huaxia. But Zetian has tasted the power and she likes it. Now her mission is to find out why only girls are being used and disposed of.

She is one of the strongest characters I have seen. She has had enough and is not taking it anymore. This is not my usual genre but I am very glad I read it. I felt empowered and ready to fight.

Well Done.

NetGalley/September 21st, 2021 by Penguin Teen

The NATURE of WITCHES by RACHEL GRIFFIN

Climate Change meets Climate Witches in this Contemporary Fantasy/Paranormal Young Adult debut novel.

Witches have been maintaining the climate for a very long time. Their powers are the powers of the seasons. With the sun peaking in the season they are born.

But the humans or shaders have gotten greedy and off-track wanting more of everything without a thought as to how to it will affect the planet or the weather. They aren’t holding up their end of the bargain. Now the witches control over the weather is getting spotty. Witches are being depleted just trying to hold things together while the weather is acting like an out of control toddler.

But there may be hope. Clara is an Everwitch, she is rare and encompasses all of the seasons. But in Autumn Clara wants nothing more than to lose her magic. The power she has is out-of-control. She has already hurt people she loved. She just wants it gone so no one will be hurt. But the weather is hurting everyone.

When Winter comes and the world is raging as disaster after disaster kills more witches Clara finally understands that only she holds the power and answers that may save them all. But first, she needs to get control of her emotions and her magic.

Sang, is helping her with that. Big problem. He’s hot. She’s hot. He’s training her and he has a strangely calming effect on her magic. But will that keep him safe if she loses control?

And when Summer comes she will have to choose between her powers and love. Her responsibility to her fellow witches and her own personal happiness.

First, I don’t read YA. So much angst. Not so for this book. I could have kept on reading if only the author hadn’t stopped writing. I loved Clara. A strong female lead and strong female characters. I adored every person in this book. I look forward to the next one.

June 1st, 2021 by Sourcebooks Fire/ NetGalley Review



HARLEY QUINN: BREAKING GLASS by Mariko Tamaki #DCINK

Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass

Harley is one of my favorite characters. In this prequel, Harleen is a teenager who is rebelling against everything. Angry at the world, she can choose to fight the change with Ivy or team up with The Joker.

This is the first title in DC’s line of original graphic novels for MidGrade and YA readers.

A good look at how the choices you make as a teenager can have long-reaching consequences.

She is still the character we know and love, but here she is a teen and much more relatable to younger readers.

I would recommend it if you are a DC lover too!

NetGalley/DC Ink  September 3, 2019

 

 

 

The Nobody People by Bob Proehl

The Nobody People

After decades in hiding, a group of outcasts with extraordinary abilities clashes with a world that is threatened by their power.

Great world-building in this tale! It has rather an X-Men feel to it. These are ordinary people that you wouldn’t look twice at. Nobodies. And yet not quite as ordinary as they seem.

They all have abilities. Emmeline was one of my favorites! Fahima was another. Ordinary people with extraordinary gifts. And with those gifts come the people who would use them or destroy them.

This time they will come together to fight the bigots, the small-minded, and the ones who fear what they can not understand. One of them tries to hold on to a shaky sort of peace while the others are ready to stand up and fight.

I see there will be a second in this Fantasy/Science Fiction book. The kids were really interesting and I’m sure this will be a hit with young adults!

NetGalley/  September 3rd, 2019 by Del Rey

 

 

As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti

As You Wish

What if you could ask for anything- and get it? 

In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.

Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself

Madison is not a place people stop unless they are getting gas. And no one encourages stopping either. Something isn’t quite normal here.

Eldon isn’t sure he wants to make a wish. He’s seen how some turn out and it isn’t all good.

This was an interesting book. Full of the normal teen aged angst, but also a deeper theme of taking shortcuts through life and what we want at 17 is probably not what we want at 25.

About how our wants or wishes can and do affect other people’s lives. I am still not sure if I liked the end or not.

Netgalley/Sourcebooks/YA  Release is set for January 01,2018.

Scion of the Fox (The Realms of Ancient) by S.M. Beiko * RELEASE DAY*

Scion of the Fox (The Realms of Ancient, #1)

As the winter ice begins to thaw, the fury of a demon builds — all because one girl couldn’t stay dead . . .

Roan Harken considers herself a typical high school student — dead parents, an infected eyeball, and living in the house of her estranged, currently comatose grandmother (well, maybe not so typical) — but she’s uncovering the depth of the secrets her family left behind. Saved from the grasp of Death itself by a powerful fox spirit named Sil, Roan must harness mysterious ancient power . . . and quickly. A snake-monster called Zabor lies in wait in the bed of the frozen Assiniboine River, hungry for the sacrifice of spirit-blood in exchange for keeping the flood waters at bay. Thrust onto an ancient battlefield, Roan soon realizes that to maintain the balance of the world, she will have to sacrifice more than her life in order to take her place as Scion of the Fox.

American Gods meets Princess Mononoke in this powerful first installment of a trilogy sure to capture readers’ imaginations everywhere.

Roan is one of the most relatable characters I’ve seen in the YA world.

The author has built an entire world that we humans can’t see, but is full of magic,symbolism, and ancient powers and struggles. And Roan has a big role to play in this parallel world.

The characters developed very well during the story and I was glad to see this teenaged girl without some romance involved, fighting her own battles.

I think this is what good YA Fiction/Fantasy is all about!

Well Done!

Netgalley/ECWPress  Release is October 17, 2017

Odd & True by Cat Winters

Odd & True

Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover but I did exactly that with this book. The cover is powerful!

The voices of Trudchen and her sister Odette tell this story, each from their own points of view and in progression as they go from children hiding under the covers from monsters int the night, to young ladies actively searching the monsters.

From birth they’ve been told they were Protectors, finding and killing monsters. Little by little they come to see how much of what they believed wasn’t true at all.

But when the time comes to face a real monster they find they just may have a bit of magic after all.

This is a YA book and I have never read Cat Winters before although I have heard of her books. I enjoyed reading about these exceptional girls coming of age and finding themselves.

Well Done Ms. Winters!    Netgalley/Amulet Books  Release Date is September 12th!

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller (YA) Congratulations Linsey!!!

Mask of Shadows (Untitled, #1)

When Sal Leon steals a poster announcing open auditions for the Left Hand, a powerful collection of the Queen’s personal assassins named for the rings she wears — Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, and Opal — their world changes. They know it’s a chance for a new life.

Except the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. But Sal must survive to put their real reason for auditioning into play: revenge.

Sal is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.

This was an interesting cast of characters. YA is not my normal genre, but the cover looked interesting. I see the reviews are all over the map on this one, with some people getting a bit snitty.

Personally I enjoyed the characters and the ingenious ways they thought up to eliminate each other from the competition. I am guessing there will be a second book out continuing on with Sal’s adventures. And I’m very interested to see where this author takes us!

Thanks Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire!

FEEL ME FALL by James Morris

Feel Me Fall by [Morris, James]

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.

But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.   

Emily Duran is on a class trip when the plane crashes in the Amazon. She, along with 5 of her classmates survive and wash up on shore in the jungle.

The story alternates between what brought them to this place and the feelings they have for one another before the crash, along with what happens after the crash as well as what happens after she is rescued.

As the seriousness of the situation hits them, they all react differently. Some the same as they had before, with the same popular kids and the picked on kids. With no food or water they push forward but it seems each has their own agenda.

The fight for survival begins quickly with leaders emerging and the weak standing out.

At first I wasn’t sure of the three timelines but in the end it was the only way you had a clear understanding of what drove the characters to behave the way they did.

A rollercoaster of emotions with this read! All in all this was a really good read!