Book Review of The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War by RF Kuang

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Book Review of The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

I had heard a lot about this book from other book bloggers, so I put it on hold at the library. It took awhile, but I was finally able to pick up the book. This book had such high ratings from everyone, so I was excited to read it. What did I think? Did it live up to the hype? Check out my book review of The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang to find out.

Blurb:

“When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to study at the academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who always thought they’d be able to marry Rin off to further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was now finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in the Nikara Empire—was even more surprising.

 But surprises aren’t always good.

Being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Rin is targeted from the outset by rival classmates because of her color, poverty, and gender. Driven to desperation, she discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over her powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For even though the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied the Nikara Empire for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people in the Empire would rather forget their painful history, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away.

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god who has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her her humanity.

And it may already be too late.”

My Book Review:

So, what did I think? Well, honestly, I have very mixed emotions. I kept reading. I kept turning pages, so that means something. The writing style is engaging and it sucks you into the story. I thought the character development was really good. The characters come to life on the page, and that always makes a book better because you’re invested in the characters. At the beginning, especially, I found myself routing for Rin. I understood why she wanted to do well on the test.

I’m not sure why I didn’t put this book down. It was intriguing, but more in a watching-a-train-wreck sort of way. There were many things in the content that I just didn’t like; I especially didn’t think they were appropriate for teens to be reading. While Rin was studying she would harm herself; she said the pain helped her. As a mom, I definitely don’t want my daughters or sons reading that and thinking it’s ok to self-harm. No, no, no, no.

I got that it was a military training facility, and so I understood the fighting and practicing, but what I didn’t like was the use of opioids (hence, The Poppy War). We have enough trouble right now with people being addicted to opioids; I don’t think our teens need to see fictional characters using them to find gods. I just didn’t like that whole premise, and it’s a huge part of the story.

When I read Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, I finished and felt sick to my stomach. I just felt yucky. That is also how I felt when I finished this book. It’s not happy or inspirational–it’s dark and disturbing. I was intrigued, but it didn’t live up to the hype. I especially don’t think it’s appropriate for YA. This book definitely wasn’t for me. However, if those things don’t bother you then you’ll probably enjoy it.

Content Rating RRating: R (Profanity, including dozens of “f” words. There isn’t an “intimacy.” Violence including war atrocities, rapes, murder, bombings, fighting, and the death of many characters.)

Recommendation: Adult

My Rating: 2.5/5

If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2OM3tQF

 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

Jade City by Fonda Lee Twisted Prey by John Sandford  DEAD OF NIGHT by Michael Stanley
 

Book Review of Dead of Night by Michael Stanley

DEAD OF NIGHT by Michael Stanley

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Book Review of Dead of Night by Michael Stanley

I don’t know anything about rhinos! I’ve seen them at the zoo, and I know they live in Africa. That’s about it. Oh, and I know they have horns. I know that people take elephants’ tusks for the ivory, but I didn’t realize that rhinos’ horns are also in demand. Who knew that rhino horns could be sawed off and regrown? Interesting, right? I hate to admit that I learned a lot about rhinos from this fictional story! It’s quite the story too! I hope you enjoy my book review of Dead of Night by Michael Stanley.

Blurb:

“When freelance journalist, Crystal Nguyen, heads to South Africa, she thinks she’ll be researching an article on rhino-horn smuggling for National Geographic, while searching for her missing colleague. But, within a week, she’s been hunting poachers, hunted by their bosses, and then arrested in connection with a murder. And everyone is after a briefcase full of money that may hold the key to everything.
 
Fleeing South Africa, she goes undercover in Vietnam, trying to discover the truth before she’s exposed by the local mafia. Discovering the plot behind the money is only half the battle. Now she must convince the South African authorities to take action before it’s too late. She has a shocking story to tell, if she survives long enough to tell it…
 
Fast-paced, relevant and chilling, Dead of Night is a stunning new thriller that exposes one of the most vicious conflicts on the African continent…”
 

My Book Review:

Wow! What a ride! I got sucked into this book from the very beginning! Crys is one tough chick! And she’s brave…or stupid. I’m still not sure which. When she doesn’t hear back from her hopefully-more-than-friend Michael, she starts to worry. She calls into National Geographic and they haven’t heard anything either. So she goes to Africa to finish the story and to hopefully find Michael.

She should have stayed home. Going to Africa proves difficult, and puts her in a lot of danger. She has some amazing adventures, and then she has some terrifying experiences. Crys is a great character. She’s written and developed well, she’s relatable, and mostly realistic. Crys tends to act and then think, which proves detrimental in many instances, and it made me cringe. I like that she’s a strong female character. She’s smart and tough.

When she gets to Africa many other characters are introduced. They are also well written and well developed. Most of them have a hint of uncertainty about them; you’re constantly wondering if they’re the good guys or the bad guys. Sometimes they may even be a bit of both! I liked that, though. It adds a hint of mystery and tension that keeps you reading. Just be prepared—the bad guys are scary!

One of the things I liked most about this book was learning about the situation with the rhinos. I’d never really thought about rhino horns being sold on the black market. And I had NO idea that you could saw a rhino horn off and it would grow back! I learned a lot! I don’t know how much is true and how much is fiction, but it did shed some light on the topic for me. It’s sad how integrity is lacking in some people. They’ll do almost anything just for the dollars attached.

This book is fast-paced and action-packed. Crys gets herself into several sticky situations, and somehow she always ends up where the trouble is. I liked the writing style a lot; I enjoyed the descriptions of the African landscape, and thought the dialogues were realistic and unforced.

The thing I didn’t like in the book were the torture scenes. There was one scene that was brutally graphic. It was disgusting, and reading it made me sick to my stomach. I skipped some of it because it was way too graphic and detailed for my taste. There was at least one other torture scene, but it wasn’t quite as bad.

I couldn’t put this book down! It may or may not have been the wee hours of the morning when I finished this book. One.More.Chapter. I’m not sure if we’ll see more of Crys, but I hope we do! And as a side note, the authors are male. Many male authors do not write good female characters. I didn’t feel that way in this book; I thought they did a good job.

Content Rating RRating: R (Profanity, including many “f” words. “Intimacy,” including innuendos and references to rape and specific male body parts . Violence including graphic murders, fighting, a graphic torture scene, and the death of several characters.)

Recommendation: Adult

My Rating: 4/5

4 Star Review

Dead of Night blog poster 2018 (3)

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2vxtxI6

 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

Jade City by Fonda Lee Twisted Prey by John Sandford 
 
 
 

Book Review of Red Agenda by Cameron Poe

Red Agenda by Cameron Poe

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Book Review of Red Agenda by Cameron Poe

I don’t know much about submarines, but I know I don’t want to ever go in one! Can you say SCARY? My husband wants to go on a cruise and I can’t even get myself to do that! I like land. I like land a lot. Being in the middle of the ocean scares me so much, and then being in a metal contraption under all that water is even scarier! There are way too many things that can go wrong. Now, what happens when a Russian sub goes missing? That thought is a little scary too! Where is it going? What’s the plan? Find out more in my book review of Red Agenda by Cameron Poe.

Blurb:

“The most sought after commodity in the world is power, and when money is no object, power is up for grabs. Desiring autonomy, one small nation develops an unlikely plan to procure a nuclear-powered submarine. If all goes as intended, the Middle East will destabilize and the OPEC Alliance will crumble. Yet as money might buy power, there’s no guarantee that it buys loyalty. So when the submarine breaks the ocean surface it doesn’t travel to the Middle East, it sails for Russia, in an attempt to return the nation to its Soviet roots.”

My Book Review:

When I was a teenager I read The Hunt for Red October, and I really enjoyed it. I haven’t read a book about submarines since then, and I think it was high time! Although I don’t know much about OPEC or the old Soviet Union, I enjoy a good story. There were several plot twists and turns, and there was a good hint of mystery as to what would really happen.

Most of the characters are well developed. One of them is way over-the-top, almost to the point of being comical. The others characters have some strengths and weaknesses, and they seem much more realistic. I liked George, Nick, Marina, Jim, Dan, Sharon, and a few others.

  I thought it was fairly well written. It was a little hard to follow because it quickly and often jumped from one group of people to another. The only thing that let you know of the switch was a little missile. Consequently, it would take a minute to figure out who you were reading about. There are also a lot of characters in many different places, and it was all a bit difficult to keep track of at times. There were also quite a few errors that an editor and proofreader could have helped fix.

I liked how the story all came together in the end, but thought that there were still a few holes. You do eventually figure out how all the pieces fit together, and it’s quite the tale! I liked how the author used all the different military technologies with subs, destroyers, helicopters, tanks, etc. If you like a good military/political/action/mystery/adventure story, this book is for you! Overall, I liked it. Sometimes it’s nice to try a different genre for a change.  

Content Rating RRating: R (Profanity, including many “f” words. “Intimacy,” including scenes and innuendos. Violence including war atrocities, murder, bombings, fighting, and the death of several characters.)

Recommendation: Adult

My Rating: 3/5

3 Star Rating

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2zdLIH7

 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

Twisted Prey by John Sandford  America Uber Alles by Jack Fernley 
 

Book Review of America Uber Alles by Jack Fernley

America Uber Alles by Jack Fernley

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Book Review of America Uber Alles by Jack Fernley

I have always loved studying about the American Revolution. It’s one of my favorite topics to learn about. I have read 1776 by David McCullough several times, along with Revolutionary Summer by Joseph Ellis and a few others. Usually I read the nonfiction history books. This time I thought it might be interesting to read a historical fiction book about it. What did I think? Was it a good choice? Find out in my book review of America Uber Alles by Jack Fernley.

Blurb:

“What if America was based not on the Declaration of Independence, but the values of Mein Kampf?

Germany, April 1945. As the Russians close in on Berlin, a lone plane flies into the city. On board are General Robert Ritter von Greim and the Nazi flying ace, Hanna Reitsch, summoned by Hitler to his bunker. There, the Führer reveals Germany’s secret weapon – a weapon he believes will win the war for the Nazis and change the course of history for ever.

America, December 1776. George Washington and his army are close to collapse, the War of Independence is almost lost. The British army scent victory, aided by the arrival of extraordinary German mercenaries. However, when the Germans offer the Americans secret intelligence to allow a surprise attack on their supposed allies, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems. Who are these Germans and what are they fighting for?

Fast-paced, thrilling and thought-provoking, America Über Alles imagines a world in which the American War of Independence becomes a struggle for democratic values against fascist ideology; perfect for fans of SSGB and The Man in the High Castle.”

My Book Review:

When you know and love a topic really well, it’s difficult to keep an open mind. It’s hard to accept new ideas about it, even if they’re fiction. Even though you’ve never met the actual players, you feel like you know them. You know their thoughts, behaviors, and values, and nothing can change your opinion of them. That’s how I feel reading this book. I’ve studied a lot about the American Revolution and its key players. Accepting many of the points in this book is pretty much impossible for me. I tried though.

The first half of the book dealt mainly with battles and war tactics. The author did spend time building the characters. Many of the important characters are introduced, and some of them you get to know really well. I felt like many of the characters were well developed and realistic. He also tried to show the relationships between many of the characters.

The author also spent a lot of time building up to why the people would accept a new way of thinking. Although I hope I would see it for what it was, I could see how people would embrace the thought of it. I don’t think they’d fully embrace it if they knew the actualities of it, but it’s happened before. It had to be a very subtle change over time.

The second half of the book had a definite change in tone. This half of the book focused more on the people in the Revolution. For much of the second half I hated the book. I seriously could not wrap my head around anyone going along with any of it. I found it scary how fast people changed their whole belief systems. With everything I’ve read about the Founding Fathers, I could not see how any of them would accept this.

The soldiers are a different story. They were suffering hardships, and they were a ragtag band of soldiers. Unfortunately, I could see why they would like the idea of being fed, having shoes, uniforms, and a nice place to sleep. However, I also didn’t see why they would fight for Nazi values after all they’d been through. Trading one form of tyranny for another isn’t a great option.

Towards the end of the book I started not hating the book and just disliking it a lot. I truly could not see any of the Continental Congress or Founding Fathers just standing by or accepting the Nazi values. Once again, I didn’t personally know any of them. However, my brain can’t comprehend them allowing someone else to plow over their ideals. The American Revolution, along with its values, cause, and purpose is too ingrained in me to accept anything less.

Just when I thought it all might be ok, the book ended. Yep, just up and ended. Nope, I wasn’t a fan of the ending. It could have used another twenty pages or so to finish things off. It left off with a lot of holes. There were many things that I thought should have been explained, but I was left hanging. That disappointed me, for sure.

Overall, it was ok for me. Maybe a non-American would have an easier time accepting it as a possibility. I guess I did find it interesting to think about how perfectly everything came together in reality. It could have just as easily gone the other way. What would life be like now if it had?

Content Rating RRating: R (There is profanity in this book, including many “f” words. There’s also some “intimacy,” including scenes, innuendos, and discussions of rape. There is quite a bit of violence including war atrocities, murder, bombings, hangings, fighting, and the death of several characters.)

Recommendation: Adult

My Rating: 3/5

3 Star Rating

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2M6vOja

 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick  1776 by David McCullough   revolutionary summer by joseph ellis
 

Book Review of Twisted Prey by John Sandford

Twisted Prey by John Sandford

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Book Review of Twisted Prey by John Sandford

This book just showed up in my mailbox one day. Fun, right? I love surprise bookmail! This may not be my usual genre, but I like to switch things up sometimes. When I was younger I read all the John Grisham and Tom Clancy books. I thoroughly enjoyed them, and this book is the same genre. Check out my book review of Twisted Prey by John Sandford to find out if I liked it!

Blurb:

“Lucas Davenport confronts an old nemesis, now a U.S. senator and more powerful than ever, in the thrilling new novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling Prey series.

Lucas Davenport has crossed paths with her before.

A rich psychopath, Taryn Grant had run successfully for the U.S. Senate, where Lucas had predicted she’d fit right in. He’d also been convinced that she was responsible for three murders, though he’d never been able to prove it. Once a psychopath has gotten that kind of rush, though, she often needs another fix, so he knew he might be seeing her again.

He’s right. A federal marshal now, with a very wide scope of investigation, he’s heard rumors that Grant has found her seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee—and the contacts she’s made from it—to be very…useful. Pinning those rumors down, however, is likely to be just as difficult as ever, and considerably more dangerous.

But they have unfinished business, he and Grant. It’s time to put an end to it, one way or another.”

My Book Review:

Lucas Davenport must work really hard because there are a bunch of books about him. I liked him as a character. He keeps things real and doesn’t completely overreact to minor situations. Lucas thinks things through, usually, before acting. I love how much he loves his wife. If I had been his wife in this book I think I would have made him stay with me longer, but she’s probably used to it. I like that he’s a strong, capable guy, yet he also has more of a sensitive side.

There were a lot of characters in this book. I hate to admit that I couldn’t keep all of them straight. Between the different government agencies and organizations, I kept forgetting who was who. For the more important characters, though, like Lucas, Bob, and Rae, I didn’t have a problem. Overall, I thought the character development was well done. It’s a bit creepy getting into the minds of psychopaths. Yes, plural. There is more than one in this book.

The plot seemed plausible, most of the time. Just like some of the current movies, they have to throw in a few things to make the hero seem a bit more powerful than he really is. I’m fine with it. Sometimes it makes me roll my eyes and laugh a little, but it’s fine. I get it. It’s a little scary to think that someone would really do something like this in order to gain power.

There’s a lot of action in this book. Murders, car crashes, disguised assassins shooting up hotel rooms, muggings, secret plots, and hidden files are just a few. Be prepared for quite a ride! It made me very happy for my nice, quiet life. Haha! Not that four kids make for a quiet life, but that we aren’t involved in anything like this. Ever. Thank goodness!

Overall, I liked the story. I liked the complexity of it, and I liked trying to figure it all out. For me personally, there was way too much profanity. I lost track of how many “f” words there are. Maybe it was to try and develop the characters, but I think the same purpose could be achieved in a different way. I also figured out that I don’t like watching people die like that. It was quite gruesome.

Content Rating RRating: R (There’s a lot of profanity, including dozens of “f” words. There isn’t any “intimacy,” but there is a lot of violence. Included are multiple murders, some of which are quite detailed and gruesome.  There is also a mugging, car crashes, and gun violence.)

Recommendation: Adult

My Rating: 3/5 (I lowered my rating to 3 because of all the profanity.)

3 Star Rating

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

If you’d like to purchase this book, click here:

 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

An Echo of Murder by Anne Perry The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

 

Book Review of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

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Book Review of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Have you seen the movie? Then you need to read the book! It’s better, of course! Dan Brown is so good at creating this world where you get caught up in the suspense and the mystery. He masterfully connects the mysterious to the symbolic, and then adds just enough reality to make you really wonder. Is this true? If you’re looking for a fast, entertaining, suspenseful read, then this is the book for you. I hope you enjoy my book review of The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown.

Blurb:

“An ingenious code hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci.

A desperate race through the cathedrals and castles of Europe.

An astonishing truth concealed for centuries…unveiled at last.

As millions of readers around the globe have already discovered, The Da Vinci Code is a reading experience unlike any other. Simultaneously lightning-paced, intelligent, and intricately layered with remarkable research and detail, Dan Brown’s novel is a thrilling masterpiece—from its opening pages to its stunning conclusion.”

My Book Review:

This is an oldie but goodie. If you can believe it, this is one of the first books I reviewed, way back in April of 2009! My reviews looked very different back then, so I’m updating it today in hopes of making it more readable and helpful. I really enjoyed this book. If you can remember when it came out, there were lots of History Channel documentaries about the Knights of the Templar and the theory behind this book.  I have to admit that I was enthralled. Is any of it true? Probably not, but it makes for a very engaging story!

This is a definite thriller that keeps you reading. The curator of the Louvre Museum in Paris is brutally murdered and positioned in a strange and symbolic way—in the Louvre. American professor Robert Langdon happens to be in Paris and is awakened by the French police at his hotel room. They ask for his help in solving the murder. Langdon goes to the Louvre and surveys the gruesome murder scene.

Unfortunately for Langdon, this is only the beginning of his adventure. The police turn on Langdon and accuse him of the murder; Sophie Neveu, a cryptographer, helps him escape. They go together to put the pieces of the mystery together. While trying to solve the mystery, they run into many twists and turns. They also learn why they were both picked for this adventure.

I really liked this book. I had watched the movie first, so some of the surprises weren’t surprises, but it was still really good. It’s so interesting how Dan Brown meshes the symbolic with mystery, reality, and the truth. He adds just enough truth to make it seem plausible. It leaves you wondering if he found some secret, ancient document that provided him with the information.

If you’re looking for a fun, entertaining, high-action book for summer, check out The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I think you’ll enjoy it! Have you already read this book? What did you think??

Content Rating PG-13+Content Rating: PG-13+ (There’s very little profanity and no “intimacy” in this book. There is, however, some violence including a gruesome murder, fighting, and the death of several characters.)

Recommendation: 16 years-old and up

My Rating: 4/5

4 Star Review

If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2Jm1ynm

 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

 Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan An Echo of Murder by Anne Perry

 
This review was first published on 4/28/09; updated on 6/7/18.
 

Book Review of Drugs to Forget by Martin Granger

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Book Review of Drugs to Forget by Martin Granger

With all the scary stuff that happens around the world, it’s easy to worry about it. It’s easy to get scared by it, and allow it to creep into your daily thoughts. Well, I wish I could help you out with that, but unfortunately, I can’t. This book may make it worse. Sorry! Honestly, it’s a little disconcerting. It’s like watching an episode of 24 play out. However, instead of Jack Bauer you have TV documentary maker Nathalie Thompson and her crew trying to piece it all together. And with that, I hope you enjoy my book review of Drugs to Forget by Martin Granger.

Blurb:

A FOREIGN CHEMICAL AGENT IS FOUND ON BRITISH SOIL

CAN IT BE STOPPED IN TIME IN A RACE AGAINST BIOTERROR?

When film director Nathalie Thompson is commissioned to make a programme on bioterrorism, a sudden Ebola outbreak takes her on a dangerous detour to Central Africa. Posing as a Western activist and campaigner for the rights of Africans, Nathalie must investigate the involvement of a Zimbabwean terrorist group.

But when a young colleague unearths a suspicious laboratory in eastern Java that may be producing biochemical weapons, Nathalie is immersed in a violent world of corruption and bioterrorism, which is closer to home than she thinks.

My Book Review:

Wow. Let’s just say I like living in a very quiet, small town. I like staying at home with my kids, reviewing books, and proofreading. I even like subbing at the school once in awhile. Yep, I like my quiet, seemingly boring life. I don’t want to find myself in the middle of extremist groups or world-wide scams. Nope, I’m perfectly fine right here, thank you!

That’s not what Nathalie Thompson thinks, though. She sure is willing to insert herself right into the middle of everything! I like her as a character. She’s strong and brave, and she’s intelligent. She may put herself at risk, but it’s always for the sake of a good story. I think her character is well developed and believable. Her colleagues are also well developed. I liked how they all fit together, and think their different personalities worked together well. Each character has strengths and weaknesses, which makes them more realistic.

I found the story itself to be quite disconcerting. It’s uncomfortable to know that people can have such sinister plots. Of course I know there are people out there that think that way, but I don’t want to think about it. Dwelling on it just increases my anxiety.  The way the story was set up seemed plausible and a bit frightening. I liked the writing style and thought it did a good job of sucking me in and grabbing hold. You could say it may be a little too realistic.

I couldn’t put this book down. I liked the twists and turns and how everything fit together. And then the last line happens. What?!? I hated the ending. Well, the last line. I read it at least three times trying to see if I missed something or misinterpreted it. Nope, that’s the ending. Ugh. Not a fan. And I just don’t get it. Someone please help me out here! Why???

The copy of the book that I read was on my Kindle. I don’t know if I had an unproofed ARC, it didn’t say, but it was a bit challenging to read because there weren’t any chapter breaks. There also weren’t any breaks when it changed from one character to another. It would change from one character to another mid-line. I obviously figured it out, but having breaks would make it flow much better. It would make it much easier to read.

If you’re looking for a good summer, intense read, this book is for you! And if you read it, please let me know what you thought about the end line!

Content Rating RRating: R (Profanity, including many “f” words. There isn’t any “intimacy,” but there is some violence. There are also quite a few adult themes including terrorism and bioterrorism.)

Recommendation: Adult

My Rating: 3.5/5 (I would have given it  4/5, but I really hated that ending line.)

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2kCYXXx

 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

An Echo of Murder by Anne Perry 

 

[Book Review] Road to Eugenica by A.M. Rose

Road to Eugenica by A.M. Rose

Book Review of Road to Eugenica by A.M. Rose

Wow! What a ride! I wish I could suddenly wake up with amazing abilities, especially the ability to read so quickly! That one is my favorite. I hope you enjoy my book review of Road to Eugenica by A.M. Rose.

Blurb:

“Overnight, Drea Smith has transformed from barely able to walk and text at the same time to a boss fighter with encyclopedic knowledge, and she is pretty freaked out. But when Drea learns that someone out there knows her secret and has been searching for her since she was born—created—freaked doesn’t even begin to cover Drea’s mental state. As Drea pushes her new skills to the limits to learn the truth of who, or what, she is, she uncovers that nothing, not even her world, is quite what it seems.
 

My Review:

A.M. Rose takes the reader on quite the adventure with Road to Eugenica! At times you want to hug Drea, and at other times you want to slap her for teenagerness (Yep, I totally just made up that word.). For the most part, Drea is a great character. She has a good voice, and she usually acts as a good, strong character. She has her flaws, for sure, but that makes her relatable and realistic.

The people that surround Drea play a big part in her life. I love the relationship she has with her dad. He seems like the perfect dad for her, and I liked his character a lot. Her mom comes across as more standoffish and not quite so loving, but she is busy with a demanding job so you cut her some slack. Dylan is Drea’s rock. They’ve been friends forever, and he always seems to know exactly what she needs. I liked Dylan a lot. Maddox is the new, hot guy at school. He seems nice, and Drea has fun with him. For awhile you’ve got the Bella from Twilight thing going on, and although it’s a little annoying, it’s understandable because of the circumstances.

I like A.M. Rose’s writing style. She does a great job of pulling the reader into the story. It’s easy to read and understand, the story flows well, and it comes to life on the page. It did take me a bit to get into the book, but by about halfway I couldn’t put it down.  I like the concept of the book as well. It’s creative and unique, has a bit of mystery and sci-fi to it, and you can’t miss the romance as well. And the twist at the end of the book–wow! I seriously did NOT see that coming! Ahhhhhhh! What???

I ended up liking this book a lot. It has great characters, an exciting story, mystery, romance, and good writing, but unfortunately, I have a big dilemma. This book is written for the YA audience. They will definitely enjoy Road to Eugenica! However, the profanity in this book makes it so I can’t recommend it to the YA crowd. I would not allow even my 16 year-old to read this book because of the profanity. There are probably eight or nine “f” words, and that pushes my rating up to an R, sadly. Now, if the language doesn’t bother you, then you will enjoy it.

Note to YA Authors:

*Note to YA authors: Please don’t put “f” words in a book you want YA reading. I know they hear it at school, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be in the books they read. It’s distracting and distasteful, and the stories are so much better without the profanity. Okay, I’ll step off my soap box now.  

 

Content Rating RRating: R (There’s a lot of profanity, including probably eight or nine “f” words. There isn’t any “intimacy,” but the actual word is said once. This book does have some kissing, and there is also some minor violence as Drea fights off the bad guys.)

Age Recommendation: Adult (It’s written for the YA audience, but I can’t recommend it for that age group because of the language.)

Rating: 3/5 stars. I would have given it 4 stars, but because of the language I knocked it down to 3.

3 Star Rating

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 
 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

The Inventor's Secret by Chad Morris The Sage Challenger by Chad Rassmussen  Devil in the Microscope by Ryan Decaria
 
 

[Book Review] Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz vs The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

[Book Review] Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians (Book #1) by Brandon Sanderson

I haven’t read anything else by Brandon Sanderson, but I think he has outdone himself with this book. Let me just say that I haven’t ever laughed out loud at a book like I did with this one! I am so excited to share with you my book review of  Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians! 
 

Blurb:

 “On his thirteenth birthday, foster child Alcatraz Smedry receives a bag of sand in the mail, an inheritance from his lost parents. When it is immediately stolen, he learns that it is no ordinary bag of sand. With it, the evil Librarians who secretly rule the Hushlands–Librarian-controlled nations, such as the United States, Canada, and England–will finally overtake the Free Kingdoms as well. Alcatraz and his ragtag band of freedom fighters must stop them, once and for all.”
 

My Book Review:

 
One of my friends in my book group recommended this series to me about a year ago. I got them at the library for my son, but never had the chance to read them myself. I checked them out again for my daughter to read, and finally  read the first one. I have to say, this book is so much fun! The voice in the book is hilarious! It’s told in first person, and I don’t think I’ve read another book where the first person narrator has such an engaging, witty, and humorous voice. Alcatraz suddenly gets pulled into this crazy world of evil librarians and conspiracies. Even though he’s the supposed hero, the first words in the book are, “I am not a good person.”
 
This book is a (fictional) autobiography of Alcatraz. In it, he tells his life story. I love how he says in the book that the evil Librarians will advertise it as a fictional book (because they don’t want the truth out), but it’s really an autobiography. So fun! It is very well written, engaging, creative, imaginative, and humorous. Yes, there are some scary parts where Alcatraz, Bastille, Grandpa Smedry, and Sing are in grave danger and have to fight those evil Librarians, but the way they’re written makes it seem not so bad.
 
I love the idea of the different lenses (Want more info. on the lenses….read the book!). Did you know that there are actually more than seven continents on the earth? Those evil Librarians have gotten away with not teaching us about them. Hahaha!! I knew some of those librarians were secretly evil! Alcatraz is a great character. He’s definitely not perfect, but in the book that imperfection becomes his strength, which is a great lesson! I love the part about their different talents! Grandpa Smedry is awesome too. Bastille is a little rougher around the edges, but I liked her more as the book went on.
 
If you’re looking for a fun middle-grader/YA series (moms like it too), you’ve come to the right place! There are five books in this series. As a mom, I love finding series for my kids to read. It’s great because then I know I have five good books in a row for them to read. If you want to laugh and learn the secrets of the evil Librarians then you need to read this! The kids love it because of the humor and the adventure, and I loved it for the same reasons. It’s very creative, imaginative, and unique. I highly recommend this book! 
 

Content Rating PGRating: PG (There is no profanity and no “intimacy.” There is some violence with characters being tortured-it’s not too graphic, fighting with different weapons, and lots of stuff breaking. Of course there is a bad guy, and he’s a really good bad guy!!)

 

Age Recommendation: 3rd grade and up (It’s a great middle-grader/YA book!)

Rated 4/5 Stars

4 Star Rating

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

Fablehaven book #1 by Brandon Mull Adventurers Wanted: Slathbog's Gold (Book #1) by M.L. Forman  Janitors (Book #1) by Tyler Whitesides
  
 
 
 

This post was first published on 12/23/16; updated on 2/27/18.

[Book Review] The Sage Challenger by Chad Rasmussen

The Sage Challenger by Chad Rasmussen

[Book Review] The Sage Challenger by Chad Rasmussen

Blurb:

“The day Arian Coles stepped into the CUBUS his life would be changed forever. His scores were high enough to thrust him into the world’s greatest and most dangerous competition. But this is no game, the winner will become one of the ten world leaders–a Sage. According to Sage Law there must always be Ten Sages, but the eldest, Kanja, is dying. He must be replaced. Unable to find a suitable replacement among their own people, the Sages turn to the working class populace and institute the Challenger Competition. Through their love of intelligence, athleticism, technology, and extreme sports they have created The Challenges–ten Challenges in the most dangerous locations on earth. Making friends and foes along the way, Arian must be on his guard at all times. He must decipher his feelings between Maria and Ciana and decide if one is his ally or enemy. At the brink of death, Arian will have to prove if he has the fortitude to make it through unimaginable adversity and be crowned a Sage. But is this the end goal for Arian? He must decide what his true purpose is.” 

My Review:

Wow! What a ride! Full disclosure: Chad Rasmussen lives in my neighborhood. It always makes me a little nervous to review books for people that I know. What if I hate it? What if it’s poorly written? Especially with first-time authors, you never know what you’re going to get. So, when his wife asked if I’d read his book, I said, “Yes,” and then I got worried. However, I needn’t have worried. In his debut novel, Chad Rasmussen takes one part Hunger Games, one part The Amazing Race, and one part Olympics, and successfully mixes them all up into one crazy concoction of action, revenge, betrayal, amazing feats, and change for the Cive people. You can’t help but like Arian. He’s strong, determined, intelligent, easy to relate to, and courageous. The Challenges are insane! Racing on snowboard-type boards on sand dunes, capoeira to the death, soccer on water skates, and flying suits. I was really glad that my brother-in-law and sister-in-law introduced me to capoeira so that I knew what they were talking about. I watched them in a tournament once, and it was quite exciting! Here’s a video of what capoeira is. It’s 8.5 min, but you just need to watch the first couple of minutes to see what it is.  

What did you think? Pretty fun to watch, right? Now just picture them fighting to the death using capoeira. On a small platform. Thousands of feet in the air. Scary! Overall, I’d say that this book is well written. The characters are developed well, the story flows well, is easy to read and understand, and it’s full of action. The Challenges are exciting to read about, and the relationships Arian has with Maria, Shen, and Komi add such a great element to the story. I loved how they supported him. I’d say that overall it was a bit predictable, but there were enough surprises along the way to keep me reading. I came to enjoy this sci-fi world that Chad Rasmussen has created. The ending was a bit of a drop-off-a-cliff, so I hope there is a second book to take us off the ledge we’re hanging from.

Content Rating PG+

Rating: PG+ (There was one swear word that I remember, so not terrible there, and there isn’t any “intimacy,” except for some brief kissing. It is quite violent though. A lot of characters die, and some of them quite graphically.)

Age Recommendation: Young Adult and up (12+)

 
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, and Chad Rasmussen does live in my neighborhood; however, this did not affect my review.
 
 

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Earth-Sim by Jade Kerrion   Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card   The Inventor's Secret by Chad Morris