Thursday, October 20, 2016

“There it was, a sign above a shop that said 221B BAKER STREET. My mouth hung open."

Billy Boyle by James Benn

Summary: Billy has managed to just squeak through life, thanks to the help of his American Italian family. He barely passes school and his tests to get on the force with the Boston Police. But he manages and is made detective. Billy loves his life, but then Pearl Harbor is attacked. 
Because his dad and uncle lost a brother in the war they are determined to get Billy a safe job so that they don't have to risk loosing him as well. Billy is sent to London to work as a detective and keep peace between the Americans and English. This becomes harder than he ever dreamed possible when a murder is on the loose, a murdering spy who has gotten his hands on the D-Day invasion plans.

This book wasn't what I was expecting, but turned out to be much better. I loved the writing style and ease which the story flowed. I loved how the action showed up seemingly out of nowhere and left me on the edge of my seat. Best of all I loved the characters, especially a young man named Kaz. 

Billy is kind of a bratty character. A know it all, only out for what he can get kind. He barely tries, he is lazy, and hopes things will just be handed to him. But slowly all of that changes after he meets new friends and realizes just how important the job is he has been given. By the end of the book I loved Billy, his sass, but also his big heart he likes to pretend he doesn't have.

I am so glad this is the first book in a series and I will have so many more chances to see Billy. I am also glad this book turned out so well, as I took the risk of buying it before I had read it. Well worth the risk. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

"Shh. He is close. " "Who?" "L' homme papillon"

A Drop of Night by Stefan Buchmann

Taken from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she's been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780's to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.

Or so she thought.

But nothing is as it seems, and the teens soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths. . .

It isn't often I find a book I can't put down. And it is becoming even rarer. This book I came across after many disappointments, and I couldn't stop reading. Which I guess I should expect from Stefan since it has happened with his other two books.

I can't even describe this book. It is like an old fashioned ghost story with a Frankenstein ending. The twist is wonderful at the end - and for those who don't read ghost stories read this one, since it isn't an actual ghost tale.

Anouk was a little annoying at the start, but I think she was meant to be and I didn't hate her. She wasn't so much a tough girl as a girl who had been through something horrible and didn't want friends. (Another thing this book had going for it, FRIENDSHIPS!) She just wanted to get through life and maybe get her family back.

The other characters were wonderful, I loved Will. Will was probably my favourite.

This is a book I think everyone should read. It was delightfully scary - not in the you can't look outside your window at night scary but in your heart races and you have to get to the end. It was exciting, breath taking, fast paced, and something like an old fashioned Gothic tale. It is just an amazing book!

Monday, August 15, 2016

“If I don't stand for freedom, then I must sit in chains.”

A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen

Set during the time of the Berlin Wall, Greta and her family is separated when her father and one brother are trapped on the west side while Greta, her brother Fritz, and her mom are trapped on the east. Longing to have her family back together, Greta rebels in quiet, subtle ways - until the day she sees her dad and begins to hope escape might be possible, through a tunnel she and Fritz plan to dig alone.

I love Jennifer Nielsen and her books. This was an amazing, heart racing, frantic story which left me on the edge of my seat.

This is the first book I have read my her which has the main character as a girl instead of a boy. I was sure I would like Greta because I trust Nielsen's characters, I was glad to be proven correctly. Greta had spunk and spirit but also caution. Her burning desire was to untie her family and she wouldn't let anything stop her.

I adored Fritz more than I can put into words. He was amazing.

I also liked how this story had a friendship side to it like Nielsen's other books. I always welcome a good friendship.

I cannot recommend this book enough and I plan to buy it soon so I can reread it.

“Really?" "No. I'm being ironic. Or is it sarcastic? I can never remember." "Irony's cleverer, so you're probably being sarcastic.”

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Summary: In a modern day London unlike one we know, ghosts run wild. As the years pass it becomes a bigger and bigger problem, which only worsens by the fact only children can see the ghosts and therefore fight them. 
Lucy is one such person. She joins a small organization called Lockwood and Co. Unlike other agencies in London, Lockwood's only has three members - young Lockwood himself, George who does the research, and now Lucy. Together they take on a next to impossible job, to fight the ghosts in one of the most haunted estates in England.

I don't really like ghost stories. Just not my thing. But I had this recommended to me over and over by friends I trust with reading so I finally decided to try it.

The characters are what first pulled me in. I loved all three, Lockwood, Lucy, and even George with his weird habits. (George is weird, plan and simple.)

The book had just the right about of scary but not terror to make it "can't read it at night because you won't be able to sleep for the rest of your life." It even had enough mystery with the characters - *Cough* Lockwood *Cough* - to make readers what the second.

If you are looking for the right amount of creepy in a ghost story then this book is certainly the one.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

"A Cinder's life left behind."

The Star Bell by Stephanie Ricker

I love these characters so much. I was sad to leave them after the first book, and so happy when they returned.

There are few fary tale retellings I like, but this series is on top of the list. Everything about the book is exciting and delightful. The way the story unfolds, the way the characters interact, the fact they are all named after characters from the movie.

I won't say much for the sake of spoilers, but this series is well worth reading. It will pull on your emotions and take you to other worlds you've only ever dreamed about. A wonderful space adventure.

"The battle may be lost because of a family secret."

Champion's Destiny by Tyrean Martinson

The final book in this series. While it wasn't my favorite of the three I still did enjoy it a lot.

The hard thing with writing good series is wrapping them up, but Tyrean did an amazing job. She brought everything together and concluded the various stories perfectly. I felt as if everything were explained and tied together and nothing left unanswered or hanging.

I won't say much about the book for sake of spoilers to the other two, but this series is a definite must read.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

"A soul?"

Samara's Peril by Jaye L. Knight

 I always have trouble reviewing books in a series because I don't want to give spoilers away. But this one I think I can safely say some things about because those who know about the books have an idea of what is coming.

 This book takes place sometime, about a year I think, after book two. The little hidden camp of followers of Elom has grown. They are starting to make a life for themselves and things are going fairly well, but trouble always lurks hidden away.

 After all of his struggles, Jace is starting to feel as if he belongs with his new friends but something is still holding him back. His fear he might not have a soul weighs on his mind, and after a tragedy that weight grows until it nearly crushes him.

 Other things worry him, such as new feelings he can't explain and a possible hope for the future. A future Jace didn't think he could ever have.

 Other trouble brews as well. An invasion and a plan to stop it take a small group back into great danger and battle, and again they face impossible odds.

 I can't say enough how much I love this series. It feels fantasy but still with enough of a historical feel that I sometimes wonder if I'm making reading about ancient Rome. Jaye is a masterful story teller and the world she has woven comes to life off the page.

 The best part for me is her characters. There are a lot in this series but they all feel so real. I love each of them, well most of them, in their own way and can't wait to spend even more books with them.

 This book had a lot of surprises, but also a lot of pleasant things which happened. And not so nice things. It left me with a burning need for book four though. I MUST have questions answered!