Lifeblood (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

This review contains spoilers for Firstlife by Gena Showalter.

As Tenley “Ten” Lockwood’s Firstlife ended, she chose her realm in the Everlife. This decision, though, has many consequences as the war between Myriad and Troika continues. One of these is that the love of her life, Killian, is Myriadian, which means they can’t even touch each other without getting hurt.

Ten is a Conduit, which means she absorbs the sunlight and directs it to Troika. They need sunlight because it acts as a fuel for their bodies. There are only two Conduits currently in existence and the other one is in hiding so Ten’s role is even more important for Troika’s survival. Myriad realizes this, so they are doing everything they can to get to Ten, mostly by using Killian against her.

Another weapon they use against her is Penumbra, a disease capable of draining Troikans of Light. They placed it into two humans and there is a chance for it to be spread to more. Ten is the only one who can cure them but with all the fighting it is extremely difficult to reach them.

With no end in sight for the war and Ten’s life constantly in danger she realizes that everyone isn’t who they appear to be and that nowhere is safe anymore. A big battle breaks out in Troika and a lot of innocent people die. Ten really wants this war to be over and she will do anything to stop it.

I liked Lifeblood by Gena Showalter because it was suspenseful and I couldn’t stop reading. I recommend this book because it was very different and well written.

Book Review of Keeper of the Lost Cities

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review by mcr1220

Keeper of the Lost Cities is the first book in a series that is still being written.  The series is written by Shannon Messenger.

The book starts off with Sophie in a high school class in the real world.  She is only twelve years old.  She then runs into Fitz who tells her that she is not really a human – she is an elf.  Elves are not like the ones you would think of from Santa’s workshop or Lord of the Rings.  These Elves have special powers, or abilities.  Sophie has the abilities to read minds and a photographic memory, which is the reason why she is so smart in the human world.  During her time in the Elves land she starts to go to schools, and makes friends like Brianna and Dex.  She also learns that there are other species not just Elves.

This book was a lot of fun to read.  I really enjoy long books and this book was 512 pages! A bit longer than I normally read but I love longer books.

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

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Review by: apiazza4

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan is the first book in The Trials of Apollo series. In this book, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus by his father Zeus, king of the gods, for starting the war with Gaea, the Greek earth goddess. He is turned into a 16-year-old mortal boy with none of his godly powers. Without Apollo (the god of poetry, healing, prophecy, and other things) up in Olympus, the oracles go silent. Oracles tell prophecies, the prediction of what is to come. Apollo meets a street girl in New York named Meg and it turns out she is a demigod, half-human, half-god.

Meg has a goddess mother and a mysterious step-father who has some big plans that become clear in the end. Meg’s real father was killed by “The Beast” when she was young. Apollo and Meg go on an adventure together to reclaim the stolen oracles and find the missing campers from Camp Half-Blood.

I liked the unexpected twists and the cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. I also liked that it was told from the point of view of Apollo, so you knew what he thought about the different events in the story. I would recommend this book because it is full of adventure and suspense, so you will never want to put it down.

Warriors: My full Review (Including Into the Wild)

Review by: 3344marigold

Hello reader! I am going to try to review ALL of the Warriors series, so please be patient as I go through each one. Beware, you can get hooked fast with these…

Vocabulary needed for understanding:

Kit – kitten

Queen – she-cats expecting or nursing kits

She-cat – female cat

Elder – elderly cat that has retired from being a warrior

Twoleg – humans (us)

Kittypet – housecat owned by twolegs

Loner/rogue – cat that is not in a clan, but is not a kittypet either

Thunderpath – human road

Intro:

Written by Erin Hunter, the Warriors books are a series that follow the lives and adventures of wild cats. They live in clans – groups of cats that have the same skills, and follow the warrior code. The warrior code is what makes a cat a true warrior.

The code includes (This isn’t all):
Being loyal to your clan above all things.
Hunting for your clan’s kits, queens, and elders first.
Not leaving a kit in danger, even is it is from another clan.
Not killing other cats in battle.

The clans include Thunderclan, Windclan, Riverclan, and Shadowclan. These names reflect upon the lifestyles of each group, (for example, Windclan’s territory is on an open field where is it windy). The stories mainly revolve around Thunderclan as the main characters. Although the clans hunt and fight for their own, they meet at a “sacred” place called fortrees (where there are four trees) every full moon to exchange news and share peace. The clans are united under Starclan, their ancestors home and belief of where they go when they die. Starclan is in charge of guiding the living clans, and sending them warnings and prophecies. The clans face many dangers, including other clans, loners/rouges, kittypets, twolegs, thunderpaths, animals such as foxes, badgers and large birds, sickness, starvation, and any other challenges you would face when living in the wild.

Into the Wild:

Spoilers for Into The Wild, book one of the Warriors series beyond this point:

The first book in the Warriors series is called Into the Wild. A young kittypet named Rusty has always dreamed of going into the woods and doing something other than eating the hard, brown, tasteless nibblets that his owners give him to eat. One day, he jumps his fence and goes into the forest. Another cat attacks him… but than releases him, introducing himself as Graypaw, a Thunderclan apprentice. Graypaw leads his clanmates to Rusty, and they take him back to the Thunderclan camp. Thunderclan’s leader, Bluestar, has heard of a prophecy, Fire alone can save our clan. She believes that Rusty, with the pelt color of flames, is the fire that can save the clan from a mysterious threat. Rusty, although with some grudges from the Thunderclan warriors, is accepted into the clan with the name of Firepaw. His mentor is Bluestar. Firepaw has to earn the respect and trust of his clanmates, he was, after all, a former kittypet. And according to the warrior code, “A warrior rejects the soft life of a kittypet.”

Firepaw trains as a Thunderclan warrior, along with Graypaw and Ravenpaw, his closest friends, and Dustpaw and Sandpaw, Firepaw’s rivals who despise him because of his kittypet roots. Ravenpaw is in danger though, because he witnessed his mentor, Tigerclaw, killing the clan deputy to get his power. (Not to spoil anything, but Tigerclaw is a real MURDERER). Tigerclaw might harm Ravenpaw so that he doesn’t tell what he did to the deputy.

Since Tigerclaw is evil, he plans an attack on his own clan. Spottedleaf, the medicine cat, is ruthlessly murdered by another one of Tigerclaw’s allies. Now the clan was without a medicine cat, someone who knows about healing wounds, herbs, sicknesses, and injuries. Plus they interpret messages from Starclan.

One day when Firepaw is out on a hunting assignment, he comes across a loner on Thunderclan territory. Firepaw fights her, and ends up winning only because she is so weak and helpless. Firepaw is overcome by sympathy and compassion, tells her to wait there, and a few minutes later returns with some fresh-kill and gives it to her to eat. This sparks a bond between these two that will last forever, even when they are both in Starclan. The cat’s name is Yellowfang, and she is a former Shadowclan cat who was exiled. (Want to know why? Read Yellowfang’s Secret.) She also used to be a medicine cat, and after gaining respect from Thunderclan with heroics and loyalty, takes Spottedleaf’s place as the medicine cat of Thunderclan.

Ravenpaw is still in danger from Tigerclaw, so Firepaw and Graypaw help him escape to a barn, where a friendly cat named Barley lives. They told Tigerclaw and the rest of the clan that Ravenpaw had died.

Having completed their training to be Thunderclan Warriors, Firepaw and Graypaw, along with Dustpaw and Sandpaw, earn their warrior names. (Fireheart, Graystripe, Dustpelt, and Sandstorm). That night, they are to keep vigil in silence in the camp clearing.

Keep a lookout for my next review of the Warriors book  ………………..  Fire and Ice!

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles Review

Review by: shipperprincess52

Stars- 3.5/5

Summary- It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods—only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.
X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. X is forbidden from revealing himself to anyone other than his prey, but he casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As they learn more about their colliding worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future.

Thoughts-The  Edge of Everything was amazing. I couldn’t put it down, especially when X was around. X was my favorite character, just because he was so clueless about the human world. It made me laugh and cry, he was just so cute. Then there was Zoe, I liked her enough, but she just didn’t hook me the same way as X or even Jonah, Zoe’s younger brother. When Zoe and X were together though, I loved her, the way she talked to X, and everything about their relationship. I really liked the book and I’m really excited for the next one.
Age- 13+

Temeraire by Naomi Novik (pt. 2 of 2)

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Review by: Glory Skyfire

I freely admit that this series is definitely not for everyone. It’s written in Regency style, so if you weren’t able to understand Jane Austen’s prose, this may be a little difficult for you to enjoy. (However, Temeraire is much easier to read.) There are heaping helpings of tactics, warfare, politics, and Regency era high society sprinkled throughout these pages. There’s a bit of swearing, mostly when the situation is really getting bad, but it isn’t every other page (more like every six or seven chapters). It’s not a little kid’s book, and does drag at some points in the later books. But after the initial setup of the first book, which is interesting in and of itself, the pace never slows.

This series is also notable for tackling societal issues of the early nineteenth century. There are several female dragon captains, because Longwings, which are a very valuable acid-spitting breed, only bond with women. Women are given equal consideration and rank within the Royal Aerial Corps; it’s noted that one of Laurence’s runners, Emily Roland, will probably be captain of her mother’s dragon one day. But it’s also noted that women are frequently looked over for other leadership positions, and when Laurence’s friend Jane Roland (Emily’s mother) is promoted to Admiral of the Air (book 5), it’s over strong objections from the Army, Navy, and Parliament. Laurence and his former second lieutenant Riley nearly get into a fistfight over the “slavery question;” Riley is for slavery, Laurence strongly against it. They meet several freed people in book four, including a missionary who gets passage on their dragon transport to Africa, which gets Riley’s back up again (he’s the captain of the transport at that point).

The main societal struggle is actually not one we had to deal with in the real world: dragon rights. As dragons vary from “two-year-old kid” intelligence to “calculate artillery trajectories in your head” intelligence, voting rights, property rights, and more are up on the table. In Britain, dragons are the property of the Royal Aerial Corps, and cannot really choose what they want to do due to their fierce loyalty to their riders (who are all in the Aerial Corps). In China, dragons are treated exactly like humans, with schooling, trading, etc., and some have status around that of the emperor himself. When Temeraire visits China, he sees a lot to improve back in England, and getting dragons rights is a significant subplot which helps to inform Temeraire’s and Laurence’s character development.

Now, characters:

There’s Laurence, Temeraire, Riley, Granby, Choiseul, Iskierka, Tharkay, Maximus, Berkley, Lily, Harcourt, the Rolands, Volatilus, Sipho, Demane, Kulingile, Yongxing, Lien, Perscitia…

and there’s the characters borrowed from reality. Napoleon (obviously), the Duke of Wellington, Horatio Nelson, William Wilberforce, and William Bligh… and more.

I can’t describe how much I love this series. Characters? Well-developed and interesting. Plot? Incredibly original and immersive. Settings? Not the focus, but beautiful just the same. My favorite books of the series are books 1-3: His Majesty’s Dragon, Throne of Jade, and Black Powder War. DISCLAIMER: I have not read books 6-9 and am not responsible for your loving them, liking them, or *shudder* not liking them.

This review is in no way complete because of Temeraire’s size and scope. I just don’t have the ability to detail everything I like about this series. I’ve hit 1000 words in total and climbing, and I haven’t told you everything.

Just give Temeraire a try – you won’t regret it… unless you can’t stop reading and don’t get any sleep for a week in a caffeine-fueled haze of dragons.

 

Temeraire by Naomi Novik (pt. 1 of 2)

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Review by: Glory Skyfire

This is a book series after my own heart (so far, I’ve read through book six of nine).

The Napoleonic Wars… WITH DRAGONS. What more could I ever want?

The main character, Captain Will Laurence, is a quintessential British gentleman: loyal, polite, smart, honorable, and devoted to his duty. At the beginning of the series, that duty is the captaincy of HMS Reliant, on patrol in the winter of 1804. Circumstances change, however, when the Reliant encounters an enemy French vessel.

Its cargo turns out to be a dragon egg, very close to hatching. Allowing the dragon to run away and turn feral is impossible because Britain desperately needs dragons for its air force. When the dragon refuses to choose a rider from among the crew, Laurence steps up and becomes the captain and rider of the dragon Temeraire.

Once he reaches land, Laurence and Temeraire are sent off to the dragon covert where they will learn to fight and fly as a team with other dragons, and with a human crew. Napoleon and his dragons are battering at the English navy, and every dragon is needed, especially Temeraire.

Temeraire is my favorite literary dragon. That’s saying a lot for me. I read about Ramoth, Saphira, Smaug, and Seraphina and loved them all.

One of the main differentiating factors is that Temeraire has a very unique perspective on the world. It’s not exactly what you would expect from a dragon, but it’s truly memorable. He’s very impulsive and doesn’t think through the consequences of his actions, but he’s actually a good leader and tries to be a good companion to Laurence. He’s quite as intelligent as the average human, but has very different priorities, including treasure, fighting, and his captain. Temeraire also has some character flaws. He realizes what some of his flaws are and his character changes and grows throughout the series due to that… with a lot of prompting from Laurence.

This series is set in an alternate history that is quite changed by the existence of dragons. Nations that were colonized in this timeline (e.g. South America and most of Africa) were able to easily fend off the colonizers with the aid of dragons. The United States does exist, and the Revolutionary War did happen, but much fairer and more amicable relations between the Native Americans and the Europeans seem to be normal, and the President of the United States in 1812 is Tecumseh. China is a world power due to their sheer number of dragons, and Africa is an incredibly dangerous place for Westerners, again due to the dragons.

In book one, His Majesty’s Dragon, described above, Napoleon attempts to invade England with his air force of dragons. In book two, Throne of Jade, the characters visit China due to an interesting set of circumstances, then Mongolia, Turkey and up through Eastern Europe (Black Powder War), Africa (Empire of Ivory), back to England again (Victory of Eagles) and then finally to Australia (Tongues of Serpents). I don’t know for sure where Temeraire and his captain go in Crucible of Gold, Blood of Tyrants or League of Dragons, because I haven’t read them. And I won’t divulge any further plot details to you, because I’m mean and/or I just want you to read the series.

Part 2 of this review is coming soon.