Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Sunrise by Mike Mullin

Sunrise (Ashfall, #3)Title: Sunrise
Author: Mike Mullin
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Publishing Date:  April 15th 2014
Pages: 466
Genre:  YA Post Apocalyptic
Series:  Ashfall #3
Source: ARC 


The Yellowstone supervolcano nearly wiped out the human race. Now, almost a year after the eruption, the survivors seem determined to finish the job. Communities wage war on each other, gangs of cannibals roam the countryside, and what little government survived the eruption has collapsed completely. The ham radio has gone silent. Sickness, cold, and starvation are the survivors' constant companions.

When it becomes apparent that their home is no longer safe and adults are not facing the stark realities, Alex and Darla must create a community that can survive the ongoing disaster, an almost impossible task requiring even more guts and more smarts than ever — and unthinkable sacrifice. If they fail . . . they, their loved ones, and the few remaining survivors will perish.

This epic finale has the heart of Ashfall, the action of Ashen Winter, and a depth all its own, examining questions of responsibility and bravery, civilization and society, illuminated by the story of an unshakable love that transcends a post-apocalyptic world and even life itself.

I was so very excited to get to the last book of this series. This was a series I read pretty much in one after the other and I was really anxious to see how the series would end. Its hard to see hope in apocalyptic and post apocalyptic books, this was book was able to give a bit of hope in the end. Hope wasn't the only thing that filled the pages, there was more romance, more action, more death, and more laughs. Its hard to believe that it all exists in one book, but it does. It was a great book to a really good series. 

Alex and his family have been through hell and back. They need some hope, they need to rebuild, they need to live again, but first they must take back their town, their food, their lives. Once they have what's theirs, they will learn to protect, fight, and become a community. To build towards a future. 

This book was really really good. I am glad to see it take a bit of a different trail than the second book. This time, for the most part, Darla and Alex stay put. They do travel some to find supplies, food, and rescue others, but for the most part they make a home. A good home. A home with  all the things they need to survive and think about reclaiming a future for themselves and their family and friends. 

This book had a great mixture of battles, exploring, surviving, and living. I never bored, every time I started to get the hang of the going ons, it would switch modes and bring some excitement with it. I never knew what I was in for. It was intense too. The author is not afraid to kill people off,  get bloody and gross, or throw in some real action just for the fun of it. The author also doesn't shy away from the romance either. There was the deep love between Alex and Darla, puppy love, and new relationships that came with a jump start into the fast lane. 

The first two books were more about surviving and rescuing, this book really focused on rebuidling. I enjoyed watching Darla and Alex as they made a community, government, and plans for going forward. Darla was such a great character. She was so awesome in this book. The brains on that girl just amaze me. She had street smarts, book smarts, and a real smart mouth. Loved her. There was more of her brains in this book with getting things to work right in the new community and it was just so intriguing to watch her work. 

Alex of course was a smart cookie too but he had more of the leadership smarts. It took some practice, some failures, and so mistakes, but he was able to lead and he was great at it. Alex was much smarter in this book but still made quick decisions on the fly that sometimes ended him in big trouble. No matter what the outcome, how bad the pain was, or what was sacrificed, he survived and he fought for his friends and family. 

There were good guys, bad guys, and guys in between. I felt this series, this book, kept pretty true to what would happen in a situation of survival. Some made it honestly and some did  horrible things, some did what needed to be done and asked for forgiveness later. Not everyone deserved to survive but they all deserved the chance to do it right. 

The story was great, the pacing was great, the characters just awesome, and the ending, ending was epic. I loved the way the series ended. 

Just wonderful, Just wonderful. Sad its over but happy to see it end on a high note. 

Mike Mullin
Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really hoping this writing thing works out.

Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats. ASHFALL is his first novel.

Waiting on Wednesday #108

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Blackbird (Blackbird Duology, #1)
Blackbird by Anna Carey
September 16th 2014

This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni

The Eighth DayTitle: The Eighth Day 
Author: Dianne K. Salerni
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publishing Date: April 22nd 2014
Pages: 320
Genre:  MG Fantasy Adventure/Arthurian Mythology
Series: Eighth Day #1
Source:  ARC


In this riveting fantasy adventure, thirteen-year-old Jax Aubrey discovers a secret eighth day with roots tracing back to Arthurian legend. Fans of Percy Jackson will devour this first book in a new series that combines exciting magic and pulse-pounding suspense.

When Jax wakes up to a world without any people in it, he assumes it's the zombie apocalypse. But when he runs into his eighteen-year-old guardian, Riley Pendare, he learns that he's really in the eighth day—an extra day sandwiched between Wednesday and Thursday. Some people—like Jax and Riley—are Transitioners, able to live in all eight days, while others, including Evangeline, the elusive teenage girl who's been hiding in the house next door, exist only on this special day.

And there's a reason Evangeline's hiding. She is a descendant of the powerful wizard Merlin, and there is a group of people who wish to use her in order to destroy the normal seven-day world and all who live in it. Torn between protecting his new friend and saving the entire human race from complete destruction, Jax is faced with an impossible choice. Even with an eighth day, time is running out.

I almost passed this book up and decided I would give it a go. I am so glad I did. This book was pretty amazing. I was captivated by the story from the very beginning and stayed that way throughout the entire book. The characters were pretty super, the pacing was well done, the writing was exciting, and I just enjoyed this book immensely. 

Jax celebrates his 13th birthday, goes to bed, wakes up in an abandoned world. He believes the apocalypse has come, but what has really happened is he is part of special group of people that can live in the eighth day. A day that exists between Wednesday and Thursday. There are others that experience this day and who live only within this day. Jax discovers all the secrets that surrounds this day and also the dangers. He unknowingly brings horrible danger to a friends front door, now its up to him and other Transitioners to save the eighth day and the world. 

This book was really really good. I didn't really know what I was in for, I thought the book sounded more sci-fi, time traveling, parallel universe. Nope its fantasy, magic, myths.... and I loved it. One of my favorite aspects of this book, the myth that surrounded the Eighth Day. Merlin, Arthur, and even the Knights of the Round Table had a bit to do with the Eighth Day. I have read many Merlin or Arthur retellings, inspirations, and renditions. This one was quite original. I was fascinated by the idea. It was well thought out and well done. The story was definitely the main focus for me. 

The characters were good too. It did take me a bit longer to connect to them than I like, but once I did the connection was strong. There was tons of story building, so the character building lacked just a tiny bit at first. In the end I fell for everyone of the characters. There is quite a variety of them too. The main character Jax, was my favorite. He was kind, brave, generous, and very true to doing what he felt was right. He was a normal 13 year old and generally acted first and planned after. He made some bad decisions but he was determined to make up for those choices. 

Evangeline was a bit harder to connect with. I liked what I knew. She was sweet. She was a loyal friend, and she had a bit of attitude. Riley was hard to like at first, a jerk at first site, but I loved him once I got to know him. He was very loyal and very protective over those he loved. He didn't think twice about doing what needed to be done and never failed to jump in when needed. I hope to see so much more of him in the next book. There was quite a bit more characters, but they weren't as major. They were all fun and fit well into the story, adding laughter and trouble. 

The story read well, started out running and ended with a bang. There was lots of action, thrills, humor, adventure, and discovery. The ending left me wanting more but also had some resolution. I closed the book with a smile on my face and hole that needs to be filled with next book. 

Awesome read. I would highly recommend this book for those that love MG books or wanting to dabble to see what its like. Also great for any kind of fantasy lovers or fans of Arthurian mythology. 

Dianne K. Salerni

DIANNE K. SALERNI is a fifth grade teacher by day and a writer by night. She's the author of YA historical novels, We Hear the Dead (Sourcebooks) and The Caged Graves (Clarion/HMH), and a forthcoming MG fantasy series, The Eighth Day (HarperCollins 2014).

The Caged Graves is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and We Hear the Dead was the inspiration for a 10 minute short film, The Spirit Game, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

In her spare time, Dianne is prone to hanging around creepy cemeteries and climbing 2000 year-old pyramids in the name of book research.

Teaser Tuesday #104 and Top Ten Tuesday #94

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Bloggers choose two
sentences out of our current read to peak others' curiosity.

Lost in Thought

Lost in Thought by Cara Bertrand 


Lainey Young has a secret: she’s going crazy. Everyone else thinks she has severe migraines from stress and exhaustion. What she really has are visions of how people died—or are going to die. Not that she tells anyone that. At age 16, she prefers keeping her crazy to herself. When doctors insist she needs a new and stable environment to recover, Lainey’s game to spend two years at a private New England boarding school. She doesn’t really think it will cure her problem, and she’s half right. There is no cure, but as she discovers, she’s not actually crazy. Almost everyone at Northbrook Academy has a secret too. Half the students and nearly all the staff are members of the Sententia, a hidden society of the psychically gifted. A vision of another student’s impending death confirms Lainey is one of them. She’d like to return the crappy gift of divining deaths with only a touch, but enjoys spending time with Carter Penrose—recent Academy graduate and resident school crush—while learning to control it. Lainey’s finally getting comfortable with her ability, and with Carter, when they uncover her true Sententia heritage. Now she has a real secret. Once it’s spilled, she’ll be forced to forget protecting secrets and start protecting herself.
Garrett didn't seem to mind. In fact, I had a good enough time that I let him kiss me goodnight when we got back to campus. 

Top Ten is an original feature/weekly meme created here at
The Broke and the Bookish that features a great bookish top ten every week.

My Top Characters that make me Laugh Out Loud

1. Bubba from The Chronicles of Nick
2.  Georgia from the Georgia Nicholson Series 
3. Jaron from The Asecendance Series
4.Howie from Jasper Dent Series
5. Toraf from The Syrena Legacy series
6. Magnus from The Mortal Instruments
7. Roux from Also Known As
8. Scatty from The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
9. Grover from Percy Jackson
10. Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Genre Definition and Recommendation #62

Genre Definition and Recommendation is a feature where I will define a genre and a sub-genre definition and the make some recommendations.  

Science Fiction - Definition found on Wikipedia

Science Fiction- is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible (or at least non-supernatural) content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities. 

Dystopian- Definition found on Wikipedia 

Dystopian- the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian.

My Recommendations: 

Landry Park (Landry Park, #1)Landry Park by Bethany Hagen

In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won't allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty - her family and the estate she loves dearly - and desire.

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)
Wither by Lauren DeStefano


By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can't bring herself to hate him as much as she'd like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband's strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out? Together with one of Linden's servants-Gabriel-Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

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