Friday, June 29, 2012

The Selection

The Selection
by Kiera Cass

America Singer lives in a dystopian future where the United States is gone, and a new kingdom is in its place, complete with a caste system where you stay in the level in which you're born unless something amazing happens.

Something amazing has happened to America.

Born a Five, she's selected to participate in a contest for the future king's hand.  One girl is selected from each of the 35 provinces in a Bachelor-like competition to become the future queen.

But America has already fallen in love with a Six.  She had her future planned out and this whole contest has put a serious crimp in her plans.

Sent to the palace, she's cleaned up, dressed up, and put up against 34 others.  Only one will get to become a One and marry the prince.  Only one gets to help her family get out of poverty and lift them out of their caste level.  Only one gets to be queen.

America's sure she doesn't want to be that one.  But the prince is a nice guy, the girls are almost all fairly decent people, her Six has abandoned her, and her family needs the money.

Can she do what's right and still find her happiness?

Final thoughts:  Billed as The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor, this is a dystopian romance that's more fluff than anything else.  The kingdom seems a little too messed up, with attacks on the palace being pretty regular and the country has very little stability, making the desire to have this reality competition for the prince's hand seem kind of stupid.  However, if you just let go of that and enjoy the fluffy cotton candy nature of it, it can be kind of fun.  Don't expect a deep, meaningful tale of warnings about the future.  It's not here.  Just relax and enjoy the ride.

Rating: 4/5

First Grave on the Right

First Grave on the Right
by Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson is a triple threat.  She's a decent bartender, a decent private investigator, and a kick ass Grim Reaper.

She's the bright shining portal through which the dead travel to get to the other side.

She's also got a ghost helper, a hover-ghost in the corner of her apartment, and a mysterious stranger who invaders her dreams in very naughty ways and saves her from danger.

But being a kick ass grim reaper with a wicked sense of humor isn't all fun and games.  She has to deal with peeping tom ghosts who won't cross over, abusive husbands of her PI clients, physical attacks, murders, and more events that require her special skills.

If only she could stop getting the crap beat out of her long enough to solve the mystery that is the Big Bad who seems to show up at the most perilous times, as well as solve the murders of 3 lawyers from the same firm!  Maybe today will be that day.  Or maybe tomorrow.

Final thoughts:  I LOVE Charley.  She is like the @TheBloggess version of a PI and I really enjoyed her voice.  "I did that thing where you scratch your eyebrow and flip someone off at the same time.  I'm good at multitasking like that." "You pretty much annoy me and thus can kiss my ass..." "...I contemplated possibilities for why all three lawyers might have stayed behind instead of crossing over. My calculations--allowing for a 12 percent margin of error, based on the radius of the corresponding confidence interval and the surgeon general's warning--concluded that they probably didn't stay behind for the tacos."  Her level of snark is almost unmatched.  My only real problem is that the author pretty much just drops you into Charley's world.  You don't get a few pages to get some exposition and back story; you're just THERE.  It's takes a bit to get settled in, but the ride is worth it.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, June 14, 2012


by Gwenda Bond

Roanoke Island is the stuff of legends... literally.  The first settled town of the new Americas, when those who left to get provisions came back three years later, all the people had disappeared.  There was no trace of them anywhere.  No bodies.  No note.  Just the word "Croatoan" on a post and all the homes were dismantled. 

It's an enduring mystery that many are still trying to solve today.

Miranda Blackwood has lived on Roanoke since birth; she's never even stepped across the bridge to go to the mainland.  All her life, she's lived with the stares and talk of the townspeople around her.  She's the curse-bearer.  She and her father bear the name of the betrayer.  In the eyes of the island natives, the Blackwoods will never amount to any good.

Phillips Rawling, son of the police chief, has his own issues.  He hears the voices of the dead. They fill his mind and prevent him from thinking straight.  After having been sent off the island, and subsequently away from the voices, years before, Phillips is back and he's just in time.

Because it's happened again.

Over a hundred islanders have disappeared without a trace.  Somehow, Miranda is involved.  And Phillips may be the only person who can help her set things right.

Final thoughts: I will start off by saying that a large part of the problem I had with reading this book was the formatting of the NetGalley ARC I got on my Kindle.  There are serious spacing issues, which cause confusion when points of view change but there's no identifier like a paragraph space to show that a change in narrator is occurring.  However, the writing overall is fairly poor.  There's just not enough detail of the major events.  There are sudden shifts in location without explanation.  One moment she's one place and the next, she's somewhere else.  Some things are stressed as fairly important and then ignored later, while other things barely mentioned suddenly become essential.  The story is interesting (though the author admits to taking tons of liberties with the history, the actual location, and other facts), but the follow-thru is lacking.

Rating: 1/5


Related Posts with Thumbnails