Kim and Klavan_WastelandWelcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the Variants —- hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.

Hardcover, 328 pages

Published March 26th 2013 by HarperTeen

 

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where resources are scarce, rain is poison, and hermaphrodites are outcasts, Wasteland takes a different look at a future world in which humans do not survive past 19 years of age. They marry young and have children, then spend their days foraging and making contributions to The Source. The Source controls the food and utilities that they all need to survive, making them dependent upon it.

The variants are outcasts who attack the others, especially while they forage for The Source. Esther thinks there are better ways to live her life than working all the time; she has secretly made friends with Skar, a variant, and they spend most of their time shirking duties and exploring.

There are a variety of characters both outside and inside The Source that we get to know. Their society is on the brink of change—most likely for the worse—and everyone is searching for a way to live longer. There is not a whole lot of world building in Wasteland, but just enough to get the feel of this story. As the series continues, I hope to find out more about the events in the time before this book takes place.

When a mysterious stranger shows up, Esther is immediately curious about what he is looking for, and soon they join forces to fight for change. The pace of the story picks up once Caleb arrives, and the secret of what is really going on starts to be revealed.

What I loved about the story is that even though it covers ideas that are similar to those in books that I love, there are some unusual twists that make Wasteland unique. It gave me insight into how things could be different, especially with the hermaphrodite aspect. It doesn’t play a huge role in the first book, but I found it to be a very curious and unique aspect of the story, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

I recommend this book to lovers of survival stories and post-apocalyptic fiction.



Frankel_The WardSixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.

However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.

Jordana Frankel’s ambitious debut novel and the first in a two-book series, The Ward is arresting, cinematic, and thrilling—perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld or Ann Aguirre.

Hardcover, 465 pages

Published April 30th 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books

Just as Ren is about to get her chance to become a racer, the government issues a warning that no one may cross the line between The Ward and the rest of the city. The Ward division of the city is water-logged and people are dying from an illness; they are cut off in an effort to keep the illness from causing more damage in the city.

During her races, Ren tries to locate a secret fresh water source that is rumoured to be on The Ward’s side of the city. She works for the government, earning money to take care of herself and her sister. As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, boy troubles soon arise.

Ren ends up in the race of a lifetime while her sister is on the brink of death and she is on the verge of locating the water source. Every time she thinks she close, something else comes up. It’s a constant struggle for her, and she must remain strong or lose everything.

As the story is based on racing, it is fast paced and with three different angles to the storyline all revolving around Ren, there is never any downtime. What I enjoyed most about the story was its unique plot. It was refreshing to read something a bit different. It made me think a lot about finding the water and what the consequences or benefits may be. It is very much a story of the government versus the people. Recommended.



de la motte_gameFollow the rules and everybody gets hurt . . .

One Sunday morning after a long night of partying, Henrik “HP” Pettersson, a slacker with a lot of ego and very little impulse control, finds a cell phone of an unfamiliar make on a commuter train. Through insisting and slightly uncanny messages that refer to him by name, the phone invites him to play a game. HP accepts without hesitation.

The rules are that HP must complete tasks that range from childish pranks to criminal acts, as allocated by the mysterious Game Master. HP is the perfect contender; alienated from society, devoid of morals, and desperate for fame. His completion of the assignments are filmed and uploaded onto a protected server where viewers rate the Players performances.

The Game starts out innocently enough and then becomes increasingly risky, threatening the safety of someone close to HP. He is determined to become a superstar, but when the dark and tragic secrets of his family’s past are at stake, HP must make a choice. Will he suffer the humiliation of defeat, or will the need to win push him to the limit no matter the cost?

First in a fast-paced and riveting trilogy, Game will leave you guessing. Follow the rules, and everybody gets hurt . . .

Paperback, 400 pages

Published December 3rd 2013 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Henrik finds an abandoned phone on a train that begins to receive personally addressed messages for him.  He is intrigued and decides to take the phone up on it’s offer, to play a game. The game begins with easy tasks, like to steal an umbrella, and real money can be won. But the games soon grow more dangerous and more money is offered. Henrik really has nothing better to do and finds the challenges a good way to pass the time and make money, along with the bonus high of getting away with illegal acts.

Henrik lets the game get to him; he loves the online attention he gets when his scores are posted. His ego takes hold and he thinks he can do no wrong. But then something does go wrong, and leaving the game is not as easy as starting it. Now he is going to need the help of others to leave and go up against more than just other gamers to win.

Rebecca is a more balanced and rounded character. The book is written from both her and Henrik’s perspectives and she fills in the gaps of the storyline we don’t see through Henrik’s fast-paced game sections, though we get as much excitement out of Rebecca’s story. Rebecca helps to coordinate security guards for personal  protection and it’s not long before Rebecca and Henrik get involved in the same mess.

The Game is a tech-crime thriller. It has yin and yang characters in Henrik and Rebecca; one you will like getting to know and one that will make you want to slap them. The writing jumps from different perspectives, sometimes within the same chapters, and this keeps the story moving and adds excitement.

What I loved about The Game is the energy that came with reading it. It was action-packed and featured moments that made me gasp, giggle, and shake my head. It was an enjoyable read that I could lose myself in and I wanted to continue reading. It is the first book in the series.

 



Peacemaker-CRKrista:

Cover

The cover represents the story very well. I could clearly see Virgin as the girl on the cover: serious and always on the ready. The flying vehicles in the futuristic city look down upon the park. Very detailed and representative.

Characters

The overall feel of the characters that I got from the book was like detectives solving a crime, aiming for the same goal, yet thwarted by clashing personalities that can get both serious and hilarious.

Favorite

It’s a tie between Virgin and Sixkiller; they are the best when they are interacting (mostly bickering). They made me laugh.

Least Favorite

I have to agree with Belinda here–Detective Chance

Beginning

When park ranger Virgin Jackson witnesses a mysterious death in what she thought was a contained and locked park, her senses flare up. She has been assigned a new partner from the US Marshall service, Nate Sixkiller, and, unexpectedly, she is now seeing an imaginary animal from her childhood.

Storyline

Being preoccupied with the park and the murder, Virgin is not feeling up to being a babysitter to her new partner who seems to be hiding the true reason he has joined on at the park. But when Sixkiller shows signs of being able to see her imaginary friend, things begin to get really crazy.

Ending

With the advanced technology set up at the park, all life within it should be able to be detected through the system. Things begin not making any sense, and Virgin soon learns that her life is in danger. Along the way, she gets some help from her best friend, and some relaxation time with her stripper lover, Heart.

Thoughts

The story goes back and forth between the park and the city scenes, as we follow Virgin through her home life as well as work life: her romantic life as well as her professional. Virgin’s character is strong willed and determined, but as the story progresses she slowly lets down her guard and allows people in.

Peacemaker is a very imaginative and entertaining read. I recommend this to readers who enjoy a strong lead female character.

Quote

My name is Virgin Jackson. Or Ranger Jackson, if you prefer. But if you call me ma’am again, I’m likely to break your face.”

Peacemaker cover_BlackLisa:

Cover

Totally kick butt! I absolutely love how many elements the cover includes from the story! I feel like the cover of Peacemaker completely represents the story inside.

Characters: A park ranger? A cowboy? An imaginary eagle bird? Couldn’t get anymore random or anymore AWESOME!

Favorite

Without a doubt I would have to say, Virgin. She was so sassy, sarcastic, funny and knew how to handle herself well in all the situations she was thrown into.

Least Favorite

Unlike Bel and Krista I would have to say that I don’t have a least favorite. I would agree that there were some weird characters featured in Peacemaker, but I found them all to be pretty intriguing.

Beginning

Virgin thinks she witnesses a murder in the park after hours, she is partnered up with a cowboy, and she starts seeing an imaginary animal from her childhood. The beginning is of Peacemaker throws the reader right into the random craziness of the story without any sort of hesitation!

Middle

Some much is going on around Virgin, that she isn’t in the mood to take care of the cowboy that she now calls her partner. But when she discovers that he might have the ability to see her imaginary animal friend as well, she becomes MUCH more interested!

Ending

Like Bel, my lips are sealed!

Overall

I wasn’t too sure how I was going to feel about this one. I loved Marianne’s Burn Bright trilogy and was excited to get started on this one. Why was a I nervous? Because there seemed to be a lot going on. But after only a few chapters, I was suckered in, and loved it! Its SO absolutely random, but very, very good!

 

 

Marianne_bioBel:

Cover

Love the artwork by Joey Hifi. It represents the grit and flow of the story perfectly. Yes. Yes. YES!

Characters

Between imaginary animals and bad asses, there’re a buffet of brilliant characters to pick from.

Favourite

Marshall Nate Sixkiller. Dude has some skills.

Least Favourite

Detective Chance. Issues!

Beginning

Virgin Jackson, a ranger for Birrium Park, notices some funky stuff happening in her park.

Storyline

Virgin gets partnered unwillingly with Nate Sixkiller to sort out the funky stuff.

Ending

As with most other Book Club write ups, you’ll have to read it to find out.

Thoughts

I was so wrapped up in the plot and the characterisation; I didn’t even notice the pages flipping by. I love the world building. Virign has to come back and kick more ass.  

Quote

“You haven’t forgotten have you, Virgin?”

I sighed. “Gate 65. Terminal 21. Tall guy wearing a uniform. His name’s Nate.” – Virgin talking with Bull Hunt.

 



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