Written By: Mercedes Lackey

Published By: Disney-Hyperion

Read: August 8-9, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis

Centuries ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were slashed open allowing hideous fantastical monsters to wreak havoc; destroying entire cities in their wake. Now, people must live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the evil creatures constantly trying to break in. Only the corps of teen Hunters with lightning reflexes and magical abilities can protect the populace from the daily attacks.

Joyeaux Charmand is a mountain girl from a close knit village who comes to the big city to join the Hunters. Joy thinks she is only there to perform her civic duty and protect the capitol Cits, or civilians, but as cameras follow her every move, she soon learns that the more successful she is in her hunts, the more famous she becomes.

With millions of fans watching her on reality TV, Joy begins to realize that Apex is not all it seems. She is forced to question everything she grew up believing about the legendary Hunters and the very world she lives in. Soon she finds that her fame may be part of a deep conspiracy that threatens to upend the protective structure built to keep dark magic out. The monsters are getting in and it is up to Joy to find out why.

When I received Hunter from NetGalley I looked through some of the reviews on Goodreads and they made me so nervous to read it. There were some good reviews here and there but most of them were at best mediocre. Now here I am writing my review and I am torn. I am giving this book a three out of five simply because my feelings on it are so mixed.

I actually really enjoyed the story. I thought that it was a fun new take on the often over played Dystopian genre. When the Diseray occurred, which is their apocalyptic event that changed the world, it opened up our world to creatures from the Otherside. The Othersiders are based on pretty much every mythological creature that you can think of. I thought this was really fun and it leaves endless possibilities for the rest of the series. At times it was a little overwhelming trying to keep track of all of the different characters and creatures but overall I really liked the story. I will definitely read the rest of the series.

As much as I enjoyed the story, the writing was very mediocre. The descriptions were lacking and at times repetitive. There were a few times when the poor word choice really detracted from the story. I think that I would have rated this book higher if there were some small improvements on the writing.

2015 Reading Challenge- A Book With Magic

Recommended for Fans of: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure and Young Adult

Suggested to Read Next: Enclave

Penryn and the End of Days

angelfall world after End of Days

Angelfall & World After & End of Days

Written By: Susan Ee

Published By: Hodder and Stoughton and Skyscape

Read: August 10-15, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis- Angelfall

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Goodreads Synopsis- World’s End

In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

Goodreads Synopsis- End of Days

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

This is the first time that I have ever reviewed an entire series in one post. I flew through the series in less than a week and I decided that instead of posting three separate reviews I would just smush it all into one post. My actual rating of each individual book is the same for each one, which I would say is about 3.5/5.

The series as a whole was a very easy read. The writing isn’t going to blow your mind, but the story will pull you in and keep you interested from the first page to the last. I was constantly surprised with the direction that the story was taking. The story was just so creative and even though it was full of angels, it never became overly religious.

The absolute best part of this story was the unique cast of characters.  Penryn and her family were so much fun to read about. Rarely do we read about people with mental or physical disabilities in dystopian novels. It is just assumed that they don’t survive, but Penryn’s family is full of fighters. There were so many different dimensions to each of the characters. Susan Ee is a master of character development.

If you haven’t read this series I recommend that you do. It is a fast and fun read!

2015 Reading Challenge- A Book With Non-Human Characters

Recommended for Fans of: Fantasy, Dystopia, Romance and Young Adult

Suggested to Read Next: Daughter of Smoke & Bone



Written By: Ernest Cline

Published By: Crown Publishing

Read: July 12- August 7, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.

I had heard a lot of really good things about Ernest Cline and his first novel Ready Player One but I had never read it. When I received this copy of Armada from Crown Publishing I wasn’t sure if I was going to be something that I would enjoy. I am so happy that I gave it a chance because I loved it! Armada is one of my favorite books of 2015 so far.

The characters were everything in this book. Each character was so well thought out. They each had a backstory that helped to better define who they were. They represented such a perfect cross section of the gamer world. They ranged in age, background, ethnicity, and sexuality etc. There wasn’t a single character that seemed underdeveloped or unnecessary to the story.

The relationships between the characters were perfect. The author was able to add just the right amount of romance that did not distract or detract from the story. There was the sweet and subtle romance between Zack and Lex but there was also the lustful relationships one might expect in an end of the world situation. The friendships between the gamers were wonderful. I loved how quickly they all bonded and the mutual respect that they had for each other.

The story itself was just as well developed and awesome as the characters. It was different from anything else that I have read. Armada is full of pop culture references that made the book fun and relatable. It was unique and fun and action packed. It kept a good pace throughout the entire book and I was interested from the first page to the last. I highly recommend this, even if you don’t normally read sci-fi books.

2015 Reading Challenge- A Book With A One Word Title

Recommended for Fans of: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Young Adult

Suggested to Read Next: The Martian

TBR Takedown

I am participating in my first read-a-thon! I will be taking part in the #TBRTakedown hosted by Shannon @LeaningLights. The read-a-thon takes place from July 25-31. Below are the prompts and the books that I choose.

1. First Book In A Series

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

2. Sequel Book In A Series

Days of Blood and Starlight

3. A Book Out Of Your Comfort Zone

sherlock holmes

4. A Book On Your Shelf For Over A Year

water for elephants

5. Most Recently Hauled Book

The Good Girl

Are you participating in the #TBRTakedown? If you are post a link to your blog or find me on Twitter (@bmariereads)! Have you read any of the books that I am reading for the read-a-thon? Let us know in the comments!

New Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Pure Insanity

Pure InsanityNew Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Pure Insanity

Written By: Sean Ryan

Art By: Jeremy Roberts, Tom Derenick and Various Others

Published By: DC Comics

Read: July 20-21, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis

Setting the world’s most dangerous super-criminals against the most insidious threats to national security: that’s the idea behind the elite black-ops unit officially designated as Task Force X. It’s perfect…on paper.

But the real world rarely goes according to plan. Threats evolve. Teammates turn on each other. Blood and betrayals flow like rivers. And that’s why Task Force X is better known as the Suicide Squad.

Vic Sage aims to change the equation. Replacing Amanda Waller as the puppet-master of Suicide Squad’s motley crew, he’s introducing wild cards like Deathstroke and the Joker’s Daughter to whip the existing team-Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Black Manta-into shape. But the world’s deadliest assassin and the Clown Princess of Crime have ideas of their own…and no explosive implants to keep them in line.

Can this new Suicide Squad survive-or will it implode before it even begins?

Collects issues #1-8

Let me start by saying that this is the first graphic novel that I have ever read. I needed to read a graphic novel as part of the reading challenge that I am participating in. I am a fan of the DC Universe, as well as the Marvel Universe, so when I saw this graphic novel on NetGalley it seemed as good a choice as any. I had to download a compatible program to my computer to be able to read it and it was sort of a pain to read since the program didn’t offer dual page view. Besides the less than ideal reading conditions I really enjoyed it reading it!

I didn’t know a lot about the characters or story line when I first started New Suicide Squad Vol. 1. In fact, I didn’t really know what to expect since I had never read a graphic novel before. This volume consisted eight issues. There were two separate missions consisting of four issues each with an ongoing story line throughout all eight issues.

I found that reading a graphic novel is pretty much identical to reading any other book but with the addition of artwork. I loved the art! Not only did it add to the ongoing written story but it told a story all by itself. If you were to take away all of the written words the art would still be able to tell an amazing story. There was amazing attention to detail to both the art and the layout. I loved the style and everything about it was bold. The Joker’s Daughter was my favorite piece of art in the entire volume. She was dark and creepy and so incredibly well drawn.

Obviously the story is just as important as the art and I was not disappointed! There was a large cast of characters with Mrs. Waller, Vic Sage, Black Manta, Harley Quinn and Deadshot appearing in all eight issues and many other characters appearing in one of the two missions within the volume. My favorite character was either Joker’s Daughter or Harley Quinn. They were both balancing on the line of sanity and I loved their relationship throughout the first four issues. I also really enjoyed the struggle for power between Mrs. Waller and Vic Sage.

As far as the plot goes I thought that it was wonderful. It was well thought out and flowed flawlessly from issue to issue. It was packed with action from the first page to the last. A task force consisting of villains is such a fun idea and I think that it was executed perfectly. I enjoyed every minute of my first graphic novel and I plan on reading more in the future. I think that the highest complement that I can give The New Suicide Squad Vol. 1 is that it has converted me to a lover of graphic novels. I highly recommend it!

2015 Reading Challenge- A Graphic Novel

Recommended for Fans of: Graphic Novels and Fantasy

Suggested to Read Next: Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin