This was one of my favorite reads of 2021! I loved the dystopian setting, the murder mystery, and the character POVs!
We are transported to a country where laws have been passed to keep women safe. Men are required to wear tracking devices on their ankles, and they have curfews. Being tracked or caught outside comes with jailtime. This means men cannot have jobs that would require them to be out after curfew. They can’t have long commutes, and many end up being the homemaker while the wife or girlfriend works. This law is only in one country, and so some people have chosen to move while so many choose to stay. I thought it was an interesting dynamic for the story to have an option to not live under the rules and regulations.
So, to be totally honest here, I picked this one up without reading the synopsis because it’s book 2 and I just KNEW I wanted to read it! So…I was surprised to find that this wasn’t going to be a book about survival above ground, but instead one of surviving below…still. So, it took me a little to get over being a bit grumpy about that 😂!
If you haven’t read the first book in this series, Escaping Eleven, you definitely need to start there! It’s an amazing story that I loved!! Book 2 jumps into the story where book 1 left off…SPOILERS… Eve and Wren are above ground, but they soon realize they can’t survive up there. They don’t know anything about the world, what to eat, how to fight animals off, what water is safe, etc. And so, they return to Eleven. Their lives return to normal a bit, there are lover’s spats, Eve punches people, and they realize they need to try to save everyone in the compound, not just themselves. But obviously that’s not as easy as it seems!
I feel like this book was a bit of a mixed bag. I was interested, and I didn’t ever just stop reading this book, but I also kept going back to the synopsis trying to see what it was that I was looking forward to. That Panem callout in the synopsis kept me going. It did feel a little like Panem from the controlling aspect, but I don’t think that’s enough of a connection to use that city.
The world is like ours, but with changes to history. I was really confused in the beginning. They reference historical British royalty family bloodlines, but their histories are changed, so just know going in that any history you know won’t match with this version.
I love a good dystopian story, and this book had that plus great characters and a mix of magic that had e totally entranced!
The magical powers that these characters have were exciting, and I loved learning about them. It’s a magical system that was easy to understand, which I always appreciate! The story begins with an accidental use of powers, and it gripped me from the first line!
This book was amazing! It kept me glued to the pages. The storyline was interesting, and I loved the characters!
This is a dystopian YA novel set generations after the earth has become too hot for humans to live on the surface. The wealthy leaders of Earth built enormous bunkers under the ground and brought laborers with them so that there would be people to run the underground cities and do all the work. Eve lives in Compound Eleven. She’s a lowly 2nd-floor inhabitant, however, it’s better than the 1st floor. Living on the 5th floor are the elite and the privileged. As she looks for a way to escape the compound, she accidentally befriends a 5th-floor boy. She finds that maybe not everyone on the 5th floor is bad…or are they?
Well, this book gave me a book hangover, and I loved that! I got really connected to the characters and by the end, I was like…
“WAIT! It can’t be over!”
Flight of the Spark introduces us to Iskra. She lives in a small village with a long list of rules to keep everyone safe. 📜 No cooking in your own home. 📜 Don’t question the leaders. 📜 Don’t go near a Risker encampment. (They are bad and dangerous!) 📜 Volunteer day is mandatory. 📜 Marry the person we feel is best for you.
The list goes on and on. Iskra is happy in her life. She would like a mother that was more loving and less concerned about her reputation with the neighbors, but overall, she’s comfortable and safe.
Iskra and her friend, Tavda, are traveling to a nearby village, and Iskra is so excited about her first trip outside her city’s walls. She misses the caravan home, and panicking over how much trouble she will be in, she hitches a ride with a lone traveler. As they catch up to the caravan, they find bandits have attacked the traveling group. Iskra runs for her life as the bandits chase her, and she is saved by two men.
This experience starts a series of events that lead Iskra to question all the “truths” she has been told about her life and the world around her. She travels with the two men to a Risker camp and finds nothing the way she was told it would be. Now she wonders at all the secrets and lies her leaders have told her and she begins to dig for the truth. What she finds is a romance with a forbidden lover, friends who become enemies, and a destiny that cannot be avoided.
How I Felt:
Flight of the Spark had a wonderful story that really drew me in. I was interested in the beginning as the world unfolded, but by the time Iskra was attacked by bandits, I was engrossed. I thought that Evelyn Puerto did a great job building the world of this story. Fantasy novels must have good world-building or I feel completely lost, so I was so happy at the details provided by Puerto.
Immunity was such an emotional story with characters that drew me in completely. I found this book a bit more difficult to read than I had originally thought it would be. The topic of a virus that wipes out humanity hits quite close to home in today’s COVID-19 environment. It was, however, a very well-written book that I truly enjoyed.
The story introduces the reader to Charlie, a teenage girl who has been living on her own for three years. All alone. Three years ago a virus wiped out every other human being on the planet. Even wildlife seems to have been depleted. Charlie, the sole survivor, seems to be immune to the disease. She is ravaged by the emotional damage of watching everyone around her die, however.
She’s set up a little home in a shed and has her daily routines that keep her busy. Then, one day, Laiton appears, and it seems that the world has two survivors now, not just one. Laiton has a secret though that could shatter Charlie’s world all over again.
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. I liked the story that was being told and loved where I thought the book was going to go.
How I Felt:
Overall, I found this book to be a bit of a let-down. The story started strong, and I was really invested. It sort of stumbled and never found its footing again about 30-40% in.
A Companion is the mental awareness of a human that has been placed into a robotic casing. These casings range from low-end R2-D2-like robots all the way up to human-looking companions. People lease companions for friendship, to keep family members with them when they near death, and a variety of other reasons.
The number of characters was overwhelming. The beginning started with a companion, Lilac, and a young girl quarantined in a home. The companion is sharing her life’s story with the girl, and I was really interested in where the plot was headed. Then, we meet a young employee at a nursing home, then a young girl on the street, then an actor/companion, and the list just keeps going. It became a confusing list of characters that I couldn’t connect with and didn’t care about.
I loved the world in Steel Rose. It’s this wonderfully interesting Dystopian place that has influences of steam-punk, mythology, super-powers, and present-day. It felt like I had been dropped into a mixing bowl of old and new, real and imagined. I loved it!
The characters are really interesting and exciting. I found myself rooting for the villain, which is new for me. I wanted the romance to work out for Viktor and Rose, even with all of Viktor’s ideals and flaws. Their chemistry was really fabulous. I would have liked to see a little more build-up to their romance, as it felt just a bit rushed. It was, however, a great and steamy romance that was a lot of fun to read about. I would love to see a second book about them, but it looks like book 2 moves on to a new set of characters. I’m looking forward to reading this new story as well!
The Testaments was everything I hoped it would be! I loved the three perspectives that this story was told through. It propelled the book forward and gave insight into different things that were happening. The three characters that were narrating had different experiences and thoughts, and I enjoyed all three.
How I Felt:
Hyped books come with a lot of expectation. I put off reading this one for quite a while. I was extremely worried I wouldn’t like it and would be utterly disappointed. The beginning of this book was a bit slow as the scene was set and characters were introduced. It picked up a few chapters in though, and didn’t slow back down at all!
The characters were surprising. I didn’t expect Aunt Lydia to make an appearance in this book, but I’m so glad she did. Her portions provided SO much backstory. She gave me all the answers to questions I had after reading The Handmaid’s Tale! She was rigid and strict, but she has another side that was surprising and extremely interesting.
The world the author created. Each new event had my jaw dropping at how much the world changed during Offred’s lifetime.
How I felt:
Years ago I stumbled across this book at Goodwill and thought the cover looked interesting, and like I always do, I bought the book without knowing anything about it. It turned out to be right up my alley. I’m always a sucker for a dystopian / speculative fiction story and The Handmaid’s Tale is definitely that!
At the beginning of the book, I was so confused. The flashbacks were not from that long ago, and I couldn’t quite grasp how things had gone so terribly wrong so quickly for society. As the book progressed, I began to understand some of the events and changes that were put in place to cripple people from being able to get away from this regime.
Cynetic Wolf was such a fast-paced story! It felt like from page one, I was immersed in this world and in the middle of the story. If you are looking for something that immediately grabs your attention and doesn’t let go, this is the book!
How I Felt:
First of all, can we just talk about this fabulous cover? I love all of the elements of the story that are built into this artwork! It’s seriously a cover that I keep looking at again and again because it is filled with amazing things to see!