Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review: Darwin's Children by. Natasha Larry

Title: Darwin's Children
Author: Natasha Larry
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date:
June 8, 2011
Pages: 260
Genre: Supernatural
Rating:
Synopsis from Goodreads: Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic black girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts!  Jaycie Lerner’s family isn’t the usual mom-dad-kid setup. Jaycie’s mom’s MIA, but Allison, her personal live-in ‘trainer,’ is more than a mom, with her own special abilities, like being able to lift cars and run incredibly fast. And Jaycie’s godfather John is more than persuasive – he can literally convince anyone to do anything.  As far as the rest of the world’s concerned, Jaycie’s on the outside looking in. The townsfolk love Jaycie’s pediatrician father, but she doesn’t fit in with ‘normal’ kids, and she doesn’t really want to. Most of her free time is spent training to keep her telekinetic and telepathic powers under control. But there’s one thing she can’t control – and that’s her feelings, especially when her best friend Matt is nearby. If only he knew what she was truly capable of...  Everything seems to be status quo for Jaycie until she receives a cryptic message from a stranger and meets a very unusual girl new to Jonesborough. Then all hell breaks loose!

Review

The Previews 
You know a great book when you can easily be captivated by the characters and setting alone and fall in love with it before the plot even really kicks in, and Darwin's Children is definitely that book. Super powers and super humans done in an incredibly different way, Natasha Larry combines the best of all the paranormal and supernatural world coupling it with a characters whose stories will pull at your heart strings, Darwin's Children is a book that I know will be stuck on my mind for a very long time.

In my opinion, I know a series is going to keep on getting better and better when the first book in the series can easily stand great as a stand alone title. And Darwin's Children is definitely one of those books. Jaycie Lerger was an interesting character from the start. I mean really, there are so many dishonorable and some might say sinister things a person could do if they had the power read and "alter" people's thoughts, but does Jaycie do any of these things, of course not. She has other intentions for her abilities, and I must say, though she may seem like she is holding back at times, she definitely knows how to bring it when the time is right.

Extended Version 
Not just Jaycie, but the whole Lerner family was so captivating to read about. The background of Jaycie's trainer/substitute mother and her superhuman abilities was so fascinating. As well as that of Jaycie's father and godfather, who couldn't be more annoyingly cryptic all the time.

The plot of this book hit me more emotionally than I anticipated it would. Jaycie and her friend Haylee go through a rough roller coaster throughout their friendship and at times the book became hard for me to read just because of the raw and horrific emotions that emanated from both Jaycie and Haylee at different times of the book. This part of the book in my opinion, though heart wrenching, was written beautifully.

Darwin's Children has many layers to it, and they all lead up to a huge turning point in Jaycie's life. All throughout the book their is a foreshadowing to something big happening to Jaycie. And along this cryptic ride so much is revealed about the "super human" world that Jaycie and her family are a part of. The different abilities of each character are each so unique and interesting to read when they finally play out. The story as a whole unfolds perfectly. Everything seems is interwoven into a great plot that I can't wait to read more of!

I can already tell this series is going to be a favorite of mine. I'm ecstatic to know the journey of the Lerner family does not end here, and I am eager to read what direction the books will go hereafter.

Recommendations: Series lovers and stand-alone advocates alike will thoroughly enjoy this unique and, at times, heart wrenching supernatural novel!


Overall: 5/5

Characters: 5/5 
Plot: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Entertainment: 4/5
Ending: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Cover: 5/5


If you like this book, check out the Asleep series by. Wendy Raven McNair.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: The Hidden Sun by. J. Lloyd Morgan

Title: The Hidden Sun
Author: J. Lloyd Morgan
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date:
August 8, 2011
Pages: 241
Genre: Historical/Romance
Rating:   

Synopsis from Goodreads: Eliana and Rinan are in love. However, she is destined to become queen of Bariwon, obligated to marry the victor of a competition called the Shoginoc, while Rinan, her royal guardian, is forbidden to marry. Normally they could renounce their titles to be together, but these are not normal times. Abrecan, the malevolent governor of Erd, is determined to win the Shoginoc, thereby placing his easily manipulated son Daimh on Bariwon s throne. Can Eliana and Rinan find a way to be together without jeopardizing the peace they are so desperately trying to protect?

The Previews
Definitely the epitome of fairy tales of the modern time. J. LLoyd Morgan weaves together a intrigue filled plot with enough twists, characters, and romance to keep you engaged (and slightly confused)  until the very last page.

This book right from the beginning reminded me of a modern fairytale. All the little quirks and schemes presented in true fairytale fashion and I definitely love the fact that the story was one that could bring back the classics of a fairytale, yet keep its own original plot to it. That being said, for me, the book read a lot like a series of short stories. The way I read it from the synopsis on various websites and on the back of the book, I thought I had a pretty good idea of how the story was going to begin, and I was ready to let the plot run its course. But that really is not how it went at all.

Extended Version
First off, if you read this book and are able to get through all the sections and differentiate each character the first time through, I greatly commend you. There were so many characters! And these weren't just supporting background characters, oh no, most of them were main characters. Which brings me back to the fact that I felt the book was more a collection of short stories all related and taking place in the same setting, but definitely individual stories in there own. It felt like the first part of the book was a very long prologue, to the main story. Which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, just very unexpected.

Some characters in particular Sunshine for instance, who comes along later on in the story, was definitely a favorite of mine. One thing that I usually do not favor about historical books is the fact that the female characters don't seem to have the same tenacity as those of contemporary books, but Eliana and Sunshine definitely proved me wrong there. You ever need someone to help you out with your witty remarks, or prove to you that any girl could command a room of guardians as best as a man, these are the girls you call.

At some points the plot was lost to me. I felt like the pages and the characters were just going without any real relevance to a plot. So yes, at times it was a bit slow, but the plot does find its way back into the story and then you are back hanging off the edge of your seat waiting to find out what comes next.

The romance plays a big role in this book especially since there is more than one romantic intermingling going on.  I adore the fact the book actually went against the typical "princesses and princes fall in love" romantic theme and made it a little more...forbidden. I mean really, who can resist forbidden romance.

And in the end everyone lived h... of course I'm not going to give that away, but I definitely recommend you give this book a go. Without a doubt something different regarding book format, and if you can keep up with the characters and are a fan of historical romance this book is the one to check out.

Recommendations: Those who were fans of the fairytales of back in the and of course all out there who just can't resists a forbidden romance, The Hidden Sun is the one to read!


Overall: 3/5

Characters: 3/5
Plot: 2/5
Originality: 3/5
Entertainment: 3/5
Ending: 4/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
 

If you like this book, check out the Poison Study Series by. Maria V. Synder: 


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