Gork, the Teenage Dragon by Gabe Hudson

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Thanks to NetGalley and Knopf for the opportunity to read and review Gork, the Teenage Dragon by Gabe Hudson. This book is humorous and representative of teen angst through the portrayal of Gork. A silly dragon version of finding love, learning about family and growing up. A coming of age story with a sci-fi and fantasy twist. 4 stars.

Unblemished series by Sara Ella (review of first two books)

Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson–Fiction for the opportunity to read and review Unblemished by Sara Ella. There’s a mystery surrounding El, her recently deceased mother and their pasts. El has a crimson birthmark on one side of her face and this has made her insecure, along with all the taunts and rudeness she has received from others throughout her lifetime. Her mother passed guardian responsibilities to Joshua, a young man El has known about three years. She’s almost eighteen and Joshua is only a few years older, so she finds this arrangement ridiculous. The world she knows is only a small part of the world she learns about and is thrown into. Alternate worlds or Reflections surround El and her true history. I enjoyed the book and movie references throughout the story and the humor brought with them. The worlds consist of many intertwined characters and their relationships as well as their skills. The author keeps the reader on top of everything and keeps it organized by having the main character, El, review as she learns, smart and helpful. Deep characters and a fantastic world rates 5 stars. The story continues in the sequel, Unraveling.

Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson–Fiction for the opportunity to read and review Unraveling by Sara Ella. The story continues on from Unblemished as El struggles with her role as Queen and her relationships with others. Her insecurities still hamper her ambitions and self-esteem, while many of the relationships she thought she understood keep changing. Her life and surroundings are unraveling. It ends as though there will be more to come. The story has many twists and the characters have many layers and more secrets continue to be revealed. This did get a bit tiring because I never knew what the characters were fully dealing with and could not get a grasp on what was going on, but I suppose that’s why the title is Unraveling. Interesting and complex characters and creative world building earn a 4 star rating.

Story continues in Unbreakable, scheduled for release May 2018.

Enigma by Tonya Kuper

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Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Enigma by Tonya Kuper! Reid and Josie are undercover because they are being hunted by the Oculi headquarters. They want to reach the Hub, the Resistance, and find out who the mole is. They make it to the Hub and don’t know who they can trust, as they keep working on Josie’s training. The mystery of the mole is solved and the entire Hub is compromised. The mystery and suspense kept me riveted and Josie’s anxiety was definitely warranted. The author discusses anxiety after the story ends and gives hotline information for readers who deal with their own anxiety or know someone who does. 5 stars for this fantastic sci-fi story with realistic, lovable characters and unique abilities!

Anomaly by Tonya Kuper

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Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Anomaly by Tonya Kuper. The story opens with Josie and her dysfunctional family and alternates between Josie and Reid. It also begins on Josie’s seventeenth birthday. Josie’s birthday hasn’t been a happy one. She lost an internship she was counting on, she’s been dealing with a weird headache and her boyfriend, Tate, broke up with her. She lost a brother a few years ago and her Dad works away from home, so her mother is basically a single parent raising Josie and her younger brother Eli. Josie’s world is turned upside down when she’s shown that she has powers and is part of the Oculi. Everything she believes about her life has to be reevaluated and it all falls into place- the moving, the solitude and the home schooling. It made me ecstatic and warmed my heart when Reid tells Josie who he really is. I fell in love with Reid and Josie and became anxious when the suspense and danger grew. The story flows well and the action and world building combined with the complex characters, make a science fiction book worthy of 5 stars!

Ignite by Danielle Rogland

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Ignite by Danielle Rogland begins with an intense prologue of a fire in a home with a young child and both parents being shot. The story is told in the alternating points of view of Jacks, Corry, Zira and Jeremy as they hide and rebel against the government and the head of that government, Donovan. This futuristic dystopian has all the intrigue and danger needed to grip readers and give them a cause worth rooting for. The story confuses at first because of the new terms used in the world building but it all gets figured out through the reading. The characters deal with homelessness, gangs, loss and relationship ups and downs. They also live with constant suspicion of others because they aren’t sure who they can trust. All in all, Ignite makes an interesting young adult dystopian read; 4 stars. I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book.

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an arc of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Faber & Faber for the opportunity to read and review Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton! The list of characters at the beginning of the book helped refresh my memory of the first book in this series, Rebel of the Sands.
The introduction summarized the past events also and brought me up to speed. Rebellion and war are center stage in the middle of a bundle of tumultuous relationships. Amani gets herself captured so she can rescue other rebels, willing to sacrifice herself if needed. This story is filled with death defying actions and more disguises than I can keep track of, all pulled together seamlessly to strengthen the rebellious plot. Spies, intrigue and harems in the desert setting build a tale of a dangerous Sultan and his kingdom and several heirs to his throne. The tension grows in this sequel and some lives are lost while some are spared. The surprise ending of this sequel, full of turmoil and deception, leaves me anxiously awaiting the third book. 5 stars for an action packed adventure fantasy!

One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards

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Voluntarily read and reviewed an arc of this book.
Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read and review One was lost by Natalie D. Richards. The first two chapters show the setting and describe the main and surrounding characters. The action and suspense begins in the third chapter. There’s some kind of animosity between Sera and Lucas that comes to light a little at a time. As I read, I learned more about the four main characters and the struggles each of them has in their lives. Being in a forest is a perfect setting for a horror story and the bridge washing out helped move the danger of being stranded along. Nice steady pacing of the mystery and suspense. The book kept me wondering to the end. Great horror story for young adults, 5 stars!

Legion by Julie Kagawa

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to read and review the fourth book in the Talon Saga, Legion by Julie Kagawa!  This is a perfect addition to the already popular Talon, Rogue and Soldier books with just as much action, intrigue, romance and suspense!

Each of the books in the Talon Saga are told from a different character’s point of view. Talon is told in Ember’s point of view, Rogue is in Riley’s and Soldier is told in Garret’s point of view. Legion brings back all of the main characters and their points of view, including Dante’s. Dante is Ember’s brother and has been loyal to the dragon rule all  along because he believes he will be the dragon in power someday.  At first, he wanted to help his sister succeed and only cared about pleasing their instructors and taking care of her.  Then he had an epiphany about the position of power he could be in someday.  This changed his entire perspective. The strong, dynamic characters are worth cheering for while the tension builds in this addition to the Talon saga. I didn’t see the specific conflict coming and was shocked and appalled at the Elder Wyrm’s use for Ember Hill!  This book is as amazing as the rest of the series and is suspenseful and intriguing with new mysteries springing up and adding to the un-put-down-ability of the story. 5 stars for characters I love and the building anticipation!  I am already anxious for the fifth book in this series and I plan on a complete re-read when the entire series is complete!

The Dragon’s Price by Bethany Wiggins

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Crown Books for the opportunity to read and review The Dragon’s Price by Bethany Wiggins! Sorrowlynn, Sorrow for short, is destined to die by her own hand and is awaiting the choice of a forced marriage or becoming a sacrifice for the fire dragon. Sorrowlynn meets the royalty of Andhar and is angered that she has to marry an heir from their kingdom. The young Prince Golmarr follows Sorrow when she’s lowered into the dragon’s cave to become the sacrifice because he wants to help her survive. Sorrow has been raised by an abusive father, her king, who whipped her violently and now she has white, puffy scars all over her legs. One of the reasons she was whipped was when Sorrow called the queen “mother”, even though the queen is Sorrow’s mother. She has felt completely alone and unloved her entire life except for the woman who helped take care of her. Golmarr and Sorrow live through and save each other from life threatening adventures while their relationship grows. Fantasy is my all-time favorite genre and The Dragon’s Price hit the spot! The first book in the Transference series had me diving into a world with dragons and princesses, loyalty and danger, love and kingdoms. I anxiously await the sequel! 5 stars! I appreciate the acknowledgements at the end of the book because Bethany Wiggins’ struggles with being backed by a publisher will give encouragement to aspiring authors everywhere.

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.  Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for the opportunity to read and review Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray! Noemi is a soldier for Genesis and she’s very loyal to her planet and her friend, Esther. Abel is a machine made by an Earth scientist to be the culmination of all other machines that have been created. The scientist, Mansfield, wants Abel to be as human-like as possible, including feeling emotions and having conscious thought. Esther is injured and Noemi finds the functioning but deserted ship, the Daedalus, not knowing that Abel is on board. Noemi wants to help Esther by getting to the ship’s sickbay. Abel does everything in his power to save Esther and he and Noemi become reluctant comrades while Abel treats Noemi as a commander. They are going together to destroy the gate between Earth and Genesis. On their trip they make discoveries about each other, such as integrity, loyalty and other values and skills. They also note each other’s intelligence. The mystery of Abel’s creation and purpose makes both of them more and more curious. They meet and befriend others while on their quest and the action and suspense continues to build. This story turned out better than I thought it would, since science fiction isn’t my favorite genre. Claudia Gray built a complex, futuristic world full of diverse and dynamic characters, 5 stars !