Beast by Megan Crewe

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Beast by Megan Crewe caught my interest immediately! The opening of the story sets the tone of suspense and the tale is refreshingly told entirely from a male point of view. Max has been best friends with Davey since kindergarten. They throw a party at the lake with a bunch of friends and then Davey is horribly gouged by a beast that defies description. Davey’s external wounds heal miraculously fast while they speed to the hospital. He stays with Max and while Davey looks fine on the outside, he has violent flu symptoms. Eventually the symptoms stop and Davey feels better but he’s changed. His friends try to help every way they possibly can but they grow frightened of Davey as he becomes violent and erratic. This thriller kept me riveted and I read it straight through because of the suspense. 5 stars for a young adult supernatural horror!

Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros

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Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Project Pandora by Aden Polydorus. Several teenagers are under a trance and are ordered to kill and commit other crimes for someone that goes by the name of Zeus. The mystery surrounding the teens unravels throughout the story as their pasts are explained and, while their memories gradually return, we see the torture they underwent as part of the experiment they evolved from. The teens have three names each: the regular name they go by, a mythological name and a number. The story is told through their alternating points of view, which is intense and suspenseful. Hades’ story is a bit different from the other teenagers and his is more heartbreaking and tragic, more complicated and interesting. Project Pandora is a multiple genre book which can be classified as science fiction, dystopian and mystery. Worthy of 5 stars because of its riveting plot and the steady unraveling of the mystery.

The Syndicate by Sophie Davis

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The Syndicate by Sophie Davis impressed me with its mix of science fiction and history. The story begins with the Prologue during May, 1796 in Florence, Italy, which is being occupied by Napoleon and the French army. The main character, Stassi, has stolen Napoleon’s letter to Josephine and she’s running to ensure her escape. She’s helped by her partner Gaige. They work for The Syndicate as runners and travel to the past to procure requested items that rich people pay a good chunk of money for. Gaige and Stassi later travel to 1925 Paris to collect a Rosenthal manuscript and they attend a party celebrating Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and its publication. Along with finding the manuscript, a serial killer on the loose adds to the suspense and danger. The elaborate cover stories of the runners, the historical background and interesting, dynamic characters make this a very fun science fiction read worthy of a 5 star rating!

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!