Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine and is where we can talk about books we are looking forward to being released!
A Million Suns (Across the Universe, Book 2) by Beth Revis
Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.
It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to enact his vision – no more Phydus, no more lies.
But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that’s growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.
In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.
Erm. Wow. I really really can’t wait to read this. As a self professed Star Trek addict, Across the Universe (the first book) was my idea of heaven! It was filled with suspense, mystery and lots of spacey goodness! A Million Suns is due out in January 2012 and I have very high expectations for it. I can’t wait to find out what happens to the occupants of Godspeed, the budding romance between Amy and Elder, and whether they manage to get off the ship. I will definitely be purchasing this one as soon as I can!
Author: John Lenahan
Publisher: Harper Collins E-Books
Published: August 2009
Conor thought he was an average teenager. Okay, so his father only had one hand, spoke to him in ancient languages, and was a bit on the eccentric side, but, other than that, life was fairly normal. Until, that is, two Celtic warriors on horseback and wearing full armor appear at his front door and try to kill him. Don’t you hate when that happens? Join Conor as he grapples with typical teenage problems, like how to deal with a father’s high expectations, how to survive in the world on your own, and how to woo a beautiful girl who wants you dead.
This is a very well rounded fantasy book.
Conor is a normal boy living a normal life, that is until he opens his front door one day and is taken hostage by 2 knights on horseback into the realm of The Land! From thereon he discovers that he was hidden in the real world when he was a baby to protect him from people in the Land who would kill him to fullfil a very old prophecy.
There he discovers family he never knew he had and races of people he never knew existed, like banshees, imps and leprechauns!
The whole story is filled with adventure from start to finish, there is never a dull moment. The story swings between swordfights, magic, talking trees, castle parties and many other wonderful elements. I loved how humorous it all was. And despite the seriousness of Conor’s situation he always finds time to spring a funny or sarcastic line in the middle of it which had me laughing out loud quite a few times.
I feel I need to explain why I only gave this 3 stars. Although the world created for this story was very well written, I just felt a bit like there was too much information overload going on. There were so many characters and so many different aspects to do with ‘true magic’ and ‘shadowmagic’ explained throughout the book, that I kept having to go back to re read bits so as to take it all in. And by the end of the story there were still a couple of things that I dont feel were explained fully. Such as, how were Conor and his Dad able to enter the real world without dying like everyone else??
My second reason for the 3 star rating was because there was one thing that happened to one character at the end that I was NOT happy about at all. I will say nothing further about this becuase I don’t want to spoil it but that there automatically knocked a star off for me because I didn’t feel it was necessary for that to happen in the story.
Overall though I’m very glad I picked this one up. It was an easy read, it pulled me in from the very beginning and I’m definitely looking forward to reading the second book.
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: Infernal Devices, Book 2
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: December 2011
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
Cassandra Clare is officially an evil genious! I had high expectations for this book and I had presumed that I was going to enjoy reading it. But I ended up enjoying it far more than I expected. It simply is a superb follow up to Clockwork Angel!
Warning – Clockwork Angel spoilers ahead!
At the end of Clockwork Angel, the shadowhunters and Tessa were betrayed by Tessa’s brother Nate and failed to capture The Magister. In Clockwork Prince, it is decided by the Council that Charlotte is on her last chance at running the Institute and is subsiquently given 2 weeks to prove her worth by finding The Magister. A task which proves to be very difficult. And this is the main plot of the book. They follow leads which take them to various places such as Yorkshire and which introduces us to new characters. As with Clockwork Angel, this story has a nice steady pace to it and I was again really pleased with this. Cassandra has written in just enough action and adventure to keep the story from being too slow but we are also not overwelmed by too much of it.
There are some very good side plots woven into this installment too. Jessamine is noticably absent for much of the proceedings and is found to be sneaking out in the dead of night, Will is hiding a huge secret about his past and his family which gave us a few refreshing chapters from his point of view, and we are also introduced in more detail to the Lightwood brothers who are given the task of training Tessa and Sophie to fight (should the need arise). I very much enjoyed all these sub plots and felt they added great variety to the story line.
The love triangle is another great point to this book. We saw the beginnings of it in Clockwork Angel but Clockwork Prince kicks it up to a whole other level. On the one side we have kind, caring and fragile Jem who Tessa has become very close to and is starting to think that there may be more between them. And then on the other side there’s Will. After the horrible things he said to Tessa at the end of Clockwork Angel Tessa decides to keep out of his way and not get involved with him, but for some reason she is drawn to him and can’t seem to shake the feeling that he is keeping something from her about his true feelings. I wont say who she ends up with becuase I don’t want to spoil it but personally I was very pleased with her choice!
I think that I now definitely prefer this series to The Mortal Instruments. As much as I love The Mortal Instruments, I don’t think the characters in it are as good as The Infernal Devices characters. I feel more connected to Tessa, Will and Jem and I feel like I care more for the side charcters of this series than I do for The Mortal Instruments’ side characters. And also I think that the Victorian time period and the London setting of these books is a bit more interesting than that of the current day New York Mortal Instruments. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Clockwork Prince. More than I thought I would given that it is a ‘middle’ book of a trilogy and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all ends in Clockwork Princess next year. I have full faith in Cassandra Clare that she will bring this amazing series to an eipic conclusion!
Author: Pittacus Lore
Series: Lorien Legacies, Book 1
Publisher: Penguin Books
Published: August 2010
There were nine. Three are dead. I Am Number Four.
Nine teenagers and their guardians are hiding on Earth … protected by a charm that means they can only be killed in numeric order, three are already dead. John Smith is Number Four. And his mortal enemies, the Mogadorian, are hunting him down.
The only way to keep off radar is to keep moving, never staying in one place for long. Finally in the firing line, all he can do is adopt the guise of a student and pray his unusual gifts – his legacies home; Planet Lorien – stay hidden long enough for him to settle into this new community.
But others seem to sense his otherness and when small-town life sucks him into its intrigues, it’s only a matter of time before his true nature is revealed. And that means there’s no space for love, friendship or a future if it means protecting not only himself, but the other five…
I Am Number Four is structured like most YA books. Boy meets girl. Boy turns out to be more (or less) than human. They fall in love. They eventually can’t be together. Action and adventure ensues, along with a lot of heartbreak and near death experiences. The book is unique, however, in that it’s told from the point of view of the boy instead of the girl.
John Smith, or Number Four, is from the planet Lorien and one of the last surviving members of his race who managed to escape to Earth. Along with 8 others, they make up the Garde, a race of Loriens who develop Legacies or special powers as they mature. John and his guardian Henri have been on the run from the Mogadorians, the alien race that destroyed Lorien and plan to take over Earth.
The story begins with John and Henri discovering the death of Number Three. Due to a special charm placed on them when they escaped from Lorien, they can only be killed in number order. This means, of course, that John is next and a change of identity and move to Paradise, Ohio is in order.
The book has a good concept, although it is better in theory than execution. John himself is a rather boring protagonist. He has problems like any normal teenager, but he always manages to get through them with little hardship at best. He is frustrated when his new powers develop in school and harnessing them takes daily practice, yet after failing once or twice he manages with ease. Part of me wishes that they had just started the story with John’s powers fully developed as it would’ve taken a lot of the superficial development out of the way and got on with the story.
The only redeeming feature of the ‘training’ is it allows us to see flashbacks of life on Lorien and what actually happened to the planet. It was refreshing and imaginative and would nice to meet more Loriens and find out more about Loric life in later books.
While at his new school, John manages to make a new friend, a worst enemy and fall in love with the popular girl, Sarah. Most of the relationships in the book didn’t seem to grow organically and everyone eventually finds out and accepts that John is an alien with an almost nonchalance. Sarah is also a relatively boring character (in fact, the only interesting character is John’s new friend Sam), but John and Sarah’s relationship was refreshingly pain free, and I liked that they had no qualms about being together and being in love. They stay ‘together’ even as John flees Paradise and I’m curious to see how the book will handle the long distance relationship. I did enjoy almost all of John’s scenes with his mentor and father figure, Henri and was especially touched at the ending.
The action, however, didn’t work for me. The Mogadorians were faceless entities. We are not told enough about them to empathise with their motives or fully understand their power and scale. They come out of the blue, wreak a whole lot of havoc and nearly kill everyone by transporting them into an alternate reality borne out of their special weapons. The last third of the book was a blur of chaos, fire and monstrous creatures and even I can’t really fully understand how they managed to flee in the end. Six showing up armed with incredible powers and a kick-ass attitude did help move it along, although I fear that her arrival is the start of an ill-fated love triangle.
As a stand alone book, it was flimsy, but as the start of a franchise, it does a good job in introducing us to the setting and characters. The ending sets up the second book called “The Power of Six”, which refers to either Six herself or the remaining six Lorien Garde left. It also leaves some unanswered questions, which is enough incentive for me to go pick up the next in the series. I am mildly optimistic that it will get better as the story goes on.