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Duology Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

The Reboot Duology
by Amy Tintera
4/5 stars

Reboot (5 stars) was one of the best YA books I’ve ever read. And not necessarily because it was flawless, but because the elements that worked well really stole the show.

It starts out with a great concept – humans who are “rebooted” after dying (from a virus) and given a number to indicate how long they were dead. The bigger the number, the less humanity the individual retains. Wren is a 178 and every bit the cold, calculating soldier she supposed to be (or so it would seem). She never questions authority and always does what she was supposed to do. Then in walks my favorite dynamic of the story – Callum, a 22 who is relatable and endearingly human, challenging everything about Wren’s paradigm. The interplay between the two is easily the magic of the series, especially at the beginning were they’re still learning how to relate to one another. I loved every moment.

Tintera is a good writer who builds characters and relationships really well and writes with great pacing and clarity. But her work does have a couple of issues – world building and accuracy among the most prominent. It was mostly just a few little things here and there that made me pause and think “Hmmm… I’m not so sure that’s consistent with the laws of physics.” Or something to that effect, but I would always decide to just roll with it. For the most part, I was enjoying all of the things she did brilliantly enough that the shortcomings didn’t bother me.

Rebel, the second book in the duology, maintained momentum from the first but I admit it lost a little of the magic that made Reboot so amazing. That said, I’d still give it a solid 3 stars (I liked it) rating and appreciated as a series-ender.

Overall, this duology is great for dystopian/post-apocalyptic fans, and I’d even hand it to someone who likes zombie stories (even though it doesn’t dive very deep into that genre). If you still have a Hunger Games hangover, this might be the book for you.

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes

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Coming Soon: Winter Halo by Keri Arthur

winter-halo-by-keri-arthurTitle: Winter Halo

Author: Keri Arthur

Series: Outcast #2

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: December 6, 2016

The Overview: When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between worlds, they allowed entry to the Others. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay…. The humanoid supersoldiers known as the déchet were almost eradicated by the war. Ever since, Tiger has tried to live her life in peace in hiding. But in the wake of her discovery that Central City’s children are being kidnapped and experimented on, Tiger’s conscience won’t let her look the other way. The key to saving them lies within the walls of a pharmaceutical company called Winter Halo. But as she learns more about the facility, Tiger’s mission is derailed by a complication: Winter Halo’s female security guards are being systematically attacked by an unknown force. Now Tiger must summon all her gifts to stop those responsible for both atrocities—no matter the cost to herself… -Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday
Hosted by Breaking the Spine

 I’ve been a fan of Keri for years (her Riley Jensen series is still one of my favorites) and I love that she still manages to pop out one excellent series after another. City of Light (book #1) was awesome. Even though it had a few story elements I’d read in her other works, the bulk of it screamed originality. I love the hybrid main character, how fast-paced and exciting the plot was, and the futuristic/urban fantasy setting. I don’t see any reason why Winter Halo won’t be just as good – I can’t wait!

What books are you waiting on?

by Niki Hawkes

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Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

angelfallTitle: Angelfall

Author: Susan Ee

Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1

Genre: Teen Post-Apocalyptic

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

The Overview: It’s been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back…

The Review:

I haven’t been so excited for the beginning of a post-apocalyptic series since I picked up Partials by Dan Wells two years ago… and trust me, I’ve read a LOT of books from this genre between then and now. Angelfall just had an X-factor that immediately grabbed my attention and held it from start to finish. So much so that a hundred pages into the first book I was already online ordering the next two in the series. It was one of those books that made me a believer early on, and I’m kicking myself for not picking it up sooner.

The biggest thing that stood out to me about Angelfall was how incredibly well it was written. Susan Ee has a way with words and descriptions that allowed me to completely lose myself in the story. All of the interactions between her characters seemed so organic and natural, and that’s part of the reason why I think the book flowed so well. For everyone I’ve ever heard complain about insta-loves in YA, this would be an excellent series for you – the relationship development in Angelfall was gradual, based on shared experiences between the characters and a combination of little moments… i.e. my favorite kind of love story.

The other thing that stood out was the concept and how it was executed – this is a post-apocalyptic world where angels (of all things) are responsible for its destruction. Now, up until this point I haven’t had any interest in the angel trend permeating the YA market because it always seems to come across a little cheesy (as it did occasionally in Daughter of Smoke and Bone). What Ee managed to do was take all of the traits indicative to angels and make them kind of badass. The creatures in her novel were dangerous, and you could feel that deadly force emanating from the pages with each new conflict. It was awesome. And if the great concept wasn’t enough, add to that heart-wrenching back story to Penryn and her family (which added a ton of interesting depth and dynamics the story) and you have one robust, well-rounded novel that is sure to knock your socks off.

I was certain this was going to be a 5-star read across the board, but right at the very end the story took a left turn that I did not enjoy as much as everything that came before it. Since that’s just a personal preference kind of thing, I will have no problem recommending Angelfall as killer read to anybody who loves YA post-apocalyptic is much as I do. Now gimmie the next one.

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes

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Top Ten YA Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic Books!

top ten tuesday

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

 I’ve wanted to put together a dystopian/post-apocalyptic list for a while now, mostly because I’ve read so many of them (it’s true. I lost most of 2013 to these novels… I regret nothing). I figured at the very least I’d be able to save people some time by presenting the ones I liked the most. I realize the dystopian genre did not start with the Hunger Games (or with YA in general, for that matter), but as they are my favorite representations, my list will be very YA-centric.

Top Ten YA Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic Books!

The top row represents my absolute favorites – the ones I can recommend with 100% confidence. Hunger Games is a given, but my favorite on the list is actually Partials by Dan Wells. The bottom row represents the ones that I enjoyed thoroughly, but know many readers who didn’t feel the same way. As a side note, I actually didn’t give The Testing of very high rating, but loved the second book enough to include it on this list. Also, The Selection by Kiera Cass would have made the list had the third book not been such a disappointment (I feel like it still deserves an honorary mention, though). I have I read so many mediocre dystopians that it’s nice to be able to pay homage to the ones I feel were above par.

 What’s dystopians/post-apocalyptic books would make your list?

by Niki Hawkes