Overtaken (The Warrior Chronicles #6)

Overtaken

Summary:

Reunited with her people, Shanti knows that she must make a move in order to finally put her duty to rest. But as always, Xandre is one step ahead of her.

For one brief moment when she lets down her guard, Shanti falls into enemy hands. But if Xandre thought she would be a docile prisoner, he was sadly mistaken.

With Shanti running interference, it is up to the boys she has trained, and the army Cayan leads, to fight their way to her side.

The fate of the land will finally be decided.

Which side will be overtaken?  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

This book was a very disappointing end to a fantastic series.  After an extremely detailed build up, Breene finishes her book in a whirlwind way with a lot of convenience.  Once we finally got to see who Xandre was, I was pretty disappointed.  We’d been hearing about him for five books and then he turns out to be a somewhat average villain.  For someone who was so cunning, I didn’t find him particularly clever or intimidating.

Additionally the “challenges” and Shanti and Cayan have to face are not nearly as serious as all the others they had up to that point.  Somehow I found the book lacked urgency and came across a bit lackluster.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to find out how Breene envisioned the finale, but I didn’t find it nearly as captivating as her previous books in the series.

Warning: Contains repeated violence and sexual content.

Rating: 2 stars!

Who should read it? Folks who just want to find out how the series wraps up.

Want to read the whole series?

The Museum of Extraordinary Things

The Mueseum of Extraordinary Things

Summary:

Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father's museum, alongside performers like the Wolfman and the Butterfly Girl. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.

The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his community and his job as a tailor's apprentice. When Eddie photographs the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the mystery behind a young woman's disappearance. And he ignites the heart of Coralie.  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

This was a book I found extremely appealing in concept and yet fell short.  The main focus seems to be more of portraying the setting and point in history rather than telling a story.  Yes, we get to see how Coralie and Eddie change and how they escape their previous lives, but they felt like two independent characters forced together.  I also thought the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory would take greater predominance in the story.  Rather, it was the setup for a missing person’s case although the historical perspective was interesting.

On the one hand I finished the book and had some enjoyment out of it, but on the other it just was quite different than what I felt the summary portrayed it being.  This book will appeal to people who are interested in historical New York and would enjoy a glimpse into that world. 

Warning: Contains some violence and references to sexual content.

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of historical New York.

The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters

The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters

Summary:

In Portland in 1983, girls are disappearing. Noah, a teen punk with a dark past, becomes obsessed with finding out where they've gone—and he's convinced their disappearance has something to do with the creepy German owners of a local brewery, the PfefferBrau Haus. Noah worries about the missing girls as a way of avoiding the fact that something's seriously wrong with his best friend, Evan. Could it be the same dark force that's pulling them all down?

When the PfefferBrau Haus opens its doors for a battle of the bands, Noah pulls his band, the Gallivanters, back together in order to get to the bottom of the mystery. But there's a new addition to the band: an enigmatic David Bowie look-alike named Ziggy. And secrets other than where the bodies are buried will be revealed. From Edgar-nominated author M. J. Beaufrand, this is a story that gets to the heart of grief and loss while also being hilarious, fast paced, and heartbreaking.  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Please note: I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and I voluntarily chose to write a review

Review:

This book struck me as all around average.  There were a few reveals and certainly some very sad moments, but I never felt fully invested in the characters.  Noah is interesting and his relationship with Ziggy created an odd dynamic, but I felt like I knew what was coming from early in the story.  One the one hand I felt for Noah and everything he went through, but I also was frustrated to his determined blindness to everything going on around him.

My biggest observation is that there are a lot of things that didn’t feel realistic to me.  Would Evan really have delayed for that long? And why was he delaying before they even were in the rock competition?  I still really enjoyed this book, but I don’t think it’s going to be one that stick with me in the longer term.

Warning: Contains violence.

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of coming of age stories, punk culture and fans of 80’s music.

How to Be a Pirate (How to Train Your Dragon #2)

How to Be a Pirate

Summary:

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was a Viking Hero--dashing, brave, and ever so clever. But even Viking heroes have to begin somewhere. In this rip-roaring adventure he recounts his early days--when he still had a lot to learn about swordfights, shipwrecks, and homicidal dragons.... (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

Much like the first in the series, this book took me a little to get into it (mostly because I keep thinking of the movie version), but once I got started I found myself surprised into some chuckles throughout.  Hiccup is still completely inept (and Toothless perhaps much worse), yet is completely endearing at the same time.

I enjoyed seeing how he handled the chaos and stepped up to the plate multiple times when it wasn’t particularly in his favor to do so.  He and Fishlegs somehow manage to make good decisions in the end and leave the reader happy with the book.  I’d certainly recommend the series to any middle grade reader!

Rating: 4 stars!

Want to read the whole series?

  • How to Train Your Dragon (How to Train Your Dragon #1)
  • How to Speak Dragonese (How to Train Your Dragon #3)
  • How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse (How to Train Your Dragon #4)
  • How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale (How to Train Your Dragon #5)
  • A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons (How to Train Your Dragon #6)
  • How to Ride a Dragon’s Storm (How to Train Your Dragon #7)
  • How to Break a Dragon’s Heart (How to Train Your Dragon #8)
  • How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword (How to Train Your Dragon #9)
  • How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel (How to Train Your Dragon #10)
  • How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero (How to Train Your Dragon #11)
  • One More Day (How to Train Your Dragon #12)