Tag Archives: published: 2011-10

Witch Hunt by Nick Chivers

12769345Title: Witch Hunt (Witch Hunt, Book 1)
Author: Nick Chivers
Published: October 31, 2011
Pages: 200
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Mike was an incredibly powerful witch who was nearly influenced into destroying the world by a past lover. To ensure it could never happen again, he had Bands of Binding placed on himself to dampen his abilities. When his best friend Andrew shows up along with a new partner and lets Mike know he’s been summoned to a meeting of The Council, he knows the situation must be dire. But he certainly has no way of expecting everything that’s in store.

I’d never ready anything by Nick Chivers before this and I must say I am a fan of his storytelling. The world he created here was a rich one with a storied history and it was easy to find myself immersed in it. The only drawback was that the ending seemed a bit anticlimactic and convenient, but it was overall a good read.

The Death Cure by James Dashner

7864437Title: The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, Book 3)
Author: James Dashner
Published: October 11, 2011
Pages: 325
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publisher Link: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

The Gladers (or at least some of them) have done it.  They made it through the Maze.  They survived the Scorch.  And now their trials are finally over.  But some of them are sure things don’t seem quite right.  Can they trust WICKED?  Is there more going on here than they’ve been told?  And what exactly is WICKED’s endgame?  Will the truth really set them free?

Talk about an action-packed conclusion to this trilogy!  After the slow moving story of The Scorch Trials, this final installment really brings it home–not only by wrapping up the story and bringing things full-circle, but also by serving up an enthralling story.  I may have even liked this better than the first book (even though there are some parts that are just absolutely heart-wrenching), to be perfectly honest.  Dashner has created a wonderful world that I’m glad to have experienced.

Caregiver by Rick R. Reed

12808817Title: Caregiver
Author: Rick R. Reed
Published: October 23, 2011
Pages: 210
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher Link: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

Dan has recently moved to Florida with his boyfriend, Mark, for a new start. When he starts volunteering with the Tampa AIDS Alliance, he finds a fast friend in Adam – and a piqued interest in Adam’s boyfriend, Sullivan. When it turns out the new start isn’t as fresh for Dan and Mark as they hoped and Adam hits some hard times of his own, Dan realizes that the new start might be waiting for him but in different ways than he ever expected.

I laughed, I cried, I smiled – this invoked a whole range of real emotions for me. There’s an authenticity to these characters and the story that I don’t know I see very consistently from other authors. And even though this book is not all sunshine and rainbows, it did leave me with a sense of fulfillment and hope.

Dawn of Darkness by Daniel A. Kaine

12353556Title: Dawn of Darkness (Daeva, Book 1)
Author: Daniel A. Kaine
Published: October 20, 2011
Pages: 290
Publisher: Daniel A. Kaine
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Mikhail lives in a world on the brink. Humanity is slowly being eradicated by vampires and their only hope are the Daevas–humans with special psychic abilities. Mikhail, upon discovering he is a Daeva, is sent to a military academy to train with others of his kind. The Daeva armies hope to bring down the vampires and the threat the pose to continued existence on the planet. But neither Mikhail or anyone else on his team have ever seen a vampire; they have only the information they’ve been given as a source. And when Mikhail is on a mission and encounters one for the first time, he finds that he suddenly has more questions than answers.

Anyone who has followed my reviews will know that I am a huge fan of the post-apocalyptic dystopian theme–sometimes I can’t get enough of it. And that’s precisely why I picked up this title. It’s engaging and certainly has me wondering what’s going to happen in the rest of the series. The reason it didn’t pull a higher rating from me was that I felt it was incomplete. I know it’s part of a series and the rest of the story is yet to come, but on its own there just wasn’t enough here. The characters and relationships don’t get enough time to really pull someone in to be truly invested in it. Some more background might have helped with that, but it is what it is. The action of the story that comes later is active enough to make up for it in some ways.

Once a Marine by Cat Grant

12323876

Title: Once a Marine
Author: Cat Grant
Published: October 30, 2011
Pages: 197
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (re-released in 2014 by Cat Grant Books)
Publisher Website: link

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Marc waits tables at a diner to supplement his income as a writer. But his quiet life is changed when Cole, an ex-Marine-turned-law-student, comes in for a meal. Marc has always had a bit of a soft spot for Marines and Cole is no exception. Though they hit it off, things are a bit difficult for Cole who was discharged under “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and isn’t used to being open about his feelings. Add to that Marc’s history with Marine boyfriends who always seemed to let him down, and there are more than enough complications for these two to try to overcome on their way to romance.

This was a cute story overall. The chemistry between these two is palpable (as is the frustration every time they seem to get in their own way) and the plot is realistic and easy to follow. I’ve seen many other reviews start off indicating this is a story about Cole who meets Marc, which is interesting to me considering that it’s Marc whose perspective we get in first-person. But I think that’s because we see more of Cole’s turmoil and it makes it easier to connect to and understand him.

I was a bit thrown by the author’s choice to write some chapters and scenes in first-person from Marc’s POV and others in third-person focusing on Cole. I understand that when Marc wasn’t present, it makes it difficult to tell Cole’s story if Marc is the one who needs to tell it, but sometimes the shift was abrupt and slightly confusing. Still a very enjoyable story, though.

Title: Maybe with a Chance of Certainty
Author: John Goode
Publication Date: October 19, 2011

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
When I read the description of Maybe With a Chance of Certainty, I was worried is was going to be just another cliche play on the ‘quiet nerdy gay guy gets noticed by closeted jock and they have a brief fling and then the nerdy guy is cast aside because the jock can’t come out along with him’ which is a trope I’ve seen a number of times (see Geography Club). But there was something different about this one to me. There’s an authenticity to Goode’s writing of both Kyle and Brad that seemed to resonate with me on a different level than previous incarnations of this type of couple. Even though it’s short, the story is well-paced and I found it was easy to quickly connect with the characters and follow their development.

There’s more to this series, and I certainly plan to pick it up to learn what happens for them going forward.

Title: The Son of Neptune
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication Date: October 4, 2011

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
Building on The Lost Hero, it’s interesting to see what Percy (the other lost hero) has experienced as a result of the swap. Riordan introduces us to a whole crew of new demigods and continues to expand the world where Percy and his friends live in a very masterful way. The way he’s put together the Greek and Roman while keeping it separate at the same time creates a depth that I think one doesn’t always find in the world of a fantasy young adult novel.

I feel like there’s a bit more world-building and humor in this than its predecessor, but there was a bit more action in The Lost Hero. Definitely can’t wait to move onto the next installment.