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review 2018-03-01 19:26
The Final Six by Alexandra Monir
The Final Six - Alexandra Monir

First off, credit where credit is due, I have to applaud Monir for the diversity in The Final Six. It's so refreshing to not only see both a female and a male main character in this story, but the fact that Naomi and Leo, while they share a destiny, are so different is wonderful. The differences in their views about the competition, their ethnic backgrounds, and their family lives all come together to create a beautiful story about growth through the pursuit of a common goal. I loved how ambitious both of them were because, as I stated above, it's great to see strong male and female characters side by side. We need more of that.


As for the plot, I can say that the science fiction aspects of this book were really accessible. I loved the addition of VR and AI! The Final Six easily walks that line between sharing the technology of the future and still being something that you can find yourself picturing. It helps, of course, that Monir has an uncanny ability to write beautifully descriptive scenes. The competition manages to pull the reader in quickly, and make you feel like you're part of the action. I even found myself rooting for the friendship to romance brewing between our two characters, despite the fact that I'm normally anti-romance. Could I have done without that? Probably, but the fact that I didn't dislike it was a nice surprise.


Why then, you ask, did I rate this at four stars rather than five? First there's the fact that, despite how different Naomi and Leo are in many aspects, our two main characters are pretty difficult to tell apart in their POVs. If there hadn't been headers on the chapters letting me know whose mind I was currently in, I would have been lost a lot more. My other issue was, and I know this is just the way that my particular brand of reading brain works, there were so many unexplained things that were just conveniently happening. I mentioned how perfect the descriptive writing was in relation to the competition technology. That's why I was a little baffled as to why there wasn't any explanations for how electricity works now, why Earth is being abandoned instead of fixed, and why the treatment only works on teenagers. Am I being nitpicky? Possibly. None of that took away from my overall enjoyment. Still, I have so many questions.


So, after a lot of thought, I settled on a solid four star rating. I haven't yet read a book similar to this, so I'm pretty happy with the journey I was taken on. The ending is a blatant cliffhanger, so rest assured that there's another book coming down the pipeline. Maybe that one will answer the rest of my questions? Only time will tell.


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review 2017-12-28 00:00
The Final Six
The Final Six - Alexandra Monir Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.

OI! That was my first thought when I reached the last line of The Final Six. “Oi!” Alexandra Monir is completely and utterly evil with her endings. I did not see things working out the way that they did. I mean, I knew shenanigans would be happening. A glance at a few of the already submitted reviews let me know that there would be some cliff-hanging involved. But still. STILL.

Alright, so I’ve recently read two other books somewhat like this. One young adult, one middle-grade that dealt specifically with teens in space programs. And I’ll completely admit that I loved each of them for various reasons. Katie Kennedy’s What Goes Up had me in stitches when I wasn’t rooting for the main characters. Katie Slivensky’s The Countdown Conspiracy had me burrowed so far into the corner of my couch in an attempt to create a reading bubble that I had a stiff neck and a semi-permanent couch imprint by the time I was done with the ultimately very satisfying read. The Final Six is just as good of a read as the other two. I hope we see more books in this vein continue to trickle out. (Trickle, not gush. It’s better to sip than gulp!)

A lot of times, science fiction is set in space and tends to be years after we’ve had to abandon the Earth (or have at least already spread to other planets). The Final Six takes place after humanity has realized they’ve screwed the pooch, but before we’ve successfully placed ourselves amongst the stars. The two characters that we primarily follow through the book both deal with the immediacy of their situation in different ways, and both are believable. I particularly enjoyed following Naomi, but Leo was a perfect contrast to her.

I have to say, one of the things that immediately struck me about The Final Six was that the opening chapters deal with one of the characters intending to commit an act that can’t be undone. After I read the first few pages, Isat back in my seat, blew out a breath, and thought “Well, that’s one way to get things started.” I thought Monir did a solid job of laying out the absolute havoc that certain situations wreck on a person.

Now, this is a young adult book, so some level of smoochies was almost inevitable. Luckily, halfway through the book it’s not already to the point where they’re declaring their everlasting love for each other. It does, eventually, get all hormonal and star-crossed feeling and blah blah blah, but the author does a good job of slowly spinning out the development of the relationship in such a way that it provoked only the most minor of eye-rolls from me.

I thought the pacing of the book was great (even if the situation wasn’t necessarily believable). I thought the dialogue was good. The action was interesting. I really have only the most minor of issues with The Final Six, and Alexandra Monir’s story-telling ability makes those so minor as to not affect my rating.

Definitely putting The Final Six high on my list of recommended YA sci-fi reads!
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review 2015-03-05 00:00
Timeless - Alexandra Monir


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review 2015-01-25 23:46
Review for Suspicion by Alexandra Monir
Suspicion - Alexandra Monir

This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews Imogen Rockford's teenage life is very different than her childhood one was. After her parent's death, she was ushered away to live with her new guardians and live a typical New York life. She was haunted by her parents death, but she has done her best to move and has managed to build herself a normal life. Then she learns that the rest of her family has died (which consisted of a Grandfather and a cousin) and she now much become the Duchess and take control of the family estate in England. As soon as Imogen makes it home to Rockford Manor, she realizes that something is quite off and until she figures out what is behind it all, she is in very real danger. Can she be figure out the mystery or will she fall prey to the bad guy(s)?


Imogen was a character I liked immediately. She's made the best of a bad situation and she's worked hard to leave the past in the past. Now, she's stepping up to save her family home and she is swamped with guilt for not keeping up with her relatives. Lucia's life could have turned out vastly different if Imogen had just keep in contact. But ignoring her family was the best way to avoid thinking about her parents deaths, something that was incredibly difficult to overcome. Everything in Rockford Manor is so different and so incredibly the same. It's a lot to take in and then we add Sebastian in the mix and things get even worse. Sebastian was her childhood crush. Sebastian is also Lucia's grieving boyfriend. Right before her parents death, Lucia's announcement that she planned to pursue Sebastian caused a small rift. Sebastian was Imogen's special someone and how could Lucia not see that? Apparently Sebastian didn't see it either, though, because he was clearly in love with Lucia by all accounts. That makes things even more difficult because from the moment she sees him, she knows she never got over that crush. She knows that said crush may have morphed into more after years of pining. Said crush may be the reason that she never had a boyfriend in New York or really seemed to have to urge to find one.


Speaking of Sebastian...

Esmerelda wink gif

If you ever become and actual person and not just an imaginary character in an amazing novel, give me a call....wait, I don't think my husband would approve of that. NEVERMIND! Sebastian was a difficult character to get a handle on because at first he seems to like her and then once she becomes the Duchess he's so standoffish that I want to punch him. And then he's not. And then he's helpful. And then he's doing things I can't mention because of the spoilers. Let's just say the more you see of him, the more swoon-worthy he comes, k?


When I read the synopsis of this, I knew instantly that I wanted to read it, that I needed to read it. Contemporary Downton Abbey with a supernatural twist and an epic romance?

Not many novels live up to the tag lines they get, but this one does. This was far better than I expected. Even with the annoying love triangle aspect, I was still enthralled. Okay, I'll admit I was a bit enthralled by the love triangle, because, you know, Sebastian is going to end up with Imogen, right? He loves her, right? Spock eyebrow raise gif

This thing has enough mystery and suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. The whole dynamic between Imogen and the manor and the servants and Sebastian is fulled with just the right amount of tension. I especially love the relationship between Imogen and Lucia (prior to her death, naturally). You don't get to see much of it, but it's obvious they were close and Imogen blames herself for so much even though it is obvious none of it is her fault.


GRRRHHH...This review is so hard to write when I'm giving away spoilers. I'm trying to avoid spoilers because it makes posting the review elsewhere difficult, but this is so intricate that minor comments I make could be constituted as spoilers. The mystery here is so good and you don't really see it come (or at least I didn't) and the magic is so underplayed instead of making it the center of the novel like I expected it. I loved that. The magic is there, but it's not the main thing and it's not at the heart of the problem.


What should you take from this slightly convoluted review? This novel is awesome. It somehow manages to give you contemporary with a historical feel and the perfect mystery to keep you ignoring life for just one more chapter. It's that amazing, need to read quality that we all look for in a novel. What more could you want? This has hot British boys, mystery, romance, and magic! And it's a stand-alone, so it's blessedly cliffhanger free. Seriously, it's perfect, so go grab a copy!


****Thank you to Delacorte Press and Random House Children's for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review****

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review 2015-01-23 11:20
Władcy czasu
Władcy czasu - Alexandra Monir

Przed sięgnięciem po książkę ,,Poza czasem" wahałam się co do tego. Jednak w końcu to zrobiłam i nie żałowałam. Z ,,Władcami czasu" już nie miałam takiego problemu. Wiedziałam, że ta pozycja mi się spodoba. Choć muszę przyznać, że pierwsza część była dla mnie ciekawsza, to i tak miło spędziłam czas z tą książką. 

,,Władcy czasu" rozpoczynają się dokładnie w tym miejscu, w którym skończyła się pierwsza część. Nie omija nas, więc żaden moment z życia Michelle. Autorka do tej pozycji zdołała wprowadzić kilka ciekawych wątków. Niektóre jak dla mnie były lekko naciągane, a nie pamiętam bym miała takie odczucia podczas czytania pierwszej części. Może zestarzałam się za bardzo przez te kilka miesięcy, by we wszystko uwierzyć, co przedstawia nam pisarka. 

Jednak co by nie było kocham podróże w czasie i każdą pozycję, która je opisuje z chęcią przeczytam. Tu pojawił się świetny pomysł na podróżowanie. Aż ma się ochotę sprawdzić wszystkie klucze, a nuż może któryś zabierze mnie w przeszłość. Mimo, że na główny plan wysunął się plan Michelle pod tytułem: ,,Jak odzyskać Philipa?", to oprócz tego mamy także kilka innych wątków. Dla mnie ciekawym było pojawienie się złego ducha, który trochę namieszał, dodał zagrożenia. Interesowało mnie, co z nim się stanie. 

,,Władcy czasu" to przyjemne czytadło, które może umilić góra dwa wieczory. Dla mnie sprawdził się idealnie jako odstresowywacz. Nie jest to wielce wymagająca książka, więc nie spodziewajcie się po niej za wiele. 

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