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review 2017-03-24 03:09
The thrilling adventure continues...
Masterminds: Criminal Destiny - Gordon Korman

 

I read the first book in this series, Masterminds a few years ago when it first came out and loved it. This book (#2) has been out for a while, but I never got around to reading it. Just this past week, I received book 3 in the mail from Amazon (thanks to my advanced pre-ordering skills). Then I realized that I must read book 2 so I could read book 3 and donate it to my school library. Another book I can hopefully convince the kids to read...

 

I won't give details because you should read the first book without knowing certain things (in my opinion). Suffice it to say I still love the characters and it is interesting to see them trying to survive outside the small town of Serenity. Facing the real world, in all its beauty and ugliness isn't easy for these kids, but they don't give up. Some of the things that happen are quite unbelievable and completely unrealistic. But, this is a book made for 4th to 8th graders, and it is perfect for them.

 

 

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text 2017-03-20 12:05
Cover Reveal - Writing My Own Destiny

 

 

Blurb:

 
 
‘We love Aussies,’ they said, ‘the readers will eat you up’.

Those seven little words got me on a plane to the USA for the ‘Raunchy with a touch of sexiness – Valentine’s Day Author Event’ in Miami.

I’m a romance author. A girl with a vivid imagination, and an overactive sex drive. 

Oh, and yes I’m Australian

When I agreed the so-called love of my life had just walked out on me, leaving me with two little girls. All I wanted was a little fun and some no strings attached fun while I was there. 

It would be my very own ‘what happens in Miami, stays in Miami’.

Unless I fall in love with an American....

There’s no such thing as a happily ever after in real life.
 
 
 
Add to your TBR: http://bit.ly/2mRrOrh
 
 
 
 

About Stacey Johnston:

 

Stacey Johnston was raised in Perth, Western Australia. She is a wife and mum to four children.

Having been an avid reader most of her life, Stacey finds herself most at ease when she can lose herself in stories of romance and mystery.

Stacey has a creative way of bringing suspense into her stories which keeps her reader hanging onto every word to find out how it ends.
 

Follow Stacey Johnston:

 

Instagram: @author_stacey
Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/2eVi0KK
 
 
 
 
 

 

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review 2017-03-07 19:53
The Lost Wolf's Destiny
The Lost Wolf's Destiny - Karen Whiddon

Blythe's daughter is sick. Exhausting her resources, Blythe turns to Jacob Gideon. Jacob promises to heal her daughter Hailey.
Granted, if Blythe had listened to her instincts we wouldn't have had a story. Her instincts are good ones (and she is a Shifter too). So, despite she being an idiot, I got into the story. I could see someone who loved their kid, doing something desperate and ignoring everything else. Lucas was a good hero, wounded, but was able to overcome. I liked that there was more going on then at first appeared.

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review 2017-02-21 00:20
Blood Rebellion (Blood Destiny #7) by Connie Suttle
Blood Rebellion: Blood Destiny, Book 7 (... Blood Rebellion: Blood Destiny, Book 7 (Volume 7) - Connie Suttle,Renee Barratt

Normally I do a plot summary to start reviews, but really what’s the point? Lissa is awesome, faces absolutely no conflict or difficulty and is now ruling an entire functioning planet by wont of her Sueishness. Everything works out because it just does, there’s no conflict or complications and Lissa is just totally awesome and super powerful all the time.

 

 

Oh dear gods it gets worse. It actually gets worse

 

See, Lissa, the worst person of in the universe, Supreme Queen of Mary Sues is now in charge of an entire planet. She’s also, apparently An Adult.

 

But this adult who is the supreme all powerful dictator of a planet decides to run off and sulk every time things go wrong. Something happens she doesn’t like? She leaves the planet or goes back in time and pouts for a few weeks/months before coming back and deigning to rule her kingdom again. And absolutely no-one calls her on this shit. This woman is supposed to be, at least, well into her 40s. She behaves like a petulant teenager

 

Of course, everyone may be just happy to see her gone because she is an utterly terrible ruler whose planet would collapse were it not for the power of her Sueness and endless super powered lovers with god like abilities.

 

Her planet has absolutely no resources. She’s literally just moving a gazillion vampires and comesueli (proto-vampires which basically act as a slave race but no-one talks about that) to a planet with no industry, agriculture or industry but hey everything’s working out. And Lissa is micromanaging EVERYTHING. Sports, culture, nascent industry. Everything. She takes a day out of her schedule to help pick fruit with half her council for a winery. A single winery. She has an entire planet to manage and she spends pages concerned with this one winery run by one of her favourites because it’s going to shore up a PLANET WIDE ECONOMY. They make decisions on the economy and agriculture going forwards with no attempt to study what their planet or population can actually do – just “hey, let’s do this” and lo, they do.

 

She literally has a little snit because tourists will be coming to her capital and *gasp* photographing her palace. She seriously decides the capital city of her new planet will be closed off except for certain days when she can be out of the city and absolutely no-one questions either the draconian nature of this or how unworkable it is.

 

 

She has another snit because her counsellors raise the idea of tourism and gambling as a way to prop up her non-existent actual economy. Why? Because she doesn’t want such debauchery and dirty slutwhorejezebels on her planet!

 

So how does it not collapse? Because the author has decided it won’t. The comseuli are all magically becoming pregnant because they “somehow” know more of them will be needed. Oh and a sudden blood substitute has been invented which is convenient for a vampire planet. And the Reth Alliance – a kind of military and commercial union of several planets, has decided to accept them despite them having no infrastructure, military or, well, anything to offer at all (oh hey they may be able to produce wine and organic produce which there is a convenient demand for but they’re going to fund an entire planet’s economy on this?!) but hey join up they’re happy to have them.


Or the planet is HALF IN DARKNESS all the time which is super awesome for vampires but for some reason this doesn’t affect the temperature of the dark side or make it a frozen, pretty useless wasteland.

 

Of course a lot of this is helped by Lissa having the most ridiculous Sue collection of super powers ever. Not only can she travel through time and space and have infinite murder powers but she also has the ability to tell if someone is good or bad with a thought. She doesn’t even have to be in the presence of the person – she literally picks and chooses who is good or bad based on their RESUMES. (oh, and queen of the world? Is literally vetting every employee coming to her planet. Every last employee). This is such pathetic lazy writing and has been throughout the series – Lissa knows who is evil because she just DOES and she’s never wrong and then she has the stupidly over the top godlike ability to kill everyone she wants

 

Worse – not only does she have this incredibly simplistic ability to tell good from evil (because everything is totally that simple guys!) but she’s willing to slaughter literally thousands if not millions of people on that basis of this woo-woo sense. She will literally slaughter them or leave them to die. But it’s ok if thousands of people are dying because Lissa has declared them evil

 

In fact, let’s go with this brutal tyranny thing because my gods, this is awful. Remember in the last book when she decided to condemn entire species to become slaves because EVIL? It’s confirmed here that there are 70,000 of these people working in slavery and the only complaint is that they’re BAD at what they do (because you’ve taken people used to mega future technology and tried to turn them into 16thcentury farmers? Maybe? Did no-one recognise why this would be a bad idea? No because aaaaargh!?). Oh and there’s now only 60,000 because there numbers have been whittled down and absolutely no-one gives the slightest fuck about the genocide of 10,000 people through brutal slave labour conditions?! But it’s ok because Lissa has declared them evil!

 

They eventually decide to round up these 60,000 “trouble making” slaves and dump them on a completely wild planet with no shelter, food or water – and no means or knowledge of how to make any (Lissa doesn’t bother about this because they’ve ”had enough handed to them already”)

 

Even if you discount the mass slaughter and slavery, I’m not kidding about Lissa micromanaging everything. There’s not even a pretence of democracy or even reasoned decision making. She decides everything on a whim and we get cringeworthy moments like them deciding what the age of consent should be for the comsueli and they completely ignore what the comsueli themselves say – because this entire underclass of servile followers has no rights or say at all under Lissa’s dictatorship.

 

 

Read More

 

 

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review 2017-02-21 00:00
Iron Cast
Iron Cast - Destiny Soria ~*Full review here on The Bent Bookworm!*~

Feels:
“America is the land of liberty, Danny dearest,” Corinne said. “She won’t stand for Prohibition, mark my words.”

This book feels like a gangster movie with a few twists. Also not everyone dies, like in most gangster movies I’ve seen. I felt like I was sucker-punched in the gut a few times. Also I love how the author has chosen a relatively unexplored (in YA, at least) period of time (the weeks right before Prohibition took effect in 1919) for her setting. It was an awesome experience!
image
Characters:
"No one likes a know-it-all, Ada."
"Yes, I've been trying to tell you that for years."

Ada and Corinne are amazing. Their chemistry just leaps off the page and it's beautiful. It made me miss my best friend so much. The back-and-forth banter had me laughing out loud, but their fierce loyalty to each other was what really made this story. The romantic interests - sure, they're there, but they are a background to the girls' friendship.

Plot:

Destiny Soria has taken the year 1919 and turned it on its head with one change of facts: there is a small percentage of the population that are born as hemopaths, who have the ability to manipulate other people and sometimes time itself through some form of art. When I first started reading I thought that the hemopath ability was inspired by sickle cell anemia due to the influence put on the hemopaths' aversion to iron (an iron deficiency being one of the side effects or symptoms of sickle cell anemia), but after I finished I wasn't sure. It's an interesting thought, though. If it WAS so inspired, the author definitely gave it a new look by making it a strength and also making it just as widespread in people of every race.

At this time in history, hemopaths are feared and even hunted in Boston. Once considered artists, they are now looked at as freaks that are sub-human. Ada and Corinne find the noose of the law closing on them as they struggle to survive in their underground nightclub home, seemingly able to trust almost no one. Hemopaths start disappearing - people they know. Unsure where to turn, they spend a lot of time wandering from place to place. At times this was kind of a drag...it created atmosphere but left me wondering what was the point of a particular scene or chapter. However, the characters and a lot of the places they visited were interesting enough to keep me reading. I really wanted to find out WHO was behind all the horrible things that kept happening!

Worldbuilding/Description:

Reading this was like walking down a dark, foggy street. Or sitting in the darkened, smoky club surrounded by toughs and exquisitely dressed women. OR being kidnapped and dragged to a sterotypical "insane" asylum! There is a definite 1920s vibe to it that I loved. It's so different and feels so glamorous compared to most places and even books (maybe I haven't read the right ones?) today.

Final Rating:

4/5 stars. As I mentioned, the plot did drag a bit sometimes. Also I wish that Charlie and even Gabriel had been a little more fleshed out, but maybe that would have taken away from the strong thread of female friendship that holds the story together. I also really enjoyed the diversity aspect, as Ada's family was not white but neither were her parents from the same country, and there is a LGBT couple as well. I loved that Destiny Soria didn't gloss over how any of these characters would have been treated at this point in history but manages to (to me, at least) portray them without the slightest hint of bias. I'm not marginalized myself, so I can't authoritatively speak to how accurate the characters are, but they felt very real and relate-able.

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