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review 2018-07-29 16:08
5 Out Of 5 "hacker-if-ic" STARS
This Mortal Coil - Emily Suvada

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~BOOK BLURB~

This Mortal Coil

Emily Suvada

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In this gripping debut novel, seventeen-year-old Cat must use her gene-hacking skills to decode her late father’s message concealing a vaccine to a horrifying plague.

 

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

 

That’s no surprise since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

 

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

 

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This book is amazing, one of the best dystopian's I've read in a while and absolutely a new favorite.  For a book involving gene hacking, splicing, decoding and lots of technical terms and such this is completely comprehensible and seriously compelling.  It also depicts a plaque virus with walking dead-like creatures that will explode and then infect anyone in a certain radius, plus some crazy plot twists that will blow your mind.  This book is pure genius.  There is also some romance…but it is done well and does not dominate the story, at least in my opinion, but I like some romance.  Book #2, This Cruel Design, comes out at the end of October.  I totally recommend!

 

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~MY RATING~

5STARS - GRADE=A+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ "to be continued"

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Book Cover~ I Love It!

Narration~ 5 for Skye Bennett, I really liked her voice, she made this a breeze to listen to.

Series~ This Mortal Coil #1

Setting~ A Futuristic United States & some in Canada

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-07-13 18:08
4.7 Out Of 5 "skin-shifting" STARS
Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf) - Ryan Graudin

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~BOOK BLURB~

Blood for Blood

Ryan Graudin

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There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it.

 

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Non-spoiler-y review for both books.

 

The narration for this series is fantastic, she does German words and accents with ease, all while staying completely comprehensible.  Yes, even for me.  I highly recommend the Audio version for this series.  Although, the novella Iron to Iron is only available in book format, but well worth the read anyway.

 

An alluring, atmospheric, alternative historical where the Germans and Japanese win WWII.  In the first book Wolf by Wolf, the resistance recruits Yael a skin-shifter (Sounds a bit paranormal-ish…but it's really more like Science Fiction with the way it's done.) to impersonate Adele Wolfe, a racer in the Axis Tour, to assassinate Hitler.  Things end on a cliffhanger and Blood for Blood picks up where the first book leaves off.  From there it's a race of a different kind.  To not only live but follow through on killing the real Hitler.  The writing is captivating and the characters are inspiring.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.7/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 4.2/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5+/5

Ending~ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger~ No, not at all.

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Book Cover~ Awesome

Narration~ ☆5☆ for Christa Lewis...so good!

Series~ Wolf by Wolf #2

Setting~ Japan & Germany

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-07-02 21:58
4.5 Out of 5 "world gone dry" STARS
Not a Drop to Drink - Mindy McGinnis

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~BOOK BLURB~

Not A Drop To Drink

Mindy McGinnis

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Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 

 

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty or doesn't leave at all.

 

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

 

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

 

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I've seen this book many times while looking for something else to add to TBR, and I've skipped over it.  I think that was due to the fact that it centered around a shortage of water.  Maybe, I find that premise too likely to happen in actual life.  Anyway, this fits a reading challenge I had going on, so I was like…WTH might as well try it out.  So happy that I did…because Not A Drop To Drink is a very well done dystopian.  There are 4 reasons I believe this to be true…

  • Despite being the first book in a duo, the ending of this has closure. 
  • The narration was subdued but excellent. 
  • The romance is only a splash and sweetly done. 
  • The world-building and explanation for how the world became this way, was impressively done. 

 

Overall, I should've read it long ago, because I really liked it.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 4.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

The Feels~ 4.3/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.8/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4.3/5 Cliffhanger~ Not really, but there is a second book.

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Book Cover~ It's stunning

Narration~ 5 by Cassandra Campbell was fantastic!  A new favorite.

Series~ Not A Drop to Drink #1

Setting~ I'm not sure, near Lake Erie…maybe

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-06-27 18:38
4.2 Out Of 5 "I was born in the year of the Dog" STARS
Under a Painted Sky - Stacey Covington-Lee

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~BOOK BLURB~

Under A Painted Sky

Stacey Lee

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A powerful story of friendship and sacrifice, for fans of Code Name Verity 

 

Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This is my second book by Stacey Lee, the other one being Outrun the Moon, and I have to say that her stories show the harshness of the times they depict without showing the darkness or the bleakness of those times. They have this soft blurry edge to them.  Which makes them very suitable and engaging for all ages. 

 

Under A Painted Sky is a beautifully written, uplifting tale about the power of friendship.  With a splash of romance and the trials of tribulations of life on the western trail, while being on the run from the law.  Overall, this story was endearingly sweet.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.3/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4.3/5

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Book Cover~ Beautiful

Narration~5 by Emily Woo Zeller was perfect.

Setting~ Old West on the trail to California

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-06-04 19:58
3.8 Out Of 5 "conspiracy theory" STARS
Zeroes: A Novel - Chuck Wendig

 

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Zer0es

Chuck Wendig

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When five hackers — an Anonymous-style rabble-rouser, an Arab Spring hactivist, a black-hat hacker, an old-school cypherpunk, and an online troll — are scooped up by the U.S. government and told they face prison sentences or worse, they take the deal that’s offered them: working as white-hat hackers in service to their nation. Forced into an uneasy alliance, threatened by their warring personalities and sabotaged by rival hackers, the five begin to fear for their lives as their orders grow increasingly dark and strange. But it’s only when they discover the truth behind the sinister NSA program that they realize the stakes go well beyond anything they could have imagined . . .

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Full Disclosure:  I was little confused while listening to this…because I'm not hacker proficient.  Did I enjoy the story despite that…yeah…for the most part, I did.  The characters more-so than the plot.  There is plenty of humor in this, albeit profane and lots of techno-action, and actual action, considering it’s a book about hacking and such. 

 

The narration is surprisingly good, considering how many main characters there is in this.  Ray Chase manages to bring these characters to life.  Each of them having their own distinctive voice, including the two females, and even better, neither came off sounding like a whiny bitch.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.8STARS - GRADE=B

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.5/5

The Feels~ 3.5/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.7/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3.7/5 Cliffhanger~ "to be continued"

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Book Cover~ Very Good

Narration~ ☆4.7☆ -Ray Chase

Series~ 1 #1

Setting~ USA (different locations throughout)

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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