Friday, December 30, 2016

Shadow magic (audiobook)

Connor was just a normal teenage boy with a father who taught ancient languages.  His world completely changes with a visit from his aunt, who happens to want to kill him.  He is transplanted into another world, Tir Na Nog,  where there is a prophecy of the son of the handed king.  There he meets another family member, his uncle, as well as his mother.  After a quick battle he is separated from his parents and he teams up with 3 other companions to find his way across Tir Na Nog to find his parents.  Everyone within the realm wants to kill him and Connor must work with his companions to find their way to their destination.  Along the way Connor discovers things about his friends as well as himself and grows stronger in the process.  Will Connor succeed in his quest and make it safely to his family?

I listened to this book as an audio book via LibriVox, and it is read by John Henahan himself.  I am not sure how I feel about audiobooks.  I tried it to see if I would enjoy them while I am at work or driving.   I found I had a hard time paying attention to the story because it quickly became background sound to the other things that I was focusing on, so I ended up listening to it when I wasn't doing something.  I enjoyed this book a great deal when I was able to finally focus on it.  The author read it while slight inflections in his voice when different characters were speaking.  That was a hard things to work through, knowing when someone was speaking and who.  When I read the dialog it is easier to understand when dialogue belongs to different people.


The story was very interesting and humorous, children in the age range (it says 7-10 but I would say 8-15) would greatly enjoy this story and get lost within.  I enjoyed the use of different Celtic folklores like imps and leprechauns.  There is a lot of action throughout the book, enough to keep readers (or listeners) interested and eager to find out what happens next.  The narration reads (flows) much like a teenager is speaking/writing which adds to the effect that the main character is in fact a teenager.  He acted and spoke the way a teen would rather than someone older than they were supposed to be.  Some of the descriptions were hilarious such as when he describes himself dismounting as resembling a giraffe on an escalator.  It was refreshing to "read" a book that had battle scenes and the sense of war, but didn't have a lot of blood or gore.  It focused more on respecting the people, plants and animals of the land, such as asking a tree for permission before picking an apple or asking a boar if it was alright to kill it.

I would recommend this book to young reads and older readers as well, it is refreshing to read something youthful and airy for a change.  I anticipate reading the other books in this trilogy, I may also listen to it on audiobook if it is available.  I give this audiobook a 4 out of 5 rating, and think I will give audiobooks another change, but I am not sure if they are for me.  We shall see...

Happy reading!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Forbidden

I cannot begin to describe how much I dislike this book.  I  was barely able to finish it, and for those of you who know me know that is saying a lot.   There was only 1 time I never finished a book.  I don't know where to begin...throughout the book Rose continues to proclaim she and her family are not vampires, they just have vampire like qualities so what are they, all we get is immortal.  Unless you chop their heads off or if they apparently lose a significant amount of blood.
A LARGE portion of the book is Gabriel trying to get Rose to be his girlfriend and Rose fighting it...basically it goes "Rose I love you," "We  can't be together Gabriel, it's not safe." "Why not?," "I can't tell you."  Have this happen several times in various formats and you have about 75% of the book, along with Gabriel getting superhuman abilities and a foreign exchange student.  Very cliche throughout the whole book.
The characters were blah, Rose was just whiney and weak the whole time.  Gabriel is so cliche: football jock who wants more in life but step-daddy won't let him.  Sadie could have been more interesting but wasn't developed enough.  William again cliche: best friend's brother who crushes on Rose and hates Gabriel...just no....be a little more original I felt like I read these characters before.
Don't get me started kn grammer and misspellings.  I thought editors would have gone through this and pointed those thingsout, maybe not.  I was more than disappointed in this book.  The summary made it sound so interesting, but sadly it wasn't.
I  would be willing to read something else from this author but not in this genre.  Sadly for the second time, I do not recommend this book and give it a 1.5 out of 5 rating.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Black Bird

Black Bird is a manga series that follows the life of schoolgirl Misao, who can see supernatural beings such as demons and such. After she turns sixteen, she is frightened to learn that now these beings are hunting her and seek to kill her.  A childhood friend Kyo, comes to rescue time and time again.  Surprisingly, Kyo is also a demon and Misao learns she is known and the Bride of Prophecy, a rare and coveted being.  Kyo is the one who needs to protect her from the blood-thirsty demons who wish to feast on her blood and become more powerful. 

This is a relatively shorter series, about 12 volumes I believe, but it reads rather quickly as I have found with most manga series.  The artwork in this is beautiful and I found myself wanting to cos-play as Misao.  The story follows the artwork in the beauty and fine crafted story-telling skills.  It held my attention throughout all the volumes and makes me want to watch the anime series/drama if there is one, I haven't looked.  I found the story and plot to be very interesting and wanted more when the series came to an end.  It was unique in that it wasn't vampires needed her blood or needing her blood to sustain themselves, but rather to gain power over one another.  Also in that it was only her blood that could do this rather than any person that they would come across.

If you enjoy manga series, or are looking for something a little different than novels, I would suggest checking out not only this series but other manga series.  This one particularly is great for those who enjoy the supernatural and demon type of stories.  I give this series as a whole a rating of 3 stars.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Meowy Christmas


Meowy Christmas from our library to yours.  May it be filled with happiness and
joy as we put down our books and enjoy precious time with our loved ones. 


Friday, December 23, 2016

Where The Lost Girls Go


Laura is a rookie cop trying to show she is capable of doing her job despite her small stature and meek manner.  She obtains her first investigation when a car crashes into a tree and goes up in flames.  Clues point to a homicide, possibly involving the daughter of a famous local author.  As Laura digs for clues and interviews the family she is convinced she knows who the killer is.  But then the identity of the Jane Doe is revealed to be a missing girl, the investigation takes a different path.  How did the missing girl find her way into the Jameson estate and eventually one of their cars?  How did she meet her end and why?  Admist this investigation is another bigger one into the corruption of the police force and how deep does it go.  Why are some officers given special duty, while others are hung out to dry?  Get ready for an action packed novel that will keep you guessing until the very end.


I had the honor of receiving this book from the publisher/author via NetGallery.  I could not have been more excited for the opportunity to read this book.


It starts out with excitement with the fiery car accident and the mysterious driver, but as the story goes on it deeper into a homicide and keeps you guessing at what will happen next.  There seemed to be a lot of premature theories and jumping to conclusions, but I guess that would come from the main character being new to the force, just off her training.  There was another sub-plot about corruption in the force that I think was unnecessary, the story stood well on its own without that added tidbit.  It almost feels a little too overdone - corruption in the force, but the main character and a few secondary ones are working to expose it as they are the only good ones.  I hope there is a bigger story that come from that, but at this point it is still a mystery why that was included. 




There are still a few questions within this story as I got to the end that leaves the book feeling almost unfinished. The moments of Laura expressing feelings for her neighbor felt more like fluff than anything else especially after he "sort of is seeing someone,"  that left me with a let down as there was a build up of possibly them getting together or a huge surprise twist him being the mastermind behind it all, but no.  Again something else that could have been left completely out of the story and it would not have made much of a difference.  I highly enjoyed the story and liked the added touch of "squatters" in the woods that was something different added to the story. 


It was a mixture of predictable and unpredictable, if that makes any sense.  There were parts I was able to figure out while others were a complete surprise.  It held my attention throughout the story, I couldn't wait to find out who was the mastermind behind the murders.  There were a few things that I was surprised wasn't revealed earlier such as the gravesite, I think having someone find it earlier and finding the girls already in it would have added to the story and suspense of who was killing these girls.  I could almost see this plot reflected in a crime drama or movie.


I would highly recommend this book to mystery lovers of all sorts, as well as general fiction, suspense fans.  I think there is a little of something everyone can enjoy in this book.  I give this a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.







Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Woman In Cabin 10

Lo is a travel journalist scheduled to go on a luxury cruise for an assignment.  A few days before the cruise is to set sail, he apartment is broken into shaking her up and causing her to be more on edge and frightened than normal.  It disrupts her sleep, eating and emotions.  But she decides to go on the trip anyway and try to get ahead in her field.  While there she meets people perfect for networking during a dinner.  Afterwards she tries to find some sleep only to woken by a sound in the cabin next door, and the sound of the sliding door opening and a something being thrown overboard.  Her heightened nerves already on edge she notified security and he informs her that no one was in Cabin 10.  She goes on a wild goose chase to find this woman she knew was there and figure out what really happened and who on the ship could be a murderer. 


Woman in Cabin 10 is Ruth Ware's second novel, and is taking the literary world by storm.  She has the strong ability to create a suspenseful, edge of your seat thrill of a tale.  She develops a story that takes the reader on a wild goose chase of a who done it, heightened with the unknown identity of the woman in cabin 10 as well as Lo's own anxiety and fears after being burgled a few nights before the cruise.  Ware, draws on the readers emotion to create the suspense and thrilling atmosphere of this novel and keeps the reader guessing.  There are a lot of twists and turns in this novel, although there were plot ideas that arose but were never expanded on, such as the internet/phone service being an issue.  She does a great job at building the suspense and making the reader want to know what will happen next.




The characters were a little hard to get attached to, maybe because there were so many to keep track of, I'm not sure.  Your heart goes out to Lo in the beginning, but she self medicates with alcohol a little too much in the novel, but again that plays into the storyline.  I downright despised Ben and couldn't believe Lo continued to trust him after his actions after dinner the first night.  I wanted more of Cole and some of the other characters, especially Anne and Richard.  The pacing starts out slow, but then picks up after the possible murder happens, but even then it still feels just a little bit slow as readers and assaulted with numerous possibilities and theories, though none of them are really followed up on.  Regardless of a few faults this book is a real attention getter from the beginning and keeps you interested/entertained until the very end.


I enjoyed it and finished within an evening.  I would recommend this highly to other mystery, and fiction lovers.  I give it a happy 4 star rating and look forward to what Ruth has in store for us next.


** If you haven't yet, check out the review for Ruth's debut novel In A Dark Dark Wood.



Monday, December 19, 2016

Purr M Murder

Sydeny left New York after ending her engagement and returned hom to Deer Park where she now helps her sister run the local animal shelter.  Syd and Kat organize a fun fundraising event with a local café shop: a cat café! where people can pay an extra fee and have their coffee and play with adoptable cats.  Things are going great that is until Trowbridge Littleton begins to make troubles from them and threatens to not only shut down the event, but also the shelter.  Kat and Syd decide to try and reason with him only to find his dead body.  Now the sisters need to try and clear their names off the list of suspects.  When Syd starts investigating further, with the help of a tabby cat Toby, the killer sets their sights on her.







We cats decided the human needed to review a book with the hero is a cat! I mean, we are the literary cats after all right?  The human was honored to review a copy of the book from the publisher via NetGallery, awesomesauce right?   The cover is cute with the orange tabby looking all mischievous with his skull cookie, and makes the reader wonder what the book will be about and how the cat will play a part into the story.  It reminded me a lot of the "Cat Who" series by Lilian Jackson Braun.






While this novel was light and airy, it was very suspenseful and keep me guessing at what would happen next to the characters.  It doesn't have many dark undertones that most mystery novels have, but then most mystery novels that have an animal as a central character seem to be light and airy.  Lotempio creates characters and a setting that leaves readers invested in them.  I couldn't wait to find out what would happen with the shelter, almost more than I wanted Littleton's murderer found, is that odd?  The story was almost hypnotic in that it pulls readers into the story and time seems to stand still until something interrupts you.






It is an easy read, but not to the point of feeling too simplistic or "childish" (I'm not sure if that is the word that I want).    I found myself curled up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa getting lost in the book on a snowy afternoon.  It was exactly the kind of book I needed to read to lift my spirits and bring a smile to my face.  I seen on the cover that it is a part of series, and I look forward to what Lotempio has in store for us in other books.  I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys mystery novels, animals, cats, a good soft read, and reading in general.  I would even allow a child of pre-teen age read this because there isn't a lot of gore, sex, or otherwise inappropriate material.  It's a good, clean, fantastic book.  Keep up the good work Toni.


My rating is an enthusiastic 5 paws up.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Unexpected Gifts

Andi has endured on of the hardest years of her life.  She lost her baby and her boyfriend left, leaving her facing her grief and pain alone.  When the Christmas plans turn out less than expected she takes a ski resort up on it's complimentary offer to stay for an extended time.  Upon arrival she discovers they do not have a room for her.  Colin is an attractive acquaintance, who offers a room in his villa.  After mentioning she hated Christmas, Colin makes it his mission to make Andi enjoy Christmas once more.  The two begin to fall for one another and Colin begins to think he just might be able to change his playboy ways and have a relationship with Andi.  When the resort needs someone to help plan their big Christmas party, Andi steps up and fulfills then need calling in her partner to help with the planning.  Everything seems to be going perfectly for Andi, that is until Blaine shows up and changes things.  Where will Andi's heart take her; into the arms of Colin, or back to the man who left her in her time of need?

It wouldn't be Christmas without a review of a Christmas novel.   Normally I would not go for a sappy love story like this one, but I decided to step outside the comfort zone and read something new.  And I admit, I kind of like the sappy love story.  It was well written and the reader really gets a strong feeling for Andi and her lose.  I wanted to cry at her heartache at losing the baby and got angry at Blaine for what he did (won't give away spoilers!)  I loved the setting of a mountain lodge which will be the setting for future novels.  I love how Aitken developed the relationship between Colin and Andi rather than them immediately jumping into bed together.  She even has Andi develop a rule of no sex on the first date AND Colin respecting that.  Which seems to be hard to find now-a-days.

A lot happens in this short novel that drags the reader into Colin and Andi's story. It leaves readers wanting more, and I was a little disappointed to find out that the next novel would not have the two lovers as the characters.  I was hoping to see their relationship develop and grown beyond their time at the lodge.  It almost felt like the book ended too quickly.  Aitken did a wonderful job at creating the romance and bond between her characters, she made it so I could feel the connection from them.  Almost made me wish I could find something like what they had, almost jealous!  I finished this book within 5 hours or so, I couldn't put it down once I began reading it.

I highly recommend this novel for those who love a good romance novel, and for those who want a good novel to test the waters with.  I would give this a 4 out 5 simply because it ended too quickly and I would love more from this couple.  I will definitely be checking out more novels from Elena Aitken.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Night Circus

A mysterious circus arrives in town, it is only open at night and there is not a sign of color only black, whites, and shades of grey.  Patrons are dazzled by the acts and displays throughout the circus that they long for it to return again.  Some even follow the circus around to different cities.  What the patrons don't know is there is a competition going on behind the scenes.  Marco and Celia are in the midst of a duel since childhood.  The two don't know the exact rules of the game, aside from that they control the circus but cannot interfere with one another.  There can only be one winner in this battle of imagination and skill.  Despite their best efforts the two stumble into love.  Regardless of their love the game must keep going, even with the fate and future of those involved with the circus are at the hands of Celia and Marco.  Who will become the victor?

I originally fell in love with the cover of the book, it really drew me into the story and got in me interested.  The story within didn't completely disappoint.  It was a little difficult to get used to how the story jumped around in the beginning, but there was a lot of story to follow and each character's story meant something in the end.  Everything weaved together and played off of the last that I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what will happen.  The first few chapters were incredibly interesting with magical undertones and the promise of a fast-paces magical competition, but the middle began to drag on, filling readers with characters that didn't seem to make sense to the story.  Don't get me wrong the characters are interesting and the images are exploratory.

Marco and Celia start out not knowing who the other is and continue to create tents for one another.  At some point, without much build -up, the two begin a love affair (which we also do not see) and continue to profess their love for one another.  Neither try hard to get away from the competition, aside from Celia mentioning being in pain simply from  thinking about leaving.  I kind of expected more from that as well as the battle between the two other than creating more tents.  I understand the idea was the two of them controlling and providing energy/protection to the circus, but I hoped for a little bit more to that.  I think part of this is because there was so much going on in the story and so much descriptions.  While I like descriptions and being able to feel as if I was a part of the story, but not at the risk of losing development of the characters.

I liked the characters enough, but it didn't feel like there was enough for them to be developed enough in the story. There were times when I was wondering how the story got to different points because there didn't seem to be anything that lead up to, and after reading it I am not entirely sure what happened at the end.  I tried explaining this book to someone and was unable to do so.  Regardless of some of the less savory aspects of the book..i really liked it.  I was drawn into the story of Marco and Celia and kept wanting more from them.  While I wasn't compelling to spend all night reading it, I was still anxious to pick it back up.  I would recommend this book, but not as enthusiastically as I have in the past.  I would give this a 3 out of 5 rating.  I wanted more from the book, but I did enjoy reading it and getting lost in the circus.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Cheesecake Cookbook

I will fully admit my biggest weakness is cheesecake.  I can never pass up a cheesecake dessert no matter how stuffed I am.  It is the perfect comfort food, creamy and sweet.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!  When I seen this cookbook on amazon, I needed to add it to my cookbook collection and I am happy I did.  I haven't gotten the chance to make too many of them yet, just one or two.  But the recipes are so easy to  follow and easy to make.  I don't think there is a way to mess up cheesecake, especially if you had this book to guide you.

Who knew there were so many different variations on cheesecake?  I plan on making one or two for Christmas especially the Gluten-free recipe as I have a few family and friends who need to be gluten-free.  This book gives you many ideas and is filled with interesting tastes, such as the Japanese Cherry Blossom cheesecake.  I never had it nor have I worked with some of the ingredients and am excited to give it a shot.  There are a large amount of ingredients I have never worked with or thought to include in a cheesecake. 

Sharon Belcher even gives cooks ideas on how to decorate and serve the cakes which is very helpful if you want to create a wonderful presentation before devouring your creation.  For anyone who enjoys cooking or wants to start out with something new, I highly recommend this cookbook.  It is beyond helpful and easy to understand.  I give this a rating of 5 out of 5 because well...it's cheesecake now to devour a whole cheesecake myself....don't judge.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Woman of Strength and Purpose


As a strong-willed woman, you meet the world head-on, undeterred by those who say something can’t be done. When applied in the right ways, your God-given passion produces clear-eyed purpose, deep compassion, and a bold spirit that can change the world. But sometimes your determination leads to misunderstandings and fractured relationships.


Sometimes people view a strong-willed or determined woman to be overwhelming, competitive, even intimidating. Cynthia Tobias take that strong will and shows woman how we can turn it into something positive, something that draws people towards us rather than away.  She stresses the idea that when you add God to a strong willed woman she will be able to move mountains to so to speak.  She will be able to walk bravely and accomplish things that others may shy away from. 




Tobias uses her writing style to help women learn how to use their strong-willed nature to overcome their weakness and become strong women of God while forming solid relationships with those around them.  This is a quick and easy read, a couple of hours or  a day if you really delve deep into what Tobias is telling her readers.  I enjoyed how she pointed everything back to God and how to turn that natural instinct into a passion for Christ.  There are also discussion questions at the end for small groups or personal development as you read the book.



Something I did enjoy most was as a meak-willed woman, I learned some ways to become more outgoing and stronger willed in my pursuit of Christ.  I think this book is perfect for every woman to read whether she is strong willed or not.  I give the book a 4 out of 5 because it did make me really think about what was going on in my own life and how I can change that.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Hleo

One day while cleaning up at work, Hannah opens the dressing room door to a man in the middle of changing his clothes.  This is the awkward beginning to a journey that will change Hannah's life forever.  She is surprised to find Ethan is a new student in her school rather than a tourist.  When he consistently seems to always be present to save her from harm, Hannah begins to question his motives in her life.  When Ethan saves her from an attempt on her life she finds out how important she truly is in this life.  While Hannah tries to piece all this crazy puzzle of her past together she struggles with accepting that she is anything more than a normal high school girl looking for her adoptive parents.  Ethan struggles with discovering what makes Hannah above the other protected and why so many are hell-bent on trying to end her life.  

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Hleo from Rebecca Walker herself.  Such an honor.  It starts out as any romance novel would; girl embarasses herself in front of a hot guy (what woman hasn't done something embarrassing in front of a really hot guy??), finds out he in school with her and gets death stares from other girls when he pays her attention.  BUT then things start to diverge from romantic to science-fiction, fantasy based  to hot guy being a part of a super secret organization meant to protect special people like her.  It takes several chapters to really pick up, but the building chapters do exactly that, it builds up the story and develops the setting and characters so that readers become attached to them.  There were moments when it was hard to feel for Hannah or even Ethan because they seemed a little dense when it came to certain things. 

At times there was a lot of information dump, a lot of information thrown not just at Hannah, but at the reader as well.  I had hoped Hannah would have done a little bit more research after she found out the possible names of her parents or even after finding out about the Hleo.  But I also understand way Rebecca Walker did things the way she did and why there was a need for a lot of information at once because it would have been difficult to get a hold of what was happening if we didn't. It does keep the reader guessing at what will happen next and where the story with turn. 

Rebecca created a story that her readers rave about and demand (ok ask nicely) for more.  Fans are recommending this book left and right, and I am no different.  I do recommend this novel for young adult fantasy fans.  It will keep you guessing, wanting more and it will not disappoint.  I give Hleo a rating of 3.5 out of 5 and hope that Rebecca Walker writes more.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Branded (Fallen Angels #1)



For the longest time, Jessica had nightmares.  Nightmares where she was being judged for other people's sins, and branded by the angels for those sins.  When she awakes, she finds the brand is still on her skin, burning.  She hides it from her friends and family who think she has gone crazy because of these nightmares.  Suddenly two men come into her life, each completely different, but both compelling and alluring.  Jessica cannot help but be drawn to both of them.  She will do anything to be with one of them even if it means telling him everything about her nightmares and the mark.  The other, draws her into a downward spiral towards her own judgement.  Her worst nightmare could very possibly come true.  Will she be able to find her way out of the judgement and into the arms of a man she loves?

Very interesting plot and idea, unsure if it was executed right.  First off the repetition gets a little boring, for example almost every chapter until the men show up (even a bit afterwards) Jessica goes grocery shopping for her shut in neighbor Sally.  It would have been nice to see Jessica do something else for Sally other than grocery shop.  She comes off as a self-centered person despite her seemingly good deeds towards Sally.  She gets angry with Emily because she can't tell her how she made the dreams stop even though Emily revealed her traumatic abuse (there is a lot of abuse happening in this book, was there nothing else for the characters to have experienced?)  There isn't much dialogue, but a lot of internal monologue from Jessica.  At points it gets annoying.  The male love interests are less than believable.  Do we really want our girls to think it is acceptable behavior for a man she barely knowns to barge in on her shower just to ask her to dinner?  Couldn't that have waited?  Not only does he barge in her shower, but he barges in all the time.  Doesn't he have any respect for her privacy even after she asks for it?

Everything in this story is over-exaggerated, over described.  Nothing was left to the readers imagination.  It gets boring quickly and a little difficult to finish.  There's nothing that is memorable about the book and falls flat, very flat.  Jessica's character doesn't have depth and is confusing to me.  She is shy and highly guarded, afraid to let anyone close to her, but quickly falls in love with a man she barely knows after only about 5 minutes of knowing him (think Anna falling in love with Hans).  It was very hard to accept their romantic interest in each other, it didn't feel real.  There were a lot of things that were hard to accept with this novel.  The end felt too rushed as if the author didn't know what else to do but end the novel quickly.

I am on the fence on whether or not I would recommend this novel  While I think there are people who would enjoy it better than I would, I don't want to recommend a book and have then thoroughly dislike it as much as I did.  Unfortunately the rating I would give this is low, a 2 out of 5.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Heritage: S.M Boyce

Heritage is the third book in Boyce's Grimoire Saga.  It picks up with Kara in turning to learn how to control her Isen power enough to lead the other vagabonds.  Braeden is working to learn the inner workings of his kingdom to help the other Bloods plan an attack and finally defeat his father. Braeden has to learn how to gain the trust of the other bloods.  Kara has to learn how she can learn the vagabonds and how to sway the other bloods to her mission.  As part of her training, Kara visits the home of her grandfather, a notorious Isen who killed millions of people.  She had thought she'd known all about him until she took a trip through his memories and discovered the truth about him and herself.  This helps her accept her powers and learn to control them.  Now she sends her vagabonds back to their kingdoms and campaigns for the assistance of the other bloods to join her cause for peace.  Will Kara be successful?

After reading the previous two novels in the saga and loving them, I found this one to be lacking a certain..opf.  I love the idea of Kara being an Isen, it adds a deeper quality to her character and a twist in the story.  I have a feeling there is more to this surprise in the next novels.  There was a lot of re-cap from the other novels, and while having a recap can help remind readers of what happened previously, it started to take away from the story.  It started to feel like the momentum of the series started to slow down in the beginning of the novel, but once Kara revealed her powers the story picked back up. I was sucked back into the story, eager to know what will happen next. 

It almost felt like that story didn't progress much until about the last 75% of the novel.  There was a lot of build up to what will happen towards the end.  A lot was predictable, but then again Boyce tells the reader things will happen.  It does push the story along a little bit, but I think this book is intended to focus more on Kara learning her identity, who she truly is and her place within the world.    Throughout the other two books, Kara didn't feel connected to the people she was fighting to save, and now she does as well as change the viewpoint of Isens.  It is something that was needed to give Kara that connection to everyone and everything to really fight for unity.

I did enjoy this story, it was different from the previous ones in that it had a different air to it.  While it was slower and had a different feel to the story, it was one that is needed for the series.  It does deviate a little bit, but it is a necessary deviation.  I enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading the next one.  I do suggest not only thing book but also the series.  I give this novel a 3 out 5 rating.  S.M Boyce is doing a great job at developing a story and world.