Scythe – Neal Shusterman
Death, reaping, young adult, fantasy, science fiction, dystopian, fiction.
Citra and Rowan are chosen as Scythe apprentices to practice the art of reaping. Since the world is nearly perfect where death is not as easy to happen, someone has to reap to keep the population in check. Faraday chooses Citra and Rowan to train even though they do not want to become the reaper of death. He increases intensity and importance by forcing them to make the ultimate decision. Who gets to become the reaper while the other has to be reaped by the new reaper.
I loved the idea of reaping in this dystopia but I found this too predictable. I loved the writing and world building. The characters are really diverse and each person of the novel has such a rich character development. I know this is a series but I do not wish to continue the series. Maybe down the line I might change my mind. I mostly got this book because I recalled reading one of Shusterman’s books before. I read one of his children series that was really well written and I loved those books. The author writes phenomenally and I would recommend any of his works. Expect uniqueness and intensity with the works.
Siren – Sophia Elaine Hanson
Dystopian, music, weapons, young adult, science, fiction
Ronja finds out that her father is exiled royalty. They had fled Revinina to the shores of Tovaire to find safety to regroup and plan an attack on Revinina. Also, to save their friends of the revolution. Ronja must convince all of Tovaire to help her. This takes a lot of convincing between her, Roark, and other people who managed to escape with the new kingdom. Once they established an alliance, Ronja becomes passionate towards getting back her friends and family and enacting revenge on those who messed with her.
I binged this final book of the series and cried. Such a beautiful ending. I wish I did not finish the series so fast, but I could not help it. I loved the writing and the way the story just kept me from putting this book down. One would have to order these books and go on this journey themselves. The characters are lovable and memorable.
Radio – Sophia Elaine Hanson
Dystopian, music, weapons, young adult, science, fiction
After escaping the Red Bay prison, Ronja learns about her voice that can cut through the Singers and Conductor’s music. Ronja is a deadly weapon that is to be weaponized for Anthem. She and a group of people decide to go against the commander and end the Music as well as the Conductor since she is a powerful weapon, and everyone wants the true revolution. They confront the Conductor but there is a life or death situation that Ronja must decide either to give herself up or watch her friends die. The conductor gives Ronja some information that is a life changer.
This is the second installment of the Vinyl trilogy and this was excellent as the first. This might be a short book review as there was a lot packed into the novel and I would not want to spoil too much. Again, the author writes beautifully and so glad that she decided to make a second book and I look forward towards the third and final installment. There was a plot twist I hadn’t expected and did love the novel overall.
Vinyl – Sophia Elaine Hanson
Dystopian, music, weapons, young adult, science, fiction.
Ronja goes from working at the subtrain to home every day. One day her boss decides to cut her paycheck and she has to find an alternate way to make money, she’s the only capable person to make money. One day, she is kidnapped and mistaken as a Off by these captors. They later during interrogation find out that she is not who they thought she was. They immediately cut off her Singer. Singers are given at birth and music plays through the Singer by the Conductor to keep the society in check. Singers are regulators of all emotions, thoughts, and creativity. No real music is allowed. Ronja is taken with Roark who was the son of the Mayor of Revinina to the leaders of the underground resistance called Anthem and they tell her the truth. After being introduced to a whole new perspective of the history she was taught, they show her real music and she is astonished by the sounds that was not produced by the Singer from the Conductor. She reveals to Roark her gratitude for saving her and reveals she is from a family of Mutt singers. Roark senses this emergency and they immediately act to save her mother and two cousins. When they return to the surface, the society changed and became more deadly. This is when they launch the revolution that throws all of Revinina into chaos.
I had found this book series off of a TikTok person who showed their published books. I instantly was intrigued by the thought of a world where music was weaponized against society. I ordered this as an entire series, and I do not regret purchasing the entire series because the first book was a tease. Hands down the packaging was beautiful, and I hesitated from opening because of the beautiful ensemble. Hanson really had built an intricate world that is subversive. I really found myself drawn in with every word and every action. The characters felt as if I knew them personally and the dialogue felt so smooth. There are many one liners that made me chuckle a little. This author is an Indie author that should become mainstream or more known because I feel her work is underappreciated. Her work is so beautifully written. Order the book series off of Etsy or if one prefers the eBook then off of Amazon. I personally got these series off of Etsy because she signs the books and there is artwork from someone, she collaborated that brought the characters alive.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Suzanne Collins
Young adult, dystopian, fiction.
Coriolanus Snow wanted to get into the university and provide for his cousin and his grandma. Being a mentor of a winning tribute to the 10th Hunger Games would guarantee that prize money. After having faced hardships throughout his life, this was one hurdle he has to cross to ensure no more struggles. He is assigned District 12 female tribute by the name of Lucy Gray, who proved to be quite intriguing at the Reaping and he planned for her to win the games. Or attempt to. Some incidences happen before the Hunger Games start leaving only so many tributes left. Coriolanus does not have much a strategy other than for her to use the compact he gives her and tells her to provide her own poison. The Games start and it becomes quite gruesome. Coriolanus is on edge until the point that it is certain that Lucy had won. Winning the Hunger Games with his Tribute was one thing but him trusting the Capitol and Lucy proved to be a deadly mixture that led to him regretting his decisions.
I had not read any Hunger Games stuff in years and when this author came out with this book, I was excited. The premise was weird but after reading, the series makes more sense. I can’t disclose why it makes sense. I loved this novel a lot. I could not put it down at all. However, this novel was dark. There are scenes that I could not handle, and others were like what. The plot was very thought through and planned with such detail. This book is a great prequel to the Hunger Games series. I will have to hunt down the series and reread the series for sure because after reading this novel made me want to reread the series. It has been a while and forgot how the Hunger Games were panned out. I highly suggest giving this book a read and the Hunger Games Series.
In the Afterlight – Alexandra Bracken
Dystopian, young adult, fiction.
Ruby and the Legion of Children team figure out a way out of Los Angeles, California where the united states government took control and sent the national guard to blow up Los Angeles. As time progresses romances are formed, and more truths come forward. Getting out was the hardest part and the harder part is breaking kids out of the camps wasn’t going to be easy and will require sacrifices to be made. Once they had gathered necessary people and information, everyone is informed on how the kids changed. All are disgusted and angered, just enough to fuel the need to go and rescue more children from the camps. Ruby must make hard choices to guarantee safety of all the kids in those camps. She does this all for them and for herself.
This last installment of the series really messed me up in the head and I had to second guess my theory of how kids were changing. I was right about my theory of Vida and Chubs and their romance that blossomed. I mean certain circumstances make odd bed fellows. Overall, the entire series was really good to read and I highly recommend binge reading. The characters and the plot blend well in a balance that can’t be expressed. I cannot express more words for how much I loved the book series. I reread it the series twice before writing this blog.
Never Fade – Alexandra Bracken
Dystopian, young adult, fiction.
Ruby goes to work for the League of Children under the promise she made to them and made them promise that Liam would not be harmed. She undergoes training and is sent out on a task by Liam’s brother. To find Liam to retrieve this flash drive containing sensitive information regarding why kids got sick and how they got sick. To flee from the scene, from the League of Children, she must escape from the assignment to find Liam. She is accompanied by Jude, another member as well as Vida. When she does find him, she must make a deal with the Blue Tribe and ends up breaking him and a few others out. Last time she saw him, she had erased most of her from his memory from him and he is slowly remembering. Once he regains his memory, Chubs tells him that he has become a skip tracer in order to remain safe. Liam is livid and understands why they had to do that, and he confesses to Ruby he is very much in love with her. He wants them to stay together because he loves the group and cares for the group. On their way to the assigned location that Vida said that one of the League members wanted them to meet somewhere in Colorado. Once they arrive there, it’s not what they had expected, it was the Slip Kid who is making them an offer they should not refuse. She sees what’s on the flash drive and the truth of the illness is shocking.
This one was interesting, and I loved the action. Including character development that made me smile at some characters interactions also. I can’t believe that Ruby’s powers grew and have more range with what she has. I sort of liked the new characters Vida and Jude. Vida more so because she seems very psychotic but with reason. The interactions between Vida and Chubs I can see grow into a romantic relationship. Anyways I really love this second installment of The Darkest Minds. I cannot wait to finish the third book as well as the novellas to see more of these characters and see how this all plays out.
The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken
Dystopian, young adult, fiction.
Ruby wakes up on her tenth birthday changed by a disease that has been killing off kids and ones who survived were sent to rehabilitation camps. The government is afraid of the kids who survive the disease rather than the dead kids. Her parents sent her off and she lives at the camp until she reaches sixteen. During that time, she had laid low and had manipulated, with her powers, to have her be labeled as a green even though she is orange. Orange and red labeled kids were killed or erased, fearing that she did what she had to do. The camp is thrown into panic after they use this device that harms only orange and red labeled kids and not the others, she is sent to the infirmary. Her fate was sealed with the camp, but a doctor sneaks her out after telling her that she knows Ruby’s secret. After Ruby sees some suspicious behavior and overhears the woman talking with this man, Ruby must make a run for it after she saw the man’s memories of him killing a kid. She finds this kid that leads her to other kids who are trying to find the Slip Kid to find and or contact their family members. Ruby comes to trust this group of kids named Zu, Chubs, and Liam. As they journey to safety, she comes to terms with who she is and what she is ought to become while empowering her newly found friends. Once they meet with the Slip Kid, all hell breaks loose, and sacrifices are to be made to survive.
Immediately as I was looking for new young adult novels to read, I was contemplating this novel and series due to the fact this is dystopian apocalyptic genre of young adult. I was expecting this to follow the same clichés, but I was wrong. This is like nothing I have read before and I come to love the book so much. My boyfriend had surprised purchased The Darkest Minds boxed set and I intend to reading them all plus the collection of short stories. I took my time reading this first installment of the trilogy and I cannot stress enough the fact I found my new favorite young adult series. I had read a lot of young adult series but none of them can hold a candle to this one. A very fast paced and descriptive book that keeps the reader on their toes, and when one expects one outcome there is a different outcome. I do recommend this novel.
Eve of Man – Giovanna and Tom Fletcher
Dystopian fiction, science fiction,
young adult, fiction.
In a world where practically all women
have died out and the existing women are kept away, Eve, the first female born
in fifty years is welcomed into the world. Eve must remain pure and trained,
expected to renew the human society. At the ripe age, she has to choose a
suitor to repopulate the society, hopefully with more girls. There is trouble
along the way, making Eve choose between her destiny or forging her own path.
I found this novel interesting at
first, then disturbed that this novel is marketed towards the youth, meaning
teenagers. The idea is great for maybe the older audience and the protagonists
could be older, but the way the two authors wrote the novel and had prepared
the plot was insufficient. Anyways overall, I will not be reading this novel
any time soon. Storytelling should be taken seriously and creating a plot is
not a walk in the park because a writer must create art with consideration of
all elements. This novel lacked a lot of elements and seemed inconsistent with
Secondborn – Amy A. Bartol
Science fiction, dystopian, fiction.
In this dystopian science fiction novel, it is set in
a time where firstborns are reared as important and great. Secondborns are
reared as lowly and unimportant to society. Firstborns are given good quality
jobs whereas secondborns are sent into servitude to the firstborns. It is time
for Roselle to go into servitude like her fellow secondborns on transition day.
When Roselle becomes a solider for The Fate of Swords, she realizes that she
must either do what she needs to survive or face death. Along the way she finds
allies who find being secondborn as an injustice and being treated differently
as wrong, she becomes apart of the rebellion. Roselle wants equality and fights
for that equality for all secondborns to be treated just as the same as
firstborns. No matter what the cost.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I was satisfied
with the plot. It is an interesting new addition to the world of science
fiction that isn’t so clichéd as well as it seems like it’s a new idea. I
personally thought that this book could’ve been more in-depth with the ideology
of firstborns and secondborns. However, it is well written and excellent at
capturing my attention when I first saw the title and read the small inadequate
synopsis on the back. I would say, if your interested in science fiction, give
this a read.