Cinder – Cyborg Cinderella Retelling

I love fairytale re-tellings. The idea of a Cinderella Cyborg was just too good to pass up! (And bonus points because it’s first draft was written during NaNoWriMo!)

11235712GOODREADS SUMMARY: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I loved this book! The setting was fascinating, and I loved how it deviated from the original Cinderella story we all know and love and put a whole new twist on every single detail (the carriage, the dress, the shoe).

I loved the character of Cinder (and Iko was too cute!). She was so rebellious, but she cared so much about Peony (one of her stepsisters). Cinder’s transformation during the course of the book was subtle, but she redefined her entire reason for being. I did see the big reveal at the end coming (it’s YA, it’s kinda predictable), but the lead-up was mind-blowing.

Let’s take a moment to look at Leveena. She’s the Lunar Queen/Ultimate Evil Villain in this series. Her powers are terrifying! She can make you see whatever she wants, do whatever she orders of you and generally just control everything (though it doesn’t work through computers/TV screens, etc.). I’m so excited to learn more about her and her evil plans to control all of Earth.

It’s refreshing to find a book that isn’t centered in the USA and uses a well known location like Beijing as it’s backdrop. I found that the world worked so well with that backdrop and the architecture and general feel for the world really made the story come alive.

5stars

About the Author: Marissa Meyer – I live in Tacoma, Washington, with my fiancé and our two cats. In addition to my slight obsession with books and writing, I’m big on road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for antiques. I’m represented by Jill Grinberg.

CINDER, my debut novel, is a futuristic re-envisioning of Cinderella in which Cinder is a cyborg mechanic.

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Star Wars: Lost Stars – Hope for Star Wars is Found!

So everyone kinda knows that I’ve had a pretty bad time finding some good Star Wars books since the release of the new books… The MG books wasn’t bad, but they were short and left me wanting more.Lost-Stars-Cover.jpg Aftermath was a disaster. Heir to the Jedi wasn’t much better. Then I heard about Lost Stars. A YA novel that takes place across about fifteen of the most important years of the Rebellion. Sure, I could get on board with that. I am very happy to say that Lost Stars is TOTALLY worth being a part of Star Wars cannon.

This books follows two main characters (with alternating view points). Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree. The book covers a large portion of their life, from when they first met Grand Admiral Tarkin as children, to training together to be Imperial Pilots. After graduating from the Academy, they split in different directions, and everything starts spiraling out of control. They lose close friends with the destruction of Alderaan and the Death Star. Thane chooses to difect and eventually finds himself a member of the Rebel Alliance. Ciena becomes a Commander in the Imperial Starfleet. Yes, this is a romance, and they struggle with their feelings to each other and their commitments, but this is so much more. This is what every Star Wars novel should be… Fun. Continue reading “Star Wars: Lost Stars – Hope for Star Wars is Found!”

Star Wars: Weapon of a Jedi

Weapon of a JediYou know, I’m starting to think that the fate of Star Wars books really lies in the YA and middle grade books. This one was fantastic, and part of a series of three, focusing on Han Solo, Princess Leia and of course, Luke Skywalker.

In this book, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, and C-3PO are sent on a mission by Mon Mothma. Along the way, they are forced to land on a mysterious world called Devaron. But the planet isn’t all it appears to be, and Luke can sense the call of the Force from some nearby ruins. This book does an excellent job of bridging the gap between episodes IV and V, giving us a glimpse into how Luke Skywalker began his journey as a Jedi, and of course, his first lightsaber battle. Continue reading “Star Wars: Weapon of a Jedi”

Star Wars: Smugler’s Run A Han Solo And Chewbacca Adventure

Star-Wars-Smugglers-RunYou know, I’m starting to think that the fate of Star Wars books really lies in the YA and middle grade books. This one was fantastic, and part of a series of three, focusing on Han Solo, Princess Leia and of course, Luke Skywalker.

In this book, Han Solo and his faithful sidekick Chewbacca are on a mission for the Rebel Alliance. Han still isn’t thrilled with the Rebel’s, but Chewie seems to convince Han to help them out. Their mission is to extract a Rebel Operative who is being hunted by the Imperials. Needless to say Han and Chewie find themselves in a few scuffles with the Imperials where their whit and blasters are required. Continue reading “Star Wars: Smugler’s Run A Han Solo And Chewbacca Adventure”

Star Wars: Moving Target A Princess Leia Adventure

Moving TargetYou know, I’m starting to think that the fate of Star Wars books really lies in the YA and middle grade books. This one was fantastic, and part of a series of three, focusing on Han Solo, Princess Leia and of course, Luke Skywalker.

In this book, Princess Leia still struggles with her own desires and the fate of the Rebel Alliance after the events of Episode V. Luke Skywalker makes a brief appearance, but this is really about Leia. Since she is such a well-known member of the Rebel Alliance, she’s forced to constantly move and hide from the Imperials. She comes up with a plan for a decoy mission to draw the Empire’s attention so the Rebel Fleet can target the second Death Star.

Meanwhile, Leia is struggling with her own desires to go after Han and rescue him. She’s torn because of her duty to the Rebel Alliance, and can’t exactly abandon them to go save him. Ultimately, we realize what a force Mon Mothma has been in her life to help her understand her duty.

The book is meant for Middle Graders, but I think it has enough to hold the attention of Adults as well. The book was short, and was mostly character driven. I really enjoyed Leia’s team. I knew that she would make it through their trials, but there were some nail biting moments for the rest of them.

4stars

I don’t think I’ll be returning to the ‘adult side’ of the Star Wars publishing world any time soon. I like it here with the YA and MG books where characters are genuine, stories are filled with adventure and suspense, and I never feel like the story is forced.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cecil Castellucci. Small Girl. Big Party. Author of the novels Stone in the Sky, Tin Star, Odd Duck, The Year of the Beasts, First Day on Earth, Rose Sees Red, Grandma’s Gloves, Boy Proof, The Queen of Cool, Beige and The Plain Janes/Janes in Love. Former indie rocker known as Nerdy Girl and Cecil Seaskull. DIY filmmaker. enfant terrible. modern 21st century flapper.

Heir to the Jedi – A New Hope for My Love of Star Wars Novels?

Another Cannon Star Wars Book! Maybe this one will fare a little better than the last one, eh?

Heir to the JediThis book is told in first person (what ever happened to third person? Was there someone wrong with that?), and centers on Luke Skywalker as he… er… does something?

Oh right! He rescues Nakari Kelen, an alien cryptographer. And runs into a love interest, and has about 50 mini-plots so that you forget what the original plot even was in the beginning. And I’m not even kidding. He’s transporting something somewhere, then he’s eating noodles, then he’s trying to locate Nakari’s family, then he’s eating noodles on a date, then he’s on this strange planet fighting smugglers, then he’s eating noodles again.Sigh. And I had such hopes for this book.

I’m really just having bad luck with Star Wars books aren’t I? I’m almost scared to pick up Lords of the Sith, Tarkin, and Lost Stars. Continue reading “Heir to the Jedi – A New Hope for My Love of Star Wars Novels?”

Ruby Red – Traveling through Time to fulfill an Ancient Prophesy

In a world where Time Travel is totally possible, a mysterious gene prophesied by such legends as Albert Einstein is supposed to be inherited by Charlotte. Only it’s Gwynneth that’s gotten the mysterious gene, and can zap through time to fulfill a mysterious ancient prophesy no one really wants to talk about.

Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy, #1) Originally a German book, Ruby Red is an international best-seller, and has been sitting on my TBR shelf for a really long time (Okay, since the beginning of the year… but that’s a long time!) I got it on Audio book to begin, then switched to reading the physical book. Both were very well done!

In a series of adventures mostly aimed at getting Gwyneth familiar and capable in the time traveling department, they travel back to the early 18th century and the 1900s. During both escapades, they dally in mystery solving, a bit of espionage, the odd sword fight, and Gwyneth realizes she has to be careful about who she trusts. Her own family has secrets they aren’t sharing! Continue reading “Ruby Red – Traveling through Time to fulfill an Ancient Prophesy”