Defy the Stars


I received this ARC from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.

Earth is dying.  The climate change crisis of the 21st century has been realized and then some.  Despite scientific advances and the colonization of other planets, Earth is just as chaotic and war-like as ever.

Noemi is from Genesis, the paradise planet Earth turned to as a new world.  This plan imploded when the people of Genesis decided becoming another Earth wasn’t what they wanted.  Genesis is a place of peace and no one knows that better than Noemi Vidal.

Like most people of Genesis, Noemi believes the Word of God…she can quote chapter and verse on the value of life, the importance of peace…Noemi knows what her duty to God is right now: Fight like hell.

A war has raged for decades and Noemi is a Genesis soldier aimed at stopping Earth for good.

She’s learned how to fight.  Next she had to learn now to die.

Abel is the most advanced Mech ever built.  When he and Noemi stumble upon each other will they continue the war?  Abel was created, not born.  Will he help or harm the cause?

A great mystery lurks within Abel, even now, one planted by Burton Mansfield long ago, waiting to be revealed.

I really enjoyed this novel, it had a plot that was able to plug into the Sci-fi genre in a clever way.  Noemi is relatable, yet flawed.  Abel made me question what it is to be human.  I look forward to the follow up books!

4 stars.

Expected Publication Date: April 4, 2017


Bad Luck (Bad #2)


I received this ARC from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.

Something about this cover caught my eye and after reading the description I just had to read it.  Upon discovering it was the second in a series I quickly snagged the first book and read that in a couple of hours.  I liked this one slightly more!

Bad Luck is a fun, breezy read.  Clay is back, still at Earth Ranch with his motley crew of new friends (and his nemesis, Flint) just a couple of weeks after Bad Magic left off.

Disguised as an outdoor survival camp for juvenile delinquents, Earth Ranch was, secretly, a magic camp for young adepts-a camp that depended on its remote location and ever-present vog for protection.

As he learns more about magic and the secret world that operates in it, strange things continue to abound.  When a boy around his age-Brett-washes up on the shores of Price Island, things just get stranger and stranger.  Since this is a book for young readers and a few might stumble upon my humble blog, I won’t betray more of the plot.  Just know that the spunky youngsters embark on a fun adventure!

I would like to tell you about the brave exploits that followed.  How our heroic friends from Earth Ranch vanquished all their enemies…

I absolutely love the narrator of the series!  The completely hilarious way he/she occasionally makes it known that they are a character in the story without betraying an identity is great.

The only question we need to answer now is the perennial one.  The question every writer faces.  What happens next?

Good question.  What will happen next?  The resolution of this book is a frustrating cliffhanger of sorts and I look forward to the next installment.  Will the Earth Ranch kids and S.O.S. vanquish the more unsavory magicians?  Will Clay figure out why Max-Earnest disappeared?

The bad guys had not won.  But neither, it must be said, had the good guys.  Not yet.

Three stars.

Expected Publication: February 9, 2016