Friday, July 11, 2014

The Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

3.5 stars

Not a bad read and it was unique, but it didn't really blow me off my feet.

A split POV book that ties two people's fates together.

Meet Kyra, a orphan girl who steals in order to keep a roof over her head, and food in her stomach. She is the best of her kind with her light footing, grace, and instinct for danger. Alas, along with her instinct comes a stubbornness that also lands Kyra in a lot of trouble and gets her involved in the Assassin's League.

On the other hand, we have Tristam, a knight and kind soul who longs for revenge for his slain friend, Jack. Jack was unjustly slaughtered by barbarians who are ravaging the land, stealing from villagers, and killing the innocent and Tristam works hard in order to find these vagabonds and protect the city all the while trying to stop the Assassin's Guild, as well. Eventually, Tristam and Kyra's tales become entwined as they have to learn to work together, and join forces to save the city from destruction. 

What made this book unique was the fact that it contained shifters, people who can change forms. It was also this unusual twist that left me with many questions. It's hinted that there are paranormal creatures out there such as griffins and dryads beyond the city and beyond seas, and yet we see no other supernaturals besides the shifters which leads to a lot of unanswered questions and curiosities. 

My other little disappointment was that the big secret of Kyra's was really no secret at all. I pretty much pieced it together right away. Another peeve of mine was that some of the plot developments felt slightly convenient and I also felt like everyone's emotions were rather fickle. Romantic feelings were easily developed in my opinion, and people kept betraying or lying to one another and some part of me wanted to scream out in exasperation of the sheer frustration of it all. Not to mention the relationship of certain someones in the book is left with a rather big question mark in the end. The feelings are obviously there, and they certainly are not enemies, but we are left to ponder on whether or not something will be pursued.

 In the end, I know a lot of my questions will most likely be tossed onwards to the sequel.

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

5 stars
(sequel to The Darkest Minds)

Such an amazing sequel, I want to kick myself for putting it off for so long!

We pick up where we left off in the previous book but some time has passed. Ruby is now an official member of the Children's League, and has become much more comfortable with her powers compared to how out of control she was before.

She works for the League doing a variety of tasks, mostly unpleasant. Whether its missions to help attain goods for the League, or questioning prisoners aggressively, Ruby does what she needs to do though Liam and friends are a constant on her mind.

We get to meet a few new people, mostly people from Ruby's team. We have the sweet and loveable Jude though he can be annoying, to the rather bitchy but stunning beauty, Vida. We also get to meet Liam's older brother but with his arrival comes bad news: Liam is unknowingly carrying information that is important to his brother, and possibly vital to the League, which puts Ruby in a situation since she sacrificed everything to protect him. 

Things become especially complicated when Ruby finds that there are untrustworthy members of the League that have no problem killing children or any one who gets in their way of their higher goals. The story once again takes on an on the run theme, as Ruby seeks the information Liam carries in order to protect him while keeping out of the reach of the dangerous clutches of the rogue League members. 

Readers unite with old friends, meet new enemies, and encounter old ones as well. The ending of the book leaves off in a triumphant and dangerous cliffhanger that was absolutely brilliant. The third book, In the Afterlight, should be released this year!

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

4 stars

A unique and powerful read! It truly delves into the darker sides of children.

Bracken absolutely tore my heart out with this book and yet I longed for more! In a dystopian twist where children become monsters, tools of war, and runaways, Ruby is a wolf among sheep biding her time before the inevitable happens. 

A disease strikes the children of the world, either rendering them dead, or gifted with unique powers. Struggling to keep everyone from panicking, the government sets up camps where they promise parents to help make their unique children "better" and to find a cure. These children are classified by colors based up their danger to others.

 Just imagine how powerful Ruby is when she has the abilities of an orange and the highest ranking power is red. But sweet and naieve Ruby does not long to use her powers against others, in fact she is scared of them and the consequences, to the point of manipulating the man registering the children into thinking she wields a less lethal ability, and is classified as a green. She must learn to adapt though, as she later escapes her horrible and abusive camp, and joins up with a group of children also on the run not only from the camps, but from bounty hunters. It's only with these lovable characters, Liam, Zu, and Chubs, that Ruby truly blossoms and cracks open her hard outer shell.

Alas, times are tough, and Ruby is wanted by many but the on the run feeling of the book was exciting, thrilling, and interesting. Bracken writes a great high paced dystopian that leaves you with the urge to weep or tear out your hair in the end. (Trust me, it's still amazing.) 

(my review of the sequel, Never Fade)