One of the best parts about going on vacation is it gives me the ability to attack my ever unruly to-read list. Unfortunately, my list is rather like a hydra, as I usually wind up adding three more books to its roster with every completed novel – but I like to pretend I’m making some headway. Therefore, I thought I would share a few books I’ve been reading this summer with you. (This post includes affiliate links)
by Sacha Black
When Eden East kills someone, she expects them to stay dead. It’s only polite, after all.
This is the second installment in the Eden East novels and takes place shortly after the events of Sacha Black’s bestselling, Keepers.
Eden hasn’t been home since her parent’s funeral, a fact that is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore considering she is the heir to the Elemental throne. Unfortunately, both duty and her grief for her parents will have to wait as an enemy she thought was vanquished, returns from the dead, triggering a prophecy that could spell the end for Truitinor.
The book itself is written for a Young Adult audience, and while it was well-written overall, the story at times was a little too angsty for me. There is a romance element throughout that features very prominently in the story (especially in the first half), which does occasionally take away from the action. However, the dialogue and characters themselves remain just as relatable as they were in the first installment. If anything, I found myself sympathizing more with the supporting characters than I had before.
While I do recommend you start this series with the first book, there is enough background context for a person to follow the story even if you haven’t. Though – seriously why would you when the first book is also a fun quick read?
by Elsie Chapman
Two of you exist. Only one will survive.
Set in the not too distant future, mankind has finally found the elusive cure for the common cold. That cure resulted in the nasty side effect of universal and irreversible infertility. Life has continued, but it too comes at a price.
Every child born has an identical clone and both are the result of a blend of genetic material from two sets of parents. West knows her Alt is out there. She also knows that before she reaches the age of twenty, she’ll have to kill her. In a city of limited resources and citizen soldiers, there is only room for the fittest. May the best one win.
Dualed is much like Hunger Games in that it involves teenagers battling to the death in a dystopian future. As a result, violence and death are prominent themes. However, while both are described in explicit terms, I did not find the description of either to be gratuitous. That being said, this is not a book for everyone and those who might be triggered by scenes involving guns or knives should definitely pick up something else to read.
Awesome pun of a title aside, Dualed is a story about survival, self-worth, and family. I also found it to be one of those stories that linger with you well after you reach the end. It left me wondering about the group of people in charge known as the Board. For example, what possessed them to start the kill-or-be-killed requirement in the first place? Lucky for me, there is a sequel (and so my to-read list remains alive and well) so I may yet find my answers.
Flicker: Ember in Space Book One
by Rebecca Rode
Getting sold to the empire was never part of the plan.
Set in the distant future, Ember is a poor Roma girl struggling to save enough to care for her ailing father by telling fortunes for space-tourists visiting Earth. Her talent, however, goes beyond simple card reading. Ember is able not only to see the future but capable of touching a person’s aura or internal spark with only her mind. While some might view her ability as a gift, others view her as a weapon.
Betrayed by her tribe, Ember is taken off-world to be tested for inclusion into the Empire’s Flicker program. The fact that Ember has no desire to be part of this elite fighting force, or be involved in the Empire’s war is irrelevant. Failure to do as the Empire bids will result in the destruction of everything and everyone Ember has ever loved. However, compliance might well cost Ember her soul.
This book had moments of Enders Game mixed with Divergent. Ember is a flawed but fantastic character who can drink the other guys under the table while still maintaining her sensitive side. There is also romance, though it is not central to the plot, and enjoyable three-dimensional supporting characters with problems of their own.
This is also yet another book that promises the action will continue in the form of a sequel (which has also been added to my to-read list).