Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Review: Three Days to Die by John Avery

Three Days to DieThree Days to Die by John Avery
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is marketed as a thriller- young boy stumbles upon criminal activity and is kidnapped. They pursuade/force him into crime as well. A few other mildly interesting things happen along the way, but nothing I would rate as "thrilling". If not for the occassional swear word, I would think this was a YA novel.

The characters are sketches at best and react to situations without depth, and with rsther inconguous emotions. For example, while Aaron us being held prisoner, his captors decide to teach him to shoot a rifle. Aaron's reaction is to be disappointed that he's not a great shot. Really? He's not terrified, angry he's being forced to do this, or even nervous? A lot of scenes just don't ring true.

To top it off, the author seems to attempt to make up for the thin plot and immature dialogue by putting in a lot of gratuitous description of non-consequential things- things like a diner and a woman's outfit. Honestly, I skimmed these sections.

I hate to write negative reviews, but don't waste your time. I only finished it because a) it was a free download on my Kindle, and b) I am compulsive like that.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Book review: Jaden Baker by Courtney Kirchoff

Jaden BakerJaden Baker by Courtney Kirchoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was terrifying and heart-wrenching. We meet Jaden Baker when he is a nine year old foster child, scared yet hopeful about his new family. We quickly learn he is not an average child, possessing telekenetic powers that not even he understands. Unfortunately, someone else does.

Jaden is kidnapped, studied and tortured for six years- all described with heart-pounding detail. His courage and will to survive practically leap off the pages. As a young adult he escapes and lives in anonimity...until an ironic love interest and freak occurence have Jaden and his soulmate clutched in far more danger than he ever was as a child.

It's hard to write a review of this book because I want to give so much away! Too good to put down...the evil present in the antagonist and "research" company that imprisions Jaden is astonishing yet believable...Jaden's pain and determination coexist so beautifully...the choice for his love interest would seem too contrived if the reader hadn't already suspended belief about everything else. In the end, you not only want Jaden to survive, you want him to have some peace and happiness.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Book Review: The Messenger's Handbook by Pamela DuMond

The Messenger's HandbookThe Messenger's Handbook by Pamela DuMond
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The premise of this book was decent- teenage outsider Madeline's mother disappeared when she was young. At 16, another mystery rocks her life when she time travels to the late 1600's. There she learns she is a "Messenger", one who can inhabit various places and times to alter history or save lives. As Madeline struggles to adapt to life during the dawn of America, she learns about traveling, love, and her lost mother. With the help of Angeni, a magical mentor, and Samuel, her Native American soul mate, she becomes strong and courageous enough to return home to present-day Chicago. Just when she finds she can let go of the love she found 300+ years in the past, she encounters both Samuel and Malachi, the man who hunts her across the ages.

It was just ok for a few reasons. I found the narrative and dialogue to be a bit choppy in places, which was fine when the protagonist was time traveling and ended up in a new time and location, but otherwise distracting. Also (and this may have just been the Kindle edition I was reading), there seemed to be a few grammar and punctuation errors, such as substituting then for than.

Overall, this young adult fantasy story was quick and absorbing, if you can get past the technical stuff.

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