Mini Reviews: YA Edition

Mini Reviews: YA EditionEnclave by Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland #1
Published: 2011 by Feiwel & Friends
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 259
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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My friends have been telling me to read Ann Aguire’s Razorland trilogy for what seems like ages now, and when I was at the beach this summer, I finally got around to digging into it.  Enclave, the first book, is set after a calamity similar to a zombie apocalypse.  After the catastrophe, small groups of people banded together to survive in an increasingly harsh world, finding ways to fend off the Freaks and to hunt enough food to get by.  Deuce is a teenager coming of age in one of the enclaves of survivors who dwell in old subway tunnels.  As she takes her place as a Hunter within the enclave, she and a colleague named Fade witness events that lead her to believe that the Freaks are getting smarter and are no longer acting in predictable ways.  The enclave’s leaders don’t believe them, and so Deuce and Fade are cast out, where they venture onto the surface, which has plenty of dangers of its own.

Enclave makes for good beach reading.  It’s fun and trashy in all the right ways, but is the kind of book you shouldn’t try to think too hard about.  If you do, you’ll probably drive yourself crazy thinking of questions such as, “Why are there only three jobs in an Enclave? How do people survive?”

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mini Reviews: YA EditionSiren's Fury by Mary Weber
Series: Storm Siren #2
Published: 2015 by Thomas Nelson / HarperCollins
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
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This mini-review contains some spoilers from Storm Sirenwhich ended on a massive cliffhanger that filled me with unholy rage.  It’s pretty much impossible to review Siren’s Fury without talking about it.  You have been warned.

At the end of Storm Siren, we find out that the evil Draewulf has taken over Nym’s love interest, Prince Eogan.  Normally when Draewulf takes over a person, their soul/being is completely destroyed.  It’s like the scene with Edgar and the cockroach in Men in Black.  But, this is a YA fantasy novel and our characters are special snowflakes, so as it turns out, Eogan’s essence hasn’t actually been consumed.  Instead, he and Draewulf are fighting for control of his body.  Of course, Draewulf now has access to Eogan’s powers, which he immediately uses to rob Nym of her own.

Nym doesn’t want to euthanize the love of her life, and so she sits back quietly and lets Eogan/Draewulf struggle for control, even though she knows that while Draewulf is in control, he’s using Eogan’s body and influence to shape his maniacal plot to take over and/or destroy the world.  She follows Eogan to the neighboring nation of Bron.  Lord Myles is privy to Nym’s secret, and seduces her with the idea of gaining new power through dark magic.  Without her elemental power, Nym feels helpless, and she’s determined to do anything she can to help save Eogan.

One of the central themes of Siren’s Fury is the nature of power.  Does absolute power corrupt absolutely, or does it depend on how you use it?  Does the end justify the means?  Can good intentions balance out the temptation to do evil?  As we learn about Nym’s struggles, and about the Draewulf’s own background, we learn that there are no easy answers to these questions.

I can’t recommend this series highly enough.  It’s awesome.

On a side note–Mike claims that Draewulf sounds like the name of a rapper.  When I explained that Draewulf was actually a shapeshifting bodysnatching werewolf, he claimed that it solidified his point, and that Dr. Dre became a wolfman.

Mini Reviews: YA EditionCinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published: 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 390
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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What if Cinderella was a cyborg who lived in China, and there were evil aliens with mind-powers who had a kingdom on the moon?  Cinder by Marissa Meyer is a young adult science fiction fairytale mashup explores such a scenario.

Linh is a cyborg, which means that she’s got no rights and is treated as property.  She works as a mechanic to support her evil stepmother and her stepsisters (only one of whom is evil).  One day, Prince Kai stops by her booth with an android that he needs to have repaired on the down low.  Linh is understandably freaked out, because OMG IT’S THE PRINCE AND I’M JUST A CYBORG AND I HOPE HE DOESN’T NOTICE MY FOOT WASN’T ON.  There’s no insta-love here, and their relationship develops gradually.  Kai is the first person who sees Cinder as an actual person.  Of course, he doesn’t know she’s a cyborg.  He just knows that she’s smart and attractive and good with robots.

Then, the unthinkable happens.  Cyborgs can be volunteered by their owners as test subjects for a cure to stop a plague that’s devastating humanity.  And Linh’s stepmother goes full on psycho-bitch and sends her off to die.  But, in a very expected plot twist (let’s face it, this is YA, after all), Linh is a special snowflake who happens to be immune to the plague.  WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?????

I definitely recommend reading this one to find out.  Bonus points because the series is almost at its conclusion, which means you won’t have to wait terribly long if you want to binge-read all of the books in The Lunar Chronicles.

4 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: YA Edition

  1. I like that you’re trying out your ‘mini’ reviews idea. I also read Enclave quite some time ago and thought it was quite good. Still not read Cinder even though I’ve had it for an age.
    Lynn 😀

    1. You will love Cinder! It had me the edge of my seat even while knowing the story of Cinderalla wondering just what would happen next… 😀

    1. I will definitely continue with the series! I have the next two books on my shelf, so I can jump into them at any time. 😀

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