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The Review Marina

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Sometimes I hate reading reviews for books because if I see that most of them are negative, it makes me biased and I almost start looking for flaws on purpose to justify the ratings. UG.

Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) by Emmy Laybourne

Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) by Emmy Laybourne

Brief Summary: Sequel to Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne. After being trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters that bring on the apocalypse, the 14 kids that survived, have gone their separate ways. Half are on their way to Denver to be rescues, and half have stayed behind to wait for them. Both are about to fight for their lives like they’ve never done before, including those that stayed in “safety”.

Read my review for Monument 14, the first book in the series.

Possible Spoilers Ahead.

This is a great second installment in the Monument 14 trilogy. This was so much more intense than the first book, because not only are the kids separated, but they face new dangers, and things go wrong almost right away, so you gotta keep turning pages to find out what’s next.

I thought that separating was real stupid, but I couldn’t decide what was better, leaving or staying. Especially since neither of groups make the smartest decisions. Which was the most frustrating parts.

The characters develop in their own ways, and are forced to make difficult decisions, and sacrifice a lot. We’re forced to say goodbye to a couple, but we also meet someone new. Max is definitely my favorite. 

The ending of this was insane. Gah, you’re definitely going to want to have the last book handy when you’re done.

I keep seeing The Book Thief, is it good? What is your review, if you have read it already.

Anonymous

I have read it, here’s my review for it: link

By the way, you can find all of my reviews linked on my page:

All the reviews as posts

Alphabetical List

Reviews by Series List

And for Standalone Novels List

I’m pretty sure I’ve reviewed over 70 books.

Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) by Emmy Laybourne

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Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) by Emmy Laybourne

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Brief Summary: The apocalypse is here. 14 kids are stuck in the superstore while the world is falling apart with no way to get out and not knowing if people they love are still alive. But can they manage to survive the apocalypse without killing each other first?

Possible Spoilers

A great start to a series, Monument 14 is a gripping story about fourteen kids of varying ages stuck together in a superstore during an apocalypse. First a hail storm, earthquake, then a chemical plant leak that affects causing paranoia, blisters, murderous rage, or sterility depending on a person’s blood type. The concept seemed really original to me. The fact that it’s kids of varying ages, some as young as five, make it so much more intense than if this was just teenagers. 

I liked most of the characters, but since there are so many of them, not all of them get a lot of screen time, and it takes awhile to get them all straight in your head. Dean was okay as a main character, a little whinny, and a bit too infatuated with the love interest, Astrid. Who for some reason, isn’t even there for most of the book. I really liked her, but I was just unhappy with the way Dean sees her as person, and the way she’s written. All Dean can do is think of how hot she is, even though she has a boyfriend. Some of the little kids, like Max and the twins were my favorites. Dean was the best when he was interacting with the little kids. When the focus was on the relationships (everyone has to be in one) and the cattiness between the girls, it was just annoying.

Overall, this was good start, original, interesting, and well written. 

I just flipped off a negative review for a favorite book… this has been happening often lately. 

Beats leaving an angry comment though.

Sekret (Sekret 1) by Lindsay Smith

Sekret (Sekret 1) by Lindsay Smith

Brief Summary: Growing up in the post-WWII Soviet Russia, Yulia knows how to survive, especially since her family fell out of favor with the government. But then Yulia is captured by the KGB and forced to confront another secret, her newfound psychic powers, which the KGB wants to use in the Cold War against the U.S.. 

———————

I had pretty high expectations for this novel. A lot of my followers know this because I wouldn’t shut up about it. And the book started off really well, but then kind of petered out towards the end of the book. 

Sekret is a dystopia set in Soviet Russia. Which was probably one of the things that drew me to it. Not just because I’m Russian myself, but finally, there was a dystopia set in a country other than the U.S., although America was mentioned a lot. 

The setting was Soviet Union in the early sixties, right after WWII, during the Cold War, space race, I think a little after the Cuban Missile crisis, during the Kennedy assassination. America and Soviet Union are competing for landing on the moon. But the book is set around psychics, which is based on the real experiments both Americans and the US did with LSD to develop psychic powers. In the novel, those powers are real, and the KGB and CIA both use psychics as spies. Yulia is one of the kids captured to be trained to become a spy. Except the Soviet Union is falling apart, Krushev is failing as a leader. And Yulia just want to get out. As far as plot is involved, this is really exciting.

The other thing that excited me greatly was the fact that the main character is Georgian, that is to say, a character of color—and so is her love interest. 

As far as the whole Russian to English, at first I was really impressed. The language is incorporated well, the references are all good (she got Krushev banging his shoe fiasco lol), but there were a few [glaring] mistakes towards the end of the book, where I’m guessing the editing got slack or the research got tired.

I’m not sure how I feel about Yulia. She starts off good; she’s smart, driven, and loyal to her family. She tries to run, but then decides to work the system to get what she wants. Except, it’s a bit weird. She gets annoying at times with the whining, and her constant flitting trust. One minute she decides she trusts someone, a paragraph later she’s all ‘no, I can’t trust anyone’. There is some unspoken character development, but mostly in terms of her powers, I wouldn’t say Yulia herself grows as a person or a character. I suppose she accepts her powers and learns how to use them.

I wish there was more to the plot. Which was what made the novel really lackluster towards the end. The novel really needed more action and espionage sequences, especially towards the end. I mean, she’s got psychic spies, hard to make it boring, but it honestly sometimes was. 

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking 3) by Patrick Ness

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Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking 3) by Patrick Ness

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Brief Summary: The war is on. Three armies, two species, one couple trying to keep everyone from tearing the new world apart. Todd and Viola are the only ones keeping the humans armies from killing each other, with the treat of the spackle army ready to wipe them all out. But who will keep Todd and Viola from turning on each other?

This is the third book in the series; read my review for the first book The Knife of Never Letting Go and the second book Ask and the Answer.

Spoilers for the Entire Series Under the Cut

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Review a relatively unknown book: No one knows what you're talking about
Review a really popular book: Everyone's reviewed it already and you don't really have anything original to add

I wanted to do a couple of reviews for tomorrow and Sunday for the books I managed to read in the last couple of months, but had no time to review. Help me choose which you guys will be more interested in seeing:

Unraveling (Unraveling, #1) by Elizabeth Norris

Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle, #1) by Diana Wynne Jones

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Emperor’s Edge (The Emperor’s Edge #1) by Lindsay Buroker

There’s also this series The IMA by an independent author, Nenia Campbell, who I’ve read since she was on fictionpress. I wanted to let more people know about her, however, this series is not YA, it would range more in the New Adult, and I would even say they are for a more mature audience. I’m a bit conflicted about reviewing it here though. Anyone know about it?

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy 6) by Richelle Mead

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Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy 6) by Richelle Mead

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Brief Summary: When the Queen is murdered, Rose is blamed and quickly put in jail to avoid problems. Thankfully, Rose’s friends are there to help… even if it means breaking her out and making her look even more guilty. So while Rose is on the run with Dimitri, Lissa and everyone else is trying to clear her name back in court.

Read reviews for Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, and Book 5

In the final book of the Vampire Academy series, Mead breaks out the big guns. Rose and Dimitri, brought together again, are on the run for their lives. Lissa is trying to clear both of them by entering the run for a new monarch. There are a lot of politics, a lot of action, and some heartbreak. Good finish to the series overall.

SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE SERIES IN FULL REVIEW BELLOW CUT

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