The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

*Review* Oceanborn & Seamonster by Amalie Howard October 9, 2014

Oceanborn (The Aquarathi) (English Edition) (affiliate link)

Waterfell (The Aquarathi)

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

***I received a finished paperback from Harlequin Teen, Amalie Howard, & Jennifer Abbotts, I decided to review on my own. Being provided with a copy in no way swayed my opinion.***
Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 29 July 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: paperback provided by Harlequin Teen
Status: book two of the Aquarathi series

Summary:
The coronation is over.
But the battle has just begun.
Nerissa Marin has won her crown. But can she keep it? Already, her ties to the human realm are driving a wedge between Nerissa and her people. When word arrives that her part-human prince consort, Lo, has been poisoned, she makes the difficult choice to leave Waterfell and return landside. As the royal courts debate her decision, even more disturbing rumors surface: a plot is rising against her, led by someone she least expects.
On land, Nerissa learns another shocking truth: Lo does not remember who she is. As her choice to try to save him threatens her hold on her crown, changing loyalties and uncertainty test her courage in ways she could never have imagined. Nerissa will have one last chance to prove herself as a queen …and save the undersea kingdom she loves

My thoughts:
Oh, wow. Once again, Amalie blew me away with her incredible underwater world of Waterfell. Even better that I revisited it in a two book and one novella binge read. The ocean fascinates me and Amalie takes a brilliant idea and runs with it. FANTASTIC.
The action and drama had perfect flow and ebbs. Everything builds until the wave breaks. Okay, I’ll stop with the puns and be serious (well as serious as I can be while utterly fangirling!)
Right off, Amalie hits you right in the feels. Or at least she destroyed mine! Lo’s in danger?! OH NO SHE DIDN’T! I really admire Rissa’s courage to face her royal duties as well as her land troubles. All while pulling time in high school.
Rissa, again, really grew as a character. She still has a strong stubborn and impulsive streak, but she’s also more grounded due to her bond with Lo. She’s also learned that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.
I was blown away with the transformation in Lo. Not cool, Amalie. Not cool. It was difficult to watch Rissa watch Lo become an entirely different person. I was chewing my nails like crazy waiting for the outcome. EEP!

Once again Amalie’s snark was spot on and it seemed like everyone had a chance to shine with snarky brilliance. The quips between Rissa and Jenna were my favourite. Jenna’s a tough one. Not easily cracked and constantly on her toes. Some of her ideas were a bit harebrained and brilliant all at once.

It was hard for me to come to terms with how long it took me to read. I managed to re-read Waterfell in a few days. The cards were stacked against me and it took me a week to complete. Much like blogging recently, the kiddos have been a bit demanding and taking up more of my time. Normally, that would impact my rating and reading experience, but not this time. It constantly had me thinking about it even when I couldn’t read. I mulled over what I’d read and contemplated which direction Amalie would take.

For a hot minute, I feared Amalie would leave this as a duology. Then the twist I was hoping for happened! It resulted in a massive cliffhanger, but YAY MORE WATERFELL!

There was one character that genuinely surprised me and it brought tears to my eyes. I was happy forthe closure, even if it was a painful moment.

After the pain of Speio’s betrayal in Waterfell, I was happy to see him redeemed in Oceanborn. Events at the end have me super surprised though!

Ultimately, Oceanborn was all I wanted and more. I’m so distressed with the cliffhanger. AHHHH!!!! I could sing this series’s praises all day long. I highly recommend it. Fantastic characters and an incredible parallel world. Brava Amalie! Book three please? (:

SEAMONSTER: An Aquarathi Novella (The Aquarathi)(affiliate link)

 

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 17 June 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: ebook, personal copy
Status: novella of the Aquarathi series

Summary:
They say that love is the death of duty …
Speio Marin is land-bound, tied to the side of the Waterfell queen-to-be, Nerissa. There’s only one problem–she wants nothing to do with any of the Aquarathi or her undersea kingdom, preferring instead the freedom of pretending to be human. Torn between his own desires and his duty to serve his future queen, he spirals into an abyss of malcontent. Speio’s mistrust of humans is no secret, and he sees them only as a threat to the existence of his people.
Until he meets Anya Delmonico–a mysterious and enigmatic girl, teetering on the edge of survival. Anya is sedate and secretive, yet reckless enough to brave a hundred-foot cliff jump. Caught between a dark past and an ex-boyfriend who refuses to let her go, Anya knows that getting involved with anyone new is the last thing she should do. But when her past catches up to her, Speio turns out to be the only one she can trust, refusing to let her face her demons alone.
When Anya discovers the truth about Speio, putting her life in mortal danger from the Aquarathi as well as her own sinister pursuers, will he risk everything to protect her? Or will he choose duty above all?

My thoughts:
Oh, Spey. I love you so much now. After hating him SO hard at the end of Waterfell, Amalie does an incredible job giving some a glimpse into his mind. My heart melted and warmed to him. It was a great way to whet my appetite while waiting for Oceanborn. Can’t wait to see how he continues to redeem himself! Just read it! It’s so great!

About the author:

AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 22 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts. She is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, PW and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was an Amazon best seller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. She currently resides in New York with her husband and three children. Visit her at amaliehoward.com.

 

*ARC Review* Rites of Passage by Joy N Hensley September 9, 2014

 

 HAPPY RELEASE DAY, JOY!!!! ❤

 



***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 9 September 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Military, Realistic Fiction
Format: ARC borrowed from the author
Status: standalone

Summary:

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she’s not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She’s even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won’t risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty…no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time’s running short. Sam must decide who she can trust…and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

 

My thoughts:

Oh. Wow. I have been so excited for this book. As a military wife, I’m always excited for books that support our troops at any level. On the flip side, I’m always nervous that it could give the wrong impression of military life. Rites definitely does it RIGHT. Even though I’ve been an Army wife/girlfriend for almost six years, there were things I learned. Now, just because it’s steeped in military lingo, DON’T DESPAIR CIVILIANS! It’s super easy to follow along. (:

Joy’s debut is FANTASTIC. I jumped right in even though I was having a massive book hangover from my previous read. I was immediately cured and twice as hungover when I finished. Chock full of snark, a desire to prove oneself, angst, military academy life, Rites has it ALL and MORE. I was on the edge of my seat and squirmy with excitement/anticipation the whole time!

Rites is from the perspective of Sam. Sam’s a military brat attempting to forge the way as one of DMA’s first female recruits, make her father Lieutenant Colonel father proud, fulfill her oldest brother’s date and get her elder brother & mother to accept her military decision. On top of all of that, she has to navigate training and classes, forbidden attractions, and a very anti-female group trying to force her out. She doesn’t know who to trust and she finds out her number one supporter is someone completely unexpected. Whoa. A lot for a teenager to handle, right? That’s not even the whole of it.

The minute details of military academy life are incredible. I’ve known a few people who have attended military academies so I know a smidge about academy life. As a military wife, I knew a smidge more about overall military life. Joy’s details made my slight advantage unnecessary. She paints such a vivid picture, it feels like you’re going through a smoke show right along with them. (Better them than me though! I’ve seen hubby’s video of his basic training class for even further proof that I am destined to be a military wife, not in the military myself!) It was in so much detail that it had me equal parts wanting to forbid my kids from going to saving up now for them both to go!

Obviously, military academies aren’t the path for everyone and Joy does a great job showcasing people who realise it’s not for them at every level of training through the school year. It’s a great estimate of you don’t know what you can handle in any situation until you’re there.

I could go into so much detail about why I loved every single page., but then there would be no need for you to pick it up yourself. You don’t want to miss this action packed debut. It’s great beginning to end. Do yourself a favour and order it NOW!

 

IT RELEASES TODAY!!!! GO ORDER IT NOW!!! (:

 

 

About the author:

Joy N. Hensley is a former middle school teacher. She used to spend her twenty-minute lunch breaks hosting author Skype chats for her students. Once upon a time she went to a military school on a dare. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two children, finding as many ways as she can to never do another push-up again.

 

*Review* Insurgent by Veronica Roth April 13, 2014

Rating:5 stars
Pub date:1 May 2012
Publisher:HarperCollins, Katherine Tegen Books
Genre:Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Format:e-book, audiobook, borrowed via library
Status:Book two of the Divergent trilogy

Summary:

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.


Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

My thoughts:

By waiting so long to read Divergent, it meant waiting even longer to read Insurgent and that was a grievous mistake. The action that was building gets ramped up even higher in Insurgent. Terrible things happened at the end of Divergent and sacrifices were made that tore Tris’s world to shreds. In Insurgent, she’s left to deal with the fallout and try to figure out how to move forward.

One of my favourite things about Insurgent is that we get a better look at/interaction with other factions. It helps with the world building and bring further understanding to why things are happening the way they are.

Along with a better look at the factions, there are massive layers of guilt, grief, reflection, and betrayal woven into each intricate part. The betrayals come from all over and you won’t be prepared for them. Due to events, there is a lot of reflection. Tris questions if she’s made the right choices along the way. It helps further her character development because it helps her mature, but it also leaves her rife with guilt. The guilt also tore her apart and I think it made her grieve more than she had to grieve. My heart ached so bad for her grief and the grief of other characters.

There to help hold her together and stand by her is Four. Four is also dealing with a lot of issues after the events of Divergent. We also get to learn more about his seemingly good guy dad who was abusive to Four and Four’s mother. A shocking discovery is that not only is his mother alive, but a leader of the Factionless. It was nice to see the Factionless, but the conditions of their station is appalling. It’s not at all surprising that the Factionless want to better themselves.

The action builds until it explodes at the end with an expected (for me, it was one of two theories I had right off the bat in Divergent) revelation. I was happy to see that I was right about one of two theories I’ve had. We’ll have to wait until Allegiant to see if I’m right about the second. I’m glad I was a bit late to the party on reading, because that cliffhanger was a doozie! I enjoyed Insurgent more than I enjoyed Divergent and I’m looking forward to continuing my binge with Allegiant. Veronica did a great job of continuing the world building she started in Divergent. She also did a great job of continuing character development of the characters we met in Divergent and introducing us to more characters in Insurgent. This is still a world I wouldn’t want to live in, but she makes believable characters that are easy to relate to. I still highly recommend this series and hope that I’m one of the people who actually likes Allegiant and don’t end up disappointed!

 

 

About the author

Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will come out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)

 

*Review* Wither by Lauren DeStefano November 10, 2013

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 22 March 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format: hardcover via library
Status: Book one of The Chemical Garden series

Summary:

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?

Together with one of Linden’s servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

My thoughts:

Wither was recommended to me by the lovely Mary, Mary Had a Little Book Blog. While waiting for Perfect Ruin to come in at the library, I decided to read Wither. I started it on audiotape while I ran errands. I was also mulling over which book I was going to read next. I just finished Waterfell and was suffering from a bit of a book hangover.

The tone of Wither just gripped me. It was fantastic. Lauren did an incredible job. It’s hard to fathom a world where the people die so young. Females die at the age of 20 and males die at the age of 25. I would be dead already on that time line. My husband too. It’s something that humbles you in a way. Especially as I’m writing this. (originally written in my journal On our way to my hubby’s cousin’s funeral. Just 26 years old. In today’s world, someone that age shouldn’t die. It’s tragic when it happens. Not expected and unavoidable like in Rhine’s world.

There is a glimmer of hope in Rhine’s world, though. There’s the rumour of an antidote being researched all through the country. Some are optimistic, others try to stop it. They believe the human race is doomed and should just die out the way it’s going.

Our narrator, Rhine, is 16 years old. Four short years away from certain death. She’s just been taken away from home. She’s with a group of girls being inspected by a wealthy man. She suspects they are being inspected to be selected to become brides. Three of the girls are selected. Those not selected —-

Rhine is escorted into the back of a car with the other three girls. She wakes up in the lap of luxury, but is dismayed that she is nowhere near her childhood home of Manhattan. She’s in Florida. She’s immediately consumed with the desire to plot an escape. She makes friends with an attendant, Gabriel. After he tends to her, she decides to see if the door to her room is locked. She’s surprised to see that it is not. Rhine decides to explore to see if she can find a way to escape. She comes across Rose’s room. Later she’s asked to come back. She knows Rose is dying and assumes she is the House Governor’s wife. Despite knowing Rose is facing a quickly approaching death, they become friends.

Rhine meets the other two girls she was take with on their wedding day. They are married by age. Jenna is the last bride at 18 and Cecily is the first bride at 13. They are married to House Governor Linden Ashby.

Jenna is withdrawn. She’s resigned herself to her fate and would rather die in luxury than in squalor. She’s beautiful, but is destroyed over the deaths of her sisters. She and Rhine eventually become friends.

Cecily is completely ecstatic about her new life. She grew up in an orphanage. She proves to be a very ignorant child. She believes that this is the best thing that could ever have happened to her.

Rose eventually succumbs to the virus and it impacts Rhine more than she thought it would. It absolutely crushes the girls’ husband, Linden. Once Rose is gone, he begins to dote on his new wives. Cecily is soon pregnant.

The longer Rhine is trapped in the mansion, the stronger her desire is to escape. She tries to escape during a hurricane and is nearly killed. Gabriel is reassigned to a different part of the mansion and she fears he is dead. With Jenna’s help, she and Gabriel make a plan to escape.

Jenna suddenly falls ill before her 20th birthday and dies from the virus. Rhine is more determined than ever to escape. She and Gabriel finally manage to make their escape.

I really loved Wither. The narrator on the audiotape did a fantastic job. Lauren hit a homerun with her debut book! Even though it was fascinating to visit Rhine’s world, it definitely is not a world I would choose to live in!

 

*Review* Everbound by Brodi Ashton October 7, 2013

affiliate links used

Everbound: An Everneath Novel

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 22 January 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins/ Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA, Mythology, Romance, Fantasy
Format: hardback, obtained from the Public Library
Type: Book 2 of the Everneath series

Summary:
Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

We pick up right after Jack sacrifices himself to the Tunnels in Nikki’s place. Talk about a punch to the gut right off the bat, Brodi! The emotions and everything concerning this is just overwhelming. With the emotions being so strong yet the action a bit lacking (which I think was used to emphasise just how crappy things were for Nikki) I was on the fence about if this would be a good second book or not. In my experience, book 2 just doesn’t live up to the hype and expectations book 1 set up. THANKFULLY, this is NOT the case with Everbound. Once the action does get kicked up in the Everneath it is non-stop.

It was interesting to see Cole go from hellbent against taking Nikki to the Everneath to deciding to take her. I SHOULD have picked up on the sneakiness, however, I let him have the benefit of the doubt that his little black heart could be redeemed.

The trip through the Everneath kept my blood pumping the whole time. THE WHOLE TIME. I’d been planning on enjoying the majority of Everbound in the car on the way to the beach. That totally didn’t happen. 1. I couldn’t sleep the night before we left. 2. I decided to read until I got tired and could fall asleep. You would think that I would know by now that when I’m over excited about a trip I don’t sleep. You would think when I’m so into a book that I would know that I won’t be able to put it down until I’m done. Nope to both of those. I was about 40% or so through it when I started the final stretch. Thought I’d just read til 50% then it got pushed back to 75%… then it was OMG THIS ENDING IS JUST TOO MUCH I NEED EVERTRUE RIGHT NOW! Whoa. Kudos to Brodi for THAT spectacular cliffhanger. I’m never one to like cliffhangers, but brava! Way to punch a girl in the heart.

Nikki. Oh, poor Nikki. I’ve never genuinely lost the love of my life (thank the Lord!), but I can kinda relate Jack being in the Tunnels to when my hubby was deployed. Life really did seem suspended and extra sucky. Unlike Nikki, there wasn’t anything I could do to go and bring him home (not that I didn’t plot!). Nikki’s continued bravery and attempts to do a giant rescue attempt by herself is inspirational. You go girl!

Jack. He’s not even a major player in this game and he’s pulling at my heart strings! A high schooler and ready to sacrifice himself for the love of his life. Normally I’d scoff at that whole high school love thing, but THIS?! Whoa. The love between Nikki and Jack isn’t just puppy love, let me tell you that! I teared up I don’t know how many times during the dreams when Nikki realised he was beginning to fade. And at the end?! Oh wow. I wanna kiss that boy!

Cole. Oh, Cole. Where do I even begin with you? You played me good. Stinker. You’re a bigger stinker than my toddler and THAT takes talent. I was starting to fall for Cole. My wall of caution began to crack a bit. The thoughts of maybe this bad boy can be redeemed. Nope. Heart stomped. Thanks, Brodi. Thanks. I can’t wait to see what else he has up his sleeve. He’s made sure I’m firmly on Team Jack now though. I won’t fall for the sweet redeemed bad boy antics again, sir!
Recommended for: Lovers of mythology retellings, immortality, quests for redemption, and a bit of romance
Not recommended for: Those who dislike fantasy or think the immortality thing has been played out.

 

*Review* The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd September 30, 2013

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 29 January 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction
Format: hardback, personal copy, signed

Summary:

In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells’s classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman’s Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we’ll do anything to know and the truths we’ll go to any lengths to protect.

Wow. Just wow. I don’t even know where to begin this review. I came across this book on the suggestion of Mary. (Mary Had a Little Book Blog) She reviewed this title earlier this year and also recommended it to me. I am so glad she did!

I haven’t read The Island of Dr. Moreau, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this gothic thriller. Let me just say, from the get go I was HOOKED. I started reading in the car on the way to our family beach getaway last week. I wanted to wait til as close as I could to the signing event so it was still fresh in my mind. Now, I’m dying with impatience waiting for Her Dark Curiosity! I also want to dive into The Island of Dr. Moreau to see the inspiration behind the insanity!

We are introduced to our leading lady, Juliet Moreau right away and the book is from her point of view. She is a fallen from the top of society young lady living and working in Victorian (I’m assuming) London, England. I was sold already. I love England, and I love historical fiction. A forbidden friendship made it even more intriguing. She’s surrounded by a scandal. It’s not quite clear what scandal surrounds her which has driven her from the heights of society, but we immediately know it’s as bad as bad can get.

After a series of a turn of events from flirtatious med school students and an attempted sexual assault, Juliet learns her disgraced and assumed dead father is really alive and living on an island off of Australia. She flees with her former servant to reunite with her father. Montgomery pleads with her not to come, but she is relentless in her desire to find out if the rumours surrounding her father are true.

After an interesting sea voyage involving discovering a castaway, Juliet and company arrive at the island. She quickly learns not only are the rumours true, things are worse than she thought. The question arises what does humanity really mean? Do we have humanity because we were born human? Or is it possible for a creature to be created and mutated to have humanity? Are all humans filled with humanity and are all created science experiments truly monsters? Some of the creations show more humanity and compassion than some of the truly human characters.

A giant plot twist and gotacha moment at the end brings it to an incredible cliff hanger. Can I just say the gotcha moment was in the back of my mind as a possibility and when it became obvious I was BLOWN that I was right. And I called how the cliff hanger ending would go. I so can’t wait to see how Her Dark Curiosity will be!

From the beginning, I felt a great connection with Juliet. Despite the usual stereotype of her age, (women and girls are delicate and pretty incapable of being intellectual) Juliet is incredibly intelligent and resilient. Her resiliency is really tested when she finds her father. Even though she had believed she was an orphan, she desperately wanted things to work out in her relationship with her father. He’d abandoned her, but she hoped he had a good reason. She struggles with his work and knowing it isn’t right. She uses her intelligence and resilience to try to get off the island with Montgomery and Edward and when events don’t go as planned, she rolls with the punches and adapts.

Montgomery is definitely a fallen angel to me. He still has an innocence despite everything he has done. He knows he’s done evil, but also shows a great wish to redeem himself. His choices at the end of The Madman’s Daughter show what he thinks will be his redemption. I’m looking forward to see how this redemption goes in the sequel.

Edward is confusing in a way. Nothing ever makes sense about him and he always seems a bit dark even when he doesn’t seem like it. Confusing, right? Despite his obvious affections toward Juliet, and urging from her father, I never wanted to see things work out for them. They just didn’t seem to completely fit together. I’m completely Team Montgomery for relationships!

Dr, Moreau is just an a-hole. Completely self absorbed and oblivious to his faults. His genius is what cripples him. In discovering this mysterious island and continuing his research, he essentially loses his humanity in trying to create the perfect specimen of humanity. He thinks himself like a god. He comes up with his own commandments that he teaches to his creations. It’s truly appalling.

Balthazar. Oh, I love his innocence. I wish he had appeared more and hope he makes at least a small appearance in the sequel.

This was a fantastic novel and was also Megan’s debut. I can’t wait to get my hands on Her Dark Curiosity!

***Signing event***

Megan was with two other authors at the JC Public Library on the 28th. I didn’t stay long, we had just driven 6 hours back from the beach and the kiddos were exhausted and tired of being in their carseats. Punk wanted to go inside with me and he was greatly entertaining to everyone while I stood and talked with Megan and Chris for a few minutes. He decided to dance and chatter for everyone. Megan asked him if he had fun at the beach and he said “YES!” then proceeded to chatter. I’m guessing he was telling her all about it. I did catch swim and papaw while he was going on and on. I got to see Her Dark Curiosity. I was going to ask to hold it and skim through it, but I was too nervous that once I had it in my hands I’d never be able to let it go until I devoured it. Still crossing my fingers for an ARC of my own!

I’m hoping to go to an event next month that she’ll be at in NC. It’s about publication and writing. I think it might just be what I need to take the plunge on writing. (:

It was such a great honour to get to meet her! She’s super awesome and nice. It was neat to meet her after tweeting back and forth for a while.

I apologise that my first event recap is so short! I did get a few extra bookmarks signed. If there’s any interest I’ll do a giveaway for them. Or I may just wait and see if I can go to the event next month and get a copy of The Madman’s Daughter signed and give both away then. Make sure you leave your thoughts on the giveaway! (: Just bookmarks now or wait and get bookmarks and book later?

Recommended for: Sci-fi and historical fiction lovers

Not recommended for: Those who have a weak stomach where guts and blood are concerned or dislike sci-fi or historical fiction

 

 
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