The Girl From Everywhere

Title: The Girl From Everywhere
Author: Heidi Heilig
Series: The Girl From Everywhere Series, book 1/2
Genre: Time Travel, YA
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: February 16th, 2016

 

Sixteen-year-old Nix has spent her entire life aboard the Temptation, the time-traveling ship captained by her father. It is all she has ever known. As long as her father has the original of any map, its destination real or imagined, the ship can travel back and forth, to any time and place. Her father has always aggressively sought after a map of 1868 Honolulu, the time just before he lost Nix’s mother in childbirth. He is desperate to go back in time and save her before it is too late – even if it means completely erasing Nix’s very own existence.

It is unclear what will happen to Nix if her father does in fact obtain the 1868 Honolulu map. There is a real chance that she will no longer exist if he succeeds in changing the past before she was born. Nix and her father both know the time-travel laws that must be followed, and what is at stake if things go even slightly off course. Because of this, Nix does not want her father to get hold of the map.While her relationship with her father remains rather strange, Nix’s friendship with Kash, her charming Persian crew mate, is turning into something more than what it has been for the past two years. They have always been close friends, but now they are beginning to cross into a new territory altogether, one that she is not sure either of them are ready for. Will Nix have enough time left to find out what might have been with Kash, or will she be pulled away from the world she knows because of her father’s rash actions?

In this, the first of a two-book series, Heilig spins a tale of adventure, travel, friendship, and love in a captivating way. I chose this book as my Spring Break read in 2016, and it did not disappoint. This is the perfect sort of book to take on any adventure of your own. When I discovered that there was a sequel, and conclusion, to The Girl From Everywhere, I instantly added it to my never-ending list of books to read. Look for The Ship Beyond Time, due to hit the shelves this week!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

 

Cruel Crown

Title: Cruel Crown
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen, a companion
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance, YA 
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: January 5th, 2016 

 
Note: This post reviews a companion book in the Red Queen series. You may like to read at least the first book in the series, Red Queen, before reading this review so that you have a good understanding of the world Aveyard has created and the characters in it. 
 

Queen Song tells the story of the Singer Queen, Coriane, the queen who came before Elara. She was introduced in Red Queen only through memories of some who knew her, one of those being her son, Cal. She died when Cal was a young boy, and Elara became queen after her. Now, we get to go back and see her sad story for ourselves. It is the story of a young, Silver girl, noble but poor, who meets Prince Tiberias and develops a friendship and eventually a romance with him. Coriane does not consider herself wise or powerful or beautiful, but Tiberias sees something in her that he loves and needs. When he chooses her as his bride, the people believe that she must have “sung” to him, using her persuasive powers to manipulate the Prince into loving her. But Coriane is not the manipulative kind, and rarely uses her powers on anyone, let alone the Prince. After they are married and expecting a baby, the King passes away, making Tiberias the new king, and Coriane his queen. Elara, who is at court, uses her own mind powers to get into Coriane’s head, driving her mad. We watch the deterioration happen in her mind as Elara controls her to the point of death. This short story is such a tragedy, but it gives us insight into the King’s heart, and even more compassion for Cal (as if we needed more reason to love him.)

Steel Scars is parallel to the time frame of Red Queen, but instead of following Mare’s story, we follow Farley’s. We already know Farley as the young captain of the Scarlet Guard, the group of Reds that resists the tyranny of the Silvers. What we don’t know is her back story, or at least very much of it. This short story shows Farley as she tries to be a strong leader and prove herself to the Scarlet Guard. While she displays confidence and leadership throughout this series, we now see a more vulnerable side to her. Everything is seen through her eyes, and told from her perspective. It made me like her character in a deeper way. Another thing I really enjoyed was her relationship with Shade, Mare’s brother. Even though we knew that they were a couple, we only get a glimpse of their relationship in the Red Queen series, since it is really about Mare. In Steel Scars, Farley and Shade meet, become friends, and fall in love. Aveyard don’t give us a ton, but it’s a little more than we get from the other books.

I have been a fan of the Red Queen series from the start, and I’m happy that Aveyard expanded on this world a bit more by giving us these two short stories. I hope that she continues to satisfy her readers with her lovable characters and their exciting trajectories.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

 

 

King’s Cage

Title: King’s Cage
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen, book 3/4
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 7th, 2017

 
 
Note: This post reviews the third book of the Red Queen series. You may like to read the first two books in the series, Red Queen and Glass Sword, before reading this review. 

After willingly offering herself in exchange for the safety of her friends, Mare is a prisoner of the boy king, Maven. She suffers inside his palace, this king’s cage, though not by his own hand. Maven, messed up as he is, has an obsession with Mare. In his own broken way, he wants her, and even needs her with him. But that does not keep her from suffering. Forced to live with her powers stripped from her, Mare lives in isolation, used as a mouthpiece to deliver false information to the kingdom of Norta concerning the Scarlet Guard. She also has to face the torment of whispers, Silvers who are able to see your memories and make you relive them and experience them in a tormenting way. 

Meanwhile, Cal, the exiled prince still stuck within the Scarlet Guard, is trying desperately to find a way to rescue Mare. Finally, after months and months (and hundreds of pages into the book), the Scarlet Guard succeeds, and Mare does not have to suffer Maven any longer. But the damage he has inflicted on her is not easily forgotten, and Mare knows that she still has a part to play in Maven’s downfall. 

The great Silver houses are now in opposition. Some still stand with King Maven, others are ready to see an end to his reign. The Scarlet Guard, having won a few victories already, are stronger than ever. These Reds and newbloods will see the boy king destroyed. 

This book is not all hardship and suffering. We do get to enjoy a few happy moments with Mare and Cal, both desperately in love with each other. But honestly, in a book with over 500 pages, it didn’t seem like there was quite enough love and happiness to make up for the said hardship and suffering. On top of that, the book leaves us with Cal, forced to make an incredibly difficult decision that will impact Mare most of all, in much the same way that the last book, Glass Sword, ended with Mare making a decision that deeply affected Cal. Maybe the author did this kind of paralleling on purpose, but I as the reader did not appreciate having to deal with the same kind of heaviness more than once. It almost seems like a cruel joke to play on your characters and your readers alike. 

All I have to say now is this: after investing two years in this series, thinking all along that it was a trilogy only to reach the end and find out that there is at least one more installment to wait anxiously for, Victoria Aveyard had better be ready to deliver a finale that will wrap up these devastatingly loose ends in a masterful and satisfying way; or else these books may unfortunately become part of the subtitle, All Will Burn

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:  

 

Glass Sword

Title: Glass Sword
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen, book 2/4
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance, YA 
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 9th, 2016

 
 
Note: This post reviews the second book of the Red Queen series. You may like to read the first book in the series, Red Queen, before reading this review.
 

Mare Barrow has narrowly escaped the clutches of the newly crowned King Maven. His treason has been carefully masked, portraying his brother, Cal, as the true traitor who murdered their father, with the help of Mare. Both Mare and Cal are on the run with the Scarlet Guard, the resistance group of Reds that defies the Silvers; Mare is a member of the group, Cal is now their prisoner.

Cal gradually finds himself working with the resistance group he had sought to take down, for now they have a common interest: to kill Maven. Cal proves himself useful, not only as a skilled soldier, but also as a pilot. But there is still division between them, particularly with Mare. Their attraction throughout the book is almost tangible, but their blood continues to separate them. Mare, a Red, is striving to bring down the Silvers, but Cal does not wish to turn on his own kind.

Mare’s specific mission now is to find “newbloods,” as she calls them. They are the Reds like herself, with powers like the Silvers. With the help of Farley (captain of the Scarlet Guard), Shade (one of her brothers), Kilorn (her childhood friend), and Cal, Mare tracks down these newbloods and tries to recruit them before Maven finds and kills them.

As they gain and train more and more newbloods, Mare becomes more aggressive. After the abuse she suffered at the hands of Maven, she finds it almost impossible to trust anyone, even those closest to her. She is at war, not only with the Silvers, but with herself – how can she hate all Silvers, yet still love Prince Cal? Mare sees that she is in danger of becoming like the monsters she seeks to destroy and she knows that she cannot continue with a heart so consumed by mistrust and betrayal. By the end of the book, she faces an ultimatum that will affect Cal most of all, and she makes her decision out of selfless love. We will see just how much this decision cost her in the next installment of the series, King’s Cage, due to hit the shelves this month!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series: