Sowing (The Purification Era Book 1): Book Review

Fire

I find it ironic that while trying to deal with my own past of emotional abuse and trauma, I manage to pick up this book Sowing by Angie Grigaliunas. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment. Either way, I’m excited to give you the details because this book is dark and fascinating.

Book Blurb

Sowing

They can take your house, your daughter, whatever they want.

For Ariliah, life under the militarized Hulcondans is one of order and safety. Despite the soldiers’ ruthless policies, she trusts their judgment. They alone provide protection from the enemies lurking beyond the city wall.

For her older sister, Rabreah, every glance from a Hulcondan is a threat. Though even a whisper against them is treason worthy of death, Rabreah is determined to end their tyranny. Joining an underground resistance is her only hope – until she realizes she doesn’t know the people she’s aligned herself with at all. Unsure who to trust but unable to back out, she must work alongside the attractive yet infuriating rebel leader who reminds her far too much of the soldiers she hates.

But with subversive posters appearing throughout the city and people dying on the blade of an unknown assailant, the sisters’ world begins to crumble.

And as the line between friend and enemy blurs, both girls must face the truth: everything is about to change.”

The Characters

What can I say about this book? I enjoyed it. I felt for Ariliah on a painfully real level. I’ve experienced very similar circumstances so I understand her timidity and hidden strength, oh so very well. Her forgiving nature, her inner shaming, her confusion, all of the things. Grigaliunas did a fantastic job portraying her and allowing her to grow throughout the story.

I also felt like Rabreah was portrayed well. Quite a few people mention in the reviews for this book, that she doesn’t grow much and shows a lot of anger. I’m going to deviate from the crowd and say, I liked that about her.

*Spoilers* It just makes sense. Her mother is extremely physically and psychologically abusive. The only authority figure she thought she could trust completely blindsides her and betrays her. She’s been freaking sexually assaulted and publicly humiliated. Not to mention, she’s also considered the city whore and has no prospects of being redeemed from this status. Yeah, I’d be pretty pissed off too and it would take A LOT to make me change my emotional state. Her being angry all the time makes perfect sense to me. *Spoilers*

Whatever

Also, the side characters are fascinating and full of depth. Especially Masrekah. I’m really curious how his character will develop in the ensuing books. I also really enjoyed the friendship between Edaliah and Rabreah.

Favorite Scenes

I’m going to be deliberately vague here because I don’t want any spoilers, so I’m going to apologize in advance. When Ariliah snaps. I wanted to cheer. When Ember gets tested. Man, that whole scene, especially after the fact. I was ticked off too. The baby boy and what happens to him. All of these scenes are rough, but they’re powerful.

My Personal Review

I give this book a 7.5/10 stars. Grigaliunas did a good job dealing with dark elements in a tasteful way. Granted, this book isn’t for everyone. It delves into abuse, child marriage, oppression, murder, rape, etc. But I liked the complexities of the world and how the characters interacted with what life threw at them.

I also really enjoyed the language that she used in this story. As a book reviewer and writer, reading her work was very telling of how much effort she put into making her words shine and punch.

Because this is a series, the ending felt more abrupt. I was expecting more of a greater climax, but it sort of ended in a small “uh oh” that didn’t quite do it for me. Also, as much as I enjoyed the characters, I didn’t experience a huge sense of loss from any of them. Pain? Yes. Heartache, frustration? Absolutely. But heart wrenching, tear jerking, loss? Not so much from our two heroines.

I’m going to go off on a tangent for just a sec. Two books that had me in tears. The first Hunger Games and Crown of Midnight. Why? Both stories had tragic character deaths that rip the main heroines to pieces. As a reader, I cared about those losses. I was devastated by their deaths and I cried right along with the protagonists and rooted for them to take things up a notch. Because things just got personal.

Katniss

Now, I’m not saying that Grigaliunas needs to kill off her characters, but I think the story would have benefited from some kind of tremendous loss for our heroines. There were hints of this in Ariliah’s arc, but not quite enough to really grip me.

Other than that, I was very entertained and I’m excited to read the next book in the series!

About the Author

Angie Grigaliunas

This is taken directly from Amazon on her page:

“Angie Grigaliunas (grig-ah-LOO-nahs) is a part-time normal person and full-time author of fantasy/dystopian young adult books. And also some romance. (“She admits it! Murderer!”) She loves Jesus, the woods, and the stars, and has always wanted to be a superhero with a secret identity.

She has completed four books: one about elves that needs a massive revision before it ever sees the light of day, one that is part of her current story but also needs a massive revision to fit a new storyline, and the actual first and second books (Sowing and Quelling) in her dystopian fantasy series (The Purification Era). When she’s not writing, she’s usually Facebooking – ack! – or thinking about story stuff. Or exercising. Or eating ice cream, because life is short and ice cream is delicious. Despite several of her writing friends claiming she’s Canadian, she is not; she lives in Ohio with her dear husband, their goofy dog, and their crazy cats.” You can also find her on Twitter.

Book Specs

Author : Angie Grigaliunas
Series : Sowing (The Purification Era Book 1)
Published By : Self Published
Year Published : August 9, 2016
Genre / Tags : Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Formats : Paperback, Kindle
# of Pages : (Paperback) 396

Thanks for taking the time to check out this post! Have you read Sowing? What were your thoughts on the book? I’d love to hear it in the comments!

Have an amazing day!

Everlost Between Life and Death

On my latest quest to the library, I was on the hunt for the book Scythe by Neal Shusterman. However, seeing no copies available, I found the first book of a trilogy by the same author, Everlost (No coinage is made upon the clicking of this link 😉 ). And I’ve got to say, I enjoyed it!

The book takes place in a world called Everlost. A place between life and death where lost souls find themselves when they fail to go beyond. Upon arriving, they find a new world filled with its own set of rules and rulers.

Everlost Summary

Everlost

“IT BEGINS WITH AN ACCIDENT.
Nick and Allie don’t survive the crash, and now their souls are stuck halfway between life and death in a sort of limbo called Everlost. It’s a magical yet dangerous place, where bands of lost souls run wild and anyone who stands in the same spot too long sinks to the center of the Earth. Frightened and determined, Nick and Allie aren’t ready to rest in peace just yet. They want their lives back, and their search for a way home will take them deep into the uncharted areas of Everlost. But the longer they stay, the more they forget about their pasts. And if all memory of home is lost, they may never escape this strange, terrible world.”

Book Review

This book was a delightful surprise for me. I’ve never read any of Shusterman’s books and it made me want to explore more of his writings. I found the rules of Everlost to be intriguing. Lost children have to survive monsters and be careful not to stand in one place too long or they truly sink to the center of the earth. It creates some interesting chase scenes and scenarios that I haven’t seen done anywhere else.

I really enjoyed the dynamics of the characters. You’ll see once you read the book, but I liked how Shusterman portrayed their relationships. It was quirky, but fun!

Favorite Moment

I can’t really say that this is a spoiler, but you’re welcome to skip this section just in case.

Spoilers gif

Throughout the book, the chapter headings will have a short snippet from one of Miss Mary’s many books. Except, when you get further in, you start to find other book quotes. My absolute favorite was this one Everything Mary Says Is Wrong by Allie. When I read that line, I about died with laughter. It was a great character moment for Allie that Shusterman caught because it perfectly captured Allie’s personality as well as captured what a young girl would totally title her own book. It was just beautiful lol!

Book Rating

I give this book a 7/10. (I’m changing my rating system, because 1. rating books is hard. And 2. there are so many nuances to creating a good story. I feel like a score of 1-10 will do more justice for the reviews that I write). It is a book geared towards a younger audience since the main characters are in the range of 11-15.

Even so, I found myself really enjoying it. I liked the characters. I liked the world Everlost and the creative rules it had. It was truly unique and I definitely recommend you check it out!

Book Information

Author : Neal Shusterman
Published By : Simon & Shuster Books For Young Readers
Year Published : June 20, 2008.
Genre / Tags : Teen, Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Formats : Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook
# of Pages : 336 pages (Paperback)


Thanks for taking the time to read my review! Have you read Everlost? What were your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments!

Have a beautiful day!

Be Careful What You Wish For…

Sisters

Separated

  • Author: Renee Marski
  • Published by: Renee Marski
  • Year Published: 2019
  • Genre / Tags: Fiction, YA, Coming of Age
  • Moods: Light and cheerful
  • Formats: Paperback, eBook
  • Number of Pages: 248 pages, (Paperback)

Book Summary

Two sisters make a wish one fateful night, only to discover the next morning that the wish has come true. Now separated, they struggle to learn where they fit in this new life, with each other and with the lives they thought they wanted. Will they accept their new lives as they had wished for, or will they realize that they had exactly what they needed all along?

Separated

Review

Full disclaimer: I actually won this book in a giveaway and got a copy for free. So, I decided to do a review for it as thanks.

I really enjoyed this book lol! I honestly wasn’t sure if I would, but I finished it in two days and loved the ending. It left me smiling and cheerful for several hours! The two sisters Taylor and Adele felt real to me and I loved watching their character development throughout the story. They reminded me of many of the close friendships I’ve had in the past with my girlfriends and the kind of relationship I’ve always wanted to have with my own sister.

Separated had a few twists that I saw coming a mile away, and a couple that honestly surprised me. (Especially how the “separation” between the two sisters worked out. I didn’t expect that at all or Adele’s history). You might be able to predict most of the story and the ending, but I found myself wanting to dig deeper into the adventure and seeing how everything turns out.

I give this book 4/5 stars. For me, it was a fast and easy read. A fun summer adventure you can enjoy while chilling on the beach. If you like reading about sisterhood, teenage drama, fashion, and girl talk then this book is for you!

About thE Author

Renee Marski

Renee Marski is an American writer currently living in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and dogs. She works full time and writes on her spare time, when she can get a few moments to herself. She grew up on Sci-Fi, Luke Skywalker being her first love. She currently has several books in the works. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Fun Fact: The book Separated is dedicated to her sister, who also happens to be the inspiration behind the relationship between the two sisters in the story.

As always, thank you for reading 😊 If our have any book recommendations please let me know! Have a beautiful day ☺️

A Debut Intergalactic Adventure

Alpha Dawn, a high flying epic Sci-Fi with some “Firefly” vibes (And no, I don’t get any commissions for the links 😊).

Hello friends! I apologize for being absent the past couple of weeks. My life decided to turn into a big thunderstorm of stress and rain on my emotional stability. But all is well! I’m back in the blogging game with this debut self-published novel Alpha Dawn by Morgan R. R. Haze.

Alpha Dawn

Now, I’m going to be real with you. There were some things that I loved about this book and some things that I did not love so much. So, let’s start at the best point.

Alpha Dawn: The Beginning

The beginning of Alpha Dawn hooked me right into its universe centered around Teragene. Whole worlds could be formed by this substance, space ships fueled by it, and people mutated by it. It’s some crazy stuff!

That's crazy

(And invited clever world building especially with the planet Wyatt).

A downside to this vast new galaxy was the need to explain the rules and systems about how it worked (a plague shared by all epics with complex universes). I often felt like the characters explaining their place in the world and the world’s mechanics often slowed down the action. But notwithstanding, I loved the galaxy in this book.

The Characters

I loved the relationship between Jason and Ell. The idea of a man literally falling in love with his ship and people believing him to be off his rocker drew me in. I really enjoyed his and Ell’s history together (so much so, I wish the writers would write a prequel of how the Waylay got her crew together).

hint, hint

I also really enjoyed the history of the crew and how diverse they were. Yet, they worked together towards a common goal. There were a couple of things that did catch me off guard though and not in a good way. The next two paragraphs are spoilers, just a heads up. If you don’t want to be spoiled on the fun, just skip 🙂

Conflict, Conflict, Conflict

When Ell and Jason meet for the first time, I was sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for drama to be thrown between them. They’ve never seen or touched each other. Ell was described as an awkward human being who’s never been good with people. So, if that’s the case, why was their first kiss so easy? I understand they love each other, but they’ve never even touched! If I was her, I’d have a horrible time sitting next to this attractive man and realizing that I’m married to him. I don’t think I’d be able to kiss him so easily. (Which brings up another question, has she ever kissed anyone before? A first kiss can be SUPER weird!) So, I just had a hard time with that.

Kissing fail

Also, Jason and Peter. The conflict between them was excellent, but I felt like it was resolved too soon! They haven’t really spoken or seen each other in years and suddenly Jason is married with his own family/crew? I’d definitely be thrown for a loop and it would not be so easy for me to get over in just one tussle. It would take weeks if not months for me to think about and come to terms with my relationship with my brother, if ever. Maybe that’s just me, but I felt like that drama could have added more tension throughout the entire book.

Spoiler over 😛

I just felt like there were some great opportunities for page turning, enticing conflict, and it wasn’t explored as much as I would have liked. It sometimes felt too easy. (Another example being the convict they had to turn in who got bloodied up. What if he’d managed to escape?)

I’m just going to add one more pet peeve. I don’t want to thrash the book, because there were some genuine moments that I enjoyed! But I want my reviews to be honest, and I hope, helpful.

If I see the same word used as a descriptor or noun on one page, I get tired of that word. “It was monolithic, comprised of three obelisks, two being smaller than the one located in the middle. The obelisks were long and rectangular, ending in sharp points at either end. On each of the obelisks there were four docking ports which protruded like spikes, one on each side of each obelisk” (280). The word obelisk is repeated a couple more times on that page, but you get the idea. There was a trend in this and it sometimes made it difficult for me to read.

I could go on, but like I said, I don’t want to completely trash the book. I loved the idea of it and there were a few moments that made me chuckle and get excited for what was to come.

Overall Book Rating

Overall, I give this book 3/5 stars. I’ll let you decide on whether you’d like to read it or not, but I am hopeful to see improvements in book two and where the story leads. Alpha Dawn has a great premise and imaginative world building with some fun characters and lots of potential.

Book Blurb:

Galaxy
Photo Credit: Alexander Andrews

“In the far future humanity is in a paradox. The discovery of a dynamic ore has allowed humans to prevent their own extinction by saving their dying world. However, Terra Prime is ultimately consigned to oblivion in an unforeseen cataclysm. A cataclysm which has created the Void. Rather than be curious or fearful of unexplored space, most humans simply perceive the Void at the center of the known universe as the single greatest mystery of the cosmos…”

About the Authors

“Morgan R. R. Haze was born in the Mojave Desert. In such a barren landscape, it’s no wonder imagination to write this story was born. Yet, there is a twist… Morgan R.R. Haze is not one, but three siblings who use their penned name to write novels together.

While they were raised by the same parents, their life experiences have been vastly different: Love, extreme loss, being a wife, a husband, a mother, and a widower; being a manager, a government employee, a pharmaceutical technician, a caregiver, a teacher, a college student, and a humble janitor; all while experiencing or observing the kindness, the prejudice, the generosity, the egotism, the thoughtfulness, or the shallowness which humans are capable of, has brought a diverse perspective to this collective authorship.

Though their preferred genre to write in is Sci-Fi, they like to dabble in mystery and exploring the human condition, all told through the multi-perspective-first-person experience. Hearing the internal thoughts or conflicts within a character during their journey can help someone to empathize with them. Morgan R. R. Haze hopes you will enjoy getting to know the characters of the Teragene Universe as much as they did.” (Excerpt taken from back of Alpha Dawn).

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog! If you have any book recommendations please say so in the comments! Or if you’d like me to review your own book, please see my Review Policy and Review Request Pages. For more of my reviews, click here.

Source:

Haze, Morgan R. R. Alpha Dawn: Book one of the Teragene Chronicles. Copy edited by Timothy A. Martinez, Alpha Dawn Copyright. 2018. https://www.amazon.com/Alpha-Dawn-Book-Teragene-Chronicles/dp/1522074325