Book Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year Two Volume 1 by Tom Taylor

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two Volume 1 by Tom Taylor gets away from the Batman and Superman strife of who is wrong by adding the Green Lantern Corps. The epicness died down a little in this volume but the potential is still really high for a huge payoff. Out of all the members of the Justice League I’m least familiar with Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corps, this graphic novel is heavy on those characters. Sinestro and Lex Luthor have some great lines about what power is. Jim Gordon stands up to Superman and takes the super the super pill along with the entire Gotham P.D.. Hal Jordon’s loyalty is tested if he sticks with Superman or The Green Lantern Corps. I’m still enjoying the series and reading a volume i between a novel is a good break. Injustice: Gods Among Us Year two Volume 1 collects issues 1-6 of Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Two from DC comics.

The Plot: The Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois and his unborn child, when her heart stops a nuclear bomb destroys Metropolis. Superman distraught kills The Joker and declares martial law on the whole world, vowing that no one should die needlessly. He develops a pill that will make ordinary people super to start an army of supermen that he controls. Batman wants the world to be safe but still give the people free will, Batman sacrificed his body to get the formula for the super pill to give his side a chance. Superman’s action have drawn attention to the Green Lantern Corps who’s power is all about will power, see this as an affront to not let free will. Sinestro is manipulating Superman telling his own story and the way the Green Lantern Corps will attack, he makes an alliance that brings Sinestro and his minions as added protection. The Gotham P.D. is told they are not needed as the city is being patrolled my Superman’s army, but Batman has a gift the pills that give super strength.

What I Liked: Superman pulling Billy Batson out of school because e needs Shazam. Sinestro calling Lex Luthor out for his need for power. One of the best lines, “You can see all that goes on in the world? so your peeking through the window binds, for what? Just to be creepy. ” Says Guy Gardener to a guardian looking at Hal Jordon with his lady. Jim Gordon confronting Superman, when he basically tells him what a crappy job he has done as commissioner, Jim gordon throwing it right back at Superman. The Sinestro origin story was good and I needed a refresher.

What I Disliked: Too much of the Green Lantern Corps it was kind of like I read three issues of Injustice and three issues of the Green Lantern Corps, don’t get me wrong there is some good stuff but it was a little much. Batman is hardly in this volume.

Recommendations: This story is still epic, I love where it is going, and still can not wait for the next volume. If you like the Green Lantern Corps then you will like this volume a little bit more than I did. I rated Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two Volume 1 by Tom Taylor 4 out of 5 stars. This novel was closest to a 3 star I really hope the Injustice Series keeps up the quality.

Book Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow is a love story at its heart, that I found very beautiful, it dips into the science fiction by way of magic, and the time period of early 1900’s makes it historical fiction as well. I liked the idea of doorways to another world, where some people want to explore them, while other’s want them destroyed. The story is told as a book with in a book, which took a little getting used to, once I got used to it I liked the storytelling more, and there’s a few surprises in this way of storytelling that really work for the narrative. When there is action it is fast and well described. The book has a lot of little twist and turns that keep the story interesting until the very end.

The Plot: January is 7 years old when she finds her first door way, is it a child’s imagination that she found a doorway to another place or not. When she tells her caretaker, Mr. Locke, this, he scolds her about growing up and not living in a fantasy world. He also burns the door down. January’s father Julian works for Mr. Locke procuring rare items and in exchange allows his daughter to live with the wealthy Mr. Locke. January likes Mr. Locke despite his strictness and sees him as a surrogate father. January learns to grow up in class and still thinks about the doorway that she went through when a child, and has a token a gold coin she found that day, that she still keeps. January finds a book on doorways to other worlds, and it tells of a girl that is about her age that is obsessed with doors. Julian is reported missing, January wants to go find him, but Mr. Locke wont let her, and locks her up. She remembers that time when she wanted the door from her childhood to open, she wrote it down and that is what she does, hoping for some way out, and the door is unlocked. She tries to escape but is found by Mr. Locke and some of his society members. She is questioned about how she got out, and in her anger she shouts at an aggressive society member, “I hope you get locked behind a door to another world.” Which they turn to Mr. Locke and say you told her, everything about doors is a reality.

What I Liked: January the main character is really fun, I love her voice the first 5 or six pages really hooked me as she tries to introduce herself to the audience. I loved that there is a pay off to who the book is to in both books since this is a book with in a book. Jane is a great supporting character, I loved her backstory. Actually this book nails every backstory, Mr. Locke’s, Jane, Julian, and January’s mother. The world created and the door worlds were really cool a couple of them I wanted to see explored. The bad guys have a pretty good well thought out motive for what they do. I loved how many twist and turns this book had.

What I Disliked: When the book within a book is first introduced it is really jarring, especially since it starts with a preface and has a funky date that threw me off ( it is explained later). The narrator of the book tells his story in third person which was off putting, at least it is addressed but later in the story. This is all in the first hundred pages then the book gets really good, and I had no problems with it.

Recommendations: I enjoyed this book the beginning took a little strain with getting used to the book with in a book, but after that this book is amazing, I was captivated, and couldn’t wait to see what happened. This book reminded me a little of The Long Earth by Terry Prachett and Stephen Baxter mixed with The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey. If you like your science fiction and historical fiction mixed then this book is for you. I rated The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow 4 out of 5 stars.

Wrap Up: March 2020 Book Reviews

Hello dear readers, March has been quite a month. I managed to read 6 novels this month. I read two rereads, one, Ender’s game, is a personal favorite from my childhood. I read two new releases, one was from Netgalley. I read two second books in a series. On a personal note in these hard times I wish everyone safety, and good mental and physical health. When the pandemic went down I had a hard time separating fact from fiction and had to keep reminding myself that characters can be in large groups. Reading has and always will be my escape, I hope everybody is able to escape as well.

Five Star Reviews:

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, is the second book in the Arc of the Scythe series. Thunderhead ramps up the action, expands on the already great world building, it has one hell of a climax, and maintains the high quality writing, that will make you think long after the book is finished. I love this series so much, it is going places I could not imagine. In world where people can live forever, there are scythes, whose job is to kill at random and be unbiased. Rowan a failed scythe has declared himself Scythe Lucifer and is set on killing scythes that are unbiased.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year One, Volume One by Tom Taylor This graphic novel is based on the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us, which would usually put it on the list of , yeah I’m gonna pass, but thanks to a friend’s praise I gave this a try. And man am I glad I did, because this comic book series is excellent. In an alternative world where The Joker tired of losing to Batman, “tries easy mode” with the target of Superman. Superman loses love ones and never want the world to lose another life, and turns the world into a police state where super heroes rule.   Batman and Superman become enemies that will make you the reader decide which side you are on. Superman thinks he’s saving the world while Batman thinks he’s putting more fear into it. Superman creates Batman’s dream but also his nightmare; A world at peaceful fear.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite Science Fiction novels of all time. This book is deep Science Fiction with one of the best endings that will floor you; it will make you both happy and sad at the same time. This Book is number 3 on NPR’s 100 best science fiction and fantasy novels it won the Hugo award for best novel and plenty of other awards. The plot is the world cannot wait for the next leader he has to be made. Graff the general in charge has found his leader in 6-year-old Ender Wiggin. Ender will be put to the test playing war games for an upcoming war with Earth’s greatest threat the Buggers.

Four Star Reviews:

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is a great thriller about power and manipulation of a young woman who doesn’t want to fell so alone. The plot is Shay is a witness to a suicide, she doesn’t know the woman, but is interested in the why. She digs into her old life meeting her friends, coworkers, and family. She soon realizes this maybe wasn’t suicide after all but murder, and she just might be next. You Are Not Alone was published on March 3 2020

Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year One Volume 2 by Tom Taylor was a little bit slower but seemed to be saving everything for the finale, and man was it pretty epic. This book had a lot of cool action and scenes, with me as a comic book fan have been dying to see. Some of the lines between Batman and Superman gave me chills.

Three Star Reviews:

Midnight At the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan is a mystery/general fiction with a really good hook. A homeless man Joey commits suicide at a bookstore the clerk that he would interact with him finds him, along with his body he has a picture of the clerk, Lydia when she was a teenager. This book has great insight on the homelessness situation, but not much about actual books. I was hoping for a lot more book talk since there’s a code using books, this book is more about personal tragedy and connections.

Two Star Reviews:

Are Snakes Necessary? by Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman is a thriller filled with interesting characters but forgot the thrills. This novel spends too much time establishing the characters when they finally meet stuff starts to finally happen, but too little too late. The plot is a man running for Senate, has affairs. When one of those affairs is a member of his staff, that has decide to runaway. Must be found or it looks like he was involved with the plot. This is part of the Hard Case Crime series that specializes in pulp novels. Are Snake Necessary? was published on March 17 2020

Book Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year One Volume 2 by Tom Taylor

Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year One Volume 2 by Tom Taylor was a little bit slower but seemed to be saving everything for the finale, and man was it pretty epic. Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year One Volume 2, collects 7 -13 of Injustice: Goods Among Us. This story was created for the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us, and has far surpassed it, in story and scope. This plot puts Batman and Superman as foes with Batman being the one with morals when Superman kills the Joker and creates a police state with superheroes in charge (This is an alternate universe and to associated with the current DC Universe. This book had a lot of cool action and scenes, with me as a comic book fan have been dying to see. Some of the lines between Batman and Superman gave me chills.

The Plot: The Joker was tired of losing to Batman and decides to play on easy mode, his words, against Superman. The Joker uses Scarecrow’s fear toxin, and makes Superman think Doomsday is back. He shoots off into space with who he thinks is Doomsday, despite all the Justice League trying to stop it. When the fear toxin wears off it reveals he has Lois in deep space, and hears her last heartbeat, there is a little more to it but do not want to spoil it. Superman in a rage murders the Joker, and wants nobody to feel the loss he has gone through and starts a world police state, with super heroes as the guards. Superman thinks Batman is at fault letting the Joker live all these years. In this volume, Batman plants a mole on Superman’s team, Damian forsakes his own father, Batman, and goes with Superman, Lex Luthor is found alive and works with Superman developing a drug to harness abilities for a super Army, and more heroes fall.

What I Liked: Lex Luthor’s is questioned on whether he can keep a secret, and goes around to every hero revealing their secret identity. Damian calls all of Batman’s moves but the other heroes don’t think he will go there, until he does proving Damian right. How Batman’s secret identity is revealed, after he delays the first attempt. I like the way Captain Atom was used, he’s a second tier character, but I liked his fight against Superman. The finale to year one was really good, with both Batman and Superman getting what they want, but the extreme ways they go about getting it, while further separating their strained relationship. I loved Jor-El being a father and scolding his child with Superman’s earth parents, Martha and Jonathan, joining in. The throw back jokes to Green Arrow’s hide out being called the Arrow Cave, which makes no sense. Martian Manhunter’s power and the way to take him down. Regular people associated with the heroes taking the super hero pills. The superman cult was interesting.

What I Disliked: The whole Lobo issue, felt so forced, I like Lobo as a character, but he did not fit it to this series, in the role he was given.

Recommendations: I am still really enjoying this series. So far it has finished it’s run to 5 years and even started an Injustice 2 and has a couple of out shoot graphic novels, so I’m super intrigued, and can easily slip in a volume of this series in between a novel. You will like this if you liked the fight between Batman and Superman in The Dark Night Rises written by Frank Miller, or if you always wanted to see them at odds, with the roles reversed. I rated Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year One Volume 2, 4 out of 5 stars. The lobo Issue really slowed this series down. I have both volumes of Year two and will reading them soon.

Book Review: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman is the second book in the Arc of the Scythe series. Thunderhead ramps up the action, expands on the already great world building, it has one hell of a climax, and maintains the high quality writing, that will make you think long after the book is finished. I love this series so much, it is going places I could not imagine. This book has a lot of callbacks to the first novel, that are really big payoffs with a couple of characters that end up coming back, like Tyger. My big complaint for Scythe was his character sort of disappeared and forgotten about, but he is back and used well. With this book being called Thunderhead named after the God-like A.I. cloud that watches all, we get more insight into how the system works and how it feels. The Arc of scythe series continues to blow me away I can already not wait the read the final book in the series The Toll.

The Plot: In a futuristic Earth human’s have beat aging and death. Thanks to Nano technology there is no disease and death can be reversed in most cases. Scythes bring a permanent death to curb over population. The Scythes are human’s who have been appointed, they have a kill quota must must be unbiased in choosing it’s victims. The Thunderhead is a God-like A.I. system them that has vowed to stay out of Scythe business and can not influence who to kill. In the las book Citra was promoted to Scythe and Rowan was not. Citra was supposed to kill Rowan after winning but thanks to a clever action was granted immunity for one year. Citra has now become Scythe Anastasia and Rowan has been taking out all the Scythes who use bias in there kills and burns them where they can not be revived; He has been calling himself Scythe Lucifer. The Scythes want Rowan dead and the Thunderhead to help, but it refuses. The Thunderhead finds out a plot to kill Citra and her mentor Curie, although the Thunderhead can’t get involved directly it doesn’t mean he can’t hint and bend the rules to assist. But as the Thunderhead finds out the Scythes are keeping more from the Thunderhead than it knows.

What I Liked: One of the best climax that I have read, it makes me want to pick up the next book now, because of a cliffhanger. One of the better second novels that I have read, that compliments the first book so well then adds to the story and the world. Tyger’s back! I enjoyed this side character and was bummed when he was written out, well now he’s back and has a full character arc. The twist in the novel are really great and often heartbreaking. The writing is so good. The voice of the Thunderhead was written well, balancing the thought of not doing anything as opposed to being driven in to action, to events that it did not calculate. Citra and Rowan’s character arc are sometime hard emotionally but the character choices feel right. The scenery and descriptions were written, so that I could easily picture them in my mind. The masterminds plot is pretty chilling. The new character Gavin Tolliver was a character I was instantly attached to right away.

What I Disliked: One plot point with Faraday was such a set up for the next book plot point, that I could tell so early when reading it. I hope there’s a pay off that was the only plot that I did not like. It felt like they were holding a lot back for the next book.

Recommendations: I recommend you doing yourself a favor and adding this incredible series to your TBR. This is a series upon reading the first book that was a instant like, and having me enjoy the second just as much, if more. I’m going to shout this book trough the roof tops. This book is a Young Adult novel it does deal in death, but is not too graphic, there’s lite torture scene that could be a trigger warning. I think a 13 year old can handle this series, I know I would have loved it at that age. I recommend you read this series in order, or you will miss a lot. I rated Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman 5 out of 5 stars. I already have the last book on order and will read it as soon as it comes, and I bought his Skinjacker trilogy on Kindle.

Book Review: Are Snakes Necessary? by Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman

Are Snakes Necessary? by Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman is a thriller novel filled with quirky characters but forgot the thrills. This book spends too much time establishing the characters, when they finally meet stuff starts to finally happen, but too little too late. I love Brian De Palma and his films, Scarface, Carrie, Carlito’s Way, Blow Out, Sisters, The Phantom of Paradise, Dressed to Kill, and The Untouchables, that list can go on and on. He can tell a good story on the screen, and I think I would have appreciated this story a lot more on screen it oozes in sex, lies, and seduction, but on the page it is just too slow. The character are interesting but I really don’t care about them. The story follows about 8-9 characters at at the end connects them, the climax works but the lead up is very slow. This is my third book I read in the Hard Case Crime Series, I hated The Colorado Kid but enjoyed Joyland both by Stephen King. Are Snakes Necessary? falls in the middle as a missed opportunity.  Martin Scorsese wrote a blurb review on the cover that reads, “It’s like having a new Brian De Palma picture.” which had me intrigued to read this book.  Are Snakes Necessary? was published on March 17 2020

The Plot: Is Lee Rodgers is a scandalous man at first he was governor and now he is running for Senate, and he can just not keep it out of his pants. His Chief of staff Brock learned of his indiscretions and tried to exploit Rodgers, but he turned the tables, but hired Brock because of the way he thought. Brock’s first job is making the woman he tried to blackmail Rodgers go away, and creating an enemy in Elizabeth. Brock’s new task his keeping the new affair down, but when the woman decides to hideout and appears missing messes all that up, Brock needs to eliminate the woman before she can be a liability.

What I Liked: The character’s are fun and there some moments of great dialogue. The climax works well with some of the characters evolving. There is one twist that got to me and it was such a Brian De Palma twist. The sex scenes are plenty and written like a De Palma directed scene.

What I Disliked: The story gave thoughts from too many minor characters and was a bit distracting. The plot moved slow and it take too long for the characters to start connecting, I wondered if I was ever going to get the pay off from the set up. The Elizabeth character I had a hard time believing she would be discovered in a Mc. Donald’s and then get a Dear Abby like column, Dear Dottie, Sitting next to some one on a bus that wants to give it up the column and talks to her for ten minutes while declaring she is the one, felt laughable.

Recommendations: Being a really big fan of De Palma’s work I found moments hat I personally enjoyed, but there wasn’t enough for be to recommend. Do your self a favor and check out one of this man’s films they’re incredible, but pass on this book, which kills me to say. I rated Are Snakes Necessary by Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman 2 out of 5 stars. I’m a big enough fan to give him one more chance but I won’t rush out to buy it like I did this one.

Book Review: Midnight At the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

Midnight At the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan is a mystery/general fiction with a really good hook. A homeless man Joey commits suicide at a bookstore the clerk that he would interact with him finds him, along with his body he has a picture of the clerk, Lydia when she was a teenager. This book has great insight on the homelessness situation, but not much about actual books. I was hoping for a lot more book talk since there’s a code using books, this book is more about personal tragedy and connections. The pace of the book is uneven at times, the mystery wraps in a nice little bow, and it didn’t need, it makes the connections that I feel didn’t need to be connected. Midnight At the Bright Ideas Bookstore is Matthew Sullivan’s debut novel.

The Plot: Joey is known as a “bookfrog” a drifter that comes in all the time to the bookstore and good to different sections and reads, with occasionally buying something. Lydia is a clerk that treats the bookfrogs nice and has a nice relationship with them. She and another associate find Joey hanging from the rafters with a pile of books nearby. While searching for a suicide note Lydia finds a picture of herself as a teenager right before a tragic event that changes her life. She gets in the paper and a people from her past start reaching out. She is given Joey’s things by his landlord which are books from her store with words cut out. She discovers this is a code book that uses other books to fill in the blanks and could lead to answers to why he committed suicide and answers to her own past.

What I Liked: The codes are really clever, I had a fun time trying decipher the words before the text told me. I liked Joey’s past I thought it was very heartbreaking and effective. Everything about the Hammerman was interesting and set up a pretty compelling mystery in its self on who the killer was in the end. I liked the character of Raj and Plath the best, good secondary characters very loyal to Lydia and added some much needed comic relief. The hook of the book got me to pick this one up, and it was a highlight of the book. I appreciated that this book starts with a bang, the first chapter really free me in.

What I Disliked: The pacing in this novel dragged a lot in the middle, the beginning and end are really good and well paced, but not the middle. I didn’t understand why Lydia checked out on her dad Tomas, I felt he was doing a lot to make sure she had a life. The book got away from the codes that part was interesting, but the codes didn’t reveal much of anything.

Recommendation: I wanted to like this story a bit more not great but good. I did not like it enough to recommend. I think people will enjoy it more than me if you are in to word codes. This book is being marketed more as a mystery but it is more of a standard fiction than mystery. I rated Midnight At the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us Year One, Volume 1 by Tom Taylor

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year One, Volume One by Tom Taylor is so epic!!! This graphic novel had issues 1-6 of Injustice: Gods Among Us. Never would I have ever thought this graphic Novel based on the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us would be so good. Tom Taylor has a lot of fun playing with the DC Universe. Injustice is set in an alternative world so all bets are off on who lives and dies in the DC Comics Universe. Batman and Superman becoming enemies. Superman thinks he’s saving the world while Batman thinks he’s putting more fear into it. Superman creates Batman’s dream but also his nightmare; A world at peaceful fear.

The Plot: The Joker is tired of losing to Batman all the time, so he sets his sights on Superman. He plays a joke using Kryptonite and the Scarecrow fear toxin that trick Superman into thinking that Doomsday has returned. He grabs what he thinks is Doomsday and shoots him off to space, but it wasn’t Doomsday it was someone that can not survive in space. This death changes everything and drives Superman mad. The Joker tells Batman looks at what the death of two of your loved ones made you, what will it make him. Superman wants to stop all villains that kill, and turns the world into a super hero controlled police state. Batman is apposed to this because it robs the villains of choice and redemption.

What I Liked: The deaths all matter there is four in this story and they are all important. I love the Joker and Harley in this series the comic relief is in full display. The way Superman defeats the Green Lantern by taking his power ring was brilliant. The Flash gets a really powerful arc about not being fast enough to runaway from your problems. Green Arrow and Harley discussing the Arrow Cave saying that lacks no sense it should be called the quiver and him agreeing. Batman and Superman’s semantics talk about justification is really good. I liked Superman going to Catwoman when he can’t talk to Bruce. The Arkham asylum fight was so good. I like the resistance heroes at the end that Batman has assembled. Thanks to the Arrowverse on the CW for me knowing who The Atom and Black Lightning are and their powers.

What I Disliked: Wonder Woman’s quick rise to action after an Atlantian fired at her when he thought she would make an attack on Aquaman. Harvey’s mustache joke got a little stale the second time.

Recommendation: I really enjoyed this book can’t wait to read more, there’s a flash forward to 5 years later, that looks crazy, and the graphic novel series goes to year 5, so yeah I’m going to keep reading this series. This graphic novel has some scenes as a comic book fan, that I have been dying to see. I rated Injustice: Gods Among Us Year One, Volume One 5 out 5 stars.

Book Review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is one of the my favorite Science Fiction novels of all time. This book is deep Science Fiction with one of the best endings, that will floor you, it will make you both happy and sad at the same time. Ender’s Game was written in 1985 it speaks of internet like it is today along with nailing household devices like tablets, personal computers, and body cameras. The war games and psychology in this novel are very advanced, this can be enjoyed by older readers and young adult there is something in this novel for every one. This book has some language and graphic images, but I know there are middle grade versions of Ender’s Game for a younger audience with those scenes excluded. I would say a 13 or 14 year old can handle the material as is. This Book is number 3 on NPR’s 100 best science fiction and fantasy novels it won the Hugo award for best novel and plenty of other awards. Ender’s Game is the first book of the Ender’s Saga, I have read the original four and would only recommend Speaker for the Dead the second novel in the saga, the other novels have some interesting things but the pacing is really slow. This is the second time I have read Ender’s Game, I got this book for my girlfriend and the more she talked about it the more I wanted to reread it. It has been over 15 years since I read the book the first time and my experience did not change at all, I even had a deeper understanding of political aspects of the book. I remembered the important parts and forgot a few of the side character’s impact on the shaping of Ender’s character. I have seen the movie with Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, and Abigail Breslin. I also have a personal connection to the film having worked on a couple of production with Stevie Ray Dallimore who played Ender’s dad. The movie could have been better as a fan of the book, I felt they did not make it as intense as it should have been, so it lacked the emotional connection for me.

The Plot: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is born as the third child which his sister Valentine calls Ender. In this world the government grants permission for you to have a third child but any child can be used by the military. Years ago there was a threat called Buggers that attacked Earth and the military is looking for young minds to destroy the Buggers for good at their home planet. Kids are watched and monitored usually until the government makes up their mind. Ender is 6 and has just had his monitor taken off or so he believes Commander Graff looking for the next general watches, how other will react. Ender gets into a fight and has to figure out the best way to stop the situation from ever happening again. Graff likes the way ender handled the situation and ask him to give up all he knows and join him in Battle School a place where you are trained to be a commander. Ender agrees but quickly finds out Graff is not his friend as he gets other’s to turn on him pointing out how much smarter he is than everyone else. With a target on his back he keeps finding ways to persevere. Will ender be the savior they are looking for or is this all a game?

What I Liked: This book is deep the way it looks at psychology of the mind of a child growing to adulthood. It has a highly intelligent character using words like “fartface”. The politics is something I didn’t care for in my first reading but do now, after having read books like the Graphic Novel Watchmen that analyze the measures to stop war. The character of ender is great, you feel like you get to live all 6 years with him. I liked how the pacing slows up to let the span of time pass. I love the conversation with Graff and Anderson at the beginning of most of the chapters, it gives a lot of insight into the mind games and the reason behind them. I love the character growth depicted in this novel you see how Ender learns from every battle. The secondary characters are some of my favorites, Dink, Bean and Petra.

What I Disliked: The whole third child could have been explained better. I would have wanted to see Peter’s progression a little more to the person he became. That’s really it there’s some slow period but it is at a time change so you feel like felt the time change, so it helped me amerce more to the material.

Recommendations: Check this book out, it seems to be one of those books that sit’s on peoples TBR’s, but do your self a favor and read this book. This book is a series I can only recommend Speaker for the Dead in the Ender Saga, but this book opens up a new saga as well with Ender’s Shadow that follows the side character of Bean and what was going on behind the scenes that I highly recommend. This book really has something for everything, strong male and female characters, god science fiction that is not too sciencee. I rated Ender’s Game the same score I did 15 year’s ago, 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is a great thriller about power and manipulation of a young woman who doesn’t want to fell so alone. Last year I read Anonymous Girl from Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen and I was blown away just how great that thriller was, it had a load of plot twist and the story went in a direction I was not expecting. Anonymous Girl was in my top five of new novels from last year, so I was ecstatic when I got approved for an advanced reader copy for You Are Not Alone from Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press, So thank you to both. This novel did not let down, it had the twist I was looking for, great main characters, compelling reason behind the crimes, and it was a fun unpredictable ride. You Are not Alone is the third book collaboration between Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. You Are Not Alone was published on March 3 2020.

The Plot: Shay is not living the best life she is very single, still pining for her roommate Sean, that spends almost every night with girlfriend Jody. She has no permanent job and has been temping. the only thing that gives her life solace is a book in which she rights statistics of everyday occurrences, like in your lifetime you will meet 12 murders, and 60% of relationships start out as friends. Her life is about to take a turn when she briefly meets Amanda before she jumps in front of the subway train. Shay is shocked and can’t let the suicide go she she starts be curios who Amanda was? she attends her funeral meets her friends, visits her mom, and visits her old work. She draws concern over the detective investigating the suicide. What she wasn’t expecting is that Amanda’s old friends have taken to her and want to help her to not be so alone. She starts changing every thing about herself is it for her or for her new friends. The one question Shay never tried to figure out was why did Amanda commit suicide?

What I Liked: I really liked the way this book looked at revenge. The way the story is told bouncing from different characters perspectives really worked well to add to the tension, and worked really well to show not just Shay is being manipulated, but a whole group of people. I did like how every piece fit, it took a while for it to all make sense, but when that moment comes it was a masterpiece. The climax worked, I figured out the main twist but I liked the way it played out. I liked where the manipulation of Shay lead to.

What I Disliked: I had a hard time keeping up with all the girls reasons for revenge, and who did what to who? The ending would have worked better if there was a reminder of the revenge. The flow for this story was a little disjointed at times.

Recommendations: You Are Not Alone is a fun suspense filled ride. This book has moments that will leave you breathless, the authors really write the characters in to a corner. If you enjoy strong female characters then this book will be for you. I did enjoy Anonymous Girl a little more than You Are Not Alone, but if you were a fan of that book, then you have to check out this one. I rated You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen 4 out of 5 stars. I do own The Wife Between Us which is their first collaboration, and plan to up that on my TBR pile.