Book Review: Mayhem By Estelle Laure

Mayhem by Estelle Laure is a send up to the 80’s with a story about feminism and powerful versus powerless. This story is a mash up of plots from 80’s and 90’s movie plots Lost Boys, Sleeping with the Enemy, and The Craft. The results should be amazing but instead a lot of formulaic plot with with ideas on feminism throughout that only take root at the end. The powers are all over the place with some history to back it up but not enough. I was really thrown off about the author having two fictional characters of the Frog Brothers from the movie the Lost Boys inserted in the plot to do nothing other than make you think the plot was going to be about vampires, which it is not. I feel I would have liked this story more if it wasn’t about gaining special powers and it was about a girl finding her internal strength to stand up to abuse. Thanks to St. Martin Publishing for sending me a copy for review through Netgalley.

The Plot: Mayhem, a 16 year old girl, also referred to as May, is traveling with her mom, Roxy, to Santa Maria looking for a fresh start, after taking years of abuse from her husband, Lyle. Lyle turned his abuse from Roxy to Mayhem, which was the final straw. They end up moving into the Brayburn home with Roxy’s sister Elle who has three adopted kids of her own, Neve and Jason are Mayhem’s age and Kidd is 9. Roxy fears something but May can’t pull it out of her, May thinks this is for the best and wants her mom safe and to detox the drugs she has been taking to cope with the abuse out of her system. Mayhem loves the small costal town of Santa Maria, the beach the ongoing carnival, but there is a dark side, women have been banishing on the beach night after night. Mayhem feels sorry for them and feels something more a feeling she has never felt before she has to swim to get rid of it, and feels herself drawn to something in the water. The adopted kids take her to a cave with a deep history rooted to the Brayburn’s Mayhem drinks the sacred water and develops powers.

What I Liked: I loved the character of Kidd how she balances sweet with ferocious. I liked reading about the Brayburn history, I felt this section could have been expanded. The cave and the water and the origin surrounding it were really interesting. Marcy and the video store called VHYes. I liked the majority of 80’s references. Mayhem as a character before the water I liked a lot, after the water I was a little lost more on the power than emotional aspect. I liked the thirst for the sacred water making them vampire light. I like where Neve’s character ended up, I would’ve liked to see her character progress this way the whole book, and not at the final moment.

What I Disliked: Having the Frog Brothers not do anything, if you bring iconic characters into your world have them do something. The powers were not explained well at all.

Recommendations: I will not recommend this one, I feel there are plenty of original Young Adult that take this story and make it original. There are some bright spots in the ways of speaking about a woman’s power, but they were few and far between. I wanted to like this one a whole lot more, just didn’t work for me. I Rated Mayhem by Estelle Laure 2 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Goosebumps: Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R. L. Stine

Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R. L. Stine is book 9 in the original Goosebumps series. Welcome to Camp Nightmare is scarier than most of the Goosebumps I have read before. The ending is a good twist that is set up from the start with little hints along the way, in my last review of The Girl Who Cried Monster Goosebumps 8 this was a big complaint. The Psychological horror of being stranded and having people go missing, that no one remembers being there in the first place works really well. The Welcome to Camp Nightmare 2 part episode from Goosebumps was a childhood favorite of mine, there’s minor differences a one plot point change that I liked better than the book. There’s a real lack of false scares in this one only one at the beginning, which is the smallest amont in a Goosebumps book so far. The book uses every camping horror trope but twist it and makes it fun. I’m reading these Goosebumps books in order and giving to my three nephews, and they will like this one a lot.

The Plot: Billy is going to his first Overnight camping trip for the summer at Camp Nightmoon. Billy makes fast friends on the bus with his bunk mates of Cabin 4 Jay, Colin, and Mike. The trip starts off bad as there are snakes found in Mike’s bunk and bite him right at the start. Mike’s hand starts swelling and is told there is no nurse. Larry the older cabin leader is relaxed and says cold water and a bandage are all it takes. Mike goes off to treat his wound and is not heard from again as all his stuck is removed. Mike is the first of many campers to disappear that no one but Billy seems to remember. Billy really freaks out when he finds out the phone is fake and the letters he’s been told to write are undelivered. Billy is in Camp Nightmare, not Nightmoon.

What I Liked: Billy makes a lot of smart choices. The reveal of the fake phone was pretty great. The first scare with the desert creatures could has been one of my favorite scares of the series so far. The Bus driver scaring them, the not saying another word worked really well as he starts dumping their stuff. I loved all the clues to the ending, pay attention to the way the land and sky are described. The final twist was pretty good. I liked Larry the do nothing relaxed camp counselor. The scares are pretty good for the most part.

What I Disliked: The forbidden bunk was never really used, that’s why I like the TV episode so much better, because you have this device the forbidden bunk already set up, why not learn the history of it. I thought the plot point towards the end where Billy was asked to shoot things was okay but not explained enough.

Recommendations: Welcome to Camp Nightmare worked really well, and gave off some good scares. It was one of the easiest stories to get into so far. It made me remember my sleep over camp days and a lot of the stuff that I was afraid of. I rated Welcome to Camp Nightmare 4 out of 5 stars, and it ranks third out of the Goosebumps books that I have already read. Here’s my full ranking of the 9 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite Stay Out of the Basement, Night of the Living Dummy, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House, The Girl who Cried Monster, and Monster Blood.

Book Review: The Toll by Neal Shusterman

The Toll By Neal Shusterman is book three of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy. The Toll ends the YA series in a fitting way exposes truths hinted at in Scythe and Thunderhead. This book expands the number of characters introducing a few new ones and expanding upon characters we have grown with. This book was my least favorite in this excellent series. I wanted to love this book as much as the others, but from chapter two, I knew this book was going in a different direction than I wanted it to. The novel eventually corrects course and delivers a satisfying ending to the series. My main problem is Citra and Rowan have been the main characters, and this book changes it to an ensemble story. Rowan and Citra are in 30 pages of the first 300 pages of this 630 page book. I felt this book got away from the Scythes and replaced it with the Tonest which were interesting but not as much as the Scythes.

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. The Tonest are a religious group derived out of musical tones. In the last book Rowan became Scythe Lucifer a sort of rogue scythe that would kill other Scythes he deemed used bias in there kills, as he did to his mentor Goddard. Citra became Scythe Anastasia, she’s making enemies for her new ways of Gleaning people by letting them pick there deaths and giving them a month to live. Gavin Tolliver is a Nimbus agent works for the Thunderhead, and gets hinted that there will be an attempt on Citra’s life. Gavin intervenes saving Citra’s life, but he his deemed unsavory losing his job and being cut off from the Thunderhead directly. Indirectly the Thunderhead ask him to go undercover to save Citra once again, he discovers it’s a Scythe, and is sent to a Tonest cathedral to hide, while Citra roots out which Scythe is responsible. Rowan is set up and kidnapped by two old enemies he once thought were dead. Rowan is horrified as one is using the body of one of his old friends. There is an election of Highblade of Midmerica were Curie, Citra’s mentor and Goddard, Rowan’s mentor returned from the dead, after Rowan thought he killed him. There’s a controversy about how Goddard came back which causes the voting to stop and a council called. The council doesn’t go the way anyone planned and chaos breaks out permanently killing the high council of Scythes and Curie who sacrifices her self to put Citra and the newly rescued Rowan to die safely so that they can be revived at a later date. The anguish of the Thunderhead not bing able to stop any of it shuts down and will only talk to Gavin Tolliver. Since he is with the Tonest they think is must be a sign and make Gavin a prophet that they call The Toll. The New Scythe Leader Goddard the only survivor thinks the Toll is a great threat and wants him and all Tonest gleaned. Goddard changes the rules of bias and the quota how many people you can kill. Citra and Rowan took three years to get revived since they were at the bottom of the ocean, and wake up to a different world. Citra and Rowan have secrets that Overblade Goddard would kill to keep. The Toll, Thunderhead and the Scythes must reunite to bring balance to the world, before it is too late.

What I Liked: The new character of Jeri, the lgtbq character and the interesting take on gender fluidity. Rowan and Citra are great characters that are so easy to get behind, I wish they were in this book more though. Gavin Tolliver has one of the best character arcs from the start of thunderhead to where his character ends up in The Toll. I liked what was done with Scythe Morrison. I liked that I was tricked a couple times getting foretold things that characters think happened to then get shocked when you experience what really went down. The ending was a nice send off to the characters I had grown to love. The ending had a great finality to it, that truly ends. I liked what the secret Scythe room actually did, there was a lot of build up and I felt satisfied at the end with how it played out. Goddard was a great villain, where the more I knew about him the more I hated him. The way Gavin used the Thunderhead to his advantage. I liked Rand’s story arc.

What I Disliked: The major change in focus of Rowan and Citra not being the main characters. There was always side characters that had a role and their own stories but it was clear who the main focus was. The way the beginning was told needed more back and forth, sometimes it was told linearly and other times, time would jump back and forth. I wanted more out of the Faraday story line.

Recommendations: The Toll is the weakest book in the series, but I will slightly recommend this story mainly for the ending. The Arc of a Scythe series has been one of my favorite series, I have purchased four books by Shusterman. I wanted the last book to be better, I rated Scythe and Thunderhead 5 out of 5 stars, and I rate The Toll a high 3 stars, making the whole series score a 4 out of 5 stars. The world building and character arc’s are some of the best I’ve read, this series has made me a fan of Shusterman’s work and will read more.

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: 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: Foul is Fair By Hannah Capin

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin is William Shakespeare’s Macbeth in High school! The story doesn’t hold back in it’s brutality, while keeping the dialogue foul and razor sharp. There’s Trigger warnings all over this book in terms of sexual content, murder, and language. This book is being marketed as Young Adult, a mature 16 year old might can handle it, but I would recommend older. I kept thinking of two movies while reading this Heathers the black comedy about means girls terrorizing the school and a girl falling for the bad guy that helps murder some of those that have wronged them. The second movie is I Spit on Your Grave, about a woman sexually assaulted, buried and left for dead. Rises from the grave and takes revenge. Both those movies are from the 80’s with the marketing of this book comparing it to the film Kill Bill which fits as a tale of revenge. The language and the camp make this novel stick out and is the best part of it. I had a hard time identifying with the lead character Jade/Elle and her lack of venerability she does show some at the end but it was a little too late. I wanted to like this story more than I did, the novel’s timeline is way too fast and took all believability with it. Thanks to Netgalley and Wednesday books for the advanced readers copy. Foul is Fair is published on February 18 2020.

The Plot: Elle on her sweet sixteen goes to a party with three of her best friends she calls the coven. At this party Elle is given a drugged drink and gets assaulted by a group of super rich prep boys that go to a local private Catholic School. Elle has flashes of the night and can remember some faces of one girl and six guys who let it happen. She takes care of the bruising and and tells her parents, instead of the cops she says she’s going to handle it and wants to switch schools to go to the Catholic school everyone involved went to. Elle changes her look but cutting and dying her hair and wearing contacts, she is not Elle any more but goes by her middle name Jade. Jade recruits the coven of friends to help her murder those who helped with the assault. Jade goes to her new school and immediately joins the top mean girl click noticing one of the girls who witnessed it happen and did nothing, and is dating one of the assaulters. All the people involved in the assault are apart of the boys lacrosse team. She see’s one member of the team that wasn’t involved in the assault, Mack, that has the potential to be the new king of school and someone that could help her kill. Jade’s plan starts to fall apart after she starts to fall for Mack. Will ha screw up her chance for revenge?

What I Liked: She tells her parents after the assault, I was happy to see this, since so many victims don’t speak out. The LGTBQ representation is really great, Mads, a member of the coven is Trans and represented and a real strong character that is not a cliche. The descriptions are really good they are often medieval and harken back to remind you of the Macbeth roots to the story. I really enjoyed the last 20 percent of the story, and felt the novel ended on a high note. The Jade and Piper confrontation was so great and my favorite scene with my favorite line, “What are you the patron saint of excessive drinking?” I did enjoy the twist of two character’s one for the good and one for the bad.

What I Disliked: The story time frame is so rushed, and it didn’t need to be. The whole span of this book is less than 20 days. Elle is assaulted on Friday turns into Jade and attends a new school on Monday. Joins the elite group which accepts her right away, she is an accessory to murder her third day, in love her forth day. This ridiculous time line made this story so unbelievable to me. The main character doesn’t show any venerability until the last 20 percent where it was too late. I really did not like the cover art at all, I feel it will hurt book sells.

Recommendations: I think this novel could be a good outlet for those who have been sexually assaulted and feel alone. This book was an attempt and had a lot of potential but I felt it wasn’t good enough for me to recommend. There’s some burst of greatness, I truly loved the last 20% so much, and was bummed that the rest of the book wasn’t this good. I think the author has potential and would seek out another novel. I rated Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Goosebumps: Night of the Living Dummy by R. L. Stine

The Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine is the 7th book in the original Goosebumps Series. I read this years ago and forgot a good deal, there are still a lot of surprises and twist. This book messer with your brain a little bit, by asking what is real because of some clever pranks it make the reader second guess if this is really happening or a nightmare. I will say personally wooden dummies freak me out, so my fear factor might be higher than others. I have pointed out before that Stine concentrates on real world issues to enhance the fear and keep the story a little grounded. In this book the theme is sharing the leads are two twin girls who are already forced to share a face, have to share a room, friends, and a lot of items in the room. When one of the Girls finds the dummy Slappy she is relieved to have something that is here’s that she doesn’t have to share. There’s a couple references to the household not having that much money, so sharing is the only option. This novel has the least 90’s references out of all the other 6 Goosebumps I have read so far. I’m reading Goosebumps to rehash my old memories of the series growing up, and also to give the books to my nephews to read.

The Plot: The Powell Sister’s Kris and Lindy are 12 year old identical twins, who share everything a face, friends, a room, and a lot of the same items in the house. This all changes when the girls get bored and explore the new house being built next door and Lindy finds a trunk. In the trunk is a wooden dummy in a black suit named Slappy. Kris wants Lindy to put it back where it was found, but Lindy wants to keep it and work on it. Kris at first really doesn’t care, then she see’s all the attention she’s getting, and wants some, so a week or a couple later and her dad buys her Mr. Wood from a pawn shop. Lindy gets good and performs for money at birthday parties. Kris is amazed at how good she is, and that she actually is funny. Kris struggles and swears there’s something wrong with Mr. Wood who is often not in the same place where she put him when she goes to sleep. One day she finds him in clothes she put out, and another when she finds Mr. Wood looking like he was strangling him. Kris Swears her doll is winking at her as well. Is he Alive, or is it all a cruel joke?

What I Liked: The story teases a bit here and there but when it comes to the big reveal the dummy does not hold back and you truly believe it wants to kill. I loved the sibling rivalry, you get to witness the jealousy grow overtime. The pranks in this one are really good, my favorite so far; It’s Goosebumps so you know there’s going to be some teases and jump scares a lot of these are false and easily revealed to be a sister or brother messing around, but in the Night of the Living Dummy we don’t get a fast reveal guessing what is real. There’s one part where and old neighbor couple comes over to watch the sweet innocent puppet show, but is roasted by one of the girls, the jokes are mean but still pretty funny. The final twist is a good one that leads to the sequels. The flow and pace of this story is very well paced, the story is one of the better focused ones. This one rams up the scary. I enjoyed how extreme it got, The dummy is out for blood, he will bite, slap, and claw his way towards that goal.

What I Disliked: The worst dog name ever, Barky. I did not like the spell aspect, I thought it was cheap and never really explained well.

Recommendations: Read this if you are scared of Puppets, I’m sure this will also work on stuffed animals. This is a good book for sisters. I do recommend this story out the 7 Goosebumps books I have read, I put this one at number 2, here’s my list so far from best to worst Stay out of the Basement, Night of the Living Dummy, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House and Monster Blood. I rated Night of the Living Dummy 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe By Neal Shusterman is an incredible young adult novel that looks at Earth’s future in a smart way. Scythe takes the Grim Reaper character and humanizes it, by well making it human and showing the need of death. The novel really analyzes death, it shows the horror of murder, the mercy of a killing, and the romance of death. This novel is book one in the Arc of the Scythe series that is currently at book 3. This was a book that I kept seeing praised on Goodreads and WordPress. This novel has won a good deal of awards. Really smart world building and history of how the Scythe’s came to be, held and kept my interest throughout this book.

The Plot: In a futuristic Earth human’s have beat aging. 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. Scythe Faraday has a need of a new apprentice but instead of one he chooses two Rowan and Citra. Rowan And Citra do not want this position, they don’t want to kill, but that is exactly what Scythe Faraday is looking for. Rowan and Citra agree more for their family who gains immunity if one of them is chosen to be Scythe. They each have a year to prove they have what it takes, but there is a stipulation added since there never has been two before, that the loser will be killed by the winner. A fate both don’t want for the other, as they start falling for one another.

What I Liked: The history of the Scythe’s is so brilliant drawing from the past and using physiological teachings of Socrates as a base. The Scythe commandments really work in establishing the rules. I love the idea of rogue Scythes that are mass murders with permission. The way the story was told really worked for me getting Citra’s and Rowan’s first person views, but also getting the journal entries of Scythe Faraday and other Scythe’s. The couple of twists in character’s and situation’s really worked for me and made this book hard to put down. This book did a great job of establishing all the different character’s and made them unique. My favorite character’s were Faraday, Rowan, Citra, and Volta. I really did not want this book to end. Speaking of the end, I was very satisfied with how this book ended, this book could have ended a lot of ways with the character’s in such an insane predicament.

What I Disliked: I thought Rowan’s friend Tyger could have been used better, his character just disappears after the last time we see him he was threatened to be used as leverage over Rowan. I felt like there is a draft out there that had one more scene with Tyger in it. I would have liked a little more description when it comes to people’s faces, this novel did such a great job on the describing the Scythe’s robes I saw that more than there face, which could have been the point, but I still like picturing faces.

Recommendations: Read, read, read this book! It was so good! This is my first 5 star review of the new year, and I have a feeling this one is going to stick with me for a while. If you like Science fiction then this book is for you, I was blown away by Earth’s possible future. This novel is Young Adult I say a teenager can handle it, there’s is death but it’s not too graphic in nature. I rated Scythe by Neal Shusterman 5 out of 5 stars. This is my first Neal Shusterman novel and it will not be my last, I can’t wait to continue the Arc of a Scythe series and read other novels by him.

Book Review: Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean is a bleak tale of survival involving eight kids and three adults stuck on an island made of black rock in the Wales. The story is based on a true story, with a lot of fictional license taken. The novel can’t help but remind me of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, as young boy’s are thrust in to adulthood but still have the pressures of fitting in. Where the World Ends is almost 200 years before Lord of the Flies, where religious superstition is high and omens mean life or death. The language used took me a bit to get into with the old words and the accent. This novel is marked as Young Adult, and the younger audience can enjoy it like the Lord of the Flies but as an adult you will get meaning behind gestures, and will better understand the power struggle. Despite this novel being bleak there’s is life to it and hidden joys as characters make choices for the betterment of others to survive. Thanks to Netgalley and Flatiron for sending me an Advanced Readers Copy this book was published on December 3 2019.

The Plot: The town of St. Kilda is a small town living on the Wales in the summer of 1727. The town has horrendous winters and must prepare in the summer. There’s an island 4 miles out to sea that is full of birds before they fly south for the winter. The island has been a sort of rite of passage for the boys of the village, to spend three weeks gathering eggs and bird meat. Quill is one of the older boys and the novels narrator, it doesn’t give an age but if had to guess 14, he has just found love for the first time, and doesn’t really want to leave for that matter. But he does and on his first outing on the island is named the leader of boys he finds and almost grabs the king bird. Everthing is going great they have more than enough supplies, but the boat is late picking them up. They continue a month over when doubt sets in and they believe this must be the end of the world, for they’re parents not to save them.

What I Liked: The island setting I thought would get boring but I did not as a couple different caves were explored. The elements as the enemy really worked. It showed how religion can lead to hope but also be manipulated for power. Storytelling as a tool to motivate other from staying positive was used the best. I loved the character of John and the secret he hides, and how it can change everything for desperate men. quill was a good narrator that you follow in highs, lows, and madness. The cover was absolutely beautiful. The story as a whole was really good, there were a couple of lulls in pacing but they did not last long. The reason that the boat does not return was really good and made sense at the end.

What I Disliked: At first it was really hard keeping up with who was an adult who was a kid and the ages. The characters, physical descriptions were barely there, which was one of the reasons that age was so hard to determine. You got to differentiate the people through personality rather then physical traits. The birds were described better then the people.

Recommendations: I you love tales of survival, the obvious story to compare is Lord of the Flies but I saw a lot of 127 Hours in it as well. If you like historical fiction then this is a time a setting that I have never read before, the history aspect felt very real. I feel the Reading age should be 13 due to death, disease, and survival I rated Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Goosebumps: Let’s Get Invisible by R. L. Stine

Let’s Get Invisible by R. L. Stine is the six in the original Goosebumps series, I’m rereading them in order, and giving them to my nephews, but the’ve been so much fun, so I’ve reviewed six so far. This on is all about invisibility, the ultimate way to play hide and seek. Stine always adds something real and relevant to his horrors and this time it is addiction and peer pressure. The group of friends keeps challenging each other to go invisible longer, you’ll hear a lot of really this is the last time, only to do it more and longer. The twist was really good and clever, one of the better twist so far. This one is mild on the scares but you will get the feeling to shout maybe you guys should not do this again. This novel is more focus then others we are shown the device that makes you invisible pretty early for a goose bumps book. I did feel that the gimmick of invisibility started to run out. This story was made into an episode for the Fox TV show, in the 2nd season episode 6 and is currently on Netflix.

The Plot: It’s Max’s birthday party, he had all these outdoor activity’s but it’s raining. 15 kids show up all together but start leaving at 5 (lame). Max is left with his annoying little brother Lefty, Erin the girl he likes and her best friend April the kind of shy timid one. The group are looking for something to do, they watch Terminator but then get bored, Erin who has a thing for attics realizes Max has one and they set up an adventure to the attic. The dog Whitey joins them, they rifle through old magazines when the dog starts pawing at something in the back and find out it’s a small door to a secret room. The rood contains a large old timey mirror that is wood paneled with a light attached above it. Max looks into the mirror marveled at the lack of dust and how clear it is pulls the cord on the light above as all his friend and brother freak out, because he has vanished, Max thinking this is a joke pulled the cord again as he reappears. with his friends asking how he did that. Before he can explore more his friends mom comes. Two days later Max can’t stop thinking about the mirror and little does he know his little brother is thinking the same thing. Max explores late at night and his brother follows wanting to play the ultimate game of hide and seek, they each stand in front to the mirror and pull the cord and play, for a bit when Max starts to fill weird and light all a sudden, he’s had enough and pulls the cord, but he and his brother don’t reappear right away something has gone wrong. They do appear but the more they do it the longer it takes and Max starts noticing something is not right about the return.

What I Liked: A way more focused story than other goosebumps series stories. The fear of not returning is done well. The twist is good, even though the final twist doesn’t make too much sense. The addiction angle was really great, it made me think about how friends in the past have peer pressured me into doing something that maybe weren’t that safe, just like in the story. the invisible prank on the neighbor was a classic make them see something then get someone else and nothing, but it works here.

What I Disliked: There was no history of the mirror, the novel goes out of it’s way to say it used to be the grandparents home before and even has them come over, Lefty tries to mess with them and is foiled by Max, but nothing ever happens. Also the grandparents come over for a meal and it ‘s just chicken noodle soup, really set up your serving game. the invisible angle gets tired with i’m going to quit then does it again. The final twist did not make sense, I liked that is was telegraphed fro the beginning, but with what happens in the climax it didn’t make much sense.

Recommendations: This one is a good one for the younger kids, it teaches them about peer pressure and is not scary, it has a couple prank scares but nothing really scary. I would compare this to Monster Blood where it is not scary and more humorous, I liked this one a lot better than that one. I rated Let’s Get Invisible 4 out of 5 stars. The ranking of the six I’ve read so far, from best to worse is Stay out of the Basement,The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House and Monster Blood. I will continue to ready the series in order and give it to my nephews when finished, next up is Night of the Living Dummy.