Category Archives: YA

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

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Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Wolf by Wolf
by Ryan Graudin
Published by Little, Brown and Company

What if Germany and Japan had been victorious in World War II?

What if you were able to change your appearance at will? Not just hair color or with make-up; what if you could completely change – hair, eyes, height, voice, everything.

What if you had the opportunity to kill Adolf Hitler?

It’s 1944, and Yael is crowded with her mother in a train car, heading to a concentration camp. She’s six years old, and although too young to really know what’s happening, she can feel the fear all around her.

This is how our story begins, but throughout the book it’s told from two different time lines. In the chapters titled “Then”, which take place in 1944 and beyond, we flash back to Yael’s life in the death camp; the chapters titled “Now”, which take place in 1956, we learn how Yael is part of a resistance movement to kill the now aged Adolf Hitler.

1944 – Yael is considered a special child. The experiments being conducted on the children in the concentration camp are not successful, and many have died. But not Yael. For some reason she’s surviving the torturous, painful injections and that makes her special. It also gives her the unique ability to completely change her appearance – like a shape shifter or skin walker.

Each time the story goes flashes back to 1944 we’re given glimpses of how Yael lived, survived, and eventually escaped the death camp. Her story is brutal and heartbreaking, but her suffering has also given her a unique opportunity to do something important – something meaningful.

1956 – The Third Reich rules part of the world, and Japan the other. All of the other countries have fallen, and have been divided between the two ruling empires. But that doesn’t mean that the world is at peace. There are still secret pockets of a resistance movement, and they’re waiting for an opportune moment to make themselves known. It’s their belief that once Hitler is killed, there will be enough chaos to bring the world back to what it once was before the insane and crazy rulers took over.

That’s where Yael comes in. She’s been training for a very important mission – and she’s determined to succeed even if it means that she will likely sacrifice her own life. Yael will be competing in the Axis Tour. The televised motorcycle race from Germania to Tokyo is used to show off the territories conquered by the two Axis empires, and to promote the alliance between the Third Reich and Japan. How Yael plans to accomplish this is the premise of the story.

Although the race was developed for boys only, one year ago, unbeknownst to the organizers and her own family, Adele Wolfe disguises herself as a boy, enters and then wins the race. This is unprecedented, and immediately pushes Adele to superstar status. Adele even catches the attention of Hitler himself, who seems to be smitten with Adele. Completely out of character, during the televised Victor’s Ball, Hitler asks Adele to dance. Watching them, Yael can’t help but cringe when she thinks of Adele having to touch such evil, but it’s because of that dance that the plan is hatched. Yael is going to transform her appearance and become Adele Wolfe, and she will win the race.

But it’s not as easy as it looked on paper. First she needs to find a way to stop the real Adele from joining the race. Then she needs to make sure that she wins – easier said than done. The other competitors are tough, and the race itself is grueling. To make matters worse, Yael never figured on Adele’s twin brother doing everything he can to convince “Adele” to quit; or how she feels about Adele’s arrogant ex-boyfriend. Is it hatred, or is it becoming something else? Yael needs to stay focused and keep her eye on the prize, wolf by wolf (yes, that’s a tease).

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it was edge of your seat exciting and was paced very well. The character of Yael was so beautifully and thoughtfully written that even the outlandish shape shifting part of her story sounds believable. I’m really looking forward to starting the sequel “Blood for Blood”, which is sitting patiently on my shelf.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please let me know if you’ve read this book or if you plan on reading it. Please feel free to comment below.

Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly

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Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly

Trouble Makes a Comeback
By Stephanie Tromly

Finally, the wait is over! “Trouble Makes a Comeback” is the next installment of the adventures of Zoe and Digby, which began with the firs book, “Trouble is a Friend of Mine”.

Just like the first book, this one has all of the snarky dialogue and adventure as the first, with the added drama of teenage romance. And just like the first book, I found the second book charming, fun, and an enjoyable quick read.

In this installment of the story – and yes, there will be a third – we finally start to get some answers surrounding the mystery of what happened to Digby’s little sister.  But we don’t get all of the answers, which is fine by me, because getting there is half the fun!

We pick up the story with Zoe leading a fairly normal life now that Digby is gone.  She’s dating the high school jock, and getting ready for the ever looming, but all important college entrance exams.  Life is pretty near normal – and then the other shoe drops.  Digby is back in town.

There are drug dealers and a “borrowed” police car; mean girls/not so mean girls; a cryptic message that Digby is certain was left by his sister Sally; and Digby’s mother herself.  Is she really just a mother grieving for the disappearance of her daughter; or does she know more than she’s letting on?

As all of this comes crashing down on Zoe and Digby, Zoe needs to make a decision.  What was that kiss all about right before Digby disappeared?  Should she follow her heart, or stick with the new boyfriend?  Her mind is a whirlwind of choices and decisions as they get closer and closer to the truth.

I really enjoyed this sequel, but I read it a while ago so I’m not going to trust my memory to go into more detail. What I do know is that I’m excited for the next book, and can’t wait to see how this all plays out.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom
By Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt & Co.

[Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t read the first book, Six of Crows, this will give away a big part of that plot.]

You know the old expression, “you can’t choose your family”? Well sometimes you can. And that’s exactly what this bunch of equally lovable and dysfunctional misfits did.

When we last left the crew at the conclusion of Six of Crows, they had just pulled off one of the greatest jailbreaks & heists of all time.  A one two punch combo that even they thought would end badly.  But instead of celebrating their success, and their new found wealth, they were betrayed – and by one of their own.

Broken, hunted, and missing a member of their crew, Kaz Brekker is not one to curl up in a corner feeling sorry for himself.  Those days are over – now, it’s time for revenge.  Kaz has a plan, and not just for this last betrayal; he wants revenge for all of the other wrongs that were done to him and continue to haunt him. He will get Inej back, he will get his revenge, and if he has to battle the entire Island of Ketterdam, so be it! Pity the fool who thinks Kaz Brekker has been defeated.

At the end of the first book Inej doesn’t make it back with the rest of the crew, and we find out that she’s been kidnapped by the merchant Van Eck.  Sadly, Inej doesn’t believe that Kaz will come after her: after all, there’s no profit in it for him. But what she doesn’t realize is that Kaz cares for her more than she knows; even more than Kaz himself will admit!  But Kaz is not going to let Van Eck get away with double-crossing him, and taking one of his crew.  He concocts an intricate plot of revenge, not trusting anyone and keeping some pretty important details on a “need to know” basis, leaving his crew to wonder if this time he’s gone too far.

Murder plots, explosions, a tiny bit romance, and ninja fighting on a high wire – this book has it all! Told by the various points of view of the crew members, each chapter fluctuates back and forth between them, so you see the adventure from different perspectives.  This nonlinear way of storytelling can at times make you feel like you’re losing continuity, but Bardugo does a great job at keeping it from getting disjointed, and fills in the gaps and back stories of the characters.  We learn so much more about the characters and how they came to settle in Ketterdam; what brought them together and how their friendships were forged. Bardugo skimmed the surface in the first book, so I was happy to see that she continued to round out the back stories of each of the characters.  And although the plot for revenge and the action make this book a fast paced and exciting read, it’s the camaraderie that makes this book shine.

With so many “series” books being part of a trilogy, I was surprised to find out that the second book would end the series, but Bardugo does a great job of finishing up the adventure in just the two books.  By doing this, she has eliminated the dreaded middle book syndrome, where so much of a story can drag and make me lose interest.

If you liked the first book, make sure to pick this one up.  It’s full of adventure, twists and turns, great back stories and character development – and the extra added bonus of the big reveal behind the series catchphrase, “No Mourners, No Funerals”. But no hints, you need to read the book for that.

The Peculiar Children Series by Ransom Riggs

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The Peculiar Children Series by Ransom Riggs

The Peculiar Children Series by Ransom Riggs
Published by Quirk Books

Quick note – This is a review of all 3 books in the Peculiar Children series, so it’s a bit long, especially for the first book, which sets up the series. Also, it contains some spoilers, but I did try to be as vague as possible for some of, what I considered, the most critical plot points. Also, the movie trailer is out, with the theatrical release scheduled for September 2016.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Book 1

I came upon this first book while browsing through my local Barnes and Noble. I was really intrigued by the cover, and then saw that the book was sprinkled throughout with these really weird and wacky photographs. I read the blurb on the inside cover, and even though it didn’t seem like something that I would typically read, I thought “why not”. I’m glad I took the chance. It’s an interesting and fun, fantastical story.

The book opens with –

“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen. The first of these came as a terrible shock and, like anything that changes you forever, split my life into halves: Before and After. Like many of the extraordinary things to come, it involved my grandfather, Abraham Portman.”

And this is how we’re introduced to Jacob Portman, a pretty typical teenage boy from Florida.

As a young boy, Jacob grew up listening to his grandfather Abraham tell him stories of growing up in an orphanage, fighting in wars, traveling the world, and performing in circuses. He would listen attentively to stories of monsters and fantastical creatures, like a bird that smoked a pipe. It wasn’t until Jacob got a little older, and he started to doubt these stories, that Abraham showed him pictures of some of the “peculiar” children that he grew up with in the orphanage. But Jacob still wasn’t convinced, and after being made fun of in school for believing in fairy tales, Jacob stopped asking his grandfather to tell the stories all together.

A few years later, one night at work, Jacob gets a frantic phone call from his grandfather and he races to his home. But he’s too late. He finds his grandfather in the woods behind the house, covered in blood and barely alive. With his last breath, Abraham implores Jacob to go to “the island”, and to find the “bird” and the “loop”. Jacob promises, and as Abraham slips away Jacob feels a presence watching him.

This is how Jacob’s adventure begins. After finding an old letter in his grandfather’s belongings, he convinces his parents to let him travel to Wales to learn more about his grandfather’s life, and the orphanage that he grew up in. His father, who writes books about birds, decides to take Jacob to Wales in order get some new material for his book, and with the hope that Jacob will finally get these crazy ideas about his grandfather out his system.

On an island, off the coast of Wales, Jacob finds the children’s home – old and decrepit but still there. As he wanders through the old abandoned building he hears a young girl’s voice, and as he looks around a light catches his eye – up on the second floor of the crumbling building, he sees children’s faces looking down at him through the broken floor.

Freaked out, Jacob runs from the girl, fighting his way through the fog and the mud, eventually finding himself in front of a large pile of rocks with an opening that leads to a sort of tunnel. Of course Jacob enters the tunnel, and somehow finds himself back on the road to the town where he and his father are staying. But something is seriously wrong, and he eventually figures out that he’s in the right place – but in the wrong time!

Jacob’s adventure takes him back to 1940, where he meets the peculiar children, including Emma, the voice he heard in the old children’s home. Emma explains that he’s found the “loop”, which allows them to travel through time. She takes him to meet Miss Peregrine, the woman who runs the orphanage, and he learns that his grandfather was a “peculiar”. He also learns that his grandfather didn’t make up those old stories of weird birds, creatures, and monsters – they were all true – and Jacob is about to come face to face with them as events start to spiral out of control and Miss Peregrine is kidnapped!

And this is where the story twists and turns, and gets really wild and crazy as the children go after their beloved Miss Peregrine.

Hollow City – Book 2

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We catch up with Jacob and the children, who have rescued Miss Peregrine, and are now being hunted by the creatures that kidnapped her. Fleeing by boat, the children are caught in a wicked storm, and after a harrowing night they finally land on a beach. Before they can even breathe a sigh of relief however, they realize that they’ve been followed. As they run for their lives into the forest they realize that they’re hopelessly lost, and have no idea where they are or how to find a safe place to hide. Finally though, luck seems to be on their side, and they happen upon a caravan of traveling gypsies, who are eventually convinced to help them.

But, as always with luck, it only lasts so long and things start to go very wrong. They’re continually running from danger, meeting strange people and animals along the way. Their adventures take them to a bombed out London, to an underground crypt in Saint Paul’s Cathedral, and eventually to a loop that leads them to a building covered in thick ice that serves to protect it. It’s here that Jacob and the children realize that things are not all as they should be with Miss Peregrine.

 

Library of Souls – Book 3

imageLibrary of Souls begins with the entire peculiar world on the brink of destruction, and Jacob and Emma are determined to save it. They need to get to the Library of Souls to stop something very evil from being unleashed, which would cause dire consequences to all that they love.

Speaking of love, Jacob and Emma have fallen in love during their dangerous adventure, and are starting to think about how they can continue their future together. It seems a lost cause, for one thing they’re not even sure they’ll be able to survive all the danger; and secondly, there’s the problem of being from two different times.

Jacob’s maturity begins in the second book, but it’s during this last book that we finally get to see the hero emerge. He is now closer to the Jacob that his grandfather likely envisioned when regaling him with his old stories of peculiar children, creatures and monsters. It seems that Jacob has finally grown up and he’s realized that it’s on him now to step up:

“I could feel all the disparate strands my silly and scattered life converging toward a single point, unseen behind those walls. That’s where it was: the thing I had to do—or die trying.”

Along with Jacob and Emma on this do-or-die mission is their faithful companion, Addison. Addison is actually introduced in the second book, and is a “peculiar” as well – he’s a talking dog. Intelligent and pragmatic, Addison is also tirelessly loyal and extremely brave (of course he is – he’s a boxer)! Add in a kind of weird and creepy ferryman, and you’ve got a finale worthy of this series.

Finally, my thoughts – I was very pleasantly surprised. This is storytelling at its very best when it comes to fantasy, or even fairy tales. The characters are great – funny, smart, sympathetic; and the camaraderie is what makes this series so wonderful. There is a ton of action and adventure, with just enough tension and creepiness to keep you on the edge of your seat. Throughout the entire series you find yourself rooting for Jacob, Emma and all of the peculiars, including Addison, and of course Miss Peregrine.

And of course, I’d be quite negligent in my review if I didn’t mention the photographs used in the books. They are quite fantastic, weird, creepy, and some, even unbelievable. Just looking at the covers of all three books gives you a sense of the kind of photos you’ll see inside. I highly recommend you visit Riggs’ website, where you’ll find information on his books, his own photography, and the movie trailer –
http://www.ransomriggs.com

Lastly, I just want to add the blurb for his new book, “Tales of the Peculiar”, that I saw on the website:

“Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of the peculiars was written in the ‘Tales of the Peculiar’. Releasing September 3rd, 2016.

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. These are but a few of the stories in Tales of the Peculiar—the collection of fairy tales known to hide information about the peculiar world, including clues to the locations of time loops—first introduced in the #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. You are invited to learn these secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories in this deluxe volume of Tales of the Peculiar. Featuring stunning illustrations from world-renowned artist Andrew Davidson, this compelling, rich, and truly peculiar anthology is perfect for fans and those new to the series, as well.”

Sounds like I’ll be adding that one to my collection!

As always, please feel fee to leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from fans of the series, and hear what you think of the movie trailer.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

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A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Published by Tor Books

In the Acknowledgments section of the book, Victoria Schwab writes “Here we are again. The end of another book.” Indeed, the end of this one, but happily not the end of the adventure. There is more to come!

But for now, let’s talk about this one.

So here we are, about four months after the events of A Darker Shade of Magic. Lila is part of the crew on a pirate ship, living her dream of being on the high seas, and working closely with her Captain who is teaching her about her newfound powers. When she learns of the Essen Tasch — a magical competition being held in Red London – Lila is torn between wanting to test her abilities and the possibility of running into Kell, who she is still trying to reconcile her feelings for.

Kell is also struggling with his feelings for Lila, but even more importantly he’s feeling a tremendous amount of guilt at what transpired those four months ago. The people of Red London seem to fear him now; his own adoptive parents mistrust him and are desperately trying to keep him from leaving the Palace. His smuggling days are over. They know that if anything happens to him, it also happens to Rhy, his brother, and heir to the throne. This leaves Kell feeling trapped and stifled.

Rhy knows his brother is struggling, but he’s also feeling the effects of that fateful night that bound them forever. He’s suffering from horrific nightmares that are keeping him from sleeping, and he’s not very good at keeping this from Kell. But Rhy has an idea! He’s decided that Kell will compete in the Essen Tasch – but it’s not going to be easy, and he devises a plan to deceive the competitors, the spectators and even his parents. His only problem? Getting Kell to agree.

In the meantime, while all this is going on in Red London, another London is having an awakening. As a dark force is rising, Kell, Rhy, and all of Red London are oblivious – they’re enjoying the Essen Tasch.

Unlike the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, this book delves more into each individual character and we get a lot more insight into how they tick, while the world building takes a back seat. I really liked that aspect of this book. Although I appreciate how an author uses so much creativity to build a world unlike our own – with magic, no less – I do tend to favor books that are more character driven.

I have to admit, I was a bit frustrated that Lila and Kell had so little time together – but when they finally connected, it was crackling with the same snappy and smart dialogue that I loved so much in the first book. This is where Schwab shines. She has a way with dialogue that makes reading conversations between our favorite characters fun and easy. And it’s not just Lila and Kell. There is also the relationship between Lila and her captain, Alucard. A new character to the series, Alucard has become a kind of mentor for Lila – and I really like this addition. For all of the angst that we read between Kell and Rhy, the character of Alucard adds quite a bit of humor and mystery.

Now for me, the elephant in the room is the Essen Tasch. This contest of magical abilities is the slowest part of the book for me. I just don’t like reading about any type of competition, and I found myself skipping over paragraphs just to get it done. But to give the book credit, it’s a small part of the book, and it doesn’t drag on too long.

All in all, another hit for V. E. Schwab that I enjoyed, and I already pre-ordered “A Conjuring of Light”, the last book of the series. I’m going to miss these characters. Let’s hope that the last book wraps everything up in a nice tidy bow – and to our liking!

You can follow the author on Twitter @veschwab, where she’s pretty active, and pretty funny.

You can read my thoughts on the first book of the series, “A Darker Shade of Magic” in an earlier post.

As always, please feel free to comment below!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows
By Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt & Co.

I had been hearing a lot about Six of Crows, and since it was all good I decided to give it a shot. I was apprehensive at first because it was based on an already existing series known as The Grisha Trilogy. I was worried that I would be picking up a story in that world, but somewhere in the middle. Boy was I wrong. This book, although set in the fantasy Grisha world, is not part of the Grisha Trilogy. In fact, not only does it stand on its own from the trilogy, it looks like it’s going to be the first in a new series. And I’m very excited about that.

This book is awesome!

Now I could just stop here, and tell you to just go read it – cause I think it’s that good – but I’m not. I’m going to tell you why I think this book is so darned good.

First, let me tell you a bit about it.
It’s a CAPER story! And I just love a good caper. If you’re not sure what I mean, here is a definition from Wikipedia:

“The caper story is a subgenre of crime fiction. The typical caper story involves one or more crimes (especially thefts, swindles, or occasionally kidnappings) perpetrated by the main characters in full view of the reader.”

So what’s the “caper”? Six kids (teens around 16-17 years of age) need to break into an impenetrable prison, kidnap a prisoner, and then break out of the prison. And if all goes well, they will be very, very rich.

From the very first page this book is one big adventure with a strong cast of characters that I just fell in love with. The story is strong, the dialogue is smart and sassy, and the action is non-stop. It moves very quickly and never lags. And it’s funny! There is so much wisecracking between characters that I actually found myself chuckling out loud. Oh, and there’s magic!

Now let’s talk about the “kids”. Almost immediately you understand that this is about a group of teens, but as you learn through their own memories and back stories, they’ve been dealt some pretty bad cards. Their stories are harsh and heartbreaking – but they have not been beaten. They’ve survived in some pretty crappy surroundings.

Kaz is a thief and the leader of a gang known as the Dregs. He’s the brains behind the plan. As a young child he faced a tragic loss that forced him to grow up way too soon. He knows who caused his troubles, and he’s determined to make him pay.

Inej is known as the Wraith. Once an acrobat that walked the high wire, she’s now known for her stealth and her skill with knives. Kaz took her out of a bad situation and she owes him her unfailing loyalty. She acts as his spy.

Jesper is the wisecracking gambler that loves guns, and is a crack shot. He left his family farm for an education, but the cards called his name, and he never left the gambling houses. He can be counted on to provide the comic relief and to never miss his target.

Nina is Grisha, which means she practices magic. She’s a heartrender and can drop a man with just a twist of her hand. She’s also very beautiful and pretty sassy. She needs to right a wrong, and it’s her hope that she can make amends. Her guilt drives her to join this team.

Matthias is a former soldier who was accused of a terrible crime. He’s worried that his part in the plan will brand him as a traitor to his country, and he struggles with not only that guilt, but his thirst for revenge on the person who cost him so much.

Wylan, the poor little rich boy rebelling against his father – is very good with explosives. He could be the weak link in the team, but he’s determined to prove himself.

This is a great cast of characters, and I love how Leigh Bardugo highlights each one of them by alternating chapters specifically focused on each one. This is where you get their back stories, and how you keep up with each member of the team as they move through this wild adventure.

For anyone who likes a good old fashioned action adventure, this one will fit the bill. It reminds me of two of my favorite TV shows, Leverage and Firefly, which also had the crackling dialogue and wild capers that I love so much in this book.

Check this one out, and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

For more information, check out Leigh Bardugo’s website at:

Leigh Bardugo – Six of Crows

 

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae – The Illuminae Files_01 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Published by Knopf for Young Readers

There is so much to praise about this book, that I don’t know where to begin. From the design of the cover and the unique design of the pages, to the way the story is told – this book is spectacular.

When you read a lot of books, no matter how many of them you liked, you find that there are always a very special few that you will always count as a favorite. Even as plots and characters from some very good books fade from memory, those special few stay with you forever. Earlier this year I felt that way about Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, and now Illuminae will be added to that very special list.

Another thing this book did was get me out of my reading slump. In the past few weeks I’ve picked up a number of books, some that I was even very excited about, but for one reason or another they just didn’t feel right, and I wound up putting them down after only a couple of chapters.

Not this book! I started this one and did not want to put it down. After reading a few chapters last week on my lunch breaks at work, I picked it up Saturday morning and didn’t put it down until I finished it that same day. Slump is over 🙂

OK, so let’s dig in. This book is told in a format known as epistolary, which means that the authors used journals, transcripts of video surveillance, instant messaging, etc. to tell this story. It also takes place quite a way into the future, and in space. But let’s not throw this into the “science fiction” genre; or even the YA genre just because our two main characters happen to be teenagers. This book is so much more than that, and I’d hate to see it dismissed by someone because they don’t read sci-fi or young adult.

The book opens in the year 2576, with a memorandum from the Illuminae Group, explaining that they are sharing a “file” which contains documentation describing the destruction of the Kerenza colony the previous year, and the aftermath that followed. You get the sense that this group is trying to set the record straight.

The next set of documents are transcripts from interviews held with Kady Grant and Ezra Mason, two teenagers who were in school when the attack began. Interspersed with the account of the attack, both teenagers also tell of their recent break-up, and how it saved their lives that day.

And then the action begins – and never really lets up throughout this entire book. Even as the survivors flee the colony they are not out of danger. They’ve been crammed on the only three remaining ships: the freighter Copernicus; the science ship Hypatia; and the military battlecarrier Alexander, who heard the distress call and came to their rescue. These three ships are carrying more people than what they were built for, and there may not be enough water or food supplies to sustain them until they reach safety. To top it all off, the Lincoln, the last remaining ship that helped lead the attack on the colony is still after them, and the Alexander has been heavily damaged and can no longer use its jump capabilities. It’s going to take six months or more to reach the nearest station, if the Lincoln doesn’t get to them first.

On board their ships, Kady and Ezra try to adjust and deal with the stress and trauma of the attack. They were separated during the evacuation, with Ezra winding up on the Alexander, and being conscripted into the military as a rookie fighter pilot; Kady is on the Hypatia, doing everything she can to stay under the radar, even to the point of purposely not passing her aptitude tests so that she won’t be conscripted, and basically being a moody, arrogant teenager to any authority figure. But over time, Kady and Ezra connect via messages and realize that their break-up was a mistake, and now all they want is to reach the station safely and be together.

But then something horrible happens on one of the ships, and Kady knows that there’s a cover-up. As she hacks her way into classified and private communications she finds a co-conspirator – another hacker who will help her find the truth. What they are doing is considered treason during war time, and they could be shot, but Kady will stop at nothing to get to the truth, even if it means putting Ezra in danger.

What a wild ride! This book has it all: snarky dialogue, a biological outbreak, reluctant heroes, villains, an artificial intelligence computer with a mind of its own, danger, heartbreak, and a fast paced race to the end. I know I’m being a bit vague about most of the plot, but that’s on purpose because I don’t want to spoil or ruin one page of it. I loved every bit of this book!

I’m sure you can tell that I would highly recommend this book, and from what I’ve been reading, it’s flying off the shelves. Oh, and apparently this is book one of a trilogy. Can’t wait!

I also think I know someone who would particularly like this book – I’m looking at you, Patty!

Lastly, I think these two authors are fabulous, you can follow them on twitter at:

@AmieKaufman
@misterkristoff

And for more information, visit:

http://www.randomhouse.com/teens/illuminae/

As always, please feel free to leave a comment below.