The Revealed

The RevealedTitle: The Revealed
Author: Jessica Hickam
Series: The Revealed #1
Genre(s): Action & Adventure, Dystopian Fiction, Love & Romance, Post-Apocalypse, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 265
Published by Spark Press on 2014-06-17
ISBN: 978-1940716008
ASIN: B00L1P1RZ0
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited

FTC Disclosure: Regardless of how I received this book, this is an honest review based on my own opinions. Read my full disclosure here.

 
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From the back cover...

Lily Atwood lives in what used to be called Washington, D.C. Her father is one of the most powerful men in the world, having been a vital part of rebuilding and reuniting humanity after the war that killed over five billion people. Now he’s running to be one of its leaders.

But in the rediscovered peace on Earth, a new enemy has risen. They call themselves the Revealed – a powerful underground organization that has been kidnapping 18 year olds across the globe without reservation. No one knows why they are kidnapping these teens, but it’s clear something is different about these people. They can set fires with a snap of their fingers and create a wind strong enough to barrel over a tree with a flick of their wrist. No one has been able to stop them, and they have targeted Lily as their next victim.

But Lily has waited too long to break free from her father’s shadow to let some rebel organization just ruin everything. Not without a fight.

My Review

To me, the one thing that makes or breaks a good post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel is the connection to the world as we know it in the moment.  There has to be that thread of our own reality to truly bring the chilling possibilities home, to scare us with the potential for the utter destruction of our world as we know it.  Hunger Games did that with the world of Panem.  The Chemical Gardens did that with the total destruction of society in the United States.  And I felt like The Revealed accomplished that, too.

The story begins about six years after a nuclear war essentially destroyed the world.  Most of the United States is now a wasteland and society is virtually unrecognizable.  There are the very wealthy and there are the very poor with not a lot in between.  There are also the Revealed, a covert group of indivduals with outwardly questionable motives who selectively “kidnap” eighteen year olds.  It has become a part of life for the wealthy to hide their kids within secure compounds for the entire year in order to protect them, despite the fact that few get kidnapped and there is nothing that will stop those that are from being taken.

Our main character is Lily, currently on lockdown as her father vigorously campaigns for the upcoming presidential election.  This is the first election since the world was destroyed and the future depends on which candidate is chosen.  His opposition is the father of Kai, a childhood friend turned nemisis of Lily’s.  Both of these characters are extremely wealthy, the elite of new world.  They have all the advantages that most in this new world do not.  I did not expect to feel sympathy for them, but it is clear that money doesn’t solve everything.  If anything, it often makes things worse in this world.

There is so much to this story.  There was a little bit of romance between Kai and Lily, unexpected and pretty quick to happen.  This is something that usually bothers me, the concept of insta-love, but in this case… it works.  It is a world of chaos and Lily’s time is running out.  Everything about her life is in chaos and their romance is what she sees to be her last chance at having a life.  But this is so much more than romance.  The political intrigue reads like a Vince Flynn novel with no end of betrayals and conspiracies.  And there is a nice healthy dose of sci-fi right along with it.

I really enjoyed this book.  It kept me glued to the pages and reading.  Although there is currently no mention of it on Goodreads or the author’s site, there is another book coming caled The Enraged, which I am looking forward to.

Things to love…

  • The connection to the world as we know it.  That really highlighted the frightening possibilities for our own reality.
  • Lily’s choices.  I love that her choices revolved around remaining true to herself and her beliefs, rather than a guy.  Excellent role model!
  • The mystery and the intigure.  Loved it!

My Recommendation

If you enjoy post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels, this is a good one to pick up.  I think this series has great potential!

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.5

About Jessica Hickam

After graduating from Arizona State University in 2011, Jessica relocated to Los Angeles where she now works in the film industry. From acting to assisting on the Paramount feature Star Trek: Into Darkness, her experiences have only reinforced her love for living in other worlds – whether they be from her own imagination or someone else’s.

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October Wrap-Up

What the Diva read in October…

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Wednesday Memes

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The blurb…

Lily Atwood lives in what used to be called Washington, D.C. Her father is one of the most powerful men in the world, having been a vital part of rebuilding and reuniting humanity after the war that killed over five billion people. Now he’s running to be one of its leaders.

But in the rediscovered peace on Earth, a new enemy has risen. They call themselves the Revealed – a powerful underground organization that has been kidnapping 18 year olds across the globe without reservation. No one knows why they are kidnapping these teens, but it’s clear something is different about these people. They can set fires with a snap of their fingers and create a wind strong enough to barrel over a tree with a flick of their wrist. No one has been able to stop them, and they have targeted Lily as their next victim.

But Lily has waited too long to break free from her father’s shadow to let some rebel organization just ruin everything. Not without a fight.

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SilverDeadGirlWalking

The blurb…

Forget everything you know about grim reapers.

Princess Ophelia Dacre sneaks out of the castle to visit her boyfriend in secret. A perfect night cut short when she’s brutally murdered.

Ophelia is given the rare chance to become a grim reaper. She must become Leila Bele, cut ties with her old life, and follow the rules of the reapers. Her greatest adventure begins with death.

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What do you think you will read next?

LynnOneWishAwayThe blurb…

Be careful what you wish for…

Lyra has always been ahead of the curve. Top of her class in school, a budding astronomer, and with a best friend like Darren she barely has time to miss the mother who abandoned her family years ago. She’s too busy planning to follow in her father’s footsteps, and to become the youngest astronomer at Space Exploration and Discovery.

When a star goes missing Lyra is determined to get to the bottom of it only to discover her braniac dad is the mastermind of a top-secret government experiment. They promise to build a perfect world, one galaxy at a time, but with every tweak of the present, a bit more of the future starts to crumble.

Lyra has to go undercover to reveal the truth and let humanity decide if the consequences are worth more than wishing on a star.

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My pick for this week’s “can’t wait” read is Claudia Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You!  I am obsessed with  the cover and the story sounds wonderful!

GrayAThousandPiecesofYouThe blurb…

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

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Dead Girl Walking

Dead Girl WalkingTitle: Dead Girl Walking
Author: Ruth Silver
Series: Royal Reapers #1
Genre(s): Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 195
Published by Patchwork Press on 2014-04-24
ISBN: 978-0692202531
ASIN: B00JXVMOOM
Format: eBook
Source: personal purchase

FTC Disclosure: Regardless of how I received this book, this is an honest review based on my own opinions. Read my full disclosure here.

 
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From the back cover...

Forget everything you know about grim reapers. Princess Ophelia Dacre sneaks out of the castle to visit her boyfriend in secret. A perfect night cut short when she's brutally murdered. Ophelia is given the rare chance to become a grim reaper. She must become Leila Bele, cut ties with her old life, and follow the rules of the reapers. Her greatest adventure begins with death.

My Review

Dead Girl Walking is the first novel in the new Royal Reapers series by Ruth Silver, author of the fantastic Aberranti series.  Aberrant is a dystopian/sci-fi/post-apocalyptic series that is absolutely chilling at times, but Royal Reapers is an entirely different kind of series.

The world of this book is wonderful, set in midst of kingdoms and royal politics with a side of grim reapers and dark angels and romance, too.  The reapers that the author created were very different than others I have read, living and walking and easily seen by those still living around them.  What is interesting is that, in many ways, Ophelia’s life really doesn’t begin until she becomes a reaper… a whole new twist on life after death!!

The mythology that has been created for these reapers is truly interesting.  There are rules and regulations for their work, punishments for not carrying out their reaps accordingly.  Yet, even as mediators of death, there is much they don’t know about where the souls they reap go.  This is a point that is made often, but never really explained so I am hoping that this is something that will be part of further books in the series.

The story line and its premise were refreshingly original to me.  I loved the reapers she created and the plot was thoroughly engrossing.  There was romance, intrigue, fantasy, and mystery galore.  My only real issue, and it isn’t a big one, was the slight insta-love between Wynter and Leila/Ophelia.  It seemed to develop rather quickly on the heels of some traumatic events.

Things to love…

  • The original mythology of the reapers.
  • The interesting characters among the reapers.

Things I wanted more/less of…

  • Less insta-love.

My Recommendation

This is a very different read than most of the “ghost reaper” kind of mythology.  I love the interaction that the fantasy world had with the “real” world.  If you like a good paranormal fantasy this is a good choice.  A prequel novella, Ashes to Ashes, is due out in May of 2015.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.2

About Ruth Silver

Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of Aberrant. The Young Adult/New Adult Romantic Dystopian Adventure, Aberrant is the first in a trilogy, released April 17th, 2013. Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time. She attended Northern Illinois University in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication. While in college she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories. Her love of writing, led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading YA/NA novels and sharing her favorite books with other readers. She also enjoys photography, traveling and of most of all writing.

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Son

SonTitle: Son
Author: Lois Lowry
Series: The Giver #4
Also in this series: The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger
Genre(s): Dystopian Fiction, Science Fiction, Utopian Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 405
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on 2012-10-02
ISBN: 978-0544336254
ASIN: B008454X2Y
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited

FTC Disclosure: Regardless of how I received this book, this is an honest review based on my own opinions. Read my full disclosure here.

 
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From the back cover...

They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive?  She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messengerwhere a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

My Review

Son is the final book in the series and, as much as I enjoyed this series, this book left me with mixed feelings.  There were new characters and old, which led to both new story lines and resolutions to existing ones.  But some of the messages in this one struck me as a little off.

This book is split into three sections, following several years in the life of Claire.  The first part takes us back to places we have been before, going back in time a bit to about the time when Jonas’ story began.  As a mother, her story in this section touched me, heart and soul.  The second part of the story takes place in a new society, a society in which Claire is almost as a child.  It is the story of Jonas, had we been with him in his time of transition from the world that he left in The Giver until we met him again in Messenger.  The third part of the story is the one that ties all of the various story lines of the series together. In this part, we remeet a lot of the characters from other books and many of the subplots are brought to the foreground.

The first three books showed us three very different utopian/dystopian worlds, worlds with different values, priorities, and issues.  As someone obsessed with cultural anthopology, I loved this premise.  I loved that it made me question my own thoughts and beliefs.  But I felt like that was greatly lacking in this book.  The society from the second section wasn’t really created like the others; it was just sort of there, like a place filler.  By the time she made it to the society that we first met in Messenger, that group was largely healed.  There was little conflict to be seen.  That came from an outside force that needed to be battled in the traditional good versus evil battle.  But none of this happened until very late in the book, making the entire thing feel a bit rushed.  And the conclusion itself really left me feeling a bit unfulfilled.  The previous books were deep, full of questions about human nature, choices, sacrifice, priorities, and values.  The conclusion just seemed rather anticlimatic and a little banal in comparison.

The other thing I had hoped for was answers.  I wanted to know what happened to the other societies.  Did they change?  Did they get worse or better?  The only one that we ever really saw any transformation in was the one of Messenger and the last portion of Son, the society of outcasts.

Things to love…

  • Revisiting places and characters.
  • Getting answers to some of the questions from other books.

Things I wanted more/less of…

  • More depth to the resolution.
  • More resolution about the other societies.

My Recommendation

While it may have been my least  favorite of the series, it is still a good read and a relatively satisfying conclusion to the series.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.6

About Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry is known for her versatility and invention as a writer. She was born in Hawaii and grew up in New York, Pennsylvania, and Japan. After several years at Brown University, she turned to her family and to writing. She is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader.s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Association.s Children.s Book Award. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine.

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