Tag Archives: the hunger games

The Scorpion Rules – Book Review

The Scorpion Rules - Book Review

Plot:

In the future, the UN has brought back an ancient way to keep the peace. The children of world leaders are held hostage—if a war begins, they pay with their lives.

Greta is the Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy, a superpower formed of modern-day Canada. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. The hostages are Talis’s strategy to keep the peace: if her country enters a war, Greta dies.

The system has worked for centuries. Parents don’t want to see their children murdered.

Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He’s a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives—and is severely punished for it. Greta is furious that Elian has disrupted their quiet, structured world. But slowly, his rebellion opens her eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. And Greta discovers her own quiet power.

Then Elian’s country declares war on Greta’s and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to mete out punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed…unless Greta can think of a way to save them.

Review:

I feel like this book had the potential to be fantastically written, but in the execution it fell a bit short of the expectations that I had for it,

The book has a really interesting premise: in order to keep the peace between nations and thwart wars, the UN takes a child hostage from the leader of every country. If a country does end up declaring war on another, their child (or grandchild, etc.) is killed. It is thought that this will deter countries from ever starting wars. And for the most part it works.

But then there are those who believe that the needs of their country are greater than the value of the life of their hostage, and declare war anyway. This never ends up working out for the country, and their hostage is killed, but hopefully the country at least got something out of their declaration of war. If not, it was all for nothing.

While this had the promise of being a good bit of plot, the characters and the ways their stories unfolded did nothing for me. I felt lost throughout a lot of the story and was constantly having to pay close attention to detail so as to not get too confused.

Overall, the book was okay. Nothing too special, but it did entertain me, which I suppose is the main purpose after all. I give the book 3.5/5 stars.

You can purchase The Scorpion Rules by clicking the image of the book above.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Resignation – Book Review

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Plot:

What would you do if your heart was torn between saving yourself or your first love? For Nessa that question is a reality. If she is not surrendered to Central in a week, then Garrett will be executed and war will ensue.

Countless lives rest on the shoulders of eighteen year old Nessa. Is she strong enough to surrender herself to the government that’s holding Garrett hostage? Can she sacrifice the life she’s built to save him? Life comes down to a series of decisions, the question is; could this be her last.

Review:

Resignation is the second book in the Worlds Apart series. My review of the first book, Ruination, can be found HERE.

After falling in love with the world of this story and the characters in Ruination, I was quite excited to get my hands on an ARC of Resignation so I could continue where the first book had left off. Needless to say, as soon as this book found its way into my email inbox, I downloaded it and started reading it right away, that’s how excited I was to get a copy of this.

After all of the chaos that happened at the end of the first book, Nessa has a lot weighing on her mind. She must make a decision to either stay with the boy that she loves, Ty, or go and surrender herself to Central and her former government to save not only her first love Garrett, but the people outside of the divide as well.

While Nessa knows that Ty wouldn’t want her to risk her life trying to save Garrett, she knows that it is the right thing to do. A squad of badass members from outside the divide is formed to get Nessa into Central so that the squad can rescue Garrett as well as some other people who had gone on a mission to Central six years prior never to return.

Of course, nothing ever goes quite as planned and with some plot twists that even I did not see coming, everything gets flipped upside down. The real shock comes at the end of the book, yet again leaving me anticipating the next book in the series.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

Resignation goes on sale March 9, 2014. You can preorder it from Amazon.

Ruination – Book Review

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Plot:

What if everything came down to a single test? If your life was defined at seventeen, could you handle it? Could you accept your fate leaving the ones you love, or would you risk it all and stay?

One test stands between Vanessa and Central. One chance to make the leap across the walls to a better life. At seventeen, Central considers Vanessa an adult. Her labor role, marriage, and housing divisions will be dictated by her performance on the leap.

Dedication and unfaltering friendship has bonded Vanessa to Garrett as they fight for their chance to leap into Central. But what happens when love overtakes reason? When defiance in the name of love creates an unintentional fracture in their nation.

Without warning Vanessa is at the mercy of the nation that’s supposed to protect her. Exiled and abandoned she must fight but she find’s she’s not alone. With her heart divided she seeks her revenge, but will her stand be enough? At seventeen, Central considers Vanessa an adult. Her labor role, marriage, and housing divisions will be dictated by her performance on the leap.

Review: 

Ruination is a great book for fans of the Hunger Games, Divergent, and Matched trilogies, and has themes that are similar in nature. Right away, the world that Amanda Thome created reminded me of those three series, in a way that was familiar yet new. For example, the story takes place in a world that is divided into three sectors, Central, Inner and Outer, similar to The Hunger Games districts. Residents can move up from lower sectors to the higher sectors with the Leap testing, which also decides what jobs and marriages the citizens will have, similar to the matching process in Matched.

One thing that I loved about this book is that while the world felt very familiar, I never knew what was going to happen and was constantly being surprised. Just as I thought that things were going to happen one way, I would be completely surprised by a new plot point.

The characters were all pretty well developed, and the chapters primarily switched between the narrations of Nessa and Ty. There were one or two chapters in the middle narrated by Garrett that I found a bit out of place, as they neither moved the story along nor added any real insight. At first it was a bit difficult to tell who was narrating each chapter as there were no titles like there are in books like Allegiant by Veronica Roth, but after a while it became very easy to tell who was narrating each chapter.

I really enjoyed the fast pace of the story and found it to be a quick read throughout the whole story.  I was kept on the edge the whole time I was reading and couldn’t wait to finish because it was such a gripping story.

In general, there were a few punctuation errors, like random hyphens in the middle of words, but I just attribute that to it being an ebook, where I always seem to find minor formatting issues. Not that big of a deal, but I still found myself being slightly annoyed every time I came across such an error.

I give this book a solid 4/5 stars.

The author is also holding a contest to have a character in book two named after two lucky winners.

Proving Ground – Book Review

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Plot:

This is not the story of how America fell apart; it is the story of how it pulled back from the brink at a heavy cost. Randall Quinn saved the people by killing democracy, and while everyone else is enjoying the booming economy and free rides to college, 16-year-old Lacan Branford is stolen from her family and tossed into a secret prison. She becomes part of Quinn’s nanotechnology experiments designed to create Nanotechs, the ultimate weapons of national security. But she is not alone.

Lacan meets Chloe, a girl who has been locked up longer than most and lost a little of her sanity along the way.  She also finds Alex, a classmate she did not really know aside from her flirty reputation. And then there are the other girls they just try to avoid. They are three against a hundred.

Their families think they are dead and they have no chance of escape. Their only choice is to serve Quinn and preserve the new order he has created. Fortunately for Lacan, she met someone who says he will help her do just that. All she has to do is survive her training.

Sooner or later, they all have to prove their worth.

Review:

Proving Ground is a well-written novel that drew me in from the very first sentence.  Right away, I felt that the characters were very well developed and the story was something unique. The main character, Lacan, is just an average 16-year-old girl who gets her life ripped away from her and is thrust into this secret world that few know exists.  Though obviously upset about being torn away from her family and her boyfriend, Lacan stays strong and makes allies immediately, though the alliances are less about protecting herself and more about protecting others. All of the girls that have been forced into this facility are training for the Trials, where their skills will be tested, and if they prove themselves worthy, which few do, they will become Nanotechs.

The Nanotechs are scientifically advanced creations that thrive off of nanotechnology and specially designed suits of armor. Right away, they reminded me of comic book characters like The Winter Soldier or even Iron Man.  So far, only two have proven themselves worthy of becoming Nanotechs, the Gray Reaper and the Black Knight. They serve as a symbol of justice, taking care of what needs to be done that the new government can’t necessarily handle through traditional means.

There is a fair amount of violence in Proving Ground, similar to The Hunger Games, but nothing overly-gruesome. The Trials require the girls to fight against one another to prove their skills, and the girls are relentless.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am impatiently waiting for the sequel, Silver Maiden, to be completed so I can get my hands on it. I give the book 4/5 stars.

You can purchase Proving Ground from Amazon HERE