Review: The Death Cure (Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner

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Goodreads Summary

It’s the end of the line.

WICKED has taken everything from Thomas: his life, his memories, and now his only friends—the Gladers. But it’s finally over. The trials are complete, after one final test.
l anyone survive?
What WICKED doesn’t know is that Thomas remembers far more than they think. And it’s enough to prove that he can’t believe a word of what they say.
The truth will be terrifying.
Thomas beat the Maze. He survived the Scorch. He’ll risk anything to save his friends. But the truth might be what ends it all.

The time for lies is over.


My Review

Before I get started, let me just say that I was not aware I was reading (or listening in this case) to the last book in the series until I was about 3/4 of the way through it. My bad. But honestly, I think I might have self sabotaged this series by listening to it on audiobook instead of just reading it. I just couldn’t really get into this book, I found myself indifferent through about 50% of it.

The Death Cure picks up with Thomas back in a cell in the hands of WICKED yet again. I mean come on it’s the constant cat and mouse situation with these books. The plot line is just so darn redundant. Before ya know it, Thomas and the gang are fighting back against their captors and escaping once more into a world that is still foreign to them, having not yet gained their memories back in their entirety.  As their lives become increasingly threatened, new secrets are revealed that change the game entirely.

This third and final book had so much potential to be amazing, and don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of plot reveals, some of which were emotionally heart wrenching, and others were just flat out predictable. I really wish I could have become more invested in the story and the characters, but I just wasn’t. I expected the ending to be a lot more spectacular and it was certainly intense, but it was also over before I knew it. The story ended and it wasn’t really a resolution, it was kind of a half assed conclusion if I’m being honest.

The Maze Runner was a thoroughly okay series, I loved the first book, but I couldn’t help but feel that as the series continued it fell into an endless loop of the same plot developments disguised as a new additions to the story.

If you’re looking for your typical apocalyptic series with a satisfying enough ending, then I would recommend you read The Death Cure. Buy it on Amazon here.

 

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Review:The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner

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Goodreads Summary:

Solving the MazeSolving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off. 

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive. was supposed to be the end. 

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off. 

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

My Review

I’m so glad I was able to listen to the audiobook of The Scorch Trials so soon after finishing the first book in the Maze Runner series. I definitely enjoyed the sequel but I think I expected a little more out of it than what I was given.

The Scorch Trials picks up right where the first book left off, with Thomas and the rest of the gladers alongside Teresa having escaped the Maze. Though they were rescued by seemingly good people, things go south fast. Things got crazy right off the bat, I couldn’t even process the impossibility of it all. So many questions were thrown at me at once! I couldn’t believe what went down actually happened. And that’s the thing about these books, they constantly make you question the characters’ reality. You never really know if what is happening is real or not or if it’s just a delusion put on by WICKED.

New characters are introduced and plot twist are created that had me all kinds of excited to see how things would turn out. I gotta say, parts of this book made me super angry and frustrated!! I don’t know who to trust now, and I don’t see a happy ending in sight. Thomas essentially has no control of where is life is meant to go. It was heartbreaking to watch him and his friends struggle with each new catastrophe that came their way. If anything, I can’t wait to see how he will get his justice for the way he’s been treated.

Once again, book two concluded with a sense of false hope in the form of a deceivingly positive ending. I don’t believe it for a moment, there is definitely more havoc to come. I look forward to seeing how Dashner can possibly turn things around for these characters. I will most certainly be reading book three or to put it more realistically, listening to book three.

Buy The Scorch Trials on Amazon here! 

Release Day Launch: Unrest (Unknown #2) by Wendy Higgins

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Today I have the release day launch for UNREST by Wendy Higgins! Check it out and grab your copy today!!

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Title: Unrest

Author: Wendy Higgins

Release Day: February 14th

About Unrest:

Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having so many of the things they love brutally ripped from them by an unknown enemy who sent their world into the apocalypse.

 

Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they’ve been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities…lust. In their tight quarters, Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy can’t escape it. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times.

 

In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when they discover the truth about the war that’s ruined their lives. They thought finding out the enemy’s identity would give them the edge; instead it’s revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible.

Get your copy today:

Kindle or Nook

Exclusive Excerpt:

Remy put her head on my shoulder and I got a small but distinct whiff of chocolate.

            “I might have to lick you, Rem,” I blurted.

            Both Tater and Rylen turned to us, nearly cracking heads in the process.

            “She smells like chocolate,” I explained. Tater shook his head and faced forward again. Ry gave me one last bemused look before turning back too.

            “Hey,” Remy whispered. She raised her free hand to my face, and to my shock, there was half of the tiny candy pinched between her finger and thumb. “I saved half for you.”

            My heart lurched with emotion. “Are you serious?”

            She nodded and her chin quivered as she raised the M&M to my mouth and fed it to me. She licked her fingers off while I savored the tiny morsel. My eyes watered as I crunched down and Remy said, “Good, right?”

            A second later we were hugging and crying all over again.

            “We have to save our water,” I choked.

            She sniffled and let go of me to wipe her face. “No more crying.” 

Catch Up on the Series:

AmazonUS / AmazonUK / B&N / iTunes / Book Depository

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About Wendy Higgins:

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Wendy Higgins is a soccer mom and backstage drama mama. Most people in her tiny bayside town don’t know she’s a USA Today and NYT bestselling author of paranormal, fantasy, and science-fiction romances. Wendy is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time in her pajamas, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and little doggie Rue.

Wendy earned a bachelor’s in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University.

 

Reach Wendy Online:

Email: wendyhigginswrites@gmail.com

Website: http://www.wendyhigginswrites.com

Twitter: @Wendy_Higgins https://twitter.com/Wendy_Higgins

Facebook: WendyHigginsWrites https://www.facebook.com/WendyHigginsWrites/

Instagram: @wendyhigginswrites https://www.instagram.com/wendyhigginswrites/

Excerpt & Cover Reveal: Unrest (The Unknown Series #2) by Wendy Higgins

Today I’m revealing an excerpt from UNREST by Wendy Higgins! Check it out and grab your copy today!!

 Unrest_Ebook_LowRes

Title: Unrest

Author: Wendy Higgins

Release Day: February 14th

About Unrest:

Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having so many of the things they love brutally ripped from them by an unknown enemy who sent their world into the apocalypse.

Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they’ve been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities…lust. In their tight quarters, Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy can’t escape it. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times.

In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when they discover the truth about the war that’s ruined their lives. They thought finding out the enemy’s identity would give them the edge; instead it’s revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible.

Preorder Today:

Kindle or Nook 

Get your copy of Unrest:

AmazonUS / AmazonUK / B&N / iTunes / Book Depository

 Unrest Teaser Image

Exclusive Excerpt:

A golden hue of sunrise turned night into dawn. I sat on a small boulder, staring at the sliver of sun through trees of the Nevada parkland, the same spot where I’d been sitting silently in the dark for two hours in the cold. I couldn’t take Remy’s whimpering and soul-crushing cries each time she fell back asleep in the tent, venturing into nightmares of what she’d seen the night before. What we’d all seen. I might never sleep again.

Mom. Dad. Abuela.

I fought back another wave of debilitating grief that made my bones feel like liquid—like I’d never have the ability to stand again. Have to be strong. Have to be strong. I rocked back and forth with my eyes shut tight. I couldn’t afford to give in to the loss. If I did, it would consume me whole and devour my will to live. I took a deep breath in and let it out slowly.

We’d been fired up to leave the nature preserve last night and head north to the base in Utah after hearing the Morse code message, supposedly from other military personnel in hiding, like us. But we decided to wait until morning since we needed more light to plan our trip on the map. Plus, headlights in the night would be too easy to spot, and we were all worthless last night, running on adrenaline and vengeance, one step away from crashing. I never did crash or sleep a wink, even though my adrenaline was long gone.

The soft sunrise was too pretty—too majestic—for the way I felt inside. Raw. Like my heart had been grated. During the night, I’d begun to believe the sun would never rise again, and now that it was I felt as if the Earth were mocking what we’d been through, reminding me just how miniscule and unremarkable we were. A new day was happening despite what we’d lost. The world wasn’t stopping to mourn. It felt wrong.

We’d been so close to the camp yesterday where the Disaster Relief Initiative, the DRI personnel, had taken my parents, my grandmother, Remy’s parents, and Rylen’s wife Livia. We watched in confusion as those DRI bastards fled. Then we’d watched in disbelief as Air Force jets dropped a bomb on that camp, obliterating our family and the people from our town. Oh, God.

I pressed the back of my hand to my mouth and squeezed my eyes shut. Even while the world fell apart around us, I never imagined anything would happen to my parents. I never let myself believe it was possible, even after watching my Grandpa Tate shot and killed by a Disaster Relief Personnel—fucking Derps. Who was I without my parents? I was the daughter of an Army man and a Mexican dancer. A Green Machine and a Señorita. A small bubble of laughter worked its way through a sob in my throat when I thought about my parents’ silly banter with each other. Their relentless love and devotion to me and my older brother, Tater.

The sound of a tent’s zipper wrenched through the morning solitude and I quickly wiped my eyes. I looked over and saw Rylen crouching as he pushed through the opening. The golden hue of sun made his blond hair and the scruff on his face stand out. His eyes met mine and I had to swallow hard at the sight of pain in his expression. I’d already cried so much last night.

Seeing those solemn gray eyes brought back a flood of memories: young, scrawny Rylen Fite, loved and cared for by my parents like he was their own son. And his eyes reflected his remembrance too, as if he felt their absence as prominently as I did. But he’d lost a wife, as well. Maybe she hadn’t been his wife in every technical sense of the word, but he’d been trying to make it right. Every bit of his loss was reflected in the heavy way he sat on the rock beside me and rubbed his face before staring out at the sunrise.

About Wendy Higgins:

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Wendy Higgins is a soccer mom and backstage drama mama. Most people in her tiny bayside town don’t know she’s a USA Today and NYT bestselling author of paranormal, fantasy, and science-fiction romances. Wendy is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time in her pajamas, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and little doggie Rue.

Wendy earned a bachelor’s in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University.

 Reach Wendy Online:

Email: wendyhigginswrites@gmail.com

Website: http://www.wendyhigginswrites.com

Twitter: @Wendy_Higgins  https://twitter.com/Wendy_Higgins

Facebook: WendyHigginsWrites  https://www.facebook.com/WendyHigginsWrites/

Instagram: @wendyhigginswrites  https://www.instagram.com/wendyhigginswrites/

Review: Arcana Rising (Arcana Chronicles #4) by Kresley Cole

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Goodreads Summary:

Losses mount and deadly new threats converge in this next action-packed tale of the Arcana Chronicles by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole.

When the battle is done . . .
The Emperor unleashes hell and annihilates an army, jeopardizing the future of mankind–but Circe strikes back. The epic clash between them devastates the Arcana world and nearly kills Evie, separating her from her allies.

And all hope is lost . . .
With Aric missing and no sign that Jack and Selena escaped Richter’s reach, Evie turns more and more to the darkness lurking inside her. Two Arcana emerge as game changers: one who could be her salvation, the other her worst nightmare.

Vengeance becomes everything.
To take on Richter, Evie must reunite with Death and mend their broken bond. But as she learns more about her role in the future–and her chilling past–will she become a monster like the Emperor? Or can Evie and her allies rise up from Richter’s ashes, stronger than ever before? (less)

My Review

Ok let me just say before I get started, that I have been reading this series for at least three years now, and it has absolutely KILLED me to wait each time for the next books to come out!! Above all, Dead of Winter ended in one of the worst cliffhangers ever!!! Recap: the Emperor sent out a massive lava wave that took out everything (including supposedly Jack) right after Evie chose to be with him over Death. So naturally I REALLY NEEDED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!

Arcana Rising picked up literally right where it left off, which was in the middle of absolute chaos! Evie becomes separated from everyone and must struggle on her own to reach Aric and avenge Jack.However, on her journey, she comes across new Arcana, and learns more about herself and the lengths she will go to to protect the ones she loves.  This book was heart wrenching from the get-go. The action was non-stop and I could not put it down. Arcana Rising took me on an epic emotional roller coaster that I still have not come off of.

Once again, Kresley Cole has ensnared my mind/heart. I cannot figure out who I want Evie to be with!! I am so torn between Jack and Death ever still, yet I think I still choose Jack. I don’t know what it is, but I really love this guy’s drive and ruggedness, despite how absolutely wonderful and endearing Aric is. There are some beautiful and sexy moments between Evie and Death in this book that many readers have been waiting for. Don’t get me wrong, part of me really enjoyed reading that, but the other part was super pissed it wasn’t with Jack!

The events leading up to the ending (which came on way too quickly let me tell ya) had me reeling at every page (or kindle swipe). I also couldn’t help but feel that not a whole lot of overall plot movement occurred in this book in comparison to the others. This book felt a little more like an “in between” novel. I definitely still loved it, but I was also really frustrated that it wasn’t longer. I need to know more and I need to know now! The next book cannot come soon enough, which unfortunately isn’t until Spring of 2017!!

Definitely continue this series and buy Arcana Chronicles! Do so on Amazon here!

Blog Tour & Giveaway & Review: The Twelve (Star Riders) by Victoria Perkins

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Tempest Black is nobody special. Orphaned as a baby, the only thing she has from her past is her unusual name. Now, at seventeen, she’s willing to give it up if it means she can disappear. What she doesn’t know is that, in the West, eleven have been sent to find her, and when they do, her whole world will change.

They are the Star Riders, those chosen by Adonai to protect the worlds from the forces of darkness. All alone, they search for the one prophesied to be at their side at the end of days. A special child with unknown powers who will change everything.

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My Review

Although I have read many books dealing with angels, demons and the apocalypse, The Twelve managed to be completely different then anything I’ve seen before, making for a captivating story! The chosen Twelve are warriors for God essentially. They can travel between dimensions and have a “bonded” partner. They are the only ones capable of saving the world and stop the impending apocalypse. 10 of the Twelve are bonded accept for one: Bram. That is until the day he meets Tempest Black.

Tempest was a strong female lead easily paired with Bram. I enjoyed watching their struggle as they came to terms with who they were to one another. Although once they did accept who they were, the bond was a little too instantaneous and strong! I liked their relationship, I just didn’t get to see a whole lot of development.

The supernatural/scifi aspects of the book were suspenseful and entirely new to me as far as the the creatures and concepts went. Although, I will say the creature profiles kind of reminded me of The Mortal Instruments.  I also really liked that “Adonai” or God was a very present being in their lives and in their fate. It made it seem more realistic (for lack of a better term). The action scenes were plentiful and the plot was swiftly paced. There is much promise for the Star Riders series with what is sure to be a lot to come. The Twelve was mostly intended to set the scene for what is clearly building to an apex in the series!

I would recommend The Twelve to any scifi fan, and anyone looking to get into a new paranormal romance series!

 

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The world ended in a blaze of holy light, cleansing the universe in preparation for what was to come next. Yet, even as the celebrations began, a soft command was given, and with a rustle of feathers, the appointed one took flight. The war may have ended here, but that only meant the danger for the other worlds grew. His job was clear. The twelfth must be found, the circle completed. Eleven had been left behind to stand between the darkness and humanity. If they fell, evil would consume every other world and billions of souls would be lost forever.
He closed his eyes and felt for the crack between universes. He was one of only a handful of his kind who could do this, who could travel like one of them.There. He could feel it.He stretched his arms over his head, speeding up. He tucked his wings tight against his body and began to spin. As he cut through the fabric of space, he could feel the darkness behind him. Following. Time was growing short.He put on a burst of speed. This was not the time to worry about conserving energy. He had to reach them before they tried to go home. He had to make them see.This was his greatest mission, the one he had been created to carry out. He could not fail.

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Victoria Perkins began writing at a young age and story-telling even younger. Starting in third grade, she wrote stories, some of which became the basis of her published works. After graduating from Kent State University with a BA in English, Perkins held numerous jobs, including working customer service and teaching at a private school before, in 2012, she began to work full-time as a writer.

She has had six young adult novels published: Reeves’ Island, The Last Summer, Three, Two, One, My Immortal, ‘m Cara, The Dragon Three, and Star Riders: The Twelve, as well as a short story collection titled This Weak and Idle Theme.

Perkins is currently employed as a freelance writer and ghostwriter, contributing to hundreds of short stories, novellas and full-length novels for clients all over the world, including ones that have made Amazon’s top 100 Kindle list as well as USA Today’s Best-Seller list. She makes her home in northeastern Ohio near her family.

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Review: Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland

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Goodreads Summary:

On a snowy Friday night in 1979, just hours after making love for the first time, Richard’s girlfriend, high school senior Karen Ann McNeil, falls into a coma. Nine months later she gives birth to their daughter, Megan. As Karen sleeps through the next seventeen years, Richard and their circle of friends reside in an emotional purgatory, passing through a variety of careers—modeling, film special effects, medicine, demolition—before finally reuniting on a conspiracy-driven super-natural television series. But real life grows as surreal as their TV show as Richard and his friends await Karen’s reawakening . . . and the subsequent apocalypse. 

My Review

Oh how do I begin to explain the depths to which this book disappointed me? Girlfriend in a Coma took what was a beautifully unique premise and pummeled it into smithereens. The beginning of the novel grabbed my attention immediately. The first chapter is literally told by a ghost overlooking an apocalyptic world! Awesome right? NO.

The story primarily focuses around the lives of 6 friends who grew up in the 70s and do much less with their lives than they intended for themselves. The story changes perspectives as time goes on. Actually the first 100 pages (which was almost half the book) felt like a timeline was being given rather than a story being told. I never got to appreciate any one character because I never felt a connection to one. None of them were very developed and all of them had distasteful attributes.

Obviously the book is titled Girlfriend in a Coma for a reason, but honestly, Karen’s (the girlfriend) coma was never truly explained and was altogether pointless to the novel. In fact the plot was entirely recycled by the end of the book. Here we have the main characters who are the center of the story, they survive this huge pandemic and then poof, some crazy half-ass “higher purpose” gets thrown in to somehow represent a theme for the novel, and suddenly the plot throws the characters right back to where they started, only now they have new meaning to their lives somehow. So many questions were never answered and I was left utterly baffled by what I had just read. It was like reading two separate genres of stories in one. On the one hand we have these modern day characters in a realistic fiction setting and on the other we have randomly thrown in supernatural elements that really don’t seem to fit into the content easily and are never properly explained.

I understand that Coupland was trying to give the message of making the world a better place by taking a stand and making a change, but I just feel that he could have reached that overall conclusion in a more simple and much less confusing way. I finished this book with more questions than I began with. Girlfriend in a Coma had a lot of potential to be something extraordinary but it just fell short of being an enjoyable story.

Maybe you read it and made more sense of it then I could…