Welcome to The Spoiler Alert!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Revival by Stephen King review

     I finished this novel last night, and although I love Mr. King's work, this one just didn't do it for me.  The plot dragged on, maybe because I was expecting this to go back to the horror "Cujo" and "It" roots from what I had read of reviews on Goodreads.
     It's a well written book, like any of his others, but only the last 40 pages or so really resolve the story rather than bits and pieces being revealed along the way, which to me made it pretty uninteresting.
     The plot is mainly about our protagonist's life and the peculiar way a certain reverend keeps popping up, but....

 **SPOILERS! STOP HERE NOW IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON READING THE BOOK!**

......rather than this reverend being a figure of evil, he's really just an ordinary man who's gone a bit crazy after the loss of his wife and child and tries to find answers in a very Frankenstein way.
     I'm still waiting for the next true horror book as it feels like Stephen King hasn't written one in a few years.  Although Doctor Sleep gave me a few shudders at the beginning, it was the same as this with only 40-50 pages having a horror feel, and Joyland was a mystery (it was labeled as a mystery, so I didn't expect any different from that one really).  I couldn't say about his book Mr. Mercedes as I still haven't read it, but judging from the jacket description it seemed to be a mystery as well.
     Where is the next Tommyknockers, Cell, and Christine?  I don't think he's lost his touch since his writing is still excellent, maybe he's just in a more tranquil state of mind, but I for one can't wait for the next real horror he comes up with.
      There's a story collection listed on his site due for release in 2015 called "The Bazaar of Bad Dreams", which sounds right up my alley so we'll see how it goes and if that satisfies my morbid horror lovers heart.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Book Recommendations

     On my last poll I asked what everyone's favorite genre was for books, and the majority of those who voted said Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Post Apocalyptic, so since this is my favorite also I thought I would give a few recommendations that may help you with what to read next:

1. The Hunger Games - don't count it out just because it's listed as YA.  An amazing book even for adults!
2. Ready Player One- some people may not enjoy this, but for myself, having grown up in the 80's and 90's, it had some great pop culture references that brought back a lot of nostalgia
3. The Road- McCarthy's writing style is very unique and a lot of people don't like the lack of "" in his books, but this is one of the few books I've found myself re-reading over the past few years when I don't have any new books that seem buy-worthy.
4. The Dark Tower Series- don't start these unless you plan on a year long relationship with the series as there are 7 in the series, but trust me, it will be worth it
5. The Uglies Series- another YA series that I really enjoyed, although it was a few years ago that I completed it, so not sure how I would feel now that I've read so many other great sci-fi books
6. Red Hill- zombies, nuff said
7. Pure- the third book in this trilogy was definitely lacking, but the first two more than made up for it
8. Life as we Knew It- all three books in this series were great
9. Divergent- the way this series ended was a very gutsy move on the author's part, but one that has stuck with me for a while now.


     I hope these are some recommendations you haven't read yet, but if you have, offer me a few suggestions also.  I'm always looking for new great books :) Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

More Than This by Patrick Ness review

     I read A Monster Calls (or should I say looked at the pretty pictures since there wasn't too much of a story) and The Knife of Never Letting Go a couple years ago and I was very impressed with Mr. Ness's writing style, so when I saw that one of my friends on Goodreads strongly recommended this book I decided to give it a shot, and although I didn't like it as much as Knife it was still a good fast read.
      Part sci-fi, part post-apocalyptic, it kept me hooked from start to finish wanting to know where the main character actually was (Hell? a dream? a wasteland of the real world?) and did not disappoint with the numerous plot twists within to keep me guessing.
     My only real complaint about this book is the ending, which I'm sure has been mentioned by other readers before me.
     Although we get answers to a few of our questions, there are so many more that were left unanswered....**spoilers! do not read beyond this point if you intend on reading the book!**...who was the Driver really? Was he a robot? An alien? A superhuman? Why did he save Seth after trying to kill him?  What happened once Seth went back into the coffin?  Etc, etc.
     I don't know if there will ever be a sequel to this book.
     Immediately after reading I opened Google to see if there would be a continuation, but it's been 3 years since the novel came out so surely by now there would have at least been rumors of a sequel if there was to be one :(
     Definitely read this one if you were a fan of the movies The Road or I Am Legend as this book strongly reminded me of those.  See you at the next review!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor

    It's been so long since I wrote a review or summary that I'm pretty rusty.  I somehow managed to get caught up in the world of Destiny (it's a video game for those who don't know) and I've greatly neglected my reading for the past month because of it.  Enough of my excuses though, let's talk about the book...
     From the second I started reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone I was in love with the writing and characters, so I thought I would be equally as passionate about this book.  Although it did have some great elements in it and was worth reading, I didn't feel the same connection to these characters as I did with Karou and Akiva from the beginning.
    Be forewarned that every story in this book is pretty depressing.  No feel good love story here, just pages of wanting and never having.  The writing and world descriptions are just as on par as Taylor's other great work, and I look forward to reading her next book when it's released, but I just hope we get some memorable characters.  I've honestly already forgotten the names of the main characters in the first two stories of the novel even though I just read them yesterday, so yeah....not exactly any "Karou worthy" moments in this one.
     I feel like I've put Karou and Akiva on a pedestal so high that no other fantasy characters will ever touch them, so this in itself could be the reason for my disappointment in this book.  Definitely read it just to enjoy Taylor's style if you've never read her books before since this one is a quick read and will leave you wanting more, and then go grab Daughter of Smoke and Bone and hang on for the ride :)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Quarantine: The Saints (Quarantine book 2) by Lex Thomas

Characters: same as previous novel other than Gates, a new character introduced as leader of the Saints

     This begins exactly where the previous book left off, with the kids in the school running for the outside and freedom. A bus crashes into the exit doors though, and it turns out that it's parents who tell the kids they are safer in there instead of outside, as the military has been given instructions to kill all infected.
     The leader of the parents is Sam's dad, although he tries to hide the fact at first to prevent Sam being harmed. Will overhears Sam talking to the man one day though and figures it out.
     The parents tell the kids they'll bring them food drops as the military has been reassigned. The leader of the military charged with overseeing the school was ordered to release poisonous gas at the school before pulling out but he couldn't do it, so that's why the parents have come to take care of the kids.
     When the first drop happens, the parents aren't prepared for the fight that always ensues in the quad, and the huge palette breaks from the crane and crushes a bunch of kids, a lot of whom were Loners.
     The Loners are now down to just ten, as a lot of the others either got crushed or escaped before the bus hit the school, and although they try to keep it together, they eventually all join other gangs to have a sense of safety and access to food.
 The Saints is the name given to the new gang at the school, who are the would be rescuers which got stuck inside too when the bus came. Will joins with the Saints and becomes quick friends with their leader Gates.
     He sees another Saint with a white eye latch and recognizes it as David's. When be asks the kid where he got it, the boy says he found it on a dead kid while scavenging one day, and Will realizes David is dead.
     Gates tells Will its way worse on the outside and they've been hiding out from the military this whole time to keep from being killed. When they heard the kids at the school were still stuck, they came to try to help them out after the military left to try to round up any healthy ppl and put them in safety camps.
     Lucy joins the Sluts and after a crazy initiation, starts dating a boy named Bart, but when she tries to go all the way with him she realizes she can't because she doesn't love him.
     Gates wants their group to come out on top at the school and kidnaps Sam to use as leverage against the parents, bribing them into giving the teens things they want in exchange for Sam not being killed. Sam had been overthrown as leader of Varsity by a guy named Terry who is actually a fair person to the rest of the gangs, so no one is too upset to see this happen to Sam.
     Nonstop parties ensue, with everyone thinking Gates and the Saints are best of the best. At one party, Gates even comes riding in on the back of a large boar. He falls off it drunk and the pig escapes. They try to find it and Gates and Will finally do. Turns out it was a sow and she's had babies. Will feels sorry for the pig and tells Gates they should leave her alone with her babies as she didn't want to be kept here any more than they do.
     Hilary's been trying to get back on top now. After helping Terry out by promising assistance from The Pretty Ones, she had planned on remaining "queen" of the school by seducing him, but turns out he's gay.
     She tries to turn to leader of the Skaters, Pnut, as he's always wanted her, but the deal goes sour when he tells her that her girls would be used as high dollar call girls for the rest of the school and Hilary knows they wouldn't agree to that, so she contents herself for the moment with remaining at Varsity as just another Pretty One rather than head honcho.
     Will is figuring out that Gates is a bit bonkers as he is very clingy to Will and keeps telling him how he reminds him of his brother Colton who was shot by the military when he tried to turn himself in.
     At the next drop when Gates has Sam present for their demands to the parents, Sam's dad pulls out a gun and shoots at Gates feet, scaring the kids and giving Sam a chance to escape. His escape doesn't last long though, when he comes face to face with the pig from the party. He accidentally steps on one of the sow's babies and she mauls him to death.
     After Sam escapes all the Saints are looking for him. Gates is going nuts and mention of his brother comes up. Another guy in the Saints, Pruitt, tells Gates he needs to stop telling people the military killed his brother and face facts.
     Turns out that there was only one lone military guy they saw in a hazmat suit while Gates, Pruitt and Colton were out scavenging. When the guy saw them he ran but they knew they couldn't let him get away since he would tell the rest of the military where they were. They split up and went after him, and when Gates heard footsteps coming towards him he fired and it was his brother instead of the military guy.
     Pruitt tells Gates he needs to remember so he can move on, and Gates goes psycho, attacks and kills him. Will runs away and finds Lucy. She takes him to a room no one knows about and tells him he can stay there. They end up having sex and Lucy knows she was right to wait, as she does love Will and didn't want to admit it, although he's told her he loves her all along.
     After their night together she goes to the bathroom and sees Hilary there. Wanting to get revenge on Hilary for the hell she put her through in The Pretty Ones, she spies quietly from a stall and sees Hilary pull out her broken tooth to reglue it. Lucy grabs the tooth and flushes it down the toilet and runs before Hilary can catch her, right into Gates who takes her hostage.He announces on the loudspeaker to Will that he "needs to come home" and Lucy won't be harmed.
     Will goes to Violent and the Sluts for their help and they go with him to get Lucy back. A fight ensues between the Sluts and Saints and Lucy and Will escape.
     Will's nose begins bleeding and he and Lucy rush to the parents, knowing it means he's of age where the virus is going to kill him if he stays there. The dad says he won't let them out unless they bring Sam, so he and Lucy find Sam mauled but bundle up his body with a hood to make it look like he's just unconscious.
     The parents fall for it and let Will get on the crane hook to be pulled out with Sam but Gates rushes up and tries to stop him. When he sees that Will, who he now thinks IS Colton, is too far up on the crane to reach he attacks Lucy but she fights back and manages to kill him.
     We finish out the book with Hilary pulling out a freak girls tooth to file down and use as her own, all the while plotting revenge on Lucy, who is now without a gang since she knows the Sluts are dead due to the fact she saw Violent's (leader of the Sluts) necklace hanging around Gates neck when he attacked her.
     Finally, we see Will escaping to the woods and finding a cabin in the woods to hide out in. When he hears someone enter he thinks it's Sam's dad and calls out that he didn't kill him, he was already dead. The voice says that's good to know and Will recognizes the voice as David's.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey summary (2nd book of the Fifth Wave series)

     This book picks up a week or so after the group initially escaped Vosch's camp, with them hiding out in an abandoned hotel while Cassie waits for Evan, although he is believed by the other group members to be dead.
     They all know they can't stay there as Vosch and his army of brainwashed kids will be looking for them, along with the fact that winter is coming and they will freeze and starve to death where they are now.
     Ringer says there is a network of caves not far from their location that they could stay in for the winter and she leaves to go scout it out to see if any other survivors are there.  Teacup takes off after her and when she sneaks up on Ringer, Ringer thinks it's a Silencer and shoots her.  She hears a helicopter coming and runs out to meet it knowing it's the enemy and they will take them back to camp just so that they will save Teacup.
     The book switches to Evan's POV, and after collapsing while trying to get to Cassie after the explosion he wakes up in a cabin with a woman named Grace, who turns out to be someone Evan had met when he was younger after he was first "awoken" in his body and he found out she was an Other too.
     Grace asks who Cassie is as he was mumbling her name but he doesn't want to talk about her since he knows Grace despises humans.  He stays with her for a while to try to act like he's on her side while recuperating from his injuries and come up with a plan to get away from her.  He knows that if he doesn't kill her she will follow him right to Cassie and the others.
    There is a space mobile hanging above the bed in the room he's in, and when Grace attempts to seduce him he takes the wood from the mobile and hits her with it over and over again.  Thinking he has killed her he takes off but she awakens and follows him.
     He makes it to the hotel but knows that if he just walks in they'll kill him as he's too weak from his fight with Grace to be able to confirm his identity before they shoot thinking he's an Other (well, he is, but you know what I mean, a bad Other).
    After he knocks Ben out, he sees Cassie's little brother and starts to head toward him so he doesn't shoot him but Cassie comes up behind him and knocks him out not knowing who he is.  After realizing it's Evan she bandages his wounds and tries to nurse him back to health like he did for her.
     A little girl shows up who turns out to be a friend that Cassie's brother made while they were at camp and Evan tells them they can't get near her as an IED is implanted in her throat that is programmed to be detonated when enough CO2 is present, and that this is what Vosch had been using all the little kids for that were too young to be made into military.  He would drop the kids off at known survivor locations, and when the adults would find them the CO2 of their breath would detonate the IED.
     Cassie performs surgery on the little girl and manages to get the pill like IED out of her and they place it in a baggie.  They plan on getting CO2 canisters from the convenience store near them and placing the canisters and the IED in the elevator shaft so that the slow leak will cause the bomb to go off after they are a safe distance away, making Vosch think his plan worked.
     Grace shows up before they have the chance to do so however, and when she attacks Cassie they all fight back and she barricades herself into one of the rooms in the house.  Evan convinces Cassie to leave with her group as he knows it's only him that Grace is interested in for the moment and that she must have orders to bring him back to Vosch since she's taken so much effort to follow him.
     When they leave, Poundcake is being carried by Ben, as during the fight with Grace he was shot.  They realize Poundcake isn't going to make it and leave him behind but he makes it back to the house and finds the baggie with the IED and sacrifices himself by breathing on it to make it go off and kill Grace while she's in the house with him and about to finish him off although she sees he's already dying.
     It switches to Ringers POV, and Vosch is keeping her hostage at one of his camps (not the same original camp of course since it's been blown to smithereens).  He tells her he's going to run an experiment on her and he injects her with an enhancement serum.

*****ok, so I'm confused on this part and I'm not sure I'm interpreting it right, but hopefully I am.  If you think differently please let me know******

     He reveals to Ringer that there were never any aliens, that the people like Evan and Grace were really just enhanced (like she is about to be) by other humans like himself and were brainwashed into believing they were Others.
      It's never explained though why humans would even do this to wipe out all the rest of humanity or what, so I'm not sure if there ARE aliens behind all this or if it really just is some human scientists who took it upon themselves to clear out the world. Big old question mark on this part of the book for me.
     Ringer escapes with the help of Razor, her caretaker while she's been recuperating from the enhancements.  She has fallen for him and they develop a kind of code through chess where he tells her he's going to help her escape.
     Turns out that was just a lie too, because after the escape he leads her right to Vosch in a barn where he says he's hiding Teacup.  She tries to kill Vosch but fails and Razor stays there with her.  This is another part I'm confused on....why does she stay with him if he turned her in to Vosch?  How could he have been forced to do it if they had already escaped? Did Vosch recapture him while he and Teacup were trying to meet up with Ringer after the escape?
     Anyway, after they do some hanky panky he tries to convince her to run but she won't do it knowing that Vosch has Teacup so she goes back to the base to get her.  Vosch meets her there with Teacup and tells her she will be his weapon now or Teacup will die.  Razor then shoots Teacup and tells Ringer that she has no excuse now and she needs to run.  Vosch shoots and kills Razor and Ringer takes off.
     The book ends by going back to Cassie's POV.  She has told Ben that they are going to the cabin that Grace was staying in under Evan's directive, as he said that there's a pod that will drop there with supplies for when Grace was staying and if she can find a way to put a bomb in the pod when it's sent back up to the mothership (another thing I'm confused on, if there's no aliens where the heck did the mothership come from?) that she'll be able to end everything.
     Cassie once again thinks Evan is dead but she sees him come limping towards them from the direction of the house and she goes to meet him.

End of book 2
   

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder review

     I've read The Fault in our Stars 3 times now, but even on my first reading of it I didn't cry because I felt like I knew what was going to happen before it did (don't get me wrong, I did tear up, I just didn't let loose).  The movie was another story.  I was crying so hard watching it that I couldn't even breathe.
     This book was the same as that for me.  I felt the waterworks coming on, but everything ended so abruptly that the sad part was over before it even began. I really hope they make a movie out of this so that I may have the same reaction as I did to TFIOS movie.  To me, it's not a good movie unless it can make you weep like a 2 year old that wants a toy and his mom won't get it for him.
      I did love the book though.  I read the reviews on the back from other authors talking about how funny it was, and I was like "how can a book about a girl with cancer be funny?" but I ate my words pretty quickly.  When the part about the donkey falling out of the U-Haul came up I was laughing like a lunatic and my fiance looked at me like I had lost it.  I've always been a sucker for a sarcastic sense of humor that matches mine and this author definitely has that.
     If you loved TFIOS and want something similar then definitely pick this up. Just know that although there's a love story and it's great, it's no Hazel and Augustus.

Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars
   

Friday, September 12, 2014

Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer Armentrout review

   This was a good ending to the series as far as the wrap-up of the characters, but honestly, I was just bored most of the way through the book. Same old overprotective Daemon, same old paranoid Katy, same old 50 gazillion pages of nothing but "Oh, Daemon, I love you so much, your eyes are like blue frisbees floating across a park while the sunlight hits them"...and no, that's not a direct quote, but you get the gist of it.
     For a YA novel, I feel this book was much too risque, and if my 14 year old daughter hadn't read it before me, there is no way I would have let her read it had I known the content. The other books were pushing the limit (for YA), but nothing like this.  Every few pages seemed to be more 50 shades of grey than the Lux series I originally came to love.
     Sex scenes are described with little left to the imagination, and I really didn't feel any of it was necessary to the story other than the wedding day love scene.  I really think Armentrout should have taken cues from John Green or Stephanie Meyer with how to write a love scene for a young adult book. With their novels, you know what's going on without every action being described in detail, and with theirs, sex comes across as love, rather than the way Armentrout portrayed it....as love coming across through sex. What kind of an example does that set for teen girls?
     Daemon went from being the "holy crap, I wish I was a teenager again so I could crush on this guy without looking like an old weirdo", to making me feel like an old granny shaking her head because he was constantly referencing something sexual to Katy, even in the most tension filled times and I became completely sick of it.
    All around, if you want to know what happens to the characters, I say go ahead and pick it up, but otherwise I would veer far away from this mess of a book, and I especially wouldn't let kids under 16 read it.
     I'm going to go read The Fault in Our Stars now so I can renew my faith in young love after this wreck. See you at the next review!

2 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Characters:
Cassie- main character, told in first person narrative from her pov
Ben Parish/Zombie- love interest, another main character's pov
Vosch- an Other posing as human military
Cassie's Dad- I don't think his real name is ever mentioned; same for her mom
Sammy/Nugget- Cassie's younger brother
The Others- aliens who have attacked Earth
Evan- the Silencer aka love interest
Ringer- female soldier in Bens squad
Dumbo,Flint,Pound cake, Teacup- Ben's other squad members

     The book begins with Cassie trying to survive day to day and hiding from the drones of the Others which patrol the skies looking for humans still alive. She goes one day to search for water at an abandoned gas station and hears someone inside.  It's a man who has been shot, but it's 3 weeks into the 4th wave and she knows humans can't be trusted.  When she tells him to show his hands he does, and although it's the first person she's had to shoot, she kills the man when she sees a glint of silver in his palm and thinks it's a gun.  It turns out to have been a crucifix and Cassie is never the same.
     We learn that there were five waves to the attack by the Others:

1. The First Wave:  an EMP is released on the Earth which kills all electronic devices; cars, cell phones, tv's, etc.
2. The Second Wave:  a huge probe is dropped along the major fault lines in the ocean by the Others, causing tsunamis which obliterate any coastal cities/states/countries
3. The Third Wave: a virus is engineered by the Others to be carried by birds across the world as an airborne virus that causes human's insides to pretty much rot from the inside out and causes blood to pour from every orifice, even eyes.

After these 3 waves are complete, we find out that at this point the human population has dropped from 7 billion to an estimated 200,000

4. The Fourth Wave:  the Others come to Earth disguised as humans to rid the world of the rest of the human population.  They do this to turn human against human so no one knows who can be trusted, and while they wipe out the humans they find, people turn against each other and try to live solitary lives due to mistrust.

     Throughout the book, Cassie flashes back to her previous life before the Others arrived (called the Arrival, go figure) and we learn that she lived a normal life and was in love with a boy who didn't know she existed named Ben Parish.  She lived a normal life and had a loving family, but went through the usual teenage angst.
     When the others came that all changed.  Although her family tried to hide out in their homes while all of their neighbors fled to other places, her mom caught the 3rd wave virus and died.  After she dies, her father tells her they have to leave and try to find someplace safer.
     They end up in a camp where other survivors are living military style, armed to the teeth, while trying to band together.  Their leader is a former military sargeant (?) named Hutchfield.
    One day drones start appearing above the camp (this is at the beginning of the 4th wave), and everyone at camp is terrified, not knowing what the drones mean.  A helicopter also shows up and the people have hope that the military has finally found them and will come save them, but the helicopter flies away after hovering over the camp a few moments.
    That evening, military vehicles and some school buses do show up packed with kids.  Corporal Vosch, the leader of this military group, meets with Hutchfield and tells him they will take the kids back to the military base not too far away (Wright-Patterson) and come back for the rest of the people afterwards.  Sammy is put on the school bus with the rest of the kids but leaves Cassie his stuffed bear as a reminder of him until she gets to the base.
    When Cassie and her father go back to the meeting room with Vosch and Hutchfield with the rest of the camp, her father gives her subtle hints that she should go look for Crisco.  Cassie doesn't understand why he's telling her this, but she goes anyways with the accompaniment of a guard from Vosch's army.
     They find Crisco in the ash pit (where people who have died of the virus have been burned) looking for jewelry and other valuable items.  The guard with Cassie shoots Crisco as soon as they find him, but Cassie is able to kill the guard and hide by burying herself in the ashes of the pit before the other guards come.
     When she thinks they are gone, she grabs Sammy's teddy bear and goes to the edge of camp to see if her dad or any others may still be alive.  There she sees her dad crawling, having been shot.  She starts to go to him but he sees her and motions that she stay hidden, and Cassie sees a pulsing light at the middle of camp, which turns out to be some kind of sonic wave that once it detonates kills everything within a few miles radius of the blast.  When Cassie realizes it's a ticking time bomb she runs and jumps down a ravine into a pile of mud that shelters her from the blast.
   
     In between this flashback scene, in present day Cassie is trying to get to the military base where her brother was taken to see if he is still alive.  As she heads on her way there, she is shot by a Silencer (this is what Cassie calls the Others of the 4th wave, the human/aliens) and hides under a car while trying to think of a way to escape.
 
      At this time, pov changes to a young soldier named Zombie who is at Wright-Patterson and has been infected with the virus of the 3rd wave and is close to death.  While at a point where he is lucid, he sees that the base is being attacked and a soldier comes into his tent and tells him "they're here, they've been here the whole time inside of us", but not seeing what Cassie has already seen he has no idea what that means.
    He awakens next in the hospital wing and the doctor explains what the soldier meant by showing him an ultrasound which shows thousands of long tendrils attached to the brain.  The Others have apparently planted something in humans that takes over their minds and makes them Other but still look human.
     She places an implant in his neck and tells him it's so they can keep track of the Wright-Patterson members who are still alive.  She says 1 in 3 humans are now mutated like this and they have a program called Wonderland which they can hook up to his neck to see if he's "infested" and says they found the program on one of the infested's computer.
    Wonderland also allows them to see his thoughts and memories as well so they know where best to place him in the ranks of the military (whether he is best as a fighter,medic,etc based on his personality traits).
     She assures him that all infested inside the base have been dealt with and he just needs to focus on recovering, since his body is fighting the virus and he's getting better. She tells him she'll show him an infested and it turns out to be his bunkmate Chris.  When he tries to defend Chris by saying Chris never tried to hurt him even when he was sick and vulnerable, she tells him all the infested seemed normal until they were activated.  She places a button in front of him that says execute and tells him if he's going to be a soldier in this army (who it turns out Vosch is the general of ....hm) that he must be able to kill the enemy who doesn't look like an enemy.  He hits the button.
   
Now we switch pov again to the Silencer (that's what we'll call him at this time since he doesn't have a name yet).  He is the one who shot Cassie and he's waiting for her to come out from under the car so he can finish her off.  It's revealed that he's been watching her this whole time, and although his task was to kill her he hasn't been able to make himself do it yet, even though he's killed other humans before.
    During his chapters, we also learn how it came to be that the Others took human identities.  When babies are still in the womb, the Others come to Earth and plant the tendril-thing in the baby.  That baby is born with the Other always inside it, but is human until Awakened.  Silencer reveals that the Awakening happened 4 years ago and he has been this human ever since, but of course had to still act human in order to wipe out the rest of humanity (the whole purpose of the 4th wave).
   
     Now we're back to Cassie. She awakens in a house with a boy tending to her bullet wound.  He introduces himself as Evan Walker.  He nurses her back to health and they become close.  He leaves at night time to go hunt but hardly ever comes back with anything so Cassie grows suspicious and tries to follow him.  She can't keep up and when she turns to go back to the house he's there.  He isn't angry, but tells her he goes to hunt just to keep his thoughts in order and to make him feel in control.  She believes him and they live together for a while as she's recuperating.  He eventually kisses her and tells her he's coming with her to go find her brother, since Sammy is her purpose and she is his.
   
     Sammy's pov is next, and we find out that he has been taken to Wright-Patterson and placed in a military unit with older kids for training.  Zombie is there, and it's revealed that Zombie is actually none other than Ben Parish.  Zombie is the head of his squad and is assigned to be the one to teach Sammy (who's nickname is now Nugget) how to be a soldier.
     On a side note, there is a section here where Vosch talks to Zombie and tells him a story about being given orders to kill everyone over 16 inside a camp right after the 4th wave started ( not sure how long ago the beginning of the 4th wave is supposed to have been at this point) since the military wasn't sure who was and who wasn't an enemy anymore.
     So....is Vosch just a human taking orders from a higher up? Or is he an Other? If he's just a human how did he come to have the Eye (the sonic blast thing)? At this point we just don't know about him.
   
     Now that we've established the first pov's of each of the characters, I will summarize the rest rather than going back and forth each time a POV changes.
      Zombie and his squad are training to try to become fighters against the Others, and the top 4 squads are promoted at the end of training. His squad comes out on top with the help of the new squad member Ringer, a sharpshooter girl who is brought in after a squad member goes "Dorothy" , meaning he lost his marbles under all the stress and was put in the psych ward.
     Zombie is promoted to sargeant and Vosch tells him his squad will be sent into the city to rid it of Others with the assistance of some handy dandy headsets that reveal infested as green and friendlies as just a shadowy color.
     When they get to the city they immediately kill 3 Others but there's a 4th sniping them from a roof. Ringer insists they remove their trackers and Zombie thinks she's going Dorothy in the middle of battle but he does it because he knows that if she loses it she could kill them all as skilled as she is with a gun. Looking through the headset she immediately begins glowing green and they realize they haven't been shooting infested, but rather have been brainwashed into thinking their fellow humans were the enemy.  Ringer says she has suspected but just now got a chance to prove it.
     They go after the sniper and it turns out to be their former instructor. They kill him and Zombie vows to go back to the base to save Nugget. He has Ringer shoot him to buy him some time since he knows they'll put him on meds back at the base and won't be able to hook him up to Wonderland to see his thoughts for a while as he formulates a plan to get Nugget out.
    He is picked up by the heli that dropped them off for their mission, and when he's taken back to base he tells Vosch everyone else turned against him when he tried to defend their instructor being there when everyone else said he was an Other.  When Vosch asked why he defended him and went against the rest of the squad, Zombie says it's because he figured the instructor was there to take them out should anyone go Dorothy with the blood of first battle.
   In the meantime, Cassie and Evan have decided to go after clues as to Sammy's location since they aren't even sure he's actually at the military base. They go to the camp where her dad and the others were killed  looking for clues and are attacked. Evan easily dispatches all the kids (soldiers who are just like Zombie aka Ben and think they're Others) and Cassie realizes that although he claims to have been raised on a farm, his ninja skills and headshot sniping means he's something else. He is wounded in the fight and Cassie drags the truth out of him finally; that he is a Silencer who couldn't kill her because he has fallen in love with her. Although she doesn't know what to do about him now, she still proceeds with him to the base and poses as a kid seeking refuge while Evan waits for her outside the base in case anything goes wrong.
      She gets inside and manages to find Sammy. When she starts to get away with him Zombie aka Ben shows up at the same time and they almost kill each other thinking they are both enemies but Sammy explains and the try to leave together.
     When they are almost out Vosch catches them and takes them to an interrogation room. He is planning to kill Sammy unless Cassie tells him which of his kind betrayed them and told her how to infiltrate the base but she refuses. He pushes the button to kill Sammy but instead of "execute" the command prompt says "oops" and Vosch knows the Other working against them will shut down power to the base next so he tells the Silencer guards to keep them there and he'll be back.
     Evan shows up by crawling through the ductwork and takes out the guards and he and Cassie have a joyful reunion. They run but he tells her to leave without him and she realizes he's going to blow up the base with the Eyes. She tries to convince him to come with them but time is short and he tells her he will find her.
     Cassie, Ben, and Sammy take off and a get out just as explosions begin and drones begin dropping from the sky. She realizes Evan was able to do what he set out to do and the whole underground base has been blown to smithereens. The ground is giving way beneath them but a Humvee shows up and Ringer, Pound cake, and Dumbo (the other 2 surviving members of Ben's squad) show up and they make it to safety for now.

End of Book 1

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Origin (Lux #4) by Jennifer Armentrout

Characters newly introduced to series:
    Sargeant Jason Dasher - an employee of Daedalus
    Dr. Roth- doctor employed by Daedalus
    Archer- guard at Daedalus/an Origin
 


    This novel is told from both Katy and Daemon's perspective.  Katy awakens in the Daedalus facility in Arizona (Area 51) and is told that she needs to cooperate and that once they show her what they are really about that she will WANT to cooperate.  She doesn't at first and they blast her with onyx until she does.
     Daemon is being held in the Luxen village near their hometown in West Virginia, but escapes to go after Katy.  He drives straight to the Daedalus facility in Mount Weather, knowing he will be captured but hoping they will take him to Katy if he agrees to cooperate. Luc has told him that if Daemon will get him a sample of the LH-11 vaccine Daedalus has that he will make sure Daemon and Katy are able to escape Area 51 since he has contacts there.
     Katy is taken by Dr. Roth to an exam room, and proceeds to explain that Daedalus is doing great things in medical research with the assistance of hybrids and Luxen, and they have managed to create a compound which is helping to cure cancer and other diseases.  He informs her there are Luxen who want to see humanity fall, and that although some Luxens have been assimilated into society (such as the Blacks), he then tells her the Luxen are the cause of the war that destroyed their planet and will do the same to Earth, and Daemon and Dee are actually part of this latter category. Below is a direct quote from the book where Dr. Roth explains this:

His eyes met mine. “How many Luxen do you think there are, Miss Swartz?”
I shook my head. “I don’t know.” Daemon had once mentioned how many he thought
were here, but I couldn’t recall the amount. “Thousands?”
Dasher spoke with authority. “There are roughly forty-five thousand inhabiting Earth.”
Whoa, that was a lot.
“About seventy percent of that forty-five thousand have been assimilated. Another ten
percent can be trusted completely, like those in the other room. And the last twenty
percent? There are nine thousand Luxen who want to see mankind under their thumbs—
nine thousand beings who can wield as much destruction as a small warhead. We barely
keep them under control as it is, and all it would take for a complete upheaval of our
society is for them to sway more Luxen to their side. But want to know another startling
number?”
Staring at him, I had no idea what to say.
“Let me ask you a question, Ms. Swartz. Where exactly do you think Daemon Black,
his family, and his friends fall?”
“They aren’t interested in subjugating a house fly!” I barked out a harsh laugh.
“Insinuating that is just ridiculous.”
“Is it?” He paused. “You can never really, truly know someone. And I am sure when
you first met Daemon and his family, you never would’ve assumed what they are,
correct?”
He had me there.
“You have to admit that if they were so good at hiding the fact they weren’t even
human, how good they must be at hiding something as invisible as their allegiance,” he
said. “You forget that they are not human, and they are not, I can assure you, a part of
the ten percent that we trust.”
I opened my mouth, but no words came out. I didn’t—couldn’t—believe what he said,
but he had said all of this without an ounce of scorn. As if he were just stating facts, like
a doctor would when telling a patient he had terminal cancer.
He turned back to the window, lifting his chin. “It is speculated that there are hundreds
of thousands of Luxen out there, in space, who traveled to other points in the universe.
What do you think would happen if they came here? Remember, these are Luxen who
have had little to no contact with mankind.”
“I...” A shiver of unease traveled up my spine and across my shoulders. Turning my
attention to the window, I watched a Luxen flicker into his true form. When I spoke, I
didn’t recognize my own voice. “I don’t know.”
“They would obliterate us.”
I sucked in a sharp breath, still not wanting to believe what he was saying. “That
sounds a little extreme.”
“Does it?” He paused, sounding curious. “Look at our own history. One stronger
nation takes over another. The Luxen’s and even the Arum’s mentalities are no different
from ours. Basic Darwinism.”
“Survival of the fittest,” I murmured, and for a moment I could almost see it. An
invasion of Hollywood proportions, and I knew enough about the Luxen to know that if
that many came here, and they wanted to take over, they would.

     They begin testing Katy by trying to make her fight other hybrids who haven't developed correctly and are a bit cuckoo like Carissa was in the last book.  When Katy won't fight them, they bring in Blake and he ticks her off so much that she does fight him and ends up accidentally killing him when she blasts him backwards into a wall.  The doctors of course, are pleased.
     Nancy has made a deal with Daemon and agrees to let him see Katy in exchange for his cooperation.  They fly to Area 51 and Daemon and Katy reunite.
     They make Katy cut her hand to show that Daemon can heal it and he does, but later on they come and get Katy without Daemon knowing and a gruesome scene takes place where they strap her down to a table and cut her back to pieces, down to the bone, and then bring Daemon in to heal her again.  He does and he and Katy vow to get out as soon as possible.
     One day while they are being held captive everyone starts freaking out talking about a threat in building B, and a little boy appears.  He goes all Carrie on everyone and is able to kill a few of the soldiers and turn their weapons to ashes before they capture him again. We find out kids like this are called Origins, and they are the result of a Luxen and Hybrid who was a successful mutation breeding, and then the kids are raised by Daedalus.  Daedalus is pretty much growing their own army.
     Katy manages to steal a vial of the LH-11 one day when Dasher, Roth, and Nancy are trying to get Daemon to heal a mortally wounded Daedalus soldier (who VOLUNTEERED to mortally stab himself in the name of the research wtf?).
     Katy and Daemon are planning to release all the Origins to wreak havoc in the compound while they escape.  When they get in the elevator after stealing the LH-11, Asher, who is always present and has become a friend to Katy and Daemon even though he's a guard, tells them that their plan is doomed to fail but he can help them, as he's an Origin too and wants to get out just as badly as they do.  Turns out Asher is Luc's contact in the facility.
     After they release the Origins and epic battle ensues and they escape.  Luc and Paris show up at the crappy motel Asher told them to go to and Daemon and Katy go with them to a large house where Luc has been staying.
     Matthew, Dee, Dawson and Beth, Ash and Andrew are there and it's a happy reunion.  Matthew tells them that they have been staying at this house because he's been friends with the owner for years and Dee and Dawson were determined to come up with an escape plan to get Daemon/Katy out but they escaped before they even got the chance.
     After a few happy days (in which Daemon and Katy go get married in Vegas with their new identities Luc made them), all hell breaks loose when Matthew calls Nancy(why?!) and turns Daemon and Katy back in.  When Luc realizes this he attacks Matthew and Matthew says he did it to "protect the family", and that Nancy said the rest of the family could live free and happy if he did it, so he thought sacrificing a few for the greater good was the best route to take.
     Dawson freaks out and kills Matthew and they all make an escape.  They head out of Vegas but Daedalus is already there and is stopping vehicles and checking each one at a checkpoint.  Not seeing a way out, the Luxen decide to cause a scene by revealing themselves and in the commotion they will escape.  On a side note, I at first didn't realize why Daemon didn't just do his "stop time" thing so they could run away, but the cars were stuck in traffic and all that's around them is desert so it wouldn't have done any good, as they would have died of dehydration probably before they made it out of the desert.
      It doesn't work out as planned though and Ash, Andrew and Paris are killed when the military and a bunch of Arum attack them at once.  The rest of the group manages to escape and they go to Luc's cabin in the woods of Idaho to hide out. It's revealed at this time that the reason Beth has been not feeling well is because she's pregnant.
     One night when Katy and Daemon are asleep, Katy wakes up to see Daemon in his true form glowing beside her.  Dawson and Dee come into the room and say the same thing just happened to them.  They all go to the window and see glowing in the woods.
     When they go outside, they see that it's hundreds of Luxen coming towards the cabin.  Daemon, Dawson, and Dee begin to flicker into their true form and move toward the other Luxen.  Katy, Luc, and Beth try to call out to them but it's like they don't even hear them.  The book ends with this passage:

Suddenly Archer was beside me and Luc was near Beth. We were backing up, but I
didn’t feel my feet moving or my muscles working. My eyes were trained on Daemon
until the others of his kind swallowed his light.
Fear coated the inside of my mouth and turned the blood into slush in my veins. In that
instant I couldn’t help but think of what Dasher had said about what would happen when
the Luxen came—and whether Daemon would stand with his own kind or with mine.
I wasn’t sure Daemon even had a choice.
I wasn’t sure I did, either.

End of book 4

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer Armentrout

Characters: see previous summaries in series

     This book picks up right where Onyx left off, with Dawson back home living with Daemon and Dee.
     Katy and the gang go back to school after a large snowstorm, giving them time to recoup from everything that's happened recently, and Katy sees someone she thinks is Blake.  It does turn out to be him and he confronts her telling her he needs the Luxen's help and hers to try to get his friend Chris from Mount Weather because he's afraid they will kill Chris since Blake's mission to bring Katy back failed.  Katy goes cuckoo for a minute and attacks Blake saying she will never help him since he killed Adam and almost killed Dee, but he tells her he can help get Beth back because she's being held captive there too.
     After discussing with the rest of the Luxen, they all decide they have to at least try for Dawson's sake, because if they don't he's going to go back for her anyways.
     Blake takes them to a club that his friend Luc owns, who is a hybrid also.  Luc is very familiar with Mount Weather's security system, so he makes a deal with Daemon and Katy that as long as they promise to provide him with a favor of his choosing the next time he needs it he will shut down the security systems for a 15 minute window and get them all the passwords to the doors.
     The Luxen and Blake run the attack on Mount Weather like freakin ninjas and everything is going awesome, but when they get to one of the doors they are sprayed with airborne onyx and Katy and Andrew both collapse.
     The plan has failed, but Blake tells them a story of when he was at Mount Weather training with Daedalus about how everything the trainees touched seemed to be coated in onyx, and he thinks it's so a resistance can be built up.  He says if they train with the onyx every day they may be able to defeat the airborne system.  They all agree to do so.
     In the meantime, although Katy still feels hatred for Blake for what he did, she does also feel sympathy in knowing that he did what he did to try to protect his friend, the same as she would if it were Daemon or Dee.
Although she and Dee aren't best buds anymore, the do try to mend their friendship by going prom dress shopping together and trying to have a few heart to heart's.
     On a side note too, Katy keeps having dreams that Daemon comes into her room and sleeps with her (just sleeping, not the other thing you pervs), but it turns out it was Blake who actually WAS lying down with her.  She realizes this when he leans in to tell her something in the classroom one day and she smells his cologne....the same scent she smells when she had been "dreaming".
     Not too long after, Katy comes home and Carissa is in her room, but she's gone totally loony and been turned into a hybrid and tries to kill Katy.  After expending her Source, Carissa spontaneously combusts (the result of an unstable hybrid) and a few days later while searching for her shoes under her bed Katy pulls out a rock that turns out to be opal (ta-da! hence the title) and is an extra bit of protection against the onyx.
     Will shows up back at Katy's house, but his cancer has come back with a vengeance and Katy easily kills him when he shoots her.
     They try another attack on Mount Weather and everything seems to be going great.  Beth and Chris are there, both seemingly mistreated but sane, but when they begin to head back out, laser grids start shooting across the room and Arum are chasing them. Katy sees Blake and sees him holding the opal.  Realizing he stole it from her, she knows he has sounded an alarm and that's why everyting is going nuts.  He gets away from Katy and the other Luxen, but Katy gets stuck between a laser wall and the rest of the group. They have to leave without her, although Daemon swears he will be back soon to get her, then the Arum come up and knock Katy out.

End of book 3.
   
   

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer Armentrout

Characters:  see summary for Obsidian (Lux #1)
Characters introduced in this book: Blake- Katy's new friend from school
     This book starts out with Katy getting sick and being hospitalized.  Daemon tells her that when Luxen heal humans it can leave a trace and that is what caused her to get sick.  She and Daemon are connected now and can sense whether one or the other is in danger or present in a room.
     Weird things start happening to Katy, such as items moving in her house, glass shattering, etc, and she realizes it's her that's doing everything and knows it's from Daemon's trace.
      To try to ignore the attraction to Daemon, Katy goes on a date with a football player named Simon, but when he gets "handsy" she leaves.  He is pissed so he starts telling everyone at school that they went all the way and he dumped her afterwards.
     A new boy named Blake moves to town and he and Katy become friends. Katy agrees to go to a party with him as her date and we also find out that since Dee and Adam have been selected by the colony to marry that they have started dating and they really like each other. Katy's mom also starts dating a man named Will, and Katy tells her that although she misses her dad (he died of cancer) she is happy for her mom.
     At the party, Blake tells her he can't stay long because of a family thing, so he leaves and Daemon starts talking to Katy, but Ash interrupts and tells Daemon they should "go upstairs and finish what they started".  Katy is upset and goes outside for some fresh air, but Simon is there and tells her she needs to call off Daemon, because although Katy didn't know it, Daemon beat the crap out of him for what he had been saying.
    When Simon comes towards her, Katy's powers flare in response and she shatters all the windows in the house near them.  Daemon tells her that since Blake was drunk that he will think it was just his imagination once he sobers. They find out a few days later that Simon has disappeared.
     Katy goes on a dinner date with Blake and Daemon shows up and tells her she's needed at home.  Knowing it's an alien emergency she leaves and all the Luxen are gathered at Daemon and Dee's house. Matthew called the meeting because the Department of Defense has been seen hanging out around their town, so he warns Katy that she needs to be careful to act like she doesn't know about the Luxen or the DOD will kill her like they did Dawson and Bethany.
     The DOD show up a few days later while Katy is with Daemon in a field, and one of the agent's tells Daemon to come with him while the woman agent tells Daemon that she will take Katy home.  On the way there, the woman introduces herself as Nancy Husher and the man in the car as Brian Vaughn, a "close friend to Daemon's family". They start asking Katy questions about how close she is to Daemon and his family but Katy acts like she doesn't know anything and they drop her off at her house.  Daemon shows up a while later and tells her they interrogated him too but didn't get any information.
     Katy goes to lunch with Blake and plans to tell him that they need to just be friends because of the feelings she has for Daemon.  When her obsidian necklace begins to warm she knows an Arum is nearby.  Surprisingly, Blake attacks the Arum and kills it and Katy finds out he was mutated like her by his best friend Chris who was a Luxen.
     Blake starts training Katy to control her abilities, but Daemon doesn't trust Blake and asks her to stop.  He and Katy argue and she says she won't stop because she wants to be able to protect herself if more Arum show up (they can sense her now too since she has Daemon's trace/mutation thing), but Daemon says he doesn't want her to end up like Dawson and Beth.
     Katy goes to pick up her mail at the post office one day after school and sees a black Expedition parked near it.  She senses it's a DOD vehicle and when the door opens she sees Brian Vaughn inside along with a girl and recognizes her as Bethany from a picture she's seen.
     After telling Daemon what she saw, they decide to go to Vaughn's house to see if they can find any clues, but the don't tell Dee for now so that she doesn't get her hopes up that Dawson is alive.
     When they get to the house they see Vaughn go inside with Nancy and an Arum shows up and Vaughn allows the Arum inside.  Daemon and Katy go to find Matthew to find out why the DOD would be working with Arum. (I'm going to put the exact conversation from the book here because it can explain it way better than I can):

“Why would they have Dawson? They told us he was dead. Obviously Bethany isn’t, but that doesn’t mean he’s alive. So get that out of your head, Daemon.”
Anger flashed in Daemon’s deep green eyes. “If it was one of your siblings, would you ’get it out of your head’?”
“All my siblings are dead.” Matthew stalked across the room, stopping in front of us. “You guys are all I have left, and I will not stand by and humor false hope that will get you killed or worse!”
Daemon sat down beside me, taking a deep breath. “You’re family to us, too. And Dawson also considered you family, Matthew.”
Pain flashed in Matthew’s ultra-bright eyes, and he looked away. “I know. I know.” He moved over to his recliner and sat down heavily, shaking his head. “Honestly, it would be best if he weren’t alive, and you know that. I can’t even imagine…”
“But if he is, we need to do something about it.” Daemon paused. “And if he’s truly dead, then…”
Then what kind of closure would that be? They’d already believed he was dead, and finding out that it wasn’t the Arum would rip open old wounds and dump salt on them.
“You don’t understand, Daemon. The DOD would have no interest in Bethany unless…unless Dawson healed her.”
Blake had been saying this all along. The confirmation relieved me.
“What are you saying, Matthew?” Daemon asked, keeping up with the cluelessness.
Matthew rubbed his brow, wincing. “The elders…they don’t talk about why we’re not allowed to heal humans, and they have good reason. It’s forbidden, not only because of the risk of exposure on our end, but because of what it does to a human. They know. So do I.”
“What?” Daemon glanced at me. “Do you know what happens?”
He nodded. “It alters the human, splicing his or her DNA with ours. There has to be a true want for it to work, though. The human takes on our abilities, but it doesn’t always stick. Sometimes it fades. Sometimes the human dies from it or the change backfires. But if successful, it forms a connection between the two.”
As Matthew went on, Daemon grew more agitated, and rightfully so. “The connection between a human and a Luxen after a massive healing is unbreakable at a cellular level. It marries the two together. One cannot survive if the other perishes.”

And this passage should help explain more about what Matthew knows of the DOD:

“What about the Arum thing?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” Matthew refilled his glass. “I can’t even fathom a reason why the DOD would be working with them—what they could even gain. The Arum absorb our powers, but never healing—nothing of that magnitude. They have a different heat signature than we do, so with the right tools, the DOD would know they weren’t dealing with us, but to walk up to an Arum or a Luxen on the street, there would be no way to tell us apart.”
“Wait.” I tucked my hair back, glancing at a silent Daemon. “What if the DOD captured an Arum, believing it to be a Luxen, and you guys were studied, too, right? Forced to assimilate into the human world? I don’t know what assimilation entails, but I’m sure it was some kind of observation, so wouldn’t they have noticed eventually, especially with the heat-signature thing?”
Matthew got up, went to a cabinet in the far corner. Opening it, he pulled out a square bottle and poured himself a glass. “When we were being assimilated, they never saw our abilities. So, if we work off the theory that they’ve known for some time, they studied our abilities on Luxen who could never tell us that the DOD is aware what we can do.”
Nausea rose sharply. “You’re saying that those Luxen would be…”
“Dead,” he said, turning around and taking a drink. “I’m not sure how much Daemon has told you, but there were Luxen who didn’t assimilate. They were put down…like feral animals. No stretch of the imagination to believe that they used some Luxen to study their abilities, to learn about us, and then got rid of them.”
Or sent them back as spies—ones who could keep an eye on the others, report back to the DOD with any suspicious activity. Seemed paranoid, but this was the government we were talking about.
“But that doesn’t explain why the Arum would work with the DOD.”
“It doesn’t.” Matthew moved to the fireplace. He propped his elbow on the mantel, swirling the ruby liquid with his other hand. “I am afraid to theorize over what that could mean.”

     Katy is training with Blake a few days later and is in his truck with him.  He stops on the side of the road and tells her there's an Arum nearby and to go fight it.  She freaks out but manages to kill it and Blake congratulates her.  She is pissed that he almost let her die by putting her up against an enemy without warning and tells him to leave her alone for now, but he tells her he's sorry the next day and she was never in any danger because he would have protected her.  They make up and he tells her he won't be able to help her train for a while because he's going out of town to his family's house for the holidays.
     Daemon comes over and ends up falling asleep in Katy's bed with her and her mom and Will find them like that the next morning.  Katy's mom is really mad even though Katy tries to explain nothing happened.  Katy then confronts her mom about Will stating the he must have slept over too, and she didn't realize how serious things had gotten between them. Katy is uneasy about Will because she found out that he was Bethany's uncle and thinks it's weird that he now is dating her mom.
      Daemon and Katy go snoop around the DOD warehouse and the guards catch Katy but Daemon kills them to save her.  He tells her he didn't find anything in the warehouse but a bunch of gemstones that he doesn't know what it is, but that when he touched one it hurt.  Katy tells him she heard them talking about cages and how they mentioned getting paid a lot to capture another one "like her", and Daemon and Katy come to the conclusion that it means for some reason the DOD have been capturing Luxen and mutated humans.
     Dee comes over that evening to invite Katy to Ash's New Year's party and tells her she'll come pick her up the day of. She also tells Katy she misses spending time with her so she HAS to come.  Katy feels guilty for keeping everything from Dee; her training, the facts about the DOD and Bethany, and the reason she's been spending so much time with Daemon (well, part of the reason anyway), so she agrees to go to the party.
     The next day Katy sees an article about the missing guards and a reward for information about their whereabouts so she knows the DOD doesn't know that they were at the warehouse.  She Google's Will's name since she still doesn't trust him and finds out that he had cancer at one point.  She wonders if her mom knows since that is what her dad died from and she doesn't want her mom to go through that again.  She then searches Blake's name and discovers a picture of Vaughn with Blake. She immediately goes to Vaughn's house and finds Bethany there but she's gone bonkers and Katy has to leave since Vaughn has come back home before she gets a chance to help Bethany escape.
    Blake shows up at Katy's house the next day, back from his "family's" house, and asks her to go to eat with him. Katy agrees, since she doesn't want to reveal that she knows he's working with Vaughn, his uncle, but when she gets in the car she sees Simon's watch with blood on it and thinks Blake killed him so she tries to run back to her house but he captures her.
     She reveals to him that she knows who his uncle is and he finally tells her the truth, that he's worked for the DOD since he was small when his friend Chris mutated him, and that he has been used as an implant in towns where there are suspected to be other mutated kids to get to know them and see if they are salvageable, meaning he is to become their friend and find out if they have abilities the government could use. If they don't, and only have a trace left on them but know about the Luxen they are captured and killed or held hostage for the rest of their lives so that they can't reveal any information about the aliens to society and can be experimented on to see how the Luxen abilities work (this is what happened to Bethany).
     Dee and Adam show up to take Katy to the party and when she doesn't answer the door they sneak in and see that Blake is holding Katy hostage to try to find out which Luxen it was that healed her so he can turn her and that Luxen over to the DOD.  They attack him, not knowing he's a mutated human, and Adam is killed. 
     Vaughn shows up with two Arum and tells Katy to come with him.  Katy fights them and Daemon shows up to help. They manage to kill Vaughn, but Blake tries to escape. They catch him and Katy wants to kill him for killing Adam but Daemon lets him go. Blake tries to tell them he only did this to try to keep Chris safe since the DOD has him.  Katy figures the reason Daemon's letting Blake go is because Nancy will kill Chris once she finds out Blake failed and Blake will die anyways.
     Dee is very angry with Katy once she finds out the whole story, partly because Katy never told her that Dawson may be alive and partly because Katy never told her about Blake, so she and Adam had no idea what they were getting into when they came to save Katy and Adam died because of it.
     When Katy goes back to school she is called to the office and Will is there.  He tells her that her mom has been in an accident and she needs to come with him.  Turns out he was lying though, and takes her back to the warehouse and locks her in a cage and chains her with onyx (the gems/rocks that Daemon had seen before). It is pure torture and she screams until she can't even talk anymore.
     Will comes in and tells her that Vaughn was working for him the whole time, and he had paid Vaughn off to betray Nancy Husher and bring Katy to him along with the Luxen who mutated her, who they have realized by now was Daemon. He also tells her he is the one who turned Bethany and Dawson in to the DOD.  He has been trying to find out how the humans are mutated because he wants to be mutated too, to make sure his cancer never comes back.  He says most of the humans die or go crazy, but she has had such a good response to Daemon's mutation that he knows Daemon can do it.
     Daemon arrives and agrees to do it if he'll let Katy go.  Will says okay, but states that he's not stupid and he knows Daemon will try to come after him once he lets Katy go, so he tells him that Daemon has two choices: come after him, or go to the address he has on a slip of paper and retrieve his brother.  He tells Daemon he has paid a lot of money so that Dawson could "escape" from DOD headquarters, and then says Dawson was useless anyways, because the DOD has been getting Dawson to try to mutate other humans and the humans always die. Turns out, the whole reason the DOD and Daedalus (the division of the DOD experimenting on the Luxen and humans is called) have been kidnapping these people is to try to turn mutated humans into weapons for war, although some people have been test subjects willingly because they get paid.
    Of course, Daemon and Katy choose to go after Dawson but he isn't at the address Will gives them. Daemon tells Katy on the way back home that he doesn't think the mutation to Will is going to stick because of what Matthew told them, that the Luxen has to really WANT to do it instead of being forced to. He says they will just have to wait and see.
     When they return home, this happens:

I slipped out of the seat, wincing as coldness bit deep into my flesh. Daemon took a step forward as the front door started to swing shut but stopped. A tall and thin form filled the doorway, swaying like a reed. As the form drifted forward, Daemon stumbled.
Oh God, Daemon never stumbled.
The why sunk in slowly, and I blinked—too scared to believe what I was seeing. It all seemed surreal. Like maybe I’d fallen asleep on the way back, and I was dreaming something too perfect.
Because under the glow of the porch light was a boy with dark wavy hair curling around broad cheekbones, lips that were wide and expressive, and eyes that were dull but still such a striking shade of green. An exact replica of Daemon stood on the porch. Gaunt and pale, but it was like seeing Daemon in two spots.
“Dawson,” Daemon croaked out.
Then he broke into a dead run, feet pounding over frozen ground and up the steps. Wetness gathered in my eyes, spilling down my cheeks as Daemon threw his arms out, his broader body blocking his brother’s.
Somehow, someway, Dawson was home.
Daemon pulled his brother to him, but Dawson… He was just standing there, arms limp against his sides, his face as beautiful as his brother’s but painfully empty.
“Dawson…?” Uncertainty carried in Daemon’s voice as he pulled back, twisting my insides into raw, nervous little knots that traveled up my throat, getting stuck and stealing my breath.
As the two brothers stared at each other, with the wind blowing loose flakes of snow on the ground, sending them swirling into the night sky, I remembered what Daemon had said earlier. He had been right. In that moment, everything did change…for the better and for the worse.

End of book 2.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    
     
     
     

   
   

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer Armentrout summary

  Characters:
Daemon- Luxen, love interest
Dawson- Daemon's brother
Katy- main character
Dee- Daemon's sister
Matthew- Daemon's father figure
Ash, Andrew, and Adam- Luxen siblings

     Ok, so I know there's a lot more characters that come into play than this, but these are the important main characters.
     This summary won't be as detailed as some of my others, as it's been quite a while since I read the first book and I don't want to mislead anyone with wrong information, so this is just a short short review.

     Katy and her mom move to a small town in West Virginia and Katy makes friends with her neighbor Dee, although Dee's brother Daemon is a complete jerk to Katy.
     While Katy tries to adjust to living in the small town, she grows closer to Dee and more curious about Daemon.
     When Katy and Daemon get in an argument, she walks in front of a truck since she's so angry she's not paying attention.  Daemon turns into a beam of light and rescues her from in front of the truck. Katy finds out Daemon and Dee are aliens called Luxen, and there is another alien race called Arum which are the Luxen's enemies.
     The government know about the Luxen being on Earth, but allow them to stay as long as national security isn't breached. Daemon tells Katy the reason he has been mean to her even though he's attracted to her is that his brother Dawson became involved with a human girl called Bethany and they were both killed.
     Three Arum attack Dee, Daemon, and Katy later on in the book.  Two are defeated but the 3rd comes back after them and Katy kills him with obsidian (hence the title).

   

The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa review

     This book was similar to the second for me, in that it started out slow but quickly became nonstop action.  I'm pretty good at figuring out what the plot twists are going to be in a book, but I was speechless after a certain section of the novel (which if you've read it, you know exactly which part I'm talking about), and actually pretty happy, although I'm sure a lot of people won't be. Normally, it takes me ages to get through the last book of a series because they never seem to measure up to the first books, but this was even better than The Immortal Rules in my opinion.  The ending was beautiful, although there was a part I was confused about, but I don't want to mention that here as it would be a major spoiler.  All in all, this whole series was a must read if you like vampires and love stories.  Some parts can get monotonous and repetitive, but if you can overlook those the storyline is excellent.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa

*See previous summary of series for character list

     This book picks up a few months after The Immortal Rules, with Allie following her blood tie to Kanin to find him and rescue him from Sarren.  She begins to feel two pulls on the tie, and in following one ends up finding Jackel rather than Kanin.  He convinces her to join forces with him since they both know they wouldn't be able to defeat Sarren alone.
      The queen of the city they're in (Azura) tells them not only do they need to defeat Sarren for Kanin, but because Sarren is in search of the research the scientists were doing but doesn't know why, and recently passed near her city looking for it in the subway tunnels of DC.
     Jackel tells Allie if she will help him find the lab in the tunnels (since Azura knows where it is), he will help her defeat Sarren.  When Allie asks why Jackel wants to find that lab, he tells her it's so he can get the research for himself to begin working on finding a cure to Rabidism, therefore meaning he can finally raise up his vampire raider army by being able to turn them without them becoming rabid.
     Allie reluctantly agrees and they go in search of the lab, but after fighting their way through a huge horde of rabids to get to it, they see that Sarren found it and has taken the vials of blood and research.
     They now go to New Covington to rescue Kanin, and so Jackel can get the vials and research from Sarren.  New Covington is now like a disaster area, with people running through the streets going crazy, attacking anything in sight and clawing at their faces. While they wonder what is happening the realization come to them.  Here's a quote from the book that explains it best:

 "And now, Red Lung had emerged again, in New Covington. Or a version of it had, anyway. Jackal and I exchanged a grave look, no doubt both thinking the same thing. This was what Sarren wanted, why he'd taken the virus samples. Somehow, he'd created another strain of the plague that had destroyed most of the world, and he'd unleashed it on New Covington."

      To avoid the sick people, they go into an abandoned underground building and there they find Zeke, who had come looking for Allie after she left Eden.  He has become a leader of the small group of people who aren't sick that are left in the city and they have been hiding out ever since.
     Realizing they will be unable to get through the gates of the Inner City since Salazar has sealed them off, they try to figure out a way to get in throught the sewers, and Allie suggests they ask for help from the people who know the sewers best, the Mole Men.
     A Mole man living in the sewers tells them he will help them find their way out of the sewers to get to the palace in exchange for Zeke's crossbow, perfect for killing vampires.  They agree and he helps them find the exit that comes out within the Inner City.
     They reach the palace and speak with Salazar, but it turns out that Sarren is there too and has been acting like an ally to the prince. They explain of Sarren being the one to release the new plague into the city.  Now that he's been outed, he attacks Salazar and escapes and Jackel, Allie, and Zeke are able to rescue Kanin by promising to bring Sarren back to Salazar with the cure to this plague.
     They now go on a hunt for Sarren, and to ensure that they don't just leave the city and escape, Salazar has injected Kanin with this new strain of plague, which slowly kills vampires as well as humans and they only have 72 hours to find Sarren in the city and bring him back to the prince before Kanin dies.
     Zeke receives a call on his walkie talkie that the human group is in trouble and the Mole Men are attacking them.  When Zeke, Allie, and Kanin say they are going to save the humans first, Jackel gets mad that they feel humans are as important as getting to Sarren and leaves them.
     They arrive too late and find that most of the humans have been killed. Zeke has also been bitten by a crazed human in the process of trying to get back to the humans and is slowly getting very sick. They are almost to the hospital where they think Sarren is but Zeke can't continue and they leave him hidden in a van near the hospital while they go to fight.
     When they find Sarren they are about to fight him but bright lights go on and Jackel attacks them from behind.  Sarren grabs Kanin and throws him in a cage and ties Allie down to a lab table to torture her and show her what types of "experiments" the humans had done on him when Kanin turned him in when Rabidism started. He also explains that he's not looking for a cure to Rabidism by taking the scientist's research, but that he means to modify the virus and release it all over in a similar way to what he did in New Covington so the world can "start over" and all rabids, humans, and vampires will be extinguished.
     Jackel then cuts Allie loose while Sarren isn't looking and together they attack Sarren but he almost defeats them until Zeke shows back up and shoots Sarren.  Allie then cuts off Sarren's arm and he runs away.  When Allie asks how Zeke managed to make it there, he tells her he feels fine now and explains that he had been a willing guinea pig to the scientists in Eden who were looking for a cure and they had given him a vaccine that apparently works, so the cure is in his blood.
     Zeke lets Allie draw his blood and inject it into Kanin and it works to cure Kanin also, so they know for sure now that the cure in Zeke's blood works. They draw more of Zeke's blood into a vial to give to Salazar and Salazar accepts it even though they tell him Sarren is gone.
     They spend the night in Salazar's palace and make plans to go to Eden now to let the scientists there know the cure worked, but Stick, now Salazar's pet, lures Zeke out of the palace with the promise of knowing where Sarren is so Zeke can kill him, but instead leads Zeke into a trap so Sarren can capture him.
     Allie goes back to the hospital, knowing Sarren wants her to find him, but finds only blood and a recording of Zeke being tortured and Sarren asking him how he survived the virus, knowing Zeke must have found a cure, since Jackel had told him how sick Zeke was when he was acting like a traitor.
     Zeke tries to resist but Sarren tortures him so badly that Zeke finally reveals the truth and Sarren heads to Eden to try to stop the scientists from getting any farther with their cure which would ruin his plans of killing the world. The recording cuts off with Allie thinking Zeke is dead. Allie, Kanin, and Jackel head towards Eden to kill Sarren and warn Eden of Sarren's plans.

End of Book 2