Author: Sharon Dogar
Published: February 7, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 2 stars
1814: Mary Godwin, the sixteen-year-old daughter of radical socialist and feminist writers, runs away with a dangerously charming young poet – Percy Bysshe Shelley. From there, the two young lovers travel a Europe in the throes of revolutionary change, through high and low society, tragedy and passion, where they will be drawn into the orbit of the mad and bad Lord Byron.
But Mary and Percy are not alone: they bring Jane, Mary’s young step-sister. And she knows the biggest secrets of them all . .
Gosh, I absolutely hate idealists. I’m allowed to say that because I used to be one. Then I entered the real world and it kicked my ass and I realized that I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was. My biggest problem with this book is the ridiculous, immature, obnoxious idealism of Mary, Percy, and Jane. And they are the worst kind! The kind that expects the world to coddle them, and accept their ideas without question or consequence. And then, they dare to act shocked when everyone calls them out on their ridiculousness! It’s the whole damn book!
I was hoping for a book about monsters and spooky castles and weird experimentations, all that inspired Frankenstein . . . Nope, just page after page of “why is everyone so mean to us??” If they were actually fighting for something worthwhile, then I wouldn’t have minded it nearly so much! But it was literally Mary wanting to live with a married man, Percy wanting to have sex with any woman he wants, and Jane wanting to be Mary. The hypocrisy was astounding! Of course people should accept how I live, no matter how outrageous, but if anyone else tries it, CONDEMNATION! I wanted to kill all three of them, because they’re idiots!! The tiny bit of explanation for Frankenstein was the only good thing in this book, that’s it. I honestly wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.
Author: Will Hill
Published: October 2, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
The things I’ve seen are burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade.
Before, she lived inside the fence. Before, she was never allowed to leave the property, never allowed to talk to Outsiders, never allowed to speak her mind. Because Father John controlled everything—and Father John liked rules. Disobeying Father John came with terrible consequences.
But there are lies behind Father John’s words. Outside, there are different truths.
Then came the fire.
Well, this book caused me to have an epiphany. But first, I’ll say that the only reason I gave this book 4 stars, is because I already read Minnow Bly and it’s so similar, that it took a little out of the reading. But I still loved this book so much! Now, back to my epiphany: I was raised in a cult. I don’t mean to make every review about myself, but part of the review process seems to be “how did this book affect me?” The main difference I saw between After the Fire and Minnow Bly was the realism factor. Minnow Bly was far more imagined, whereas After the Fire was based far more on real life events. It was easy to write off Minnow Bly as purely fiction. After the Fire was based on the Waco standoff, therefore it felt more based in reality.
Due to said realism, it was much harder to shrug off the similarities that kept popping up. Mostly, it was the manipulation. The tactics used by the Lord’s Legion were very similar to the tactics used by Bob Jones University. The idea of belonging and merit based on personal belief is the same. At BJU, your “spirituality” affected your status within the social and professional structure. If any perceived wrongdoing or disbelief was detected, it was dealt with swiftly and with no real winning on your part. I wasn’t allowed to go forward during any invitations at the end of services because my parents knew that if we confessed anything, it would stick to us throughout the rest of our BJU careers, however long that would be. It would also affect my parents professional standing. And that was the main similarity: our entire lives were so wrapped up in BJU, that if anything happened, if for whatever reason, my parents lost their jobs or we had to leave, our entire lives would be completely uprooted. Housing, education, childcare, jobs, insurance, social standing, church membership, everything. True, the Lord’s Legion used threat of violence to keep people in line, but they called into question one’s spiritual state, overall morality, and their place in the afterlife. Thankfully, BJU didn’t use violence, but they sure did love questioning spirituality and Christlikeness based on their own interpretations and opinions.
What made After the Fire unique and interesting, was the look into the coping and mental states of the survivors. The whole book was about Moonbeam and how she was “deprogrammed” and psychologically cleared after surviving the cult. Her experience during the fire was actually pretty predictable, which is another reason for the 4 stars. But the process she went through with Dr. Hernandez and Agent Carlyle was fascinating and in depth. And I loved the rapport that Moonbeam had with both men. I liked their father like roles. I also liked how Will Hill dealt with the elephant in the room in his Author’s Note: this book was not a condemnation of religion. I learned so long ago to separate Christ from Christians, so I never had to abandon my faith. He tried to focus on the psychological aspects and he went into good detail in the Author’s Note, enough that I felt very good about it. Overall, this was an interesting read and one that I would definitely give to older teens.
Today Kim is reviewing The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen. She rated this series 4 stars.
Books in the Series:
The False Prince
The Runaway King
The Shadow Throne
The False Prince
Published: April 1, 2012
In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point—he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.
The Runaway King
Published: March 1, 2013
A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive?
Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?
The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King.
The Shadow Throne
Published: February 25, 2014
One war. Too many deadly battles. Can a king save his kingdom when his own survival seems unlikely?
War has come to Carthya. It knocks at every door and window in the land. And when Jaron learns that King Vargan of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen in a plot to bring Carthya to its knees, Jaron knows it is up to him to embark on a daring rescue mission. But everything that can go wrong does.
His friends are flung far and wide across Carthya and its neighbouring lands. In a last-ditch effort to stave off what looks to be a devastating loss for the kingdom, Jaron undertakes what may be his last journey to save everything and everyone he loves. But even with his lightning-quick wit, Jaron cannot forestall the terrible danger that descends on him and his country. Along the way, will he lose what matters most? And in the end, who will sit on Carthya’s throne?
Kim’s Rating of the Series: 4 Stars
I love Jennifer Nielsen. She’s a dependable writer with great imagination and a talent for storytelling. I haven’t read a book of hers that I haven’t liked. This series is no different. I’ll admit that by the last book I was ready for the story to resolve, but when it did, I was completely satisfied. I loved each character and I was surprised many times. Sage had a consistency about him that kept me from getting frustrated with the plot. I never doubted that he could think his way out of any problem. I was usually surprised by his cleverness and the details of his schemes. Y’all know that I dislike idiot teens, but thankfully, these teens are not idiots, they’re just young and they learn and grow throughout each of the books. I know this is another short review, but I can’t talk about much without giving things away. This is a great series for younger teens and an interesting and unique fantasy series.[Top]