Author: Jess Rothenburg
Published: May 28, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule.
Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.
Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.
But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human.
I was fascinated as soon as I saw it! The cover is amazing and then the description sealed the deal. If Jurassic Park was done at Disney World and had more than just dinosaurs, then you’d have The Kingdom. Rothenburg does a wonderful job of showing the wonder and fantasy of places like theme parks and what they can mean to people, especially kids. However, her contempt for the huge corporate entertainment conglomerate is easy seen. I can’t really say that I blame her either.
The story focuses on Ana, one of the Kingdom’s AI princesses. While there is a simple plot with a slightly predictable twist, the point of the story is Ana’s growth as a conscious being. Rothenburg tackles a lot of those ethical issues that Jurassic Park focuses on. Ana starts to question her place in life as a whole which then throws off the well oiled machine that is the Kingdom.
It was interesting to see her thought patterns and evolution from the naive, sheltered artificial being into a self aware, questioning woman. Overall, its an engaging read that leaves you thinking and pondering the morals of technological progress. I enjoyed it and I would recommend it to many Disney fans!
House of Salt and Sorrows
Author: Erin A. Craig
Published: August 6, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
This book had me from the first time I saw the cover. Then I picked it up and read the description and I just knew. This is easily one of my favorite books this year: the story is unique, and twisty, and gorgeous. I hadn’t read anything like it before. I would very much like to visit the Salann Islands and to study the People of the Salt. I want to know every festival, every tradition, every bit of their culture. Each setting was imaginative and spun descriptively and completely. The gods of this world are obviously based on other gods from cultures around the real world, but I still completely believed every one of them.
I was so emotionally involved in Annaleigh’s family story. I cared about them. The sisters were unique and the curse was terrifying. Each ghost sighting gave me goosebumps. If you’re looking for a read that is creepy, but not scary, this is the perfect book. The mystery was complicated and kept me guessing. Overall, this is an awesome book that I would recommend to pretty much anybody.
Today Kim is bringing you a Sunday Series VIDEO review of the Arc of a Scythe series by Neal Shusterman. Both Jessica and Kim have loved this series, which the final book just came out and Kim has already read it! Once Jessica can get her hands on it (and time to read it) we will bring her her thoughts on it!
Books in the Series:
Published: November 22, 2016
Two teens must learn the “art of killing” in this Printz Honor–winning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.
Published: November 21, 2017
Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the chilling sequel to the Printz Honor Book Scythe from New York Times bestseller Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology. The Thunderhead cannot interfere in the affairs of the Scythedom. All it can do is observe—it does not like what it sees.
A year has passed since Rowan had gone off grid. Since then, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. His story is told in whispers across the continent. As Scythe Anastasia, Citra gleans with compassion and openly challenges the ideals of the “new order.” But when her life is threatened and her methods questioned, it becomes clear that not everyone is open to the change. Will the Thunderhead intervene? Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?
Published: November 5, 2019
In the highly anticipated finale to the New York Times bestselling trilogy, dictators, prophets, and tensions rise. In a world that’s conquered death, will humanity finally be torn asunder by the immortal beings it created?
Citra and Rowan have disappeared. Endura is gone. It seems like nothing stands between Scythe Goddard and absolute dominion over the world scythedom. With the silence of the Thunderhead and the reverberations of the Great Resonance still shaking the earth to its core, the question remains: Is there anyone left who can stop him?
The answer lies in the Tone, the Toll, and the Thunder.
Kim’s Ratings of the Series:
Scythe: 5 Stars
Thunderhead: 5 Stars
The Toll: 4 Stars
Kim’s Thoughts on the Arc of a Scythe Series: