Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015
Greta is one of the Children of Peace: Rulers in the post-apocalyptic world must give their heirs to a Precepture, sort of a holding camp, from the age of five until the heir turns eighteen. This is done to ensure that no country will wage war on another; if it happens, the heir is killed. It's a mostly successful system, one thought of by the great Talis, an AI who basically rules the world. As the story opens, Greta is certain that the approach of a Swan Rider means she will be killed, but the unfortunate punishment goes to a classmate instead. If she's momentarily relieved, it's fleeting; a new hostage, Elián, comes to the Precepture, and he is nothing but non-compliant. The AIs in charge must make an example of him, and by extension, those in his age group, which includes Greta and her roommate Da-Xia. That alone would be bad enough, but things go from bad to worse when Elián's country invades the Precepture in order to force Greta's country into terms for water. Greta's life hangs in the balance, and there's the reality that someone will have to account for the countries' actions.
There's a lot more going on, of course, including the daily life of study, gardening, and herding goats, but Greta knows her life is forfeit if her country becomes involved in a war. Dealing with AIs also involves torture and the expectation of a certain, reserved behavior, but when your life is on the line, it's hard to stick to all the rules. And with teenagers, there is, of course, a romantic aspect, but in this case, it's not necessarily what you think it's going to be.
Like I said, I really enjoyed this novel. I think Greta is entirely believable, and I found the circumstances surrounding the invasion of the Precepture to be realistic and horrific enough to ring true. There's torture and there are forbidden relationships; there are people who seem to be one thing and others that are just evil. I was a bit worried at first that Talis would become annoying, but surprisingly, I grew to enjoy his interactions. It's a good, edge of your seat story, and I have no problems recommending it to anyone who likes dystopians.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
And yet...the storyline felt clunky. We meet Delia's best friend, Sadie, who is getting married and whose mother is dying, and she accepts Delia's problem with no issues whatsoever. I could almost get on board with that, and I did love Gabe, the detective, who lost his wife in the earthquake. I think my biggest problem was the addition of Isadora, a woman who also communes with ghosts but mostly just came off as an irritating drunk. Had she been left out of the story entirely, I would probably be giving the book five full stars.
Don't be mistaken, the longer I read this book, the more I liked it. I could nitpick how the murderer was "found out", but it's a paranormal mystery so that would be pointless. Though I figured out where the story was headed, I was thrown for a loop by a big twist in the murders late in the story, and the friendship between Delia and Gabe blossomed nicely into a full on romance. While the murders were described in rather gory detail, I ended up finding myself caught up in the story and stayed up past my bedtime to finish. I'll be looking for the sequel, but hoping Dora finds a job in another country so she won't be making an appearance.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Infinity picks up two years after The Chaos, and Sarah and Adam are living in a tent, roaming about after an earthquake has devastated London. Along with them they have Sarah's two younger brothers and Mia, Sarah's daughter. When they chance upon a community that seems inviting, Sarah, who is pregnant, really wants to stay, but Adam fears he is still being hunted for his ability to see "numbers"--when a person will die. As it turns out, he's got every reason to be worried, because three men on motorcycles show up looking for him, and they take Mia in order to get to him. Taken to an underground bunker, Adam is separated from Mia and Sarah (who has gone after her daughter), and it's obvious that the men are not the kindly souls they are pretending to be--they want something and they're willing to go to great lengths to get it.
My biggest issue with this installment was the fact that I could never truly understand how the men knew about Mia's number swap--I went back over it and even though I could see why they wanted Adam, I felt like more explanation was needed. I do think the way the story is ultimately resolved was brilliant--the author certainly threw a curve I wasn't expecting, and I loved it! I literally raced through this one, and am sad that the series is done. Creative and riveting, this entire series is an absorbing read. Give it a try.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
To recap: Eddie is approached by the on-screen wife of Joey Bishop, Abby Dalton, to help retrieve some pictures she made early on in her career that wouldn't uphold her current good girl status. Naturally, Eddie agrees, and since Big Jerry just happens to be in town with his nephew, he enlists the hit man into intimidating the photographer holding the pictures. While there's some breaking and entering involved, this portion of the story resolves quickly and is a bit ho-hum. And then...Frank Sinatra calls. His son, Frankie Jr., has been kidnapped, and he needs his buddy Eddie to help handle the situation. It should come as no surprise that the earlier bit of the story is woven into the second half, and things are not at all what they seem.
It never ceases to amaze me how adeptly Randisi intertwines actual events with those of the fictional Eddie G, and in this case, he has Eddie helping the FBI make the case against the real-life kidnappers. The way Randisi writes the tale, I am almost convinced this is how it really, truly happened. Eddie and Jerry are delightful as always, and the appearances of the Rat Pack and other celebrities add completely to the atmosphere. Bookended by a short narrative of present-day Eddie looking back, this is a fun entry that will keep you turning the pages.
Monday, September 07, 2015
Adam is the son of Jem (the main character in Numbers). He's inherited her "gift": He sees people's death dates simply by looking into their eyes. At age fifteen, it becomes apparent to him that something big is going to happen on January 1, 2027, because there are so many people with that date reflected in their eyes. But Adam has no idea what to do about it: he's already too much of an outsider, and before she died, his mother warned both he and his Nan that they should not be in London on that date.
Sarah knows something awful is happening, too, because she continually has nightmares where a boy takes a baby from her and walks into the fire with it. When she meets Adam, she's stunned to realize he's the boy from her dreams--and she is pregnant. Her life harbors much worse secrets, however, and she takes off, but is she able to outrun what's coming?
This book is a page turner from the start, and Adam is a heartbreaker--everything he tries to do ends up coming out wrong somehow. Told in both his and Sarah's points of view, you get the feeling that it's all going to crash down around them, but it does seem to take longer than it should. However, the story is so captivating, and the outcome so expected yet unexpected, I literally inhaled the story. I also ordered Infinity, the final book in the trilogy, but don't worry: It's up next in my reading queue. I won't make the same mistake twice.