Category Archives: Young Adult

Book Review: “Lost and found”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Orson Scott Card (http://www.hatrack.com/) published the novel “Lost and found” in 2019. Mr. Card has published more than 70 novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in the contemporary US. The primary character is 14-year-old Ezekiel Bliss.

Bliss has had a troubled past. He can sense lost objects and then knows who they belong to. Early on this got him labeled as a thief and is now somewhat ostracized by his classmates.

As he begins his Freshman year of High School, a girl starts following, then walking with him to school. That is how he meets Betty ‘Beth’ Sorenson. Sorenson annoys Bliss at first, but after a while, she grows on him. Bliss gets involved with a group looking at micro powers. He meets others who each have a useless power. A detective who is looking for a missing girl approaches Bliss hoping he can help him find her.

At first, Bliss turns him down, but he eventually decides to help, due much to Sorenson’s influence. Bliss’s abilities don’t work well with finding someone. He has to try various indirect approaches to the problem. Bliss learns what means the most to him when Sorenson goes missing.

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 288-page young adult mystery novel. I have read a few other of Card’s novels and enjoyed them as much as this one. While targeted at young adults, readers of any age will enjoy this novel. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Before the Broken Star”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Emily R. King (http://emilyrking.com/) published the novel “Before the Broken Star” in 2019. Ms. King has published 5 novels. This is the first in her “Evermore Chronicles” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in another world. The primary character is 17-year-old girl Everley Donovan.

Donovan saw her family killed. She was attacked too but somehow survived. She lives because of a miraculous mechanical heart. She has always assumed that her uncle, a skilled clockmaker, had created the heart. She has been living for years with her uncle and hiding as his adopted apprentice.

Donovan’s father had been an explorer and that is somehow tied to the family’s death. Her father’s former partner Killian Markham comes into the clock shop. It was he who had killed her family and attacked her. She knows she must avenge her family. Now Governor Killian Markham is leading the colony on Dagger Island.

Donovan gets charged with a crime to be sent as a potential wife to the Dagger Island colony. Dagger Island was the last place her father and Markham explored. Donovan wants to revenge the death of her family and find out why her father had to die.

First Lieutenant Jamison Callahan had first seen Donovan in the clock shop. He is the Governor’s aid and is in charge of the women convicts being transported to Dagger Island. Much to Donovan’s annoyance, Callahan seems to have feelings for her.

Donovan must survive the journey by ship and fit into the colony until she can take her revenge. Dagger Island has many myths and there are dangers there to avoid. She must also find a way of being consigned to an unwanted husband.

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 294-page young adult fantasy novel. I liked the characters and the plot. This has the makings for a good series. The selected cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “The Mercutio Problem”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) –  Carol Anne Douglas (https://www.carolannedouglas.com) published the novel “The Mercutio Problem” in 2019. This is her fourth novel and the second in her ‘Merlin’s Shakespeare’ series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains Violence and Adult Situations. The story is set in contemporary times and in the realms of Shakespeare’s plays.

The primary character is high school actor Beth Owens. The wizard Merlin again sends her back to the age of Shakespeare. She must struggle with Richard III. He has become a mixture of the character from Shakespeare’s play and Merlin’s arch-enemy Mordred.

Richard is fomenting a revolt of Shakespeare’s characters to get their stories rewritten. He not only is causing problems in the world of Shakespeare but also in the real world. There are some characters who want to keep the stories just as Shakespeare wrote them. They have become Owen’s allies.

The young High School student Owens must lead the opposition.

I found the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 296-page young adult fantasy were interesting. I read the first novel of this series (Merlin’s Shakespeare) and hoped this one would get better. I’m disappointed to say that it didn’t. The basic plot was good, but it felt weak as implemented. There is a bit of LGBTQIA woven into the plot. The selected cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Einstein’s Compass”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Authors Grace Blair and Laren Bright published the novel “Einstein’s Compass” in 2019. This is Ms. Blair’s first novel. Mr. Bright has two other novels to his credit besides this one.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in German and Switzerland. It begins in the late 19th century. The primary character is young Albert Einstein.

The young Einstein is given a compass that does more than point to magnetic North. He becomes involved in a struggle between light and dark. Between angels and fallen angels. He finds himself often in danger. He learns to use his compass to travel through time and learn physics from the great physicists of history.

I thought that this was an interesting 6.5+ hour read. This 400-page young adult science fiction novel was a little disappointing. I came close to calling a ‘Rule of 50‘ on it and setting it aside. I think that the selected cover art is interesting. I give this novel a 3.7 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Starship Repo”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Patrick S. Tomlinson (https://www.patrickstomlinson.com) published the novel “Starship Repo” in 2019. This is his sixth novel.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is ‘First’ aka Evelyn.

First is 17 and has run away from home. She is living on her own and is one of the only humans on an alien space station. First has been stealing and running small-time scams.

She steals a vehicle but instead of making a little cash, she is drawn into a team that repos spacecraft. She and her team have one close call after another.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 326-page young adult science fiction novel. I liked the plot of the novel, but I am not a fan of the tongue-in-cheek approach. The book is more a collection of short stories than one major plot. This is the fourth novel authored by Mr. Tomlinson that I have read and I have enjoyed them all. I give this novel a 3.7 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Three Remain”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author R. A. Andrade (https://www.raandrade.com) published the novel “Three Remain” in 2019. This is Mr. Andrade’s second novel. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story takes place in the contemporary US. There are three principal characters. Sara, Traci, and Glen. 

Glen wakes up at his rural home to find himself without power or communications. Sara wakes to find herself in a wrecked car and without any memory. Traci, a 13-year-old, falls asleep in the movie theater and awake to silence. 

The three come together and find that they are alone. Before long they discover themselves faced with one obstacle after another. Then they realize that these are not random occurrences. They are being tested.

I enjoyed the 6+ hours I spent reading this 261-page young adult science fiction novel. While not labeled young adult, it has that feel to it. I do like the plot, though it seems to be simply implemented. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Journey “to Territory M”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Journey “to Territory M” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by L. J. Epps (https://www.ljeppsauthor.com/index.html). This is Ms. Epps fourth novel and the second in her “Extinction of All Children” series. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G. The story picks up almost immediately after the first novel ends. The primary character Emma Whisperer continues to work her way towards what she thinks is more freedom while avoiding the security forces. 

I Generally like Young Adult novels, but this one just left me shaking my head. I invested two hours into it, but I finally called a “Rule of 50” and quit. I read the first novel of the series “Extinction of All Children” a few weeks ago and had hopped that the books would get better. Sadly, the trend seemed to be in the other direction. I had the third novel in my queue to read, but I have deleted it now. 

For what I read of this 368-page young adult novel I give a rating 2 out of 5. I am not a fan of the chosen cover art.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Extinction of All Children”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Extinction of All Children” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by L. J. Epps (https://www.ljeppsauthor.com/index.html). Ms. Epps has published four novels. This is the first of her “Extinction of All Children” series. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G’. The story is set near the year 2100 in the American southwest. The primary character is 18-year-old Emma Whisperer, the last child born in Territory L.

The three territories of L, M, and U are part of Craigluy. The people of Craigluy are divided by their economic status and have been sent to the “Low”, “Middle” and “High” territories. After President Esther took office in Craigluy she outlawed further children in the poorer L territory. The people are controlled by President Esther and her elite guards. 

Emma hates that she is the last child born. Many resent her. If a child is born it is taken away from the parents and killed. Emma and her family are hiding her older sister and her newborn. When Emma is selected to make a speech to the populace, she takes the opportunity to speak out against President Esther. That puts Emma and her family at further risk. 

Will Emma be able to survive? Will her sister and niece stay hidden?

I thought that the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 250-page young adult novel were interesting. I thought that the plot was unique, but there was never much of an explanation as to what had happened to create Craigluy. I have read and enjoyed many young adult novels. While the characters in this story are 18 or older, the book feels to be targeted a much younger audience. The situations and problems do not feel very mature. I am not a fan of the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “The Soul of Power”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Soul of Power” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Callie Bates (https://calliebates.com). This is Ms. Bates’ third novel and the third book in her “The Waking Land” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in another universe and place, one that allows magic.

The primary character of this book is Sophy Dunbarron. Dunbarron is the illegitimate daughter of the king. Now, since she joined the rebellion led by Elanna Valtai’, she has assumed the throne of a once divided country at the age of 21. Her position is far from secure as there are many who oppose her and she must respond to an open rebellion.

She fears she has lost her close friend Valtai forever when Dunbarron learns that Valtai has been captured. She also discovers a secret about herself that could cost her the throne. Will she and her forces be able to qualm the unrest at home and hold off the forces that want to take her country.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 13 hours I spent reading this 464-page fantasy. While the lead in this novel is 21, it still has a Young Adult feel to it. I have read and enjoyed both of the earlier books in this series (“The Waking Land” and “The Memory of Fire“). I think that Ms. Bates has created a very engaging fantasy universe. I liked that this book in the series took a different point of view than the earlier volumes. It is also written in the first-person view of Dunbarron. While this could be read on its own, it would be best to read the prior two books of the series first. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Timekeeper”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Timekeeper” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Heather Albano (https://www.facebook.com/heatheralbanoauthorpage/). This is Ms. Albano’s second publication and the second in her “Keeping Time” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set across time in Europe. The primary character is 17-year-old Elizabeth Barton. She, along with her love interest William Carrington and mysterious friend Maxwell, continue their fight to put the timeline back the way it should be.

They use their time travel pocketwatch to move to one critical moment in time after another. They are fighting a very dangerous battle to keep both the Frankenstein like monsters and the metal giants from ever being created. They must also find a way to keep Napolean from victory at Waterloo.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 280-page young adult steampunk thriller. This novel is just a continuation of “Timepiece” the first novel in the series. The characters are much the same as in that first novel. I have enjoyed the first two novels in the trilogy and look forward to the third. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).