Tag Archives: Young Adult

Book Review of Cyborg Assassin 1

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Rayner Ye https://www.rayneryeauthor.com is the author of around 15 novels. Cyborg Assassin 1 was published in 2021 and is the first book in her Military Space Opera series.

I received an ARC of this book from the author with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R. The primary characters are the young teens Oshun Musa and Frankie, but they are not the only characters.

After Oshun is orphaned, she must attend a military school. Other orphans are there too, learning to be soldiers. Oshun becomes a Space Marine. When the Interstellar Military agrees to join the Space Marines, the illegal child soldiers like Oshun are sent home.

Frankie had been living in a slum until he was taken in by a terrorist. Frankie knows what the terrorists are doing is wrong, but he feels obligated toward him.

Both Oshun and Frankie are faced with breaking their loyalties.

I enjoyed the 4.5 hours I spent reading this 229-page young adult science fiction novel. This novel has a lot of action but is a little rough around the edges. It feels more like a detailed outline than a fully fleshed-out novel. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 3.4 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

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

Book Review – Wakers

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Orson Scott Card http://hatrack.com is the author of 70 novels. Wakers was published in 2022 and is the first book in his Side Step trilogy.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. I categorize this book/novel as G. The primary character is teen Lazarus ‘Laz’ Hayerian.

Hayerian wakes up in the Vivipartum cloning facility on Earth. At first, he is alone with just a few dogs for company. The only other humans he encounters have been long dead. There are many other humans in the cloning facility, but they are all dead. At least he thought so at first. That is when he found the girl. She was the only other living human he had encountered. But she was still asleep in her container.

Hayerian can remember his life before, or at least the life of his original. He hadn’t had the easiest life, but he did have an advantage. He can switch or side-step to a parallel universe. If he finds himself in danger or confronted with a problem, he just side-steps to another universe. He chooses one where the Hayerian’s circumstances there are different.

He survives with just the dogs for a while. Then he encounters another human and discovers why the town is deserted. At that point (about 30% into the novel) he attempts to wake the girl.

After that, they are both swept up in humanity’s attempt to save themselves. A rogue planet is on a collision course with Earth, and finding a friendly alternate dimension is their only hope.

I enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading this 397-page science fiction young adult novel. I have read several novels by Mr. Card, and I have consistently enjoyed them. The others are Ender’s GameSpeaker of the DeadXenocideThe Worthing Chronicle, and Lost and Found. The cover art is plain but does relate to the story. I give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “The Agency”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Monica McGurk https://monicamcgurk.com published the novel The Agency earlier this month. This is the first book in her Norwood Nanny Chronicles series and her fourth novel.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence. The primary character is Briana B. ‘Bree’ Parrish.

Parrish has just arrived at Norwood College in the UK. She is an orphan from Alabama and is there on a full scholarship. Norwood is an elite school in the UK for young women to train as nannies. She is the first and only American to be admitted to Norwood. She and her assigned study group struggle to successfully complete their first half-year and be included in the exclusive certificate program.

They all knew that Norwood trained world-class nannies. To their surprise, they discover that it also trains spies for MI6. As they undertake their first training mission, it becomes apparent they may be a traitor in their midst. Parris is a suspect in the failure of their mission. She can trust no one and wants to uncover the traitor to clear her name. She also wants to find out more about her own past. Both of those goals lead to her being in life-threatening situations.

I enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 362-page young adult thriller. I was surprised that the book was labeled a Middle-Grade Mystery / Thriller. It contains violence and drinking, as well as implied mature situations. The plot was not very complex, but it is a young adult novel. I did enjoy it and will be looking for sequels to the series. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Ben Towie http://www.benzilla.com published the graphic novel “Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat” in 2021. He has published five works.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. This book looks at the relationship between animals and the military over the ages. Some mentioned were service animals while others were mascots. Each of the animals has made its own impact on history.

I enjoyed the 0.5+ hours I spent reading this 120-page graphic novel. It is well drawn and I enjoyed each of the short stories. While I recognize that the work is targeted at a younger audience, it is very short. Too short in my opinion. I do like the selected over art. I give this graphic novel a 3.5 (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: “Enola Holmes”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Nancy Springer https://www.nancyspringer.com published the book “Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche” in 2021. This is the seventh book in her Enola Holmes series. This book was released today, August 31, 2021. She has published more than 50 works.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. The primary character in the book is teen Enola Holmes. The much younger sister of the famous Sherlock and Mycroft.

As young as she is, Enola is a very independent woman and every bit as smart as her older brothers. She has also inherited her brothers’ intelligence and powers of deduction. A young woman, Letitia Glover, shows up asking for Holme’s help. Glover received a letter from her brother-in-law that her twin sister had died. She has been unable to learn anything from the widowed Earl of Dunhench. Glover wants to know what happened.

While Holmes does not seem overly interested, Enola jumps into the investigation. She is soon undercover in the Earl’s household. She discovers that the Earl’s first wife also died under unusual circumstances. Enola is sure that there is something amiss.

I enjoyed the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 259-page period mystery. The book is short. The book is more of a novella than a novel. The book does read much like the original Sherlock Holmes stories. But this mystery is not too difficult. Ms. Springer mostly targets young adults so that can be somewhat expected. If you have access to Netflix you will find their production of an Enola Holmes mystery movie. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (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: “Children of the Resistance – Volume 1 – Opening Moves”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Vincent Dugomier published the graphic novel “Children of the Resistance – Volume 1 – Opening Moves” in 2019. This is the first of six in his Children of the Resistance series. He has produced several graphic novels. Vincent

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 publisher suggests this publication for a 9+ audience. The story is set in 1940 France. The main characters are the two young French boys François and Eusèbe. 

François lives in the village of Pontain-L’Écluse. François cannot believe how the adults have accepted the German occupation. He enlists his friend Eusèbe to unite their families and neighbors against the Germans. 

I enjoyed the hour I spent reading this 60-page graphic novel of the French Resistance. I don’t read many graphic novels. This is only the third that I have reviewed. True stories from WWII inspire the story. The two barely teen resistance fighters do not accomplish great acts of sabotage. Their resistance is mischief targeted at the Germans. Though if caught they would have been severely reprimanded, even shot. They do succeed in changing village opinions about the occupation. I like the chosen cover art. I give this graphic novel a 4 out of 5.

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


If you have an interest in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 550 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Book Review: “Earth Alone”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Daniel Arenson (https://danielarenson.com/default.html) published the novel “Earth Alone” in 2016. Mr. Arenson has published more than 65 fantasy and science fiction novels. This is the first of his “Earthrise” series.


I obtained a copy of this novel through a promotion. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence, mature language, and mature situations. The story is set in the not too distant future. The primary characters are Marco Emery, Lailani Marita de la Rosa, and Kemi Abasi.


The aliens called the Scum attacked Earth about 50 years before the story begins. The remnants of humanity are struggling to survive. They are still subject to the occasional attack. Emery and Abasi grew up in Toronto, Canada. At 18 all young people are required to join the HDF (Human Defense Force) and do 5 years of service.

The story tells about Emery and his training. It also tells of his first combat experience. There is a bit of romance, but it is not a major factor in the novel. The novel reminds me a lot of Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.


I thoroughly enjoyed the 6 hours I spent reading this 368-page young adult science fiction novel. I would like to read his many other books in this series and the sister series. I do like the cover art used for this novel. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.


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

Book Review: “Complex: A Dystopian Thriller”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author A.D. Enderly (https://adenderly.com) published the novel “Complex: A Dystopian Thriller” in 2020. This is the first of his “Silent Beautiful Universe” 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, mature language, and mature situations. The story is set in a dystopian future. Governments have given way to corporations.


The book has several characters, though the most important are 19-year-old Val and her 12-year-old sister Kat. Val and her sister are now orphaned and struggling to survive. Their father warned them both about giving in to the corporations and joining a complex. A Complex is a corporate-run city. They are willing to ‘take care of you’ for a price.

When Kat is kidnapped, Val does everything she can to find her. Concurrent with Val’s quest there are other powers at work. The pharmaceutical company NovaGenica is making a move for more power. One of the large complexes is doing everything it can to recruit clients. This includes murder and terrorism.


Beyond this AI systems run many of the establishments. While Val has found a romantic interest in 18-year-old Trevor, her focus is on saving Kat.


I mostly enjoyed the 17 hours I spent reading this 595-page science fiction novel. The first part of the novel I found very slow. Fortunately, the pace picked up after the first 15% of the novel. There are many plots that are intertwined. After getting past the beginning, the novel was very good. I do like the selected 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).

Book Review: “The Infinity Courts”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Akemi Dawn Bowman (https://www.akemidawnbowman.com) will publish the novel “The Infinity Courts” in 2021 (April). This is Ms. Bowman’s fifth publication. This novel is the first in her “Infinity Courts” 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 mild violence and mature language. The primary character for this young adult novel is 18 -year-old Nami Miyamoto.

Miyamoto is just graduating from High School when she dies. She awakens in a place referred to as Infinity. She finds that others who have passed before her are in conflict with Ophelia an AI. Ophelia has somehow traveled to Infinity and is attempting to take over. Ophelia was popular as a personal assistant (think Siri or Alexa) when Miyamoto was alive on Earth. Miyamoto had spent hours talking to Ophelia before she died.


Now Ophelia is trying to rule Infinity with a population of androids. The people there are becoming their unwilling servants. Miyamoto becomes part of a resistance group. She has taken on an Android-like appearance enabling her to move among Ophelia’s minions.


I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 480-page young adult novel. The book follows the typical teen thrown into an apocalyptic environment of many young adult novels. There are a few good plot twists and of course some romance. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down 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: “Nameless Queen”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Rebecca McLaughlin published the novel “Nameless Queen” in 2020. This is her first publication.

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 mild violence. The story is set in another universe in the city of Seridan where magic is real. The primary character is a teenage girl known only as Coin.

Coin is one of the ‘Nameless’. Only those who have a name have status in this world. She has been living on the streets as far back as she can remember. Shortly after King Fallow dies she discovers the tattoo of a crown on her arm. That is the magical symbol of the heir to the throne. The only way King Fallow could have passed on his throne to her is by uttering her name.

How can King Fallow have named her when she doesn’t have a name? She wants to keep it hidden but when a close friend is in danger she reveals herself. No-one wants a Nameless in charge. She is constantly at odds with those in power, particularly General Demure. With no real education other than what she has learned on the streets, Coin has a difficult time fitting in.

Nameless have been disappearing in Seriden. Coin tries to investigate but does not receive much help from the authorities. She discovers a plot to take over Seriden but finds herself at risk.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 344-page young adult fantasy novel. The ‘commoner-thrust-onto-the-throne’ theme is not uncommon. This version does have some things to set it apart. While the novel came to a conclusion, there is plenty of room for a sequel. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

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