Rebel by Marie Lu

Summary:

Eden Wing has been living in his brother’s shadow for years. Even though he’s a top student at his academy in Ross City, Antarctica, and a brilliant inventor, most people know him only as Daniel Wing’s little brother.

A decade ago, Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. But Day is no longer the same young man who was once a national hero. These days he’d rather hide out from the world and leave his past behind. All that matters to him now is keeping Eden safe―even if that also means giving up June, the great love of Daniel’s life.

As the two brothers struggle to accept who they’ve each become since their time in the Republic, a new danger creeps into the distance that’s grown between them. Eden soon finds himself drawn so far into Ross City’s dark side, even his legendary brother can’t save him. At least not on his own . . .

The Review:

As a fan of the Legend trilogy, I was very excited for this book, mainly because I was very excited to see more of the Legend universe, and also the fact that Eden was one of the POV chapters.

The book takes place about 10 years after Champion, mainly after the epilogue of Champion to be a bit more precise. Day is now more of a legend, after the events of the trilogy and now works in Antarctica, which was briefly seen in Champion, and there was aspects of the points system that they had.

Eden is now a lot older, and is sort of genius. He is also still living in his brothers shadow, and is trying to make a name for himself in Ross City. After his studies he would often go underground mainly with drone racing, and making bets. During that time he befriended Pressa who was a janitor at the school. I love Eden’s arc in this story and he had a lot more depth in this book, mainly because in the Legend trilogy he was always the support for Day.

With Day, as he works in Ross City, he still is very worried about Eden, and throughout the book, he tries to pick bits of his memory, and June, would sort of be the catalyst, and it always nice to see them working together like old times. It also tied up their story very nicely.

With Ross City as a setting it was nice to go a bit deeper in their points system and how it affected those who lived there. It was also the main plot. If I were to have a negative, it would be that the plot felt a bit short. While it was very good, and tied a lot to the point system, I honestly felt that it could have been expanded upon with another book, because I felt there was a duo-logy in there because it was such a good concept to explore.

In the end, I enjoyed Rebel, it was a very nice epilogue to the Legend series, and Eden really got a chance to shine in his own story, while also concluding the story of June and Day.

Grade: 4/5

Wildcard by Marie Lu

Summary:

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

The Review:

This book, just proved why Marie Lu, is one of my favorite authors. I was also lucky to get an ARC of this book, while at a Sabaa Tahir event.

Wildcard picks up pretty much where Warcross left off. In which Emika found out about Hideo’s plan to use the Neurolink to basically control the population. What made it great was the act that it was one of those things that really makes you think whether or not that Hideo was right.

Emilka also joins Zero’s gang in order to take down Hideo, while also simultaneously trying to avoid Hideo at all costs, because some tried to kill her, and that’s where the plot gets moving. A major strength is how fast paced this book was, and I felt that there was never a dull moment in the book.

Also there is Zero’s story. His story arc was amazing, while in the Wildcard he was mainly a background character who speaks to Emika secretly, he really has some great development, and you find out about his backstory and all that has happened to him. I also loved seeing some Black coats especially Jax, who was one of my favorite characters.

Also Hideo’s story arc was great as well. He was a very complex character, and while he wants to use the Neurolink to basically control the population and destroy the notion of freewill. What made it great was how what he believed what he was doing was right, and was driven my the kidnapping of his brother. I always feel that best antagonists believe that they are the protagonists of their stories.

Also like a Marie Lu book, there is some twists and turns that I did not see coming. There is also the fact that the Neurolink was a small part of a bigger issue. That is all I am going to say because I do not want to spoil anything.

If there was a negative, I felt that I wish I saw more of the Phoenix Riders because I loved those characters so much in Warcross, and I wished they were more fleshed out in this book.

In the end, I loved Wildcard. It has everything that I love about Marie Lu’s books. With its amazing characters and a non stop plot. It takes some great twists and turns with a an amazing story to go with it.

Grade: 5/5

Top 5 Wednesday: Autobuy SFF Authors

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wendnesday and the topic is:

April 11: Auto-Buy Scifi and Fantasy Authors – Booktube SFF Awards Babble Crossover Topic! 
— This month’s crossover topic is your auto-buy authors that write SFF.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

VE Schwab

Image result for VE schwab

Author of great books such as Vicious, This Savage Song, and Shade of Magic series. I have a read most of the books she has published, but I need to read A Conjuring of Light. I am also very excited for the sequel to Vicious, which is Vengeful. Her worlds are magnificent, the characters are engaging and well developed, and her stories are amazing.

Marie Lu

Image result for marie Lu

She wrote the Legend trilogy which was amazing. The Young Elites trilogy which I really liked. Warcross was one of my favorite books of last year, and she wrote Batman Nightwalker, which I loved. I love that she is willing to write different genres and go from dystopia, to high fantasy and futuristic Sci Fi. I am very excited for Wildcard this year.

Leigh Bardugo

Image result for leigh bardugo

While I did enjoy Shadow and Bone, my main reason for loving Leigh Bardugo, was the Six of Crows duology. The characters, the worlds and the story, drew me in. While I am disappointed that I won’t see those characters again I am excited to read what she has written.

Cindy Pon

Image result for cindy pon

She is, in my opinion a very underrated author. I loved the Serpentine duo-logy, especially with the use of Chinese mythology into a fantasy world. I loved Want, which was another favorite book that I read last year. I loved all of the characters she has written and I can’t want for the sequel to Want,

Marissa Meyer

Image result for marissa meyer

For those who have been following blog for a long time,should know how much I love the Lunar Chronicles. Sci Fi retellings mixed with fairy tales are my jam. I loved Heartless which was a stand alone retelling of the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. I also loved Renegades which dealt with the superhero genre. Her characters are amazing and I am excited for Archenemies.

Honorable Mentions: Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, Megan Spooner, Holly Black, Susan Dennard, Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, Cinda Williams Chima

Those are my SFF auto buy authors. Who are your SFF auto buy authors? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Summary:

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

The Review:

This is another book I was very excited for. I mean, one of my favorite authors writting one of my favorite superheros, of course I will be all for it. This is another of the DC Icons series in which YA authors write their own interpretations of popular DC characters.

This book, had a lot to live up to, seeing as Batman is one of my favorite heros, I love all things Batman, from the comics, movies and the videogames. This book is takes place when Batman was just a 18 year old teenager named Bruce Wayne who is basically living life as a rich kid, once he gets in trouble he is sent to Arkham Asylum to perform community service. In Gotham there was been a series of murders linked to a group called the Nightwalkers. He also meets a girl named Madeline, who is linked to the Nightwalkers.

What made this book work was that it truly felt like I was reading a Batman origin story. What makes Batman interesting is the psychological dilemma of Bruce Wayne, and there was some aspects of him dealing with his parents death. It shows that Bruce Wayne is more than just Batman.

I also like some of the Easter eggs related to the DC universe, one example is a pre-Two face Harvey Dent who is a classmate of Bruce, and also references to Metropolis.

I also got to see a lot of Detective Batman, which is mostly shown in comics and a little bit of the movies. He was also trying to find out the mystery of the Nightwalkers and how they commit their crimes. He finds a lot about it through Madeline, a Nightwalker staying in Arkham.

I thought the relationship between Bruce and Madeline was really well done, it really fleshed out her character and how she is with the Nightwalkers. Their relationship reminded me a lot of of anyone of Batmans other female villains, for example, Catwomen and Talia Al-Ghul, other villains he forms relationships with. Yeah, Batman pretty much has a type.

Madeline, was actually pretty fleshed, I read a lot about her back story and what mother wen, especially dealing with corruption within Gotham, and you could see why Bruce sees the good in her.

In the end, Batman: Nightwalker is everything I wanted to see in a sort of Batman origin story. It gave a great detective story in the Batman universe. I also felt that this is what Gotham should have been with a great character with Bruce Wayne.

Grade: 4.3/5

Warcross by Marie Lu

Summary:

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

The Review: 

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. I was always a fan of Marie Lu’s works, mainly The Legend trilogy and the Young Elites trilogy, so it is always good to see one of my favorite authors writing more series. I also like how Marie Lu isn’t afraid to write other genres. Warcross being a Sci Fi book.

Emika is a great character. She is a hacker/bounty hunter who is just scrapping by living in NYC. After hacking into a Warcross tournament she catches the eye of Hideo Tanaka, the creator of Warcross, and all of a sudden she is a player at the Warcross torunemant.

You can tell that she is a very independent character who had to live on her own for quite sometime and when she is going to Tokyo she is amazed how Tokyo is from NYC.

Hideo Tanaka, is also a great character. He has a good relationship with Emika and there is a reason behind why he created Warcross.

The world of Warcross is also amazing. It is basically a game in which two teams have to find an artifact before the other team through several levels based upon video games. You can tell that Marie Lu uses her background in the video game industry to come up with these grand ideas for levels and their design. Also the parts of the Warcross tournament is amazing. Everything about the scene when we see Warcross is action packed. Marie Lu is very good at writing action sequences that keeps the readers engaged.

There are some great supporting characters, mainly her teammates in the Warcross tournament; The Phoenix Riders. They all come from diverse backgrounds all chosen to compete in Warcross. While they didn’t really have a lot of development in this book, they still were great characters to have on her team.

This book also had some great twists. I really don’t want to give anything away but the ending did catch me by surprise. I always could tell that the Warcross tournament is a small aspect of a bigger picture. While some of twists could have been telegraphed throughout the book, is was still an amazing twist.

In the end, Warcross delivers in every way that I wanted it to. Much like Marie Lu’s previous work it is filled with engaging characters and a great world. It was ties into her love for video games which also ties into a great plot.

Grade: 5/5

If & Then Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone, and here is another If &Then Thursday,

If&Then Thursdays is a book meme created by Alex@ Young at Heart Books. How do you participate? It’s easy! All you have to do is choose two books that are somewhat related in theme, writing style, genre, etc. Tell us how they are similar and why we would like them! All recommendations should be made in this format:

“If you like Book A, then you might enjoy Book B”

If you liked:

This is one of my favorite book trilogies, set within a dystopian world. June and Day are some of my favorite characters. It is action packed and has a lot of twist and turns. It also a someone who majored in political science, I also loved the use of politics.

Than you might like:

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother, who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is or destroying his own heart?

Why: Both books deal with class issues, an illness that is killing the poor population and corrupt governments and corporations who may or not be responsible for the outbreak. Also see a lot of similarities between the characters of Day and Jason, who are trying to make their world better.

 

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu (Spoiler free)

Summary:
Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina’s story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series. 

The Review:

This book was one of my most anticipated reads, because I was a fan of the first two books and Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy. I actually really enjoyed this book and it felt like a very quick read.

The book picks up with Adelina conquering lands and imposing new rules for those lands  by giving more rights to the Malfettos, and is even willing to kill those who disobey her. You could really feel that she was going more darker and she is not the same Adelina that she was in the first book.She is seriously one of the best characters I have read. Maybe because we don’t see a lot of anti-heroes in YA and I applaud Marie Lu for creating a good anti-hero that could still be likable in a way.

I just wish that you got to see her be Queen a bit longer because about a third into the book she is forced to help the Daggers again. I liked that the Daggers were mostly playing a reactionary role to Adelina’s misdeeds. I would have liked to have seen more development with Raffeale and Enzo because I actually did like them in the series. I also really loved Adelina’s romance with Magiano. Marie Lu knows how to develop a good romance without the drama you see in other YA books.

While I did feel that the ending was very well-written, I also felt that the book should have been at least 100 more pages. Mainly because I wanted to see some loose ends tied up and it could have made for a better conclusion, rather than seeing some things wrapped up a bit too quickly (I will be going more in depth with the ending in my spoiler-filled review).

But I will say is that Marie Lu knows how to write a good sibling relationship. You could tell that Violetta was Adelina’s center and kept her human and in spite of all of the things Adelina’s has done she still really loves her sister.

In the end The Midnight Star was a good conslusion to a great trilogy, while it was a bit weaker than the other two books, I still enjoyed the series and I want to see what other books Marie Lu has to offer.

Also sorry for the vague review. I didn’t want to spoil anything. Look out this week for a spoiler filled review.

Grade: 3.8/5