ARC Review: House of Eight Orchids

0

Book Review

 


Title:
 House of Eight Orchids

Author: James Thayer

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: January 5th 2016

Genres: Adventure, Historical Fiction

In 1912, John Wade and his brother, William—children of the American consul—were kidnapped off the street in Chungking, China, and raised in the house of Eunuch Chang, the city’s master criminal. Twenty-five years later, John is the eunuch’s most valuable ward, a trained assassin and swindler, and William has become a talented forger. On the brink of World War II, China is in chaos. When William betrays Eunuch Chang and escapes to central China, a place of ferocious warlords and bandits, John begins a desperate search to save his brother, while Eunuch Chang hunts them both.

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Review: Scarlet

0

Book Review8755785Title: Scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: Lunar Chronicles

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Publish Date: February 5th, 2013

Genres: Young Adult, Steampunk, Romance

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

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Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

2

Book Review

 


8591107Title:
 The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publish Date: September 27th 2011

Genres: YA, Paranormal

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

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Review: City of Heavenly Fire

3

Book Review8755785Title: City of Heavenly Fire

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: Mortal Instruments Series

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Publish Date: January 1st, 2014

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

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Review: The Martian

5

Book Review

 


20555443Title:
 The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Publisher: Del Rey

Publish Date: August 28th 2014 (first published 2011)

Genres: Sci-Fi, Adult

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

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Review: A Tale of Two Cities

5

Book Review1953Title: A Tale of Two Cities

Author: Charles Dickens

Series: none

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Publish Date: 1859

Genres: Classics, Fiction

‘Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; — the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!’ 

After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.

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Review: The Diviners

5

Book Review7728889Title: The Diviners

Author: Libba Bray

Series: The Diviners Series

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publish Date: September 18th, 2012

Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Young Adult

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

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Review: Eleanor and Park

8

Book Review15745753Title: Eleanor and Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Series: none

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publish Date: January 1st, 2012

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

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Review: Second Chance Summer

3

Book Review11071466Title: Second Chance Summer

Author: Morgan Matson

Series: none

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Publish Date: May 8th, 2012

Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

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Review: Angelfall

6

Book Review11500217
Title
: Angelfall

Author: Susan Ee

Series: Penryn & the End of Days Series

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

Publish Date: May 23rd, 2013

Genres: Adventure, Dystopian, Young Adult

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

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Review: Split Second

2

Book Review

 

15792316Title: Split Second

Author: Kasie West

Publisher: Harper Teen

Publish Date: February 11th 2014

Genres: YA, Paranormal

Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too… but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories… once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot… and a future that could change everything.

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Review: Article 5

1

Book Review10677277Title: Article 5

Author: Kristen Simmons

Series: Article 5 Series

Publisher: Tor Teen

Publish Date: January 31st, 2012

Genres: Dystopian, Action/Adventure, Young Adult, Romance

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don’t come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.

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Review: The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act

3

Book Review


23093359Title
: The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act

Author: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie (Illustrations), Matt Wilson (Colorist), Clayton Cowles

Publisher: Image Comics

Publish Date: November 12th 2014

Genres: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

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Review: Pivot Point

4

Book Review


11988046Title
: Pivot Point

Author: Kasie West

Publisher: Harper Teen

Publish Date: February 12th 2013

Genres: YA, Paranormal

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier…

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through… and who she can’t live without.

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Review: Legacy

1

Book Review10072160Title: Legacy

Author: Cayla Kluver

Series: Legacy Series

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publish Date: August 4th, 2009

Genres: Contemporary, Fiction

I noticed his eyes. They were blue, sharp and intense. Despite the youthful glows of his suntanned face, his eyes were cold and unfriendly, suggesting he had great experience in the world and was now expecting the worst.

In her seventeenth year, Princess Alera of Hytanica faces one duty: to marry the man who will be king. But her father’s choice of suitor fills her with despair.

When the palace guard captures an intruder— a boy her age with steel-blue eyes, hailing from her kingdom’s greatest enemy— Alera is alarmed… and intrigued. But she could not have guessed that their clandestine meetings would unveil the dark legacy shadowing both their lands.

In this mystical world of court conspiracies and blood magic, loyalties will be tested. Courage won’t be enough. And as the battle begins for everything Alera holds dear, love may be the downfall of a kingdom.

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Review: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

2

Book Review

852470Title: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

Author: Ally Carter

Series: The Gallagher Girls

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Publish Date: May 1, 2006

Genres: Adventure, Middle School, Fiction

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it’s really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist”-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she’s on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.

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Review: South of the Border, West of the Sun

1

Book Review


17799Title
: South of the Border, West of the Sun

Author: Haruki Murakami

Publisher: Vintage

Publish Date: October 11th 2011 (first published 1992)

Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Growing up in the suburbs of post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father’s record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch. Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present.

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Review: Spoiled

1

Book Review9415966Title: Spoiled

Author: Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan

Series: Spoiled Series

Publisher: Poppy

Publish Date: January 1st, 2011

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

You say Spoiled like it’s a bad thing.

Sixteen-year-old Molly Dix has just discovered that her biological father is Brick Berlin, world-famous movie star and red-carpet regular. Intrigued (and a little) terrified by her Hollywood lineage, Molly moves to Los Angeles and plunges headfirst into the deep of Beverly Hills celebrity life. Just as Molly thinks her life couldn’t get any stranger, she meets Brooke Berlin, her gorgeous, spoiled half sister, who welcomes Molly to la-la land with a smothering dose “sisterly love”…but in this town, nothing is ever what it seems.

Set against a world of Redbull-fuelled stylists, tiny tanned girls, popped-collar guys, and Blackberry-wielding publicists, Spoiled is a sparkling debut from the writers behind the viciously funny celebrity blog GoFugYourself.com.

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Review: Dracula

1

Book Review

Title: Dracula

Author: Bram Stoker

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company

Publish Date: May 12th 1986 (first published 1897)

Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Classics

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client and his castle. Soon afterwards, a number of disturbing incidents unfold in England: an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck; and the inmate of a lunatic asylum raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘Master’. In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count Dracula and a determined group of adversaries, Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing deeply into questions of human identity and sanity, and illuminating dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

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Review: The Curse of the Gloamglozer

2

Book Review
105659
Title
: The Curse of the Gloamglozer

Author: Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell (illustrations)

Series: Edge Chronicles

Publisher: Corgi Childrens

Publish Date: July 6th, 2006 (originally 2001)

Genres: Middlegrade/Children, Fantasy, Adventure

In the floating city of Sanctaphrax, fusty old professors scheme and bicker with each other as they study the weather in minute detail – mistshifting, fogprobing, researching the air blowing in from beyond the Edge. But some experiments are best left alone…
Quint is the son of a sky pirate captain. He arrives in Sanctaphrax at the request of Linius Pallitax, the Most High Academe, who needs an apprentice he can trust to carry out a series of highly important tasks. Just how important, Quint is about to find out as he and Linius’s only daughter, Maris, are plunged into the midst of a terrifying adventure that takes them deep within the rock upon which Sanctaphrax is built.

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