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Blog Tour: True Born Trilogy by L.E. Sterling (True Born Review)

About the Book

True Born by L.E. Sterling

Published on May 3rd, 2016

Published by Entangled Teen

Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction

Summary:

Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood. 

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Review

My rating: purple3

Hi again! Hope everyone is having a good week so far! In honour of the latest instalment of the True Born trilogy, True North, I’m here to review the first book itself! I’ve just finished reading True Born by L.E. Sterling, and even though I liked it overall, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It actually took me a while to finish it compared to most books I read, so maybe it had to do with that. However, I think my view of the characters and the way the exposition was handled had a lot to do with me liking the novel as well.

For instance, other than a handful of characters, I don’t think that anyone made a great impression on me throughout the novel. And that even includes our protagonist, Lucy. At times, I barely tolerated her, but there were a few moments where she caught my attention. Other than that, I also had a problem with her speech patterns because it was all over the place. Sometimes, Lucy would go from using prim and proper speech to talking regularly or in slang. And this isn’t just to different people, but in her thoughts as well. If she had stuck to one lane or the other, it would have been okay with me. But the mix in her dialogue and narrative was a bit jarring to read.

As for the exposition, while I know it’s needed for readers to gain context of the story’s world, at times it could be a bit too much, dumping information when readers could have been eased in. It felt odd at times, too, even random at one point. It’s probably why I was so slow reading this book in the beginning, because by the end of the novel, it was more fast-paced and easier to read.

The thing I liked about this book though was its world building. While the exposition surrounding Lucy and her sister Margot’s history wasn’t the greatest, the mythology surrounding the city of Dominion with a mix of science and magic was really cool. I liked seeing how that all fit together. That and learning about the Fox sisters’ puzzling DNA mystery was what made this book easier to read. It kept me going, wanting to know what would happen to them as well as what was happening to them. Overall, the book’s world building slightly redeemed the story, in my eyes.

Well, that’s all I have to say about True Born by L.E. Sterling. While I’ve got to admit that it wasn’t my favourites, it did hold an interesting appeal in terms of the world created between those pages. Hopefully this just sets the stage for book two! 😉 If you have any thoughts or questions about this book, feel free to share them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everybody!

–  Sumaya

About the Author

I was a voracious devotee of sci-fi and fantasy novels all through my childhood, so I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a shock that I’ve returned to the genre with a vengeance.

For a while I turned my back on the genre in favour of ‘high-brow’ literary texts. Ironically, it was my doctoral degree that saw me circling back. There’s something about the way postmodern literature plays with the arcane that had me utterly fascinated, and it wasn’t long until I fell headlong back into my old ways and haven’t looked back since.

My first novel, which isn’t in the Urban Fantasy or Fantasy genres, isn’t high literature, mind you, even if it tangles with some serious statements about politics and the way our western world runs. My editor described it as something between Charles Dickens and The Catcher in the Rye: Serious Fun, in other words.

My second novel, Pluto’s Gate, is where I’ve come home to myself: it’s a contemporary retelling of the Demeter-Persephone-Pluto story from Greek mythology. Folded into the mix is a Shaman-in-training, a magical book, Underworld Gods, a world covered in ice, a three-headed dog, and one lousy ex-boyfriend.

But I’ll tell you this much: I believe in the power of words and stories to transform our inner worlds. Whether the characters be vampires or vagabonds, a good narrative sucker punches so-called reality anyhow.

Author links: Website|Goodreads|Twitter

Excerpt

Read the first 6 chapters HERE

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Book Bargain: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee!

Hey, everybody! I just wanted to let you know that The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee is on sale for $1.99 (eBook). You can find it on Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks. I suggest this to anyone who is thinking of reading it to go and buy it now before the sale’s finished! 😉 I read it last year and loved it! ❤️❤️❤️ 

Review: Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar

My rating: black4.5.png

Hello, fellow bloggers! I’m back with another review. This one is on Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar. I admit, it was the title that made me want to pick up this book. It was just so blunt that I wanted to know more about it. Also, it’s especially comical with the traffic sign attached to it. The book is about a boy named Aspen, who has taken advantage of everyone through his super powers, taking away anything he doesn’t like about people. It’s been in his family for quite a while and until he goes to stay with them, he never really thought about what his powers does to others.

I love how selfish Aspen is; it’s much more refreshing than those protagonists who are more good than bad, but feel guilty about what they’ve done and try to make amends for it all the time. I don’t know what that says about me, but I really liked reading from Aspen’s POV, especially when you as a reader can tell that what he’s doing at the moment is pretty awful, but he thinks it’s alright and appropriate behaviour. However, don’t worry; Aspen does develop within the story and it is fulfilling because he’s come a way ( I wouldn’t say a long way, but more than the first page of the book, that’s for sure).

There’s also the romance within the book. Or the lack of romance. I felt as if this book was more focused on the idea of family and what makes a person rather than the romance between characters. Any romance that was present within the story was warped or broken to the point beyond repair. Anyways, the romance was sidelined for an important part of Aspen’s life to manifest itself: family and his powers. They had such an influence on shaping him to who he is in the present, which can be seen through the amazing flashbacks that gave us just enough information to get by and build suspense. Overall, the whole was about family, not the guy becoming a better person due to love.

That’s all I have to say about Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar. I thought that this was a pretty great paranormal read with a satisfying ending. If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day, everyone!

–  Sumaya

 

Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

My rating: green4

Hey, everyone! I’m back with another review, and this one is one The Cage by Megan Shepherd. It’s about a group of teens who are abducted by aliens for their own safety and to ensure the survival of the human race. The story is told in many different POVs but most of these chapters are told from the perspective of Cora, the daughter of a senator who recently got out of juvie. Her fellow captives include Lucky, Nok, Rolf, and Leon. Together, they must figure out a way to escape their space prison/ otherworldly zoo or end up living the rest of their lives under the custody of their alien jailers.

I’ve got to say, this book was intriguing in the way things were set up. I thought that things were revealed at the right time, with certain information being withheld just for suspense’s sake. OMG, and the huge reveal at the end? That was something I really liked! I also enjoyed reading the characters’ backstories along with the plot; in this case, I thought it was well done and helped readers sympathize with the other characters. However, I felt as if the sympathy skewed towards Cora, the one who gets the most voice-time, as well as the known rebel of the group. It would have been nicer to get more of the others’ thoughts at times, because I would be wondering what the others were going through and how they were holding up. I would only get snippets of that, and as result, the development of the characters wasn’t as profound or believable in relation to Cora. That was my main pet peeve. But other than, I didn’t really have a problem with the story.

As for the characters, there were times I was on a character’s side only to have questioned their logic later on. While they were in captivity at the otherworldly zoo, each character was trying to convince themselves that they were doing the best they could in order to survive and that everyone else was in the wrong. My opinion on that is that everyone in that place was going slightly paranoid and that was bound to affect their interactions with others… While their behaviour was really problematic, I thought that it made sure that no one was a flat character and that they were more interesting to read about. And that’s just looking at the humans in the story. The aliens were a whole other matter. While the story illuminates a bit about the origin of these aliens, I hope that the next book elaborates more on the world(s) surrounding them.

That’s all I have to say about The Cage by Megan Shepherd. If there’s one thing about Megan Shepherd’s books, it’s that she knows how to write a gripping story that will have you reading till the very last page. If you have any thoughts or questions about The Cage, please leave them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Review: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

My rating: black5

(4.75 stars)

Hey, lovelies! It’s time for another review and this one’s on The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee. It’s about a futuristic New York, where the whole city is just one Tower, but containing a thousand floors and lots of people. The higher you live, the richer you are. This book covers the perspectives of five teenagers who live in different parts of the Tower and how their lives intermingle with one another. I was really excited for this book and I’ve got to say, it didn’t disappoint! It was so intriguing from the getgo, and all those different POVs intermingling, especially at the end!

I thought that the way the author set up the plot was so misleading… but I loved it! The beginning of the story allowed you to compare it with the rest of the novel constantly in order to ask yourself, how did it get so bad, and if there was anything you could do to change that. OMG, and that ending? Powerful. I’m both reeling from anger, yet really happy with it. Strategically, it was a great ending that left the reader in suspense. Emotionally, those last ten pages had me really invested in the world and then the book ended, which yanked me out of The Thousandth Floor and into the real world, where I’d have to wait a whole year for the next book! 😦

The characters in the story were addictive to read about. I just wanted to know more about them and what made them tick. If something was happening to one character, I would think “how would affect so-and-so?”. And then there was the fact that literally everyone had something to hide. The only way this story failed with the characters was that I wanted to hear more from everyone! I know that isn’t possible, but I just couldn’t believe that some important perspectives were just disregarded, especially with that ending! I wonder if other characters will be given a voice within the sequel.

That’s all I have to say about The Thousand Floor by Katharine McGee. And the fact that it’s now my favourite book of 2016… 😉 Is this like Gossip Girl? Nope: it’s Gossip Girl 2.0, along with intriguing sci-fi elements! If you have any comments or questions about this book, please leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Rating: purple3

Hello, everyone! Another day, another review, and this time, it’s Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. It’s a book about how two teenagers, Kady and Ezra, who are exes and how they’re forced to work together after their planet has been attacked by a corporate spaceship. I think I’ve stayed away from this book for so long because of its genre (Sci-Fi), but when I saw others rave about it, as well as the fact that it was available in my library, that made me want to see what all the fuss was about. And after reading the book, I thought that it wasn’t really worth the fuss. It just didn’t interest me as much as it should have. There were some parts where I couldn’t put down the book, eager to see what happens next, but for the most part, I was kind of bored with the book and where the story went.

Some of the things I liked about this book was its unique writing style. Instead of Illuminae being written in the fashion of most books, a mix of dialogue and description, the book was comprised of a number of files (written, audial and visual) from the past year. They recorded the account of what happened in Kerenza and its people after it had been attacked by BeiTech, a corporate company. It was really fun to read and see how creative the authors were being with form and content. I also really loved the dialogue (via DM and correspondence) between the characters and how it brought them to life. It might sound like a small thing, with dialogue being an assumed given, but trust me, it can make all the difference between a believable and likeable character to an archetype or someone who doesn’t sound true to their character.

What I didn’t like about Illuminae was its repetitive storyline. I felt as if I were reading the same story twice within the book, with plot points being repeated and problems revisited in the same manner. Some of it did have merit, because it affects other parts of the story. I just think that could have been way shorter, especially when the book wasn’t lacking in pages. And then there was the ending, which started out okay, but then ended unresolved and without a point. I don’t know what Kady was trying to achieve in that last segment and I think that it could have been handled in a different way. At first, her stance started out as really strong, but then ended up as weak because it just didn’t make sense. Overall, I’d give this book a 3 star rating.

Well, that’s all I have to say about Illuminae for now. Have you read Illuminae? Did you like it? If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

-Sumaya

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