Rimrider by L.A. Kelley Book Tour

Rimrider by L.A. Kelley Book TourRimrider by L.A. Kelley
Format: Audio
Narrator: Cassandra Richardson
Series: Rimrider Adventures,
on Aug. 22, 2017
Genres: YA, Science Fiction
Source: Audible
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Orphan, pirate, spy.

Awakened by her father, teenager Jane Benedict is ordered to memorize a mysterious code. Hours later, Mathias Benedict is dead and Jane and her brother, Will, are wards of United Earth Corporation. To evade the company's murderous clutches and uncover the meaning of her father's last message, Jane leads Will on a desperate escape across the galaxy aboard the Freetrader smuggler ship, Solar Vortex. Tangled in the crew's fight for freedom, Jane saves the life of young smuggler, Mac Sawyer, and learns her father's code identifies a secret cargo shipment. The trail leads to the planet Rimrock and the massive prison complex of Golgotha. Undercover as a spy, Jane stumbles into a conspiracy that can spell doom for the entire Freetrader cause and the extinction of an alien race. Can she escape the prison confines and deliver a warning before it's too late?

Piracy, intrigue, romance, space battles, and a daring rebellion from Earth wait on the galactic rim. Will Jane answer the call to adventure and find new purpose, or is death for high treason her fate?

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


Review of the story:

Rimrider is about a young girl (Jane) and her little brother (Will) who have become orphans within the first chapter of the book and their fight for survival and what family means for them. Jane and Will escape their parent’s killers (the government) by boarding a space ship and getting involved with space pirates, rebels, and spies. 

This book was difficult for me to get in to until about 20%. I think part of the reason is because I couldn’t connect with Jane. She is very young, and quite immature for the YA genre of heroines. Now, I will say that sometimes I forget how young YA heroines are because so much seems to get piled on them and they are often thrown into very adult situations, but Jane was hard to like in general . Her disposition was a little whiny and she lacked emotion for things like her father’s death. She does seem to grow up quickly though and becomes decidedly more likable as the book progresses. 

With that being said, I did enjoy the book about 20% in and after. The world building was interesting, but not confusing and so big as to distract from the story. Secondary characters really held their own (Gem is the best) and the plot of the book was interesting and fun to read, albeit a little predictable at times. The book ends by setting up for the next book, but with no major cliffhangers. I would rate the story 3.5/5 stars. 

Review of the audio:

I’ve never listened to any of Cassandra Richardson’s narrations before, but I think she did a pretty good performance. Her characters were easy to distinguish from one another and her male voices were believable. I will say, sometimes her voice for Jane got a little whiny, but honestly that could have been intentional. I needed to keep reminding myself that Jane was a sheltered 15-16 year old who would likely have reason to be whiny sometimes, so it wasn’t really a mark against the actual narration. Overall the narration itself was 4/5 stars. 

Next Books in the series

four-stars

Top 10 Tuesday (11)

“Top Ten Tuesday” is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Every week they pick a topic for us to do a top 10 list for and this week’s topic is…

This is my first Top 10 post since May! If you missed why I’ve been absent, see my post here. I’m really excited to be able to start posting again though, so here we go! I chose this top 10 (it was actually kind of a freebie) because the following books are what I think help shaped the things I am passionate about today. These are my pick of books I read from Middle School through College that taught me what I love (and don’t) about reading. 

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


.1.

Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopia, YA/Children’s fiction

The Giver was the first dystopian novel I had ever read, and I was hooked. I recently bought the quartet but I haven’t gotten a chance to read the other three yet.  


.2.

Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopia

The thought of a future where books would be banned and burned was horrifying to me as a young girl. I think I hoarded books for years after this because of my irrational (maybe not irrational) fear of losing the ability to read books. 


.3.

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopia

I am actually re-reading this book now via audio-book. Orwell paints such a vivid and stark world that I love diving into. 


.4.

Title:  The Handmaid’s Tale
Author:Margaret Atwood
Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopia

As much as I enjoyed this book, I am actually enjoying the show on Hulu even more! The book itself got kind of tedious to me sometimes, but it’s on this list because it was my first taste in a world where women held less value than men. I was raised by a single dad who never forced traditional gender roles onto me because he simply didn’t have the luxury. He did all the cooking, cleaning, yard work, work on our cars, etc. He raised me to be a strong and independent woman who rarely took “no” for an answer, so The Handmaid’s Tale was shocking for my young and naive mind.  


.5.

Title:  The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Genre: Fantasy

My 5th grade teacher handed me this book with the warning that “it might be too much for me to understand”. I took that as a challenge and devoured this book. It was my first fantasy novel and propelled me into the fantasy genre which I still enjoy today. 


.6.

Title:  The Diary of a Young Girl
Author: Anne Frank
Genre: Non-Fiction, Historical, Memoirs

I remember being in high school and sobbing in my room after making it through this. I love learning about the Holocaust and reading about the terrors so many people had to endure, and am hoping someday to be able to visit the concentration camps and pay my respects in person. This book helped to teach me empathy and the resilience of humans. 


.7.

Title:  The Art of War
Author: Sun Tzu
Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Military

This is a really short book and I recommend it to everyone. The Art of War is more than a strategic guide for War, but it is a philosophical guide to life. 


Okay, these last three books are a little different. I loathed being forced to read all three of these books and as a result steer away from both contemporary and historical fiction novels because of it. Get your pitchforks ready because I’m about to make a few people upset ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ #sorrynotsorry

.8.

Title:  The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Genre: Literary Fiction


.9.

Title:  Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Genre: Literary Fiction


.10.

Title:  The Scarlet Letter
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Genre: Literary Fiction


Honorable Mentions: Books I never read in school but everyone else did.

I have no idea how I passed over these books, but they never came up in my curriculum. Maybe eventually I will go back to read them. 


See other people’s lists here!

The Glitch by Ramona Finn- Audiobook Tour

 Hey everyone!

I have decided to start participating in book review tours so you will see several of them pop up on my blog this month! There is a giveaway for this tour located at the bottom of the page 😉 I hope you enjoy!

Title: The Glitch
Author: Ramona Finn
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Format: Audio
Narrator: Genevieve Kaplan
Description
(Source: Amazon):

The Glitch (The Glitches, #1)On the brink of extinction, being human means more than just surviving. 

In Lib’s world, it’s dangerous to deviate from the norm. In fact, for someone who doesn’t live up to the Artificial Intelligence’s standards, it’s practically a death sentence. Lib learns this the hard way when she wakes up in a barren wasteland, with her memories erased, and only one thought lodged in her mind:

“It’s all my fault.”

Lib is a Glitch—an imperfect human component of the utopian world called the Norm. Now she’s thrown out, Lib will be forced to team up with another Glitch, Raj, and the mysterious Rogue Wolf and his clan to survive. Wolf only cares about the survival of his group, but Raj thinks they can hack the A.I. and change the Norm for the better.

Now, Lib will have to decide which path to choose—whether to go with striking loner Raj or stay with Wolf and his tight-knit group. Her heart is drawn to both, but she’s carrying a deadly secret that could jeopardize them all. Will she be able to save her newfound family and stop the A.I. before it’s too late? “


Review of the story:

The Glitch starts off by immediately throwing readers into a whirlwind of action. Our female protagonist (Lib) wakes up in a desert and remembers nothing- and I mean, nothing. Not her name, age, what she looks like, or even basic words at first. Over the course of the book Lib starts to have fleeting memories about who she may have been and her “purpose”, but it’s not until the end where we start to get big answers. 

After Lib wakes up she notices another girl in trouble and instinctively saves her life. The girl (Skye)  brings Lib to a group of people surviving outside the “Norm” (where Lib learns she was cast out from). The group of people is called a Clan and is comprised of Glitches like Lib, and Rouges – people born outside the Norm. It take a little bit longer than I would have liked to get an explanation to what a Glitch actually is, and this starts to enter spoiler territory so I won’t go into it too much. I can say however, that Glitches are people who used to live inside the norm but were tossed out due to the AI who runs the norm deeming them as malfunctioned. 

As the story progresses we see Lib struggle to gain the trust of her newfound friends and start to uncover truths about the Norm, the AI, herself, and the world. There is a little romance, but it definitely doesn’t overpower the main story-line.

The Clan reminds me of the Grounders from the show The 100. The harsh language, the lack of technology, and the reliance on folk-like traditions showed similarities to that group. If you like that aspect of the show, I think you will love the world that Finn has built outside of the Norm. 

My only complaint about the book is the lack of character development. I am very much a plot driven type of reader, so the action in this book was appealing to me. I do think however, it could have been slowed down a little for more character development. This would have allowed for more emotional connection not just to the protagonist, but also to the supporting characters that die throughout the book. 

Review of the audio:

Genevieve Kaplan does an okay job at narrating the book. There were times where I felt like she rushed the words and I thought I was listening at 1.25x speed, but she would usually even herself back out within a few minutes.  Her character voices were distinctive and I never had a hard time trying to decipher who was speaking. 

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
– Overall, the book was pretty good and I would recommend it to anyone interested in dystopian sci-fi. I will continue the series to see what happens to the group. 
– If you have Kindle Unlimited, It’s included in the program! If not, I highly suggest you get it. I can’t tell you how many great books I have found through Unlimited. Click below to join!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ramona Finn. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.


 

The Glitch Audio Blog Tour Giveaway


May 7: Dab of Darkness

May 8: Chapter Break

May 9: Chanda Reads

May 10: The Book Addict’s Reviews

May 11: The Page Unbound

May 12: SMADA’s Book Smack

May 13: Haddie’s Haven

May 14: terriluvsbooks

May 15: The Cinnamon Hollow

May 16: Lomeraniel

ABW Promos3

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA
Format: Audio and Hardcover
Narrators: Olivia Taylor Dudley , Lincoln Hoppe , Johnathan McClain, full cast
Description
(Source: Amazon):

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
      The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.
     But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
      Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.”


Review:
Wow. This book brought out my emotions more than any I have read in a while. One minute I was laughing at Kady’s sharp tongue, and the next I was crying at people’s last messages recorded and held in a ship’s black box (the box that is recovered after a plane, or in this case a spaceship, crashes). I’m not really much of a cryer while reading so the fact that this book made me cry three separate times speaks to how great this book was for me. 

Illuminae caught my attention right off the bat, as the very first page made me LOL.

…though profanity remains censored as per your instruction. Sure, the story kicks off with the deaths of thousands of people, but god forbid there be cussing in it, right?”

I wanted to point out that the book grabbed my attention right away because I am someone who usually requires 2-5 chapters to start getting connected with a book and the characters. 

I did something with this book that I have never done before: I got the audio from my library, but found that I started to get confused on the timeline of events so I bought a hard copy of the book to follow along with, and I loved it. The audio is amazing because there are 20, yes-TWENTY, voice actors! There are even sound effects as well! I think if you are only listening to the book you are missing out on an important aspect of the book though. The art and structure of the book is fantastic and entirely unique. I’ve already bought the second book (Gemina) in both audio and hard copy as well so I can follow along again. 

The format of the book being files and dossiers makes it seem like a mystery unfolding before your eyes. I kind of felt like a detective who was reading a case file. There is a huge plot twist in the book (that caught me 100% by surprise, and I am usually pretty good at guessing any twists) so I can’t really say much about the plot. I can tell you that it has lots of action, a little bit of romance, a crazy AI (AIDAN, why do I kind of ship him and Kady?!🙊🙊), a kick ass heroine, and lots of tear jerker moments. 

Read.This.Book.

Rating:

   

Final Thoughts:
– If you have the chance, listen to the audiobook while following along with the physical copy. It’s so much better that way, IMO.
– As soon as I’m done with my ARC TBRs in April I am going to reread this book. After some of the plot twists I want to go back and see if I can find any clues. 


Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Title: Defy the Stars
Author: Claudia Gray
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Format: eArc, provided by NetGalley
Description (Source: Amazon):

Defy the Stars by [Gray, Claudia]

She’s a soldier.

Noemi Vidal is seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything–including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine.

Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.”


Overall Assessment:
Defy the Stars is a great read that’s full of action, suspense, and love (both romantic and love of humanity).
The book’s opening line draws you in immediately:

In three weeks, Neomi Vidal will die–here, in this very place. Today is just practice. “

Right away we learn that Noemi is training on a (literal) suicide mission to help save her planet (Genesis) from an Earth 300 years in the future. Earth has depleted the resources available to it and has started to colonize other planets. Genesis attempted to break away from Earth about 30 years prior to the beginning of Defy the Stars, but Earth has recently redoubled it’s effort to reclaim their planetary salvation. The people of Genesis resist, because they know that Earth will ruin Genesis like they did their own planet. 

When a training exercise goes awry, Noemi ends up on an abandoned Earth ship from 30 years ago with a snarky advanced AI (Abel) who is bound to obey her by an unexpected oversight to his programming . Noemi finds that Abel may hold the secret to saving her planet, thus propelling them on an adventure through wormholes, other planets, and finally: Earth. 

It took me a couple chapters to get into it, but once the action starts it’s pretty much non-stop. I really enjoyed the book, save for the last little bit (read more about that below). 


Rating:
 

What I liked:
– Noemi was strong, independent, and skilled. She also knew when to forgo her pride and let someone else take over when needed. This is a big bonus for me in a character, as I find arrogant characters insufferable (*cough* Aelin Ashryver Galathynius *cough*).
– I loved being able to see into Abel’s mind. His revelations at his own transformation were really interesting to read. His growing sense of humor made me chuckle more than once. Abel was hands down my favorite character in this book. 

At some point Abel will have to analyze whether he has developed the capacity for passive aggression.”

^^I’m a queen of passive aggression, so this made me LOL.^^

– Okay, so this one is kind of silly, but I really liked having names in a YA sci-fi that I could actually pronounce. There were a couple names that were more unique, but nothing like some of the high fantasy or dystopian names you see. Adding the comic below, because “Wicker Basket” gets me every time. 😂😂😂

Related image

What I didn’t like:
– Okay, so I got ahead of myself and wrote out this section before I saw that this will be at least a duology….but I’m going to leave it to show how strongly I felt after finishing it, lol. In reality, there were no real cliffhangers (which I don’t mind, as long as I know they will eventually be resolved), but rather a lack of closure. 

The ending. I know a lot of people will really like it, but I hated it. Most of the book was great, but I realized at about 95% completion that there was not enough time to end it in a way I liked. The lack of closure ended on a sour note for me, but the rest of the book was really good. I still recommend it, but cautiously. If you don’t mind an ending where the story isn’t wrapped up all neat and pretty you should definitely read this book. I however, prefer the “wrapped up neat and pretty” kinds. 

–  lol see? strong feelings about it.
– The only other thing that somewhat brought the rating down was the use of a few predictable tropes, but these are found so often in YA and sci-fi that they can be easily looked past. 

Final Thoughts:
– Honestly, I probably would have rated it 3.5/5 stars if it was a standalone. I’m glad it’s not though so I happily give it 4/5 (maybe even closer to 4.5/5) stars. 


Top 5 Wednesday (8)

Hey everyone! This feature is hosted in the Top Five Wednesday group on Goodreads.

The topic this week is….

I feel a little cliched and “basic” here with a couple of my choices. I’m going to leave the most obvious out (Harry Potter) because I think pretty much everyone will have it on their list.


.1.

The Chronicles of Narnia changed the way I read. My librarian in middle school suggested these to me and I fell hard for the fantasy genre.


.2.

So Long, Lollipops (Until the End of the World, #1.5)And After (Until the End of the World, #2)All the Stars in the Sky (Until the End of the World, #3)

My favorite adult sci-fi or fantasy series is the Until the End of the World series. I gush over how much I love it here, if you’re interested. 


.3.

The Giver was my first taste of what a dystopian world would look like, as with most American kids since we read it in school. I remember it being the first time I ever questioned authority. 


.4.

The ACOTAR Series is one of my new favorites! I like Throne of Glass too, but ACOMAF in particular had me obsessed. My reviews are here:

A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Mist and Fury


.5.

Lastly, The Lunar Chronicles. I read the first three books in less than 5 days and then read the last one the day it was released. 


That’s it! What are your favorites? Leave your link so I can check yours out! 🙂 

‘The Bone Witch’ by Rin Chupeco

Title: The Bone Witch
Author:
Rin Chupeco
Genre:
YA, Supernatural, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Format:
eARC provided to me via NetGalley. It will be released on March  7, but is available for pre-order on Amazon.
Description (Source: GoodReads):
 

 

bone-witch

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha―one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

 

Overall Assessment:
I kind of waffled back and forth on if I should give this book a 2 or 3 star review. To be honest, the book was just okay. I think it has the potential to be an interesting series, so although I gave it 3 I am open to reading the next book. I’m intrigued by the story of Tea. 

The story was told in 2 POVs (Tea and the Bard). Tea is a Bone Witch (Someone who has the power to raise the dead). The book takes place over a period of a couple years, as the reader follows Tea through her training and witch apprenticeship. Because of this, there is also not a lot of character development for anyone other than Tea. The descriptions are a little much though. I found myself skimming a lot. The book ends somewhat suddenly and leaves the reader with several unanswered questions. 

Rating:

 

‘Regress’ by SF Benson

Title: Regress
Author: SF Benson
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Format: eBook (Kindle)
Description (Source: Amazon):

Regress (The Alliance Chronicles #1)

The United States has fallen.
Creativity is banned.
A government-mandated vaccine which totally blocks creativity.
It’s 2025 and the country is run by a group of scientists and technologists.
Tru Shepard, a soon-to-be seventeen-year-old, wants to avoid the vaccine. Without self-expression, Tru would rather die.
Zared Aoki has his own secrets. He wants Tru’s help exposing the plans of a corrupt, domineering government. In exchange, he’ll help her avoid the vaccine.
Failure is not an option. Tru refuses to live a colorless, dull existence.
10 days.
That’s all the time Tru has.
Lies and secrets make up her world. Is she ready to learn the truth?

 

Overall Assessment:
I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn’t connect with it. I tried for about two weeks before I was finally able to slog through it. The only reason I finished it is because I won the second book in a giveaway on Goodreads.

I don’t think I will be moving onto the second book though. Not unless the Zombie Apocalypse happens and I need something to read in between killing zombies and canning peaches, anyway.

Rating:

   

‘Resistance’ by Mikhaeyla Kopievsky

Title: Resistance

Author: Mikhaeyla Kopievsky

Genre:  Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Fiction

Format: eBook ARC via NetGalley. It will be released in two days! Links to purchase below.

Description (Source: NetGalley):

The Announcer calls my name, but she does not speak to me. This macabre spectacle has nothing to do with me. And everything to do with them. This is all for the thousands below – the compliant citizens of Otpor, the witnesses to my Execution, the silent and transfixed. This is their moment. Their reconditioning.

In a future post-apocalyptic Paris, a rebellion threatens to upset the city’s perfectly-structured balance and plunge its citizens into anarchy.

Two generations after the Execution of Kane 148 and Otpor’s return to Orthodoxy, forbidden murals are appearing on crumbling concrete walls – calling citizens to action. Calling for Resistance.

The murals will change the utopian lives of all citizens. But, for Anaiya 234, they will change who she is.

A Peacekeeper of the uncompromising Fire Element, Anaiya free-runs through city’s precincts to enforce the Orthodoxy without hesitation or mercy. Her selection for a high-risk mission gives Otpor the chance it needs to eliminate the Heterodoxy and Anaiya the opportunity she craves to erase a shameful past.

But the mission demands an impossible sacrifice – her identity.

Overall Assessment:
This book took me a while to get into. It wasn’t until probably 25% of the way in that I was interested enough to want to continue. It wasn’t the plot, that is actually really good, but the writing style. I’ll include some quotes below to show what I mean.

Once I got past the writing style, the story completely drew me in. I will probably read the next book when it comes out.

Rating:

 

First Line Fridays (1)

TGIF! I’ve got a long weekend ahead of me so I’m feeling especially festive for Friday this week. Today is my first First Line Fridays post hosted by Wandering Words.

Here are the rules (as outline by Wandering Words):

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

“The children were playing while Holston climbed to his death; he could hear them squealing as only happy children do. While they thundered about frantically above, Holston took his time, each step methodical and ponderous, as he wound his way around and around the spiral staircase, old boots ringing out on metal treads. “


Scroll down for more info about the book.

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