Review: When Stars Burn Out by Anna Vera

book review

When Stars Burn Out by Anna Vera 4.5/5

34503277When a plague turns people into monsters, the only safe place left to live is the Ora, a spaceship beside Earth’s moon. Aboard are the specimens of the next generation, genetically modified to develop powerful abilities, which they must use to fulfill their life’s purpose: exterminating those infected by the plague and stopping the apocalypse.

From the day Eos Europa was created eighteen years ago, she’s cared about little else. But when she fails to develop an ability, everything she’s worked for is lost—that is, until soldiers start disappearing only seconds after reaching Earth’s surface.

In an act of desperation, Eos is sent to Earth to find the missing soldiers. But what she discovers challenges everything she’s ever been taught—about who she is, where she’s come from, and how the apocalypse really began—leaving her to decide whether she’ll continue to play the puppet she was created to be, or disappear like everyone else.

Review:

When Stars Burn Out is a mix of The 100 and Divergent, teamed with a unique twist on the zombie apocalypse narrative. There were many plot twists thrown in along the way, and I could not predict where Vera was going to take the story. Book two is high on my to be read pile, but it’s not published yet. Ahhhh! #thestruggleisreal.

I enjoy a well-written, inventive take on YA literature. This story is highly character driven, just how I like it. You are not only drawn into Eos’ story, but that of all the sub-characters. Everyone has a past, everyone has their own reasoning, and everyone adds to the story in their own way. The character development is well rounded and thought out.

I also enjoyed the romantic element. More so because it wasnt the driving force of the narrative and didn’t sway Eos or change her values. That ending, though. I need answers to heal my cracking heart.

My only niggle was the pacing at the very end. A lot happens in the space of two chapters. There is a time jump of a week, Eos is not sure what has happened in that time, and then there’s some more big revelations. However, I am eager to find out more in the sequel.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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Review: The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair by Gavin Whyte

book review

The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair by Gavin Whyte 3/5

27419129When a boy finds a girl singing and dancing under his favourite tree he didn’t realise he had been chosen to be the one-off witness to something out of this world. The boy is shown how to live in joy and is reminded of how to pursue his life’s calling. His fear of ageing is overcome and dying is no longer what it seems – all because of the girl with the green-tinted hair.

In this truly comforting tale of wonder and intrigue, which has been called a “hidden gem”, we discover for ourselves how to live in harmony with that which is forever flowing; that which we call life.

Review:

I have mixed feelings about this book. The messages and life lessons the boy learns are important, but this was a non-story in regards to narrative. Yes, I suppose the narrative is the passing of time, growth, and learning, but that was it. Simply put, not my cup of tea. I also didn’t like the narrators voice. The fable vibe was strong, and I have a preference for updating and modernising such types of tales. Younger people may have a totally different view of this book than me.

I cannot fault the writing. The author has a clear, easy to read style.

I have read differing reviews. It’s clear that age and genre preference play a huge factor. I reckon this is a ‘marmite’ kind of story.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: The Alpha Plague by Michael Robertson

book-review

The Alpha Plague by Michael Robertson 4/5

25815168Rhys is an average guy who works an average job in Summit City—a purpose built government complex on the outskirts of London.

The Alpha Tower stands in the centre of the city. An enigma, nobody knows what happens behind its dark glass.

Rhys is about to find out.

At ground zero and with chaos spilling out into the street, Rhys has the slightest of head starts. If he can remain ahead of the pandemonium, then maybe he can get to his loved ones before the plague does.

Review:

I can’t say that this isn’t your typical zombie/ infection novel, but I can say that the writing was good, the narrative was believable, and the action was intense. Sometimes, we just need a little of what we know done well. The Alpha Plague was that for me.

Rhy’s motivation throughout is to get to his son. I can understand that Vicky’s participation in getting him off the island stems from guilt, but the way their relationship grows in a few hours felt a little forced. I did enjoy how they bounced off of each other, each with their own personality traits and opinions which aided in keeping them both alive.

The storyline behind the ‘release’ of the infection is well believable in this day and age. Biological warfare gone wrong is a scary thought, especially if the enemy know what you are doing and how to use it to their advantage. I hope to hear a little more about The East and what they gained from their actions in the sequel.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer

book-review

Winter by Marissa Meyer 4/5

13206900Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Review:

I am a huge fan of Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. Winter, however, took a little longer to get into. I think it was about chapter fifteen where I found my foothold in the story, picked up pace, and couldn’t put it down.

The fairytale retelling is a Meyer masterpiece yet again. I usually detest retellings, but I LOVE The Lunar Chronicles. The loved, kind-hearted Princess ruled over by her villainous step-mother storyline is executed in a fresh, original way, and blends beautifully with the rest of the series.

I’m still a Wolf girl. Scarlet and Wolf’s reunion was just ahhhhh. I won’t say anymore. The characters have their flaws, but you can’t help but get swept up in the camaraderie. Their personality traits work well together, and the narrative/ character development progressed naturally and truthfully.

The ending was exactly what I wanted for my favourite team of buddies. If you like fairytale retellings, why not try this sci-fi series with a hint of romance? It is unputdownable.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

My 2018 Reading Plans

book review(3)

I’ve decided that 2018 will be a mostly ebook year. Why? Because of the sheer amount of ebooks on my Kindle. So many good ebooks on there are being neglected. That’s not to say I won’t read paperbacks as I have many from 2017 to finish, but I’m going to ‘try’ to avoid borrowing from the library, ‘try’ not to buy any new paperbacks unless I have been anticipating them for ages, and ‘try’ not to buy any more ebooks until the ones I have are read.

Due to a hectic year ahead, I’ve cut my Goodreads reading challenge target from 80 books in 2017 to 40 books in 2018. If I can do more, then great!

What goodies are waiting for me on my Kindle?…

My 2018 Ebook TBR Pile.png

Have you changed your reading habits for 2018? Do you have a Goodreads reading challenge target, and what are your plans to smash it?


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Review: The Sheep Pig by Dick King Smith

book-review

The Sheep Pig by Dick King Smith 4/5

6tag_221217-135642When Babe arrives at Hogget Farm, Mrs. Hogget’s thoughts turn to sizzling bacon and juicy pork chops–until he reveals a surprising talent for sheepherding, that is. Before long, Babe is handling Farmer Hogget’s flock better than any sheepdog ever could. Babe is so good, in fact, that the farmer enters him into the Grand Challenge Sheepdog Trials. Will it take a miracle for Babe to win?

Review:

One of the joys of having children is re-reading your old favourites to them. My daughter’s copy of The Sheep Pig is, in fact, my copy from childhood.

Re-reading as an adult helps you see the themes and morals in the story that you may have missed as a child. The underlying theme of this book is that you can be anything you want to be and do anything you want to do if you set your mind to it. Also, manners go a long way. Babe wanted to work sheep, so he learnt , listened, and worked hard. He also treated the sheep as his equals. This is an important message for impressionable, young minds.

There are a few truthful, raw moments dotted in the otherwise joyous narrative. When Ma died, my daughter broke her heart, and straight after, Babe was seconds from being executed. I forgot how the narrative went a little dark in that moment, and although upset, my daughter wanted me to continue. Life and death are fairly common themes in children’s literature now, and The Sheep Pig handles the truth of farm life brilliantly. We are not a family of vegetarians, and reminding my daughter of this helped her see the truth in where her food actually comes from and what happens from farm to plate.

In summary, a quick re-read that touched on some important issues.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Crimbo Book Shout Out #3

Copy of book review

Have you been waiting patiently for the final Crimbo book shout out and giveaway? Of course you have! The winner of last week’s Cass Michaels giveaway was Laura Carter. Congratulations!


This week’s Crimbo book shout out is for a Christmas horror book, Merry Murder by Angel Gelique…

33555243Poor Paul McKenna. He just wants to enjoy the holidays. But with an obstinate teen-aged daughter, Heather, and an unreasonable wife who enables her, Paul is anything but jolly. Heather has her heart set on getting the latest cell phone for Christmas. The only problem is Paul can’t find one within the acceptable price range. He simply refuses to fall victim to holiday price-gouging. He has every intention of buying the phone weeks after Christmas when it’s half the price. Surely, Heather will understand…right?

In this tale of vengeance, a well-intentioned father will find that sometimes it’s better to appease an incorrigible teen daughter—no matter the cost—rather than incur her wrath.

Would you like a chance to win an e-copy of Merry Murder? All you have to do is share Angel Gelique’s Amazon page via any social media platform and paste a copy of the link to your post in the comments below to be entered. You can also enter by sharing the post from my Instagram feed. You can find more information here.

You can find Angel Gelique and her books here:

Amazon

Goodreads

Webpage


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Crimbo Book Shout Out #2

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Who’s ready for the second Crimbo book shout out post and giveaway? I know I am. The winner of last week’s K.C.Jane giveaway was Angel Gelique. Congratulations and happy reading.


Today’s shout out is for Chasing Winter by Cass Michaels.

ChasingWinter PRINT 5(1).jpgDear Santa,

I think Daddy needs a girlfriend. He needs someone to take care of him. She has to cook and like outdoor stuff. She has to like kids, ‘cause I have a little brother. And she has to be pretty, like the Christmas Princess. I love that movie! I want Daddy’s girlfriend to be nice like the princess and be good to everyone. She can’t be mean, like the Ice Queen!
Oh, and there’s another thing I want. I’ll tell you when I see you at the Christmas Pageant!

Love, Jennifer

Grading the students’ papers, Noel Winter lays the child’s Christmas letter down on her desk and wonders exactly what surprises might be in store this Christmas… Jennifer’s father, Rex Presley, made quite an impression at Parent Conferences. And it had nothing to do with his plaid coat or ruggedly, handsome good looks. He’s got a chip on his shoulder, and his hands full, raising two kids on his own. So why can’t she stop thinking about him?

Would you like a chance to win an e-copy of Chasing Winter? All you have to do is share Cass Michaels’ Amazon page via any social media platform and paste a copy of the link to your post in the comments below to be entered. You can also enter by sharing the post from my Instagram feed. You can find the post here.

You can find Cass Michaels and her books here:

Facebook

Twitter

Tumblr


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Review: Girl on a Plane by Miriam Moss

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Girl on a Plane by Miriam Moss 4/5

6tag_071217-121147After a summer spent with her family, fifteen-year-old Anna is travelling back to her English boarding school alone. But her plane never makes it home.

Anna’s flight is hijacked by Palestinian guerillas. They land the plane in the Jordanian desert, switch off the engines and issue their demands. If these are not met within three days, they will blow up the plane, killing all the hostages.

The heat on board becomes unbearable; food and water supplies dwindle. Anna begins to face the possibility she may never see her family again.

Time is running out . . .

Based on true events, this is a story about ordinary people facing agonizing horror, of courage and resilience.

Review:

I was compelled to pick this up in the library because of two things: the cover, and the fact that it is a true story. Moss may have changed names and added characters, but overall, this is a factual recount of the time her plane was hijacked by Palestinian Guerillas when she was just 15 and flying alone without her family.

Moss’ recount feels true to the story and captures the mindset of a teenager in a life threatening situation. It wasn’t all moments of high fear and panic, but more a truthful portrayal of daytime desert heat and nighttime icy chill, lack of food and water, and the not knowing if the P.F.L.P’s demand is being met by the British Government.

I found the chapter with the reporters so bizarre, yet fascinating. The whole situation was surreal and almost comical one moment, and then terrifying the next. This book doesn’t try to make heroes or glorify anyone, it just tells one young girl’s experience of how it truly played out.

I’m not usually a fan of memoir type stories, but something about this one caught my eye and I was glad I took a chance on it.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: Silver Bells by C.J. Hunt

book-review

Silver Bells by C.J. Hunt 5/5.

6tag_291117-063918Isaac MacAllister’s life revolves around building his business and doing his best to give his daughter Sara a strong sense of family. Over the years he’s had to learn how to keep their little family together on his own, but this Christmas Isaac is going to have some unexpected help.

Christmas blogger Jenna Murphy has one goal for the holidays this year: to get far away from anything to do with Christmas. Her website sale is done, and after 1,825 posts about the big C, it’s one “season” she never wants to celebrate again. She’s ready to start a new life, and the Big River Lodge seems like the perfect place for her to figure out the details. The lodge is isolated, she has her own private cabin, and no one in her family will know where she is.

But she didn’t plan on the highly distracting presence of Isaac MacAllister. Is Jenna going to let one sexy dad and his sweet kindergartener derail her plans for her holiday … and her life?

Review:

This is the best Christmas novella I have read in a long time. The characters, setting, and narrative made me feel so festive, and everything simply fell into place for a potential happy ever after.

Who doesn’t like the idea of a hunky, single Dad taking care of you when you’re injured and alone? Even better when he has the hots for you. Isaac was an endearing character, and I could visualise his lifestyle with his daughter Sara and the small town they live in where everyone knows everyone. Despite her lifestyle before, Jenna’s character made the easy transition into Isaac’s world, and I could well believe the ending. That brother, though. Some people are just assholes.

I devoured this book in one sitting. I highly recommend this read to any romance lovers looking to get in the Christmas spirit.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review