Monday, May 27, 2013

The Safe Lands: Captives

"One Choice Could Destroy Them All." 
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms 

Storyline - The village of Glenrock follows their Elder, Papa Eli, in living lives obedient to the teachings of the Lord and listen to his warnings to stay away from the Safe Lands and their destructive ways. But the Safe Lands are unable to have children without the Thin Plague and are willing to do whatever it takes to get some surrogates and donors who do not have the disease. So when Omar, one who is different to most of the men in Glenrock, betrays his people, the men and women are kidnapped to create uninfected children for the new lands. The Safe Lands are intriguing and new, catching their interest, yet something isn't right about this place. Several of the Glenrock work to find a way out but will it be enough and one of the Glenrock people, Mason, thinks he might be able to find a cure for the people.

Author - Jill Williamson

Publisher - Zondervan

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Women are required to artificially become pregnant and men have to donate. Some fights and shooting, characters die but the events are not graphic or gory. The characters enjoy the pleasures of the Safe Lands but they see where things are not right and try to get out. Lies are

Personal Opinion - The world was colorful and original and new, with new technology which was interesting and believable that one day we could get to that. The language was cool in how it changed from how we speak today. The characters were diverse and realistic, with real dreams and pains and struggles. There were a couple of times the character reactions didn't seem believable such as how they started enjoying the Safe Lands after being kidnapped, seen family killed and taken away, and told they will have children against their will yet don't fight too hard and eat the food and dress in their clothes. The pacing was good, moving a long and introducing the world pretty well as the story went. I found it a bit slow though but I can't seem to pin point what made it feel that way. Most of the reasons I come up with are all me so I'm leaning towards that is the reason. Still, Jill's books are good and this one was still interesting and the characters are good so I will be reading the next book in the Safe Lands series.

Video - 

Other Book Reviews for this Author -  By Darkness Hid - Review
                                                           To Darkness Fled - Review
                                                           From Darkness Won - Review
                                                           Replication: The Jason Experiment - Review
                                                           The Mission League: The New Recruit - Review
                                                           The Mission League: Chokepoint - Review
                                                           The Mission League: Project Gemini - Review (Coming Soon)
Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher/author through Team Novel Teen.

Blog Tour - 

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Author Interview: Heather Burch

Hello Bookworms,

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Heather Burch, author of the Halfling series, whose newest book, Avenger, was released in March. Heather's books are very popular and follow the adventures of Nikki Youngblood and her Halfling, half angel, half human, guardians as they try to keep her alive and discover why the forces of Darkness want her so badly. As they adventures continue, they find hiden secrets and seek strength in God as the battle. Heather was nice enough to answer some questions so here they are for everyone to enjoy.

HB: First, let me say thanks for letting me drop by today!
BW: I'm glad you're glad that you stopped by today and thank you very much for agreeing to the interview.
What first made you interested in being a writer?
HB: I have always done a lot of writing … mostly just for myself. But when I met my husband and discovered his mom and sister wrote novels, I couldn’t believe it. “You mean real people write books?” I don’t know who I thought wrote books, but they were just people. Just like me. Only older. I decided right then to write a book.
BW: Sounds like a cool discovery. I'm glad you decided to write novels.
What have you enjoyed most about being a writer? Least?
HB: I love getting to go out and meet fans. It’s magical when someone says something like, “Your book got me through a hard time.” I can’t even describe how it feels. It’s the best. I love traveling so promoting the Halflings Series has made it possible to visit some great cities.
Since I’m traveling a lot, I’m gone from home and that’s the hardest thing. I really miss my guys when I’m out there. But they are great about it and usually cook me an awesome dinner when I’m headed home. And they clean the house. They have to, they trash it while I’m gone.
BW: That would be unbelievable and must make you feel very good. Traveling sounds like fun but does have that downside. Glad the men clea for you at least.
If you ever have, what do you do when you get Writer's Block?
I keep writing. Even if it’s not what I’m supposed to be working on. I guess I write right on through it. You can’t let the muse push you around or you’ll find yourself shoved in too many directions. Now, I’m talking about regular old normal writer’s block. There is another kind, I believe, that has to do with a writer’s emotions being drained. Family crisis, personal tragedies, things like that can cause the other writer’s block. That’s different. It means you don’t have anything to pour out of yourself. See, I think writers have a reservoir of creativity and an overflow. We should always be writing from our overflow. If we start dipping into the reservoir, we run the risk of running dry. When dealing with that type of writer’s block, I think you have to take a step away. Allow yourself time to heal from whatever has happened. Put the writing on the back burner until words begin to gurgle inside again.
BW: Never thought about that, that your emotions causeing block, but it makes sense. Great insight.
What is your favorite genre to read?
 HB: Love, love, love YA. Not all YA books are my cup-of-tea, but so many are fabulously written with really deep characters and intricate plotlines. I can lose myself in a fabulous YA novel.
BW: What has been the funnest scene you've written?
HB: I had so much fun writing the scene in Avenger where Nikki and the Halflings get to test new motorcycles. The area I wrote them into is an actual area in my home state of Missouri where I used to ride as a teen. So much fun! Felt like I was revisiting my own memory lane. And once I knew Nikki was going to be in a leather jacket on the cover of Avenger, I knew I’d be adding a motocross scene.
BW: Those motercycles were pretty cool. And I had been wondering if trails like the ones described existed.
Do you have plans/want to ever return to the world of the Halflings?
HB: Is it terrible that I want to live in the Halflings world? I think I could go on writing these for … I don’t know … forever. There are still so many stories and interesting characters to dissect and inspect. Like Viper. He is one of my favorite characters, but we only get a glimpse of him in Avenger.
BW: I don't think it is a terrible thing to want to live in the Halfling world. I would like to live in other worlds sometimes.
Are you currently working on a project? If you are, can you tell us a little about it?
HB: I have a few things in the works right now. One is a twist on a modern day fairytale. It’s been so much fun because I’ve been able to introduce things that I couldn’t in a more “realistic” feeling storyline. For instance, the two main characters are inside an enchanted cave being chased by monkeys who throw … you guessed it … enchanted poo at them. Okay, so maybe that’s gross and more information than you wanted, but I’ve had a blast writing it. Also, I'm looking forward to continuing the Halflings Series. Raven has an exciting adventure ahead of him and I want to share that journey with the world! 
BW: I am excited for Raven's story and that other one sounds... interesting. And yes, a little gross, but I will read it. Sounds like fun. Make sure to tell your characters to duck when the poo is being thrown. 
Thanks again Heather for the interview, I had fun and I hope you did too. Thanks everyone for reading and be sure to chew on a good book today.

Halfling Series: Avenger

"Sometimes Facing Your Destiny
Means Risking Everything." 
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Nikki is growing into her true self since learning that she is a Halfling. As the group hopes for a resite, a dark creature is discovered to be hunting Nikki, one that has never been known to be killed. Raven and Nikki run to head off the creature and save their friends, but they still have to find a way to over come it, discover Vessler's next move, and overcome his plans. But when a dear friend is in trouble, Nikki will have to make hard decisions, including ones that could not only cost her life, but others as well.
Author - Heather Burch

Publisher - Zondervan

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Occasional kissing between Nikki and guy characters. Several fights scenes but not detailed or graphic. A couple characters are beaten but is not detailed. Nikki faces her opponents straight on and leans on faith and God to over come them. Raven begins to grow.
Personal Opinion - Great continuation for the series. Nikki picks her guy and grows so much more in her faith in God and learns to lean and trust in Him. The world also came alive like in the previous books and the characters changed and grew with the story. I loved how Raven started growing as well and I'm so glad that I learned there will be another book about him because I can see Raven growing so much more. The characters sacrificed and did so much to protect each other. The only complaint I have is the climax was a bit quick for me, I thought there would be more. But, I look forward to Raven's story and seeing where they go next.

P.S. Make sure to read the author interview with Heather Burch.
Video -

Other Book Reviews for this Author - Halflings, book 1, Review
                                                              Guardian, book 2, Review
                                                              2 Halfling enovellas Review

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the author.

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Wizard Test

"The Last Thing He Wants
is to Pass This Test"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - The Wizard Test is one test Dayven does not want to pass. His grandmother was a wizard and a traitor to Tharn so he is determined to bring honor to his name. But to his horror, he passes. No Dayven is called upon the Lordowner to discover what the wizards do and find some honest answers to these people and their knowledge of Tharn's enemies, the Cenzar. As Dayven discovers more about magic and the Cenzar, he begins to see that things are not always what they seem, that there is more to the story than he thought, and is faced with a choice to complete his duty or choose a new side.

Author - Hilari Bell

Publisher - Eos, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Age Group - 13 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Dayven just wants to keep his word and do the honorable thing and is willing to sacrifice what he wants to help another. The wizards are dishonest sometimes which they try to rationalize.

Personal Opinion - For being a small book (under 200 pages), the characters and storyline were well developed. This book could have been made much longer and would have still been just as interesting but would have gone deeper into the main conflict. It was very creative in the names of people and places and yet still pronounceable. It did a very good job on teaching that just because someone is different from you doesn't mean you can walk all over them or that they are less of a person or a "barbarian." Magic was used in the book to mostly to heal others, it was a power inside each individual, not something that was called upon. There was one thing that bothered me but it would give away the ending if I tried to explain. There was just one decision a wizard made to help other that purposefully hindered others (sorry I can't give more detail). But it was a pretty good story and I would read other books by this author.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble,
(Looks like paperback copies are out of print so these are ebook links. Could probably find paperbacks used somewhere) 

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm

Monday, May 6, 2013

Swipe Series: Storm

"When the Storm Breaks,
No One Will be Able to Stop It."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
Storyline - The Dust's biggest battle is about to start. Logan, Hailey, and Erin search for a cure to the coming sickness that is already infecting one of their own, but are waylaid by another threat, the lack of water, and head off to Lahoma to try to correct the problem. Blake and his gang are determined to find and save their friend who was taken by Acheron but are called upon to help solve the cause of the sickness. And the relationship between the world leaders is not what it appears. As the Dust race against time, everything is about to fall, but can they stop it in time?

Author - Evan Angler

Publisher - Thomas Nelson

Age Group - 13 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* The friends stand by each other and fight for what is best for others. Several deaths take place.

Personal Opinion - Logan and the group keep fighting for truth and what is right, for the protection and safety of those not marked in the government. Many conspiracies are happening in this book and many people and stories are mixed in. There is one new character and story that was added that I wish had been introduced and followed from the first book. This book was pretty well told but I also felt there were too many summaries which made it a little slow and some of the characters acted in such a way that I didn't find believable. For being the final book in the series, I don't like it is over. Perhaps that is because I prefer happier endings than I felt this one had and it all came together a little too close to the end. But it is also a dystopia so I probably can only expect so happy an ending. If you have read Swipe and Sneak, you will want to know how it all comes together. I personally hope the story goes one, if not in this series, than a spin off one.

Video- Sorry, can't seem to upload the video on here so please check out the link.

Other Reviews for this Author - Swipe - Book 1 in the Swipe Series
                                                    Sneak - Book 2 in the Swipe Series
                                                    Guest Post

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

Blog Tour -

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher/author through Team Novel Teen.

Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Storm by Evan Angler by clicking on the links above, and click here for more information about Team Novel Teen.

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