Thursday, June 4, 2015

Lost in Babylon by Peter Lerangis

Lost in Babylon by Peter Lerangis
2013, HarperCollins
Series: Book 2 of Seven Wonders

Synopsis: The adventure continues as Jack and his friends travel to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in the pulse-pounding second title in the Seven Wonders series.

With Marco gone and the first Loculus lost, Jack, Cass, and Ally are no closer to saving themselves (or the world) than when they first arrived at the Karai Institute. But when Bhegad tracks down Marco deep in the desert, the kids are off on the next leg of their quest-to the ancient city of Babylon. There the kids find themselves faced with a daunting choice that makes them question everything they've learned so far. It's a gut wrenching decision, but what the kids don't realize is that it's also a trap. Surprises pile on surprises until a long-lost figure from Jack's past returns, and the kids find themselves forced to engineer an escape that might just turn out to be a different kind of trap altogether....

The Good: These books are so fun and educational. Even as an adult, I learn some new-to-me history in each one. This installation even had a big surprise that totally threw me. Fast paced, yet easy to follow, these books are perfect for the middle school crowd.

The Bad: Dreams. I hate dream sequences. I find them annoying and confusing to the story as a whole, but that's more a general personal preference issue rather than a problem specific to this book.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane

Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane
2010, Del Rey
Series: Book 2 of Downside Ghosts


For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world's unpleasant little poltergeist problem--humans filing false claims of hauntings--all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new "celebrity" assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes. 

Someone's taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it's the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they--along with their ruthless employers--are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.

The Good: Chess drove me absolutely insane in this book. I had a strong desire to scream at her, shake some sense into her, something. I was so completely involved in the situations Chess got herself into that I don't think I moved at all the entire time I read this book. Glued to the page is an understatement. I could not put this book down. Things get very real for Chess on a personal level and I just could not get enough.

The Bad: Nothing at all.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Hour of Dust and Ashes by Kelly Gay

The Hour of Dust and Ashes by Kelly Gay
2011, Pocket
Series: Book 3 of Charlie Madigan

Synopsis: To save her sister, she must stop a silent killer. . . . 

Protecting Atlanta from the off-world criminals of Underground is tough enough, but now Detective Charlie Madigan and her siren partner, Hank, learn that the addicts of the offworld drug ash have begun taking their own lives. Ash makes humans the perfect vessels for possession, and something or someone is leading them to their deaths. Charlie is desperate to save her addicted sister, Bryn, from a similar fate. As New Year’s Eve approaches and time runs out, Charlie makes a deadly bargain with an ancient race of beings and embarks on a dangerous journey into hellish Charbydon with Hank and the Revenant Rex to save Bryn and make it back before it’s too late. Only, for one of them, coming home means facing a fate worse then death. . . .

The Good: I love this series. I fell in love with Charlie from the first page of the first book and this book makes me love her that much harder. Oh, and Hank. I do love him so. Some really great action happens here, but more importantly, some extremely necessary character insights and developments. There are some phenomenal emotional highs and lows going on in this book. This series keeps getting better and better.

The Bad: Not a thing.