Sunday, September 16, 2012

Book Reviews for the Week

Finally, a book that makes me forget I'm an editor and lets me just fall into the pages! It's been months since I felt this way, since I was riveted by an adventure enough to stay up late at night reading, forget to do dishes, and lose myself into the adventure that is SNEAK by Evan Angler.

My only regret is that I didn't read the previous book in the series first. This is one of my Booksneeze books, which means I downloaded it for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers, but it doesn't mean I have to say anything nice about it. At first, too, because this is the second book in the series (the first is SWIPE), it took some time to figure out what was going on. This world is a gripping one, where, in the name of "unity," the government places a Mark on its citizens while they are in their teens--refuse the Mark, and you lose all privileges, from home to job to money to, well, really everything. Yet people choose not to be Marked anyway, for all sorts of reasons. Either that or the government decides, based on a mind reading, that a particular person is too dangerous to receive the Mark.

That's what happened to Logan in the first book, and this second in the series records his journey to Beacon (situated where Washington, D.C. is now, I think) to help the Markless gain their freedom, to stop the government's control, and to restore balance to his world. And it's well worth reading. Gripping, dramatic, with good, clear, complex characters. It's better than Hunger Games by a long shot, and all I can do is hope it takes off in the same way. This book deserves to do well, and I am downloading the previous book SNEAK on my own dime today. This may be the best book I've read all year.

I also tackled a book called HALO, a sort of angel version of the TWILIGHT series. It's funny that only two weeks ago I reviewed ANGEL EYES, and the same sort of thing was happening, but this book is better. It's cover alone is magnificent, and I snatched it up based on the cover alone. The premise is good: an angel sent down to do good ends up falling in love with a mortal while she does her mission. Ill-fated love is one of my favorites (don't know why).

My biggest problem with the book is that the main character is supposed to be an angel, and should thus be above the normal humanness of mortals, but besides her being really pretty, I can't find anything about her that is truly angelic. She just seems to be a rather wimpy, whiny teenager, and that gets on my nerves. She lies to her fellow angels, sneaks out to be with a human she falls in love with, and makes all sorts of stupid choices, as if she really isn't an angel at all.

Her two fellow angels, Gabriel and Ivy (yes, Gabriel is THE Angel Gabriel) are a whole lot more likable, but I couldn't get around the main character's lack of judgment. Her love interest Xavier is a sweet boy, but perhaps, like Edward from the TWILIGHT series, he's too perfect. Every big fear she has turns out to be not so bad. We keep expecting him to react to something, but he is unendingly patient, no matter what. That's sort of the way the whole story goes: we're told to fear something (because the main character does), and then her fear turns out unfounded.

Her best friend at the high school is pretty stupid, and not very nice, either. I couldn't figure out why they were friends at all, especially after her friend got her drunk at a party and then left her. Even their talk of prom was gag-worthy, and though I know the book will have a sequel, I definitely won't be reading it, cover or no cover.

That's all the books I've read this week. I now want to tackle SWIPE and another novel on my Kindle... I'll report back once I've finished those.

Have a great week! And, please, share what you've been reading...

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