Almost Done!!!

You guys. In less than a month I will be finished with the bulk of my remaining classes for school. After that I will only have one class each month until August when I officially graduate. So right now I am in book reading purgatory where I can see the end, but I’m still not there just yet.
I have three books reading for me when I am finished with this semester. The final book in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan and two of the books in Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series. So excited to start reading all of those!
Then I need to read the Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows and Rook by Sharon Cameron! I also have two book events over the next two months that I will be attending. Can’t wait to get reviews up for those.

Ruins by Dan Wells

Title: Ruins
Author: Dan Wells
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Purchased

From Goodreads

Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment in the Partials Sequence, a series that combines the thrilling action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Blade Runner and The Stand.

There is no avoiding it—the war to decide the fate of both humans and Partials is at hand. Both sides hold in their possession a weapon that could destroy the other, and Kira Walker has precious little time to prevent that from happening. She has one chance to save both species and the world with them, but it will only come at great personal cost.

I’ll admit I was worried about this one. I’m always very nervous when I fall in love with a series because so often the ending is just disappointing and it ends up tainting what was otherwise a fantastic series. So many times that type of ending has caught me in its trap and I was rightfully nervous about this one. These were large books (all pages together total 1,508) and I was going to be so disappointed if the ending to this adventure was a letdown.
I was not disappointed.
Like so many of the others, Ruins just kept throwing new information at me. Even when the remaining pages started dwindling and I knew the end was just a few pages away the speed hadn’t slowed down yet and there was no reasonable ending in sight. I thought the book was doomed. I’ll admit I lost faith for a few pages.
But I was so wrong. This entire series Dan Wells hasn’t steered me wrong once. The second book was almost 600 pages and while in some other books I might have been grumbling over the length and whether or not it was needed, I loved every single word on every page. Of course he knew what he was doing. The ending all came together perfectly. Except…one thing. I want to know what happened to the Reserve.
One of the things I loved so much about this was the battle between science and nature. Science has almost destroyed nature and even afterwards there are some who are still looking to science to solve the problem. Every single time the “creature” showed up and warned people about the coming winter I was further drawn into this book, which was an amazing accomplishment on Wells behalf because I was already pretty drawn in.
Again, I loved the different storylines that were all happening at once. I didn’t feel like there were as many as with Fragments but Wells was still able to handle each of them perfectly.
War books are tricky to write. Some authors tend to stick to just the people fighting the fight that are dying, but the good ones show realities of war and Ruins was one of them. In war there are so many things happening all at once. It’s chaos. I definitely got that feel from this book. Add in the weirdo science aspects of everything and it just gets even more complicated. If you are reading this I am going to assume that you’ve read the previous two books so this won’t be too much of a spoiler. The Partials and humans have to co-exist in order to survive. Kira believes with all her heart that this can happen. That if she can just get each side to listen to her that it will all work out. I love this. This is a girl who knows that the entire existence of humans and Partials rests on her shoulders. I got that from this book. The divide between the Partials and the humans was created over a few decades worth of differences and mixed belief. The humans believe the Partials released RM and killed most of the humans. Some of the Partials believe it as well and I loved the bits where the Partials talked about how remorseful they were. I loved that the book shows that these two sides who hate each other actually have people who believe in the other side as well. This book proves that you have to work together with people who may not be exactly like you in order to survive.

Fragments by Dan Wells

Title: Fragments
Author: Dan Wells
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Source: Purchased

From Goodreads:

Author Dan Wells is back with the sequel to the sci-fi blockbuster Partials, which Pittacus Lore called a “thrilling sci-fi adrenaline rush, with one of the most compelling and frightening visions of Earth’s future I’ve seen yet.”

After discovering the cure for RM, Kira Walker sets off on a terrifying journey into the ruins of postapocalyptic America and the darkest desires of her heart in order to uncover the means—and a reason—for humanity’s survival.

Dan Wells extends his richly imagined, gritty world and introduces new memorable characters in this second installment in the Partials Sequence.

It’s been a long time since I entered Kira Walkers world and when I picked up Fragments I was worried that I had forgotten all the important stuff from Partials. Dan Wells immediately entranced me back into this world and I felt like I had just finished Partials.
This is a mammoth book, almost 600 pages, with a lot of stuff going on, but never once did I feel like I was being bogged down or that something wasn’t needed. Wells showcases several different characters all embroiled in different areas of the war. I found this a really great addition to the story because through these different storylines, Wells is able to show the reader that wars are not straightforward and simple. This seems like such a simple concept, but the reader has to take into consideration that there are not many other authors who go to lengths to show the depth of the war or the toll that it takes on both sides.
Instead of “This is a war between good vs. evil” Wells shows us that each side, human and Partial, has been splintered, fragmented, into separate factions. There are Partials who want to see the humans dead or who don’t care one way or another about their lives, there are those who want to experiment on them to find a cure for the expiration date, and then there are those who feel immense guilt for the decimation of the human race and don’t want to see them killed any further.
The humans are the same way. There was an incredible moment in here, among many, where the human commander has to work together with the Partials he has long thought of as the enemy in order to survive. I loved it because in the face of extinction this is what would need to happen. People would need to put aside their differences for survival.
Kira’s journey was so different than the other stories in the book because she was on a completely different path. She fights for survival in a way totally different from her friends in East Meadow or the other Partials. She travels on a journey that almost reminds me of Martha walking the Earth in Doctor Who. This is Kira’s role in saving humanity. From behind the scenes. She has set forth with Samm and Heron and a new character, Afa, on a perilous journey across the United States to find the cure for RM and the expiration date.
I love Lord of the Rings and Fragments reminded me of it. Kira and Samm are Frodo and Sam, traveling across the world to save it. Behind the scenes. They aren’t on the front lines, but they are equally if not more important in saving the world than those on the front line (Marcus, Ariel, Woolf/Aragon, Gandolf, Legolas, Gimli, etc.) If Kira and Samm fail there is no future for anyone no matter what. If Marcus or Woolf were to fail the humans and Partials wouldn’t be annihilated over night, many of them would die, but there would still be people for Kira and Samm to save.
Besides the parallels to Tolkien and the realism of the war I also really liked how Wells was able to manage the multiple characters. This was a large book and while the cast of characters wasn’t that large the multiple perspectives and storylines had an opportunity to become too much. Wells was able to handle each of them with ease (although I wonder how much effort it took for him to write it just so) and navigated what could have been tricky waters with ease.
I mentioned this before with my Partials review, but Dan Wells puts all the haters in the world who say that men cannot write female characters to shame. Not only does he pull it off, but also he makes it so that the fact that he is writing a female character shouldn’t even come into play. This isn’t something that I should have to comment on, but from comments that I’ve seen online and at events I did want to point it out.
I am not a gooey romantic. I never have been and probably never will be. One of the things that I LOVE about this series is the slow build towards the romantic element. I despise books where the main character seems to fall hopelessly in love with a guy she just met only minutes after meeting him. There is awkwardness to these characters that I love. Kira doesn’t know how to talk to Samm and he doesn’t know how to talk to her. I know I can relate to this much more than the love at first sight books that seem to have taken over YA and I believe that other readers will as well.
This book (and series) is a definite read! 5 stars to an incredible journey. Loved the ride and can’t wait to continue it with Ruins

2015 Wishlist

There are more books coming out next year than I can possibly remember. Two books are my standout books. I haven’t pre-ordered a book since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was 2003 and my parents had ordered me the UK version of the book. I waited all day for this book watched as the delivery struck drove by all day and never came to my house. Finally around 7pm a frantic delivery boy pulled up in front of our house and dropped it off. I ran to the front door, tore open the box, and was met with a letter stating they couldn’t get the UK version to me on time so here’s the American version for free to tide you over.
Needless to say, I have some special memories of the last time I pre-ordered a book. Eleven years later and these are the two books I am going to pre-order:

1) The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

Everything that I’ve heard about this says it’s better than the Incarnate Trilogy. This is kind of hard for me to understand because I LOVE the Incarnate trilogy and I cannot imagine falling in love with anyone as much as I did with Ana and Sam. How can Meadows top her debut series? I have no idea. But everyone that has gotten to read it so far says that it blows Incarnate out of the water.
This also makes me really nervous because the last time I was this excited for a book, I put it so highly on a pedestal that even if the book was amazing it would never have lived up to what I wanted it to be. I was not disappointed with Infinite though and considering I normally despise final books because they never live up to expectations that is saying something. Every book that Meadows writes just keeps getting better and better and I cannot imagine what she has in store for us with The Orphan Queen!

2) Rook by Sharon Cameron

My love of Sharon Cameron is no surprised. I’ve had the honor of helping her with the blog tours for her other two books and from what I’ve heard about this book she is going to continue to enchant me. Rook is a world without Katharine and Lane, a fact that makes me sad because we can seriously never get enough Lane! The tagline is amazing, “What will be has already been…” Holy crap! Isn’t that amazing! I know that there is a kick-butt girl in this and there are swords and prisoners and just all around amazingness!
The Dark Unwinding and A Spark Unseen were such great books and I have a feeling that Rook will take Cameron to the next level.

Both of these authors are already stars in my eyes and superstars they will become!