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Dreadnought by April Daniels eARC {3.5 Stars}

Dreadnought by April Daniels eARC {3.5 Stars}

Dreadnought by April Daniels (Nemesis #1)
Published by Diversion Books on Jan. 24th, 2017
Genres: Superheroes, YA
Page Length: 276 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of the world's greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, she was trying to keep people from finding out she's transgender. But then her second-hand superpowers transformed her body into what she's always thought it should be. Now there's no hiding that she's a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but between her father's dangerous obsession with curing her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he's entitled to date her, and the classmate who is secretly a masked vigilante, Danny's first weeks living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined.

She doesn't have much time to adjust. Dreadnought's murderer, a cyborg named Utopia, still haunts the streets of New Port City. If Danny can't sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

3.5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of Dreadnought from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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Calamity by Brandon Sanderson ARC {5 Stars}

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson is the thrilling conclusion to the Reckoners trilogy, bringing back all of my favorite things from the first two books and providing long-awaited answers. I struggled a bit with Firefight, so was thrilled that Calamity felt like the ending I was looking for and made everything come full circle. I also rather liked David’s humor this time around ;-). There will be spoilers in the blurb for the first two books!

Note: I received an advanced copy of Calamity from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson ARC {5 Stars}

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson (Reckoners #3)
Published by Delacorte on Feb. 16th, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Superheroes, YA
Page Length: 432 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the Reckoners’ leader, Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back...

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl ARC {4 Stars}

The Avengers movies have shown us the backstory or family situation of many of the major S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, but finding anything about Natasha Romanov, aka The Black Widow, is about as difficult as locating an action figure of her in the toy section.  Admittedly, a lack of past or family has always been a hallmark of fictional spies since James Bond, but since the Winter Soldier graced the big screen, I found myself craving some more about my favorite Avenger.  If Bucky gets a backstory, then why not Tasha??

Well, Forever Red by Margaret Stohl goes a long way toward filling in the gap.  At the end, there are still plenty of things we do not know about Romanov, but this short novel provides her origin story and points toward the future of the Avengers as new candidates surface to join The Black Widow in this fun, fast-paced romp through the Marvel world.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Forever Red from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl ARC {4 Stars}

Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl
Published by Marvel Press on Oct. 13th, 2015
Genres: Superheroes, YA
Page Length: 401 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Natasha Romanoff is one of the world's most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow's infamous academy for operatives.

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn't really the big sister type.

Until now.

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava's dreams. . . .

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Firefight by Brandon Sanderson ARC {4 Stars}

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson continues the Reckoners series by telling the story of what happens after you face down with a demi-god of a super villain. There will be spoilers below for Steelheart, so check out my review of that instead if you want to be safe! I’ll be honest that Firefight was a weird book for me. I loved Steelheart so much and have such trust in Sanderson that I was expecting a whole hell of a lot. Firefight didn’t quite deliver, hence why I’m writing this review so long after reading I suspect, but Firefight was still a good book. Once I got halfway through, things were rolling, it was just getting to that point that was a struggle. Also omg I need Calamity NOW!

Note: I borrowed an advanced copy of Firefight. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson ARC {4 Stars}

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson (Reckoners #2)
Published by Delacorte on Jan. 6th, 2015
Genres: Dystopia, YA
Page Length: 416 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

They told David it was impossible--that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart--invincible, immortal, unconquerable--is dead. And he died by David's hand.

Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And there's no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs.

Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David's willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David's heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic--Firefight. And he's willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne eARC {4 Stars}

Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne takes every opportunity to poke fun at the old comic book worlds with superheroes all over the place and the rather poor view on women that was also integral to many of those comics. I had no idea what to expect from Superheroes Anonymous, but I was in the mood for trying something I hadn’t heard anything about and I’m so glad I did! I was at first worried since the main character is called Hostage Girl for how many times she has been kidnapped by super-villains and rescued by superheroes, but this was just the start of the light being shone on how ridiculous many old comic book stories were. Our Hostage Girl is by no means a wilting flower and finds herself in a situation no one expected.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Superheroes Anonymous from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne eARC {4 Stars}

Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne
Published by Harper Voyager on Nov. 18th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Everybody in Chicago has a “superhero sighting” story. So when a villain attacks editorial assistant Gail Godwin and she’s rescued by superhero Blaze, it’s a great story, and nothing more. Until it happens again. And again.

Now, the media has dubbed her Hostage Girl, nobody remembers her real name, and people are convinced that Blaze is just Gail’s boyfriend Jeremy in disguise. Gail’s not so sure. All she knows is that when both Jeremy and Blaze leave town in the same week, she’s probably doomed. Who will save her now?

But when the villains miraculously lose interest, Gail is able to return to her life…until she wakes up strapped to a metal table by a mad scientist who hasn’t read the news. Escaping, and now more than human herself, she’s drawn into a secret underground world of superheroes. She’ll have to come to terms with her powers (and weakness) to make it in the new society, and it’s not easy. After all, there’s a new villain on the rise, and she has her sights set on the one and only Hostage Girl.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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One by LeighAnn Kopans {3.5 Stars}

One by LeighAnn Kopans takes the idea of superpowers and breaks it down in an interesting way. Really, all superpowers combine a couple of different powers together, so what if some people were born with only one of those smaller powers? What if you had the ability to make fire, but not the ability to resist or heal from fire? That would kind of suck, huh? I loved the powers that One introduces along with the fight of the “ones” to figure out how to fix their powers and become accepted into the Supers’ society. One is an independently published book, which showed a bit here and there, but over all I still recommend it as one of the higher quality indie-books I’ve read.

Note: I received One from the author in exchange for an honest review.

One by LeighAnn Kopans {3.5 Stars}

One by LeighAnn Kopans (One Universe #1)
Published by Author on June 11th, 2013
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 374 pages
How I got my copy: Author
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak.

It makes you a One.

Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover.

If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.

Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other.

Merrin's mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub's internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub’s purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed. Now it’s up to her to decide if it's more important to fly solo, or to save everything - and everyone - she loves.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Dark Star by Bethany Frenette {3 Stars}

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette is somewhere between a superhero and a demon-hunter book with a teenage protagonist whose mom is the one with the superpowers. For some reason I thought Dark Star was going to have aliens, I don’t know why, maybe the star part? Anyway, more demons than aliens, though it’s debatable. While I did read Dark Star in one day, I found myself pretty meh about it the whole time. Also that cover angers me.

Note: I borrowed Dark Star from my library of awesomeness.

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette {3 Stars}

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette (Dark Star #1)
Published by Disney Hyperion on Oct. 23rd, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Audrey Whitticomb has nothing to fear. Her mother is the superhero Morning Star, the most deadly crime-fighter in the Twin Cities, so it's hard for Audrey not to feel safe. That is, until she's lured into the sweet night air by something human and not human--something with talons and teeth, and a wide, scarlet smile.

Now Audrey knows the truth: her mom doesn't fight crime at night. She fights Harrowers--livid, merciless beings who were trapped Beneath eons ago. Yet some have managed to escape. And they want Audrey dead, just because of who she is: one of the Kin.

To survive, Audrey will need to sharpen the powers she has always had. When she gets close to someone, dark corners of the person's memories become her own, and she sometimes even glimpses the future. If Audrey could only get close to Patrick Tigue, a powerful Harrower masquerading as human, she could use her Knowing to discover the Harrowers' next move. But Leon, her mother's bossy, infuriatingly attractive sidekick, has other ideas. Lately, he won't let Audrey out of his sight.

When an unthinkable betrayal puts Minneapolis in terrible danger, Audrey discovers a wild, untamed power within herself. It may be the key to saving her herself, her family, and her city. Or it may be the force that destroys everything--and everyone--she loves.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Vicious by Victoria Schwab {4 Stars}

Vicious by Victoria Schwab turns the superhero story on it’s head with near death experiences being necessary to develop superpowers, and those superpowers being determined by your last thoughts as you are dying. Not to mention that our protagonist seems to be evil and the villain at first glance appears to be the hero. I love gray characters :D.

Note: I received Vicious from the fantabulous Pabkins!

Vicious by Victoria Schwab {4 Stars}

Vicious by Victoria Schwab
Published by Tor Books on September 24th, 2013
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

4 Stars

Strengths:
[Read more…]

Two by LeighAnn Kopans {3.5 Stars} + Giveaway!

Two by LeighAnn Kopans

Two by LeighAnn Kopans is the second book (see what she did there!) in the One Universe series and continues the story of Merrin and Elias’ trying to figure out what the hell is going on in the Super powers world, but this time from Elias’ perspective :D. Two is indie published and does have some problems with typos that another round of editing would fix, but if you don’t mind those, Two is a very enjoyable sequel to One. There is more adorable teen romance and lots more super powers to be discovered!

Note: I received Two from the author through a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase on Amazon

Two by LeighAnn Kopans {3.5 Stars} + Giveaway!

Two by LeighAnn Kopans (One Universe #1)
Published by Author on Oct. 1st, 2013
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 392 pages
How I got my copy: Author
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Elias and Merrin are on the run.

After escaping the Biotech Hub, they thought they could breathe easy, or at least a little easier. But when bombs slam into the Social Welfare Hub only hours after their arrival, it becomes clear there's nowhere to hide - and no end to what Biotech will do to get them back.

Their last chance for safety and answers is the Clandestine Service Hub. CS has intel on the real, broader purpose behind Fisk’s experiments , and the newfound knowledge of the horrors hidden deep within Biotech’s walls sends Merrin back to recover a secret formula that could ruin the Supers’ world forever—and might just save the lives of the Biotech victims spiraling out of control.

Elias' sisters are counted among the victims of Fisk’s experiments, and if Elias can't find and help them, their powers will destroy them--sooner rather than later. Returning to the place it all began terrifies him, but with Fisk ready to make an example out of Merrin, and his sisters’ lives --and the lives of all Supers--hanging in the balance, he might not have a choice. If he can't find the courage to face his worst fears, Elias might lose more than his newfound powers.

He might lose everyone he loves.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:

  • Two is fast-paced and action-packed. Right from the beginning, Merrin and Elias find out with no questions just how much trouble they are now in. Two opens with them flying across the country to find a safe place to stay and there is a fair amount of that throughout the book (as well as other forms of travel with superpowers >.> :D)
  • Because Elias and Merrin travel much more in Two, we get to see a lot more of the world that the Supers inhabit. We find out that Elias and Merrin were pretty sheltered growing up in the middle of Nebraska (no, really??) and that the country has a rather complicated relationship with super powers. Remember how there are other hubs besides the biotech hub? We get to see some of them :D.
  • Because Merrin and Elias figured out that they liked each other in One, Two has the benefit of a nice established romance. There are cute moments and there are the typical difficult moments found in all real relationships (yey for difficulties being reflected in teen relationships!). Certain other adorable couples that finally got together in One also make an appearance ;-).
  • In Two, our dynamic duo also get to meet lots of new people with super powers so we get to find out about all of those awesome powers. This made my inner superhero dork extremely happy ;-). Also there are X-Men jokes and references, woot!
  • Two does a good job of bringing in a few new secondary characters for us to get to know and brings back some old faces. One had a lot of focus on Merrin and Elias as they got to know each other, so it was fun to get to know some of these secondary characters a bit better.
  • Two has a solid plot of its own, successfully escaping second book syndrome! It is clear from the beginning that Elias and Merrin have some problems that they need to figure out and then they spend the book doing just that. I was quite happy with the conclusion of Two and am curious if there is going to be a Three >.>.

Weaknesses:

  •  There were times when I had no idea where a reaction came from with Elias or Merrin. It just felt at times that they’re personalities got inconsistent in order to further the plot. It also took me a while to adjust to Elias’ being the narrator and I actually forgot a few times at the beginning of Two, which indicates to me that Elias wasn’t different enough from Merrin at first in his narration.
  • Two has a fair number of typos in its final copy. I’m okay with a slip-up here and there, but I expect indies to have the same quality of editing as traditionally published books and Two just didn’t quite make it. I really think that with another round of copyediting, Two could be awesome, but the typos were jarring enough that I had to go back to figure out what the sentence was supposed to say.
  • I’m a stickler about rules for magic systems, especially in sci-fi. The rules for powers never really get tacked down and by now, I feel they should be fairly consistent. Between transference and the crazy experiments, the powers were confusing enough. However, the premise of One talks about Supers having only two powers that generally combine in a convenient way and Two introduced a fair number of regular Supers that seemed to not fit this rule. I spent half of Two trying to figure out if I was just being dense and missing how things fit together, but that’s not really a good sign either (if you figured it out, please tell me!).
  • I’m a grad student studying biology and computer science (curious how those fit together, feel free to ask ;-) ) and I eventually accepted that I needed to just take off my scientist hat while reading Two. Generally, I’m okay with letting sci-fi books have some slack, there is fiction in the genre title after all. However, Two made my genetics and computer scientist brains hurt badly until I finally gave up trying to figure out how the things described could possibly happen in the future.

Summary:

Two is a solid sequel with a fun, action-packed plot and an adorable and realistic teen romance. If you enjoyed One, you should definitely pick up Two. If you’re a reader who can’t take typos in their books, then Two probably isn’t the superhero book for you at this time. I’m still very much in love with the idea of Super powers being made up of several separate powers and some people only having one of the necessary powers, so I’m excited to see where Kopans goes with the One Universe series next.

3.5 Stars

Giveaway

There is a giveaway for this blog tour as well, yay! Rules: US only, must be 13+ to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 Two by LeighAnn Kopans