So Book Expo America is next week and I AM GOING. So basically if you are too, you should hit me up on twitter or comment because we definitely need to meet up :)
I am attending the book blogger con on Wednesday, then BEA for the rest of the week.
Those of you going, I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU :)
Rating: 4 stars
The Planet Thieves is the first thrilling installment of a new middle-grade series by Dan Krokos.
Two weeks ago, thirteen-year-old Mason Stark and seventeen of his fellow cadets from the Academy for Earth Space Command boarded theSS Egypt. The trip was supposed to be a short routine voyage to log their required spacetime for summer quarter.
But routine goes out the airlock when they’re attacked by the Tremist, an alien race who have been at war with humanity for the last sixty years.
With the captain and crew dead, injured, or taken prisoner, Mason and the cadets are all that’s left to warn the ESC. And soon they find out exactly why the Tremist chose this ship to attack: the Egypt is carrying a weapon that could change the war forever.
Now Mason will have to lead the cadets in a daring assault to take back the ship, rescue the survivors, and recover the weapon. Before there isn’t a war left to fight.
The Planet Thieves is a strong middle grade debut from author Dan Krokos. With it’s intriguing premise and unique way it entwines a typical school story with that of saving the world, The Planet Thieves was a treat.
I really enjoyed the characters, particularly the female characters. Both Merrin and Susan were both just really well rounded characters and I loved how loyal they were to their cause. The rivalry between Tom and Mason really added to both of their character as well.
While I did really enjoy all the specifics of the premise, I never completely fell in love with the story line. There were some parts I just wanted to be pushed a little further. Dan Krokos‘s world building is completely solid – the way he incorporated magic and the different galaxies was really neat.
There are super cool sketches throughout the book which really add to the story. They helped to solidify what these different elements and beings Dan Krokos introduces in the story.
While this one was not as strong as Dan Krokos‘s YA series, I still thought it was a solid start. I loved the high stakes throughout the book and the fact that he doesn’t offer security to anyone really.
So I am a HUGE fan of Crewel by Gennifer Albin, and so I am even more thrilled to be a part of the reveal for the first chapter of Altered, book 2 in the series!
So first off, here is a bit about Altered, because I think it sounds even more epic than book 1 :)
Adelice always knew there’d be a price to destroying the Guild, but is she willing to pay it?
After a daring escape to Earth from Arras, sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys thought she would finally be in control of her own destiny. She would be free to be true to herself and to her heart—to love Jost, the boy the Guild said she could not have. But Earth is not abandoned, as she’d always been taught it was. It’s inhabited with survivors waging a war against Arras. The world that was supposed to offer a new beginning is still tangled up in the past.
Now Adelice is being called upon to harness her phenomenal power and break Earth from the grip of the Guild. But even as she uncovers the truth about her parents and her former life, she discovers that nothing on Earth is as it seems either. Everyone has secrets, especially those she loves most. What’s more, those secrets are driving Adelice and Jost away from each other, and Adelice into his brother Erik’s waiting arms. Now torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must decide what—and who–she’s fighting for, before it’s too late.
And now, here is the bit of chapter 1 that I am revealing :)
I should put a stop to these accusations before they kill each other, but part of me wants to see how Erik reacts. I know how Erik feels about Maela, the power-hungry Spinster he worked for at the Coventry. Erik and I both counted her as an enemy. Jost’s charge sends a thrill through me, because deep down I always suspected Erik’s reasons for getting close to me were about more than friendship.
“But that backfired when Ad brought you here. All that work you did to get to the top is gone. You’ll never convince them that you’re loyal again. You’re through with the Guild,” Jost says.
Erik’s face contorts into a mask of rage. “You barely know me or why I came to the Coventry, but don’t let that stop you from making unfair accusations. It’s rather entertaining, and it doesn’t look like there’s much else to do around here,” he spits back.
“There is a lot to do around here and fighting isn’t on the list,” I intercede, before things get more out of control. “Save your personal problems for later, we have work to do.”
“What do you have in mind? Rebuild the city? ” Erik asks. “Or should we skip to the repopulating part? ”
“Shut up,” Jost commands. “You aren’t funny.”
“Why? That’s the nice part of getting stuck on a completely forsaken piece of dirt.”
“You better hope that you find someone to help you do it then, because she’s taken. I’m sure there’s a nice dog around here somewhere. Maybe you should stick to your own species,” Jost says.
I’m between them before Erik releases his fist, and I barely cringe when I see it moving toward my face.
Jost catches Erik’s fist, and Erik freezes. But his surprise at my near-disastrous intervention is quickly replaced by a glare, leveled directly at his brother.
“We’re going to check things out,” Jost says through gritted teeth.
“Suit yourself,” Erik says. “I certainly don’t need you here, moping about the joint.”
Jost grabs my arm, a bit more roughly than usual, and drags me from the shack. I pull out of his grasp, my hand flying to rub my throbbing skin.
“That hurt,” I inform him.
He stares at me for a moment and then his eyes soften. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking. Erik just—”
“I know,” I say quietly, “but I’m not Erik. Don’t take it out on me.”
He nods his apology and I take his hand to let him know we can drop it. We have more important things to worry about right now.
The metro is still several miles away if I can trust my generally poor sense of direction. The ocean now lies far enough behind us that although I can make out its glassy surface, I no longer hear the beat of its waves. We stand between this world and the one we left. Between the danger that lies ahead of us in the metro and the abyss behind us, that will swallow us whole. Every choice we make now will have a consequence I can’t foresee, because I don’t understand this world yet.
The quick crunch of approaching footsteps makes it seem as if someone has made a choice for us. We’ve been caught. A handlight blinds us to our approaching captor.
“Who’s there?” Jost calls. He pushes me behind him, but I step back out. He doesn’t try again.
“I should be asking you that.” The voice is rough, but feminine. The light fades away, and I blink against spots of phosphorescence left in my vision. A girl blurs into view. She wears no cosmetics, but is still quite beautiful. Not in a Spinster way though. Her features are angular, sharp and chiseled, and her dark hair cascades down her back. There is nothing artificial or stylized about her. Her clothes are practical—leather pants that lace up the side, a belt slung low on her hips, and a thick silk tunic. This is a girl who doesn’t belong in Arras.
So basically, if all the pieces of chapter 1 so far mean anything, I’m pretty sure Altered is going to be beyond awesome. Like, I like LOVED Crewel, but this sounds even better! Can it please be October already?
Find the rest of the pieces of the chapter at the following sites or head over to the MacKids blog for more details:
Monday, May 20—Prologue and Part One of Chapter One
Tuesday, May 21—Part Two of Chapter One
Wednesday, May 22—Part Three of Chapter One
Thursday, May 23—Part Four of Chapter One
Friday, May 24—Part Five of Chapter One
Now thanks to the lovely folks at Macmillan, I have an ARC of Altered to give away to one lucky person. How cool is that? US/Canada only and ends June 8th.
So there is a totally awesome chat happening at Figment tonight with YA authors Elizabeth Norris (Unraveling and Unbreakable) and Brodi Ashton (Everneath and Everbound), plus Balzer + Bray editor Kristen Rens. They will be taking questions about life as a published author. How neat is that?
Here’s the little blurb from Figment about it:
Living the Dream: Real Talk About Life as a Published Author
What’s life really like for a successful, published author? Join us on Figment on Thursday, May 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET to find out!
We’ll be hosting a live chat with authors Elizabeth Norris (Unraveling and Unbreakable) and Brodi Ashton (Everneath and Everbound) — plus special guest Kristin Rens, editor at the HarperCollins imprint, Balzer + Bray.