Books that… made me think of better books.

5.  Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe

What it’s About:  When they turn 16, magic-users who are not deemed fit to continue their lives as mages are forced to choose between having their powers removed, or entering the deadly Exam to prove their worth.  Rocio’s power should have left no doubt about her fate, but her family’s low status leaves her forced too try to survive the Exam.  Meanwhile, Finn was able to bypass the test due to his family’s high standing, but has chosen to enter the trial in order to prove once and for all whether he deserves to have his powers.

What I Thought:  So, this is Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games, but it pales in comparison to those titles.  It’s not that it’s terrible exactly, but there is nothing here that really pops the way those books did.  Sorry to say, I have no real interest right now in continuing the series.

4.  Rule by Ellen Godlett

What it’s About:  Three disparate women with dangerous secrets expect imprisonment or death when they are summoned to meet their king.  Instead, they learn that they are his illegitimate daughters, and with his son dead and the king slowly dying himself, one of them must step up and become the new heir.  But someone doesn’t want any of them to gain power, and threatens to reveal their secrets.

What I Thought:  And here we have Pretty Little Liars meets Three Dark Crowns, and once again it fails to live up to the earlier books.  It’s a little better than Ruthless Magic, and I might check out the sequel when it arrives, but I’m not eagerly anticipating it.

3.  This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson

What it’s About:  A virus killed the adults on a space station, leaving the kids to take over.  Then one of them dies, suggesting the virus has mutated.  But it soon appears that the truth could be even worse.  The teens may not have to worry about the virus, but one of them might be a killer.

What I Thought:  This had seemed to be a love it or hate it book based on the reviews I’ve seen, but I’m more in the middle ground.  It’s okay, but it feels a bit rushed, like the author couldn’t wait to get to her next project. Maybe it’s just her style?  If you’re looking for a book set on a space station, I’d recommend Sanctuary by Caryn Lix way before this one.

2.   The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

What it’s About:  April is thrilled when queen bee Britney takes an interest tin her, mistakenly thinking April is a new arrival to the area.  April is accepted into the inner clique, only to quickly be unceremoniously dropped after a short time.  April reaches out to some fellow outsiders and launches a plan to bring Britney down a few pegs.

What I Thought:  The one book on the list that didn’t remind me of another book, but the Mean Girls parallels are obvious.  It’s not a classic by any means, but this is a fun revenge story.  I’m surprised that this is the only book Holder has released, given that it came out back in 2011.  If you’re looking for a light, quick read and have a fondness for tales of revenge, this might be worth checking out.

  1.  What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

What it’s About:  Hayden wants nothing more than to leave her past behind her.  Her mother’s mysterious disappearance, and her father’s disgraced academic career (due to his theories of a supernatural race), along with some dark events in her own life leave her with very little she wants to remember.  But then she is given a letter left to her by her mother, urging her to return to the home in the Colorado woods where she grew up, making cryptic comments about Hayden needing to uncover mysterious secrets.

What I Thought:  This one reminds me of The Wicked Deep.  Once again it’s not as good, but here the difference isn’t as big as with the other books.  In fact, it’s the only one where I’d say if you liked the earlier book, you will probably like this one as well.  It’s another dark atmospheric tale to get sucked into, and if that’s your kind of read this is well worth getting your hands on.

Published by Andrew Clendening