No spoilers, even for the sequels.

5.  Genesis by Brendan Reichs

What it’s About:  Min and Noah now know the reality behind the stranger who murders them every two years, only for them to wake up alive and well.  Now they must face a new world, and determine what they are prepared to do to survive.

What I Thought:  I was looking forward to this, but sadly it disappointed me.  I just didn’t buy some of the character choices, with the end in particular seeming to come out of nowhere.  Other people have given it strong reviews, so maybe it’s just me?  Or maybe the third book will explain things, but for now, I’m sorry to say this was a letdown after the promise of Nemesis.

4.  The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

What it’s About:  Darkwood Academy welcomes six new students, who happen to be clones of five current students… and one who committed suicide.  Not everyone is happy about the integration.  Emma has nothing against clones, but seeing her dead best friend’s clone walking around is not easy to deal with.  Things only get worse when she realizes that there is a lot more to the integration than meets the eye, and no one can be trusted.

What I Thought:  This has gotten some mixed reviews.  I basically liked it, though I wouldn’t call it a favourite.  It’s mostly predictable, though one twist did catch me by surprise.  On the other hand, I saw one twist coming a mile away, and was disappointed when it did come to pass as expected.  A mixed bag, but I’ll pick up the sequel.

3.  A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

What it’s About:  Prince Rhen is cursed to repeat the same season over and over, turning into a vicious beast at the end until he finds love.  Harper thinks life is pretty bad already, but then she is whisked away from Washington to some strange fantasy world.

What I Thought:  An enjoyable Beauty and the Beast inspired tale.  The book could have used some trimming, but that’s my only complaint.  The story actually comes to a decent conclusion, so we’ll see if the rest of the series lives up to this.

2.  The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

What it’s About:  Stevie knew she was coming to Ellingham Academy to solve the school’s famous mystery of kidnappings and murder, only to find herself in the middle of a different mystery when a classmate is killed.

What I Thought:  Another solid book from Johnson.  The focus is mainly on the historical case, and I was at times eager for more attention on the newer mystery, but there were some major developments on that case as well.  I have a suspicion about the final culprit of the series, though I don’t have a great track record when it comes to these things.

  1.  Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

What it’s About:  A fantasy kingdom split into four quadrants is thrown into disarray when a mysterious conspiracy leaves all four queens dead, and it’s up to a thief and an upstanding citizen to uncover the truth.

What I Thought:  Call me a fan!  I know a lot of people liked that this was a fantasy standalone and not the start of a series, but I kind of wish it had been turned into a series.  I feel like there was more that could be done, and things in the book that could have benefitted from more time and exploration.  Still, I’m looking forward to what Scholte does next.

Published by Andrew Clendening