Review: The Star Catcher by Stephanie Keyes

I have had the awesome pleasure of getting a very advanced readers copy for the final book in The Star Child Trilogy. The Star Catcher is so new it isn’t even on Goodreads yet, but yours truly got her greedy little hands on a copy and I’m going to share what you can expect.  Stephanie Keyes has definitely become one of my favorite authors and she did wonders for summing up her trilogy.

First off if you are new to Stephanie Keyes’ work you may want to read my previous reviews of  The Star Child (Book One) and The Fallen Stars (Book Two) before reading any further.  I try not to give spoilers with my reviews but sometimes its unavoidable.

Ok, now onto The Star Catcher.  The Star Catcher picks up exactly where The Fallen Stars ends.  Cali and Kellen are separated and unsure how they will ever reunite if ever.  Along with Cali being missing a new aspect of Gabe, Kellen’s best friend, comes to light.  He is not only Kellen’s best friend anymore.  He is much more and has always been a part of Kellen’s life even if Kellen was unknowing.  It is up to Kellen and Gabe to figure out who has Cali and how to find her.  With a missive from above, guidance is provided.  Kellen and Gabe must find Cali’s now mortal sister, Rowan.  She has the answers that they seek.  When Kellen and Gabe find Rowan they also find Rowan’s daughter, Singer.  Instantly, Gabe knows and understands how Kellen feels about Cali when he meets Singer.

Once Kellan, Gabe, Rowan and Singer team up they each have a set of goals.  Gabe and Singer must find Cali and Rowan and Kellen must decide whether Kellen will continue on with his humanity or choose to become a God. When Cali is rescued Kellen and Cali finally seal the deal (get married) and enjoy one blissful night together.  Unfortunately due to an impending war started by The Star Catcher the five of them must continue into Fairy.  Kellen finds out that from the power of his amulet he can now do many things he once couldn’t.  In fact it is within him to find his father, lift the curse of the C.O.D (Children of Danu) and defeat the Star Catcher.  Though this is now within Kellan’s means it doesn’t mean he can do it alone.  He must rely on not only his powers but those of the people around him.  Kellen must also learn to utilize and control his new power and to think less logically and more with instinct. In the end,  sacrifices will be made and tears will be shed but in the end the ultimate question is will good triumph over evil or will both the human and fairy worlds be destroyed?

I loved this book.  It may even be my favorite in the trilogy, but then again I am very much like Kellen and like to know the answers to things.  Stephanie Keyes does a phenomenal job of developing her characters.  If you have read this series so far you will know that Kellen alone changes both physically and mentally in both books, but it is in this book that his greatest changes happen.  I loved seeing more of Gabe.  His role becomes very pivotal in this book and he falls into place seamlessly.  Cali, though originally a God, we see much of her new humanity and with that a depth to her character that you can relate to.  Rowan and Singer are the newbies in this book and extremely important to this book’s story.  Their addition is flawless and very natural.  The Star Catcher is everything you would want in a final book in a trilogy.  It isn’t rushed or forced.  The story ebbs and flows naturally and ties up all the loose ends.  Overall, this book is wonderfully written and is one of the best endings in a trilogy I have seen in a while.  Stephanie Keyes did justice to the story, the characters and the world she created.  Her fans will not be disappointed with how the story wraps up.  I think I speak for all the fans of this story that the characters will be missed, but I know Stephanie will come up with something even bigger and better.  In the immortal words of Gabe, Stephanie “you are a total rock star.”

Unfortunately at the time of this review I am unsure of the publication release date, but the Cover Reveal is in October.  Check back here for more details.

 

Review: Feedback by D.L Richardson

Today I am reviewing a fantastic new Young Adult Paranormal book.  Feedback by D.L Richardson is unique but sadly could be happening directly under out noses.  Be sure to see my review after the excerpt.

Feedback_DLRichardson_435-680Title: Feedback

Author: D L Richardson

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Etopia Press

Ebook

Words: 65,000

Release Date: 10/5/2012

Book Description:

Ethan James, Florida Bowman, and Jake Inala need organ transplants. When they receive the organs of a dead CIA agent, Dylan Black, they take on more than the task of completing the mission of deactivating bombs that threaten millions of lives. Kidnapped, their lives under threat, the memories stored in the CIA agent’s mind begin to awaken within each of them, except the one piece of information they are abducted for – the location of the bombs.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Wednesday, November 9th, Ethan James

AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” blared through the speakers. Apt music considering the weather conditions. Rain pounded the windshield of the Lamborghini. Crushed beneath the noisy rain, the music took a beating, too. I flipped the volume control to the max, drowning out the steady slap of water on the roof.

The dark shroud of night cloaked the striped lines to my left and right. Street signs blasted yellow warnings to drivers to slow down on wet roads. I ignored them.

Instead, I pushed the car to 120 miles per hour. Coming around a curve in the road, I flew up on a van and sharply jerked the wheel to avoid ramming the Lamborghini up its rear end. I owed my life to my quick reflexes.

Pity.

I drove for another half mile at suicidal speeds, drumming my fingers on the steering wheel to the rhythm of the guitar riff. Another half mile. Then another. Just when the buzz of the ride plunged to a level of indifference, the car hit a pothole, veered me across three lanes, and like a punch from nowhere, it was game on.

A tsunami-sized wave of water fell from the sky. Momentarily blinded by the useless wipers, I sucked in my breath when two rows of lights cut through the haze. Two white lights on the bottom and six or more yellow ones on top—the bright circles headed straight at me.

Semitrailer. Not good.

Gritting my teeth, I tightened my grip on the steering wheel. The truck swerved at the last second, missing killing me by about half that length of time. The driver blasted four long bleats of the horn.

I laughed out loud as I spun around.

I accelerated till the car caught up to its former 120 miles per hour. The chorus kicked in, and I helped with the backing vocals. “Thunder. Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na. Thunder.”

Whether driving under a dome of blue, or a sky darkened by storms like tonight, I liked to push cars to their limit. It didn’t matter what sort of car, but slow cars tended to break apart sooner under extreme pressure. Fast cars handled the punishment of driving at stupid speeds much better.

Speeding made the rush last longer. It filled a void and carried me to a place where I let go of the angst over a waste of a life spent waiting to die of kidney failure. The rush reminded me that seventeen-year-old kids should wish for a professional ice hockey career instead of wishing to still be alive by Christmas.

The song ended, and in that second of silence, my thrill took a dismal nosedive. Images of the hospital I attended every week flickered across my vision. So, I increased the speed. Bad enough the bleak place filled my head and haunted my dreams, but to interrupt my fun—not going to happen.

The next song on the CD kicked in, and it did the trick of hauling me back to the driver’s seat, where I replaced the hospital corridor for a rain-slicked freeway. I figured if I had to die young, I’d do it on my terms. No doubt the doctors would have something to say about this philosophy. If I crashed the car and ended up in the hospital, I’d tell them I reached out to touch life. Better than dwelling on my postpubescent life spent hooked up to a dialysis machine.

I’d probably get pulled over by the cops first, and I couldn’t have that. Aside from speeding, I’d stolen the Lamborghini from a mall parking lot half an hour earlier, and I didn’t have a license.

A crack in my concentration appeared like the lightning bolts streaking the sky. The car drifted into the next lane, and I let it go. A set of lights rushed toward me, and I expertly got the car under control, but at this speed, and despite the car’s sporting capability, the Lamborghini was all over the shot.

Buzzed from pushing the car, I kept going.

At 120 miles per hour, streetlights floated like satiny, white ribbons. The rain-slicked road made it impossible to judge the lines marking the lanes. Curves were hard to anticipate.

Sometimes I oversteered; sometimes I didn’t steer enough and had to yank the wheel to the left or right at the last second. Other drivers blasted their horns. I didn’t care about the rules of the road. Rules were for pussies.

For each minute I survived this suicidal cruise, I’d get two points. So far, I’d accumulated over two hundred. Fifty were up for grabs, if I made it home alive. I had a lot to lose if I crashed the car. I had nothing to lose if I killed myself.

I jumped in surprise when a car came up on my left and honked its horn, whizzing by in a blur of chrome. “I don’t think so, buddy.”

I accelerated. If the cops wanted to stop me, they’d have to use air support. Getting myself on TV only added to the thrill of the chase.

Concern over my reckless driving should have registered, but it didn’t. The speedometer now read 140 miles per hour. AC/DC screeched about “Hells Bells,” and the rain didn’t lessen. If I lost control now, I’d smash into the concrete barriers lining the highway. It’d be game over. No way I’d survive the impact. What a shame this last train of thought wasn’t on whether I’d survive or not, but on whether I’d care.

Lightning bolts exploded across the sky and lit up the windshield. In that brief flicker of visibility, I spotted the plane on fire, blocking the highway—and the spaceship blowing up a bridge with luminous green laser beams. I let go of the wheel, idly watching the Lamborghini plow into the concrete barrier. Metal fragments and orange flames danced in front of me. The sound of something exploding boomed through the speakers. The words GAME OVER flashed across the television screen.

The plane had been okay, but the spaceship insulted me. For sure, the makers of the game reckoned it’d be a hoot to throw unrealistic obstacles in my path.

I tossed the Xbox controller aside and scratched my numb backside. My life couldn’t get any worse…might as well go to school.

* * *

Review:

Feedback is a wonderfully refreshing Young Adult Paranormal book.  It takes three teenagers, Ethan, Florida and Jake who have all recently gone through organ transplants and thrusts them into this elaborate intrigue.  Guided by the ghost of the CIA Agent who was there donor they must find three biological weapons that the pharmaceutical company has designed to make thousands ill.  It is while being held captive after their operations that the three of them find they must do something before their short lives are cut short.

I really enjoyed this book.  I loved that D.L Richardson took the reader through the lives of each of the three main characters.  You can immediately see how they are similar yet different.  Ethan is the jock, Florida is the dancer and Jake is the military/weapons specialist.  It is clear from the beginning that these characters and their stories are well written and constructed.  Normally, I don’t always like stories that continually bounce from one characters point of view to the next, but the way this is written it flows smoothly and helps to move the plot line forward.  Overall, the very plausible story of the biological weapons in connection with a pharmaceutical company with a touch of the supernatural with the ghost really works here.  You find yourself while reading this book saying “Wow…that could really happen.”  I would definitely recommend this book for any one who likes a touch of paranormal to their realism or a touch of realism to their paranormal.

I’d like to thank FMB book tours for giving me the opportunity to review a fantastic young adult book.  For more information about D.L Richardson you can click on her links below.  For more information about Feedback you can go to Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

OAbout the Author:

Music first captured the creative interest of D L Richardson. She got her first acoustic guitar at age ten, and in high school she sang with the school band. When she left school she helped form her own rock band where she sang lead vocals, played bass guitar, and wrote all the lyrics. At age 26 she realized she wanted to write novels for the rest of her life, or die trying, so she sold her equipment, quit pursuing a music career and began writing instead. She currently lives in Australia on the NSW South Coast with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing or reading she can be found practicing her piano, playing the guitar or walking the dog.

Website | Email: dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com |

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