Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tremors & Thunder - Two Reviews

This post will be set up a little differently than most of my book review posts. The reason for that is that I've got one novella prequel and the actual book. Since they go together, I'm putting them in the same post.
Tremors - A Review
Published - August 2014, Revell Books a division of Baker Publishing Group
Series - Stone Braide Chronicles 0.5
Author - Bonnie S. Calhoun
Title - Tremors: A Stone Braide Chronicles Story
Format - ebook
Find on Amazon - this is currently FREE!

Selah Rishon Chavez is just days from her 18th Birth Remembrance and finally being able to join her father and brothers as a hunter. Yet she soon discovers that there are secrets her family is hiding. And why are her brothers asked to keep an eye on her?

This prequel novella was a very fast read. It quickly introduced the heroine of the full novel and the reader gets to understand a little more of her family life. Yet it's not necessary to read the novella in order to enjoy the book. I did, but I didn't need to. Once I finished this, I was eager to get to the book.

The novella is currently free and I read this to enrich my reading experience of the full length. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Divergent Series, Hunger Games, Anomaly Series, dystopian, young adult

Rating - 4 stars

Thunder - A Review

Published October, 2014 Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group
Series - Stone Braide Chronicles Book 1
Author - Bonnie S. Calhoun
Title - Thunder
Format - hardcover, ebook
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One hundred fifty years have passed since the Sorrows, and Selah Rishon Chavez is hunting. She's hunting rabbits that her father and brothers refuse to eat due to mutations caused from the fallout of the Sorrows and which she and her mother enjoy. But she's really hunting Landers, the mysterious people that arrive on the shore in small boats and have distinctive markings on their faces. Selah knows that if a Lander keeps the mark, then the bounty is worth more. On this day before her 18th Birth Remembrance, she has disobeyed her mother by being on the beach. But Selah hopes to capture a Lander. When she does, and he ends up saving her life, her brothers steal her catch. But the damage has been done. She awakens the next morning to discover that the Lander's distinctive marking has appeared on her own flesh. Now hunted instead of being the hunter, Selah is forced to run, with the secrets her mother has held for several years. Her only hope lies in  seeking  the help of the Lander her brothers stole from her - Bodhi Locke. 

With debut authors or for authors debuting in a different genre, I'm never really sure what to expect. So I  always try to read an author's debut with a little more leeway than I would give an established author. The genre of speculative fiction or dystopian societies is really popular right now ever since the Hunger Games came on the scene a few years ago. Adding a Christian element to this dystopian fiction is also touch and go. Some books I've read from Christian authors did an excellent job. Others not so much. For me at least, Thunder falls in the first category.

I was drawn into the story immediately. And I had questions as things were uncovered. Questions like what exactly is a Lander? What makes them so different? Why do some of them see their marks disappear? Part of those questions were answered to an extent as the book progressed. But I still don't know exactly what  Lander is. But that's ok. I'm sure it'll be revealed more fully as the series progresses. 

I'll admit to be completely engrossed in one particular story line then Wham! the chapter ends on a cliffhanger and the next chapter is a different plot line. So I'd have to wait. But that's a good thing. It means it held my interest and forced me to keep reading. I've read some authors who switch from point of view to point of view, but those switches are clearly noted by either the chapter icon (I'm thinking Wheel of Time here) of the character's name across the top (Song of Ice and Fire, Heroes of Olympus and a couple of others) so I can easily skip to the chapter with the same character's point of view just to find out what happened with that cliffhanger. But in this book, I was kept interested and guessing.

While the book did start off slowly, once the momentum was picked up, it was like a hang on to the edge of your seat kind of speed. When that happened and I knew I needed to be someplace a little later that evening, I very reluctantly put it down until I got home where I found myself staying up entirely too late to finish despite having to wake up early for work the next morning. But I was determined to finish. I wouldn't be able to sleep until I'd finished. So I stayed up. And finish it I did! In the early hours of the morning, but even that left me with a hunger for the next one.

Now onto a little more specifics in this review. :) First, while Bodhi came across a little selfish at first, my heart went out to him too. Here he is, a stranger in a strange land trying to find others like him. And him discovering Selah and figuring out their connection was fun to watch. In some ways, his character reminded me a little of Brennen Caldwell from the Firebird books by Kathy Tyers. I wanted to see him accept his fate. By far my favorite character is the little girl that basically adopts Selah and Bodhi. I found her to be delightful and so resourceful.

I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.

I received this book for free from Revell Books for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of dystopian fiction, Hunger Games, Divergent Series, Lunar Chronicles, Anomaly Series, young adult.

Rating - 5 stars

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