Wednesday 9 September 2020

#bookreview: Chosen | T. Sae-Low

Chosen (Prophecy Rock #2)Chosen by T. Sae-Low
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Chosen picks up where Genesis ends: the two Chosen (or Candidates) must further hone their powers and prove their worth to their respective nations.

Sae-Low takes you back into the fantastic where gods and monsters still walk the earth. Is the Black truly evil? Or is he just misunderstood? Do the Ancients really want what’s good for humankind, or are they playing by their own obscure rules? The Vicedonians and the Renzai fight for land and dominance, using difference of beliefs as an excuse—but what if there’s something more—something bigger—that hides behind the name of religion? And in the midst of it all, a new enemy arises.

I didn’t find Chosen as exciting as Genesis—I guess there’s only so much outa you can take before it hits a maximum enjoyment level. However, there’s a lot of character development in this one. Sae-Low obviously believes in the “throw them in the deep end” school of learning, if the way things unfold are any indication. Magical monsters, dark shadows, strange illnesses, mystical seers, dragons, and hidden treasures all make an appearance to force them to grow and change.

This is actually where the Vicedonian empire grows so much more interesting. Renzai already kind of stands for “good”—Raden’s growth is really more about how he gains super moves, retrieves his magic weapon, and learns to trust in The One. But the fracturing Vicedonia is filled with conflict—between father and son, between brothers, within the council itself, and between “trueborn” Vicedonian people and the conquered Gokstads that have been absorbed into the empire. Mebbe I just like the colonised rising up against their colonial masters, eh.

Anyways, still a fun read though the war is far from over!

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday 2 September 2020

#bookreview: Green World Gray | Marianne Modica

Green World GrayGreen World Gray by Marianne Modica
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How much history depends on one person? And how much of our future depends on our actions today?

Will and Halia Horace discover that every time Mom goes into the closet and exits in some kind of spaced-out bliss, she’s time-travelling to the past. But why? And how? Between Mom’s teary-eyed insistence on keeping their baby stuff and Dad’s drive to clear out the junk in the basement, it’s a mystery they have to solve to keep their family from falling apart. But that’s just the beginning. Faced with alternative futures that range from great to okay to really bad, Will and Hal have to figure out how to fix their family—especially when it’s their mom’s environmental work (or lack of it) that influences the future and there’s someone in the time stream who’s trying really hard to prevent it.

Green World Gray takes you on an exciting time-travel adventure filled with both fancy tech and sinister people. It explores the concept of watershed, where certain events or periods mark a turning point in a situation. Modica also emphasises that everyone is a watershed—we don’t know what things we do may influence the future. Even if we don’t become famous, it could be the small things we do that influence someone else, causing a ripple effect of change in our society.

I especially love the dynamics between the siblings. Thirteen-year-old Will is awkward, socially distant, and only cares about science—but he loves his family enough to do the things he dislikes in order to help both his mother and sister. Fifteen-year-old Halia doesn’t always understand Will, but when she’s faced with the opportunity to just forget about time-travel and live her life normally, she doesn’t. Because Will is now miserable—and the only time he was really happy and engaged was when he had access to the tech in the future. And it’s this willingness to sacrifice for each other’s happiness that really makes the difference.

Green World Gray is an excellent story on family, love, and working together to build a better world.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was given the book with no expectation of a positive review and the review is my own.

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