Title: Song Breaker
Author: Annette Lyon
Publisher: Blue Ginger Books, 2017 (Aug 8)
Genre: Fantasy, Retellings
**I received a copy of this book free from ebooksforreview.com in exchange for an honest review**
So I have had this book finished for awhile and didn’t know exactly how I felt about it. It wasn’t something that I could really do a full review for, but I read the book for review…so I have to review it, lol. The book wasn’t bad: it was actually a creative Retelling of a Nordic folktale called Kalevala, which I enjoyed. However, the book wasn’t fabulous either. So it was hard to put my feelings in perspective. But let me tell you about the book at least, because it was memorable enough to share with y’all.
Aino (pronounced eye-no, thanks to the glossary of terms included in the book) is a young Finnish girl who is in love with Paavo. She knows she must wait until her older sister marries before she can marry herself, so she hides her love and meets Paavo in secret. One day, a powerful and famous wizard named Vane comes to town and sees Aino. He buys her a fur and makes it obvious that he has eyes for Aino…but she wants nothing to do with the old and creepy man.
When her brother Jouko, a wizard himself, keeps getting compared to Vane, he foolishly decides to challenge him to a duel. He decides that if he can defeat the old man, he will finally get the respect he deserves. Wizards in this world are “singers,” and magic is performed through song. Jouko meets Vane and battles him, but he fails miserably as the old wizard is much stronger.
Desperate to save his life, Jouko offers everything he can think of…until he offers Aino as a wife. Aino is horrified and does not want to marry the old man, but she has no choice – Vane will come for her and she will be forced to marry him. Jouko, horrified at what he has done, decides he must help Aino out of the contract…so he pledges not to sing again until his sister is free.
Aino is determined not to marry Vane…and she will do whatever it takes to make sure she is free – even if she has to do the unthinkable…even if she has to leave Paavo behind.
It would be a cute story to showcase in a classroom for folklore exploration. It’s nothing I would purposely choose in lieu of other works available, but if you’re looking for a good Finnish tale, then Song Breaker is a cute one. It’s a little predictable but fun. If you’re looking for something light and folksy, then it wouldn’t hurt to give this one a read.
I give it ★★★☆☆, as it’s a good read but also just that: a good, simple read.
Title: Elites of Eden (Children of Eden #2)
Author: Joey Graceffa
Publisher: Atria/Keywords Press, 2017 (Oct 3)
Genre: YA Dystopian, YA Science Fiction
**I received a copy of this free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
This is the one I really am excited to review!! I loved the first book, Children of Eden and I have been dying for the sequel. And now it looks like there is another book coming and I’m super excited!
I reviewed Children of Eden here: Children of Eden Review
I will tell you all about this one, but there might be some slight spoilers from book one. I’ll try to avoid them – the book itself is pretty good at being accessible to those who haven’t read the first one!
Ok, so I’m going to tell you about Elites of Eden…
Yarrow has everything she could ever want: she’s rich, popular, and pretty. Her mother is the Chief of Intelligence in Eden, the society where the only human survivors all live. She goes to Oaks, an exclusive private school. She has all that she needs, and with her best friend Pearl, she can go where she wants and do what she wants. As a teen, it’s a privileged life.
However, Yarrow is bored. And she feels strange about how desperate she is to please people, especially Pearl and the friends in her group. When a lilac-haired girl named Lark joins Oaks, Pearl immediately wants to make her life hell, and she knows just how she can: make Yarrow befriend her, and then ruin her. But Yarrow is torn – something about Lark makes her question herself and her motives…and also her perfect life in Eden,
When a night goes horribly wrong for Yarrow as Pearl attempts to ruin Lark’s reputation, she learns about Rowan, a girl from the Underground of Eden, and a second child. Second children are illegal in Eden, so Rowan’s very existence is illegal as well.
However, Yarrow and Rowan will soon realize they have more in common than anyone thought…anyone but the lilac-haired new girl Lark.
This book is INTENSE. Graceffa writes like no one I have read before. I know most people know him as a YouTube sensation and am outlandish guy, but he writes Elites of Eden as if he’s written so many books before. It flows right from where Children left off, and I was sucked in from the beginning…I literally couldn’t put it down. You almost feel like you are Yarrow. Her feelings are raw and consume you. The man is talented.
I added this to the mini reviews because Elites is most definitely a segue book. It doesn’t end and it doesn’t technically begin the story…there is another book to come. I would and have mentioned that Children is an excellent book for a classroom setting, but Elites is too frantic unless paired with Children. Yes, the book makes sense on its own, but there would be a major loss of connection to Rowan’s character unless Children is read first.
So I’m going straight for the gusto here and giving Elites of Eden ★★★★★…and I encourage anyone that has read Children to continue with Elites. It is definitely worth the continued adventure. Yes, I was frustrated knowing I would have to wait for another book with no publication date in sight, but I’m hoping that the success of the first book will carry to the second, which will cause Graceffa to finish the Eden saga. Too often books are cut off at midpoint because book two sales aren’t as good as book one.
So I’ll tell you right now: if there isn’t a conclusion to this series, I WILL riot.
What are you reading?