Tag Archives: Young Adult

Soulless by Robert J Crane (The Girl in the Box #3)


Soulless (The Girl in the Box, #3)Soulless by Robert J. Crane

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The last in this series. Sienna and her cohorts at the Directorate finally have an assignment that isn’t specifically for training. The investigation leads them across state borders as they pose as FBI. The criminal investigation of a “meta” on the loose, becomes more of a (SPOILER) family affair, and Sienna has to make her own choices regarding the relationships in her life. There is the added complication of the “Omega” organisation who are also out for their own nefarious goals.

As with the previous two in this series, it’s a fairly standard “whodunnit” story, with some teenage/young adult drama, and a supernatural angle whereby the main characters all have some sort of power. It’s pleasing enough for an afternoon’s distraction, but there are more gripping stories out there.

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Untouched by Robert J Crane (The Girl in the Box #2)


Untouched (The Girl in the Box, #2)Untouched by Robert J. Crane

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The second of three in “The Girl in the Box” Series. Now that Sienna is aware of her abilities, she has to learn to stow her attitude and work with a team. A new threat emerges in the shape of Aleksandr Gavrikov, who has the power to basically explode like a nuke, and threatens a whole city. Sienna also struggles to understand why her mother disappeared and left her alone, and continues to search for her.

A fair continuation of the story. The tone remains very similar throughout this entire series, and Sienna herself only makes marginal progress in terms of character development and learning from her experiences. Still an interesting enough read to keep you going on a slow afternoon. A little bit of a cat and mouse game with this new threat.

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Alone by Robert J Crane (The Girl in the Box #1)


Alone (The Girl in the Box, #1)Alone by Robert J. Crane

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sienna Nealon was kept hidden from the world by her mother for her entire life. She had no contact with anyone or anything outside her house. Forced to train combat relentlessly with her mother, and being told that the outside world is unsafe for her. But when her mother doesn’t come home for weeks, and she starts to run out of food, then she has to make some decisions for herself.

To force her hand, there appears onto the scene a number of shady organisations out to either kill her or recruit her. Of course.

This is a fairly standard “Chosen One” type story. A girl is mistreated for her entire life “for her own good” and to “teach her a lesson”; which instead of being dealt with as the psychological trauma that it is, becomes nothing more than fuel to spur her on. Sienna manifests a number of superpowers, and has to work out whether the organisation (of similarly powered people) that has taken her in are the good guys or one of the bad guys. We are taken from one action set-piece to another, with only minimal character development taking place, most of which is teen-drama.

An enjoyable story, but not a particularly taxing one.

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Talon by Julie Kagawa


TalonTalon by Julie Kagawa

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

As YA fiction, this was an OK book. Very teen oriented. Less Fantasy, more Angsty!
Ember and Dante are twins, they’re Dragons, but they’re disguised as humans (and can transform back to their true forms). They’re still young, and are training to assimilate and infiltrate the human world undetected. The rules of the Dragon species and government – Talon – are so strict that their training and ultimate placement within the system is unknown to them until they are ready to fulfil their purpose. The structure is supposedly for self-preservation, and the survival of their species. If a dragon disobeys, or leaves Talon, they are the “Rogues”.

The Dragons are mercilessly hunted by the soldiers of the Order of St George (of course), who are as rigidly set to their purpose as those high up in the Talon order. A member of this militia is Garret, also only a teenager, sent to find the dragon hiding out.

In typical “two worlds collide” metaphor (with the rest of the human race there just as the landscape) Ember and Garret enter into a relationship, which heads to its inevitable conclusion when they eventually realise that they are on opposite sides.

There was only a little introduction into the politics and mechanics of the Talon and St George systems, this could benefit from greater world building and context. As the first in a series, it’s possible this is expanded upon later. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a particular character, so the story mostly unfolds through first-person narrative. As the characters are of similar age, and have similar motivations, their voices are not distinct enough to carry the reader through, without constantly checking the chapter heading to remind yourself who the current narrator is.

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Blood And Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause


Blood And Chocolate
Blood And Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A nice easy read with a decent story line.
Vivian is a strong-willed self-assured teenager, who also happens to come from a family of werewolves. Despite having free choice of all the boys within her own “species”, she finds herself obsessed with a human boy. One who writes poetry and wishes there were more supernatural occurrences in the world. But when the boy, Aiden, finds out her secret, he reacts in a typically human way…

A fairly standard tale of teenage-angst, however with the emotionally stronger character being the teenage girl. A better feminism stance than some other YA fantasy books. There’s still the issue of some male characters being a bit overly sexually-aggressive, even for werewolves, but at least our heroine can stand up for herself.

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