Nexus by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, & Deborah Biancotti

Summary:
The Zeroes are in disarray.
One of them has vanished. One of them is in prison. The rest are on the most wanted list. And something big is brewing.
Accused of murdering Swarm, Bellweather is in a high security prison, isolated and unable to use his powers of influence. Flickers, Crash, Mob, and Scam are on the run as suspected domestic terrorists. And Agent Phan of the FBI has a secret weapon up his sleeve—a teenager with a superpower that the Zeroes haven’t encountered yet.
After a daring breakout, the group is drawn to New Orleans, where celebrating Mardi Gras crowds promise enormous power to anyone who can channel it. There, an army of Zeroes is gathering around a charismatic leader—whose plans are nothing short of cataclysmic.
Time is running out for the Zeroes, but they must learn to trust one another again to avert the looming disaster, in this action-packed conclusion to the NYT bestselling trilogy.
Nexus (Zeroes, #3)Review:
I just finished this book and I can’t help but say that I am deeply unsatisfied with the last ten pages or so. But I will get to that at the end of this review. This story starts pretty much right where book two left off. It starts right in the thick of things which I really enjoyed. It was fast-paced almost the whole way through right up until the ending. Which I will talk about at the end.
My feelings toward the characters are mostly the same as they were for book two. Though I think I like Scam a bit more. He seems to have gotten over being whiney and complaining so much. I think that’s due to the girl he likes, which is a relationship I’m totally here for. Bellweather seems to lose his way in this conclusion but then brings himself back in the final chapters. I don’t really feel too strongly one way or the other about him. I’m glad he didn’t turn evil, but aside from that I just don’t care that much about him. I’m still obsessed with my two favorites, Flicker and Anonymous. Crash really had an interesting storyline. She meets others with her ability and learns just how far she can push her powers. I thought she was really interesting. Mob is still fighting the battle to not become Swarm. Which was alright, but could have been more interesting. I liked her for her desire to stay good. I also enjoyed her trying to find her mother. That was interesting.
I really enjoyed the representation in this series. There was a female/female romance. There are characters of all the different races. There is a character that is blind. I think there was a pretty well-rounded group of characters in this series.
Now, the ending. I can understand why it was done this way. But I wanted more. I wanted more from the last 50 pages or so. The ending seemed a little too rushed to me. I think there could have been another book in the series or at least add another 100 pages to this conclusion. I think things were wrapped up too quickly. And the final two chapters were infuriating. We barely get a blip from each character after the big to-do that happens. Then the final chapter was just not enough for me.
Overall, despite not liking the ending, I really enjoy this book and the series as a whole. I will definitely reread it in the future. I’d also definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys books with superpowers and superheroes of any sort.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, & Deborah Biancotti

GoodReads Summary:
They thought they’d already faced their toughest fight. But there’s no relaxing for the reunited Zeroes.
These six teens with unique abilities have taken on bank robbers, drug dealers, and mobsters. Now they’re trying to lay low so they can get their new illegal nightclub off the ground.
But the quiet doesn’t last long when two strangers come to town, bringing with them a whole different kind of crowd-based chaos. And hot on their tails is a crowd-power even more dangerous and sinister.
Up against these new enemies, every Zero is under threat. Mob is crippled by the killing-crowd buzz—is she really evil at her core? Flicker is forced to watch the worst things a crowd can do. Crash’s conscience—and her heart—get a workout. Anon and Scam must both put family loyalties on the line for the sake of survival. And Bellwether’s glorious-leader mojo deserts him.
Who’s left to lead the Zeroes into battle against a new, murderous army?
Swarm (Zeroes, #2)Review:
What a wild ride this was. Swarm was not at all what I expected. I thought I was going into a story similar to Zeroes and in some ways it was, but this one was much darker.
We follow the group of friends that call themselves the Zeroes while they try to learn more about their powers and how best to use them. They’ve created their own nightclub to practice with groups of people. I liked seeing them all come together to try to learn how to better control their abilities. Right up until the group finds more Zeroes, a couple who tells them of Swarm and how he is coming to kill them all.
Ethan, or Scam, has this other voice that always knows exactly what to say to get what Scam wants. Except when there’s nothing to be done. I think he was interesting but a little whiney. He’s trying to be better and not let his voice hurt the people he cares about. But it still happens. I think he’s the most interesting because his power is the only one that doesn’t work better with six or more people.
Nate, or Bellweather, or Glorious Leader, seemed to lose his footing in this story. I really like the ending and how he managed to use his power in a different way. That was really interesting. He’s the one that motivates everyone and hypes them up. He connects them all to one another. I also think he’s the one with the least development. We finally see him in a situation that he doesn’t know how to get out of, which was interesting.
Riley, or Flicker, is my favorite. She is blind, but her ability lets her see through the eyes of others. She’s frustrated at constantly being underestimated and I can understand that. I really like her romance with another Zero and my heart was a little broken in the final pages.
Chizara, or Crash, has the most inner turmoil. She wants to be good and not to cause any damage, but her power is all about damage. Though she’s learning that she can fix things too. I think there were more opportunities to explore with Crash’s character and her development but I really liked her complexity.
Kelsie, or Mob, has lost her father and she’s trying to figure out where she fits in a world without her dad. She struggles with the moral ramifications of her abilities. She’s able to manipulate emotions within a crowd. So when she finds out she could potentially become another Swarm, she’s understandably scared. She’s also one half of a female/female relationship that is a part of the story.
Finally, there’s Thibault, or Anonymous, who is my second favorite. He’s been through so many hard things in his life and is just trying to make his loved ones remember him. So the way this story ends for him was a little devastating. I’m dying to know what’s going to happen for him in the next book. And maybe he can figure out how to change his abilities like Nate did.
Overall, Swarm was a wild ride and I’m dying to jump into the conclusion. I really cannot wait to find out what’s going to happen in the end. This book was fast-paced but also full of so many different plot lines. These Zeroes always manage to get themselves into all kinds of trouble and I can’t wait to see how they escape it in the final book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Hidden Gems books that haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that I think deserve some recognition.
ttt1. Flamecaster (The Shattered Realms series) by Cinda Williams Chima – I love this series and this author. I just feel like I don’t really see her books advertised anywhere. I don’t see other bloggers talking about her books like I do. I definitely think she should be a more widely read author with the incredible worlds shes built full of diverse and loveable characters.
2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – This one I feel is always overlooked in favor of Vampire Academy. Because they’re part of the same world everyone turns to VA instead of talking about these books.
3. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – I found this series on my Kindle but it’s definitely one that I think more readers should try. The reviews vary but I think Forrest has built quite the reading adventure with this 50+ book series.
4. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – Buxbaum’s debut novel was so excellent. I thought I would hear more about it from my fellow bloggers. It makes me sad that I don’t hear more about it.
5. Sleeping Giants (Themis Files) by Sylvain Neuvel – I listened to this audiobook at the recommendation of a BookTuber (Thoughts on Tomes) but aside from the brief mention as one of her top audiobooks I haven’t hear others talk about this series. This is a mistake because Sleeping Giants was insane and amazing.
6. Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World) by P.C. Cast – I found this series outside of the blogging world. I haven’t heard a single blogger talk or write about this book/series. It’s a shame because they’re super interesting books with unique storylines and great character development. I can’t wait for the third to be released later this year.
7. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher – An older book, but still great. Creative and full of mystery. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about this story.
8. Talon by Julie Kagawa – While I see that her other series, The Iron Fey, get attention I never see bloggers reading this series.
9. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa – See above comment.
10. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, and Margo Lanagan – With the superhero obsession that’s been going on the last few years I’m unsure how this series hasn’t made a bigger splash in the reading world.

What books do you love that you think deserve more attention?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Mash Ups

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Every week there’s a new topic where we get to choose our top ten and write about it. This week’s topic is top ten books I would mash together. I think this is a wicked interesting topic. I’m not sure how I’m going to go about it, so in no particular order, here goes!

topten
1. Rose Gardner Investigations by Denise Grover Swank & Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich – These are books about an aspiring private investigator and books about a bond enforcement officer. I think Rose and Stephanie would make one hell of a hilarious pair.
2. Renegades by Marissa Meyer & Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti – Two different types of superhero books. Both with similar abilities, sort of. But the worlds they take place in are pretty different. I think it would be interesting to see these two worlds collide.
3. Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow & One Small Thing by Erin Watt – Both are novels involving girls who are struggling with their feelings about a guy. Both thinking that their feelings are wrong and should be stifled and ignored. I think the two female main characters would be great friends and would be able to help one another immensely by sharing their experiences.
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson & The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – These are both murder mystery sort of books but with a ton of different subplots along the way. I think they would be interesting to see together. Seeing the characters with their hugely different personalities would be funny.
5. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson & Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson – This is a choice for similar reasons to above except these are young adult murder mysteries. Again, the personalities in these stories would make for an interesting read.
6. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas & Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch – If the Sara(h)’s wrote a book together I would be able to die happy as soon as I finished it. These specific books would be so cool to see together. In ACOTAR, there’s Fae with seasonal courts and magical abilities and in Snow Like Ashes there are different kingdoms for the seasons with different sorts of magical abilities. I think they would mesh well together with the similarities in the stories.
7. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare & A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – Both of these series have a great variety of supernatural characters like vampires and werewolves and others unique to their books. Their also both full of headstrong characters that strive to do the ‘right’ thing at all costs. I would love to see these characters and worlds collide.
8. The Young Elites by Marie Lu & Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – These two came together in my head because of their magic systems. Both books have people with abilities that are not accepted in their worlds. Both have fantastic villains. Now that I’m typing this, I would LOVE to see the Darkling and Adelina join forces and run the world.
9. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins & Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow – I really think that Charlie could have been another character in Impulse. She for sure could have been a fourth perspective in that story. These characters could all relate for sure.
10. The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead & A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands – I obviously had to throw my two favorite vampire worlds together. I think these worlds would be awesome to see together because of the different ways that vampires are created and the similarities that are already there.

This week’s topic was a hard one for me! I had a ton of fun looking at my shelves and thinking about all the different worlds I love colliding. I tried to pick bookish worlds that already had a little bit in common. I wanted my mashups to mostly make sense. Which bookish worlds would you want to see collide?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Magical Readathon – O.W.L. Exams TBR

Hi bookworms, Amanda here! I was recently scrolling through Twitter when I saw Books in the Skye share something about a readathon based on the N.E.W.T exams from the Harry Potter books. I did a little more digging and saw that I sadly missed out on the O.W.L exam readathon, hosted over on YouTube by Book Roast, that took place originally in April. I decided that I could either skip the O.W.L.s and just take whatever N.E.W.T.s I felt like doing or I could do the O.W.L. exams anyway. I have decided that I’m going to take the O.W.L. exams anyway. So I will start this challenge tomorrow, August 2nd, and I will try to complete as many exams as I can until the 29th.

owls tbr

The following grades are awarded for the overall OWLs performance:

 

Pass

Outstanding – sit and pass at least 5 OWLs
Exceeded Expectations – sit and pass at least 3 OWLs
Acceptable – sit and pass at least 2 OWLs

Fail

Poor – sit only one OWL
Dreadful – start but not finish any OWLs tasks
Troll – do not show up at your OWLs examinations

Ancient Runes – A book with a symbol on the cover

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (print book)

the wicked deep

Arithmacy – A Book with a number on the cover or in the title

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti (print book)

zeroes

Astronomy – A science fiction novel

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada (print book)

this mortal coil

Care of Magical Creatures – A book that includes magical creatures or features magical creatures on the cover

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling (print book)

hp - sorcerers stone

Charms – A fantasy novel

A Darker Shade of Magic  by V.E. Schwab (print book)

ADSOM

Defense Against the Dark Arts – A book about or with a secret society or club

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (print book)

city of bones

Divination – A book featuring prophecies 

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (ebook)

shadow of the fox

Herbology – A book with a nature-related word in the title 

Air Awakens by Elise Kova (ebook)

air awakens

History of Magic – A historical fiction novel

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (audiobook)

my lady jane

Muggle Studies – A muggle non-fiction novel

Yes Please by Amy Poehler (audiobook)

yes please

Potions – A book with or about alchemy 

Allies by Bella Forrest (ebook)

allies

Transfiguration – A book with transfiguration / shapeshifting or a book with a cat on the cover

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (audiobook)

paranormalcy

I don’t expect to read all of these books but I’m someone that does well with options so I wanted to give myself a variety of books to choose from throughout this reading challenge. I’m going to aim to read at least five of these books. Wish me luck!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

ABC Book Challenge |A|

Hi, bookworms! We saw this challenge on a few different blogs and thought it looked like a fun, regular post that we could add to our ever going list of weekly posts. So here’s how it works –  each week we’re going to post a letter of the alphabet (starting with A obviously) and we’re going to list our most memorable books and books still hanging out on our TBR list associated with the corresponding letter.

This week’s post we’re going to start with the letter – A.

Most Memorable Books

Amanda:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – One of my all-time favorite series and all of the books work for the letter A. I reviewed the whole series, you can find my review for this first book here.

The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle – I read this incredible series around Christmas time and I still think about them all the time. It was such a detailed and well thought out story.

Antonia:

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – This is one of my favorites of his (that’s a lie, they’re pretty much all tied). It’s so funny and quirky and I just love Colin so much.

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman – One of my all-time favorite series, with such a bittersweet ending. This is the first book that ever made me cry hysterically.

Books Still On My TBR 

Amanda:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – The third book in this series came out recently, so I’m planning to reread the whole series.

Antonia:

Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout – This is part of The Covenant series which I’ve been wanting to finish reading for a few years now.

These are our picks for the letter A! What books with the letter A are most memorable for you? Which ones haven’t managed to get from your TBR list to your ‘read’ pile?

Thanks for reading!

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Series I’ve Given up on

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week is top ten series I gave up on or do not plan to finish. This is going to be a bit of a challenge for me because I rarely give up on books. So let’s see what I can come up with this week. Okay, so after coming up with an insufficient list I’ve decided I’m going to do a few series that I will definitely be finishing, but haven’t managed to get around to it yet.

ttt 1. House of Night by P.C and Kristen Cast – This series just had so many books. It got to the point where it was hard to keep up with the story and when new books came out. So I just stopped trying to stay on top of it. Now they’re coming out with books again and I just don’t think I’ll ever get around to rereading them all.
2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I read the first four books in this series. I borrowed them from Antonia’s mom. But I ended up losing the fourth book and by the time I bought a new copy she had caught up to me and needed the books back for her to read them. I may eventually pick this series up again, but I have no real burning desire to do so anytime soon.
3. The Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn – These books were another series that I had a hard time keeping up with. There are so many books and I just lost track of which ones I’ve read and still need to read. I may pick them up again because I did really like the books, but it’s not high on my priority list.
4. The Women’s Murder Club by James Patterson – Once again, too many books coming out to keep track of. I will eventually read these again because they’re easy mystery reads but it won’t be anytime soon.
5. The Princess series by Alexa Riley – I just was not impressed by these books. I think I only read the first and part of the second before giving up.
6. The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard – The final book in the series came out recently and I’d like to reread the whole series. When am I going to do that? Eventually, my TBR list seems to just keep growing instead of getting smaller.
7. The Talon series by Julie Kagawa – Again, the final book in this series was finally released and I’m planning to reread the entire series, eventually.
8. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld – A few weeks ago, I learned that the third book, Nexus, was released sometime last year and I didn’t even realize. So I need to buy this and get around to finishing the series.
9. Millennium series by Stieg Larsson / David Lagercrantz – Literally just now while looking for books to add to this post learned that another book has been released in this series. I will read it, but when I get around to it and who knows when that will be.
10. Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter – I finished the main series of these books; I actually own all of them. But there’s a few spin-off series with other characters that I haven’t managed to get around to reading yet, but I definitely plan to.

This is my top ten for this week! What series have you given up on?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.