creating The Kill Order.
Before the Glade and The Maze of Maze Runner ever existed… Thomas knew there was something else… he has seen the images of memory flicker across his mind; always fleeting, always unable to grasp….
what was the world like he has come from?
A disease has come into the world. It comes quickly as if from nowhere but the results are devastating. Those in contact with this virus feel as though there is something crawling within their mind… they become monstrous in action and no one is safe… possibly crippling out world as we knew it forever.
Mark and Trina feel there is a way to save those yet infected… and as they are about to find out – they will give it all to succeed.
The Kill Order is the new(ish) prequel to Maze Runner. Having recently listened to Maze Runner on audio and loving it… I went this direction and listened to this one next – not following up (yet) with the two remaining books.
Coming fresh off Maze Runner, it was interesting to read about what those in the Maze Runner kept eluding too… a world they longed for but at the same time had memories that things were not so great of where they came from. James Dashner writes a brilliant prequel that I felt filled in the mysterious gaps left in Maze Runner.
Well written, fast paced, and wonderfully narrated by Mark Deakins again.
Tom Sherbourne carries with him many ghosts of his past but his current life and future looks bright. Tom meets the lovely Isabel and upon their marriage they move out to Janus Rock where they live an isolated life and Tom works as the Lighthouse keeper. Visitors are few and a supply boat comes once every few months.
As the years go on, Isabel suffers through a series of miscarriages, each one leaving her a little more fragile. Then, shortly after Isabel’s third miscarriage, a cry is heard in the wind.
A babies cry.
What Tom and Isabel discover is that a boat has washed upon shore and in it a dead man and a crying baby girl. Tom wishes to report this right away, but Isabel suddenly snaps out of her depression state and feels that the baby must be a gift from God and despite Tom’s uncertainty, Isabel names the child Lucy and for the next three years they raise her as their own. As Isabel grows more and more happy, Tom starts to think that perhaps she was right and he too loves Lucy and takes her in his heart as his own.
When they do make the trip into shore on that third year, they discover the whole story of the man they found in the boat that day… and somewhere close, a woman… a mother… grieves for the disappearance of her husband and baby daughter. Torn between what is right and what feels right… Tom feels they must do the right thing, while Isabel feels that she is the child’s mother and that is the right thing.
There is so many levels of depth to this book that it is hard to know where to begin. Obviously, the heart of the story lies within baby Lucy, a child found at an infant age and knows no one else but Tom and Isabel. Tie the isolation of where they live in with that scene and you have a trio of people who rely literally on one another for safety, comfort, companionship, and of course… family.
This is of course what makes M.L. Stedman’s book stand out. When you enter in the real mother to Lucy… a grieving mother whose heart is broken over the loss of her daughter, the lines between right and wrong get a little blurry…. AND reader, before you say “Oh, there is no blurry line for me, I know exactly what I would do!”, you would need to read this book first and then tell me again… what would you do?
The levels of depth I mention in The Light Between Oceans is exactly what sets it apart from perhaps other books of its kind. By the time M. L. Stedman is done tugging at your heart in one way and then another… you, like me, may find what you thought you would do… not what you are hoping and praying for as you turn each page.
Filled with moral, legal, painful, heart impacted decisions – The Light Between Oceans makes for a great book to discuss with friends and still rethink it on your own.
My book club read this as our May read and we came up with as a whole that the book does indeed leave a mark. While some found it predictable and pretty non eventful until the end, others found it to be an interesting take on the situation. Of course, the moral discussion was a big topic and as a group we created our own loop hope of how we would handle it which of course, would not have been as interesting to read about… but certainly easier on the heart.
While Suzanne Collins had kids fighting kids to the death in The Hunger Games, James Dashner had kids fighting for their lives in a world they did not understand in Maze Runner.
Thomas has no idea how he got here… or where he came from. When he awakens in the lift he is surrounded by other kids about his early-teen age all curious about him and welcoming him to the Glade.
As Thomas tried to make sense of things he realizes about all he does recall is his name. The Glade, he learns, is a protective area that surrounds the Maze… and the Maze is dangerous. The Glade is surrounded by a protective stone wall that opens on its own accord during the day and closes at dusk. You do not want to be outside the Glade and caught in the Maze when the doors close.
Just as Thomas is trying to process the details of this new and scary home that apparently delivers a new boy (only boys) every 30 days by the same life that Thomas arrives in…. things change.
The next day the lift delivers another person – 29 days earlier then it ever has before and this time…
it is a girl.
And she comes with a message “this is the last one.”
As everyone scrambles to figure out what all this means, Thomas has this eerie feeling that he knows this girl from somewhere in his past. He also gets the feeling that id he shared this information with the boys he has met so far in the Glade it would not serve him well.
As days progress ans things continue to change in the Glade everyone starts looking at Thomas as for two years things have been exactly the same and now, with his arrival things have become different. For starters – no one goes out in the Maze overnight and lives to tell the story, but one night, Thomas finds himself outside the stones walls, no way to get back in until morning…
and Thomas learns quickly why no one goes into the Maze overnight as there are creatures that want nothing more than to end his life and everyone else inside The Glade.
Ever since I went to the Book Expo last year and met James Dashner I knew I wanted to read him. When an author comes across as witty and funny as he does, you want to know if they write in the same manner.
For the record… he does.
Maze Runner evoked images of Hunger Games. While Maze Runner is not kids fighting each other for survival it is kids fighting an unknown force, and I felt that same sense of awe and anticipation as I wondered what would happen next and who would be the victor.
While I really enjoyed the story line and how right from the start you are filled with questions… “How did Thomas get the Glade? Where was he before he arrived? Why are everyone’s memories wiped when they arrive? Are people families looking for these boys? What really is the Maze?” I have to say that the characters were not as developed as I typically like. I like to get a real feeling for who they are and while Thomas did come close, the rest felt more gingerbread man flat and I could not work up and extended emotions for them as I would have liked.
While the book has been on my shelf for years, shortness of time pushed me forward into listening to this one on audio. Mark Deakin did an excellent job with narration.
I can not say I absolutely loved the book, I did however like it very much and think it would make an interesting movie. Set to be a movie in 2014, this is one I would want to see.
Highly engaging (and addicting) I am looking forward to the second book in the trilogy, The Scorch Trials.
You have to love it when you wish the characters in a book were your friends and when that final page is turned.. you know you will miss them.
Samantha Davis has always and will always be forever grateful to her husband Johnathan who pulled her and her siblings up and out of the way of sure destruction. Johnathan has such a kind heart and deep pockets and does it really matter that when Samantha married him it wasn’t love but appreciation? Now, years later, with her two siblings still trying to find ways to keep sucking money out of Johnathan, Samantha is starting to see things a lot more clearly – including her own marriage.
Claire Walker, author of two books and newly empty nester as her daughter moves on thinks she is ready to write her third book and how easy it will be now with no one in her new apartment to disturb her… but oddly, words have never been harder to put on paper….
Brooke Mackenzie could use a break. After her plastic surgeon husband moved the two of them and their two children and dog into their new place, he shortly there after took up with a woman who would let him use his skills with a knife. Brooke had always refused, feeling she should be loved for who she was… not who he could make her. Now Brooke battles her ex husbands lack of commitment to his children. Will she ever find happiness and her own self-worth?
So what do these three women of varied backgrounds have in common? They all live in the historic Atlanta apartment building known as The Alexander… and while they only have seen each other in passing in the hallways… things are about to change.
When Edward Parker, concierge of The Alexander decides to put together a little weekly gathering of the tenants of the building for screenings of the hit show Downton Abbey, Samantha, Claire, and Brooke, all find themselves seated together. Through refreshments and finger foods, the shows “aha” and laugh out loud moments; these women find out what true friendship can be like..
all while they were watching Downton Abbey.
I admit it. The title drew me. After having watched the first three seasons of Downton Abbey and LOVING it… finding a book that would keep my Abbey loving heart-moving forward was a plus.
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey was truly a fun book to read. I loved the diversity of the three main female characters and I loved seeing the different lives play out chapter by chapter of the women and of Edward as well. It was easy to follow and unlike many books with multiple lead characters, I felt as though I knew each one, from Samantha’s need to feel like the perfect wife, to Claire’s inability to function with a hovering deadline for her book, to Brooke’s unruly red hair, to Edwards pride in his company and what it stood for.
In the end, I wished I lived in The Alexander and that I too could meet up with Samantha, Claire, and Brooke over cocktails and laughter and of course… Downton Abbey.
A fun, engaging read.
*If you have not watched the first two seasons of Downton Abbey, you are going to want to do so before reading this book. The book does talk a little of the show and some of it could be considered spoilers.
Dorothy Benton Frank does it again with another southern flavored title that makes you want to pull up a chair and join this family at the dinner table. ~ Sheila
Beth Hayes, inspiring writer (want to be) is a little annoyed. She finds that she will be putting her own plans of starting her life outside of college aside to instead house sit the family home. It seemed like everyone else was moving on with their lives, following their dreams, while she was put on pause.
Yet, there is something about being on Sullivan Island that sucks you into a slower pace that Beth soon realizes, is not all bad. And being in the family home brings along many surprises of relatives and quirky personalities as well as the surprise of developer max Mitchell. Well, Mitchell is not so much of an intrusion as an annoyance as Beth has no plan no time and no interest in him whatsoever….
or so she thinks….
There is something about Dorothy Benton Frank’s books that make you want to settle in somewhere cozy with an extra-large glass of ice tea and let the characters take you along for the ride. I’ve discovered this in past readings of her books, and I found it again in Return To Sullivan Island. While I am the first to admit I am not the biggest fan of multi-character reads as I struggle keeping them all separate, I found that this cast of characters was quirky enough each in their own way that I did not struggle with the interchanges. In fact, I enjoyed them.
With a little bit of a ghost story mixed in (oops… did I say too much? ) for good measure, Return To Sullivan Island makes for good sit-on-your-deck or grab-a-chair-and-head-for-the-beach reading. Just an overall light and enjoyable book.
Thank you to TLC book tours for letting me Return To Sullivan Island
*This review may contain possible unintentional spoilers to the previous two books.
For Lena, the security she once had of a house and a home seems like it was something she must have dreamed long ago. Those memories have taken on a softer faded recall in her mind and sometimes she has to wonder if what she recalls is even true…
For now, since the rescue of Julian, Lena finds herself along with the rest of her group of invalids, back in the Wilds. To Lena, this is a comfort as she finally feels like she is on familiar ground. For Jillian, this is new and unfamiliar territory. He is out of hos comfort zone but as any of the “invalids” as they are so called, have come to know… it never pays to feel too comfortable.
And then there is Alex. Now back, he is shocked and hurt to see that Lena has moved on and no amount of Lena’s explaining how long she had hoped and prayed that he was alive was anything he wanted to listen too. Thrown back together in this final book of the series, both Lena and Alex need to learn how to move forward together in their cause but separate in their lives.
The Wilds are no longer the safe place they used to be. Now Regulators have been seen searching the Wilds to eliminate the world of people just like Lena, Julian, and Alex… people who have decided that the ability to love…
just might be something worth fighting for.
Lauren Oliver should be commended. From those first pages of Delirium, to the final pages of Requiem…. I was hooked into this storyline of love being a disease that must be eliminated. Fascinating stuff for me… I imagine for younger YA readers, it even holds a stronger pull.
Bu what impresses me about the series is that each book – while linked together, are very different stories and very different settings. Even though Requiem takes you back to the Wilds, it is not the Wilds that we knew in the second book, Pandemonium. This ability to change up the location but keep things rolling with all the new rules and new dangers as well as hold true to the world that once was Lena’s is exhilarating. To be kept up to speed through the words of her best friend Hannah who still is in Portland, about to be married to her pair, after her procedure, levels this book out to its page turning crashing conclusion.
Requiem held strong to its upbringing and brings a different side to the battle that I enjoyed. I thoroughly liked all three of the books and recommend this YA series.
You can find my reviews of the two previous books here:
Now – I do of course have some thoughts about this book that are true spoilers so it is my pleasure to take the Spoiler Button that I LOVE to use, out of storage, give it a good cleaning and check the gauges. It appears to be in working order so for those of you who wish to rant or rave or both about this book… follow me to the Spoiler Page… where the story will continue…
I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current.
So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives.
~As seen on Amazon
A couple years ago a good friend of mine brought me this book. Her book club had just finished reviewing it and she said it was a “must read!”
The book went to the shelf and although I totally planned on reading it, there is always more books then there is time and two years later that book still is say on my shelf. Recently, I found ‘Loving Frank’ on audio and thought that this may be the way to go on this one.. and I am so glad I did.
Joyce Bean narrates and does a masterful job with the different voices on Mamah (pronounced May – mah), Frank, and the others who gather around their lives.
Frank’s story of his life and his long affair I am ashamed to admit, was all news to me. I had no idea of the mans life beyond his name and the architecture he is known for. I admit, I found his life to be quite interesting. Although he fathered six children with his wife, Frank did not seem to have a paternal bone in his body. Yet more interesting than even Frank, was Mamah. Having left her own husband and children for Frank I think has to be extremely had in that day and age, (not that it would not be now as well.) Beyond that Mamah believes a woman has a right to her own life and not just as a wife and mother. She is years ahead of her time in the feminist movement and something about her odd convictions made me want to know more about her.
Loving Frank is engaging and the best of historical fiction when it is done right. I enjoyed the book and was blown away with the ending which has my Googling like crazy to find out more.
Ruth Reichl was happy with her job at the Los Angeles Times as Food Critic. Yet when an opening came at the New York Times for a food critic the buzz was that it was going to be her they would pursue… while Ruth was thinking, “No… I don’t want to move to New York”, her husband, television producer Michael Singer was putting in for a transfer figuring the move was inevitable.
Michael, as it turns out was right.
After an interview with The New York Times that Ruth did not try very hard at, she started to allow herself to say dream a bit of what it would be like to take the position id offered…. then she became a little unsettled when they did not call…. had she blown it? When the call did finally come Ruth said “Yes” and she, her husband and young son made the move to New York.
What Ruth did not realize was that the restaurants were waiting for her. Her picture hung in ever highly notable kitchen so the staff would know when she came to their resistant and they could be sure to give her the best service so they would get the best reviews.
What they didn’t know was that Ruth was not about to let it play out that way. She wondered how she could give people honest reviews of the restaurants if they were catering to her because of who she was. The answer, as it turned out, came in the form of a petite friend of her mothers who was a make up artist… Ruth would go these restaurants in disguise.
Garlic and Sapphires is the true memoir of a critic in disguise who took on the personalities of who she dressed as and learned all too quickly which restaurants only cared about who were you were and what you could do for them. Her reviews were cut throat and made a lot of people angry, but they were honest… and the average person who made a reservation (or not…) would know exactly what to expect.
I read Garlic and Sapphires once before a few years back. At the time of this typing, I believe I reviewed it here at Book Journey but I am not sure and I refuse to look until I have finished writing this review so one opinion does not affect the other. Does that make sense? When my book club chose it last month to be our April read with the idea that is we read it we would all dress in disguise for the review I was in… all in. I love it when we go the extra mile.
SO this second reading of Garlic and Sapphires went something like this… I really enjoyed it. I loved Ruth’s disguises and how each one transformed her. She became the character and no one was the wiser. She could walk by people she knew and they would not even do a double take. No one knew who she was and with that she could walk into any restaurant and see how the “unfamous”, unadorned, were treated. But that wasn’t all… Ruth would dress older, she would dress poorer, and on some occasions she would dress as more confident and sexier…. and of course, she would also show up as herself – actually visiting a restaurant many times before writing her review.
I enjoyed the story behind the review, and then reading her review. I loved the description of the foods she ate as my mouth watered in anticipation… could I taste it simply through her words?
I enjoy reading foodie books. I don’t know why I am so fascinated by them, by the life of a critic amazes me – at first thought I think, what a great job… tasting the best foods, in the best restaurants, but when I really think about being a critic must really be hard work. You feel with the pressures of getting it right and the backlash of those who disagree….
If you are a foodie reader as well, I think you will really enjoy this fun twist on food critiquing.
Oh…. how I love my book club…..♥
When this book came up in the vote last month, Kaydi who nominated it added in that it would be fun to dress up as Ruth does in the book. YAY!!! I love bonus book club events!
7 of us the 12 of us who were there the review did dress up. Brenda (back row – hot blond) said her husband told her as she left her house, “I think you really enjoy these dress up events…”
Truth is, I think we do
I think personally what I love about the dressing p is you really get see some fun personalities come out and I have to smile thinking these are memories in the making.
The Bookies over all rated the book an average read, while everyone seemed to enjoy it, a few brought up that it seemed to get tedious after a while. We had a fun discussion of who we thought was Ruth’s best dress up and we mostly agreed that Brenda was her best as it really seemed to bring out the best in Ruth – and in others. A line from the book was…
Is it possible to be jealous of yourself?
Of course we had food…. we were food critics after all….
Delicious food… fun conversation and then, Angie pulled out a chocolate tasting board… asn we all were able to try our own hand at being critiques:
I think this was a fun book to review as a book club and would recommend it for other book clubs as well.
A am adding this to Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads
What is The Storyteller about? Is it about a baker? Is it about a scar? Is it about revenge? Is it about forgiveness? Is it about the Holocaust? Is is about a vampire? Yes.
Sage Singer is a baker who works the night shift, sifting and creating delicious concoctions, basking in her world alone. She bears a scar on her face that she tries to hide, much like herself, behind her hair, behind her mother death….
And then one day at a grief support group meeting, Sage means Josef an elderly man and they form an unlikely friendship. When Josef confesses to Sage a horrific past that involved the deaths of many people, he asks for her to do the unthinkable, to kill him, to make him pay for the crimes of his past.
As Sage is still reeling from this unthinkable request, she finds out that Josef and her lives may be closer than anyone could have imagined…. through her grandmother comes a story…. a story so painful that it has never been spoken of.
Just moments ago, I finished listening to The Storyteller on audio. By moments, I may mean minutes ago, or I may mean a little longer because as I finished listening to this powerfully engaging read I think I held my breath…and as I listened to those closing words and my mind rushed along the conclusion, I may have lost minutes to my thoughts…
wow. If you have read Jodi Piccoult before I can say this is Piccoult at perhaps her finest. It is her, and it isn’t her. This book is different. It is more… real. It is certainly more powerful and more painfully attentive to details than any other book I have read by her, and if you have read her before you know her books can pack a powerful punch (Nineteen Minutes comes to mind.)
The Storyteller is…. complicated. Sage is not an “I will take a bullet for you!” character, I liked her well enough… but doubt if we would ever be friends. I think a more compassionate, more likable Sage, may have given a different feel to this book – and I have to say, I think “a distant Sage” may be just what this book requires…. after all, we are dealing with topics, that are painfully real, but for more of us, a distance from our own lives today… I wonder if loving Sage as a character would have taken away from the real topics… the real protagonist, which in my opinion, is her grandmother, Minka. Minka makes up for what her granddaughter lacks, she is real, she is compassionate, and she has fire within her as a survivor.
All being said, I did find The Storyteller to be engaging and powerful. I have enjoyed Piccoult’s books in the past but this one with its historical fiction content speaks to me at a little deeper level than her previous books and I have a feeling I will be recommending this one to others for a long time to come.