Monday, April 11, 2016

[Book Review] Wanted by Nick Stephenson

WantedWanted by Nick Stephenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Part 1: From The Book Cover

Nowhere to hide…

What should have been a relaxing vacation in Paris turns into another unwinnable situation for expert criminology consultant Leopold Blake. Caught in the cross hairs of a ruthless assassin and on the run from the police for a murder he didn't commit, Blake and his team must fight to clear his name before it's too late.

As enemies close in from all sides, Blake is about to learn who he can trust — and who is determined to destroy him — as The City of Light becomes a new hunting ground.

Part 2: Recommendation

Wanted is the first book in the Leopold Blake series by Nick Stephenson and I have to say, it was a quick, enjoyable read.

I haven't read a lot in the Private Investigation thriller genre so I can't really give a comparison with other books or characters but it feels more like a mystery suspense thriller to me which I'm more than okay with. To me, the word Crime & Suspense Thriller is more gory and gruesome with a focus on the crime details. So at first, I was a little hesitant to read it and the Amazon description is not much help as to what to expect in the plot. Yes, there was several murders and people dying as a consequence and there's a lot of running around Paris for Leopold Blake, Mary Jordan and Sophie Bardot as they try to escape the hired assassin while trying to help Leopold figure out who is behind all this and why is he getting framed for the murders.

At first the writing style of Nick Stephenson is a little hard to follow because a couple of chapters would be dealing with what is happening on a different location and focused on an entirely different set of characters that is unclear as to the relevance to the entire plot but being the first book, I figured this is probably the book that sets up everything that will follow in the next books in the series. So pay attention to every detail and just relax and go with the flow of the story. I promise, it will all come together in the end with a shocking cliffhanger.

Overall, I'm glad I decided to download a copy because I enjoyed it immensely and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

[Book Review] Witch & Wizard Series by James Patterson, et. al.


My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Audiobook Edition
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Action & Adventure, Dystopian

Part 1: From The Book Cover

The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world?

When they were imprisoned by the new, brutal government, Whit and Whisty were barely able to escape with their lives. Discovering a hidden community of children like themselves--hunted by the state and with varying degrees of special talents--they have taken refuge underground. But the New Order is rapidly pushing in on them from all sides, and the pressure to stop the regime is mounting. 

One day, as they rush to save another group of kids who are about to be captured by police, Whit and Whisty discover not only their own faces plastered to buildings on wanted posters, but also their parents'. When the hunting party sent out after the siblings always seems to be one step ahead of them, they begin to fear that it is controlled by a very, very powerful force. They are in much more danger than they feared...

With heart-pounding suspense and terrifying plot twists, this highly-anticipated sequel to James Patterson's newest series will thrill you until its jaw-dropping conclusion.

Whit and Wisty Allgood have sacrificed everything to lead the resistance against the merciless totalitarian regime that governs their world. Its supreme leader, The One Who Is The One, has banned everything they hold dear: books, music, art, and imagination. But the growing strength of the siblings' magic hasn't been enough to stop The One's evil rampage, and now he's executed the only family they had left.

Wisty knows that the time has finally come for her to face The One. But her fight and her fire only channel more power to this already invincible being. How can she and Whit possibly prepare for a showdown with the ruthless villain that devastated their world--before he can truly become all-powerful?

In this stunning third installment of the epic, bestselling Witch & Wizard series, the stakes have never been higher--and the consequences will change everything.

Whit and Wisty Allgood, a witch and wizard with extraordinary abilities, have defeated the ruthless dictator who long overshadowed their world. But for the first time in their lives, the powerful brother and sister find themselves at odds as Wisty is drawn to a mysterious and magical stranger named Heath.

Wisty has never felt as free as she does with Heath, especially when the two of them share and test their magic together. But when a merciless Wizard King from the mountains suddenly threatens war, Wisty must make an excruciating choice. Will she unite with Whit to fight the mounting dangers that could return their world to a tyrant's domain? Or will she trust the beautiful boy who has captured her heart?

James Patterson's epic dystopian saga continues as the witch and wizard who have inspired countless imaginations must rally together before the world they fought to save collapses.

Whit and Wisty Allgood have fought and defeated their world's most pernicious threats. But just as they start to settle into their new roles in governance, a deadly crime wave strikes, with all signs pointing to a magical mastermind. As the city turns against all those who possess magic, the siblings find themselves persecuted and questioning everything, including their abilities.

Part 2: Recommendation

James Patterson's books have been in my to-read pile for 2-3 years now and finally, I got around to reading one of his series Witch & Wizard. I'm usually not into dystopian but at the time, I wanted to read something with magic in it and I thought now is a good time as any to start with Witch & Wizard especially since the series has ended. For me, there's nothing worse than really getting into the series and then having to wait 2 years (for traditional publishing) for the latest book installment. 

The premise is your basic good vs evil. The twist lies in who Whit and Wisty fight against and who those evil villains are related to. The series definitely could have been better and I say that because it took the first 3 books to deal with The One Who Is The One and then the last 2 books (The Kiss & The Lost) had the same plot — it just so happens that the villain(s)'s names got switched out. It makes me think that the series should've ended with The Fire instead of continuing on like it did. I almost didn't finish the last book because I got so bored with it and I was ready to kill Whit & Wisty myself and I don't appreciate the fact that dead people come back to life. 

I can recommend the first 3 books if you're into Paranormal Dystopian and forget the last 2 books because they're just a condensed version of the first 3.