Book Review: First Daughter (The Royals of Dharia, Book Three) by Susan Kaye Quinn

First Daughter (The Royals of Dharia, Book Three) by Susan Kaye Quinn

A Fantasy Novel published through Amazon Digital Services Inc. (09/29/14)

Summary:

Aniri is ready to do anything to save her home kingdom and her future kingdom, but first daughter Nahali will be the new leader of Dharia soon and they don’t always agree. Nahali thinks war is the answer while Aniri still hopes that war can be evaded by stopping the second son of Samir and his deadly skyship from within.

Keywords:

Fantasy, Airship, Mountains, Barbarians, War, Threats, Royalty, Duty, Romance, Duels, Intrigue, Secrets, Love, Alternate Reality, East Indian, Arranged Marriage

My Review:

Twists and turns and adventure cover the pages of this last novel. Of the three Royals of Dharia books in this trilogy, First Daughter is the most exciting and filled with the most action! The book was very fast paced.

Aniri grew and changed so much in the course of these three books, coming into her own as a soon-to-be queen of her own kingdom. Each of the sisters of Dharia; Seledri, Nahali, and Aniri grew into their own by the end of this trilogy. I loved how their bond of sisterhood was the strongest in the end and seeing their love for each other as they fought for each other and their kingdoms was wonderful to behold. I loved how different each of the sisters were in their personalities, their actions and their political predicaments.

A great ending to a fantastic, steampunkian and historically-angled trilogy!

This novel was published through Amazon Digital Services Inc. on 09/29/2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Website

Goodreads

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Book Review: Second Daughter (The Royals of Dharia, Book Two) by Susan Kaye Quinn

Second Daughter (The Royals of Dharia, Book Two) by Susan Kaye Quinn

A Fantasy Novel published through Amazon Digital Services Inc. (06/30/14)

Summary:

Does Samir have its own skyship? Aniri fears the worst but she has more pressing issues at the moment: her impending marriage. She questions her love for him. Was it only built on the adrenaline of adventure? She won’t have time to think about it because her sister, future Queen of Samir, is rumored to have been poisoned and Aniri is quick to rush to Seledri’s aid.

Keywords:

Fantasy, Airship, Mountains, Barbarians, War, Threats, Royalty, Duty, Romance, Duels, Intrigue, Secrets, Love, Alternate Reality, East Indian, Arranged Marriage

My Review:

The action in this book is tempered by the back and forth thoughts and feelings Aniri has for her marriage. If you have ever felt the butterflies and reservations of an engagement, you are sure to sympathize with Aniri. Or is she just being childish? It’s interesting to watch her try to push her personal troubles aside to help her sister, when those troubles follow her around everywhere she goes. She cannot escape her own fate, her own feelings, or the feelings of her soon-to-be-husband.

I really liked how the plot unfolded in Samir with Seledri’s husband, Aniri’s father, and the ever intrusive ex-courtesan. His re-introduction into this story made me roll my eyes, but he added so much more tension than Aniri could ever create just by herself.

This novel was published through Amazon Digital Services Inc. on June 30th, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: Third Daughter (The Royals of Dharia, Book One) by Susan Kaye Quinn

Third Daughter (The Royals of Dharia, Book One) by Susan Kaye Quinn

A Fantasy Novel published through Amazon Digital Services Inc. (12/31/13)

Summary:

In a kingdom where the first daughter will inherit and the second daughter is a just-in-case replacement, the third daughter has more freedom to choose her life’s course. For Aniri, she’s ready to step away from the kingdom and marry for love, but fate and duty will not leave her alone. The threat of war and politics makes every daughter count and Aniri must consider a marriage proposal and alliance with the barbarian prince of the north.

Keywords:

Fantasy, Airship, Mountains, Barbarians, War, Threats, Royalty, Duty, Romance, Duels, Intrigue, Secrets, Love, Alternate Reality, East Indian, Arranged Marriage

My Review:

This book was easy to read. It had an intriguing and fun plot and the characters were full of personality. The book had a lot of action and kept me hooked!

I liked how this book was diverse – it featured an alternate world that is fantastical, but also is similar to an exotic India. The characters were also based off of people from India.

I liked how the main character, Princess and Third Daughter Aniri, was both active and passive in her story. She was pushed along by her environment and the elements of the story’s plot, but she was active in how she dealt with her fate. She was given a choice to marry the barbarian prince or not, even though she felt that selfishly choosing to marry her own lover was never a choice for her. She actively sought out knowledge about the prince and the so-called flying war machine. She was her own person with her own thoughts. Though at times she displays extreme good luck and perseverance where most of us would falter and fail, she is a larger than life character in a larger than life story.

This novel was published through Amazon Digital Services Inc. on December 31st, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: Faery Swap by Susan Kaye Quinn

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Faery Swap by Susan Kaye Quinn

A Middle Grade Fantasy Novel published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (12/16/13)

Summary:

Finn is the protective older brother, but he can no longer protect his little sister when he’s tricked into the Otherworld by a faery Prince. Zaneyr doesn’t mind humans and performs the soulswap with Finn with little remorse because his plans are to save the human species. Zaneyr is in up to his elbows and the human world is much more complicated than he thought, but his father wants to merge the faery world with the human world and Zaneyr will stop at nothing to keep that from happening. Zaneyr is a warrior but with Finn consumed with getting his body back from the faery, things just got a bit more complicated.

Keywords:

Soul Swap, Exchange, Otherworld, Faery, Dimensional Energy, Warrior, Separation, Body, Self, Other Creatures, Power, Spell, Wand, Two Worlds, Tricked, Friendship, Loyalty, Brothers

My Review:

This book was fun to read, surprisingly fun to read as an adult since it’s marketed for a middle-grade crowd. It had more intent and attempted violence and evil than I would have thought for a typical middle-grade novel, more like a young adult novel actually.

The genre was also not quite a typical fairy fantasy because there were wizards and spells and wands. This book had everything! There were even creatures that were different. The fantasy world was separate from the human world and action took place in both. There was world building but it wasn’t off-putting because much of the action and the beginning of the novel took place in the close to reality human world.

There was only one true female but only because it’s about someone else, she isn’t a strong female type or a damsel in distress. Her character could almost also be another boy, she isn’t gender stereotyped into a female corner.

This book covered a lot in its longer than you would expect for a middle grade novel pages. There was a glimpse at friendship and family dynamics and loyalty as well as grief and emotional turmoil over loss and perceived loss of loved ones.

I liked Finn just as much as I liked Zaneyr and even though the faery boy was doing something seemingly wrong by soul swapping with Finn, I understood and was able to sympathize with his motives later on.

This novel was published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on December 16th, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: The Duality Bridge (Singularity #2) (Singularity Series) (Volume 2) by Susan Kaye Quinn

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The Duality Bridge (Singularity #2) (Singularity Series) (Volume 2) by Susan Kaye Quinn

A YA Science Fiction Novel published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (8/17/15)

Summary:

There is a duality inside you, and the merging of those two sides is your calling, Eli. (Kindle Locations 2802-2803).

“It means that you represent the possibility of more in a world very carefully balanced on the idea that more does not exist.” (Kindle Locations 3855-3856).
Elija Brighton now knows who he is and what his purpose was to be according to the faction of Ascenders who wanted to know whether they had souls, but what he doesn’t know is how he’s supposed to be the bridge or answer this question. He’s the face of the Human Resistance and the one concept that will create chaos among Ascenders if he really is the ‘prophet’ people think he could be. He is important. He must discover himself, what he can do and answer their questions and his own before he is captured or killed or worse.

Keywords:

Teenagers, Humans, Ascenders, Machines, Bots, Legacy, Technology, Science, Soul, Art, Dance, Painting, Meditation, Love, Friendship, Opportunity, Rebels, Fighting Back, Captured, Betrayal

My Review:

Marcus gets more in this book. Where we thought of him as singularly focused on his own purpose and incapable of being helpful, now we see him as furthering a different set of goals for the greater good of Ascenders, not just himself.

Eli has really developed into the persona, the Bridge, the unlikely and unprepared hero with the superpower that gives the book out of this world action and out of this world adventure and tension. Eli was a bumbling legacy human in book one that slowly came to terms with who he was and what he could do and in book two he embraces himself and furthers his abilities, realizing he serves a greater purpose than simply living his own life. He is still Eli, but he is also enlightened and wise.

Kamali also came into her own in this book. Before she seemed to be a reactive character, thrust into situations and not able to make her own decisions. Now she chooses to help. Now she chooses to be with Eli. Now she is part of his world and the world of the rebellion and the great question and answer that Eli embodies.

The only person I would have liked to see more of is Cyrus, he kind of drops off the radar in this book, gets left behind for most of the action and is not focused on by the narrator except for fleeting comic relief and to remind us that he still exists.

This novel was published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on August 17th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: The Legacy Human (Singularity #1) (Singularity Series) (Volume 1) by Susan Kaye Quinn

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The Legacy Human (Singularity #1) (Singularity Series) (Volume 1) by Susan Kaye Quinn

A YA Science Fiction Novel published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (2/19/15)

Summary:

“…the gift isn’t something separate from you. It’s your work that brings the gift into the world, not the other way around.” (p. 169).
Elija Brighton is a painter and a legacy human or a human descendant that was left behind when many Ascended to a higher and ‘better’ state of being. Legacies are given one chance in this future world to Ascend, by winning the ‘creative’ Olympics. Eli has a real chance to win because he is the best painter in the world –  when he’s in the fugue state that is. He doesn’t know how to control the fugue state or what makes it happen. Understanding and controlling the fugue state is the only thing standing in the way of him winning, or so he thinks.

Keywords:

Teenagers, Humans, Ascenders, Machines, Bots, Legacy, Technology, Science, Soul, Art, Dance, Painting, Meditation, Love, Friendship, Competition, Games, Chance, Opportunity, Rebels

My Review:

I love that this story discusses the soul in a science fiction (futuristic/technological) context and in a way that ties it directly into the importance of the plot. The concept of a soul is not made to feel overtly religious or overtly philosophical.

At times the plot did feel mildly contrived and the concept of Ascender versus Legacy was brought up again and again. Eli’s thoughts go again and again into the fact that Ascenders (especially his Ascender crush Lenora) don’t give Legacies the time of day unless it suits their purposes.

I liked how Quinn connected the fugue state to channeling Eli’s inner creativity and getting in touch with his inner self, his very soul.

As the book and the Olympic games went on, they reminded me more and more of the Hunger Games, just with less violence and more philosophical/moral questions involved around the end goal of Ascendance.

I loved Basha and wanted more of her in the book, she seemed like more of a dynamic character than Kamali, but I liked Kamali as well.

This novel was published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on February 19th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: Free Souls (Mindjack Saga Book 3) by Susan Kaye Quinn

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Free Souls (Mindjack Saga Book 3) by  Susan Kaye Quinn

A YA Science Fiction Novel published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (12/22/13)

Summary:

“Jackertown Code: no kill jacks, no stealing, no mental or physical assaults, no forced jackwork, no contracting to mindreaders, no unauthorized memory wipes, and no vigilante justice.” (Kindle Locations 7966-7970).

Kira didn’t want to be part of a clan or conspiracy. She just wanted to live her life, but mindjacker obsessed agent Kestrel and the human rights’ violations of the government have made that impossible. Kira also wants to keep her family safe and so joins the Jacker Freedom Alliance under the leadership of Julian, a powerful and different kind of mindjacker entirely. In Jackertown central they are gearing up for war, but when war comes to their door, will they be ready?

 

Keywords:

Abilities, Skill, Mindjacking, Future, Telepathy, Technology, School, Love, Friendship, Clan, Power, Special, Female Main Character, Mind Reader, Mind Control, Mind Powers, Paranormal Abilities, Hard Choices, Danger, Fighting

My Review:

There was more going on than anyone knew. Quinn closes all loose ties in this third and final book in the Minjack Saga Books. There were a few things I didn’t realize were going on that were explained in this book and everything was wrapped up nice and neat. The twist at the end creates the possibility of an entirely new trilogy based on this world.

It felt like Kira and her mindjacker rebels were always one step behind Kestral/the government and were never able to outsmart or outjack or out-action anyone. I would have liked to see them triumph in some way, instead of continually being on the defensive and being pushed back and back. Was there no way around the mind shields? I really wanted Kira and her super strong jacker buddies to figure this problem out, but they never had the time.

Overall I enjoyed the wrapup this final book presented and the concept and story in the series overall.

This novel was published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on December 22nd, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: Closed Hearts (Mindjack Saga Book 2) by Susan Kaye Quinn

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Closed Hearts (Mindjack Saga Book 2) by  Susan Kaye Quinn

A YA Science Fiction Novel published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (12/20/13)

Summary:

“Different isn’t a crime, you know.” (Kindle Locations 7202-7203).

After announcing herself and many others as mindjackers, Kira is hidden to the world no longer. Some of those that can only mind read are wary, scared, and prejudiced against the mindjackers. Some powerful politicians are attempting to take away the mindjackers’ rights as citizens, to lock them up and keep the general populace safe. Kira can’t live in hiding forever, either she will have to help the mindjackers in their political crusade for rights or in their physical war for freedom unless she’s discovered by the government first and they have more than just imprisonment in mind for mindjackers.

 

Keywords:

Abilities, Skill, Mindjacking, Future, Telepathy, Technology, School, Love, Friendship, Clan, Power, Special, Female Main Character, Mind Reader, Mind Control, Mind Powers, Paranormal Abilities, Hard Choices, Danger, Fighting

My Review:

As with most trilogies, I liked the first book (Open Minds) better, but Closed Hearts stuck with Kira and the story of jackers versus regular mind readers – with the government interfering in the middle. I like Kira’s story and wanted to watch her grow in her abilities and within her changing world. I wish more had happened with the love story in this second book. I also thought Kira was not as good a role model, leader and protagonist in this book. She became wishy-washy and an emotional mess. What I love about dystopian kick-butt female characters is their ability to rise above the world-in-the-toilet messe and be someone you root for that is amazing. Kira was less amazing in this book as she worked through consequences of her actions in book one and dealing with a world that thinks she and her fellow jackers are to be feared.

This second book also contained Julian, the leader of the rebels and I liked seeing different types of jackers. Kira is certainly not alone in her exceptional abilities. We also get to know more about Kira’s dad and his background working as a jacker.

The story of the mindjackers was still continued and it’s always exciting to watch the good guys versus the bad guys and to wonder how good the good guys really are…

This novel was published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on December 20th, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.00

Links for more information:

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: Open Minds (Mindjack Saga Book 1) by Susan Kaye Quinn

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Open Minds (Mindjack Saga Book 1) by  Susan Kaye Quinn

A YA Science Fiction Novel published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (12/20/13)

Summary:

“What good were crazy mind powers when they forced me to control or lie to the people I loved?”(Page 80).

“People like us don’t follow the rules, Kira,” he said. “People like us make them up.” (Pages 117-118).

In a world where everyone can read thoughts, at least after they’ve been through the change, which coincides with puberty, there are still those that are different and who don’t conform. Kira, is one of those. She is sixteen and can’t read thoughts at all. Nobody trusts a Zero. The only type of person people would trust less is a mind controller, aka mindjacker. When Kira finds out that instead of having no ability to mind read, she has a different special ability, her life will change forever. She isn’t the only one out there who isn’t a zero and isn’t a mind reader. The first person like her that she meets will steer her into a hidden world that is not a great influence and gives regular people good reasons to fear and hate them. What can Kira do now that she knows she’s different? But if nobody else knows that she’s a mindjacker, can she still live a normal life?

Keywords:

Abilities, Skill, Mindjacking, Future, Telepathy, Technology, School, Love, Friendship, Clan, Power, Special, Female Main Character, Mind Reader, Mind Control, Mind Powers, Paranormal Abilities, Hard Choices, Danger, Fighting

My Review:

Susan Kay Quinn’s futuristic societies are entirely fascinating and the Mindjack Saga Books are no exception. Reading thoughts is not a new idea but Quinn’s spin is interesting.

Though Quinn uses the stereotypical trope of the ‘different’ protagonist who can’t ‘do’ what others can do and then magically has the greatest ability of them all, Kira is not the most powerful. There are others like her, but in the beginning, she thinks she is alone in her powers. In a world where everyone is special, Kira doesn’t fit in and this is where most of the interesting story comes along. How different can you be before you are persecuted?

Throughout this book I wanted more from Raf and I wanted more from the love triangle that wasn’t much of a love triangle. The romance took a bit of a backseat to the action that overtook everything towards the middle of the book.

This novel was published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on December 20th, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Website

Goodreads