So here I am not reviewing a whole series, but rather the first and maybe second books of some book series’ that I have in my “It was nice to read but I don’t need to keep it or reread it again” category. Now, deciding not to keep something or not to read it again does not equal “No, you shouldn’t read it.” Some of the books I will mention here are for directed audiences. In fact, all of the books for “Honorable Mentions (Part 1)” are children’s or young adult, and all are paranormal or dystopian on some level or other.
- Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean (Book 1)by Justin Somper
On a side note, this is the original cover of the first novel which is no longer published. Now the publisher has different, less appealing art on the books. Because of this, these first edition versions with unique art are valuable and have better resale value than most used books do.
Genre: Children’s Fantasy/Fiction
I only read book one, Demons of the Ocean, even though I had the other two books. This is a great adventure novel for simple reading, ages 11-16. The writing is simple and the text is large, making it a fast read. This book features twins Connor and Grace Tempest, whose father dies, and instead of going to an orphanage, they find refuge in taking their father’s boat out to sea and making a new life. When a storm hits, the twins are separated. Connor ends up on a regular pirate ship, while Grace finds herself among the fabled Vampirates.
Connor and Grace seek to find each other once more. That is the basis of the story. It is very simply written with very little development of the novel, BUT this novel has great set-up for the future books in the series. I liked how this book was self-sustained, and I wanted to read the next ones, but I could be content with just reading the first one, answering the questions it leaves on my own interpretation. If you are a boy or girl or know a boy or girl with my previously mentioned age range of 11-16, this is a great book. If you are over 18, I would say pass on this one because it is just too delved into the world of children’s books.
2. The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle (Books 1 and 2) by L. J. Smith
These are likewise older artwork editions of these books and hard to find now.
Genre: Yong Adult Paranormal Romance
For the record, I have not seen the TV show. I remember trying to watch it when it first came out and I couldn’t even make it through the first episode. Now that it’s about five years later and I have read some of the books, I will give the show a second chance.
This series features Elena and her superior status as a popular high school beauty. When Stefan moves to town, Elena seeks him out for her newest boyfriend, only to find that she wants more from this relationship than any she has ever had. What she later finds out is that Stefan is a vampire and his brother, Damien, wants to ruin his life. Their lives were already ruined when they were turned by the same vampire girl, claiming to love them both. When she realized these men couldn’t share her, she met the sun. Elena apparently highly resembles this past lover.
This series has a lot of interesting mythical elements to it that take it into the world of paranormal, but it is written in a way that makes it feel so real. This was worth the read and is recommended for the teens who like the usual paranormal vampire romance that has become the normal cliché. This is otherwise a no, don’t read it.
3. Deadly Little Secret (Touch Book 1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Romance
This first book in the series begins with Camelia who is saved by a mysterious stranger when she is about to be hit by a car. It turns out this stranger ends up living in her town and going to her school. Everyone thinks Ben is responsible for the death of his ex-girlfriend, making him unapproachable by the general populace. Camelia makes it her goal to reach out to him and learn his story. Ben is a distant person and keeps pushing her away, telling her she is in constant danger. How does Ben know this? Eventually, for her safety, he tells his secret: he is an empath. Ben can see images and feel things through touch, whether he is touching an object or a person.
YES you should read this book. It doesn’t matter what age or gender you are, the mystery of Camelia’s danger and Ben’s secret keep you itching for more. This is a page-turner that I finished in one day.
4. Evernight and Stargazer (Books 1 and 2) by Claudia Gray
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Bianca doesn’t seem to fit in at Evernight Academy, but that’s because she hasn’t come into her full vampire powers. Yet. Lucas doesn’t seem to fit in either, but that is because he is actually a member of the Black Cross vampire hunters. In Stargazer, Bianca and Lucas do everything they can to see each other while keeping their secrets from everyone around them. Let’s not forget the wraith problem occurring at Evernight Academy!
This book is fairly well written, a classic Romeo and Juliet story for anyone who is, once again, interested in that classic vampire romance. Otherwise, this book can be skipped. If you want good vampire and slayer action on a teenage level, check out The Chronicles of Vladimir Todd. Now that was a wonderful series for teens (and not a romance)!
Also, if you like her writing style, Claudia Gray has also written (and is working one) some of the young adult Star Wars books such as Bloodline: New Republic and Journey to Star Wars: The For Awakens Lost Stars.
5. Skinned (Books 1 and 2) by Robin Wasserman
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
This trilogy is VERY interesting. I am currently reading the third book, Wired, taking my time after I slammed through the first two. This series features Lia Kahn, a girl who died, but her brain was sliced open, copied, and downloaded into an artificial body. This is a controversial issue throughout the series in which Faithers believe that an artificial body goes against God. War between mechs and Faithers.
This is a story of constantly questioning her own identity: is she really Lia or just a copy? She has all of Lia’s memories, but does that make her the same Lia on the inside? Should mechs and orgs (real people, not machines, organics) be able to coincide and be friends like everything was normal. When Lia’s friend Auden tries to save her from drowning, forgetting she doesn’t need to breathe, he nearly dies in the process, becoming the new leader of those who are against “skinners” or mechs.
And there’s Jude: the mech who finds that “skinners” are the new race, the higher level of being and living. He doesn’t seem to care about “org” lives at all, no morality left.
I highly recommend this series, for anyone. The controversial issue is great for readers who love conflict. This is a very interesting series and keeps me reading to see how the world will come to peace, if it ever will. In a world already destroyed by nuclear war, how do people survive when technology revolves their entire existence?
I hope you enjoyed my short, to-the-point, quick reviews. These are honorable mentions because I did find some interest in reading them. They all had some sort of good hook within the first page or chapter, and that is how I choose my books. Look out for Honorable Mentions Part 2, where major novels like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Fifty Shades of Gray will be mentioned.