So… Don’t tell anyone but I’m so stealing a feature idea from Lisa over at Baffled Books. Now as you guys know, I’m WAY behind on like everything. Seriously, I’m behind on my entire life: room hasn’t been cleaned in forever, laundry never got folded, reading four books all at once with a fifth about to be added, tons of notes to write, and the list goes on and on. Trust me on that. So, in order to get somewhere, I’ve started Double Whammy Reviews.
Double Whammy Reviews is a feature where I review two books in one post. These reviews are shorter than my usual posts and I do not include the Goodreads descriptions. You can click the names of the books or click the book cover image and be taken to the Goodreads page. This way, I can do my reviews so I don’t feel like the worst person ever. Anyway, today’s Double Whammy books are Tankborn by Karen Sandler and Slayers by C. J. Hill.
Dragons. Bad guys. Teens with special abilities. A very real threat to life as we know it. What do you get when you put all these elements together? Slayers! To be completely honest, I started reading Slayers with some very nicely formed expectations only to have them shattered after a few chapters. Did that stop me from enjoying it? Not in the slightest.
Now Slayers was a different kind of read in that I’d probably recommend it for readers who are on the younger side of YA for a few reasons. Firstly, the characters weren’t as developed as I would have liked. To me, many of them were a little flat as though they were just there as fillers, to create conflict, and to be used as comparisons. Then there were a select few who were more fleshed out and more realistic. They were the main focus of the story and I got the impression that the other characters were less developed so as to not detract everyone’s attention from the stars. Secondly, the entire novel took on an air of being a little hard to believe. Many aspects were well done but when it came to action scenes where the teens were using their abilities, I found it very hard to picture realistically.
Other than those few points, I thought the story was well done. It was written in the third person POV, in the past tense and the author was able to maintain an easy flow. Though the majority of the story was told from the viewpoint of Tori, I feel like we also got a good idea of what was happening inside some of the other characters’ heads. All-in-all, an enjoyable read with a beautiful cover. Completely deserving of a 3 out of 5 star rating.
Tankborn by Karen Sandler. Wow, oh wow, where do I begin? Firstly, this was a brilliant storyline. I loved the idea that the author was taking familiar moral issues and putting a slight spin on them. She dealt with inequality in society by inserting a caste-like system based on appearances (mostly), the enslavement of a people who accepted because their spiritual beliefs enforced it, and the ill effects of corruption. All of this was given a sci-fi bend as we followed Kayla in her journey as GEN, a genetically engineered non-human, as she entered her prescribed service and helped to uncover a sinister plot that would challenge everything she had ever believed in.
Written in the third person POV, the author takes us on Kayla’s journey. The book is written in such a way that I felt like Kayla was speaking to me directly, I really could feel her unique personality coming through the words. I also loved the attraction between Kayla and Devak, I loved the fact that it was taboo and that they both knew it and fought against it to some extent but could not win. I also loved and still hated the fact that Kayla did not find the perfect happy ending that comes in so many stories.
While I’m not saying this story was perfect, I am saying that it was beautifully written, very unique, and handled some difficult topics in a graceful way. I really felt like it spoke to me. To me, this book represents something extremely different in YA, something that I feel we should welcome with open arms. I think it totally deserves 4 out of 5 stars.
And there you have it! I finished not one, but two reviews! Go me! Have you guys read either or these books? What do you think about them? Agree or disagree?
K, the Popinjay.