“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by the fantastic people over at Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that we are excited about.
For this week my pre-publication selection that I can’t wait for is:
The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
Set For Release On: February 10th, 2015
Summary From Goodreads:
The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.
In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains.
But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.
I absolutely loved the Article 5 trilogy by Kristen Simmons, and this sounds like it could be just as good, and possible even a bit more powerful. There are so many ways that Simmons could address the issues for women here that it makes me all the more excited to see what direction she will go. Will they be strong and resilient, will they fight with brawn or brains (or both?), and what will the journey for Aya be like?
Also of note is that she got a pretty amazing cover for The Glass Arrow, so congrats on that! I’m sure this book has made the rounds of Waiting on Wednesday already, as I’m usually late to the party on this, but I can’t help but want to share another Kristen Simmons series in the works!
Had you heard of this one before, and if you hadn’t does the summary intrigue you? What book are you “Waiting On”? Let me know in the comments and/or leave a link to your own WoW post! Thanks for checking out my Waiting On Wednesday! ^.^
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I really enjoyed Three, in my belief the best in the trilogy, and one of the better series finishes that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. A big thank you to Book Nerd Tours, Kristen Simmons, and Tor Teen for giving me an ARC to enjoy, and for letting me be a part of this fabulous blog tour! My stop on the tour is a review and spotlight of the book, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post for your chance to win all sorts of wonderful prizes! ^.^
Kristen Simmons’ fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series continues in Three.
Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. After weeks spent in hiding as two of the Bureau of Reformation’s most wanted criminals, they have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a safe and quiet existence.
And all that’s left is smoking ruins.
Devastated by the demolition of their last hope, Ember and Chase follow the only thing left to them—tracks leading away from the wreckage. The only sign that there may have been survivors.
With their high profile, they know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They take shelter in the wilderness and amidst the ruins of abandoned cities as they follow the tracks down the coast, eventually finding refugees from the destroyed safe house. Among them is someone from Chase’s past—someone he never thought he’d see again.
Banding together, they search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about…a settlement that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a tiny ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run.
Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance at telling the world her story.
At fighting back.
Kristen Simmons has a master’s degree in social work and is an advocate for mental health. She loves Jazzercise, her husband, and her precious greyhound, Rudy. Also chocolate. She currently lives in Tampa, Florida.
As I said when I started this post, Three is one of the best endings to a series that I have ever come across. The action is unceasing, the brief moments of rest for the characters are a chance for you to catch your breath before they dive back into the fray, and the hope of a better tomorrow keeps the reader going on just as much as those within the story.
In Three we see the main character, Ember, really grow up. In the previous two books, while she did some impressive things and started to prove her worth, she was somewhat of a tagalong, following Chase nearly blindly. Here, however, Ember starts to take control, coming up with a way to spread a message to those who might join the resistance with a little prodding. She constantly fights for what she believes is right, but without sounding high and mighty or appearing arrogant. I was so impressed with the growth that she showcased in Three, turning her from a good MC, to a fabulous one, a role model.
Then there is the romance. Ember and Chase have had great chemistry throughout the series, but in Three it is taken to a different level. It’s more passionate, more intense, deeper and tender, but also fierce. Their relationship solidified for me, it felt like not only could it last, but that there was no way it wouldn’t. Normally I’m not that into relationships taking up such a large portion of a book, particularly in dystopian, but with this series, and Three in particular, it felt natural and right. I can’t imagine the series, or this book without that bond.
Romance isn’t the only type of relationship that is strengthened in Three. Familial bonds, of blood and from a closeness and sense of trust, are represented. Friendships are made, some grow, and others wither, but for the most part the group really starts to rely on each other. They don’t just need each other to watch their backs or for protection, it is a matter of emotional support and strength, and Simmons has a way of making those ties seem natural and powerful.
This review, in case you haven’t noticed, is very character based, and that’s intentional. The characters and their relationships are what makes this book for me. Sure, I really enjoyed the action and the plot was very well done, with a whirlwind ending that left me speechless. However, as incredible as the world, the story, and the action were, it was the focus on those people that I grew to really care about that sold Three, and the series, for me.
As much as I love series, and the characters within them, I don’t tend to miss those people, or actively think about how I’ll never get to join them again for another adventure. Ember, Chase, and the rest of this cast is an exception. I already wish there was a book four, a companion novel, a novella of sorts, anything to stay connected with them, the feeling of loss is already here, and I know I’ll be re-reading this series for years to come. So thank you Kristen Simmons for writing these amazing books, thank you to Tor Teen for publishing them and sharing with us these wondrous creations, and thanks as always for anyone reading this.
Enter the giveaway by clicking the link to the rafflecopter below!
Summary From Goodreads:
The second installment in Kristen Simmons’s fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series.
After faking their deaths to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed.
Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion….
Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself.
Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways.
With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back?
It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews on Mini Review Monday! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!
Breaking Point is a whirlwind of action. The book takes hold of you, thrusts you into the lives of Ember and Chase as they try to stay alive and find some source of hope, and refuses to let you go until you are just as much of an emotional wreck as the characters within.
Despite the supposed decision Ember must make that the summary for the book implies, it seems like she ended up doing a bit of both. At times her and Chase, as well as a few others (which changed throughout the book, though there was a core for a lot of it), were giving it everything they had to fight against their oppressors, but quickly resorting to hiding at others for fear of getting caught. With how fast the pace is in Breaking Point the true feelings of the characters gets a bit muddled, seemingly changing just as fast as their environment, and while it didn’t ruin the story it did make the book a bit disjointed at times.
Simmons does a lot of things well in the sequel to Article 5. She made me really feel the heartbreak and sense of loss and hopelessness that Ember and her friends often had. The relationship between Ember and Chase also was very well done, having rough patches and miscommunication just like real couples do, and never feeling forced or too perfect. Finally, no matter how many different areas the group was moving around in I could always get a clear idea of what they looked like, her descriptions were excellent and detailed, the imagery vivid and quite powerful.
Overall I felt that Breaking Point was an improvement over its predecessor. Ember is still a tad clingy when it comes to Chase, but she is starting to carve out her own identity, moving out of the “overly attached girlfriend” territory. The book was a bit jumpy at times, and I felt that a couple of scenes might have been rushed just a little, but for the most part the breakneck pace worked to the story’s advantage. Breaking Point will bring out the feels in bunches and it refuses to sugar coat any of them, which I loved. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^