Split Second (Pivot Point, #2)

Split Second (Pivot Point, #2)Split Second by Kasie West
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Author: Kasie West
Genre: Paranormal YA
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year of Publication: 2014

Main Character: Addie (3.5/5)—Addie was a bit weaker of a character this time around, but overall still relatable. Laila (3/5)—With some added depth from getting her POV, she gains some credibility.
Secondary Characters: There were a few new faces this time around. None of them were exceptional, but they served their purposes in the book well.
Pacing: The pacing was average, but not quite as fast as Pivot Point.
Accuracy of Publisher’s Synopsis: Pretty accurate
Resolution: This book ended how it should have, but I do wish there had been more closure than was given.

The Good: This book is more or less a chance for Addie to relive the Search she experienced in the Norm world and forget the life she actually lived in the Compound. Probably the biggest shock is reading the truth about the Compound and the lengths they will go to to protect their secret. West also reveals a few small secrets from both of Addie’s parents that clarify the reasons for their divorce a bit better. Plus, Laila finally proves herself a worthy friend, even though it takes a while. She even comes out at the end with a decent boyfriend. Heck, even with Duke’s moral shortcomings, he does eventually do the right thing, which was satisfying to see.

The Not So Good: The end of Pivot Point made me so excited for Addie to establish her life in the Norm world for real. Unfortunately, it just couldn’t compare to the first time she was there. Her feelings about some of the characters were different than before, which made me scratch my head. Meeting someone in a different way doesn’t change who they are and how apt you are to like them. And yet…this version of Trevor was so suspicious that he was nearly impossible to like at first. He seemed like he wanted to capture Addie and sell her to the government for experiments. It took a while for me to trust him enough to enjoy their relationship again. Another annoyance was that we see both Bobby and Duke again. Duke just refuses to go away and causes problems for everyone. I also wasn’t crazy about Laila’s perspective. She’s a bit too shallow and immature for me to relate to, but I at least got to understand her motives and her flippant personality better. Although this book was satisfying enough overall, it didn’t live up to its predecessor.

Overall Impression: The two prevailing goals of this sequel are to expose the stalkerish tendencies of the Compound and to give Addie her second chance with Trevor. And it accomplishes both of those goals, but with a little less oomph than Pivot Point.

Would I recommend it? I would recommend this book, especially to fans of Pivot Point. If anyone were to read this as a standalone, they’d be confused.

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Witch’s Pyre (Worldwalker #3)

Witch's Pyre (Worldwalker, #3)Witch’s Pyre by Josephine Angelini
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Author: Josephine Angelini
Genre: YA
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Year of Publication: 2016

Overall Series Rating: 3/5 The first book was the best, and I kept reading hoping the series would turn out as well as the first book. I’m sorry to say my hopes were too high.
Main Character: Lily—I started liking her again in this book. If I could change one thing about her, though, I would have her think things through a little more thoroughly.
Secondary Characters: Toshi was the only secondary character I truly liked in this book, and that includes the characters from the previous two books.
Pacing: This one was kind of slow. The plot and the idea were actually perfect, but I feel like it could have been developed better. A good portion of the book could have been condensed without losing anything vital.
Accuracy of Publisher’s Synopsis: The inside cover gives such a vague idea of what the book is actually about. The part about Lillian’s way being the only way is not true at all.
Resolution: The buildup to the battle was huge, but when the main action finally came, it was disjointed and vague. I needed a little more to the end of the book than just Lily walking into Bower City. For instance, which world did Samantha and Juliet end up staying in? What happened to everyone in Bower City, especially Toshi’s family? Did the tunnel people and the Outlanders stay in the west? And where did the Hive go? I could have used another chapter to wrap all that up.

The Good: We actually got to the battle I’ve been waiting for! Finally, the mystery of the Woven was solved and Lily risked losing her entire coven and the war against Grace to do things the right way, distinguishing herself from Lillian. I appreciated that it was not an easy road, even though some of the problems faced were a little petty and could have been avoided. Rowan and Lily made up, albeit in the last chapter with very little exchange between them, but they did it. It only happened after Tristan shared a memory from Lily’s Tristan about what really happened when they rescued Lily from the Outlanders. And at long last, Rowan and Lillian were face to face! They finally got to discuss Rowan’s father and her reasoning for hanging him. However, I didn’t get the reaction from Rowan I was hoping for. I mean…I technically got everything I wanted, but it still somehow felt like a letdown, which I don’t understand.

The Bad: All of the inconsistencies that were just annoying in the first book were magnified in this book. It was exhausting to keep up with all of the new rules that Angelini seemed to devise on the fly. *Spoiler Alert* When was it ever stated that when a witch dies, she explodes and all of her claimed die with her? I feel like that was something that could have been explained more than a paragraph before Lillian went up in a giant fireball. * End Spoiler Alert* I think my phobia of bees really did me a disservice in reading this last book. Just reading about the Hive attaching themselves to people constantly was enough to make my skin crawl. Also, I got annoyed with Lily’s claimed being so up in arms about being possessed. It wasn’t like Lily did it maliciously; she was trying to save their lives. But even until the end, I found my interest wavering. I actually set the book down with fifteen pages to go and didn’t pick it up again until the next night.

Overall Impression: I just can’t say that this book was as good as the first one, although it was a little more interesting than the second. It was disorganized to a distracting level and less pleasurable to read. In essence, everything ended as it should have, but the execution of every plot point was lacking excitement and frankly, befuddling.

Would I recommend this series? I wouldn’t tell anyone not to read it…but I wouldn’t tell anyone to run out and buy all the books.

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Firewalker (Worldwalker #2)

Firewalker (Worldwalker, #2)Firewalker by Josephine Angelini
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Author:Josephine Angelini
Publisher:Feiwel & Friends
Year of Publication:2015

Main Character: Lily. I liked her less in this book, but she wasn’t completely unlikable.
Secondary Characters: The secondary characters in this were not as well developed. I get that Angelini had a different agenda with this book. Her focus was on everyone understanding Lillian and…Carrick. Why do I need to understand a psychotic torture-loving creep?
Pacing: Slower than average. The first portion of the book was unnecessarily boring. They spent so much time hemming and hawing over details that end up not mattering because everyone just runs back to magical atomic bomb land again!
Accuracy of Publisher’s Synopsis: The synopsis makes it seem like Rowan and Lily spend a long, happy time in Lily’s universe. In reality, it’s probably only a third of the book, which is a lot more about Lily claiming a handful of people, since apparently magic works in Lily’s world. Strange that nobody there uses it besides her….
Resolution: Aside from a character death I didn’t see the purpose of, I am intrigued by the way Angelini left off. It kind of seems impossible, and that’s what makes it so interesting.

The Good: There wasn’t anything particularly good about this book, but it wasn’t all bad either. I liked that Rowan got to live in Lily’s world for a little to learn more about her and that everyone established that Samantha’s issue was not simply mental illness. More than anything, Lily’s insistence upon studying the Woven piqued my curiosity. I feel like there’s something that ties the Woven to the witches who created them, but we’ll see. I think they’re more like tortured souls than pure monsters. I know we’ll solve that puzzle in the next book, so I’m excited. I also kind of liked how Lily ruined Alaric’s plans to radiate the whole East Coast. Shouldn’t the “scientists” understand that it’s not a contained weapon and you can’t punish only the cities without wiping out the nearby Outlanders?

The Bad: This was more of a “sophomore slump.” The way that everything around Lily falls apart and she makes choices out of desperation that she should have taken more time to consider brought back my nightmares about New Moon. Not only does Lily spend a little too much time with Lillian in her head, but she keeps it a secret. However, it isn’t only the knowledge she gains from delving into Lillian’s memories that strains her relationships with literally everyone. Lily’s problem arises as a product of her terror at understanding Lillian’s actions. That’s completely understandable; it would freak me out to get in the head of a monster and actually agree with their motives. But the girl needs to learn how to be a little more diplomatic. You can’t attack people you need or people who can hurt you and then expect it to go well. Of course it’s only after they are about to face life and death that Lily starts to realize that she is really not like Lillian because her choices are completely different. Other than that, I feel like this book had a lot of filler. Lily spent the first like hundred pages of the book helplessly nursing her burns while Rowan did everything for her entire family.

Overall Impression: This one can’t hold a candle to the magic of the first book, but the ending was just enough to make me commit to reading the third one. I stuck it out despite my misgivings and I feel like Angelini owes everyone a happy ending to this series after the torture I lived through Lily.

Would I recommend it? That entirely depends on how the third book goes. After this one, I’m skeptical, but the setup for the next book restored some of my faith.

What I need to see from the final book:

1. Lily needs to chill out and realize that she has no reason to feel guilty about Rowan’s father and just show him Lillian’s memory of the barn already. I’m hoping Rowan can live up to the man he was in the first book.
2. Lillian has got to die already. Lily is so preoccupied with not being Lillian that she can never become her own person if Lillian is still influencing her.
3. Everybody just pick a world and stay there.
4. I hope Alaric gets what’s coming to him. He pretends to be the good guy when really he’s just going to kill everyone.
5. Peace with the Woven. For all her talk about figuring them out, I really hope Lily follows through.

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