Category Archives: Katherine Tegen Books

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: May 1, 2012
Source: Purchased
Series: Divergent #2

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I don’t even know where to begin with this review. I loved Insurgent, just because it’s the sequel to Divergent, but I honestly don’t love it as much as I loved Divergent. But even as I’m writing this review just after having finished the book, I don’t feel like I’ve finished. I’ll explain that in a little bit.

I think the reason behind why I didn’t like Insurgent quite as much as Divergent is because of Tris and Four. Which is funny since they’re the main reason I loved Divergent. But there’s some trouble in paradise, which when you think about Tris and her personality, is not completely unexpected. Even so, I was not happy with those particular troubles. Other characters stepped up, even one that was completely unexpected. Others betray those they love.

There’s just as much action as ever though in this sequel, and lots happening. It’s a big book, and for the most part the pacing is good. Every once in a while though I’d hit a spot where it just felt like it slowed temporarily, but soon enough picked up again. And the reason why I feel like I haven’t finished is because of the way it ends. Pretty much right in the middle of something, just like the first book. I didn’t really feel like questions from the first book were answered completely. Just reiterated so that we wouldn’t forget. I’m hoping they’re delivered in the final installment.

Insurgent is definitely still an awesome read, and I seriously cannot wait for the third book. I want more Four and Tris! If you loved Divergent you have to read this book. If you love dystopian books in general, this is a series that you absolutely should not miss!

Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: January 31, 2012
Source: Publisher via NetGalley/Won
Series: Newsoul #1
Purchase: Book Depository

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

I absolutely adored this book. I wanted to tear through it to know what happens, and to take my time and savor it. This is YA fantasy at its best. Incarnate is set it in Heart, and the people of Heart have mostly modern technology, but are surrounded on the outside by fantastical creatures like dragons and sylph, among others. A seamless blend between the real world and a fantasy world, Jodi Meadows is great at worldbuilding.
Great questions are also introduced in this book. Where did Ana come from, will there be more like her? Even though we know about evolution and/or creation, depending on your viewpoint, there’s still that eternal question of how and why. Ana’s quest to find out who she is and why she is there is one we’re all on at some point in our lives. I’ve never read a book quite like this, and I love that reincarnation is featured. Ana’s quest of course takes her to Heart, and she meets Sam on the way. And while she does eventually find the information she seeks in a twist near the end, the book mainly focuses on the romance between Ana and Sam.
And boy let me tell you, that was my favorite part about the book. Ana and Sam have made my nonexistent list that I need to write down of YA couples I absolutely love! It’s not insta-love, but it is insta-attraction that leads to love throughout the book through small touches and looks, and eventually at a masquerade ball it finally becomes evident that despite what everyone else might think, they want to be together.
I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed and came out of nowhere. Some questions are answered, but a few new ones pop up as well, which is to be expected with a series. I seriously cannot wait until I can devour the next book though. This is a definite must read for any YA fantasy fan!

Review: Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: November 1, 2011
Source: Publisher for honest review
Published format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Purchase: Book Depository

Summary from Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night’s experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?

Patrick Carman’s Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and— ultimately—immortality.

I’m going to be honest right off the bat and say this book didn’t scare me. I was kind of hoping it would, but it definitely did not. It was a little creepy, but they’re not the same. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t love Dark Eden. It is a bit thought provoking though, when you begin to think about fears, and what you’re truly afraid of. For me, my fear is death, and I don’t know how I could possibly overcome it. It would be nice if there was a cure for phobias.
The MC is Will Besting. I have to say I don’t often read books from the point of view of a male character, mostly because not as many are written as with female MCs. Another reason though is just because I can never really relate to a male character so I don’t get as involved with them as I would otherwise. It was interesting to discover what happens to the other characters through Will, and get his thoughts about what was happening. I didn’t feel like they were all fleshed out well enough though. We only barely scratched the surface of most of these characters, and it felt like they were just props to push the story forward.
The story itself, near the end, was a little confusing for me. What is revealed about Rainsford left me with more questions than Dark Eden answered. Why is the number 7 so important? Why does the process work the way it does, and how did Rainsford discover that process? I have to admit that I’m definitely left curious enough to read the second book coming out next year, Eve of Destruction.

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Source: Bought
Format: Hardcover, 487 pages
Challenge: Debut Author
Purchase: Amazon – Book DepositoryB&N

Summary from GoodReads:
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

My thoughts on Divergent

AMAZING. SPECTACULAR. STUPENDOUS. I seriously cannot gush enough about this book. There was so much hype about this book that you almost expect it to fall short of your expectations despite all the awesome hype. BUT IT DOESN’T! It vastly exceeded any expectations I had. It sits right up there in awesomeness with The Hunger Games.

The first novel in this new trilogy seems pretty much devoted to setting everything up, and while sometimes that doesn’t work, obviously it did this time, at least for me. The pacing was excellent. It allowed these characters to develop, and gave us time to see who they really are and what their hidden agendas were. Twists and turns arrived perfectly and kept me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t know what I was going to be hit with next.

Tris herself had awesome development. She went from Abnegation (selfless) to Dauntless (fearless) with very little trouble. In fact, it was much easier for her than any other transfer from another faction. And believe me, you find out why that might be so. Then there is Four. You never know what he is thinking because he has the tightest leash you will ever see on his emotions. It’s amazing. But watching the romance between them develop was so much fun. Not too much, but not too little. It felt just right. There were possible hints at a love triangle, but I’m so glad that doesn’t pan out. It would’ve just brought down the awesomeness.

And then it all comes to a head at the action-packed end. The end was actually a little hard to read, there’s just so much going on, and bam. Things happen. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel. It will be on pre-order as soon as that is available. I definitely recommend this for anyone who loved The Hunger Games, or dystopia in general. If you have not read it yet, go get it ASAP!

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 15, 2011
Source: Bought
Rating: 5/5 stars (Awesome – Must buy!)
Cover: Love the cover, very fitting!
Purchase: Amazon or Book Depository

Summary from Good Reads:
When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers – monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell – she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie’s powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her – an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie’s soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian’s most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives – including truths that may be too frightening to remember.

My thoughts on Angelfire:
The first thing that popped into my head after finishing this book was WOW. While the first chapter or two started off slow for me (but then it usually works that way when I’m reading), it quickly heated up and became a book I could not put down. I was reading every spare moment I had.

I loved Ellie, especially more so after she began to accept who she was and what she could do. And that twist at the end, about who she really is, awesome. Cannot wait to see that explored more in the sequel. And everytime she asked Will questions that he wouldn’t answer, I was just as frustrated as she is! Will’s answer everytime: You know this already. You will remember, it’ll all come back.” I kept thinking, yes she might know even if she doesn’t remember, but we don’t! I hope we also learn more about Will than what we did in the next book. I loved all the flashbacks, getting hints about their past. I really liked Kate. She had a presence all her own without stealing the spotlight from the main characters.

The reapers were interesting to learn about, especially the vir. Knowing about them has made me question about a certain character, and whether or not he is who he’s supposed to be, or whether he was replaced. And I’m intrigued by Cadan. He seems to be on Bastian’s side, and yet has never once acted as though he wanted to harm Ellie. It’ll be interesting to learn more about him.

I would definitely recommend this for those who are following the angel trend in YA books right now. An explosive entry into this trend that makes your mouth water for the sequel!