Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn: A Steampunk Faerie Tale

Author: Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Day Al-Mohamed
Publisher: Palomino Press
Star Rating: 3.75/5
Date Read: May 19th to 22nd, 2014
Review:
Thank you to the authors for providing me with a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.

Let the record show – I read an e-book! I know, it is sacrilege. I read it on my tablet, which was a bit awkward, and I will be honest, this did impact on my reading experience. But sometimes there are some opportunities that we don’t want to miss out on. This was one of those.

Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn is based on the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves from the Thousand and One Arabian Nights – with a twist. Among the magic of Arabia and its djinn and other beings, the tale has been reimagined to include a steampunk element. This was new for me as I had only read one other steampunk book and didn’t like it, however I am willing to admit this may have been the book as opposed to the genre. So I resolved to read this book while ignoring my previous misgivings.

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Reboot

Author: Amy Tintera
Series: Reboot, Book 1
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Star Rating: 3.75/5
Date Read: September 28th to 30th, 2013
Read Count: 1
Review:
I received Reboot in a book pack from Allen & Unwin. I’m not sure this is something I would have normally picked up if it wasn’t given to me. So I opened it with not very high expectations. And maybe it’s because my expectations weren’t very high to start with, but I really did enjoy this.

It was the action storyline that really hooked my interest as opposed to the romance. It was all go go go right from the first chapter. I thought Awesome. This is what an action novel should be. Bit of guts, bit of gore, from Reboot One-seventy-eight, or Wren, who is a badass soldier working for HARC, going on assignment to capture criminals and training new Reboots. Everything starts to change for her when she meets Callum, Reboot Twenty-two, who is not ready to let go of his human life. Of course, what follows is what seems to be the standard YA romance, found in most other YA novels (pretty much over it, to be honest!), but I actually did find it kind of sweet. It’s meeting and training Callum that causes Wren’s humanity to begin to return and she starts to question the orders she has followed for the last five years. I thought that this part of her character development, though good, happened really quick. The higher your number, the less human qualities you are supposed to retain. So how did Wren turn around so fast?

I thought about this and decided that due to a few different factors, this may be possible. If we consider that:
1 – it is possible that the numbers actually mean very little, other than the time taken to Reboot, and the affect on humanity is actually an idea created by the HARC
2 – it is also possible that as Wren had never trained such a low number before she had never really been exposed to human feelings and emotions since her death 5 years before
3 – in going along with point 2, she may have had it in her the whole time and just needed a little push in the right direction

Just a few ideas. I’m very curious as to whether this will be something explored in the further books which I am now very interested to read! This particular type of dystopian world is new to me and I’m very intrigued as to where this is going to go.

3.75 stars

Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy

Author: Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls, Book 2
Publisher: Lothian
Star Rating: 3.75/5
Date Read: January 15th to 16th, 2014
Read Count: 2
Review:
On my first read, I gave this book four stars. After my reread, I’m going to drop it just a smidge – to three point seven five. Don’t get me wrong – I still enjoyed it a lot! But I gave I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You four stars and this one just missed the mark of being given the same rating.

Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy shows the aftermath of Cammie’s disastrous relationship with civilian Josh, who at the end of the last book had his memory erased so that he can no longer remember the secrets of the Gallagher Academy that were revealed during his botched attempt to ‘save’ Cammie from her CoveOps assignment. He doesn’t remember that the Gallagher Academy is a school for spies, as well he shouldn’t. That kind of information is classified. He doesn’t belong in Cammie’s world. She knows this and knows that this semester, she has to be better. No sneaking around, she tells herself. She is going to be herself.

The quiet semester Cammie looked forward to after winter break is interrupted with the arrival of the Blackthorne boys. But why are they really there?

Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy is an enjoyable read, like its predecessor, full of secret operations, spying on boys and general teenage girl awkwardness. I see a little bit of myself at that age in all the characters – despite the fact that they’re spies-in-training at an undercover institute posing as a private school, they seem very real. Their reactions when faced with boy spies is cute and funny – they may be smart and they may be able to kill you in fifty different ways, but they are also teenage girls who don’t get out a lot. This one wasn’t quite as action filled as the one before it and it felt a little bit like it was setting up a storyline for something to follow (too bad I can’t remember what that is!). The joy of rereading – getting to find out all over again

Find my review of Book 1 of this series, I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You, here.
Find my review of Book 3 of this series,
Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover, here.
Find my review of Book 4 of this series,
Only The Good Spy Young, here.
Find my review of Book 5 of this series,
Out of Sight, Out of Time, here.
Find my review of Book 6 of this series, United We Spy, here.