The Prey by Andrew Fukuda

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If you do not know the backstory, read my review for The Hunt, the first book in the series.

The Prey (The Hunt, #2)


Synopsis
For Gene and the remaining humans—or hepers—death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast... and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. But they’re not the only things following Gene. He’s haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.


When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. Led by a group of intensely secretive elders, the civilisation begins to raise more questions than answers. A strict code of behaviour is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found—and Gene begins to wonder if the world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other... if they can only stay alive.

Review
Against all odds, Gene and Sissy successfully led the boys from the Dome to the Mission, a safe haven filled with normal people, or more commonly known as hepers. And they were finally able to have a good life, enjoying luxurious meals and treated as honour guests. 

Gene and Sissy were told to embark on a train that leads to The Civilization, a place where more humans are waiting to welcome their arrival but Sissy, the female leader of the pack, was still on guard. Her sixth sense tells her something was not quite right, but the boys were oblivious. Or was it just her being overtly cautious?

This book had me guessing, guessing and guessing. I was kept in a constant shroud of mystery. I wanted to believe that they were finally safe and sound, with their own kind, but Sissy's insistence grated on my senses too. I felt scared, hopeful and worried for the characters before desperation sinks in as a possible outcome presents itself.

In this book, I both liked and hated Sissy. I really appreciate her intuitiveness, but I hated how she can be so unselfish towards those who wronged her and selfish towards those who loved her. 

Gene's story was more of a slow discovery of his father and his backstory, while Ashley June's complements Gene's story and provided us a glimpse into her early life and how she came to be who she is now. Sissy's origins were not disclosed in such detail as Gene's and Ashley June's except that her parents, now deceased, were part of the Mission too.

My conclusion is, this is a book not to be missed! In fact, the whole series is brilliant! As a reader of 7 years I don't expect myself to not predict the main arches of the story, but Andrew Fukuda outsmarted me. 

Rating: 5 

Luna Tree: The Baby Project by Maya Berger

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Luna Tree: The Baby Project

  Synopsis
Maya is kicking up her heels, living the fabulous and mostly carefree life of a twenty-something young woman. However, in the back of her mind continuous longing for a good marriage and family lingers. How do you find the right man, the one who sticks through thick and thin? Will he provide you with the things you find essential in a relationship? Maya kissed a few frogs before finding her Prince Charming, but what followed was of higher importance. She started feeling chronic pain in her lower back, the pain that wouldn't let her neither sit nor stand. Thus Maya began her relentless quest for diagnosis and healing, which she ends after discovering Energy healing. She travels the globe to receive and raise her own stored Energy, the one that changes everything. Her ultimate desires come true.

Review
This is an honest diary of a young lady who faced a lot of negativity in her life despite being blessed with a good life and marriage, and how she rose above this problem and discovered a new side to herself.

I can feel her hopelessness at the beginning of the story - imagine a twenty-something young lady being plagued by a disease that makes it painful to stand or walk. It is pure torture. And the fact that after consultation and medication with so many doctors and healers, there is no improvement. I would have gone crazy in her situation.

A great part of this story concerns her pursuit of health and once again, happiness. It is interesting that Maya finally found Energy healing, an expensive but useful method to find balance in her health and life. The idea of surrounding  yourself with positive people and positivism in general sits very well with me. I believe that you have to pick the right people to be with. If you stay together with negative people all the time, they will suck all the positivism out of you, and vice versa. 

There is also mention of Chinese energy healing. I'm not sure if Maya meant qigong or something else, but it certainly intrigues me. However, I believe a great part of it comes from her willingness to embrace change and her efforts to be a better person emotionally. So yes, I think it concerns psychological change, and you need quite a sum too (because she mentioned the fees were exorbitant). 

I really agree with Maya's thoughts that a child is what his or her parents are. The Chinese believe that children mirror parents' actions, and I think that is true. Kids learn by imitation, and if there's something wrong with your kid, you should reflect on yourself.

In conclusion, this is a really positive book to read despite the sickness and hardship suffered by the author, and it really inspires me to show more kindness and understanding to those around me. It is easy to follow the author's storytelling/memoir - it is sincere, open and relatable. She did not disguise the pain and despair suffered, but instead shared her story in a positive manner.

It is really uplifting to read how her health improved a lot following Energy healing, and that she finally conceived and gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Blessings to this little one, and I pray that your lives continue to grow in the direction of a greater balance, happiness and health.

Rating: 4.000

*I received a complimentary of this book from the author for this review. No additional compensation, monetary or otherwise, is involved. The review is based on my own opinion and not influenced by any external factors. 

For Malaysian bloggers only:
If you would like to have my copy on the condition that you write a review on it after reading, please drop me an email at aikychien@yahoo.com. Self pick-up at Sitiawan or Poslaju (WM RM6/EM RM9).

Night Study by Maria V. Snyder

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Night Study (Soulfinders, #2)

Synopsis

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear. 


Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he's been keeping secrets from Valek...secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander's mysterious plans, they realize it's far more sinister that they could have ever imagined. 

Review

First off, I really love the cover of this book - it's gorgeous! I haven't read Soulfinders #1, but I thought it wouldn't matter because Maria always explains what happens in the previous book in a few simple sentences to give readers like me an overview of what happened. 

This book, as usual, is full of twists and turns, surprises everywhere. I especially liked how Valek and Yelena's relationship becomes stronger, and how the party discover the plot that was behind certain things from both Ixia and Sitia. However, the book proceeds at a rather slow pace (which I'm assuming is due to the pre-war set up which requires much explanation to get things clear). And the book ended with a cliffhanger (which I assume is to ensure a smooth transition towards the 3rd book, like a new chapter).

Not the best, but still good enough to score a 4 stars from me.  And did I say I love how the little Valek/Yelena's prospect excites me?

Rating: 4.000