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Review: Book Samplers from SDCC 2013

Written By: Colleen - Aug• 09•13

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I’m going to try something new this year. I got a bunch of different books and book screeners from San Diego Comic-Con last month and I want to read and review each of them. It’s somewhat of a big undertaking for me, so I started with the book sampler I got from Random House with three different Young Adult books that are coming out this fall.  I love the book section at SDCC.  I mean, who doesn’t love free books or book previews?!  haha, here’s what I thought of the following:

  • Steelheart: By Brandon Sanderson; 9.24.13

Official Summary: “At age eight, David watched as his father was killed by an Epic, a human with superhuman powers, and now, ten years later, he joins the Reckoners – the only people who are trying to kill the Epics and end their tyranny.”

The sample chapter I got was the prologue, set when the protagonist, David, was six years old. Superhumans must be a theme this year, a la The Tomorrow People pilot we saw on Preview Night. Actually, every book I saw or got was sci-fi, fantasy, post-apocalyptic, or a combination of all three. Steelheart was my favorite of the three sample chapters I got. I was hooked from the beginning and invested in David (who, I’m sure is not-so-coincidentally named for the Biblical character who also went up against a foe with superhuman attributes) and the battle raging in his world.  Even after one chapter, I want to read more to see how the Reckoners end up (hopefully) winning over the Epics.  I actually pre-ordered the book from Amazon after reading the sample.  Perhaps I’ll review Steelheart in its entirety after I’ve finished reading it.

  • The Eye of the Mind: By James Dashner; 10.8.13

Official Summary: “Michael is a skilled internet gamer in a world of advanced technology.  When a cyber-terrorist begins to threaten players, Michael is called upon to seek him and his secrets out.”

This one interested me the least.  I’m not a gamer, so the jargon didn’t grab me, nor did the first few, short chapters that were included in the sampler.  That said, the premise is really interesting and reminds me of Tron meets the “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” episode where the kids get trapped in the arcade game, though it’s obviously a little bit deeper than that.  It opens with a girl who has already been “compromised” by the cyber-terrorist and is threatening to take her own life to escape the tangled web she’s caught in.  From what I gather, her desperate warnings are what cause Michael’s eyes to open.  Sounds like it would make a decent movie plot.  I may follow up in a few months and check out the Amazon and Goodreads reviews and see if my initial impression was off.

  • Teardrop: By Lauren Kate; 10.22.13

Official Summary: No official summary given.

The sampler contained the prologue.  Since no summary was given, here’s what I gathered from the chapter I read: A teenage boy named Anders is a member of the Seedbearers, an ancient family that has to protect the Earth so that the world doesn’t end.  He’s been tasked with watching a teenage girl and her mother, to do recon on them so the Seedbearers can plan their deaths by “natural disaster” and therefore save the world.  Anders is in love with the girl and doesn’t want to be a part of her death.  (Spoiler alert!) That’s pretty much the entire prologue.  We don’t know a lot about the Seedbearers nor do we know why the girl and her mom have to die.  It definitely seems like a CW show in book form, but I could be 100% off.  I think – and this is just my opinion, because author Lauren Kate has already had success with the “Fallen” series – that I’m going to love the premise behind the book but not love the characters or teen romance pining in the writing.  An actual line is “Save the world, or save the girl.”  I may be too old for the target demographic, because that line made me think of Heroes, then laugh to myself.  However, I’m also going to really keep my eye on Teardrop after it’s released and if there are positive reviews, then I’ll definitely check it out because I’m intrigued enough to at least want to know why the two females have to die and what exactly the purpose of the Seedbearers is.

I would love to make reviewing books a “thing” on my blog, but I don’t know how to make that happen just quite yet.  I need to start reading more in general!

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