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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Vessel and Boy Nobody Mini-Reviews

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. She will dance and summon her tribe's deity, who will inhabit Liyana's body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But when the dance ends, Liyana is still there. Her tribe is furious--and sure that it is Liyana's fault. Abandoned by her tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. The desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice--she must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate--or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

Released: September 11th 2012              Pages:  424
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry         Source: Library

I love the cover of this book.  For once, the girl-in-a-dress cover actually matches the book.  Anyway, my favorite part of this book was probably the setting.  It was so cool!  It wasn't your usual European-based fantasy setting--it had a unique desert flair (is that at thing?  It is now).

Liyana was a decent enough character, though I wish I could've gotten more depth from her.  Korbyn was fun and likable.  The ending had a nice twist to it, one I didn't see coming.

One thing that annoyed me was that everyone felt the need to tell stories all the time.  Don't get me wrong--I love stories.  But when every character has a fable for every situation, it gets tiresome.  Overall, though, I enjoyed this book.  It's a unique fantasy novel that will appeal to readers looking for something a little different. 
Similar Books: It has a  non-standard fantasy setting like Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, The Girl of Fire and ThornsProphecyand Shadow and BoneIt also reminds me of Defiance and The Singer of All Songs.

Boy Nobody (Boy Nobody #1) by Allen Zadoff 
 Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends, and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend's family to die-of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.

But when he's assigned to the mayor of New York City, things change. The daughter is unlike anyone he has encountered before; the mayor reminds him of his father. And when memories and questions surface, his handlers at The Program are watching. Because somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and parents; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's mission.

In this action-packed series debut, author Allen Zadoff pens a page-turning thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is gripping, introducing an utterly original and unforgettable antihero.

Released: June 2013                                         Pages:  337
Publisher:  Little, Brown, and Company         Source: Library

This book has a rather unfortunate case of insta-love.  Though it wasn't as bad as others I've seen before, it was certainly present.  Boy Nobody and Sam fall in love almost at first sight.  That whole situation struck me as odd--he's been trained not to feel, to get in, kill the target, and get out.  No emotions involved.  In all other situations, his training was prevalent, and he had an almost superhuman ability to get himself out of nasty situations.  And yet, he still falls in love with this girl.  I realize that this was part of the theme of the story, the theme that humans always have the capacity for emotion, but you'd think The Program would have considered this possibility before.

Other than that, it was an okay book.  It had enough suspense to keep me turning pages, but the characters were rather flat.  Most of them came off on varying levels of stereotypical.  Boy Nobody was hard to figure out, which was, again, part of the point of the story.  He was a cold killing machine, and yet he had a soft side.  Still, it was hard to root for him.  Three stars.

Similar Books: It involves some sort of secret agency using teens to get things done, like the Alex Rider series, The Shadow Project and its companion The Doomsday BoxIt also reminded me of The Reluctant Assassin and Variant.

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