Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Book Spotlight: BANDITS

As a lover of romance and the not-so-average fang guy, I gravitate toward stories with a paranormal flare or otherworldly aspect, especially when doing a review. Even more sensitive to these facts when I'm asked or offered an ARC for review.

I've never reviewed and rarely read sci-fi. Not quite sure why. As a kid I was a major Trekkie. (Yup, I admitted that out loud.) But I was also an epic Buffy fan. Can't blame a girl for being fickle now, can we?

Today, I am pleased to bring my not-so-Sheri review, seeing how the story is categorically sci-fi.

Author: LM Preston
Genre: YA Sci-fi (Fantasy, Romance)
Publisher: Phenomenal One Press
Release Date: June 2011
Pages: 348
Copy Review: supplied by the Publisher. (Thank you.)

Favorite Line or Passage: An imposing alien with skin of light was in front of him...Thickly corded multi-colored muscles covered its body, as lights within its transparent skin somehow appeared to move. 

Description: Daniel's father has gotten himself killed and left another mess for Daniel to clean up. To save his world from destruction, he must fight off his father's killers while discovering a way to save his world. Time is running out, and Daniel must choose to either walk in his father's footsteps or to reinvent himself into the one to save his world.


My Splats: In a nutshell, this story is an action-packed adventure for any energetic teen who's ever been lost, misguided, or betrayed. With sprinkles of the Pirates of the Caribbean to Star Trek, the thrill-ride is endless.  

The world of Zukar control is one of danger and fear. Merwin is a planet of all (or most) that is not good, roaming thieves and criminals. All do what they must to survive, including parents raising children. Fast-paced and energetic, the story is set in a time where space travel is not just possible, but is the norm, and among the first generation of kids whose parents' original home was Earth.

I found that dynamic an interesting spice, giving the teens' pasts even more depth for the author to work with. There was always two sides to every issue: the way the kids believed their current world would handle it, and the way it would have been handled back on Earth. It was easy to see the generational difference between parent and child...teenager.

There was also wonderful character growth, primarily with the main character, Daniel. Feeling lost since the death of his mother, Daniel wants nothing more than to be loved, to love, and to be safe. None of which his father is supplying. How often do teens feel this isolation from a parent because they interpret a parent's actions a certain way. But in most stories (as in life), things are not always as they appear.

As the inner story progressed, it became clear that Daniel must undergo certain relationship struggles in order to gain the wisdom essential to saving his world. He needed the characteristics of a true man--willingness to put others before himself without regret. Lacking such wisdom, his decisions would be selfish and juvenile, and most probably the end of his world. (Just like real life.) I love it when life lessons can be taught through a fictional story.

His father actually set up his growth perfectly, believing in his son despite seeming like he was hurting him, betraying their family in ways I won't mention here for fear of spoilers. What I can mention in brief is the journal entries from Daniel's father. In my opinion, these were genius. I was able to connect with the dad and the relationship Daniel believed he had with him.

The sci-fi world building kept me guessing at every turn, from funky contraptions to hidden locks, as well as eerily strange animal species of the planet. All the action and grit built nicely until the climactic last stand, as Daniel and his teen group struggled to save their world. With each obstacle, the group gained strength and trust in each other and love of their world...or a world they hoped to live in. And of course, being YA, there was a sweet romantic twist.

And a special note: it appears this in not the final journey of these brave group of teenagers. I believe it was the first of many.

Bandits is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, & Phenomenal One Press.

For your enjoyment, take advantage of a SAMPLE READ and watch the fantastic book trailer.

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  1. Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great review! I've been hearing a lot good buzz about this book.

  3. Sometimes we need to read outside of our comfort zone. I never read YA but I'm loving Across The Universe by Beth Revis. Admittingly, it's sci-fi, but it's helping me realise I may be able to write YA afterall!

  4. Uh, Pirates of the Caribbean AND Star Trek? Yeah, sign me up please! That sounds awesome! I don't read a lot of straight up sci fi, but occasionally I stumble across one that I can't NOT read.

    Really great review! So insightful and in-depth.

  5. Wow! It sounds great!!! Thanks for letting us know about it! =D

  6. The book sound very intriguing, considering I am Trekkie fan, and I'm currently writing a Sci-Fi novel. It sounds like its right up my book shelf. I've had some difficulty writing romantic scenes, and I'm trying to incorporate both SF & Romance in my book. Love the review.

  7. The cover doesn't look appealing, but your review sounds good. I'm off to read the sample chapter :)

  8. very cool! Thanks for the review, Sheri! I might not've picked this one up~ :o) <3

  9. It sounds like a good book! I'm one of the minority here . . . I really enjoy a good sci-fi book when I can find one. Soooo excited about Across the Universe! Thanks for the review :)

  10. I like the video. This is such a great site! I like the way you set this up! Great content and images as well! Thanks for sharing this!...Daniel

  11. Great review, Sheri! I sooo want to look after Daniel!

  12. Found you from the A-Z Challenge, it sounds like it’s going to be so much fun and I can’t wait to get started!! I’m now following your blog on GFC and I hope you have a chance to check out my blog and maybe follow me back!!

  13. Wow, this book sounds like a thrilling read. And that book trailer is so cool!


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