All posts by Tracy Auerbach

I am an avid reader and writer. My favorite books to both read and write are high fantasy, paranormal, and urban fantasy. I have a huge soft spot for YA and NA, but also usually in those fantasy-type categories. Regular, plain old young adulthood wasn't so magical, so I figure why not add some oomph? Some of my favorite authors are Brandon Sanderson, L.J. Smith, and JRR Tolkein. For middle grade, I think Diana Wynn Jones and Susan Cooper are just brilliant. I am a mommy to two fun, adorable and crazy-making boys who keep my hands quite full. I am a wife. I am also a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) coach and curriculum writer in the New York public school system. If someone has a really obscure bit of science trivia that they are curious about, that only a real, true nerd would know the answer to, they usually come to me. And I'm not gonna lie...I'm proud of that. I love to step into fantasy worlds during my down time. I have always been a reader and writer. I have published several articles and short stories. My first novel, "The Human Cure" was published by 48fourteen publishing several years ago, and reformatted and rereleased in print in November of 2014.

Review – Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

Red Rising (Red Rising, #1)Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

My Review – 

Oh, thank you Red Rising for coming to me at just the right time! You did a better job of exemplifying the societal divide that tried to come across in Red Queen, and had just enough Hunger Games in you without being too much of a rip-off. And… wait for it… you were so well written that I didn’t mind reading you in the present tense!

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I thoroughly enjoyed the voice of this book. Darrow spoke from a really sincere place, and the voice remained true on both sides of his transformation. It was a nice change of pace for me to see through the eyes of a male protagonist (it’s been awhile). The secondary characters were also well thought out, for the most part. I love Sevro! And Pax! And Mustang was enjoyable as well.

While Brown’s writing was sharp and definitely dragged me right into this world, some of the battle scenes were a bit drawn out. The plot took a long time to evolve somewhere around the middle of the book. There was constant action, and I wanted some more downtime and dialogue with my man Darrow.

First book in quite awhile that is: Image result for 5 out of 5 stars

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Review – Red Queen

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

My Review 

Image result for 3 out of 5 stars

When I opened this book and saw that it was first person present tense, I had to laugh at the irony after my last blog post. My first instinct was slam it shut with a “Damn you, present tense!” But I hung in there.

Aveyard’s initial worldbuilding was impressive. I really got the feel of the downtrodden reds nd the elite silvers. Despite the present tense, I was hooked.

***************SPOILERS BELOW***********************

Continue reading Review – Red Queen

Waaahhhh! I can’t read the present tense!

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So, just wanted to put it out there…finally admit…accept the fact that…

I HAVE A HUGE PROBLEM WITH PRESENT TENSE NARRATION IN BOOKS!!!!!

I guess I’ve been told to live in the moment, and that’s a great motto. But reading in the moment is an entirely different beast. It seems counterintuitive that present tense makes me feel so much less connected to the characters and story, but there it is.

I wonder. I seek. I turn each page trying to understand…

Why doesn’t that work for me the way: I wondered. I sought. I turned each page trying to understand?

Ansolutely. No. clue.

Now, don’t get me wrong…some amazing  writers write amazing books in present tense. They’re just not for me. Then there are books like the Fever series, which I loved! The only issue was that occasionally my lovely, comfy past tense place in the world would suddenly sift all fae-like to present tense? -all Willy-nilly. The nerve!

 

Anyone else with tense issues?

 

And on that note: The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.

Sorry! 😂😂😂 Couldn’t help myself.

Review -Riders by Veronica Rossi

Riders (Riders, #1)

Riders. A new fantasy adventure from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Veronica Rossi.

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen–Conquest, Famine, and Death–are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now–bound, bloodied, and drugged–Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for–not to mention all of humankind–he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

My Review – 

2.5 or 3 out of five stars on Goodreads just about sums this one up. Just sort of meh. It had a ton of potential and I LOVED the concept of the four horsemen personified, but the character development fell a bit flat. I understand it’s going to be a series, but I really felt that I only knew Gideon by the time the book ended. Sebastian was a great character, and Marcus and Jode were cool too, but I didn’t feel that I really got to know them as people, through their actions. There wasn’t enough dialogue and ‘moments’ between the characters.

I understand that since this is a story being told by Gideon, there’s a lot of ‘telling,’  but the way the character interactions were very blatantly told rather than shown kept me at an emotional distance. I would probably read the next book in this series, because it wasn’t awful, but it was really just okay for me.

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