Author Archives: Alyana

Review: The Firestone Crystal by Linda David

  • TitleThe Firestone Crystal (The Firestone Series #1)
  • AuthorLinda David
  • SourceDigital review copy from author
  • No. of Pages248
  • PublishedDecember 27, 2011 by Self-Published
  • Rating4/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Agathea Fulstropp is a lonely 11-year-old girl, a bit on the moody side, and more than a little spoilt.

She is looking forward to a luxury break in the Caribbean with her parents, but is livid when they announce that the trip has to be cancelled due to work commitments! So instead of spending six weeks sunning herself on a tropical beach, Thea – as she insists on being called – finds herself unceremoniously packed up, and sent off to stay with a grandfather she barely knows for the entire summer!

But it turns out to be the best summer of her life when her grandfather has a strange reunion with a mysterious childhood friend, and she is given the opportunity of a lifetime.

To visit a world beyond the stars, and become Earth’s first student to be enrolled in an experimental Inter-Planetary Education Programme at the Firestone Academy, where lessons in telepathy, mind-reading and astral projection are the norm.

Things, however, are not as straightforward as they seem. One of her fellow students makes no secret of the fact that he despises her, and will stop at nothing to make her leave…she is having increasingly disturbing vivid dreams…and just who is that hideously deformed cave creature, and more to the point, what does it want with her?

An Inter-Planetary Education Programme on a planet named Aruuliah? Can I please volunteer as tribute? Linda David’s The Firestone Crystal was a very enjoyable and exciting read, with unexpected twists and turns at every page. I’m sure that this thrilling novel would be something that my twelve year old self would have very much loved.

It reminded me a bit of the Harry Potter series, actually. The story centered upon a girl named Thea, who was chosen for the Inter-Planetary Programme—along with several other children from 60 other planets. Thea had no idea about its existence at all, but she agreed to go because she was excited by the opportunity. She was quite selfish and stubborn at the start, but I grew to love her as the story went on and her character developed into a more complex person. Thea has a impulsive personality, but that was able to help her a lot. After all, she wouldn’t have participated in the program at all if it wasn’t for her spontaneous attitude!

One of my favorite characters was Titus, Thea’s grandfather. His no-nonsense attitude reminded me of my own grandmother. He may not show affection often with his tough exterior, but he really does care for his grandchild.

“I trust you had a pleasant trip,” he said as they fell into step beside him.

Thea nodded enthusiastically, heart still pumping with excitement, while Titus simply snorted beneath his breath. He felt as though he had just been on one of those awful theme-park rides he was always seeing advertised on telly. He’d had to spend pretty much the entire journey with his eyes closed, trying valiantly to hold onto the contents of his stomach!

“It seems to be a pretty roundabout way of getting here,” he grumbled, “wouldn’t it have been easier to have one of those…those portal things right here? It would have saved a hell of a lot of time, not to mention being a lot easier on my nerves!”

Don’t you just love him?

Although the pacing of the story was a bit too fast for me at times, it was good for me overall. Another thing that I appreciated was the author’s writing style. Linda made sure to include detailed descriptions and adjectives at every sentence, something that I feel is sorely lacking in many books today.

The story also managed to touch upon issues of discrimination in society today, which often lead to the people on the receiving end of such feeling insecure and vulnerable. As an African-American, Thea revealed later on in the story why she didn’t have much friends back home on earth. She felt that she was different from them due to her physical features, and was afraid that the other kids would judge her as well for them. Thus, she resolved to be mean to them and push them away. Thea reasoned that it was better for them to hate her because of her unpleasantness rather than her skin color. I think that was the part that helped me to understand and appreciate her character the most.

The plot is most definitely unique. With a traitor in their midst, the Academy felt unsafe, especially for the students. There’s probably a 0.0000000001 chance that you’ll find out who the guilty offender is. But after all, guessing is a part of the fun!

Overall, I would recommend this novel for children from ages 9-12. Kudos to Linda for the originality of her plot and setting and for her creativity. After all, it’s only in the Firestone Crystal wherein you can find a school with a machine that serves you whatever food you want as long as you ask!

The Firestone Crystal and The Hidden Realms of Firestone by Linda David (Guest Post)

Today we’ll be sharing two books that we recently discovered with you guys! These are The Firestone Crystal and The Hidden Realms of Firestone, the first and second books respectively in the Firestone series. So here’s a little information about them:

the firestone crystal

Agathea Fulstropp is a lonely 11-year-old girl, a bit on the moody side, and more than a little spoilt.

She is looking forward to a luxury break in the Caribbean with her parents, but is livid when they announce that the trip has to be cancelled due to work commitments! So instead of spending six weeks sunning herself on a tropical beach, Thea – as she insists on being called – finds herself unceremoniously packed up, and sent off to stay with a grandfather she barely knows for the entire summer!

But it turns out to be the best summer of her life when her grandfather has a strange reunion with a mysterious childhood friend, and she is given the opportunity of a lifetime.

To visit a world beyond the stars, and become Earth’s first student to be enrolled in an experimental Inter-Planetary Education Programme at the Firestone Academy, where lessons in telepathy, mind-reading and astral projection are the norm.

Things, however, are not as straightforward as they seem. One of her fellow students makes no secret of the fact that he despises her, and will stop at nothing to make her leave…she is having increasingly disturbing vivid dreams…and just who is that hideously deformed cave creature, and more to the point, what does it want with her?

the hidden realms of firestone

She may not have the sweetest of natures, being spoilt, temperamental and often downright moody, but what twelve-year-old Agathea Fulstropp (Thea to her friends), does have is a rather unusual secret – a secret shared only by herself and her grandfather.

She is Earth’s first and only pupil to be enrolled at the Firestone Academy on the faraway Planet of Aruuliah!

Preparing for a new term, packed with the excitement of making new friends, confronting old enemies and getting to grips with alien technologies, Thea is soon to discover that being from Earth has its drawbacks as she becomes the target of a sinister plot to remove her from the Academy – permanently!

Help, however, comes from the most unlikely of places and she, unwittingly encounters a hidden realm concealed within the grounds of the Academy – a world made up of pure energy, populated with mythical creatures of legend and folklore, and whose existence remains a closely guarded secret from all physical beings, whether human or alien.

Time is running out though, as Thea, along with her best friends Jojan and Annalije, desperately try to figure out who, amongst her peers, hates her enough to wish her gone.

Can they solve the mystery before it’s too late, or will Thea, having faced mortal danger once already the previous summer, be lucky enough to escape, unscathed a second time?

I am going to be reviewing The Firestone Crystal in a couple of weeks, so make sure to stop by and check it out! I’m definitely looking forward to reading it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linda David is a single mother of two and currently work as a college lecturer in childcare. She was born in Cyprus in 1967 to parents who both hail from the Caribbean island of Nevis, and has also lived in Germany as well as St Kitts and Nevis in the West Indies.

The idea for the book, The Firestone Crystal, came about 10 years ago when she was on maternity leave, and started off as a short story that she would be able to read to her children when they were older. It continued to grow as she occasionally added a chapter here and there as the years went by, eventually turning into full-length novel.

She has always enjoyed reading and was encouraged to do so from a very early age, and that is partly what inspired her to write. Even today, she can remember the excitement and wonder she used to experience as a child when reading fantasy and adventure stories, and she hopes that through her writing, she will be able to inspire and encourage other children’s interest and pleasure in reading as well.

Find out more about Linda and her books online!
Website | Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

Alliegiant

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

I have been waiting—and am still waiting—for Allegiant’s release since…forever. I actually never predicted for the final book to be named Allegiant, to be honest (Detergent and Convergent, anyone? *winks* ). But anyways, before I veer off topic: I LOVED Divergent the moment I began reading it! I think it was the first time that I read a dystopian novel that was developed so well—especially in world-building and the characters. AND FOUR. <3 No words. All I can say is that he is one of the most badass male characters I have ever met. I will have no problem, ahem, training with him.

To wrap this up, I have really high expectations for the last installment of the series. After the killer cliffhanger in Insurgent, I just can’t wait to see what happens next! I guess we just have to hang in there until October 2013!

What about YOU? What are you waiting for? 

Stacking the Shelves (27)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews wherein book bloggers get to share their haul for the week, be it borrowed, won, given, or bought!

Wow. It’s been…two months since we last posted our hauls. Tiffany and I are just so busy with school nowadays. *waves from under the pile mountain of homework* But thank you all so much for still checking the blog out and commenting—even though there are times wherein we seemed to have vanished off the face of the earth. You guys have no idea how happy that makes us!

 Nevertheless, we managed find some time to put together some posts, which is why we have a complete schedule this week! *cheers* Here’s my haul!

Bought:

1. Parallel by Lauren Miller

For Review from Netgalley:

losing hope

1. Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover

Borrowed:

1. Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines

Thanks to Louisse @The Soul Sisters

What about you? What’s YOUR haul this week? Leave your comments below!

Feature and Follow (37)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This week’s question:

Book Vacay: Where is the best destination reading spot for you? (Where do you like to go to read other than your home)

I tend to prefer quiet places, like a library. Being surrounded by tons of books never fails to put in a reading mood. But since we don’t have a lot of public libraries here in the Philippines, I usually just end up reading at home. However, given the chance, I would love to visit a library for a couple of hours to read!

Drop a comment and leave a link to your post (especially if you followed! <3) so that we can check it out and follow you back! Happy Friday! 

 

Waiting on Wednesday (25)

The Broken stars

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

I’m currently on a sci-fi roll, which is why I’m been scouring Goodreads for new sci-fi reads lately, and I happened to stumble upon These Broken Stars. So far, I’ve heard nothing but good feedback about it, so I am quite excited for its release! This novel debuts on December 2013.

Feature and Follow (36)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This week’s question:

Q: Share your favorite literary quote!

This is definitely, unquestionably, positively, absolutely (I’ll stop now, I need a thesaurus to go on.) the most difficult question I had to answer out of all these months participating in the Feature and Follow Hop. I had TONS of favorite quotes to choose from, but finally, I was able to narrow it down to one.

“You’re the girl who called me an asshole the first time we spoke. The girl who tried to pay for lunch even after you learned I have more money than God. You’re the girl who risked her ass to save a dying dog, who makes my chest ache whether you’re wearing green silk or ripped jeans. You’re the girl that I—” Noah stopped, then took a step closer to me. “You are my girl.”

—Michelle Hodkin, Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Hands up if you like Noah! Yeah, well too bad, HE’S MINE. Just kidding! Slightly. I absolutely love this quote. It just makes me want to laugh and cry uncontrollably (Why aren’t fictional characters real?!) at the same time. Noah was a douchebag at the start of the series, but as he and Mara got closer, his sweet and protective side started to show—making me love the series all the more.

We’ve shared our answer, now it’s time to share yours! Drop a comment and leave a link to your post so that we can check it out!

 

Waiting on Wednesday (24)

between the devil and the deep blue sea

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery…who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

I haven’t read a thriller novel in  a while, so this one caught my eye while I was browsing through Goodreads. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea seems like a promising read, and I can’t wait for its release on August 15!

Waiting on Wednesday (23)

crash into you

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.

Okay, I am a HUGE fan of Katie McGarry’s novels. I was able to read Pushing the Limits and Dare You To a couple of months ago, and I loved them! So yes, I am really excited for Crash Into You to come out (Finally, Isaiah’s getting his own story!). It looks like it has a fantastic plot, and undoubtedly wonderful characters as well. Until November 2013!

Waiting on Wednesday (22)

gameboard of gods

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

The sight of the cover just makes me want to read it already! After reading Vampire Academy, I have really high hopes for Mead’s newest series. With the unique plot and characters, I’m sure that it won’t disappoint!