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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chameleon (The Ripple Trilogy Book 2)

Cidney Swanson Website

Book Details: Written by Cidney Swanson. Publication September 1st, 2011. 297 Pages. You can purchase a hard copy or digital copy at Amazon.

Synopsis of Chameleon: Chameleon begins in the journal of Helga, discussing her brother, Hans’s, assignment to kill Samantha and her mother when she was a little girl. Rippler ends with Sam meeting both Helga and Hans and discovering that Hans was the man that killed her mother. Sam goes back to tell Will and Mick, spooking Mick in to packing up and trying to leave town. Mick ends up totaling her car in the process of leaving and promises she will stay to help Samantha figure out why Hans and Helga are after her. 

Awaiting their school trip to France during winter break, Will and Sam go back to Helga’s lab where Sam narrowly escaped at the end of Rippler. Will and Sam are in search for more of Hellmans’ journals, who is the leader of a secret organization killing people with the Rippler gene and also father to Hans and Helga. What they find instead is one of Helga’s journals discussing all of her fathers’ experiments. Barely making it out of the lab once again they are glad to be traveling to France to meet Sir Walter an individual they have been in correspondence with.  Sam, Will and Mick find out that Sir Walter also has the Rippler gene and is over 600 years old.  Sir Walter explains to them that when invisible or in the “chameleon” form you do not age or need to eat or sleep either. Sir Walter leads them around France showing them the sights while also informing them of Hellmans’ plans.

Helga knows about their trip to France and sends on of her lackeys to kidnap Sam.  Sam is taking a cab ride back to the hotel by herself when she is grabbed and taken invisibly to an underground tunnel in France. Ivanovich and Deuxieme are one in the same person with split personalities, he has orders from Helga to take samples of Sam’s blood for further observation. Sam is so worked up that she cannot ripple to get away until finally knocking out Deuxieme and escaping back to her friends.  Gwyn, Samantha’s best friend who is also in France on the school trip sees Sam all beaten up and demands answers before she calls the Police. Sam decides it is time to show Gywn what is going on and why she was kidnapped.  Everything calms down a few days later and Sir Walter decides to take Samantha and Will to his original home which is now in ruins. While there, Helga appears with Ivanovich ready to steal away with Sam. Shots are fired and people die.  Will and Mick stay in France under the protection of Sir Walter while Sam travels home to be with her family.

My Thoughts: Love this series so far. Sir Walter is my new favorite character, I love when a book has a character from a different time period! It adds history to the plot and I love when books discuss different time periods. Sam is still pining for Will throughout the whole book until she finally kisses him to help her ripple and asks him why he kissed her back. They declare their love for each other right before Sam has to fly back to the states. Very disappointing. There is so much going on is this series it reaches across time and continents to give you a very interesting and enjoyable plot. I am really enjoying this series and cant wait for the next one!! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rippler (The Ripple Trilogy Book 1)

Cidney Swanson Website
Book Details: Written by Cidney Swanson. Publication June 15th, 2011. 289 Pages. You can purchase a hard copy or digital copy at Amazon

Synopsis of Rippler: Samantha, our protagonist, is a 16-year-old girl who discovers she can become invisible, or “ripple”. While on a white water rafting trip with her cross-country team she disappears from the boat causing everyone to panic and start searching for her in the water.  A close friend of hers named Will, sees her disappear and tells her she needs to become visible before everyone thinks she is dead in the water, so with no one else around Sam concentrates to show herself. Will tells her that he knows what just happened to her and that he will explain everything to her after their trip with their cross-country team.

Will informs Sam that his sister Mick has done research on a gene called Rippler’s Syndrome and he believes Sam has this gene. Will tells Sam as much as he can without his sister finding out and Sam finds out how dangerous it is to have this gene because there is an organization after anyone with this syndrome, even killing off Mick's old adviser causing Will and his sister to go into hiding. Sam goes on a day trip to Yosemite with Will and Mick, during their outing Sam relaxes by the water and accidentally ripples in front of Mick. Will's sister freaks out and yells at Will about how dangerous this is to be around someone else that ripples and she can’t believe he would tell someone he could ripple after he promised never to tell.  Sam is excited and slightly hurt that Will didn't tell her himself but she understands.

Once Mick has calmed down and promised she wont pack up their stuff to leave, she decides she can trust Sam too and tells her everything she knows. Sam finds out that Mick and Will receive letters from someone they trust in France discussing information about the organization behind all the deaths and kidnappings related to Rippler’s Syndrome. This gentleman, Sir Walter, feels it would be safer for them to join him in France.  Throughout the book it keeps jumping to a journal by the man who is the leader of this organization, Hellman.  It discusses his many experiments on young children in Nazi Germany, where he starved and poisoned them while gaining their trust and allegiance to him. Sam ends up seeing someone from her past when her mom was killed by a drunk driver and decides to follow him, what she discovers is shocking and she narrowly escapes from this unknown man and his associates. Things become very dangerous and secrets are revealed, causing Mick to try to leave town with her brother.

My Thoughts:  I really enjoyed the book!! Rippler jumps right into the story making you want to know what will happen next. Who doesn’t want the power of invisibility sometimes; think of what you could do.  Its not just becoming invisible, you can walk through walls and pretty much anything. I love the relationship of Will and his sister Mick, they may fight but they respect and love each other. Will and Sam are cute but Sam is too nervous to tell him how she really feels because she doesn’t want to lose a good friend. I love that the book jumps to this journal in Nazi Germany; I love when a book jumps around in time to give you more information. There is a lot going on in the story and much more to find out in the next book in the trilogy, Chameleon

Friday, January 3, 2014

Reached (Matched Book 3)

Matched Series Website

Book Details:  #1 New York Times best selling series, written by Ally Condie. Publication November 13th, 2012. 512 Pages. You can purchase a hard copy or digital copy at Amazon.

Synopsis of Reached: Crossed, book 2 of the Matched series ends with Ky and Cassia again being separated once they reach the location of The Rising. They are each given their own personal assignment to help further infiltrate The Society; Cassia in Central and Ky in Camas.  Reached begins in Xander’s point of view this time and jumps between him, Cassia and Ky. Xander in an Official medic working for The Rising supplying the citizens with a pill that gives you immunity to the plague that has been slowly spreading throughout The Society.  The Rising informs Xander that as soon as the plague is no longer controlled by The Society they will swoop in with the cure and immunizations to save the citizens, effectively taking control. 

While this is all happening Cassia and Ky are still separated and due to the plague no one is allowed to leave the cities they currently reside in.  Ky has become a pilot for The Rising working in Camas, Xander a physic working on the cure also in Camas and Cassia in Central working for an underground trading group called the Archivists.  The Cure is effectively administered into all its citizens and it has been a few months since The Rising took over.  As soon as it is believed that the plague is under control a mutated version of the plague starts showing up that The Rising has no cure for. Xander is the physic who admits the first group of the mutated virus and is effectively quarantined with his patients waiting and hoping for a cure. Cassia is finally able to make a trade for transportation to Camas to be with Ky and Xander. 

Cassia, Ky and Xander are eventually chosen by the leader of The Rising to be piloted out of the affected areas to join a group of individuals discovered to be immune to the plague and its mutation to help work on a cure. Ky comes down with the mutated form of the plague once they arrive in this village and is hospitalized.  Xander quickly goes to work with the others meticulously working on possible ingredients needed for the cure. Meanwhile, Cassia is working on sorting information based on the immune individuals and what common denominator they all share that would cause them to be unaffected by the plague and its mutation. The three conquer their obstacles and discover the necessary ingredient needed for the cure.  The cure is administered but some people were sick longer than others with this mutated plague and there are large casualties. The series ends with the citizens coming together and rebuilding the world they once knew.
My Thoughts: I really liked this book the most in this series, it actually kept me entertained and wanting to know what will come next and how it will end. Xander is my favorite so I was really glad he had a bigger part in this book. Cassia and Ky, finally, end up together at the end, but it really doesn’t happen until the very end of the book.  Xander ends up meeting someone new, Leah, and the book concludes with the possibility of them ending up together. Thank goodness!! I was really rooting to have something positive go Xander’s way.  It was very upsetting that the cure wasn’t ready in time to save everyone and Cassia losses someone close to her. Overall really enjoyed this book, but the majority of the series was pretty slow.