“Freedom’s child” Jax Miller

Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. Published June 2, 2015. Crown Publishers (Random House). 311 pp.

Freedom'sChildFreedom Oliver has been in the witness protection program for 18 years, ever since she served time for killing her policeman husband. After losing custody of her two children, she spent the intervening years in alcohol and rage filled fights to make herself forget the pain of their loss. Her brother’s husband served 18 years in prison for the murder of his brother. Now released, he and his brothers have revenge on their mind and are looking for Freedom.

When Freedom finds out her daughter is missing from the cult family into which she’d been adopted, she throws caution to the wind. With the steadfastness of purpose that only a mother can have for have for her children, and with the rage of a mother bear defending her cub, she is determined to move heaven and earth to find her daughter. To paraphrase the poet William Congreve “Hell hath no fury like a mother who is protecting her child,” as Freedom fights through anyone and everything to find the daughter she held 20 years ago for only two minutes and seventeen seconds.

“Freedom’s child” held me in its thrilling grip as I eagerly turned its pages to find out what would next befall Freedom. Though her life had been filled with pain, sorrow and strife, her rage and thirst for revenge allowed her to draw on her previous experiences to fight for her children as only a mother can fight. Other readers will be just as enthralled.

Highly recommended for Adult readers.

“Creed” Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. ebook. To be published November 8, 2014. Flux.

CreedDee, her boyfriend Luke, and his brother Mike were supposed to be on their way to a concert when they ran out of gas on a cold winter night in the middle of nowhere. With the weather worsening, they were forced to seek shelter in the small, abandoned town of Purity Springs.

Little did they know that Joseph, the only son of Elijah Hawkins a crazed prophet, had made plans to ensnare them in his own plan of escape. For years Joseph and his mother had been trying to run away from the abuse generated by this man who used his version of the Bible to keep everyone in the town free from “evil” and doing his will.

Joseph thought Dee, Luke and Mike could help him, but Elijah had other plans. Since the four of them had tried to go against his decrees they would have to be purified for their sins – even if purification came at the price of their lives.

The cultish behavior of Elijah’s followers, and the horrors which took place in “Creed,” made me thankful it was “just a book.” However it also made me realize anew that there are many people in the world who actually live this type of reality because of their belief in a “leader” who walks hand-in-hand with the devil while spouting biblical quotes and promising them a life of rainbow and sunshine. It is a fearsome thought.

Recommended for readers aged 14 and older.

“Midwinter Blood” Marcus Sedgwick

Rated 4 stars **** 2013. Roaring Book Press. 262 pp.

Midwinterblood“Midwinter Blood” won the 2014 Printz Award for the best book written in the U.S. for a teen audience so, naturally, I had to read it.

In 2073 Eric Seven, reporter, arrives on beautiful Blessed Island to investigate strange reports of islanders living forever. Within minutes he falls in love with a woman named Merle who made him feel as if he’d met her before. The next day he begins to experience strange bouts of forgetfulness and soon becomes part of the Island life, forgetting all about his investigation. By the time he finally remembered, it was too late…

From this first peek into the Island, Sedgwick leads readers back in time through the centuries with six more tales which tell the strange and haunting tale of Blessed Island’s dependence on the strange dragon flower, as well as insight into its people and their beliefs, fears and superstitions. With each time travel tale into the past, puzzle pieces are revealed about why Eric and Merle were drawn to each other along with the terrible truth of Blessed Island. Readers will soon learn to run as fast as they can in the opposite direction should they ever get the opportunity to visit this strange and mysterious island.

Recommended for ages 14 and older.

Listed on the ALA (American Library Association’s) Best Fiction for Young Adults list (compiled by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and on YALSA’s 2014 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults list.

“Angels & Demons” Dan Brown

2000. Atria Books. 569 pp.

Angels&DemonsI just moved to a new state, and found that my public library’s YA collections left much to be desired. Forced to choose other avenues of reading, I found myself browsing the GASP! Adult section. Cue horror music…

I hadn’t the foggiest idea what Adult author to look for, because I’ve spent years reading YA with only a few Adult books thrown into the mix. So I decided to just randomly start with the letter “A” in the Fiction section to see if an author/book caught my eye. I know, it’s not the best way in the world to get a book, but it worked for me. I got to the “B’s” and vaguely remembered a big deal being made about an author named Dan Brown, so I decided to check out a few of his books. The first one I read was “Angels & Demons,” and from the first few pages I was hooked.

Robert Langdon is a Harvard professor, specializing in the study of Symbology. When he is called to Switzerland to investigate a gruesome murder, he finds himself tangled in a web of intrigue, adventure and deceit with a secret cult called the Illuminati and the Roman Catholic Church. The Illuminati is a centuries old group once made up of famous scientists and artists from the time of Galileo. Over the years, their alumni grew as did their finances and determination to rid themselves from the Church’s unreasonable hold on their scientific progress. In return, the Church has made it their goal to destroy the group to keep their nefarious ways from undermining religious beliefs held dear to their own hearts. It was a battle that raged for centuries.

With the recent theft of a canister of antimatter, a bomb that could destroy the entire Vatican City with just a few drops, Robert is on a racing countdown through the ancient city of Rome to discover the hiding place of the canister while seeking the Illuminati assassin who kidnapped four Cardinals on the eve of Conclave with the threat of killing one per hour. As he travels from one clue to another, readers are enlightened on fascinating Vatican and Roman history.

“Angels & Demons” is nonstop action, as Brown keeps Adult readers guessing what will happen next while teetering on the edges of their seats in surprise, dismay and excitement. The conclusion will leave readers speechless.

Now I’m off to read “The DaVinci Code,” and can’t wait to see what happens to Langdon in this edition.