Monday, September 14, 2015

RIPPLER by Cidney Swanson

Rippler by Cidney Swanson
(Book 1 of the Ripple Series)
by Cidney Swanson

Moving swiftly, downstream, while kayaking with her swim team, a girl reacts to her stupendous joy the only way her body knows: by turning invisible. Panic ensues, a search is made. Then something extraordinary happens: she appears, ashore, completely dry and unharmed.

Thus begins the story of Samantha Baker, the genetic inheritor of the Rippler gene.

Rippler by Cidney Swanson is a hard book to describe. Part urban fantasy, part science-fiction, with a tad of mystery, it's a novel that escapes easy classification--and, as a result, allows an organic narrative to flow. Unlike many novels -- who would introduce a protagonist with complete understanding of their powers -- Rippler begins as an origin story and details a young girl's discovery of her powers. From learning 'how' to become invisible, to how to control it, to the consequences of particular actions and the spiraling results that can come as a result from them, it is incredibly engaging and sweeps you along at an incredible pace. It is, as a whole, an extremely difficult book to review in-depth, as the scope of its plot is quite short, but it has a bit for everyone and those who enjoy the young adult genre will find it extremely enjoyable. It's the first in the promising series, and one I will be sure to continue in the very near future.

* * * *
4 Stars

Get Rippler
in paperback (left) or Kindle (right)

Friday, August 7, 2015


Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average
Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average
by Erin Hayes

In most science-fiction and fantasy stories, we like to believe that our heroes are special—that they are destined by fate, chosen by the Gods or the Universe, or simply possess something that makes them able to overcome astounding obstacles. This, as a staple in literature, has been seen throughout generations. But in Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average, that role is completely reversed—because our hero is, in fact, anything but extraordinary.

Enter Jacob Smith—a twelve, almost thirteen-year-old boy. In the grand scheme of things, he isn’t anything special. He gets average grades, does average in sports, is average in height and intelligence. He’s even statistically average when it comes to the number of siblings in an American household. Normally, we wouldn’t think anything of this. Average people aren’t normally capable of anything extraordinary. But what if an alien species was able to use that to their advantage—to ‘harness’ the average in order to potentially take over the human race? That is the challenge Jacob Smith faces in Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average, and the driving point of its plot.

As a mid-grade/young-adult novel, Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average nails every aspect that the genre requires. It’s easy to read, its pace is fast and the plot doesn’t meander, and it features likable characters and scenarios everyone can relate to. Where the novel truly stands out is as a science-fiction piece. The wonder presented in the novel is slow to creep in, but once it does, it hits you full force. But unlike many sci-fi novels (where, even in YA, the reader can become confused and overwhelmed,) Jacob Smith makes sure to introduce the fantastical aspect of its narrative slowly and simply. Aliens are usually described in minute detail. Technology is only explained in what it does and not how it does it. The action incorporated within is exciting but not in the least bit gruesome and its fast pace speeds the reader throughout the narrative at a near-unstoppable pace. I had trouble putting Jacob Smith down even when I was completely exhausted. It’s fun, energetic, and definitely something I wish I was able to read as a kid. I highly recommend it.

* * * * *
5 Stars

Get Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average
in paperback (left) or Kindle (right)