Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Double Book Review: Destiny & Power by Robert J. Crane

Title: Destiny
Author: Robert J. Crane
Series: The Girl in the Box book 9
Publisher: Reiknonos Press
Date of Publication:  March 30 2014
Source: received from author in exchange for my honest opinion.  Kindle, 259 pages
Ages: I would say 18 +

Book Synopsis:
NOTE: This is a tightly intertwined series wherein each book builds on previous volumes.
In the aftermath of her confrontation with Sovereign, Sienna Nealon finds herself low on allies. The organization Century continues their genocide of the entire race of metahumans unchecked, working toward an ultimate goal that they have yet to reveal. Sienna must race to find the answers before it's too late, because Century's final attacks are beginning... and if Sienna and her allies fall, there will be no one left to stop them.

My Thoughts: 
I don't think I need to say but I am going to anyway.  If you haven't read any of this series: STOP!  Don't read these reviews because I can promise it will be some type of spoiler.  Instead, go and grab the first three books for free here.

So I have come to rely on Mr. Crane as my go to author when I really want some neck snapping action and intense fight scenes.  When I want a book that is gritty, raw and isn't afraid to take the huge jumps needed to give me what I need and want as a reader, I pick up a Robert J. Crane novel.

See, I have been reading novels by Crane for a few years now and I have come to understand a little bit about him now.  First off, he is an amazing writer.  But he is also one of those writers that loves to dispose of characters we can't help but fall in love with.  Yeah, one of those guys.  He takes away the characters that make us feel and connect to the story in a deeper way.  And we curse him.
Perhaps, that is what makes him an extraordinary storyteller.  He creates such complex and multifaceted characters we can't help but connect with them.  Then, we become so vested in these characters that when something terrible happens to them, we, the readers, experience extreme emotional loss and crushing heartbreak.
Maybe, just maybe, that is the true definition of an excellent writer.

And that is what Destiny does to us: it takes our heart and throws it to the wind.  It's like Reed just ripped it out our chests and played frisbee with it.  I had to really harden myself to finish this series; hell to finish his books, without breaking down into an emotional mess.  But we have to remember this isn't a "black and white world" (thank you Sienna for that sage advice)

You want a black and white world where we can live by the laws?  I'm here to tell you that you're going to drown in the grey.  This isn't law and order and justice for mankind.  This is survival.  This is the law of nature- a pack of wolves who are going to eat you in the dark of night, and you can either shoot them first or get devoured. Your choice.

I love when there is more grey in the stories than it being cut and dry.  It makes for a much more interesting look in to what people are willing to do , and not do when they are being threatened.  Like fatally threatened.  In Destiny we see how far Sienna is willing to go to protect the ones she loves.  Of course,  I think we already knew how far she was willing to go anyways; but it is still funny to see Scott finally coming to terms with it.  
And yay!  We get reconnected with an old friend in Destiny as well.  I am so glad this guy is back.  I really look at him as a father like figure for Sienna, in a good way.  No hidden agenda.

Oh and we see a lot of killing in this book too.  Of course, it wouldn't be a Robert Crane book without it, right?  But, hey look on the bright side- Sienna isn't the one doing all of it this time.

It's actually pretty hard to do a review on a book that is so far into the series (without giving something away) and still be inconspicious about the plot.

Let's just say relationships will be forged and we will lose important people.  People I didn't want to lose but with the loss we are also introduced to new characters.  I have a serious feeling we will see these characters again down the road.  I am usually not into getting new characters so late into a series, but it works for Crane because I know he always has a purpose.
There was one part that was pretty confusing for me, but it might also have to do with the fact that I am not a huge fan of time travel ideas.
But all in all, I loved Destiny.  I also love how Crane went into naming the books.  It's simple.  But at the same time-that one word conveys so much about the story.  I mean it feels like Sienna is fighting her own Destiny.  Everyone's destiny.  Can she overcome what is in store for her and finally make her own fate or will she drown in the imprisonment of her supposed Destiny?
We will definitely find out in the next and last book, Power.

Title: Power
Author: Robert J. Crane
Series: The Girl in the Box Book 10
Source: received from author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Synopsis:
The epic conclusion to the Girl in the Box series.
Sienna Nealon seems like a woman beaten. Imprisoned by her enemies, facing the extinction of her entire race, she is up against overwhelming odds. But overwhelming odds have never stopped her before. In the final volume of the epic Girl in the Box Series, Sienna Nealon must face her fears, face her foes, and then go up against the single most powerful man in the world - Sovereign - in order to save her world from complete and total destruction.

My Thoughts:

This was the all time best naming of a book ever?!!!  Sienna definitely comes into her power in every single way possible and I couldn't be more happier for everyone.  She is finally able to pull every piece of herself together to do what has to be done, in a way that I was totally not expecting.  Believe me, you will be re-reading this book a few times.  I did.  And every time was like the first.  I have to say this book was probably my favorite book of all time.  I loved the ending, loved the beginning and middle.
And the action is over the top beautiful and flawlessly graphic; which we love of course.  If you picked up the that first book, Alone, and fell in love with Mr. Crane's writing style and genius then Power will make breathless with adoration.  Everything comes full circle and I enjoyed every freaking minute of how everything falls in place and unfolds the way it does.

I don't know what to say without giving something away.  All I can say is if you have vested your time in any of these books, then you owe it to yourself to finish the series.  Power will blow you away with twists and turns surrounding it.  Sovereign will surprise us but Sienna does too.  And we get a new character, Harper, that I hope we see again in the future.  Please!
But just say the action doesn't get you (are you crazy?) well the humor will definitely grab you.  All the books , except maybe one, has the classic Sienna snarky humor that I love.  Honestly, I think Sienna and Vaste would get long so well in all their snarky goodness.
{Vaste is another character from another series of Crane's I fell in love with first}

I just...really I am speechless.  I loved this book sooooo much and I don't really want to say too much to give it away.  Let's just say that you need to read the book!  Like right now!

I would prefer to give it a million of stars, hearts, anything I can get my hands on; but alas I only go up to five hearts.
I think my Destiny, though, is to own this entire series in paperback as well as digital.  The authors I absolutely adore, like Anne Rice, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, goes in a special bookcase in my home.  Well guess what?  I am getting this series in paperback and it will have its special place there too.
Well done, Mr. Crane.  Well done.

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Grab a copy for yourself at:
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