Book Review: Ending Fear by Deanna Fugett

Guys, I am back with a new YA series that you might just become obsessed with.

Ending Fear by Deanna Fugett brings readers to a new world. Fear is a 14-year-old girl who learns she was a parachute baby, dumped over the edge of the Gliding Lands as an infant. Since then, Fear has lived a hard life under the hands of her adopted “family”. Just as she is about to find happiness for the second time, her life is thrown into turmoil again when 8-year-old Happy is kidnapped by the Uppers and Fear vows to rescue her.

Even though it immediately opens with tension and hatred, this is overwhelmingly a story of hope. This is mostly presented through the strong presence of religion. Although religion is forbidden by the Uppers, many Downers still continue to believe in Abba and practice his ways. I have to admit that there is a lot of religious reference in this story and at times it feels like the author is laying it on a bit too think. However, it also made me reflect on my own Catholic upbringing and reminded me to embrace more the positive sides of religion, like forgiveness and kindness, and I guess that can’t be a bad thing.

The inclusion of religion will certainly be a breath of fresh air for younger readers who may have lived a similar life to Fear. We learn early on in the story that Fear was physically, mentally and sexually abused by her adopted family, which led her to believe she was worthless and any kindness must be repaid by unsavoury acts. But as the story goes on, we see her accepting genuine love and friendships and she is able to live her life more as the child she is than an adult and this is wonderful.

The theme of oppression also features in Ending Fear, with the Downers just living to serve the Uppers and becoming more and more void of any individuality or independent thought. Yet, we meet characters who rise above this in non-violent ways and win; another good message set forward by Fugett.

In the next books, I would like to learn more about the Uppers; I am quite curious to see how they will be developed. I would also like to have a more steadily paced read as I felt nothing happened in the first 60% of the book and then the story was just rushed. Anyway, I do recommend this book to anyone in search of hope – Ending Fear will certainly give it to you.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Ending Fear by Deanna Fugett

PS. For all of you on the scavenger hunt, here is your last clue!


Book Review: Ascenders: Omorrow by C.L. Gaber

If you read my review of Ascenders: Skypunch by C.L. Gaber back in September, you will know that I have been eagerly awaiting the next instalment in the series. Last week, I finally got my hands on Ascenders: Omorrow and I devoured it in just a few days.

Omorrow sees protagonists Walker and Daniel, as well as a bunch of their friends – and enemies – travel back to the past to scour New York for the secret writings of Albert Einstein. But, one step wrong from anyone could mean rewriting history or banishing themselves from existence entirely.

I mean, what else can I say? Gaber has absolutely nailed it again. When an author decides to publish a series, there is always a chance of the story becoming poorer as each book is published. Not the case here. Omorrow has the same suspense and thrill as the previous books, even more twists, and, if possible, more emotion. I feel truly invested in Ascenders at this point so I experienced every ounce of pain and joy along with the characters. How could I not? It feels like reuniting with old friends every time I open their new book.

What I really want to focus on in this review is how amazingly Gabor tells a story. She leaves you chopping and choosing about what is going to happen next and her character development is up there with the best. Yes, like I said, the characters are very familiar to me at this stage, but this book really brought me to a new layer of their personalities. It is wonderful to see a previously perceived one-dimensional character such as Eddie reveal what really lies deep inside. For him and for other characters, we gain a sense of understanding about why they act like they do, in the afterlife and when they were on Earth.

You may remember me mentioning somewhere else on Joyful Antidotes that I really love when a fictional story recalls a time in history. In some ways, we had this in the past Ascenders books as students in the Academy found themselves taught by Kurt Cobain and Steve Jobs, among others. Omorrow, however, without giving away any spoilers, helps the reader discover what it was like to live in New York during different periods of time and that, for me, was the icing on the cake.

So, I will finish this review like I have finished the others, by stating how much I loved this book! Seriously, go now and catch up before the fourth part is released at Christmas. I can’t wait!

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Ascenders: Omorrow by C.L. Gaber

Book Review: Ascenders: Omorrow by C.L. Gaber