on April 4, 2013
Meh...The interlacing of the Salem Witch Trials was what attracted me to this book (and of course that it was only 99 cents and I had an Amazon gift card). But it was glaringly obvious that Harvard has produced another brainless Twilight rip-off. I like how these dime-a-dozen authors use a thesaurus in an attempt to make things seem more intelligent. +1 for trying to make it historical.
The book seemed rushed and poorly edited. I was disappointed in the main character, Sadie. For someone who has supposedly lived for over 100 years, she was confusingly vapid and immature. Even though she has read thousands upon thousands of books, all she talks about is designer clothes and her appearance. There were many inconsistencies in her reasoning. The relationship between herself and the Edward Cullen wannabe is forced upon the reader. We are just supposed to accept that they are truly, madly, deeply in love, all in an instant! That type of writing frustrates me. It is insulting.
I am wondering when this whole YA vampire cash cow is going to run out of milk?
on August 4, 2011
At first glance, The Survivors seems like a simple(-ish) story about a girl who is a descended from a line of witches dating back to the Salem Witch Trials. And for the first third of the book, it is. But once you really delve into the book. It becomes so much more. I love when a book takes me by surprise. The Survivors is that book.
The Survivors begins with a prologue set in 1692, the height of the Salem Witch Trials. Twenty-six children were exiled, taken out West in the dead of winter, and left for dead. But, fourteen of those children didn't die, they survived. They developed extraordinary powers and all stopped aging. They had children who also had those traits. Sadie, the main character is one of those children. She was born in the 1860s and stopped aging around the age of twenty-one. Sadie was never content wrapped in the isolation of the world the Survivors created. She wanted to know what exactly they were. The answers the Elders of her people gave were never enough. So, she snuck away. Determined to live in the outside world.
At first, I had a hard time connecting with Sadie. She views humanity through an "outside looking in" lens. She seemed almost robotic, and she sometimes annoyed me. I mean, she's beautiful, extremely wealthy, and will be "forever 21". What's not to like, right? Sadie is envious of the one thing humans have that she does not, mortality. Sadie spends her life on a world-wide mission. Traveling, trying to discover exactly what she is and how she and those like her can be destroyed. She is on a virtual suicide-mission. She wants to be able to stop another Survivor if they become evil, but the reason she seems hell-bent on killing herself never became crystal clear to me.
Where the book becomes very interesting to me is when Sadie meets a man who appears to be like her. Then she meets his family of what appears to be more Survivors. One member of this family, Everett, shares an immediate connection with Sadie. They quickly discover that what they have is beyond a connection. They have a destiny together. When she takes this new family to meet hers, chaos ensues. Unable to get any real answers from Everett and his family and her own family of Survivors, Sadie is set off on a mission to discover the true source of the immortals. She encounters old-world lore regarding vampires, witches and shape-shifters.
I have to say that Sadie's mission of discovery and the mystery surrounding it was my favorite part of the book. It seems the author, Amanda Havard, must have done an immense amount of research into European supernatural lore. The in-depth historical detail is fascinating. The mystery of what the Survivors truly are was gripping. The mystery of what Everett and his family are was jaw-dropping. Every time I thought I had the story figured out, everything changed and I was left scratching my head in wonder. The Survivors had me bound, right up until the very end. I can not wait to read the next book, The Survivors: Point of Origin, due out in 2012.
* I LOVE great quotes. I always write them down when I find a great one. This is my favorite quote from The Survivors:
" 'Sadie, you're a strange girl, so I say this with love,' he said, his voice sincere. 'I need you to love me more than death,' he whispered."
on July 15, 2012
Someone else had recommended this book to me, and the premise, the potential, intrigued me. However, I felt like there were too many parallels to Twilight and that I was just reading another pulled to publish fanfiction. When Sadie meets the Winters, every single stereotype of the Cullen family is there. The love story between Sadie and Emmett, er, Edward, er, EVERETT? (really?) was lacking- they just instantly know how deeply they truly love each other. No build up, no foundation, no story. They just...love each other. No really. Sadie's story, as an immortal descendant of the Salem witches, had potential, but what does she do with her power? Mope around about how beautiful she is and wear out name dropping designers and travel all over the world interviewing people to learn more about herself. Blah blah blah. I kept hoping for the pace to pick up, for the tension to build into something. We get a half-assed confrontation between Papa Winter and her ex-communicated family, but there was very little else about the plot that was even memorable.
Don't waste your time, even if the author does have an elementary school library named after herself (snorting laughter here!)
on August 28, 2011
The Survivors by Amanda Havard was one of those books for which I had to force myself to keep going, to ignore the little annoyances, and hope with my fingers crossed that it would get better. I usually wouldn't review a book I didn'tenjoy, but as it turns out, this book ends up getting better and presenting some extreme potential for itself.
I began this book with a certain mindset, thinking it would be more about the witch trials of Salem; however, the book only covers this era briefly, shooting forward to the present day.The story revolves around Sadie, an awkward, supermodel-looking non-human who escaped her oppressive village to live among humans. The first three quarters of the book seem to be mostly about how strange Sadie appears to other hu
mans, the lust she detects from the men she meets, and the jealousy she feels from the women. (Snobby much?) There are also incessant references to designer clothing and expensive cars - these descriptions take up paragraphs of the book which were a little annoying - we get it, she wears ridiculously overpriced clothes in addition to being a man-magnet and the envy of all women.
The story drags on in this way and just when you're beginning to wonder if anything is ever going to happen, the Winters show up and spice things up a little. They encourage Sadie to grow and accept who she is in addition to helping her want a future for herself. I was a little skeptical of this new family and their automatic acceptance, but at the same time I was relieved to finally feel some stimulation in my brain from some much needed action and mystery. It just happens that the Winters have more to do with Sadie's and her family's life than she initially realized, and their connection is the only way to survive the future.
As it turns out, the story gets much better towards the end, the references to designer clothes cease, and Sadie becomes a little less weird. The Survivors is the first book in a series, so this is the one that introduces everyone and gives us all the background information before getting to juicy stuff in the last quarter of the book that familiarizes us with everything to come in the next of the series. :) We are introduced to different and unusual creatures, secrets we never would have guessed, visions of the future, unexpected rebellions, and the possibility of war.
Despite my boredom in the beginning, I think this book is worth reading. If the events the storyline of The Survivors predetermines really come to surface, we're in for an exhilerating, nail-biting ride in the books to come.
on June 24, 2012
The Survivors is the first book in a promising series with the same name. Full of unique paranormal lore and a variety of paranormal characters with a wide range of abilities, Amanda Havard does a great job at introducing readers to her intriguing world. I loved that this series starts out with the Salem Witch trials. There's been little YA books that have their stories tied to this historical event, and I thought Amanda did an incredible job with creating a series that starts off with this horrific event. Though The Survivors doesn't go into details about the Salem Witch trials, the characters that emerge in this book are children who accused of being witches and driven out of their village a couple weeks after the trail was over.
Being a huge paranormal fan, I really enjoyed the wide range of paranormal characters that are apart of Sadie's story. They cover everything from Witches, Vampires, Shape-Shifters and more are. Though they're deemed "out casts" or aren't considered real in the human world, they all live within in their own family groups trying to blend into a world they've never been accepted into, with little to no human contact for the most part. I loved how their old world views clashed with the world's more modern day views. Being an immortal and hiding out of view from humans since the 1600's would take a toll on me. Luckily Sadie isn't a character who sits by idly and allows those leaders of her "family" to make all the decisions for her. She puts herself out there and wants to learn more about who she is, her family's history, how The Survivors, whom are immortal, can be killed. In doing so she goes to place that's forbidden.
I liked that while The Survivors all live within the human world, they find blending in with humans sinful. The fact that Sadie doesn't let that deter her makes me admire her all the more. She has this fierce determination about her that I loved. She's definitely a strong willed character, and someone I enjoyed getting to know. I admire her independence, her quest for answers, and her ability to live among humans no matter how hard it is. A character who matches Sadie's personality well is her romantic interest Everett. They have this sweet, innocent romance that at times made me want to push them together and tell them to just make out already. I will say I respected Everett and Sadie's strong values and their ability to stick to them. Everett is someone I'm definitely looking forward to getting to know more about. The twist about his family that's revealed towards the end of the book is great!
Aside from the characters, I really enjoyed the historical references and the paranormal history and lore that Amanda created. I loved being able to travel all over the world with Sadie in her quest for answers. Her determination to find out more about her history, how Survivors can be destroyed and so forth as she visits different places looking into the paranormal myths present in each location, added some of the excitement into the story line. I enjoyed The Survivors and I thought Amanda did a great job at laying the foundation for the rest of the series, but I felt like something was missing from the book. Given what some of the characters are, I had excepted a little bit more action in this story than there was. I'm looking forward to Point of Origin, and finding out what's in store for Sadie and family next.
on November 20, 2012
With the premise that 26 children were exiled from Salem Village during the Salem witch trials this book drew me in. The survivors ended up forming their own community in Montana and mysteriously manage to survive. Along with survival the members of the group have powers that help the group and help them to continue to live well past a century.
Sadie, believing she is doing the right thing, leaves her safe little community in Montana because she believes this what God wants her to do. She still considers them her "family" and has a sense of loyalty to them and comes to warn them when she believes they are in danger. The elders do not always welcome Sadie with open arms, and in fact, reject the other "immortal" family she has discovered and come to love. It turns out that members of the Survivors family who left the family after her visit, are the ones who turn out to be the greatest danger to the Survivors and her new family. Sadie shows courage and determination to do what she believes is right and to follow her dream of love.
on August 19, 2011
Are you a fan of witches ? Love anything you can get your hands on about the Salem Witch Trials that happened back in 1692 ? For, me I have always been fascinated about reading it and watching movies and I try to read whatever literature arises.So when I saw that a VBT# was being held for Amanda's book, The Survivors, I just had to get my reading paws on a copy and I'm glad I did as the author Amanda has covered and extended a different side of the trials , a side that Ive never really read about before. As we all know their were 26 females, males and children accused of being witches - though how true or false the accusations were we will never know. Many were hung and executed or burnt at the stake , however the Governor Phipps took charge and put an end to the executing and gave them the form of punishment of isolation and exclusion . The 26 were taken to an isolated part of the land where they were basically left to die and fend for themselves. Out of the 26 only fourteen survived and this is the first story about the fourteen remaining.
The story then shoots to present time where we meet Sadie , a girl who is trying to be a normal 21yr old in the year 2011 , when in fact she is really over 300 yrs old. When she witnesses an accident, it will send Sadie running back from the world she has tried so hard to fit into back to the family she has tried to escape from, her past - The Puritanicals.
We read as with uncertainity that Sadie experiences, will her family welcome her back with open arms or will there be resentment from those who she walked out on those many years ago.
What makes this novel different from all those other witch novels that we have read up on , is that Amanda has chucked in a bit of everything from witches , shapeshifters , nosferatu- the creatures we read about in PC and Kristin Cast's House of Night Series and eretica / vicezy vampires which were new terminology I had yet to have discovered.
The Survivors is the perfect read for anyone who enjoys Paranormal, Supernatural Fantasy as it has something from every area chucked in the mix even mortals like me and you.
Looking forward to reading more adventures and what more tales Amanda will come up with in future "The Survivors" books.
on June 23, 2011
Wow! I really and truly enjoyed this book! I loved the settings I feel like I traveled a long way while reading this. While everything took place in our world I also felt like I was taken somewhere else, this place has no name but it left me with a great feeling. The Characters felt so real to me, I smiled with them, laughed with them, and was fearful with them. Sadie was great, she wants to live her life on her own terms, not forced into anything or confined. I loved that about her, another thing I liked was even though she no longer lived in the days of modesty she still holds her beliefs strong. The Winters family... I liked them in the beginning and even though there were some hard times I continued to like them, they all seemed to genuinely care about Sadie even if they didn't always demonstrate it in the best ways. The Survivors are a mixed group, some of them I liked and others could jump off a cliff and I wouldn't have shed a tear. Although I guess they all truly did have the groups best interest at heart. Watching Sadie try to fit in, and worry about small things that most of us never notices about each other was actually my favorite part of this story,. Closely followed by her research into different mythologies, and paranormal creatures. I feel like I might say too much and give too much away, this story should be left to fold out in front of you not spoiled in bits and pieces. I really hope that you guys will pick this book up and give it a shot. I doubt you will be disappointed. I give this one 5 stars!
on June 30, 2011
Sadie is such a complex and interesting character. All she seems to want out of life is to find out what she is and how to end her existence. Looking for these answers, she has left her isolated life and the only family she has ever known. She strives to fit into a human society feeling like she never quite gets it. Sadie's story kept me guessing through out the entire book and I wasn't really sure where the story was headed until it slapped me right in the face. During the first half of the book Sadie is just trying to maintain a seemingly normal life by attending her one and only real friend Corrina's wedding. By the second half of the book things really speed up and start to come together. Sadie starts to find answers to her many questions about who she and the people around her really are. Throughout the book there are a few flash backs that talk about Sadie's family and how they ended up in Montana. Those flashbacks were very interesting, and I think I liked those parts of the story just as much as I enjoyed Sadie's personal story. The Survivors is written from Sadie's point of view so sometimes the story is very much in Sadie's head. I've read other books that are written from a first person point of view, and it doesn't always seem to work for me, but I found it to be very enjoyable in this case.
on September 2, 2013
There were more Salem Witches than we thought. In 1692, during the height of the Salem Witch Trials, numerous young people-children and teens-were accused of being witches. So many had already been accused and they were so young, that rather than hang over these accusations, they were exiled. Twenty six were sent to South Dakota during a terrible winter, and 14 survived. They stopped aging and didn't die. They reproduced and their children and their grandchildren remained in the village, content to be among themselves for eternity and believing that they are alone in their unique situation. No one has ever left.
We meet Sadie in 2011, three years after leaving her family. Sadie doesn't know what she is exactly, and since the book is told from Sadie's point of view, neither does the reader. I liked only knowing as much as the main character did. Sadie is over a century old and stuck as a 21-year-old. She wants to live a lifetime not an eternity and she travels around the world with the hope of gaining mortality.
Shortly after going to a friend's wedding, everything Sadie knows about the Survivors she left is thrown into question when she discovers another person like her while on a late night run. When that individual shows up and threatens her family if she follows him, Sadie is faced with returning home to warn the Survivors that she left behind. Will her family be happy to see her? Could this lead to her getting any answers on what she is?
The Survivors has everything you might want in a story, suspense, scenes with action, characters that draw you in to the unique plot, and yes, romance. Although the attractions are immediate, romance and near-romances were sweet and clean, and they don't fit the traditional formula. It's refreshing.
One may be able to see parallels with other books (that I will not name) but The Survivors is so much more. Much much more. Things I was expecting to happen didn't and instead I was twisted around and taken elsewhere. Havard smoothly and cleverly blends a historical fact with the fantastical what ifs, a recipe for a book that I couldn't put the book down. The Survivors is a promising and exciting start to a series with the same name.
*Review abridged from my book review blog, Reading the Alphabet.*