Here are some shorter musings on recent reads.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
I have had this on my list since it came out. Then I thought I might wait unlit the trilogy was finished. One of my teen book club girls chose it for our June book, so I read it earlier than intended. It is quite excellent. I am well and truly over dystopians, but this is so well done. I appreciated the philosophy and exercises in ethics found throughout, as well as the themes on the corruption of man and our lust for power. I also loved the adult characters in the book. They are truly fascinating. The two teen protagonists could have been developed a little better, which is the only reason this isn't getting 5 stars from me. (Funny thing is, this was the prevailing opinion of the teens too.)
Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Odler
I enjoyed this sequel to Shadowshaper. It is a broader book, requiring knowledge of both plot and characters for the previous book in order to fully enjoy it. (If you haven't read Shadowshaper, start there and know you have TWO amazing books awaiting you.) Shadowhouse Fall picks up a few months following the end of the first story. Sierra is training her Shadowshapers and trying to grow into her role as Lucera. In the midst of all of this, The Sorrows are again on the move eager to use Sierra's youth and naivety to gain power again. The world Older created in the first book in the series is widened here, showing many layers and depths. Several new characters are introduced, all of whom add new angles to the story. This is an excellent series that uses mythology and magic and also highlights many social injustices and societal issues. Older does an exquisite job of balancing hope with the starker realities of the world. I also appreciate how there is closure but everything isn't tied up perfectly.