Friday, August 23, 2013

{Review} Switch by Janelle Stalder

The Book

by Janelle Stalder

Series: New World, Book 1
Genre: Dystopian/New Adult/Science Fiction
Expected Publication Date: August 27th 2013

Book Description

All’s fair in love and war.

Two thirds of the world's population has been wiped out, devastated by the worst war earth has ever seen. Still standing amongst the ruins is a mind reader who finds herself on the wrong side of the war. Everyone does what they must to survive. When the rebels bent on bringing down the New World leader start to rise up, it is her job to make sure they stay down where they belong. That is, until one rebel sneaks past her defenses and into her heart. Love will blossom from the ashes, but will it be enough to save them, or will it mean the end of them both?


London, 2035

            They were destroying everything.
            Feathers floated in the air from the ripped couch cushions. Broken glass littered the floor, cracking beneath the heavy soles of the soldiers’ feet. Charlotte knelt beside her mother, her eyes trained on the floor while she watched them out of her peripheral vision. They had stormed their home, their voices shouting orders as their hands forced them roughly to the ground. Her mother had yet to say a word.
            Where was her father? She hadn’t come to expect much from him over the past years, but surely he wouldn’t stand by and watch their home be torn apart in some attempt to find evidence that wouldn’t be there. She could hear the other soldiers outside, raging through the streets, destroying homes. The smell of burning lumber saturated the air. Would there be anything left of Leigh when they were done? Charlotte doubted it. When the New World army came, nothing survived.
“Where is he?” one of the soldiers asked, turning to her mother. Charlotte kept her gaze glued to the scuffed hardwood floors.
            “I don’t know,” her mother said firmly. “I’m not my husband’s keeper.”
            Charlotte glanced up at the man to see his reaction. He wore the customary uniform of the New World army. Black cargo pants, with tall, heavy black boots, and a tight black, long-sleeve shirt with a thick vest overtop that had a star on it, signifying he was the squad leader. Charlotte could see the definition of the man’s muscles beneath his shirt. Everyone knew that the young men of the army were well trained. This one looked not much older than her sister, Bridgette. His face reflected utter distaste as he glared at her mother.
            “If you think you can hide him,” he said slowly, “think again. We know your husband is involved with the rebels. We will find proof here, and then you and your family,” he continued, nodding his head at Charlotte, “will be nothing more than dirt under my feet. I can help you and your daughter if you give me your husband’s whereabouts.” He waited, letting his offer lay between them. “I’ll tell Roman you knew nothing of his dealings.”
            Rebels? That’s what this was about? Charlotte was well aware of the resistance movement – those who were bent on destroying the New World government and returning the world to its former glory. They were all idiots in her opinion. How could they possibly try to fix something that was so broken it could never be put back together? More than half the world’s population and land had been destroyed. What was there to save?
            She looked over at the other two soldiers that were methodically tearing apart the room. The house she had grown up in looked nothing like it had only moments before, and yet she couldn’t bring herself to feel outraged about it. What did that say about her? This was how the world was now; you had something and then you didn’t. Charlotte had learned long ago to be prepared for this. What she wasn’t prepared for was the possibility that her father was a part of the rebels. The two of them had no love for each other; a sentiment lost a long time ago along with her sense of security in this hard, new world. As her father drifted away emotionally, so had she. What was the point anymore? Things like this happened, and when they did, it would only hurt more to care about the loss. She was done hurting. She was done watching everything be obliterated before her eyes. Nothing horrified her. At sixteen she had seen more loss than she could have ever imagined. It just didn’t register anymore.
Ludwig Tenebris and his New World order. The one man who had succeeded in bringing the world to its knees with just a flick of the switch. Communications across the ocean were non-existent, so it wasn’t known if anyone survived in other continents. There was no more television, or internet and computers. Ludwig had managed to cut off everyone’s eyes and ears to the outside world.
            What did these rebels really think they could accomplish? Not only did Ludwig have his own clearly destructive army, he also had strategic ties to getting bombs and guns. He had more ammunition at his fingertips than anyone else in history. They were doomed. Charlotte understood this. She only wished everyone else did too, so situations like the one she was currently in didn’t happen.
            “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” her mother replied, snapping Charlotte out of her thoughts. She turned to look at her mom for the first time since the soldiers arrived. She’d never met anyone as stubborn as the woman who brought her into this foul world. It was one of the things that Charlotte equally hated and respected about her. Seeing her, spine straight, chin lifted errantly as she met a soldier’s glare with one of her own, Charlotte realized that, even now when things were quite possibly at their worst, her mother had no intention of backing down. Bad idea. The New World army had the authority to kill whenever, wherever, and whoever they wanted. You didn’t piss them off – number one rule.
            “Like hell you don’t, woman,” the soldier said. “If you won’t tell me, perhaps you’ll be more cooperative with Roman.”
            Where the hell was her father? Could it be true? Was he a rebel and she just never realized it? Would he sit by and just watch his family be destroyed while he stayed protected? The fact that her instinctive reply to that question was ‘yes’ left a sour taste in her mouth. When was the last time he had done anything to help this family? Why start now? She needed to find out the truth.
            Closing her eyes, she let her mind clear like she had done so many times before. This was her biggest secret, one her parents continually stressed to keep within the family. No one understood why Charlotte could do what she could. Her mother suggested it was a side-effect from the radiation in the atmosphere. A lot of people had gotten sick that first year after the initial waves of bombings. Babies were born with deformities and health issues. It seemed logical to assume her new ‘gift’ was caused by an outside source. Her grandmother, however, had always held that Charlotte had been touched by God.
            “He gave you a special gift so you could use it to help find your path in life,” she’d say. That was right before she passed away a year ago. At that point she had been nothing but skin on bones. Charlotte hated to think of it. She always tried to remember her how she used to be before the cancer took hold. When she had been bright and vibrant. That was the last time she remembered feeling sad about anything. After, it was like nothing could touch her behind the walls she had built. It was the only way to survive now. Be strong, or be killed. She chose to be strong.

My Review

I love dystopian type movies and books. I don't know what it is about them but I love the story concepts and the sheer number of possibilities that one can come up with in a dystopian type setting. I mean, the possibilities are endless and who is to say that it honestly couldn't happen. Who knows!

Well, Switch is one of those dystopian type books where something bad happened and most of the worlds population has been wiped out. What happens when government and the world collapse? Well, you have people who want to rule it. That is just how it seriously would go and how Switch starts out. A horrible war broke out killing two thirds of the entire world. The world has fallen into ruin and now it is being run by New World leaders. However, there are always rebels involved that don't like what the New World leaders are doing so they are trying to band together to take them out. However, what would happen if their worst enemy wasn't the leaders themselves but a girl who can read minds, find out what you are really thinking? How much power would a leader then have having a girl like this by his side? These are some of the questions and thoughts that went through my head when I read the synopsis for this book and even as I was reading the book. Things like this interest me and so did this book.

I want to say first off that the main character in this book is awesome. I loved her and how strong she is. It's nice to see a strong female lead in a book that can totally take care of herself. I love those kind of books. Dynah has been through hell and back in her life and to watch her grow was awesome. She had some things to learn but when she finally allowed herself to really feel it was amazing what she could do.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat because you never knew what was going to happen from one page to the next. It was unpredictable and exciting which is hard to do but Janelle pulled it off beautifully. The connect that the main character had with other characters were written in a way that made you want more to happen but understood when maybe sometimes it didn't.

The characters were written where you couldn't help but to be drawn to them, to connect with them. I found myself being able to not only connect with the "bad" characters but also with the rebel characters. I could see points on both sides which is very rare where I see this kind of thing in a book. Maybe I connect with one or two of the main characters but for me I was able to connect with a majority of them on different levels.

All in all this book was a complete hit for me. I loved and hated it all in the same breath and it kept me wanting more. I can't wait to read more from Janelle Stalder and I am glad that this was the first book by her I had gotten to read. I really can't wait to read more from this series and look forward to  it.

I give this book

Disclosure Notice: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my personal and honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author
Janelle Stalder

Janelle Stalder was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario. At an early age she developed a love for literature. Her debut novel, Eden, was the first book in a series of four, released in September of 2011. The second book, Eden-West, was released in July of 2012, and the third book, Eden-South was released in March of 2013. The fourth book of the Eden Series, Eden-East, will be release at the end of 2013. She is a strong supporter of other independent authors, and loves to interact with her readers. When she's not writing, Janelle is at home with her husband, two children, Aiden and Elora, and her two furry children, Alice and Lily. She now resides in the small town in Ontario in her old, possibly haunted, century home.

Upcoming Projects

Eden-East (Book Four, Eden Series) – October 2013
Brush Strokes (Contemporary Romance) – Early 2014
Masked (Book Two, New World Series) – 2014
Elysium (YA Fantasy Spin-off of the Eden Series) – 2014

Author Links

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