Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Remnants: Season of Wonder" by Lisa T. Bergren

{{This review was updated to the Official Rating System on March 19th, 2016. This book was first reviewed on September 17th, 2014.}}
About this book:

  Andriana is a Remnant, gifted as an empath and one of the Ailith, destined to act as humanity’s last shield against the horrors that now plague those who remain.
  After years of training in stealth and warfare, Andriana and her Knight protector, Ronan, are finally ready to answer the Call and begin the life they were designed for. But as they embark with the other Remnants on the first of their assignments, they quickly discover that the world beyond their protected Valley is more dangerous than they imagined.
  The Sons of Sheol will stop at nothing to prevent Dri and Ronan from rescuing anyone sympathetic to the Remnants’ cause. And as the Remnants battle the demonic forces, still other enemies close in. Dangers intensity, but so do Dri’s feelings for Ronan–the one emotion she is not meant to feel. In the midst of their mission, Andriana must find a way to master her feelings. Or risk compromising everything…”

Series: Book #1 in “The Remnants” series. Review of #2 Here! {More about this series:
In the first book of the new futuristic dystopian series from author Lisa T. Bergren, the chosen remnants must work to redirect humanity’s course.”}

Spiritual Content- Very much the Light vs the Dark storyline; All about the Call & high gifts; Many, many, many Prayers, Talking to & Focusing on the Maker; Many, many, many talks about the Maker, his presence & power, along with listening, trusting & relaying on him and choosing good; ‘H’s are not capital when referring to the Maker (easy to assume that the Maker is supposed to be God); A couple Scriptures are remembered & mentioned; Many Mentions of prayers & meditation; Mentions of praising & thanking the Maker; Mentions of the Sacred Words (assumed to be the Bible); Mentions of visions of angels (& demons & dark angels); Mentions of followers of the Way; Mentions of being blessed & blessings; A couple mentions of miracles;
*Note: ‘saints’ is said like a cuss; We can assume that Sheol is supposed to be Satan (though it’s never straight-out said); A man does a “h*llish call” (Dri later says “It was the sound of the dead and d*mned”); Being summoned to evil spiritual places & feeling the darkness (semi-detailed); Keallach like to preach enlightenment; Drifters loathe the talk of the Maker or any god and will kill anyone who mentions them; A mention of a devilish smile; A mention of hell’s gates; A couple mentions of warlocks & witches; A few mentions of fortune tellers who summons the spirits of dead people; Mentions of magic & sorcery (along with sorcerers); Mentions of Greek mythology; Mentions of religions; Mentions of a monastery and monks (who believe no god but have a goal to entice the earth back “to her normal rhythms”); Mentions of the afterlife, the next life & the afterworld (we can assume the author means Heaven, but it’s not ever said).

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘sheesh’, a ‘stupid’, a ‘suck’, a ‘what the—‘, a ‘wicked-good’, two ‘what in the heck?’s, three forms of ‘idiot’, three ‘shut up’s (one has a please before it); An oath is swallowed; Two curses are said but not written; Lots & Lots of Fighting, Killing, Hitting, Battle, almost being killed, Blood, Arrows, Swords, Daggers & where they are aimed/put (all ranging from semi-detailed to detailed); Lots of Pain & Feeling pain (semi-detailed); Fear & Terror (semi-detailed); Enemies & Trackers (and to kill one you have to cut out their heart or decapitate them); Many Mentions of pain, blood & injuries (semi-detailed); Many Mentions of torture, deaths, murders, killing & bodies (semi-detailed); Many Mentions of illnesses, the Cancer & pain (semi-detailed); Mentions of bullets & shooting (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of thirst for blood; Mentions of hate, jealousy, arresting & prisons; Mentions of crimes, hanging & the gallows; Mentions of heads being cut off; Mentions of hittings & beatings; Mentions of kidnappings & taking children (semi-detailed); Mentions of nightmares; Mentions of wars; Mentions of pubs, taverns, drunks, drinking, wine & whiskey; Mentions of hunting (animals and humans); Mentions of butchering deers for food (blood, semi-detailed); Mentions of dead horses (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of lying & fibs; A few mentions of abuse & beating women; A couple mentions of human waste, sewage, foul smells & private business; A couple mentions of skeletons; A couple mentions of gambling & betting; A couple mentions of smoke; A couple mentions of vomit; A couple mentions of eating horse meat; A mention of a drowned foal; A mention of a girl who was burned alive; A mention of a man who was cut apart; A mention of urinating.

Sexual Content- Remembering an almost kiss (semi-detailed); an almost kiss, a head kiss, a forehead kiss, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, one semi-detailed kiss and a detailed kiss; Wanting to be kissed & Touched (up to semi-detailed); Many Touches, Embraces & Shivers (semi-detailed); Staring at bare skin & lips (semi-detailed); Hair is let down & Hand holding (semi-detailed); Lots of Noticing, Nearness, Warmth & Smelling (semi-detailed); Many  Men stare, leer, rake & lustfully admirer women (including Dri; comments (up to semi-detailed)); a ‘wench’; Dri & Ronan have feelings for each other; Dri wishes Ronan would love-love her because he holds her heart; Ailiths aren’t supposed to marry, mate & bear children; The men of Zanzibar (a place/city) treat their women as property to be obtained, kept & traded and added that “since brown eyes were the norm any other color were apparently prized.”; Women are referred to as women-flesh by men at Zanzibar; Zanzibar women belong to their men and show it by walking behind him with her hip on his hip; Men at Zanzibar & another city ask if the woman are for sale/trade (along with mentions of not caring about the age, paying for them & asking if she’s a certain man’s “womanflesh”); Men try to take Dri & want to sell her to Zanzibar as womanflesh (They call her dolly. A mention of an auction, slaves & being a man’s property.); A 50 year old woman says that Zanzibar “is no place for women, whether or not she’s reached her second decade. Even I barely get in and out unmolested.”; In Zanzibar, women are valuable & men act like rabid dogs (hungry) towards them, not caring about their ages; Zanzibar has a one child per family policy where the males are most wanted, therefore the females are usually drowned or left to die; Women of Pacifica have a high infertility rate & many chose not to bear children fearing what it will do to their bodies; A man has five wives only to protect them and their children; A man slaps his women’s backside; A lustful man touches Dri’s waist and back, tries to pull her closer, his lips hover near her face, & his fingers linger on her legs (she gets away before anything else happens); When a man tries to touch Dri’s hair (near her breast) tells him he cannot touch her; The story of Zesus & how he seduced a women (as a swan) and it resulting in two eggs; A mention of refusing a man’s advances; A mention of a place gentlemen wouldn’t go; A mention of a harem; A couple mentions of taking women; A couple mentions of putting a woman in her place; A couple mentions of birthing pains & the womb; A couple mentions of parents being discouraged from procreating; Mentions of women kissing & sitting in laps of men (while wearing revealing clothes); Mentions of kissing; Mentions of flirts & flirting; Mentions of blushes; Mentions of jealousy; Mentions of girls far younger than age 20 marrying; Mentions of good-looking men & pretty girls; Mention of compliments & people believing to only exchange compliments in the most intimate of situations (“Catering to our most base desires…”); Mentions of terrible comments of a woman attending to a man’s needs; Mentions of women being used; Mentions of men who trade women; Many Mentions of lust & men wanting women; Attraction, love, falling/being in love and lots of the emotions;
             *Note: A mention of a dress with its neck wide, but covering Dri’s breasts; A mention of a dress Dri wears that taut over her breasts and hips; A mention of a butt hurting from riding a horse; A couple mentions of bra & underwear; A couple mentions of half-dressed women; A few mentions of women in Castle Vega showing their bellies & cleavage while kissing men; A few mentions of nakedness; Mentions of stripping down to underthings to bathe; Dri accidentally flashes her bare belly & Ronan quickly looks away (when he accidentally shows his bare chest/neck, she stares); A man takes off his shirt in front of Dri and he has her put a new shirt on him.

-Andriana “Dri”, age 17
                                        First person P.O.V. of Dri
                                                        416 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating- 
This is such a Lisa T. Bergren novel! I don’t think I’ve read any dystopia books with swords and arrows. {“River of Time” series, anyone? Review of Book #1 in that series, HERE!} I, of course, had to dock stars because of the Negative & Sexual content. I was expecting a really big cliff-hanger at the end and was shocked when there really wasn’t one.
Here’s a neat feature in the back of the book!

Ailith: A-lith ("noble war"; "ascending, rising")
Andriana: An-dree-ana, or Dree, for "Dri" ("warrior")
Asher: Ash-er ("happy one")
Azarel: Ah-zah-rell ("helper")
Bellona: Bell-oh-na ("warlike")
Chaza'el: Chazah-ell ("one who sees")
Kapriel: Kah-pree-ell (variant of "warrior")
Keallach: Key-lock ("battle")
Killian: Kill-ee-un ("little warrior"--though he's not so little in my novel!)
Raniero: Rah-near-oh ("wise warrior")
Ronan: Row-nun ("little seal"; I know. Not as cool, right? But he was named Duncan at first draft and I had to change it due to publisher request, and "Ronan" sounded like a medieval, cool warrior name to me. I overlooked the real translation in favor of the man he became in my story. And that guy, to my mind, is more like a warrior, with the spray of the sea upon his face as he takes on the storm--which is like a seal!)
Tressa: Tre-sah ("late summer")
Vidar: Vee-dar ("forest warrior")

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

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