Join or Die

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 13 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

This was a fun, fast paced read. Alex was a cute main character, he's been through a lot since his dad abandoned his mom and him. He's a bit jaded but he's a nice guy and stands up for others which was awesome. He also doesn't judge people right off the bat and the friends he made will be even more loyal because he gave them a chance and will do anything for them.
The beginning of the book is a bit of an info dump, but Alex is being introduced to a whole new world so it fit in the context of the plot. The scavenger hunt was a fun storyline and helped bring the circle together. I enjoyed all the magical creatures we encountered in the story and it seems there are many more to come! I'm really looking forward to seeing what Alex and his friends will become after the Change.
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The book follows a 14 year old boy called Alex who discovers he is half creature as his dad was a dragon shifter. Alex is set to change soon so he has to leave home and is sent to a school for the supernatural. 

The main character Alex is meant to be 14 but he didn't feel 14 to me. Alex tries to be witty and some bits were funny and others just didn't work for me or were a little tiring after so many other comments. Alex also has major daddy issues and complains about his dad a lot. One thing I found to be a little unbelievable was how quickly he just accepted that he wasn't human. I don't think I would accept it that quickly. Alex is also judges people a little quickly. 

I loved the amount of creatures that were added as there's so many from different cultures and mythologies which i thought was a nice touch. The characters aren't fully fleshed out but it is the first book in an series so I'm guessing the characters will develop more later on. The character friendships do develop in the book and I did like that but I wanted to know more about the characters motivations in joining Alex. The worldbuilding also felt a little confusing or it needed more building but again it's a first book so I hope there will be more in later books.

The writing was okay, it was easy to read but I felt more description could have been used in certain areas. There is a lot of cursing in this book, way more than normal and i wasn't expecting it. There's a lot of common tropes in this book with the academy, finding out your not human/normal, daddy issues and fight for the throne/leadership just to name a few which isn't necessarily a bad thing but I ended up comparing this book to other books with the same tropes. By the end there are many things left unanswered which I hope will be in future books.

Overall this is an okay fantasy that I sort of enjoyed reading but it was also similar to other books that I have read recently. I have to say if you like books with a school setting and of children with powers then this would be a great read for you.
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Until he comes home one day to find a Bugatti Veyron in his drive, Alex has absolutely no idea what he really is. Suddenly his absent father's best friend is whisking him away to a boarding school for creatures, where he will have to learn how to blend into human life once he changes into whatever creature he will become. But the change isn't all he has to worry about. He's descended from the Scion, a supernatural peace keeper and now has to compete to become the next in line.
I really enjoyed this first book of the trilogy. I love that Alex isn't afraid to show his feelings, and the friends he makes at his new school are almost like a second family to him. Bring on book 2!
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I have mixed feelings about this book. I think the premise is fantastic but the execution wasn't all that I was hoping for. I was so looking forward to the setting of the school and the different classes, but unfortunately I was very disappointed. Aside from 'creature basics' the classes didn't seem to really fit for me. What kind of werewolf fights with a sword? I found that class, among others, quite bizarre. 

I loved the variety of different creatures, I thought that was great but I did feel like they lacked depth (with the exception of Elvy). I also thought that the character development and their relationships with one another could have been built on more. I just didn't find it believable and although I am very very glad we weren't  subjected to cringe-worthy immaturity from our young teen characters (as is seen with a lot of other YAs) Alex did seem mature way beyond his 14 years. Also, I found the course language a little high for a book with such a young target audience.

A few things I did really like were the concept of the veil, the scene with the mirror and Elvy. I thought he was the best established character and it's a pity he lost most of his page time once the others joined. It felt like he was left to the shadows a lot of the time.

Finally, this book had such a large number of spelling and grammar mistakes throughout that it really hindered the reading experience. It's as if this book never got a single round of editing. At first I thought it was an arc but now I realise others have pointed out that this was a copy of the final book? Either way, I find it quite unacceptable. Yes, this was a free copy but it is in exchange for an honest review and I think readers deserve and expect a little better.
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I absolutely loved this book. It's a bit like Harry Potter, but for Creatures. There's a magical school where Creatures go in Kentucky. Some Creatures are half human, but almost all are waiting for the change when their true creature identity emerges. The children are a mix of various different types of Creatures. What they will truly emerge into could be anything.

At the school, when their true nature emerges, the teachers and administration will know what to do to help them harness their powers and keep them under control. Because there's nothing like a group of teenagers with newfound powers running all over the place.

Alex Ayers hasn't seen his father in such a long time. He ran out on him and his mom when he was young. When Durant, a friend of his father's, turns up at his home to whisk him away to this magical school, Alex is not thrilled, because it takes him away from his school, his best friend and his mother.

Alex quickly adjusts to this new school. What Durant did not tell him is that candidates to become the next Scion are being killed all around the world - and Alex is a candidate. Only he and his cousin are left, the only two heirs to the Scion. When they reach their senior year, they will fight each other to become the Scion. They must create a ciorcal of Creatures that will fight alongside them. Raina has her way of doing things, but Alex is more interested in creating a ciorcal of friends that he can trust.

Book one is freshman year for Alex and his friends.

I cannot wait to read the rest of this series. I am very interested in seeing how this plays out for the kids.

Highly recommend, especially if you are a Harry Potter fan!
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https://librarytalker.blogspot.com/2020/01/join-or-die.html

Alex Ayers is a regular kid with a bit of a temper, a best friend, a single mom, and a pretty good life in Las Vegas. That all changes when his absent father's best friend shows up and tells him he has to leave to attend an exclusive magic school before he Changes into some sort of mythological/magical creature.

At 14, he doesn't have any choice, so he's sent off to Fios Academy to learn about his past, his present, and his possible future as the next Scion who, with his ciorcal of friends, keeps the Creature community in line.

He's got competition for the Scion job, though, and also a few Creatures who aren't happy with any Scion being in charge. 

Alex has to learn about his own half-Creature self and history before things get out of control.

Final thoughts: I enjoyed the book while reading it, but I can't help comparing it to Harry Potter. He's about the same age. He si half-human (Muggle) and half-Creature (Wizard). He's a Chosen One. There are forces against him from the start from competition in the school to dangers from without. There's a barrier to protect the school from outside harm. There's a mysterious headmaster. He's forming a circle of friends who all specialize in different things that he'll need as time passes. The list goes on and on. But, again, I enjoyed the read. If I see the sequel pop up, I'll probably read it, too. And it does look to be at least a few books if it goes year-by-year at the school.

Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the ARC.
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This novel has a lot of potentials if the author played around with the creatures a bit more because there is supposed to be a depressed vampire having an identity crisis, but he only has an issue with who he is and dresses in black. There is a boy with a very bubbly personality who gets overlooked because the creature is only on the female side, so there is the suspense of waiting to see what kind of monster he will become. 
The prologue needs to be clarified if it is from Alex's perspective or the scion who got murdered before Alex even knew any of this existed. Also, this book could use another few rounds of editing because there were a lot of sections that I had issues with because I was too busy trying to decipher what the author wanted to say.
I could have finished it in a day, but life happened.
If people like mythologies this is definitely a book to check out as long as you are aware that the book is not perfect.
4 out of 5 stars
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Bar a few episodes of violence and the handling of death that should be noted, this was a good YA book and worth reading.  It stood out to me as being a solid read.
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A bit of a slow start with all the introductions of characters and world building/background. Alex's past and new life are still a bit of a mystery. We get some answers in this book but I expect there will be more in the next. I really enjoyed the scavenger hunt part and wish it was a bit longer. His group of friends (and enemies) are varied types of creatures from myths, horror stories, legends. Overall a good read
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Great for fans of Percy Jackson and the such like. Nothing amazing but a solid, enjoyable text that I think lots of kids would enjoy.
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I received Join or Die by J.Adrian Ruth for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book will be published on the 1st June 2020. I will include links to the author at the end of the review. 
 
TW: violence, death 
 
Join or Die is about a fourteen year old boy, Alex Ayers, who finds out that he is not entirely human as he once thought. He is introduced to a secret world full of monsters in a boarding school designed to help young creatures adapt in the mortal world. 
 
It includes all of the usual supernatural creatures such as vampires, werewolves and wizards as well as some fun creatures that you don't usually see in books such as valkyries, berserkers and yuki-onna. It was so original to have a a mix of these creatures and intriguing to learn about some legends that I hadn't heard of before. Additionally, I loved the angle of the young creatures having to learn how to survive in the mortal world. In a lot of books you find that the half-human characters have to forget about the moral world and just learn about the new ones, it was so clever how this book turned that trope on its head. 
 
Alex Ayers, our protagonist, is thrown into this world suddenly when an old friend of his absent father reveals that Alex is on the verge of the 'Change'. He has to move away from the only home he has ever known to face becoming a supernatural creature, having to make new friends whilst also having to constantly look over his shoulder as his life is in danger. A little detail that I thought was a really nice touch was how Alex's homesickness was portrayed. It was a great reminder in this new world that he is just a kid and even though he is introduced to a world of magic, he is still going to miss his mum, friends and home. 
 
The world building in this book is fantastic! I love all of the little details that were similar to our world but slightly different to accommodate the Creatures/ the Otherworld. 

There is so much enjoyable content offered in this book, there is definitely something for everyone. It explores family, friendship and even contains my favourite book trope of unlikely friends becoming family. There is mystery, betrayal, rivalry and bucket loads of magic plus a pretty spectacular scavenger hunt.
 
This book is perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson! It shares so many lovable elements from both of these books such as going to a remote boarding school or having a complicated relationship with parental figures. Reading Join or Die gave me the same magical and warm feeling that I got from Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, I know that this series is going to be just as special.
 
On that note, I was excited to hear that this was going to be part of an ongoing series (Heir of the Scion). This book was the perfect set up for further books as it resolves so many questions but there is so much potential for further growth and upcoming challenges for all of the characters - I'm so excited to see what happens next! 
 
Thank you to NetGalley, the publishers and the author for this opportunity!
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Join or Die by J. Adrian Ruth is the first book in the Heir to the Scion series.

This was a nice, quick read. It's been a while since I've read this kind of YA fantasy.

Alex is a teenage boy who one day discovers he's not entirely human, because his father is actually some kind of magical creature. Alex is sent to a school where all kind of creatures live, to learn more about this other world he is now suddenly a part of, and what the Scion is.

I loved all the creatures from all kind of cultures and mythologies, and since it's been such a long time since I've read about "young person finds out he/she isn't just human" I enjoyed that part too.

I felt it was a little fast forward, without too much explanation. I did like that the reader learns about this new world along with Alex, so the reader will only get to know something if Alex asks the right question, and if the other characters feel like answering. Alex doesn't ask the questions I would imagine someone who just discovered he's only half human would ask, but it's not like I can know for sure what anyone would say to that. It's just that Alex accepts a few things very quick, while there are other thing he just never accepts. He also judges people a little too quick.

I also don't know (or remember) how teenagers think and speak. It felt very much like an adult trying to imaging how teenagers think and feel (which is what most YA is), but this it was just a little too exaggerated in my opinion.

So many of the characters act all tough, in kind of a childish way. "And if we hadn’t all already agreed that we need you in my ciorcal, I’d shove this sword up your ass right now. God, what a stuck-up dick.". I never see a person as more mature if they threaten and swear, but it might just be me?

I didn't feel like the characters were much thought through, mostly just made up for the convenience.

Overall, I did actually enjoy it, and might read the next book when it comes out, but I think younger readers (it's YA after all) will like it more than me.
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A boy finds out he's different from other boys and is called to attend a magical school. A familiar storyline, however, doesn't make for an uninteresting one.
This book tells us of Alex who is half-human and half Creature. I particularly like the portrayal of Alex's family, a struggling single mother and a missing father. Alex is good and angry about his father's abandonment which makes for an edgier character than Harry Potter and for edgy dialogue, although nothing that isn't pretty realistic teen usage.. A number of teens do experience abandonment by parents and this is interesting territory to explore.
As Alex learns to get along in his new school, he makes unusual friends, a vampire-elf, a werewolf, and a Valkyrie. He also learns more about his absent father, while worrying about what will happen when he comes to the "Change." During that phase of his life, he will find out more about his Creature side. He's not quite there as this book ends.  More of the story is coming and I liked this novel well enough to seek out the second book.
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I loved this book so much. It was the perfect mis of fantasy, mystery and young adult reading. A simple and easy book to read. Was a favourite from this years reads. I cannot wait to read more from this series.
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Join or Die was a very entertaining YA fantasy novel, which although it does not do anything new, was an engaging read full of believable and quirky characters. Alex is a young teen from Las Vegas who early in the novel realises he is not human and is whisked off to a boarding school for creatures who are a breed of human and other things such as vampires (his room mate). He's also very powerful , although he does not yet know how to harness his power, which is a big part of the novel. 

The story cleverly balances the fantasy aspect with the fact that Alex is still a teenager and that is convincingly portrayed in the plot and the misfits be bands himself with. It sets itself up nicely for a sequel. Well worth checking out.
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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

I enjoyed this as a 'I've finished Harry Potter - what can I turn to next' sort of book. Teenager, change is happening (in more than one way for poor Alex, who turns out to be a creature as his father was a Dragon shifter). There is love, adventure and a journey to be had. 

I will mention a warning about language as it is not appropriate for a primary/elementary school library - it is better suited for a middle/high school library. 

While it is a story that has been done before (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson etc) it is a fun read with sarcastic humour and a few witty comments spread throughout the pages. If you enjoy fantasy YA, then this is definitely a pick for you, I am looking forward to the sequel when it come out.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I gave this book 4 stars. I enjoyed this book a lot, it was fun, snarky, and intriguing. Alex is a 14 year old living with his mother when one day a man named Durant arrives at his house and explains that he is not actually human. He takes Alex back to Fios Academy, a boarding school filled with various Creatures.

Alex was a fun protagonist and his witty/snarky personality shines throughout the story. He and all of his friends are well developed and I fully enjoyed each of them. The story felt a tad rushed, sometimes a chapter would end and then suddenly they would be onto the next thing. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My only quibble with the book was the language, and that’s just my personal preference. There is a lot of cursing in this book, it felt like it was on about every other page. Sometimes it just felt a little unnecessary and with so much of it sometimes it would take me out of the story.

That being said, I really enjoyed this book. I definitely got some Percy Jackson at Hogwarts vibes. I plan on continuing in this series and I would definitely recommend this book.

My review is currently up on GoodReads and has been posted on Instagram on 12/14/2019
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His lungs burns as he gets to breathe.he can feel them behind him hunting like a dog.he is trapped in human form unable to fly as a crow or make it to water.
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I thought this one sounded promising. The world within the world/regular kid finds out he's magical trope has been done - many times I still often enjoy this type of story, and the Creature angle sounded just novel enough to grab my attention. Plus I liked the cover. When I started reading, I realized it was short - which I also thought seemed promising, since my one complaint about stories in genres that are often-visited like this one is the authors try to layer on details in the attempt to make their stories longer and differentiate them from the others out there.

All of which is a long way of saying that I was looking forward to this one. Then I started reading it. Sigh.

All of the things that I thought had potential fell flat for me. The book felt like I was reading any of 17 others, frankly all of which are better written. This one isn't labeled an ARC, yet it read like something that had never been edited - by the author OR an editor - and I found that off-putting from the beginning. A few typos in an ARC I can handle. Mistake after mistake, from grammar to missing words, in a  supposedly finished book, on the other hand, I cannot. This one felt cobbled together, and that coupled with surprisingly uninteresting characters and plot cover meant that I struggled from the beginning and ultimately couldn't finish it.
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Great addition to the YA genre. Lovers of Percy Jackson will enjoy this series. Likeable characters . thoroughly Enjoyable. Can’t wait for next chapter.
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