October 9, 2014 Rissi JC 14 Comments

‘THUNDER,’ BY BONNIE CALHOUN. Review of the 2014 YA Revell title. All review text is © Rissi JC

STORY: In the whisper of a prequel, Tremors this world of heroine Selah Chavez was set up in an unusual dystopian world that is full of secrets and heroes in the making. One in which Seleh’s 18th Birth Remembrance changes her life forever. On the eve of her 18th year, Selah captures a Lander – the forbidden race that her kind are not to associate with, only to have her catch claimed by her brothers, who take the stranger – Bohdi, away from her so they can impress their father.

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Determined to prove her worth as a viable member of her family business, Selah tries to learn why the importance of her arranged marriage to a boy she doesn’t know. But then on her birthday, she awakes to more pressing matters: the mark of a Lander is imprinted on her collarbone. Her mother, with hurried instructions and explanations, sends Selah on her way, afraid of what Selah’s father will do when he finds out his daughter is now one of the hunted. This puts Selah on a crash course that leaves her fighting for her survival – and those who haven’t been able to stand up for themselves in a very long time.

Thunder, by Bonnie Calhoun | Book Review

‘THUNDER,’ BY BONNIE CALHOUN #FWarchvies #BookLovers #YALit Click To Tweet

Without hesitation I can say this is one of the more interesting books I’ve read this past year. As a story the premise is nothing if not a fascinating origin kind of novel and even more prominently important (particularly for anyone who likes strong characters), an interesting group of characters whom I enjoyed reading about very much. It’s fantastic to meet a cast of “good guy” characters that we cheer on and also to see them grow in knowledge (and numbers!). Unfortunately, it takes me a little while to actually fully invest in the story; the opening doesn’t really organize well. There’s also portions early on that are a little boring because of the hop scotch game it plays. We jump from Selah then Bodhi, then those with some power (and thus the doors open to the politics of the story) to lab assistants and the perspective of someone I cannot talk about (spoilers!). Thunder does find its footing quick enough and once a pattern takes shape, it’s entertaining.

There is something eerily reminiscent to The Hunger Games about this, though it’s ten times better than the aforementioned bestseller. There’s scientific projects, which are explained as a direct result of the otherworldly events that shape the post-apocalyptic world. Fortunately, here there’s nothing else resembling the “games” that shape Suzanne Collins works. Plus, these characters have the potential to be so much more entertaining than those in The Hunger Games.

If you’re a fan of the dystopian era, then do pick up Thunder. It’s an interesting world with a whole lot of room to grow – in the best kind of way. 

About the Book:

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Bonnie S. Calhoun
Publisher: Revell
Source: Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2014
Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon | Goodreads | WordPress
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Series: Stone Braide Chronicles
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Dystopian
Rating: 4 out of 5

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it – in exchange for an honest review.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Ella October 9, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Sounds very cool!
    I will have to give it a try soon:)

    • Rissi October 9, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      Hope you enjoy when you do, Ella. :)

  • Ella October 9, 2014 at 8:27 PM


  • Bekah M. October 10, 2014 at 1:47 AM

    I'm really looking forward to reading this one- great review! Do you think the prequel is necessary or really adds to the story? I'm trying to figure out if I should read it. Thanks for sharing, Rissi!! :)

    • Rissi October 10, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      I think you can read the book without the prequel and be fine, Bekah (no confusion), though it does add more "history." Either way, I hope you enjoy Thunder! :)

    • Bekah M. October 11, 2014 at 5:51 PM

      Thank you!!!!

    • Rissi October 13, 2014 at 8:25 PM

      Happy reading – Thunder is a great read. :)

  • Anna Ovd October 11, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    I'm a fan of both the divergent and hunger games series. This sounds like something I would love. Will have to read this :)

    • Rissi October 13, 2014 at 8:26 PM

      I think you will indeed, Anna. Hope it lives up to those expectations; I know LOTS of readers adore those two series. :)

  • Birdie October 16, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    I have this book on my Kindle and am looking forward to reading it. I'm seeing so many positive reviews! And if you say it's better than The Hunger Games?!

    • Rissi October 17, 2014 at 6:58 PM

      Well… that is probably saying too much for most readers, I will admit, Birdie since I'm in the minority of not loving THG, however I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was indeed better. Happy reading. :)

  • Tressa S October 17, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    I wasn't sure about this one, but I'm going to have to read it especially if its better than The Hunger Games, which I actually didn't enjoy reading. I have enjoyed the movies, but they skip so much of what I didn't like and that's why. I like how Thunder sounds and looks. Thanks for sharing!

    • Rissi October 17, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      I sure thought it was really good, Tressa – definitely a Divergent, THG vibe in the dystopian genre. Hope when you read it, you like the concept. I'm eager for book two. :)

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