The legend begins.
In the ancient halls of the Imperial University of Carthak, a young man has begun his journey to becoming one of most powerful mages the realm has ever known. Arram Draper is the youngest student in his class and has the Gift of unlimited potential for greatness . . . And of attracting danger.
At his side are his two best friends: clever Varice, a girl with too often-overlooked, and Ozorne, the ‘leftover prince’ with secret ambitions. Together, these three forge a bond that will one-day shape kingdoms.
But as Ozorne inches closer to the throne and Varice grows closer to Arram’s heart, Arram realizes that one day – soon – he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.
In the Numair Chronicles, fans of Tamora Pierce will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a boy with unimaginable gifts and a talent for making deadly enemies.
Easy to read, although the setting and culture are harder to grasp. This book is a prequel, and like ‘Star Wars’ if you have prior knowledge of the world and the characters in this story, it’s more enjoyable.
‘Tempests and Slaughter’ sets the scene for what is to come. Slow paced it provides detailed character profiles, the action is low key, but life with the three main characters is informative with lots of vivid description.
The three main characters Arram, Ozorne and Varice are linked by destiny and reading this book does make me want to know what the future holds for them. There are obvious similarities with other magical dynasties, but this world is closer to ‘Game of Thrones’ than ‘Hogwarts’. Arram has an undeniable resemblance to Merlin and Harry Potter.
If you enjoy epic fantasy with a magical twist, this story will appeal, especially if you fall within the young adult audience.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager – Harper Collins UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
We were so young when it all happened. Just 13-years-old, making the most of the long, hot, lazy days of summer, thinking we had the world at our feet. That was us – me, Fat Bobby, Jim and Tara – the four members of the Outsiders’ Club.
The day we found a burnt-out car in the woods was the day everything changed. Cold, hard cash in the front seat and a body in the trunk… it started out as a mystery we were desperate to solve.
Then, the Collector arrived. He knew we had found his secret. And suddenly, our summer of innocence turned into the stuff of nightmares.
Nothing would ever be the same again…
As a man’s recollections of a life-changing summer when he was thirteen, this story works. The authentic young teen fears, language and obsessions draw you into the mind of a thirteen-year-old. The naivety of the gang of ‘Outsiders’ is evidenced throughout the story as they encounter bullying, extreme racial and sexual prejudice and violence. Joey’s belief that his father can overcome anything is touching and in character but his actions in the face of the strange and dangerous people and events he encounters seem far more mature than his years.
The setting and characters are almost stereotypical, but again they fit with this genre of novel. So from a technical point of view, this story works, but I didn’t get invested with the characters, except in Joey’s connection with his dog Bandit which is vivid and genuine. The story’s pacing is good but everything is seen from a pre-teen point of view, and so the story didn’t enthral me. The target audience for this book is a more young adult than thriller reader, but as a debut, it is worth reading.
I received a copy of this book from Killer Reads Harper Collins via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
An incandescent, soul-searching story about a broken young woman’s search for a truth buried so deep it threatens to consume her, body and mind.
These are the things Lux knows:
She is an artist.
She is lucky.
She is broken.
These are the things she doesn’t know:
What happened over the summer.
Why she ended up in hospital.
Why her memories are etched in red.
Desperate to uncover the truth, Lux’s time is running out. If she cannot piece together the events of the summer and regain control of her fractured mind, she will be taken away from everything and everyone she holds dear.
If her dreams don’t swallow her first.
An intense, original story but it is so dark and specific. One person’s vision of mental illness, if you don’t share this viewpoint then connecting with the main character and the plot is hard work and probably not worth the effort. The pacing is too slow.
I am not the intended age group, but I have read a lot of YA literature and usually enjoy it, so I guess it’s just this story that’s not for me.
I received a copy of this book from Hodder Children’s Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
Dystopian Cinderella tale aimed at the Teen and Young Adult market. Told from America’s point of view, one of the selected, this portrays a young girl’s emotional journey, in rather unusual circumstances.
This is an introductory novel and mainly catalogues the first part of America’s journey as a ‘selected’. She is a likeable character, mindful of others feelings but definitely a free spirit. The other girls in the story have interesting personalities. There is a love triangle of sorts, which I guess will be explored later in the series.
This book has been around for four years and has attracted a phenomenal amount of very mixed reviews. Whilst, I’m not engaged enough to read anymore in the series, if you enjoy a modern day take on fairy tales with a definite dystopian setting, this should appeal.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins- Children’s via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sean Harker is good at two things: stealing cars and fighting. One earns him money, the other earns him respect from the gang that he calls family.
A police chase through the city streets is just another rite of passage for Sean . . . as is getting nicked. But a brutal event behind bars convinces him to take charge, and turn his life around.
Now he must put his street skills to the ultimate test: as a soldier in the British Army. And the battlefield is London, where innocent people are being targeted by a new and terrifying enemy.
Undercover, under threat – only Sean Harker can save the streets from all-out war.
The story’s vivid imagery draws the reader into the world of London’s street gangs. Sean Harker has many commendable qualities, despite his criminal intentions and is an easy anti- hero to identify with, whatever your age but particularly for the intended late teen, young adult audience.
This is a hard-hitting story. The reality of Sean’s life as a gang member is often sordid but when his luck runs out, the chance to start again beckons but will he survive it? The scene setting of the first few chapters is so important for the rest of the story, as Sean’s new life collides with his old with alarming consequences.
Although Sean makes some questionable choices and friends, these illustrate his naivety, despite his former life as a gang member. The plot is simple to follow but the strong characters make it exciting and page turning and Sean is definitely a character who could have more adventures in future books.
‘Street Soldier’ is great storytelling with a realistic edge. Fast paced action with a true hero and an overriding theme of hope, whatever the challenges.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
‘Did you miss me?’
Returning home to Britannia Beach a year after her life was shattered is bittersweet for Derian Lafleur. Although some things settle back into place, others don’t click like they used to…especially her friendship with Trevor Maverty.
Derian suddenly wishes the boy next door would see her as more than just a kid sister type. She tries to be everything she thinks he’s looking for— bolder, more experienced – but is that who she wants to be?
With the fate of her family’s historic inn on the line and Trevor making life more complicated by the day, Derian struggles to manage her unexpected feelings, and deal with a past she’s not quite ready to leave behind.
Derian returns home a year after her father’ death, to find some things always stay the same, whilst others are subtly different. Derian has a gift, which confuses her. She matures emotionally in this story, as she accepts past tragedy, copes with change and discovers her inner strengths.
Romance or the lack of it dominates Deri’s life. Finding it where she least expects, leads to mixed emotions and false starts. When she accepts who she wants, they are annoyingly reticent.
Deri’s friends and family are interesting, realistic characters, who bring Britannia Beach to life. The language and heat level are appropriate for the intended readers. The ending completes this chapter of Deri’s young life but leaves un- answered questions for the next book in the series.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars