Simon & Schuster (2009)
ISBN: 978 1 84738 695 3
This book has such a beautiful cover that I’m certain readers will be picking it up just to drool over it, and hopefully, this will lead to them wanting to read it! It’s impossible to underestimate the value of good-looking covers and publishers of YA fiction need to sit up at take notice of these sort of examples, which really draw in the intended readers (ie: teenage girls).
Nora Grey’s life is pretty normal, until Patch comes along. Suddenly, weird things start to happen, and Nora finds herself struggling to not only understand what’s going on in her nice ordinary life, but also for her very survival. Continue reading
Steampunk Chronicles, book 2
I discovered this series by chance, attracted by the gorgeous cover of the first book, The Girl in the Steel Corset, on the shelves of my local variety store. I picked it up on a whim, and absolutely loved it, so was delighted to be able to get a review copy of this, the second book, from NetGalley.
Finley Jayne has experienced a lot of life in her sixteen years. She’s not what you would call “normal”, but is working towards living her life as a whole person – rather than a conflicted creature not even she trusts – with the help of her “straynge band of mysfit” friends, including noble Griffin, super smart and sweet Emily, and strong and surly Sam. When the misadventures of their new friend Jasper take them to America, Finley and her troupe take on a new adversary, all the while still learning about their own abilities, figuring out how their friendships work, and discovering who can truly be trusted. Continue reading
This may be the first debut fantasy I’ve read that I wholeheartedly enjoyed. Kristin Cashore has managed to create a fresh plot, interesting and endearing characters, and a rollicking and romantic read.
Katsa lives in a world where certain individuals have a Grace. Graced persons have a specialist skill at which they excel with little or no training or effort. Graces can be frivolous or highly useful, and a Graced person always has two different coloured eyes. In Katsa’s world, the Graced are not necessarily loved – they are different, sometimes feared, and do not fit easily into society. The king has first refusal on their service; if he chooses to hold them, the Graceling becomes part of the royal retinue, no matter their beginnings. If he does not want them, the Graceling must eke out their own way in the world. Continue reading
(also published as Eon, Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye, and Eon: Dragoneye Reborn)
It’s been a long time since I’ve been sucked into a world so completely that I’ve read each page in breathless anticipation, unable to put the book down. When I managed to pry my eyes from the pages of award-winning author Alison Goodman’s The Two Pearls of Wisdom, it still filled my thoughts, and I counted the seconds until I could immerse myself again.
But where to start? With the utterly real and heart-wrenching characterization perhaps? The author has created a marvellously detailed world peopled with characters who are so non-stereotypical and beautifully realized that you care deeply about their lives, their decisions and their actions. This is true not just of the main character Eon/Eona, but of the supporting cast as well. You fear for Eona as she battles for her power, her life, her honour. You almost cry over her anxiety, and burst with pride at her accomplishments. It is such a powerful connection between characters and reader. The character of Eona is true to her age and experience – her uncertainty about her power, and the decisions she struggles with, are congruent with the overwhelming situation she is facing. She has such enormous responsibility thrust on her from the very beginning, holding the lives of her household in her hands, and then so much more, that her actions are believable and honest. Continue reading
Woolshed Press (2010)
Etienne is not really interested in being a warrior, but as his family’s only son, he is sent to Lucanne to complete his training with Lord Geraint. As a page in the kindly lord’s household, Etienne is to learn how to rule his own estates, when the time comes. When Geraint goes missing on harvest night, Etienne meets the wisewoman Sylvie and her unusual daughter Jeanne, and begins to suspect that all is not as it seems with his lord. Etienne then becomes caught up in a plot to destroy Geraint’s life, a plot that separates them all from their loved ones and regular worlds, and sees them embroiled in the doings of shapechangers and gods.
Based on a medieval romance, Wolfborn takes from history in many ways but in the process creates a richly detailed fantasy world, blending adventure, romance and paranormal elements to create a coming of age story that is quite unique. Continue reading