Wreck by Fleur Ferris

“Truth without fear”
“Truth is far more potent than lies. It’s as forceful, constant and as indomitable as gravity.. Truthful news may not always be good news, but it’s vital…”

Release Date: July 2017
Published By: Penguin Random House, Australia

Fast paced, action packed and suspenseful, this would have to be the YA thriller of 2017!!Once again, my friend Fleur Ferris is back with her third novel, “Wreck” and once again…
She does not disappoint!!!

This book was simply “unputdownable” and if I didn’t have to work full time I would have finished this book much sooner!! From page one this book really was a page turner, such a suspenseful story!!! “Wreck” is a fantastic story where 2 worlds collide over a 5 year old mystery and a battle for the truth to finally set one free begins. Written in 2 perspectives, Tamara and William, what I loved about this book (besides how well it’s written) was how both voices are very distinguished and each character’s story was set in a different time. One is told in the present and the other’s was set 5 years prior.

In the present day, Tamara is interning at the local paper and is supposed to be celebrating O-Week to start her first year in uni, yet she finds herself roped into a situation where her home was ransacked, her world has just been turned upside and her life is in danger. All this because Tamara randomly found a note – a note that somebody is desperately trying to hide and will kill for. Now on the run and not knowing who to trust (not even the police) Tamara is trying to piece together a jigsaw puzzle that seems to be getting bigger and bigger at every turn.

Even with both perspectives and backstory, the big mystery kept unravelling which raised more questions than answers and made me formulate theories as I went along, what a wild ride that was!! At some parts I was frustrated with the characters but then again, put yourself in their shoes – would we have reacted the same way or would we have known better?

Special thanks to Fleur Ferris for sending me an Advanced Review Copy, can’t believe this is the third novel I have read by Fleur and each time I am left stunned..
GREAT JOB!!

-Annie

Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts: Ten Tales from the Deep, Dark Woods by Craig Phillips

A fantastic collection of diverse myths and legends from around the world – from Iceland to Poland to Japan, altogether in one graphic novel!!!

Tales include a cobbler girl tricks the Wawel Dragon, after all the king’s knights fail… The Polar Bear King loses his skin… Momotaro, born from a peach, defies the ogres everyone else is too scared to face… Snow White and Rose Red make friends with a bear…

This collection contains 10 tales and are retold as comics that includes adventures with giants, trolls, witches and beasts!!!

The art work is simply amazing, the legends and folktales are so exciting!! It’s one a graphic novel you would read over and over again and keep for collection. This is something I recommend to readers young and old alike who, like me, love myth and legend. I also recommend this for kids storytime – where parents can read to the children. It is pretty easy to follow however some themes may require parental guidance – the artwork is extremely details – such a visual feast!!!

Many thanks to Allen & Unwin Publishers for sending me an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.

-Annie

Everlife Series by Gena Showalter

These are reviews for 2 books in the Everlife Series by Gena Showalter, Firstlife (Book 1) and Lifeblood (Book 2). Having heard and read mixed reviews on both of these, I decided to take the plunge and read it myself to draw my own conclusion – turns out, I thoroughly enjoyed both books and recommend to fans of YA fantasy fiction and Dystopia.

Firstlife, Book 1
ONE CHOICE – TWO REALMS
Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is  17 year old girl who has spent the past 13 months locked up in Prynne Asylum. Her crime was not her obsession with numbers but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live, after she dies… In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon finding herself on the run, Ten has to decide who to trust and which realm to pledge her allegiance..

Although there is a lot of information provided to intricately build this new world, I found it quite easy to read. It call this a dystopian preparation for the afterlife – where our time on earth is only prep for the next life however while we are on earth we are dictated to choose which realm we would go to – Myriad or Troika – those who don’t make a choice are the unsigned and doomed to the Many Ends.. I enjoyed the plot, the way the story was going, the struggles the character faced which did have me on the edge of my seat and I also found the character quite unique with her obsession with numerology during intense times.

Lifeblood, Book 2
I don’t want to say too much about this one to avoid spoilers however this is the continuation of Ten’s journey. “My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning. ” With her last living breath, Ten Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences of the decision she made. With an interesting storyline and plot twists, it’s made me want to continue Ten’s journey in book 3!!

Many thanks to Harlequin Publishers for sending me a Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Annie

 

 

 

Kingmaker Chronicles by Amanda Bouchet

These are 2 books I read one after another – a new personal favourite, I am looking forward to book 3!!!

A Promise of Fire: Book 1
Catalia “Cat” Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. A smart-mouthed soothsayer, she has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar but when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice but to tap in to her power. Griffin, another character you meet, is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm and when he discovers Cat’s identity, he abducts her…
An addictive read, one that I couldn’t put down!!! A Promise of Fire is a beautiful way to start a series.
The characters know how to handle themselves and I wanted to know what happens to them next. The characters had the feelings that I’ve known them for a few years and that they were friends.

Breath of Fire: Book 2
Catalia “Cat” Fisa’s story continues as she’s been on the run from her destiny ever since she could crawl but now she’s caught between the shadow of her tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future..

As soon as I started to read Breath of Fire, I was immersed. The only put this book down once and that was to get a couple hours of sleep before I went to work. As soon as I was walking to the train station my nose was straight back into this world. I was ecstatic to be with Cat and Griffin and the other members of the Beta team, again. The relationships between all the characters have been growing. Their pasts are also coming out slowly coming to light. Magic, adventure, action, and the Greek Gods are all part of the fun.

Many thanks to Hachette Publishers for sending me a Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Meredith

The Silent Invasion by James Bradley

“Heart-Poundingly-Un-Put-Downable!!!” (if there never was such a phrase, there is now after reading this book!!)

The Silent Invasion: Futuristic.. and.. Possible!!

Set approx. 10-20 years from today in real world Land Down Under (Australia), where Australia has fallen victim to the silent invasion of a bacteria.. or spores from space that has choked the earth killing plants and living things and has taken over mankind. In response to this invasion, cities are now in lockdown under martial law and Quarantine officers are authorised to capture those who have been infected and are going through the “Change”.

Callie is the protagonist in this story who will stop at nothing to save her little sister from being captured by Quarantine once she was in contact with the spores and has been on the run ever since. Their journey is a heart pounding one that really keeps you turning the page as they are fugitives of Quarantine, in hiding from their own family trying to get to a safe zone and have no idea who to trust. They are running through places that were once known as suburbia, but now known as “zones” facing walls and blockages upon every turn and having to throw themselves into hiding every time they see a drone hover nearby.

While reading this, I had a “Tomorrow when the war Began” meets “The Hunger Games” vibe and like the time I read John Marsden’s Tomorrow series, I couldn’t help but keep thinking “what if???” Yes.. I was thinking.. this sort of silent invasion is actually possible but as in a silent invasion of strains of flu getting worse/stronger each year or new diseases that appear out of nowhere as though someone has re-opened Pandora’s box. Who knows if Australia will end up like that and be subject to this sort of Quarantine. 

The book is written very well and keeps you hanging for more especially with the twist right at the end!!! This book is suitable to readers young and old alike and I highly recommend it to those who enjoy YA dystopia – or like me, who are a fan of the Tomorrow Series too!!! I really hope the sequel wont take too long to be released now…

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan Publishers for approaching me to be part of this reading/review tour and for sending me an advanced review copy in exchange for my review.

-Annie

The Reader by Traci Chee

“Once there was, and one day there will be. This is the beginning of every story.”

One of the most interesting stories I have ever read!!!
A very unique world and storyline that I would like to rate 4.5 stars!!!

The protagonist is Sefia and she lives her life on the run after her father is viciously murdered, she dwells in the forest with her only remaining relative, Nin – the only one she can now trust. They survive in the wilderness together until one fateful day, Aunt Nin is kidnapped and Sefia is suddenly on her own, with no lead as to who’s taken her Aunt or why accept for only clue – a strange rectangular object that once belonged to her father – something she comes to realize… is a book!! In a world where reading is unheard of, Sefia has to take it upon herself to learn about this strange rectangular object and to decipher the symbols (words) inside it, in order to unravel the secret behind this strange object that appears to be the focus of everyone’s hunt, the reason Aunt Nin was taken and potentially the reason why her father was murdered… NOTHING is what it seems…

I thoroughly enjoyed this whole new world and I absolutely loved how this book was put together – it was a story within a story within a story, the publication is amazing. I found it unique to have a world where people are illiterate yet one had the talent to teach herself how to read and that was the key to solving the mystery. Sefia’s mission to save her Aunt kept me on the edge of my seat and I just kept turning the pages to know what happens next and to understand how and why this book was the key.. Such intricate world building of a unique place and the formation of the most unlikely alliances between interesting characters, this is one magical read and you will yearn for the sequel as I do right now!!!
-Annie

The Diabolic by S.J Kincaid

– EPIC – AWESOME – WOW!!! … 5 STARS …

Diabolic (noun) a creation that is specifically designed to protect the one they are assigned to and are destined to kill in order to protect

This was a pretty neat story about a Diabolic known as Nemesis.. A creation that is designed to protect yet destined to destroy. Nemesis was created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter: Sidonia. When Sidonia is summoned to the galactic court of a tyrant emperor, there’s only one way her Diabolic, Nemesis, can protect her – she must become Sidonia. When Nemesis assumes the role of the one she was created to protect, she has a lot to learn – downgrading her strength to assimilate in Court.

Whilst there, Nemesis learns the Empire is beginning to fracture and a rebellion looms closer, in forming the most unlikely of allies, Tyrus, Nemesis finds there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire.

This book brought back memories of that 1997 Blockbuster “Face Off” starring John Travolta and Nicholas Cage where one was to assume the role of another to infiltrate gangsters and protect a family – so think “Face Off” but set somewhere in a distant galaxy where one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is blending in among people in a world of corruption that is ruled with an iron fist. I found the book to be written very well, it was really fast paced and action packed with twists, turns, betrayal that leaves you feeling slapped in the face by the end. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend this to fans of YA Fantasy Fiction/Sci-Fi.

-Annie