Release by Patrick Ness

A book of one day in the life of Adam Thorn, aged 17 and it’s a big day… Things go wrong, it’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches..

Annie and Bert team up for a “Release” read along!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the read along I did with my friend, Bert.. a unique story in the sense that there were 2 storylines, one that follows Adam who is struggling to be true to himself due to his family’s beliefs and the other of a ghost – yet I’m not quite sure of the connection between the two, my theory is it’s somehow a metaphor for Adam’s inner struggle.. I found the book to be very conversational which contributed to how quick I read this book. There are parts of this story that make you laugh and cringe at the same time. I felt mixed emotions for the characters – you know it’s a good book when you have that sort of emotional reaction!!!
-Annie

I am oh so happy to have read this book! I read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and really didn’t like it, I just didn’t get the appeal of it. After having read that I thought that Mr. Ness and his books had no place in my life, this book however, was beautiful. Adam Thorn is one of the most interesting male characters I’ve read in a long time, usually I find books with a male lead character to be tiresome as I like reading books with females as the centre but Adam was really quite charming… Oh and Linus was completely GORGE with his “dancer butt.” The parts dealing with the ghost really confused me, while they are beautifully written I found them to be a little too vague, I don’t really know how they connect to the story of Adam. For me the book has redeemed Patrick Ness as a storyteller, I just might try some of his other books now. A great story, beautifully told that is reminiscent of some of the great 80s teen movies. Shout out to my friend Annie for giving me the reading copy and suggesting we do a read-a-long… Fun fun fun!!!
-Bert

Special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending us an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for our Honest Reviews.

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

Earth Boy by Sami Shah

An epic sequel to an epic debut – and a fantastic end to an amazing duology!!!

Once again, Sami Shah does not disappoint with “Earth Boy” due for release: April 2017.

Picking up where we left off in “Fire Boy” we continue with Wahid’s journey – Wahid, the boy from Pakistan who has an unusual talent of seeing what others can’t.. He can see jinn. In a freak accident that he’s been blamed for, it appears jinn have stolen his friend’s soul and it’s up to Wahid to free her from jinn before it’s too late. Towards the end of Fire Boy, Wahid meets an unlikely and untrustworthy ally – The Devil Himself. The book starts with Iblis’ (The Devil’s) story and continues Wahid’s quest to not only save his friend’s soul but to also determine what’s really going on in the jinn world and why are all these unexplained things are happening? In order for Wahid to succeed, Wahid has to learn the true nature of his birth and potentially cross over into the parallel world of jinn.  

Written just as well as the first book, this book had me on the edge of my seat and I truly advise readers to read this during daylight hours. Again, I found the referencing of Islamic belief in this urban fantasy story was accurate which made me enjoy this story even more. Although I finally have closure as to what happens next, I was gaping at Wahid’s story! I highly recommend this to the readers who enjoyed “Fire Boy” as you really wont be disappointed. You will gasp, cringe, gape and laugh throughout this story.  

Many thanks to Fantasica Publishers for sending me an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review, it was an honour to read this and I look forward to the finished product when it hits the shelves in April 2017.

-Annie

The Witch’s Kiss

A dark tale with a modern twist – A great, recommended read for those who enjoy dark fairytales!!

Meredith feels invisible at school and is subject to an ongoing family feud and an inherited talent she never wanted for herself – she is the last remaining witch of her ancestry line with uncontrollable power that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Meredith just wants to get through her senior high school years yet she is roped into the responsibility of having to break a 100 year old curse. But what happens when the enemy she is sworn to kill to break this curse becomes more than what she bargained for?

If I had to give this a star rating, I would go 4.5 stars as it is well written and fast paced story with a complication that isn’t cliché. Meredith works with her brother Leo when they discover Meredith’s fate. Leo is a character I enjoyed with his comedic dialogue and I enjoyed the brother/sister team work in trying to break this curse which isn’t something I always see in YA Fantasy Fiction books. Normally it’s a guy and girl who are friends or work together then at the end, they fall in love.. so the brother/sister team and working with their Gran was in fact a nice change of pace. I also enjoyed the backstory and legend that intricately explains the curse and how it affects the characters in present day.

Many thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending me a Review Copy in exchange for my honest 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

Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

The thrilling sequel to Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club
– 5 Stars –

It is June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen is now disowned by her uncle and now a full member of The Dark Days Club. The stakes are even higher now as Lady Helen struggles to become the warrior she is expected her to be for the club.

 In participating in a read along with a friend, I have to say I wish I was able to finish this sooner!

I found this sequel to be more gripping that the first one – an intricate story full of plot twists you don’t see coming then just as you feel you have closure towards the end, the plot thickens and you will yearn for more.. In book one, we learn all about the status of women and how Lady Helen was quite unique and challenges the status quo. There were times my feminist streak would take over and I wanted to talk to some of the misogynist characters with my fist!!! In discovering the Dark Days Club in book 1, this book takes us through an insight of how the Dark Days Club operated and Lady Helen going into training to become a “Reclaimer” We also find that dark forces are within the Pact and one mystery that kept the story alive was the unsolved issues about Lord Carlston.
Both book 1 and 2 are written extremely well and book 2 really holds you to the end!!
I really need book 3 now!!!

Many thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending me a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Annie

Ten Letters to Delacroix’s Tomb by Clare Rolfe and Exclusive Interview!!

Clare Rolfe is a member of Read3r’z Re-Vu and she has just published her very first novel!!! Feeling privileged to be among the first to read this awesome debut, Read3r’z Re-Vu committee members Crystal and Annie are in conversation with Clare for an exclusive blog interview!!!

-Retaining a 4.5 star Rating-

Ten Letters to Delacroix’s Tomb

Jenna flees her life of slavery to fulfil one last desire to re-unite with her beloved Gabriel in the timeless city of Paris. During her journey she is hunted by the relentless Purgers and must confront a dying world bereft of its own history. In her heart lies the fragile hope that Gabriel is still alive after 40 years since they were torn away from each other by the implacable masters, urging her on through crippling doubts and the haunting demons of her past.

Review and Thoughts by Crystal
A great debut novel by Clare whom I am honoured to call a friend. The only way to describe this book is “A heart breaking tale that reaches the soul and will have you still thinking about it long after it’s done” I absolutely love books that keep me thinking even after I’ve put them down and this was definitely one of them. I also absolutely loved how the 10 letters were given in reverse and written in such a way that I could not even guess what would happen (and normally I am really good at guessing endings). When I read this book I found myself thinking about Jenna and her journey even while doing mundane tasks like my dishes (which is normally a time I crave the distraction of YouTube). It was a nice change to just allow my mind to ponder the story and where Jenna’s journey would be taking her. I read the final chapters in great anticipation to discover what it was that she had hidden inside her clothing that was so important that she had to kept so close to her chest (an item that is not revealed until the final chapter of course).

Exclusive Interview by Annie and Crystal

  1. What was it like writing the scene with Jenna and her confrontation with the Ocean? Did you experience similar emotions while writing it?
    This chapter and the last were the most thoughtful as I couldnt rely on plot to maintain  the momentum of the story.  The ocean was the stage of the journey where Jenna had to leave things to chance rather than previously she had strategised how she would make it back to Gabriel. Hence the language is prayer like and desperate ie when all else is gone there is only hope….. It required me to delve more deeply  for the words …make the emotions live on the page….I felt I was with her as I do all the characters I create otherwise its like  taking a photo using words.

  2. Can you tell us a bit more about the purgers and how you came to choose these characters?
    The Purgers are genetically engineered soldiers. They are not robots as they are flesh but are formed to be the perfect soldier who arose out of previous generations of war and attempts to control limited resources. Ultimately they are used to plan the escape from the earth by the bond masters when they know the date of the death of the sun. They were chosen more as a crafting tool who represent the unforgiving world around Jenna . In a time when resources are so scarce  everything has to be controlled and the way to do this was a system of policing that was incorruptible to its purpose. It also explains the rigid partitioned society where it is predetermined which class you will belong to ie master or slave…
  3. Did you have any particular real life inspirations that helped to shape this book or influence the world and time it was set it?
    Visiting Paris and Europe old civilisation meeting modern world ….Pere La Chaise cemetary in Paris is where Eugene Delacroix ‘s tomb is located ….the sense of history , time passing as well as the magnificent gravestones cobbled paths made me think of our brief existance and the mark we leave…..in terms of climate environment…drought here at home  ….. mostly it is a philiosophical novel hence the lack of explanation in terms of Purgers or the density of details that a sci fi novel may contain. I wanted to present  a surreal feel ….a sense of disconnection which comes from not understanding what is happening around you yet trying to live through it.
  4. Was it a hard decision to present the ten letters in reverse? Can you tell us what that process was like?
    Not as difficult as it may seem. The letters and book are almost two separate  story lines so each was written independant of the other with some tweaking to make it flow.
  5. Can we expect a prequel or another book like this soon?
    Probably not like this one. Ten Letters is part of a triptych which includes another  novella and 3 short stories based in current times…they explore absurdist philosophy and have art and Paris in common ..I may at some point write a story about the wars of attrition briefly mentioned in Ten Letters. My next project is a trilogy fantasy which I am reviewing currently. That was completed a few years ago. I feel ready to tackle it again.
  6. What inspired you to write and why this particular book as your first novel?
    Reading inspired me to write. I have dabbled in poetry for a long time but writing stories is what I enjoy the most. I decided to be more serious about 7-8 years ago for no other reason than its now or never. Ten letters just felt right….Dystopian themes are prevalent with concerns about climate change also where is technology headed …are we losing something as tech begins to order and compartmentalise our lives do we lose the diversity and vulnerability that the creative side of our natures ie art culture brings…also with AI on the horizon I wonder where do humans fit on the scale of things…how in control are we if ultimately the sun dies so do we…you know normal everyday questions one may ponder while enjoying some vegemite on toast ….so why not throw all that into a love story with Paris in the background!!

  7. Did you experience writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
    Not in terms of a story line but choosing the right words. Writing requires patience & persistence so if Im stuck I step away or work on something else…Poetry is a great salve for many things…

  8. Which author inspires you? Why?
    For story and adventure in fantastical worlds Tolkien and Herbert (Dune) For exploring philosophical themes Dostoesvky and Camus. Ten Letters dystopian setting  and brevity was inspired in part by the Road by Cormac  McCarthy …every word infiltrated my mind in an explosive manner ..I hadnt felt such a strong impact from a piece of fiction for a long time….

  9. When you’re not reading what could we find you doing?
    I like coffee catch up with friends …art exhibits…occasional poetry gigs…. I work as well so that fills up the week and pays for the travelling. Writing in between.

  10. What was the best piece of advice you were given as an author?
    Find the middle voice keep writing….and review review review!!!

ten-letters-to-delacroix-tomb-by-clare-rolfe-0994638922

Congratulations Clare on this wonderful achievement!!! Read3r’z Re-Vu are so excited and proud of your work, we hope to continue seeing you at our sessions and wish you all the very best for your next chapter!!!

-Blog/Interview Duet by Annie and Crystal