Revis_Across the universe kissingBel:

Cover

Male and female faces in shadow against a white backdrop sat above a beautiful star-scape, all done in pinks purples and oranges. Quite pleasing to the eye, and speaks volumes about the contents of the story.

Characters

There is a complicated mix of characters and each of them carries their own.

Favourite

Amy, though she spends some time feeling sorry for herself she eventually gets her butt kicking self into gear and makes it work.

Least Favourite

Eldest. Creepy character.

Beginning

Amy and her parents are preparing to be put into stasis for a rather long flight across the universe.

Storyline

Amy is woken up fifty years prematurely and the situation on Godspeed is odd to say the very least.

Ending

There is more to be read in the follow up books A Million Suns and Shades of Earth so to spoil the ending wouldn’t be nice.

Thoughts

I didn’t reread Across the Universe as I’d already reviewed it in August 2012, but this is what I said back then…

The pacing of the novel was well-crafted, with much of the mystery remaining out of reach until effectively unravelled; also, as this is the first instalment in a series, there was the sense of ‘to be continued’ but never the infuriatingly feeling of details being purposefully omitted.

Beth Revis also does atmosphere superbly, and this is evident from the novel’s opening chapter, in which Amy is cryogenically frozen. She narrates each stomach-churning detail as it happens. Never before have I felt so incredibly claustrophobic while reading!!”

Quote

“More than the sound of my own beating heart, I miss the sound of a ticking clock.” Amy about the passing of time.

beth-revisKrista:

Cover

The US hardcover has an interchangeable dust jacket. One side is a brightly coloured universe with blues and pinks, but if you flip the cover over it’s a blueprint of the ship in which you can see the different levels and areas that are explored in the book. I prefer to keep the blueprint as the outer cover on my book.

Characters

The story is told from different perspectives: Amy, as she explores the ship after she wakes up, and Elder, as he does his duties. We travel through the ship and more characters are introduced, some playing larger roles than others.

Favourite

Harley: The friendship that develops between Amy and Harley and Amy and Elder are strong and come from more than simple convenience. 

Least Favourite

Eldest: I have to agree with Bel here. C.R.E.E.P.Y.

Beginning

The prologue is detailed in describing the emotional and physical process of being put into stasis. I think it was a brilliant way to start the book and grab the reader’s attention.

Storyline

Amy is awoken from her stasis many years earlier than was originally planned. She is alone, scared, and misses her parents. What she finds aboard Godspeed is not what she expected. I loved the detail and world-building that the author puts into the history of the ship while she has been asleep.

Ending

As the first book in the novel, the story builds up at the ending with surprises that continue on through the other books in the series. 

Thoughts

For me this felt more dystopian than sci-fi. I loved all the twists the story took. This book got me thinking about individuality and the concept of leadership. The love story is more than just attraction; it’s companionship and trust. And I love the fact that Amy pushes Elder to trust his instincts and fight for what he believes to be right. It’s not a story about a girl that pushes a guy to see things her way, it’s about a girl that encourages a leader to become what he was always meant to be and to think for himself.

Quote

“We’re the ones who aren’t normal. People are supposed to be like that: obedient, calm, working together. It’s us—who can’t focus, who can’t work together, who can’t do the Feeder or Shipper jobs—we’re the ones who aren’t normal. We’re the ones who have to take the mental meds just so we don’t go loons.”

Revis_millionLisa:

Cover

I absolutely love the original cover so when it went through a change, AFTER I purchased the first two instalments in this trilogy, my heart broke… into like a MILLION ZILLION pieces. I guess I just like the dorky romantic covers instead of the newer metallic ones.

Characters

I couldn’t get enough! I LOVED Amy and I LOVED Elder! They were so different, came from completely opposite worlds, but were just perfect for one another.

Favorite

If you couldn’t guess it, my ultimate favorite characters are Amy and Elder… duh! Amy was down to earth and unlike a lot of characters in the YA genre and didn’t just shrug when something crazy happened to them. Amy spent the entire book mourning the “loss” of her parents and never seeing them again – like any REAL person.

I like that she had feelings and was frustrated, and that she expressed that through the story. She needed time to absorb everything that was happening to her and going on around her, before she could move forward and decide what she was going to do next.

Elder, the soon to be new Eldest on Godspeed was dealing with his own issues. Not only are the humans from Earth being defrosted by someone, and left to die, but also he has the responsibility of becoming the leader of this massive ship on his shoulders.

He’s kind, sweet and really adores Amy!

Least Favorite

I don’t think I have a least favorite character. I mean there was a EVIL villain…but he was a good evil villain… if you know what I mean.

Beginning

Amy’s parents are asked to board Godspeed and travel three hundred years to discover a new planet for human habitation. Amy has a difficult decision to make: stay on Earth and say goodbye to her parents forever, or be frozen for three hundred years and leave behind everything she’s ever known. Is she willing to leave behind her home, and the boy she loves, to be woken up three hundred years later on a new planet?

Middle

Having unfrozen fifty years early, Amy is devastated when she is informed that she will most likely never see her parents again, or at least not until she is much, much older than them. Eldest and the doctor tell her that there is no way they can refreeze her, because there’s a HUGE risk she will never wake up again.

Now Amy is stuck on this ship with people who aren’t acting normal, who seem to be in a haze during “mating season”, and where the “crazy” people aren’t ALL that crazy. Things on Godspeed aren’t normal.

Elder is not only trying to keep up with his learning, and responsibilities, but is now also trying to comfort Amy and keep the ship under control.

And when frozen are being found open and left to thaw, Elder and Amy have to figure out who is doing this and how they even know that they existed! When one is found dead, and another is found half thawed, the pair knows they have to do something.

End

Broke my heart, put it back together again, and had my emotions all over the place! Across the Universe had me questioning every character, and everything they said and did. I would never have expected the ending, and who it was that was defrosting the frozens! SUCH a good twist!!

Overall Thoughts

I LOVE this trilogy! I have already read the second book, and really enjoyed it! I can’t wait to read the third one, to see how things end for Amy and Elder!

 

Hardcover, 398 pages

Published January 11th 2011 by Razorbill

original title

Across the Universe

ISBN

1595143971 (ISBN13: 9781595143976)



Lounsbury_AfterworldThe discussion of what happens to us after we die has long been one rife with anger, fear, hope, and supposition. In Afterworld, we get to see one woman’s brilliant idea of what the place between could be like.

Blurb (thanks to Goodreads):

“Dom is the youngest person ever to arrive in the Necropolis, the ‘waiting place’ between death and what comes after. And it isn’t long before he catches the attention of Satarial, a cruel Nephilim from the beginning of time, who has grim plans to use Dom as entertainment in his vicious gladiatorial games. When Dom’s still-living sister, Kaide, appears in the Necropolis too, Satarial has the leverage he needs, and the stage is set for the biggest shake-up the afterlife has seen in centuries.

Dom’s only option is to compete in the Trials and attempt to win the chance to enter the Maze. In his favour he has an enigmatic young Guide, Eva, and a Guardian, Eduardo, who may not be what he seems. But will they be enough?”

This marvellous novel begins in India, and I’ve always heard that the first thing that hits you when you walk off the plane is the smells, then the heat. So either this is true, or Lynette has heard the same thing I have.

She portrays the feeling of impending hopelessness in a way that had me gasping for breath.  The differing levels of desperation with each character, each valid in their own rights, and the disconnect between Dom and his parents added to my discomfort.

All this made for a stark contrast when Dom transitioned into the Afterworld. It worked beautifully.

I felt as though Lynette worked hard to validate each belief system, or at least as many as could comfortably fit into the setting. Ringing true the saying, life is what you make it… apparently so is death.

I found the concept of time being the only currency, and having it resonate as the only thing in death that has any value, a little ironic.

Afterworld is unlike anything I’ve read in years and I loved every minute of it. The pages flew by quickly and though the themes make you think, it isn’t anything that will cause you a great deal of heartache or an attack of the worries.

https://www.facebook.com/authorLynnetteLounsbury

https://twitter.com/linet3177

http://www.allenandunwin.com/default.aspx?page=94&book=9781743315101

 Paperback, 409 pages

Published February 26th 2014 by Allen & Unwin

ISBN13 9781743315101



Belinda_kisses_tnBel:

 

Marillier_ShadowfellCover

I believe I borrowed the first edition Aussie cover from the Library. It is a charmingly illustrated image of a waif-like girl beside a fire in a deep dark green forest. The title is embossed and Juliet’s name really pops in the bright red used on both the cover and the spine.

Characters

In this high fantasy setting there is no room for the weak of mind or the weak of will. Kind hearts are a plenty, though trying to figure out whose heart is true, is tricky.

Favourite

Mara. Mainly because she is making do in a horrible situation and loves her family anyway.

Least Favourite

King Keldec… though we haven’t technically met him. What a poop head.

Beginning

Neryn is put up as a prize and is lost in a gambling and drinking binge her father goes on.

Storyline

She is aiming to head to a place called Shadowfell, where people with unexplainable gifts are free to be themselves without fear of judgement by King Keldec’s cronies.

Ending

There is a book 2… and to be quite frank I want it in my hands right now!

Thoughts

It took me longer than it should have to finish Shadowfell, though I think it had more to do with life getting in the way than any disinterest on my part. I found grabbing a page or two on the bus in the morning was enough to get me through to lunch. I could spend all day in the world Juliet Marillier has created for Neryn. It is enchanting to say the very least.

Quote

‘I’m fond o’ banes’ the brollachan commented, noticing me looking.

‘I see that.’ My voice was unsteady

‘Ye thinkin’ I might eat ye up for supper?’

‘That did cross my mind, yes. I seem to remember that, in the tales, brollachans sometimes do that.’

‘Ye canna see yersel’, wee one. There’s hardly a scrap o’ meat on ye. Nae worth the trouble.

~ Conversation between Neryn and the brollachan

 

Krista McKeeth_2_tnKrista

 

 

Marillier_ShadowfellCover

The US cover does represent the book, with the girl wrapped in the brown cloak in the forest. But I prefer the Australian cover with the young girl sitting by the fire in the forest.

 Characters

We follow Neryn throughout the story, but several characters come into play, both human and animal, as she travels across the land to get to a safe place away from the King’s men.

Favourite

The Good Folk. I really loved the idea behind them and the imagination that went into describing who they were. Since there was such a huge variety of them, it was very open to the imagination as to what features and abilities they had.

Least Favourite

Even though he didn’t actually show his face in this book, the King, and what he was doing to the people of this land, really did upset me. He is definitely somebody that you want to see taken down from power and taught a lesson by the end of the series.

Beginning

The story starts off with a bit of action, as Neryn and her father are running for their lives, and eventually ending with Neryn being left on her own to make her way to the only place she knows of that is safe from the King’s men - Shadowfell. She is alone, and walking by foot and it’s several days/weeks travelling to get there.

Storyline

When King Keldec calls for all magical people to be brought to him, Neryn and her father go on the run. She soon finds herself on her own and with the help of her gift, Neryn must traverse the land to reach a safe haven.

Ending

Pretty powerful. I wasn’t expecting to be as moved as I was when the book came to a close. There were so many emotions built up during the story that the ending has an impact, really driving the urge to get the next book pronto.

Thoughts

Neryn was often “stuck” during her travels and that lead to a lot of down time. But it seems that the times that adventure was happening were really pumped up and so thought provoking that I had to stop and consider the story before I could move on. The ending really made the difference for me. I found that I was more invested in the characters than I realized. The story has stayed with me for days now, in a very good way, and won’t leave my mind.

Quote

“I understand that it’s hard for you to trust. Your not alone in that” -Flint

 

MARILLIERLisa-Smith_tnLisa:

 

 

Cover

At first, after ordering this book online and getting to see it first hand, I wasn’t too excited about it. There just isn’t anything special about the cover, and there is no real meaning to it. There are no elements of the story in this cover. The one thing I do like about it, is that the background is a forest scene, but that’s about it.

A little disappointed, since I LOVED the story so much.

Characters

Really enjoyed them! I thought they had real emotions, and thoughts. They weren’t overly dramatic, and didn’t move or do anything too fast, without thinking about it. They weren’t superficial.

Favorite

I absolutely loved each and every one of the characters in Shadowfell. Neryn was going through so much; the death of her mother and grandmother, the murder of her brother, and the fact that her alcoholic father gambled her off to a stranger. She was smart and made decisions in a calm and realistic way.

Flint wasn’t just battling as a man of the king, and a rebel, but also within himself. He has had to do unimaginable things for both the abusive king, and for the rebels going against the king. He was very torn.

While the fairy folk weren’t mentioned too often throughout the story, I liked the idea of them. They’re much smaller than humans, they hide and blend into their background, and they stay as far away as possible from cold iron. I hope we get to learn and see more of the fairy folk in the books to come.

Least Favorite

NONE!! Not a single one!

Beginning

The first chapter had me sucked in! Within the just the first three pages, my eyeballs were glued to the book and there was no way I was going to put it down.

In only the first chapter, the reader learns of Neryn’s past and current situation. She’s been travelling, and hiding with her dad, barely surviving. He heads into a bar to gamble and try to get enough money to be able to afford a barn and a pile of hay to sleep on. He gets drunk and decides to put up Neryn for the win.

Middle

This part was a bit slower than the first chapters, simply because the author needed to build up the world. I still really enjoyed it and liked learning about the fairy folk as well as Neryn’s past struggles.

Ending

LOVED IT! It’s so intense, and beautiful. But the battle’s not over yet… there is still so much to do!

Overall Thoughts

I couldn’t get enough, and that’s why I plan on picking up the second and third books, Raven Flight and The Caller, soon! If you love fantasy and get the chance to pick up this book, I completely recommend it.

http://www.julietmarillier.com/  

Paperback, Australian edition, 349 pages

Published: July 1st 2012 by Pan Macmillan Australia (first published January 1st 2012)

original title: Shadowfell

ISBN

1742611346 (ISBN13: 9781742611341)



Kemmerer_SecretBe warned… this book WILL tug at your heart.

I get very excited when I know another Elementals book is due out. I think I jigged to the cashier this time around, mainly because it was a continuation of Nick Merrick’s story, Breathless (which I reviewed briefly here… Breathless is included in the Aussie release of Secret, woohoo!

**I need to let our younger readers, and or parents know, that this book does contain extremely strong themes of sexuality, violence and ‘romance’, so be aware  going in. If you (or your elder) think it is inappropriate at this time, know there is always time later on when the topics would be less shocking.**

Brigid handles these themes, (that really shouldn’t be so taboo, but unfortunately still are considered as such), in a respectful way; allowing the reader to feel the crushing tension and suffocating emotions that come into play. I was doing the ugly cry, and was almost in tears on public transport in another scene.

This is a gut wrenching tale of self discovery, love and loyalty. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I cannot wait for the next instalment, Sacrifice, comes out later this year.

Stick a fork in me I’m done… for now *grin*.

http://www.brigidkemmerer.com/

Paperback, 375 pages

Published January 28th 2014 by Allen & Unwin

original title

Secret

ISBN13

9781743318614



Belinda_kisses_tnBel:

 

wilson_harbingerCover

The cover was really what had me buying this book, not borrowing this book, from the library. The dust cover is a gloriously textured paper. The picture of a pretty young brunette with juicy red lips, blindfolded with a red ribbon, who standing on a coastline at dusk, drew me in. The title is embossed and the hard-cover spine has the title in foiled red lettering. Just something a little bit special. Thank you to Better World books for making the price that fits my budget.

Characters

I wasn’t overly fond of the parental/caregiver portrayal, but they needed to be the evil to counteract the teen characters.

Favourite

Nami, she was about the only character that kept true to herself.

Least Favourite

Faye, mainly because the little things she did irritated the heck out of me.

Beginning

Faye’s dad drops her off at Holbrook Academy as a last ditch attempt to get her to conform.

Storyline

Holbrook Academy, which is part mental institution, part juvenile detention centre is every bit of the nightmare that those two descriptions convey.

Ending

The title comes into play in an unexpected way.

I may have missed the point where the ending was justified, so it felt like a twist to me. I had a little trouble following some of the imagery, and some reactions seemed a little off. Not my cup of tea, but I LOVE the cover.

Quote

“Sweet dreams.” She said and shut the door. The lock snapped into place. Fay’s first night at Holbrook Academy

 

 

Krista McKeeth_2_tnKrista:

 

 


Sara-Wilson-Etienne-authorphoto-with-creditCover

I agree with Bel here. I was initially prompted to purchase the book because it was something I wanted for my shelves. It has all the major elements of the story and it’s beautiful.

Characters

I was surprised at the strictness of the Academy, at times wondering how it got to such a state. The caretakers and Dr Mordoch are at an extreme end of the disciplinary line. I also would have liked to get to know more of the students on a deeper level.

Favourite

I was a sucker for the love interest, Kel. He was flirty, dangerous and seemed to care for Faye on a deep level.

Least Favourite

My least favourite characters were the ones in charge of the Academy. Even at the very end, I was unsure about why they had to take a whip to the students and make outrageous rules. Their actions had me more upset than I have ever felt reading a book.

Beginning

When Faye’s parents discover that she has been collecting dead animal bones, they are concerned that she will never outgrow the “weirdness” that began in her as a young child. They return her to the Dr that has been consulting her family about her issues. It just so happens that she now runs Holbrook Academy, so Faye is left in her care.

Storyline

When Faye is dropped off at Holbrook Academy it doesn’t take her long to find out it’s run more like a prison. Each and every action the students make is closely watched; it’s very militaristic and nothing is tolerated. Faye is kept in a “Family” group of 5 other students with whom she grows a deep connection. They even begin to share nightmarish dreams. Faye seems to have a deepest connection to the land the Academy is on, and with Kel. She starts to see her powers as more of a positive thing than a punishment.

Ending

I really did not predict that the story would end up like it did. Though the novel does build on the visions, nightmares and history of the land, I just didn’t catch on quite that the story was going to put such an emphasis on what it did. I really should have seen it coming! I didn’t know it would be as potent as it was.

Thoughts

I do have to say I agree with Bel about the imagery in some parts being hard to visualise. I had to take the book slower than usual to try to really grasp it. It’s full of visions and nightmares and flashbacks that the reader has to picture in their minds in order to grasp the clues in the storyline.  In that way the story reminded me of  Michelle Hodkins’ books. In the end, I found that I enjoyed the imagery. I think this is a book that will stick with me for awhile and I would recommend it to readers who enjoy a lot of imagery in stories. (Of course, this novel takes on the darker, nightmarish side.)

Quote

” I wasn’t used to people meeting my eyes. And Kel didn’t just look at me. He looked into me, like he could see every thought in my head. And whatever he saw there now, he must have liked. He gave me a slow smile that made me blush. “

I chose this quote because it not only represents the first real encounter between Kel and Faye, but it holds the core of the story. ‘I wasn’t used to people meeting my eyes.” Faye’s insecurities and how she looks at herself as being damaged.

Book Trailer

http://www.sarawilsonetienne.com/harbinger

Hardcover, 309 pages

Published February 2nd 2012 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR

ISBN

0399256687 (ISBN13: 9780399256684)



Keep in contact through the following social networks or via RSS feed:

  • Follow on Facebook
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Follow on Pinterest
  • Follow on Google+
  • Follow on GoodReads
  • Follow on Tumblr
  • Follow on LinkedIn
  • Follow on Keek
  • Follow on YouTube
  • Subscribe