Friday, 26 June 2015

Review on Ascension #2 Implanted

After escaping from the underground city of Impervious, Fran is happy to finally be reunited with her parents. However, hundreds of people still live in the city, including her brother Ted and fellow rebel Pete. Fran knows she must come up with a plan to help them escape, but with the Impervious water supply being tainted with tracking devices, Fran risks being caught if she is to renter the city. With the help of her new friend Retter, a boy who was born on the Outside, Fran must find a way to help the citizens escape before they succumb to the sickness.

I was extremely excited to find an email from Heather sitting in my inbox asking me if I wanted to review the second book in her Ascension series, and of course I jumped at the chance! I adored the unique dystopian world she created in 'Impervious' and I was eager to find out what Fran's life would be like after escaping the city.

Although most novels have a slow start and work their way up to the action, this was not the case with Implanted. The book was action packed from start to finish, and was difficult to put down. The short chapters were extremely effective, as I was constantly telling myself that I would just read one more before putting the book down, but of course just one more turned into just ten more. The majority of the chapters ended with a cliffhanger, making it even more impossible to stop reading.

At first I thought the changes in point of view was strange, as Retter and Fran were together, and the story is told in a third person narrative. However the reason behind this became apparent when Retter and Fran went their separate ways. For the start of the novel I was a lot more interested in Retter's storyline, and found myself uninterested in Fran and wanting to get her chapters over with quickly to get back to Retter. However I eventually became immersed in both of the storylines, enjoying both Fran and Retter's journey equally.

I loved Retter's new friendship with Pete, and how they worked together to get things done. I was expecting a typical love triangle to form between Fran, Pete and Retter, so I was extremely happy when Pete and Retter became friends rather than arguing over Fran. The romance in this novel was limited, which I enjoyed immensely as the majority of YA novels have romance as the main plot point. I hope that their friendship continues into the final novel and that an argument between them over who Fran should be with romantically never happens.

The ending of the novel was extremely frustrating! Kindle's do an annoying thing where they include acknowledgements as part of the book, so I was happily reading along thinking I had 5% left when it ended! How could it end this way? I am convinced that Heather Letto is actually Satan. I never give out spoilers in my reviews, but I really wish I was able to discuss the ending with other readers. More people definitely need to read about these wonderful characters who I have fallen in love with. If you like YA dystopian novels, then you definitely need to read this series! All I can do now is patiently wait for the final instalment.

Implanted is now available to purchase in both paperback and ebook formats HERE

Also be sure to check out Impervious, the first book in the Ascension series

Friday, 19 June 2015

Review on 'Ribbons of Death'

There is a legend of the existence of a Peacetaker, a child who can be activated once they turn eighteen to bring chaos to the world, turning people against each other in a murderous frenzy. The only person who believes the legend to be true is Stella Hunter, who has wrote a book on such legends. When a man with a heavily scarred face arrives at her door in the middle of a storm, her life changes forever. Stella must help the man to prove her theory to be true, and stop the Peacetaker before any more deaths can occur.

Something that I know I shouldn't do is judge a book by it's cover, which is what I did with 'Ribbons of Death'. I love Egyptian mythology so once I saw that was a theme I was eager to read this book. 'Ribbons of Death' focuses on Carter and Stella, who are trying to find the identity of the Peacetaker, who is slowly taking over the world by making the human race kill each other.

I loved the action packed sequences of the Peacetaker being activated and forcing people to become savages. Everyone has anger in them, and the Peacetaker's job is to fuel the fire by forcing that anger to boil over until the people are actively trying to kill one another. The scenes of violence were quite detailed and graphic, and it was easy to imagine what such chaos would look like. Each attack was in a completely different setting, from being inside an arena, being out in the streets and on busy motorways. These points in the stories along with the car chases Carter and Stella had to endure were my favourite points in the book, as I loved the fast paced action.

However I found parts of the novel to be quite dull, and found that I wasn't overly excited to get back to reading it. The fast pace that I came to expected from the first few chapters was short lived, and once the excitement of Carter meeting up with Stella was over, I was waiting for the next piece of action to arrive, but to my disappointment these were far and few between. A good part of the novel was Carter and Stella travelling round the country, hiring rental cars and stopping off at motels and gas stations. I found Stella's research to be quite dull, and although at first it was funny that Carter was getting bored by Stella's lectures, I eventually found myself to be in agreement with Carter. I loved the first hand accounts from people who had survived a Peacetaker attack and how they helped Carter and Stella piece together who the Peacetaker was. However I overall found their search to be quite tedious and would have loved if they had had more personal encounters with the Peacetaker, and that stopping him would have been less of an anti climax.

A lesson I have learnt is to abide by the rule of never judge a book by it's cover, as I was hoping to enjoy this book a lot more than I did. As I usually focus on YA novels, I think this book was just not in my preferred genres, and that although I wasn't overly keep on this book, others might have a completely different opinion, so I would still say to try this book out for yourself!

Ribbons of Death is available for purchase HERE

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Review on 'Seventeen Coffins'

After his experiences with travelling to 1645 Edinburgh, Tom Afflick is keen to return to the past and visit his friends on Mary King's Close. However, after a return journey to the Close, he is disappointed to find that he is not transported back for a second time. However, a brand new adventure is about to start when he visits the National Museum of Scotland and discovers a display of tiny coffins. After an argument with his stepfather leads to him being pushed into a display cabinet, Tom finds himself being transported back in time once again, but this time to the year 1828, where the city is being tormented by people going missing. Tom must find out what is happening to the people, and find out the mystery behind the tiny coffins.

I thought this was a brilliant sequel to 'Crow Boy' and loved the brand new storyline that came with it. The series focuses on real life historical events from Edinburgh, and as someone who has never visited the city and has little knowledge of it's history, I always enjoy learning about the history that these books are based on. 'Seventeen Coffins' deals with the Burke and Hare murders, which consisted of sixteen murders committed by William Burke and William Hare. Along with a man who had died from natural causes, Burke and Hare sold the corpses to an anatomy class.

I loved the new characters in this novel, especially Jamie, an eighteen year old who Tom suspects has Asperger Syndrome. Jamie was a sweet and kind character who I instantly loved and felt sorry for, as the majority of people who lived in the city thought he was dumb. As many mental conditions would not have been discovered at the time, I found it interesting how Jamie's peers dealt with him, and how no one apart from Tom truly understood him. Like many people with Asperger syndrome, Jamie was extremely intelligent, but had some problems with communicating with others along with allowing himself to be bullied. I feel as if there aren't many positive portrayals of characters with mental disabilities in children’s and YA novels, and Jamie was a breath of fresh air in that respect.

Although I loved the main storyline, I was less keen on Tom's travelling between times and being chased by his previous tormentor, William McSweeney. I thought the ending to 'Crow Boy' was exciting and loved the final showdown between Tom and McSweeney, and felt that bringing him back in 'Seventeen Coffins' was unneeded, as Burke and Hare were brilliant villains, and I felt that the book would have felt less crowded without the McSweeney story line.

Although I preferred 'Crow Boy', I still think 'Seventeen Coffins' is a strong sequel, and is definitely a page turner. I usually give myself around a week to read each book, but I couldn't put 'Seventeen Coffins' down and managed to finish it in two days. I definitely recommend this book for fantasy and Sci-Fi lovers of all ages.

Seventeen Coffins is available to purchase HERE

Make sure to check out the first book in the series, Crow Boy

Be sure to check out the brand new sequel, One For Sorrow, which is out now!