Book Review: Sanctuary by Pauline Creeden

Today my review is a part of a blog tour hosted by Itching For Books. You can find the rest of the blog tour schedule here.

SANCTUARYTOUR

Title: Sanctuarysanctuarycover
Author: Pauline Creeden
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Realistic, Fun
Publisher: AltWit Press
Publication Date: September 2013
Pages: 280
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):

In a heart-racing thriller described as Falling Skies meets The Walking Dead, Jennie struggles to find a safe place for what’s left of her family. But it seems as though there is no place sacred, no place secure. First the aliens attacked the sun, making it dimmer, weaker, and half what it used to be.
Then they attacked the water supply, killing one-third of Earth’s population with a bitter contaminate. And when they unleash a new terror on humankind, the victims will wish for death, but will not find it…When the world shatters to pieces around her, will Jennie find the strength she needs to keep going?

My Review:

When spaceships start popping up all around the world – Jennie isn’t fascinated like her friends. Rather she’s petrified. And with good reason too. By injecting alien chemicals into the human’s water supply, over a third of the Earth’s population die. And that’s just the beginning. Six weeks after the spaceships arrive, the world is inundated by hideous hybrid monsters attacking people left and right. What was once safe and comfortable is now plagued with terror.

I liked reading Sanctuary. It’s full of fear and zombies and the rather disturbing truth about human nature when things get tough. Jennie is a great character – I found her fear about the new reality she’s been thrust into to be quite realistic. Her mother’s been attacked, and Jennie is scared but manages to keep it together for the sake of the rest of her family. The other characters which share the point of view in this novel – biology teacher Hugh and womanising Brad – also do a great job of showing the terror of this alien invasion from different perspectives.

This is a Christian book with many of the chapters being preceded with Bible verses and many characters like Jennie and Paster Crawford having a strong belief in their faith however it’s handled in a way in which I think that even non-Christian would find the story entertaining and the religious factor not too overwhelming.

I did want to know more about the aliens and why they came to Earth in the first place but this book was a great zombie novel with interesting characters. There’s a bit of a cliff-hanger and I’m interested to find out whether this book is going to be a standalone or the first in a series.

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

paulinecreeden

In simple language, Pauline Creeden breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways. Her methods of teaching have brought new light to old scriptures. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Author Links: 
Book Trailer:
There’s also a tour wide giveaway for Sanctuary!  Click the link for the rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win this great prize!
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Book Review: Here by Ella James


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Title: Here (Here #1)
Author: Ella James
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Barkley’s Books
Publication Date: February 2012
Pages: 210
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):13490992

Milo Mitchell’s life used to be charmed, but that was before her father died, she went a little crazy, and her best friends started acting more like strangers. One Saturday morning as she roams the land around her family’s Colorado wind farm, tagging deer for a project that used to be her father’s, Milo makes a big mistake: a dart from her stun-gun takes down a teenage guy.

Dressed in a Brinoi tux and armed with a perfectly starched handkerchief, the guy looks like a young James Bond – or some country’s missing, playboy prince. Trouble is, he could be either. Mr. Mystery has no idea who or where he is. Afraid her dart caused his amnesia, Milo takes him in, names him Nick, and tries to get used to a hot guy sharing her bedroom.

But Milo’s Nick is more than he appears. Soon the pair find his face in a newspaper obituary, and Nick beings to have memories of Milo–who is sure she’s never met him. If ‘Nick’ survived a plunge off a steep cliffside on his way to a family camping trip, why did Milo find him dozens of miles away, wearing a freshly pressed tuxedo? If he’s just a high-school athlete, why does he have moves like Jason Bourne? And why does he feel more for her than his surviving family?

When a train of black SUVs shows up on Mitchell property, Nick and Milo run–toward a shocking conclusion that could destroy both their worlds.

My Review:

Whilst tagging deer for a project, Milo Mitchell never expected to come across anyone in the woods. Let alone a gorgeous stranger dressed in a tuxedo… and perhaps shooting him with her dart gun by accident wasn’t the best way to make a good first impression. To make things stranger – after having been shot, the well dressed stranger can’t remember anything about himself – not even his name. Milo takes in the stranger and giving him a change of clothes, a new name – ‘Nick’ – and a place to stay till they figure out what to do next. The stranger appearance of Nick isn’t the only weird thing happening in the small town of Golden. The electricity starts acting up and Nick finds himself knowing things that should be impossible to recall.

Milo and Nick start a quest to find who he may have been before they met in the woods. But Milo and Nick aren’t the only ones looking for answers… and things are not going to go well if they find Nick before he finds out who he is.

I love the vibe of this novel. It’s such a fun and quick read. Milo’s a little lost in the world after he father died but she’s keeping it together well. If you call hanging out in the woods tracking deer a good thing. She still manages to have a group of good friends, hobbies and a fairly healthy social life. She’s responsible and I like the mixture of level-headedness mixed with romantic wonder that she has. She’s brave and a great match for Nick.

This book is mostly told from Milo’s point of view but every now and then Ms. James switches things up and we get to see the world from Nick’s perspective. It’s an interesting way to show how things are not quite right for the boy – more than just some fairly extensive amnesia. Whilst I liked the look into him and his thoughts – I think I would have liked him more as a character had he been a bit more mysterious. Because we get to see him confused and vulnerable but only in short snippets – I didn’t really find him a desirable male lead. He’s not a bad boy nor is he the boy next door or any of those other categories that I like my leading men to fit into. He’s just a little lost and for the most part a little bland.

That said – I loved the action. This book is well paced with some characters that amused me and made me want to keep reading. Milo is sweet but a little damaged and I feel like Nick has potential to grow into someone who I really root for. This is a book I’d recommend for fans of Jennifer L Armentrout’s Lux series and not just because of the scifi-ness they have in common. It’s a well written exciting book and there is no doubt – I will definitely be reading the second book in the Here series.

Purchase the novel from:

 Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Teaser

I shouldn’t have come to Milo’s house, but I was riding for my life, and when I thought about it ending, all I’d wanted—literally the only thing I thought about—was her.

It was startling, the clarity, the sense of purpose, because shortly after I saw Milo’s concert, I got mind-jacked. I didn’t know by what, but the presence had a serious hard-on for calculus and physics, other things I shouldn’t know or care about. I had a freaky suspicion that it was the Real Me, and that the Real Me was some kind of wizard/astrophysicist.

I spent two days in my bed after it happened, hung over on numbers, figures, but by the third day I could handle it. And my superpower had come back, stronger.

I knew intuitively how to control the van, how many meters away the Harley was when I landed, how to start it, how to drive it.

I ran for it as the van spun, tires screeching as it turned to come back for me. It had been modified, was faster than the bike, but I knew the town grid completely, and I’d clogged their fuel injector, which meant that ten minutes after our little chase started, I had lost them.

I doubled back, took an indirect path to get to Milo’s house. I didn’t want to leave an easy trail. When I pulled up and they were nowhere to be seen, I thought I had evaded them, told myself I had gotten away. But it wasn’t until I saw Milo that I realized what I’d done. I should have added to my lead, driven far away, stolen another bike, a car, hopped a train, gone anywhere but were I was. Where she was.

And what did I get for my utter stupidity?

Milo, wide-eyed and concerned. Milo, rubbing my back, tapping my knee. Milo heedless of the danger. Milo, achingly close.

She was leaning over me now, blowing on the scrape she’d just cleaned. “That feel any better?”

I nodded, my nose and forehead digging into her blankets.

“Good.” I felt her hand trail up my spine, then lift away and land atop my hair.

“You can go to sleep, you know. I’ll keep watch, just in case.”

I shook my head, dizzy from the pill and her soft hand. “I need to…leave…”

 

About Ella James

Ella James is a Colorado author who writes teen and adult romance. She is happily married to a man who knows how to wield a red pen, and together they are raising a feisty two-year-old who will probably grow up believing everyone’s parents go to war over the placement of a comma.

Ella’s books have been listed on numerous Amazon bestseller lists, including the Movers & Shakers list and the Amazon Top 100; two were listed among Amazon’s Top 100 Young Adult Ebooks of 2012.

To find out more about Ella’s projects and get dates on upcoming releases, find her on Facebook at facebook.com/ellajamesauthorpage and follow her blog, http://www.ellajamesbooks.com. Questions or comments? Tweet her at author_ellaj or e-mail her at ella_f_james@ymail.com.

Author Links

Website | Facebook | Twitter 

Book Review: A Wicked Kind of Dark by Jonathan K Benton

A Wicked Kind of Dark

Title: A Wicked Kind of Dark (The Minaea Chronicles #1)
Author: Jonathan K Benton
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Publication Date: September 2013
Pages: 267
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Robert Duncan no longer believes in magic. A mysterious call about a blood moon, however, leads him back to the magical world of his childhood and to Luthien, the beautiful girl with flame-coloured hair, who he loved and lost.

As Robert unravels the secrets of his childhood, darkness enters his life and an ancient evil awakens. To have any chance of defeating the dark forces that would destroy two worlds, Robert must find Luthien before the rise of the blood moon. He must, once more, believe in magic …

A Wicked Kind of Dark mixes vast and spectacular fantasy landscapes with gritty urban reality. A must-read for people of all ages who believe in the power of imagination, and the importance of never losing touch with your inner child

My Review:

It starts with a phone call, mysterious graffiti and a name. Luthien.

Robert Duncan can’t remember six months of his life after his parents died in a tragic house fire. One day he gets a phone call from a woman screaming at him to help Luthien before it’s too late – the only problem is that Robert has never heard the name before… or maybe he has. Robert sees a painting of a beautiful flame-haired girl and knows instinctively that it’s her. The girl he’s supposed to save – his Luthien. With the help of Dennis and Arthur – former alcoholics who have been shown the way by The Sparkling Man – Robert starts to question the Winter of No Content, as he calls his half-year period of amnesia. Who is Luthien to him and why is Robert the only one who can save her?

Conceptually I loved this book. There’s a lot of mystery mixed in with a great dose of fantasy. The ideas of the twin souls and distant realms to be travelled to through the power of the mind are incredible. The world of Minaea and the creatures who inhabit it are interesting and remind me of other fantasy kingdoms I’ve read before – in a good way. I liked the adventure Robert went on and how the plot developed as the story went on. I enjoyed Benton’s use of language to paint the scene. I adored his use of colour at the start of chapter one.

Where this book falls down for me is whilst I liked the ideas, I found it fell down a little in terms of execution. There were many times when I found myself slightly confused as to exactly who certain characters were. I also think that Robert felt a little old – his ability to instantly believe the impossible felt more appropriate for the young boy he had been prior the Winter of No Content rather than the young man on the verge of adulthood that he is in present day. That aside – this is a great read.

A Wicked Kind of Dark is an interesting read with fantasy elements that also touches on social issues like homelessness and alcoholism. A great debut for author Jonathan K Benton, this first book of the Minaea Chronicles offers fantasy lovers an exciting read with fantastic ideas.

 

Thanks to Odyssey Books for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Book Review + Giveaway: The Night Has Claws by Kat Kruger

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I’m delighted today to be a part of The Night Has Claws blog tour hosted by Fierce Ink Press. I also have an ecopy of the book to give away so please make sure you keep reading right to the end of this post for details of how to enter!

Title: The Night Has Claws (The Magdeburg Trilogy #2)
Author: Kat Kruger
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Publisher: Fierce Ink Press
Publication Date: September 2013
Pages: 199
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
What happens when you’re the thing that goes bump in the night?

Connor Lewis and Arden LaTène are experiencing a reversal of fortunes. Arden, once a prominent werewolf, has been cured against his will. As a result, he’s now considered dead by his former pack and has lost his longtime girlfriend in the mix. Connor, a newly created werewolf whose DNA has inadvertently led to the creation of the cure, now has to make some important decisions about his future and is not sure who to trust. Should he join a pack or try to go it alone?

When Connor is summoned by the Hounds of God to testify against the human scientist who developed the cure, he’s forced to choose sides. Comprised of humans bitten by werewolves, the Hounds have been the lawmakers and enforcers for hundreds of years, ensuring werewolves don’t endanger the lives of humans and exacting justice upon those who do. On the other hand, the pack werewolves have been persecuted for centuries and are seeking to tip the balance of power. Adding to his confusion is Madison Dallaire, the girl Connor has complicated feelings for, who has embarked on a path of corporate espionage.

In the second book of The Magdeburg Trilogy, Connor’s loyalties are pushed to the limits as he faces the challenges of being a modern werewolf caught in the grip of an ancient feud.

My Review:

After loving the first book in the Magdeburg Trilogy, The Night has Teeth,  I had high hopes for the second book. I’m delighted to tell you that The Night has Claws did not disappoint. Incorporating the characters I had adored with more of Kruger’s delightful writing and incredible take on werewolves, this book is even better than I was hoping.

Conner and Arden have both been bitten recently – only with entirely different outcomes. Conner is still trying to navigate his new life as one of the fanged and furry whereas Arden has been left for dead by his pack. Kruger has a great way with words. There are moments when I was reading this book when I was just struck with how much I enjoyed how she would phrase things. And how she would describe the world that Conner has found himself in the middle of. The way he discovers the way of the wolves and we the readers get to see things as he does is brilliant. These wolves do things are just as crazy to him as they are to me and there’s something about that I find comforting and somewhat disturbing. This is also one of those series where the setting adds to the ambiance. This is not a book which could be set just anywhere but rather the European influence becomes a part of the book – and that’s something I truly enjoyed about this book.

There’s a lot of young adult books around dealing with werewolves but Kruger’s treatment of the supernatural hounds sets this book apart. Whilst Conner may think that werewolf society is a little messed up, I found that these wolves are interesting and have a great history surrounding their condition. I like the born vs. bitten differences and the strange customs which the wolves maintain. These are not sweet and romantic dog but rather a little more gothic and bloodthirsty. They reminded me a little of Kelley Armstrong’s wolves in her Women of the Otherworld series in a good way.

If I was to describe this book using one word, that word would be “more”. More excitement, more of the characters I love to read about, more back story and – I just want more! The Night Has Claws is a brilliant follow-up to the first book in the series and has me eagerly anticipating the third and final book in this horrifyingly good trilogy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Fierce Ink Press

About the Author

Kat Kruger is a freelance writer and social media consultant with a degree in public relations from Mount Saint Vincent University. The Night Has Teeth is her first novel and won the 34th Atlantic Writing Competition. She splits her time between Toronto and Halifax with her husband.

Website | Twitter  | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY!

Fierce Ink Press is generously offering one ebook copy of the The Night Has Claws for me to give away. Open internationally and ending one week from today (on the 2nd of October 2013) to enter all you need to do is comment on this post and I’ll randomly select one commenter to win the ebook copy of this spectacular book!

Book Review: Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader

escape from eden banner

Welcome to my stop on The Darkest Part blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

Title: Escape from Eden
Author: Elisa Nader
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Publisher: Merit PressElise 
Publication Date: 18th August 2013
Pages: 271Escape from Eden
Rating:
4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Since the age of ten, Mia has lived under the iron fist of the fundamentalist preacher who lured her mother away to join his fanatical family of followers. In Edenton, a supposed “Garden of Eden” deep in the South American jungle, everyone follows the Reverend’s strict but arbitrary rules—even the mandate of whom they can marry. Now sixteen, Mia dreams of slipping away from the armed guards who keep the faithful in, and the curious out. When the rebellious and sexy Gabriel, a new boy, arrives with his family, Mia sees a chance to escape.

But the scandalous secrets the two discover beyond the compound’s façade are more shocking than anything they ever imagined. While Gabriel has his own terrible secrets, he and Mia bond together, more than friends and freedom fighters. But is there time to think of each other as they race to stop the Reverend’s paranoid plan to free his flock from the corrupt world? Can two teenagers crush a criminal mastermind? And who will die in the fight to save the ones they love from a madman who’s only concerned about his own secrets?

My Review:

Despite living in Edenton since she was ten, Mia longs to know what’s outside the perimeter. She misses the freedom of drawing and the memories she has of her father. Now she’s sixteen and things are changing inside the commune. There’s a new mysterious boy, Gabriel, who has his own plans of escaping. And there’s the prayer circle that girls are chosen to join but the details of are never discussed, When blind faith in the Edenton’s way of life is tested – Mia feels like she can’t be a part of a this way of living anymore.

I haven’t read many books which are about people being stuck within a cult before – and I think that’s a word that many would apply to Edenton. I commend Nader on the way she managed to describe the day-to-day living and the commitment her citizens of Edenton have in God and the Reverend. This is a scary place – their whole-hearted belief in the Reverend and his decisions is something that I find revolting and yet – I liked how Nader had her citizens following him passionately and yet without question.

Mia is a great character. She’s been so sheltered within the Edenton community that she seems to be naive but she’s questioning. I liked her innocence and how despite her lack of street smarts, she wasn’t stupid. And Gabriel was great comic relief at the start but he has his own share of secrets. I love characters who evolve over the course of a novel and both Mia and Gabriel did. Action wise – things progressed at a great rate. There was enough drama and adventure along with catastrophic events to keep things interesting but they felt natural in the way they unfolded.

This is a book that contains some fairly heavy issues. The compound which seems idyllic and paradise at first is hiding some incredible – and not in a good way – secrets. I can imagine that some of the actions that take place within its razorwire fences would make some readers upset and feel uncomfortable reading about them. For me – I was impressed that Nader dared to go there. She really impressed upon me as a reader just how bad the commune was and just why Mia was going to sacrifice her mother and everything else to free herself from the Reverend’s grasp.

I enjoyed Escape From Eden. It’s a great first novel dealing with tough issues and featuring some interesting and endearing characters.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Powell’s | IndieBound

About the Author

elisa nader

Hi. I’m Elisa. I like cheese and reading and TV show marathons. Writing is scary, but not as scary as, say, Civil War amputations. I’m an Aquarius. Uh… let’s see… I’m not very good at writing my own biography. Or autobiography. I guess this is reading more like a slightly incoherent personal ad.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebookPinterest

GIVEAWAY:

There’s also a tour wide giveaway which is open internationally. Look at the prizes! I love that there is a notebook just like the one Mia would have used to sketch in!

eden giveaway

(2) Sets of Moleskine Sketchbook, set of Le Pen colored fine tip pens, a copy of Otherkin and Othermoon by Elisa’s crit partner Nina Berry, and a personalized copy of Escape from Eden

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: BEST SEQUELS EVER!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten BEST SEQUELS EVER! 

Oh yes…. capital letters on purpose! I love a good sequel. Here are the top ten that came to mind… But ones I LOVED!

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Series: Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas
Sequel: Crown of Midnight [my review]
Why I Loved it?: I loved the first one but the second book was everything I loved from the first book PLUS MORE! More action, more romance, more bloodthirsty Caelana being in assassin mode… HIGHLY recommend it.

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Sequel: Days of Blood and Starlight [my review]
Why I Loved it?: Beautifully written, this second instalment was exciting and amazing. I loved the deeper look at the creatures and Karou’s past.

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)Series: Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa
Sequel: The Eternity Cure [my review]
Why I Loved it?: The first book, The Immortal Rules, did a great job at laying the groundwork but this book was so EXCITING! I loved Jackal and how Allie has grown throughout the book. Can’t wait for the third book!

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)Series: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Sequel: Scarlet [my review]
Why I Loved it?: I fell in love with Cinder and to be honest – I was worried that the second book wouldn’t live up to my expectations. But it exceeded them. We got to see all the stuff that I loved from the first book and got to meet some brilliant new characters. When does the third book, Cress come out? Way too far awaay if you ask me 😛

Scent of Magic  (Healer #2)Series: Healer by Maria V Snyder
Sequel: Scent of Magic [my review]
Why I Loved it?: It may have been a bit of a filler novel to bridge the gap between one of my FAVOURITE first in a series books (Touch of Power) and what promises to be a brilliant third book – however it was great. I love these characters! I don’t think there are many character who are both healers and super kick-arse as Avry is.

Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2)Series: Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
Sequel: Anne of Avonlea
Why I Loved it?: I loved Anne-with-an-E when I was growing up and this was a great series. It’s one that I can mark my childhood against. I can remember where I was the first time I read parts of it and loved growing up with Anne.

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Series: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Sequel: Catching Fire
Why I Loved it?: The first book made such an impression on me but it was the second book that truly made me fall in love. Finnick was the best character in this series! And the events of this book…. fantastic!

Spark (Elementals, #2)Series: Elementals by Brigid Kemmerer
Sequel: Spark [my review]
Why I Loved it?: I love all the books in this series. It’s much like the adult paranormal romance books I read in terms of each book is about another pairing rather than the urban fantasy series that keep following the same main characters. Spark follows the hot-headed Merrick brother, Gabriel. He’s fantastic. I love this series! Can’t wait for Secret which is released in early 2014.

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)Series: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Sequel: The Golden Lily [my review]
Why I Loved it?: Sydney gets better with each instalment. And Adrian? Oh my… I know I’m a little Richelle Mead obsessed but I can’t wait for the fourth book, The Fiery Heart which is released November 19, 2013.

The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2)Series: The Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
Sequel: The Awakening [my review]
Why I Loved it?: I love Kelley Armstrong. She’s a Canadian author who writes fantastic urban fantasy novels. The Darkest Powers trilogy is set in the same universe as her adult series, Women of the Otherworld, but revolves around young adults instead. Chloe is just coming into her powers in the first book (The Reckoning) but by the time the second book starts – she’s embracing the young woman she’s starting to be. A great set of secondary cast members, this book really comes into its own.

I love sequels. I’d love to see which books you love and are on your lists this week!

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Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season

Title: The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1)
Author: Samantha Shannon
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: August 2013
Pages: 466
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

My Review:

I’m always nervous to read books that have a lot of hype surrounding them. I don’t want to feel let down and so it was with some trepidation that I started to read The Bone SeasonThe first in a seven part series, this debut novel by twenty-one-year-old Samantha Shannon is an adventure into a world similar but so very different from our own. The story begins in 2059, London with Paige Mahoney, a nineteen-year-old clairvoyant dream walker. Clairvoyants (or ‘voyants’ as they are also known as) are forced into the criminal underground or risk being caught and locked up by the Scion – the current ruling body of the continent.

Whilst she may be on the other side of the law, Paige has a nice set up. Working for Jaxon (Jax) Hall and breaking into other people’s minds from a distance for their secrets and information, Paige is safe from the reach of the Scion. That is until an incident causes everything to change. Paige gets captured and taken to the Tower. And things are just getting started.

There’s so much that goes on in this novel. The blurb doesn’t even begin to touch on Paige’s troubles. There’s an alien race known as the Rephaite who ‘feed’ on the voyants and need them to keep alive. Their way of life and their parasitical nature is simultaneously obscene and compelling. I loved how this book began. Paige is one of the good guys – despite working for an underworld lord like Jax and some of the things she has to do to keep alive throughout the novel. She’s intelligent and resourceful and well-intentioned. But she’s not a pushover and she does have her flaws. There were times when I felt like some of the circumstances around Paige were a little too fortuitous and convenient (like the length of stay in the Tower compared to others) but I understand that these things were essential for the overall big picture.

The other characters are just as interesting and three-dimensional as Paige. Jax – who isn’t seen very much in this first book but has so much potential – fascinated me. And then there’s Warden. He’s mysterious and it’s unclear as to what his endgame is just yet but you just know that it’s going to be worthwhile continuing reading to find out. There are a whole cast of other characters I could go on forever about. What I like most about them is that every character – human or Rephaite – has their own agenda. Be it world domination or just being alive to see the sunset tomorrow – Shannon has done an amazing job of bringing them all together in a way that feels right for each individual character.

As should be expected in the first novel of a long series is some world building – and there is a fair amount of it in The Bone Season. Whilst essential to help build the plot and understand the race who inhabit the universe that’s been created, there were times when I did start to feel a little overwhelmed with just how much was going on. That said – the Seven Orders of Clairvoyance, the mysterious Rephaite colony in Oxford and criminal syndicate in which Paige worked – are all beautifully created with a lot of depth and detail.

This is a long novel and I was impressed with the level of research that you could tell went into the story. I’ve heard people call this book a young adult novel but that’s not how I’d describe it. I think it’s an adult book which many teenagers would enjoy. It gets quite dark sometimes with Shannon treating the characters she created quite badly at times but there is still an element of hope. I can’t wait for the second book which Shannon is currently writing to be released and have high hopes of what is to come next in this series!

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Last night I had the pleasure of being apart of a panel that The Reading Room put together in order to conduct an online interview with Samantha Shannon. She was absolutely lovely, taking the time to answer all of our questions. I’ve posted the video below in case you want to check it out!