Top Ten Tuesday: New to Me Authors I Read in 2013

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 New to Me Authors I Read in 2013

There are so many fantastic authors that I “discovered” this year. Here is a list of only ten of them.

Cristin Terrill – I adored All Our Yesterdays. It’s an amazing novel about one of my least favourite concepts: time travel. I loved the characters and the writing and definitely consider this to be one of my favourite new authors of this year.

Ambelin Kwaymillina – Last week I read her first two novels: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf and The Disappearance of Ember Crow. They’re brilliant dystopian novels about people with special powers and a government who is trying to capture them. If you’ve not read either of Ambelin’s novels before – I urge you to try them out. The Tribe is one of my favourite YA dystopian series that I’ve read so far.

Ellie Marney – Earlier this year I read Every Breath. It’s a murder mystery set in Melbourne and I loved it. The first in a series, I can’t wait to read the next instalments and see what Rachel and Mycroft get up to next!

Colleen Hoover – I read Slammed and thought it was lovely. That’s even despite having one of my least favourite types of romance in it (I can’t stand student/teacher relationships in case you were wondering). It lead me to attending my first (and so far only) poetry slam and this is definitely an author I intend to read more of.

Tara EglingtonHow to Keep a Boy From Kissing You was such an adorable read. There are times when you don’t want to read anything too heavy or life threatening and a cute contemporary story about a girl and her first kiss is exactly what you want. That’s what this book was for me. I’m currently reading the second book in the Aurora Skye series and it’s just as enjoyable as the first book.

All Our Yesterdays The Disappearance of Ember Crow (The Tribe #2) Every Breath  

AJ Betts -Her book, Zac and Mia, was a great realistic look at teenagers dealing with cancer. I liked her style and enjoyed the journey she took her characters on and me as a reader.

Tammara Webber – Easy is still one of my favourite New Adult reads. Real and sincere with characters I enjoyed and a NA plot that was more than just sex. I definitely want to read more from her.

Liz Fichera – As someone who is not the most athletic, I never thought I’d like Hooked as much as I did. But it’s such a great book that deals with racism, sexism and has some sweet and amazing characters. I loved Fred and am eagerly awaiting Sam and Riley’s story!

Gayle Forman – I read If I Stay and thought it was beautiful. The writing is really heartbreaking and heartwarming both at the same time. I haven’t quite mustered the courage to read the second book but it’s definitely one on my epic to-read list.

Samantha Shannon – I still can’t believe that the Bone Season was written by a nineteen year old. The writing is sophisticated and this is an incredibly well researched novel. The first in a seven book series, this series promises to be an incredibly journey.

Zac and Mia Easy  If I Stay The Bone Season

 

Here is my list for this week. I’d love to hear from you – what ere you favourite new to you authors this year? Any from my list that you liked as much as I did? Any you think I need to read? Feel free to leave a comment. 🙂

Follow on Bloglovin

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!