The Continent – Keira Drake – The Continent #1 – Harlequin TEEN – Published 3 January 2017
For her sixteenth birthday, Vaela Sun receives the most coveted gift in all the Spire—a trip to the Continent. It seems an unlikely destination for a holiday: a cold, desolate land where two “uncivilized” nations remain perpetually at war. Most citizens tour the Continent to see the spectacle and violence of battle—a thing long vanished in the Spire. For Vaela—a smart and talented apprentice cartographer—it is an opportunity to improve upon the maps she’s drawn of this vast, frozen land.
But an idyllic aerial exploration is not to be had: the realities of war are made clear in a bloody battle seen from the heli-plane during the tour, leaving Vaela forever changed. And when a tragic accident leaves her stranded on the Continent, she has no illusions about the true nature of the danger she faces. Starving, alone, and lost in the middle of a war zone, Vaela must try to find a way home—but first, she must survive.
The Continent is an interesting sort of fantasy novel – no magic, but set in a new and strange world that is half old-world traditions and some of today’s technology where peace and civility reigns and half a land torn apart by war, where the inhabitants fight the elements and each other to survive.
Vaela lives a safe and privileged live in the Spire, where there has been no wars for many years. She is a cartographer and thrilled when her parents gift her with a trip to the Continent, where the landscape is rugged and a bloody war is still fought between the natives. But Vaela’s exploration of the Continent ends in disaster and she is left alone to fight for survival, both against the icy and treacherous landscape and the natives. But as she makes a home there, Vaela learns to look anew at life on the Continent and hopes the war can somehow be ended before she once again loses everyone she holds dear.
It is the writing that makes this book, that sets it apart from other books. The writing truly creates the setting, with the old-worldly phrasing evoking images of the Edwardian era of long dresses, suits and hats, propriety and old fashioned traditions.
Warrior’s Seal – Ronie Kendig – The Tox Files #0.5 – Bethany House Publishers – 1 October 2016
Special Forces operator Cole “Tox” Russell and his team are tasked in a search-and-rescue—the U.S. president has been kidnapped during a goodwill tour. The mission nosedives when an ancient biblical artifact and a deadly toxin wipe out villages. Tox must stop the terrorists and the toxin to save the president–and his team–before it’s too late!
The Warrior’s Seal is a novella that starts the explosive new series, The Tox Files. Action, history, ancient artefacts, the President’s life in danger, and a mysterious toxin killing hundreds.
Cole ‘Tox’ Russell is a Special Forces operator. When the President is kidnapped, Tox and his team are tasked with his retrieval. But a deadly toxin is spreading and killing everyone in its path. Tox will have to determine if the two events are connected and how to stop the terrorist, keep from becoming infected, and save the President.
Suri’s Wall – Lucy Estela, illustrated by Matt Ottley – Penguin Books Australia – Published 26 August 2015
Eva squeezed Suri’s hand. “What’s there? What can you see?”
“What can I see?” Suri looked out over the wall. “Oh, it’s beautiful, let me tell you all about it.”
A moving tale of the power of the human spirit.
This is an incredibly powerful book.
I went into the book knowing very little about it. I had not even read the blurb. And I think that was the best way to read it. So, if you want to go and find a copy, snuggle down, enjoy the story and then come back and read my review, go ahead. I’ll wait….
Suri’s Wall has been nominated for CBCA’s Book of the Year in 2016, and for very good reason. It is a particularly powerful and moving story. It speaks volumes and yet is gentle and quiet in conveying a message of hope and beauty in times of pain and loss.
The Winner’s Kiss – Marie Rutkoski – The Winner’s Trilogy #3 – Bloomsbury Children’s – Published 24 March 2016
War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.
At least, that’s what he thinks.
In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.
But no one gets what they want just by wishing.
As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?
The Winner’s Kiss is an epic conclusion to the fantastic Winner’s Trilogy. Heart-wrenching and awesome, every moment is tense with a mix of despair and possibility. Could Kestrel and Arin ever save their people, find safety, and possibly get their happy ending?
Arin has allied with the Dacran queen. Kestrel has been discovered as a traitor to her people and has been transported to a work camp. War is looming.
Marie Rutkoski has proven her ability to write engaging stories, but The Winner’s Kiss cements this, with imagery so vibrant that reading this book was akin to sinking through the pages straight into the detailed world she has created. In The Winner’s Kiss the perspective frequently switches from Arin to Kestrel, sometimes with each only sharing a small paragraph or two before returning to the other’s view point. It makes for dramatic, edge-of-your-seat reading. Continue reading
Inherit The Stars – Tessa Elwood – Inherit The Stars #1 – Running Press Kids – Published 8 December 2015
Three royal houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.
Asa is the youngest daughter of the house of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She thinks she can save her family’s livelihood by posing as her oldest sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the throne of the house of Westlet. The appearance of her mother, a traitor who defected to the house of Galton, adds fuel to the fire, while Asa also tries to save her sister Wren’s life . . . possibly from the hands of their own father.
But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?
Great story – strong characters, intriguing plot and sweet romance. Oh, and space adventure involving a variety of planets, competing ruling kingdoms, and flightwings, skidcycles, and other cool space tech.
Asa’s kingdom is falling apart. Death, disease, riots and famine. But Asa will do anything to protect her dying sister and so, as the third daughter of the ruling House of Fane, she poses as her other sister who is to marry the heir of the House of Westlet in an arranged marriage, which is supposed to secure food and safety for their kingdom. But saving her sisters may have put both her kingdom and the kingdom she now belongs to in serious danger. Continue reading
Torn Sky – Tracy Banghart – Rebel Wing #3 – Alloy Entertainment – Published 4 August 2015
When Aris Haan brought down Safara’s biggest war criminal, she’d thought it was a turning point in the war. Victory was on the horizon, as was a peaceful future with her Promised, Milek.
But a deadly new threat has emerged: a Safaran bomb that could wipe out all of Atalanta in one catastrophic blast. Aris is tasked with finding the weapon before it is completed, a mission made more difficult when she starts to suspect that there is a Safaran spy in her unit. Friendships are tested, loyalties are strained, and suddenly Aris no longer knows whom she can trust.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book and it was totally worth the wait. It is a brilliant, edge-of-your-seat, action-packed, swoon-worthy conclusion to the Rebel Wing trilogy.
I didn’t mean to start reading this book, I had another one I needed to read first, but then I opened it up to just take a peak at the first page and before I knew it I was a couple chapters in. Needless to say, that other book hasn’t been read yet.