Blog Tour: Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman

Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman

Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Publication Date: 2 February 2021
Australian RRP: $24.99

A gifted student, Nia longs to attend high school so she can follow her dream and become a writer. She has notebooks filled with stories she’s created about the mythological Dewi Kadita, Princess of the Southern Sea. But her family has barely enough money for food, let alone an education, so Nia’s days are spent running their food cart and raising her younger brother.

Following a miraculous escape from a bus accident, Nia is gifted with good-luck magic. Or at least that’s what everyone’s saying. Soon their family business is booming and there might even be enough money to return to school. But how long can her good luck last?

When a secret promise threatens everything she’s hoped for, Nia must find a way to break the mould and write her own future.

Buy at:  booktopia  |  Dymocks  | A&R  | QBD

My Blurb (4/5 stars)

A beautiful eye-catching cover but the thing that the book called to me about is its setting. It is set in Jakarta (capital of Indonesia) which was where I was born. I also spent my first 15 years there so I am mostly excited in being able to reminisce about my childhood and maybe also to be able to share with my own children, what it was like.

I am embarrassed to admit that I’m not familiar with this particular mythology of Dewi Kadita. It is possible though that I’ve just forgotten a lot of the stories as I have spent more years living in Australia than Indonesia. However, the way these stories are told in the book sound just like they would be told except, of course, in a different language.

Nia is certainly a strong character and she grew to be even stronger, at the end. Her experiences are not to be envied but luckily, she has her own guardian angels. She is definitely a character I can empathise with, even when her naivety nearly brings her to ruins. Her passion for writing and education, her love for her brother, and her diligence are admirable and truly aspiring.

Not all her friends are like Nia, of course. In fact, all her best friend wanted is to buy a new mobile phone and that’s what she’s saving for. She may sound rather shallow from this one sentence but do not underestimate her resourcefulness! Nia’s father is a drunkard and basically useless but there is another older male character for which I’m still scratching my head over as I just don’t understand the different pictures portrayed of him. I’d really like him to be better developed.

My childhood is not at all like Nia’s, the protagonist of this novel, as I’ve been so very blessed in life but I have seen with my own eyes those slums she lives in. I’ve worn the red & white uniform her brother wears to school. I’ve bought & eaten my share of fried bananas and martabak (I’ve introduced my boys to this last delicious dessert and now they’d fight me for the last piece!). To me, this novel is a trip through memory lanes and such a wonderful journey as I read this all in a single sitting. I loved it but unfortunately, due to the serious note of this novel, I’ve not been able to get the boys interested. Maybe another time…

Girl of the Southern Sea is a delightful coming-of-age story of a young girl chasing after her dreams. It is a novel which helps you see a little bit of how the other half of the world live and one that encourages all to never never give up.

Thanks to University of Queensland Press for copy of book in exchange of honest review. And thanks, AusYABloggers for organising the tour.

Find all the other stops by following the Tour Schedule 

About the author

Michelle Kadarusman is an Australian-Indonesian children’s author. She grew up in Melbourne and has lived many years throughout Indonesia, and in Canada. Her novels have been nominated for various awards, including the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Awards and the Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature. They have also earned numerous honours, including USBBY Outstanding International Book, two Junior Library Guild Selections, and a nomination for the Ontario Library Association Silver Birch Fiction Award.

Find Michelle on: goodreads  |  facebook  |  twitter  | instagram

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Review: Elsewhere by Dean Koontz

Elsewhere by Dean Koontz

The fate of the world is in the hands of a father and daughter in an epic novel of wonder and terror by Dean Koontz, the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.

Since his wife, Michelle, left seven years ago, Jeffy Coltrane has worked to maintain a normal life for himself and his eleven-year-old daughter, Amity, in Southern California. It’s a quiet life, until a local eccentric known as Spooky Ed shows up on their doorstep.

Ed entrusts Jeffy with hiding a strange and dangerous object-something he calls “the key to everything” – and tells Jeffy that he must never use the device. But after a visit from a group of ominous men, Jeffy and Amity find themselves accidentally activating the key and discovering an extraordinary truth. The device allows them to jump between parallel planes at once familiar and bizarre, wondrous and terrifying. And Jeffy and Amity can’t help but wonder, could Michelle be just a click away?

Jeffy and Amity aren’t the only ones interested in the device. A man with a dark purpose is in pursuit, determined to use its grand potential for profound evil. Unless Amity and Jeffy can outwit him, the place they call home may never be safe again.

Published 29 October 2020 |  Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Australia  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

My first ever Koontz’ and it did not disappoint!

But yes, I am familiar with this author’s name but horror isn’t a genre I read a lot of, tbh. However, this parallel world trope is something that I’m fascinated with so I really had no choice but to dive in.

The father-daughter relationship in this novel is truly the highlight for me. And that little bit of romance of looking for the missing wife/mother didn’t hurt at all; it’s so not at all a romantic novel but it’s subtly there (or maybe I just chose to read it as such ;p). The parallel worlds are quite fascinating but I find that I wanted more… it just wasn’t enough travels to other worlds and each travel so short that we barely got a glimpse of each.

At the end, I felt that this novel has a similar vibe to Stephen King’s 11/22/63, which I loved, but just a shorter briefer sort of version with better ending 😉 Maybe ‘better’ isn’t the correct description but I don’t want to spoil you for either books. I am now keen to explore more of Koontz works.

Thanks to HarperCollins Publishers Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Dean Koontz is the author of more than a dozen New York Times No. 1 bestsellers. His books have sold over 500 million copies worldwide, and his work is published in 38 languages. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania and lives with his wife Gerda, and their dog Elsa, in southern California. Dean Koontz is the author of more than a dozen New York Times No. 1 bestsellers. His books have sold over 500 million copies worldwide, and his work is published in 38 languages. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania and lives with his wife Gerda, and their dog Elsa, in southern California.

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  |  facebook  |  instagram

Blog Tour: The Unseen Ones by Danielle Harrington + Giveaway (INT)

The Unseen Ones
Danielle Harrington
(The Hollis Timewire Series, #2)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: December 1st 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

After the government’s brutal attack on the Diseased Ones, Hollis Timewire must wade through the carnage of her treacherous mistake. The survivors want justice, and now Hollis faces impending execution. Each day, she must prove herself to be a model community member. But chopping firewood for the new camp in the forest isn’t enough. Hollis longs to redeem herself, and this sparks an idea to rescue the little boy from the Testing Center. Stealing the government’s secret weapon might just be the perfect way to destabilize the system – enough to bring the whole thing crumbling down. But unseen forces are at work. The world is not what it appears to be, and society has a dark secret that not even Hollis is prepared to face.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

This is a review for a second book in a series so there may be hints of spoilers but I will try to be as spoiler free as possible.

The first book, The Diseased Ones, ended in a cliffhanger which this sequel picks up within seconds of that moment. I did get a bit annoyed at Hollis for her naivety combined with her impulsiveness just get her into bigger and bigger trouble. I hoped that she got better in this sequel.

In The Unseen Ones, Hollis has to live & work through the massive consequences of her action. She’s lost a part of herself and she needed to earn trust back all at the same time. She came up with a brilliant idea on how she could earn that trust back again but of course, things can’t just be that simple. And at the end, she found herself trying to fry a bigger fish than she can handle. Thankfully, it’s not a cliffhanger ending like the first book but it was still a curious ending. I’d like to know where the author is taking Hollis and her friends in their next journey.

I have enjoyed both books in the series to date as they are both very fast reads; easily put down and pick up as I go about with my kids. It’s a great book to wind down with as well as it doesn’t need too much brain power and yet, it’s got enough action to keep my interest.

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour and  copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

GIVEAWAY

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter for 4x ebook copies of The Unseen Ones (ends Dec-17)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

Danielle Harrington is a high school chemistry teacher with a passion for the pen and a knack for storytelling. She got her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Biola University, and although she’s a hardcore science nerd, she’s always been a lover of the arts.

She grew up acting and singing and has turned her love for drama into writing. Danielle lives vicariously through her characters and considers it great fun because she “gets to play all the parts”.

Danielle lives in LA with her husband, Steven, and her two cats, Moose and Turtle. She is working on a four book young adult dystopian fiction series, and she’s beyond thrilled to be launching her debut novel, THE DISEASED ONES, through Acorn Publishing.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Review: Daylight by David Baldacci

Daylight (Atlee Pine #3) by David Baldacci

FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s search for her sister Mercy clashes with military investigator John Puller’s high-stakes case, leading them both deep into a global conspiracy — from which neither of them will escape unscathed.

For many long years, Atlee Pine was tormented by uncertainty after her twin sister, Mercy, was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Now, just as Atlee is pressured to end her investigation into Mercy’s disappearance, she finally gets her most promising breakthrough yet: the identity of her sister’s kidnapper, Ito Vincenzo.

With time running out, Atlee and her assistant Carol Blum race to Vincenzo’s last known location in Trenton, New Jersey — and unknowingly stumble straight into John Puller’s case, blowing his arrest during a drug ring investigation involving a military installation.

Stunningly, Pine and Puller’s joint investigation uncovers a connection between Vincenzo’s family and a breathtaking scheme that strikes at the very heart of global democracy. Peeling back the layers of deceit, lies and cover-ups, Atlee finally discovers the truth about what happened to Mercy. And that truth will shock Pine to her very core.

Published 17 November 2020|  Publisher: Grand Central Publishing  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (5 / 5 stars)

Can this series get any better than this?! Wow, never was I more enthralled in a book without a lick of romance in it. I don’t usually read romance as a genre but I prefer my books to have sprinkles of romance. I admit shamelessly that I kept looking for it and waiting in this book but it never happened and you know what, I’m not even disappointed! And that’s BIG.

After that bomb was dropped in book 2, I was ever more keenly to follow up on Atlee’s hunt for her twin sister, Mercy. I’m going to be fair and give you warning of a nuclear blast in this one. And the ending hurts… It’s not finished yet though. I think Baldacci has more pain in store for us 😰

Of course, such a thick book can’t just be about Mercy. Atlee inadvertently stumbled over a raid and an old friend while following up information on Mercy. And again, of course, there are much bigger things at play but this time, it’s all the way to the highest level of authorities. As their investigation is being stonewalled from above, it didn’t mean the field work stops because not only are people’s lives have been lost, the country is also at risk.

There seems to be quite of a bit of patriotism in this novel (a lot of comments of serving the country, etc) and there are also certain contemporary issues bought out in it. I feel the author’s love for his country and at the same time acknowledging some deep-rooted issues in it. And in all this, kept readers riveted to the unfolding plot of crime solving. Daylight is my favourite of Baldacci’s so far; highly recommend that fans get behind this series!

Thank you Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley for the e-copy of this book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  |  instagram  |  facebook

Blog Tour: Indigo Owl by Charline Archbold

 

Indigo Owl by Charlie Archbold

Publisher: Wakefield Press
Publication Date: 1 September 2020
Australian RRP: $24.99

After Earth was destroyed by climate change and overpopulation, private corporations colonised new planets. On one such planet, Galbraith,the fertility of its citizens is tightly controlled. But at what cost?

When Scarlet Bergen leaves her childhood home to be trained at the Arcadia Institute, harnessing her psychic Solitaire talents, it feels like the beginning of her future. But on the Institute steps, her father whispers a life-changing secret about the past. Her mother, a geneticist who disappeared when Scarlet was ten, had enemies …

Scarlet vows to discover the truth about her mother – and is joined in her mission by fellow cadets with their own family secrets and special talents: tech-savvy Rumi, a tenacious truth-hunter, and Dylan, the aloof classmate who can literally read her mind.

Together, they’ll uncover a planet-wide conspiracy … and discover that there’s little the Galbraith Executives won’t do to get what they want.

Buy at:  booktopia  |  dymocks  | A&R  | Wakefield Press

My Blurb (4/5 stars)

Somehow, I have gotten into the habit of not reading the book blurb / description / synopsis before I started reading. I would have read it some time before I decided to get my hands on the book so at one point in time, I wanted to read it, so I’d just jumped in. Therefore, most times I’ve no idea what I got myself in for. And such is the case with Indigo Owl because I didn’t realise that it was set in a different planet and for a while, I was really confused! So that’s the first thing you should know… This book is set on a completely different and very very cold planet called Galbraith.

There are 3 perspectives but Scarlet’s the primary one while Rumi’s & Dylan’s felt like they revolve around her. I guess this is really Scarlet’s story but we do need Rumi’s & Dylan’s help to know what’s happening around Scarlet. This makes me feel that Scarlet is very focused on the one thing (her mother) and so quite blind in her peripheral vision. She could be likeable but I actually prefer Rumi with all her “unbalanced” angle. I must admit though that at the end, they both improved so much! Scarlet could be a good friend but again, I don’t feel that friendship any particularly well with anyone. And I also find the romance a little bit lacklustre.

Indigo Owl was a very easy read with a truly fascinating setting with a sort of low key creepy vibe in the way of The Handmaid’s Tale. With a fast pace and an engaging mystery, it is a captivating read.

Thanks to Wakefield Press for copy of book in exchange of honest review. And thanks, AusYABloggers for organising the tour.

Find all the other stops by following the Tour Schedule 

About the author

Charlie has worked as a primary years educator for many years. She has a Master of Education Degree in Studies of Asia and has spent time teaching in the UK, Australia, and Indonesia. In addition to teaching she has a passion for creative writing. Her new young adult novel is Indigo Owl.

Charlie’s debut young adult novel, Mallee Boys, was the recipient of the 2016 Adelaide Literary Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award and was a 2018 Children’s Book Council of Australia Honour book. Her middle grade manuscript, Red Bottomed Boat, was shortlisted for the 2020 Text Prize.

Find Charlie on: goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  | instagram

Review: Nottingham by Nathan Makaryk

Nottingham (Nottingham #1) by Nathan Makaryk

Nathan Makaryk’s debut novel is a gripping historical epic – full of action, intrigue and adventure – and a fascinating retelling of the Robin Hood legend.

Nottingham mixes history and myth into a compelling novel of power, ambition and heroism – one that twists and turns far beyond the traditional tale of Sherwood Forest’s iconic thief.‘The most pleasurable reading experience I’ve had since first discovering George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.’Bryan Cogman, Co-Executive Producer/Writer, Game of Thrones

England, 1191. King Richard is half a world away, fighting for God and his own ambition.

Back home, the country languishes, bankrupt and on the verge of anarchy. People with power are running unchecked. People without are growing angry. And in Nottingham, the largest and wealthiest shire in England, a dangerously passive sheriff seems intent on doing nothing.

As the leaves turn gold in the Sherwood Forest, the lives of six people – Robin and William, soldiers running from their pasts; Marian, a noblewoman working for change; Arable, a servant girl with a secret; Guy of Gisbourne, a beleaguered guard captain; and Elena Gamwell, a brash, ambitious thief – become intertwined.

And a strange story begins to spread.

Published 20 August 2019 |  Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a Robin Hood retelling. I know I own a YA one which I have yet to read. This premise of mixing history and myth intrigued me and while it was a tad slow at the beginning (mostly due to my having to struggle to adjust to multiple perspectives), the novel was brilliantly executed.

The novel opens with brothers-in-arms Robin of Locksley and William De Wendenal marching in the Crusades with King Richard. There was an issue with the army’s supplies and they were sent back to England to sort this out. When Robin and William returned, they tracked these supplies to Nottingham and found themselves embroiled the local politics as the people are in a state of unrest. Their seemingly simple original mission suddenly lost its priority as they were buried deeper in the mire of love, betrayals, deceptions, and deaths.

There were so many perspectives in this novel that I feel there really isn’t a ‘primary’ one. We hear from Robin and William, of course, but also Guy of Gisbourne (only the captain), Sheriff Roger De Lacy, Marion, Elena Gamwell, and a number of others. After about halfway, the novel picks up on the pace and I really couldn’t bear to put it down for the last 100 pages! That ending though… I need some support (please PM me if you’ve read it as I could barely believer my eyes… WHAT did I just read?).

I really wanted to revisit the 1973 cartoon while I was in the middle of reading this and wow, this novel totally blew that cartoon out of the water. As much I enjoyed the cartoon, it was mostly due to childhood reminiscence, this novel, Nottingham, is an epic retelling of Robin Hood filled with strong female characters, complex villains, and an intricate web of intrigues.

Thanks to Penguin Random House Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Nathan Makaryk, above all other things, hates writing bios about himself.

Nathan’s debut novel NOTTINGHAM was released in August 2019 by Tor/Forge (US) and Bantam (AUS), with a sequel LIONHEARTS to follow in 2020.

Nathan is a theater owner, playwright, director, actor and improv comedian, living in southern California. None of these pay very well, so he also has a real job teaching audio systems networking software to people who have no idea he’s also a novelist and theater guy.

He likes dogs and scotch because of course he does.

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  |  facebook

Blog Tour: Between Wild and Ruin by Jennifer G. Edelson + Giveaway (INT)

Between Wild and Ruin
Jennifer G. Edelson
Publication date: September 28th 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Truth, like love, isn’t always obvious.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby Brooks has never had a boyfriend. After moving to small-town La Luna, New Mexico following her mother’s untimely death, boys aren’t even on her radar. Ruby just wants to forget the last horrible year and blend in. But when she discovers an ancient pueblo ruin hidden in the forest behind her house, and meets Ezra, a bitter recluse whose once-perfect face was destroyed in an accident he won’t talk about; Angel, the town’s handsome sheriff’s deputy, and Leo, a stranger who only appears in the forest, Ruby finds herself caught between love, mystery, and other worlds. What happened to Ezra’s face? And why is she so attracted to the one boy in town everyone despises? As Ruby unravels her own powerful connections to both Ezra and the pueblo ruin, she’ll learn surfaces are deceiving. Especially in the heart of New Mexico, where ghosts and legends aren’t always just campfire stories.

Goodreads / Amazon

My Blurb (3 / 5 stars)

The novel opens with Ruby Brooks arriving in her new home in a little town in New Mexico. After losing her mother, she and her aunt, Libby, are wanting a change and/or a new start. Ruby doesn’t believe she’s beautiful and she’s built walls around her heart because of something in her past. There’s something in this place though and especially, with Ezra that she begins to hope things could be different here.

I don’t like love triangle or quadrangle or whatever and for some parts of the novel, it just felt like that’s what’s happening. This made it slightly harder for me to read this story. What was interesting though is the history of this place/setting; I don’t know how much of it is real or what inspired the author but it was certainly impressively detailed. In the end, I felt Between Wild & Ruin to be somewhat of a mix of Beauty & the Beast and certain conspiracy theory (I’m being vague because spoilers…). This is the first book of a series and it did feel like such; a lot of setting up which made it felt quite long to read.

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour and  copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

GIVEAWAY

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter for a $20 Amazon gift card (ends Sep-17)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

Jennifer G. Edelson is a writer, trained artist, former attorney, pizza lover, and hard-core Bollywood fan. She has a BFA in Sculpture and a J.D. in law, and has taught both creative writing and legal research and writing at several fine institutions, including the University of Minnesota. Originally a California native, she currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, kids, and dog, Hubble after surviving twenty-plus years in the Minnesota tundra (but still considers Los Angeles, the Twin Cities, and Santa Fe all home). Other than writing, Jennifer loves hiking, traveling, Albert Camus, Dr. Seuss, dark chocolate, drinking copious amounts of coffee, exploring mysterious places, and meeting new people–if you’re human (or otherwise), odds are she’ll probably love you.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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Review: The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy

The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy

For readers of Station Eleven and Everything I Never Told You, a debut novel set on the brink of catastrophe, as a young woman chases the world’s last birds – and her own final chance for redemption.

‘An extraordinary novel… as beautiful and as wrenching as anything I’ve ever read.’ Emily St John Mandel. ‘This novel is enchanting, but not in some safe, fairytale sense. Charlotte McConaghy has harnessed the rough magic that sears our souls. I recommend The Last Migration with my whole heart.’ Geraldine Brooks

For readers of Station Eleven and Everything I Never Told You, a debut novel set on the brink of catastrophe, as a young woman chases the world’s last birds – and her own final chance for redemption.A dark past. An impossible journey. The will to survive.

How far you would you go for love? Franny Stone is determined to go to the end of the earth, following the last of the Arctic terns on what may be their final migration to Antarctica.

As animal populations plummet and commercial fishing faces prohibition, Franny talks her way onto one of the few remaining boats heading south. But as she and the eccentric crew travel further from shore and safety, the dark secrets of Franny’s life begin to unspool. A daughter’s yearning search for her mother. An impulsive, passionate marriage. A shocking crime. Haunted by love and violence, Franny must confront what she is really running towards – and from.

The Last Migration is a wild, gripping and deeply moving novel from a brilliant young writer. From the west coast of Ireland to Australia and remote Greenland, through crashing Atlantic swells to the bottom of the world, this is an ode to the wild places and creatures now threatened, and an epic story of the possibility of hope against all odds.

Published 4 August 2020 |  Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (5 / 5 stars)

Franny Stone is desperate. Desperate to follow the Artic terns on what could be their last migration. She has a mission to fulfil for her beloved husband and she’ll not fail. The world is falling apart, many creatures have been deemed extinct, if not close to, and fisheries are close to being outlawed. She found a boat that will take her to where she needs to go but along the way, she’s also found life…

Mam used to tell me to look for the clues.
‘The clues to what?’ I asked the first time.
‘To life. They’re hidden everywhere.’

This setting is certainly not of today’s world although it feels that it certainly couldn’t be far off with the way we’ve used the earth so harshly. Even as the book is slotted into ‘science fiction’ or ‘dystopia’, please do not let this stop you because most of the time, it really doesn’t feel like a science fiction novel to me. I actually have to keep reminding myself that it’s not exactly ‘today’ as I read it.

The Last Migration is an achingly beautiful love story; that special love between 2 people, bonds of friendships, and an overwhelming pull of the sea, the birds, all nature. The beautiful prose completely pulled me in and I’ve spent today drowning in this tale only to resurface wanting to get back in. A hopeless yet hopefully determined purposeful ending from which we can all take a page from.

Thanks to Penguin Random House Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Charlotte McConaghy has been writing from a young age. She has both a Graduate Degree in Screenwriting and a Masters Degree in Screen Arts, and has worked in script development for film and television for several years. She has written a number of speculative fiction books but The Last Migration is her first literary novel. She lives in Sydney.

Find author on:  goodreads  |  facebook  |  twitter

Review: Pinkers by Alison Croggon & Daniel Keene

Pinkers (Newport City #2) by Alison Croggon & Daniel Keene

The revolution has begun. But where does it end?

The banns are in lockdown, making it all but impossible for Dez, Bo and their friends to resist the authoritarianism of Newport City. Bo believes that the mysterious power of the water is the key to winning their struggle, but Dez is deeply troubled about his increasing obsession.

Meanwhile up-and-coming soap star Erin Saba is in trouble. In Newport City, there’s nowhere to hide. Especially if you’re Erin Saba…

Published 15 August 2020 |  Publisher: Newport Street Books  |  RRP: AUD$1199 (ebook)

Buy it at: A&R  |  Amazon AU

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

In the first book of Newport City series, Fleshers, we see certain young people rising up against injustices suffered by their people. In this exciting sequel, Pinkers, we read of the immediate aftermath of a particular action followed by escalation of conflicts between the fleshers and pinkers. If you don’t know what these terms mean, I won’t spoil you but direct you to read Fleshers instead 😉

Following the first book, we have alternating perspectives between Dez and Bo (flesher siblings) but we also have additional perspective, Erin Saba (pinker). I thought this last perspective was a very interesting addition as we have, to date, not heard of a pinker’s perspective even as we know not all are bad. As Dez, Bo, their mother and friends are preparing to fight for a chance at a better life, Erin felt her life was not as it should be. As it happened, life turns out to be quite different for Erin when she found herself amongst the fleshers.

Dez has an obsessive personality but a very big & kind heart. Bo has a goal in mind and is focused on getting there. Erin was just hopeless, really, but let’s just say that she learns a LOT by the end. They may all see the world differently but they also all see the potential for it to be better; they are seeking to bridge differences. Pinkers is an exciting and thoroughly enjoyable sequel and as I think that not everything is tidied up yet, I have hope for another instalment.

My thanks to the authors for providing me with an ecopy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Alison Croggon is an award-winning novelist, poet, theatre writer, critic and editor who lives in Melbourne, Australia. She works in many genres and her books and poems have been published to acclaim nationally and internationally. She is arts editor for The Saturday Paper and co-editor of the performance criticism website Witness.

Find Alison on:  goodreads  |  website  |  facebook  |  twitter

Daniel Keene has written for the theatre since 1979. He has written over 70 plays, both short works and full length.

Find Daniel on:  goodreads  |  website

Review: A Dance with Fate by Juliet Marillier

A Dance With Fate (Warrior Bards #2) by Juliet Marillier

An accident. A forfeit of freedom. A descent into danger.

Liobhan, the young warrior and bard, has lost her brother to the Otherworld. Even more determined to gain a place as an elite fighter, she returns to Swan Island to continue her training. But Liobhan is devastated when her comrade Dau is injured and loses his sight in their final display bout. Blamed by Dau’s family for the accident, she agrees to go to his home, Oakhill, as a bond servant for one year.

But Oakhill is a place of dark secrets. The menacing and enigmatic Crow Folk still threaten both worlds and while Brocc battles them in the Otherworld, Dau must battle his own demon – despair.

When Liobhan and Dau begin to expose the evil at the core of Oakhill, they place themselves in mortal danger. For their enemy wields great power and will stop at nothing to get his way. It will take all the skills of a Swan Island warrior and a touch of the uncanny to give them any hope of survival . . .

Published 28 July 2020 |  Publisher: MacMillan Australia  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s

My Blurb (4.5 / 5 stars)

I feel like I’ve waited too long to get back into this world and yet, it was less than a year ago (just!). I re-read The Harp of Kings before I read this just because I wanted my stay in this world to be longer. I loved that Liobhan and Dau grew so much in the first book and was keen to find out where their next journey will take them to.

In The Harp of Kings, we found out that Dau’s childhood was a terribly scary time that nearly drove him to his death. In A Dance With Fate, we see Dau facing his fears and grew to become stronger and wiser but not alone. As always, his loyal friend, Liobhan, is there with him and for him.

A twist of fate saw Dau blinded and his future bleak. And yet that same twist of fate brought Liobhan to be with him to face his blackest fear. Liobhan’s keen sense of justice and deep friendship for Dau cannot see her standing by when she can see Dau will be alone and friendless where he’s going. Yet, at the same time, she would be brought lowest but because who and what she is, there are many who are pulled to her to render aid and support.

I love the deepening friendship between Dau & Liobhan in this book. However, this is Dau’s story more than anything and I loved it even more as he’s developed into such a magnificent man. Brocc is still around and there were a smattering of his POVs in this book. While I find those to be a bit of an annoyance (they broke the main storyline of this book), I do understand that his arc is an overall one for the trilogy and I hope the next book will see him finding what he is looking for.

As always, such a comfort to read Marillier’s and I never wanted to leave. In fact, the book is still sitting on my soon-to-read TBR because I’m contemplating a re-read already. Truly while she does not spare her characters from pain, they grow so beautifully that it’s a comforting to know that whatever it is you’re going through, you’ll be stronger at the end. Her words of wisdom is a balm in this (our) bleak time.

My thanks to MacMillan Australia for having me on this tour and  paperback copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Juliet Marillier was born in New Zealand and grew up surrounded by Celtic music and stories. Her own Celtic-Gaelic roots inspired her to write her first series, the Sevenwaters Trilogy. Her lifelong interest in history, folklore and mythology has had a major influence on her writing.

Juliet is the author of twenty historical fantasy novels for adults and young adults, as well as a book of short fiction. Juliet’s novels and short stories have won many awards. She is a member of the druid order OBOD (the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.)

Find Juliet on:  goodreads  |  website  |  facebook