Tag Archives: dystopia

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.

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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.

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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

Blog Tour: GENES by Mary Ting -a Review + Giveaway

Genes (International Sensory Assassin Network #3) by Mary Ting
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: June 30th 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Allegiances will be tested.
Identities will be revealed.
No one is safe.

While searching for the HelixB88 anti-serum on the black market, Ava uncovers valuable intel that may help the rebels in their fight to bring down ISAN—the location of a hidden facility. But first, the insurgents must find the female citizens unexpectedly displaying powers without use of the Helix serum before ISAN captures them.

As the rebels join forces with other sectors, ISAN plans their destruction by using someone they don’t suspect at the rebel home base. A traitor within.

Now, Ava must make a dangerous decision, one that could risk their capture—or worse.

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My Blurb (3 / 5 stars)

This review is in relation to book 3 in the series so while I will steer away from spoilers for this book, there may be spoilers of books 1 & 2

GENES picked up right from the end of Helix and if you’re a follower of the series, you’d know that Ava had been impatiently waiting for a certain test result and we find out right at the beginning of this book with an immediate twist to the story. And this sets the tone of the book, many more twists, some kick-ass action, and lots of lovey doveys.

Ava & the rebels continued to find ways to thwart ISAN & Mr Novak but first they needed Brooke to wake up and Gene to cooperate. Gene has completely thrown them off by his very different attitude & personality. Even as he’s kept tightly in isolation and continuous watch, he does not appear to be worried and continue to threaten the safety of the rebels. Ava was a little worried but she’s also got other things to do. The mystery remains, however, just what can Gene do?

A fast paced read with loads of actions and plenty more romance. I love to see Rhett and Ava together though sometimes, I get frustrated because… hello, you’re in the middle of a situation here?! But, as their friends said it, it’s just how they are. The group of friends are just fabulous as ever and growing!! That last sentence-twist at the end of the book was mind boggling BUT *gosh* I’m getting frustrated with Ava too. I do want to find out what’s really going on though so… onto book 4 (hopefully)!

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 $25 Amazon gift card (ends Jul-09)

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About the author

International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres: science fiction, fantasy, and swoon worthy stories. Her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.

Mary was born in Seoul Korea and resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two dogs—Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Becoming an author was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, she retired from teaching after twenty years.

Find Mary on:  Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / News update

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Blog Tour: An Outcast and An Ally by Caitlin Lochner + Giveaway (INT)

An Outcast and an Ally
Caitlin Lochner
(A Soldier and a Liar #2)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 21st 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Dark secrets and conflicting loyalties abound as four superpowered teens are torn apart by war in Caitlin Lochner’s An Outcast and an Ally, the epic YA sequel to A Soldier and a Liar.

Lai, Jay, Al, and Erik are on the run after the military accuses them of being traitors. Tensions between everyone are high, but they have to stick together if they want to survive. And somehow stop the war that’s now in full swing.

But when Erik returns to the rebels to find answers about his past, Lai, Al, and Jay have no choice but to go to the Order―a peace coalition bent on stopping the rebels and dissolving the enmity between gifted and ungifted. However, the longer the war drags on, the more Lai’s long-kept secrets threaten to destroy everything she’s ever worked for. Sparks fly as the team constantly questions whether they can trust one another and everyone tries to navigate a war that will change everything.

Filled with the same high-stakes superpowered action and complex relationships as A Soldier and A Liar, Caitlin’s first book, An Outcast and an Ally brings this story to a dramatic and satisfying close.

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My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

Some time has past since the end of A Soldier and a Liar and we find the four friends still together but fraught with tension. They must decide what to do even as each struggles internally with what they should do. In this book, we are given insights into all 4 friends as chapters alternate between all 4 POVs.

As was seen in the first book, Lai is a strong independent young woman, but she’s even stronger in this one as we see her break but only to surface stronger than before. Jay’s chapters were to me the weakest in this book as he seems only to serve as a little helper (even if his actual role in the Order wasn’t that little) and some sort of romantic interest (I found this even slightly lacking; yes, I wish there was a bit more spark).

Erik’s & Al’s struggles, however, were soul searching ones. All Erik wanted was to regain his memory yet finding out about his past self made him doubt whether that should be his priority in life. While Al’s purpose in life was to avenge her parents, she was derailed by what she actually found out and after all that she and the Order has been through, she begins to question what’s truly important in life?

An Outcast and An Ally is a novel about fighting for justice; it is filled with broken pasts, betrayals, but best of all, friendships and what that means. It is YA dystopian with characters who aren’t overwhelmed with anger and who aren’t afraid to think for themselves. It is a fascinating world despite the twists of betrayals for if one or two are willing to change, there is always hope.

Thank you Swoon Reads and Xpresso Tours for including me in this blog tour & ecopy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

GIVEAWAY (International)

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter to win a print copy of An Outcast and An Ally

(ends Apr-30)

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About the author

I’m a nerd, traveler, and architecture enthusiast who worked as an assistant English teacher in Tokyo for three years before pursuing my MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida. I love reading and writing anything with magic, adventure, and complex found-family relationships. I can typically be found absorbed in books, games, or manga, or else obsessing over said books, games, and manga.

Find author on: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Instagram

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Review: False Hearts by Laura Lam

False Hearts (Pacifica) by Laura Lam

One twin is imprisoned for a terrible crime. The other will do anything to set her free.

One night Tila stumbles home, terrified and covered in blood. She’s arrested for murder, the first by a civilian in decades. The San Francisco police suspect involvement with Zeal, a powerful drug, and offer her twin sister Taema a chilling deal. Taema must assume Tila’s identity and gather information – then if she brings down the drug syndicate, the police may let her sister live. But Taema’s investigation raises ghosts from the twins’ past.

The sisters were raised by a cult, which banned modern medicine. But as conjoined twins, they needed surgery to divide their shared heart – and escaped. Taema discovers Tila was moulded by the cult and that it’s linked to the city’s underground. Once unable to keep secrets, the sisters will discover the true cost of lies.

My Blurb

If you’ve read One by Sarah Crossan and if you’re anything like me, you’d have cried your heart out and wished for a somewhat different ending. Without giving too much away, it could have been like False Hearts though of course, False Hearts is set in a very distant future. There isn’t actually a specific date but technology-wise, they seem to be far ahead of us.

The world setting is fairly similar though differences lie in technology including medicine. So, it was pretty easy to get into. Taema as the main protagonist is also easily likeable and therefore, memorable. Tila, on the other hand, was not quite present in the story for me. She provided only certain perspectives that the readers need to fill in the blanks. Otherwise, we mainly follow Taema.

I felt that this book is quite different from other dystopians though most dystopians I read are YA so maybe that’s one difference. But it also incorporates a cult living in isolation from the world though not without communication. In addition to this, there is bloody murder or is there? Let’s just say that this book has everything that I like in a book and that’s why I’ve really enjoyed it.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Originally from sunny California, Laura Lam now lives in cloudy Scotland. Lam is the author of BBC Radio 2 Book Club section False Hearts, the companion novel Shattered Minds, as well as the award-winning Micah Grey series PantomimeShadowplay, and Masquerade. Her short fiction and essays have also appeared in anthologies such as Nasty WomenSolaris Rising 3, Cranky Ladies of History, and more.  She lectures part-time at Napier University in Edinburgh on the Creative Writing MA.

Find her on: goodreads  |  website  | pinterest  |  twitter  | facebook  |  instagram  |  tumblr

 

Review: Matched

matchedMatched by Ally Condie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: purchased own paperback copy

I added this to my TBR because the person who recommended it saw some similarities with another book I like though except for that one particular thing, there wasn’t really much else. However, it’s funny how I kept getting flashes of other dystopian…

The novel opens with Cassia on the train, on her way to her Matching ceremony. I had in my mind of Katniss on her way to the Capital. The way she’s surrounded with all the glamour that is a contract with the drabness of real life. That’s all the reference to THG I’m going to make though as the rest of the novel is so very reminiscent of The Giver by Lois Lowry. There were quite a number of similarities: the lack of colours, the tablets, old age/dying, vocations, etc. The difference here is the romance which was missing in The Giver.

Despite all my thoughts meandering over to other dystopian novels, Matched has been a fairly engaging read, mostly due to the romance. I also liked the number of ‘bombs’ dropped near the end and I’m wondering what other twists will be introduced in the rest of the trilogy. So, I’ll be looking those up though probably not in any hurry to do so.

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Review: Captive

captiveCaptive by Aimee Carter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: paperback copy courtesy of publisher

Note: this review is in relation to book 2 of The Blackcoat Rebellion and may contain spoilers to book 1, Pawn (my review of Pawn)

I read Pawn not too long ago so this story is still quite fresh in my mind and I was quite excited to see Captive being released. Whilst Pawn did not end in a cliffhanger (like whether someone died or not), there is that suspense of the upcoming ado. I was really looking forward to Captive.

Kitty Doe is not a character I like… much… Whilst I cannot fault her moral standing, her ‘do first, think later’ attitude is really annoying. Hence, I found her even more frustrating in Captive. She resolved one thing but then her impulsiveness decided something else for her and the consequences sometimes surprised her (*eye rolls*).

And just to be more complicated, there are many more new characters this time around… in a different setting. I enjoyed this new setting even though again, it’s a little hard to develop characters well. I’m finding characters to be quite slippery and undependable –this, however, could be due to the crazy plot.

Pawn had lots of twisty turns but Captive’s plot is a whirlwind of unsuspected turns where we were picked up, turned back to front, was set back down only to be swooped up and turned upside down –non-stop. I think, though, part of this is due to Kitty’s frustrating character that sometimes, I really wanted to shake her but… it made a pretty exciting book.

This might be the only annoying fictional character that I’m willing to keep up with because I am really looking forward to book 3! I hope it will be just as jam-packed as the first 2 instalments.

Thanks, Harlequin Books Australia for copy of paperback

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Review: Feuds

feudsFeuds by Avery Hastings

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of publisher

I… love… ballet… I took ballet as a child and whilst that didn’t last (I really didn’t have the making of a prima ballerina), I still daydream about being a ballerina now and then. I also grew up with a number of ballet mangas which I loved so these days any fiction with ballerina as MC is a must-read. In Feuds, I basically found 2 of my most favourite things (ballerina MC with dystopian setting) in one so nothing was going to stop me from reading this!

I really like Davis who seems to be the only one in her society who is capable of independent thought. Her eyes are opened and she sees what’s around her –enough to question it. Despite her prejudice and ignorance, she is kind and is learning all the time that there is more to the world than what she’s been told by the authorities. Cole… *sighs*… one of those bad boys with a good heart –know what I mean?

It took some time for me to cotton on to this new world and all the terms applied to it. The reason this new world was divided is interesting but ‘tis most curious as to why the wall of this division is collapsing. This was quite an enjoyable read for me though after the read, I find that the blurb basically tells you all of the main part of the story… so there isn’t much that I can add except that I really couldn’t stop reading as it was pretty easygoing and did I mention my 2 fave things? yea, okay, so I’m a little bias with my rating for this book but I can’t help it

Thanks St Martin’s Press for copy of eARC via NetGalley

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Review: Drowned

drownedDrowned by Nichola Reilly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of publisher

A curious cover and an even more curious title; Drowned is a mysterious read from the very beginning. Even at the finish of the read, I felt like I have ten thousand more questions than at the start. I only just found out, after the read, that this is the first book of a series so I have definitely been enticed enough to look this up next year.

Despite all the mystery, this was a very slow read. Understandably, there was a lot of setting up to be done; the world, the characters, the social structure, etc. The information was doled out at a measured pace as the plot develops. It wasn’t boring as it was strange enough that kept me reading though at a similarly slow pace… definitely not a book that kept me awake at night.

The point which most fascinated me was Coe as the female protagonist. Described as ‘deformed and weak’, she’s an outcast of this doomed society. She’s not one of those capable kick-ass characters that you’d cheer along for but rather one who is aware of her shortcomings and seek only to stay alive even if that means submitting to some questionable circumstances. On the opposite spectrum, was Star, ‘the princess’, whom I found absolutely frustratingly shallow though this impression feels somewhat false… I don’t have an answer for this yet; hopefully book 2 will provide some answers

This is not a book I’d rave about even noting certain points of interests. If you’d like to read something somewhat different then I’d recommend picking this up. You will, however, require some patience. It’s a fairly quiet book dotted with some tense & some sweet moments.

Thank you, Harlequin Teen Australia for copy of eARC via NetGalley

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Review: The Immortal Crown

the immortal crown - richelle meadThe Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: eARC via NetGalley courtesy of Penguin Books Australia

Please note there may be spoilers of book 1 as this is a review of book 2 in the Age of X series.  If you’ve not read book 1 yet, check my review of Gameboard of the Gods, here.

I loved loved loved Gameboard of the Gods and was super excited to see The Immortal Crown coming out. I’ve to admit of not being a big fan of the cover, though… it’s beautiful and all but… it doesn’t match my cover of book 1 so am so very sad about that. On the other hand, am keen to be back in the RUNA for a few days.

I’m a big fan of Mae Koskinen because she kicks ass big-time and yet so very vulnerable emotionally at the same time. She’s amazingly good at what she does, loves deeply, protective, and resourceful. I love the tension between her and Justin and their chemistry which made all their interactions just, oh, so delicious! That’s really what drawn me to this couple –the tension of wanting something you couldn’t have.

The pace of this book is definitely faster than the first book –that’s probably mostly due to the fact that quite a few pieces of the world building was done previously. I find, however, that I really only care about the Justin’s & Mae’s POVs and every time the story switched to Tessa, I was just really impatient. Tessa’s perspectives provided a more complex storyline which we will probably see being better developed in later books but in this book, they slows down the action quite a bit.

I don’t like Arcadia at all! It might be a great setting for a covert sort of mission but it was really an unpleasant place to be, even vicariously. I understand the tale being woven required an awful place to heightened tension and makes the mission all the more dangerous and exciting. It is no different than all those epic fantasy tales where we sometimes long to live despite the danger. The difference is though, you will not want to be in Arcadia. I think I may just insert a disclaimer here in reference to my extra sensitive state with pregnancy…I’m not usually so delicate

The ending has left me um-ing and ah-ing as I’m in 2 minds about it… Most specifically the character being introduced which firstly made me go, ‘ta da da dum’ and then, a little disappointed that a well-known character being inserted here. By well-known, I don’t just mean easily recognisable but is popular in today’s culture due to some current works. However, I’m suspending full judgement until I see where Richelle Mead is taking us to next. There were a couple of other twists which served my craving for next book a lot better. Bring on 2015 & book 3!

My sincere thanks to Penguin Books Australia for copy of eARC via NetGalley

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