Hi guys! This is the first of twelve round ups I will do throughout the year, showcasing the awesome reviews that AWW2013 participants share for YA Speculative Fiction. Throughout January, fourteen YA Speculative Fiction books were reviewed for AWW2013. Here are some of the highlights:

0068_RHABurnBrightFULL07.indd Rayessa and the Space Pirates by Donna Maree Hanson follows sixteen-year-old Rae Stroder, who lives in a hollow asteroid, a defunct refuelling station, with a brain-damaged adult, Gris, to keep her company. Low on supplies, they’ve been eking out an existence for years. Everything changes when Alwin Anton, ultra-clean, smart and handsome AllEarth Corp company auditor, arrives to find disarray. Full of suspicion, he interrogates Rae, threatening her with prosecution for theft. He uncovers the fact that she is not Rae Stroder at all, when space pirates attack. A review by Tsana @ Tsana’s Reads & Reviews describes the novella as “a fun YA space adventure”.

0068_RHABurnBrightFULL07.indd Those looking for “YA without a vampire or werewolf” should check out The Industry by Rose Foster: Kirra Hayward is an ordinary sixteen year old – smarter than most, but otherwise completely anonymous. When she solves an unusual decrypting puzzle on the internet to fill in a moment of boredom at school, she has no idea of what she’s letting herself in for. Kidnapped by a shadowy organisation of mercenaries known only as The Industry, Kirra soon discovers how valuable her code-breaking skills are. And when she stubbornly refuses to help them, they decide to break her … by any means at their disposal. Rhonda writes a short but insightful review on the book, which was among my favourite reads of last year, and we are both eagerly awaiting the sequel!

0068_RHABurnBrightFULL07.indd Liar by Justine Larbalestier cleverly explores mental illness though a metaphor using werewolves. Micah Wilkins is a liar. But when Michah’s boyfriend, Zach, dies under brutal circumstances, the shock might be enough to set her straight. Or maybe not. Especially when lying comes as naturally to her as breathing. Was Micah dating Zach? Did they kiss? Did she see him the night he died? And is she really hiding a family secret? Where does the actual truth lie? Alison writes a review of the book, but allows that she has enjoyed the author’s other works better.

0068_RHABurnBrightFULL07.indd The other Justine Larbalestier title that was reviewed last month is Team Human, which she wrote with acclaimed author Sarah Rees Brennan. This book turns the usual vampire-fiction on its head and follows a human, anti-vampire girl in a town full of the blood sucking creatures. When a vampire falls for her best friend, Mel is determined to find out why the vampire in question seems strange (other than the obvious). Mel @ Adventures of a Subversive Reader shares a wonderful review of the book, exploring the solid world building and believable, diverse characters, and recommends it to readers “who are a little over the Twilight ‘thing’, but who enjoy speculative fiction”.

The other books that were reviewed in January are:

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About Me

Hi! I’m Shaheen from Speculating on SpecFic, a book blog dedicated to works of speculative fiction – fantasy, science fiction, magic realism, paranormal romance and much more. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love reading and use my blog to peddle my love to others. When not reading (rare times indeed), I can be found planning my upcoming wedding and completing my PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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