Welcome to the October YA SpecFic round-up! Over the last month we’ve had 6 reviews submitted.

The Year of Ancient Ghosts Wilkins book coverThe Year of Ancient Ghosts is the first collection of stories by multiple award-winning Australian writer Kim Wilkins.

The Year of Ancient Ghosts by Kim Wilkins has been reviewed by Sean the Bookonaut, who is unashamed of his fanboy-ing over the collection.

On reflection every one of these stories displays strong female characters, where “strong” is demonstrated in a variety of ways. For male writers who can’t understand how to write a diverse array of female characters I’d urge you to take a look at Wilkins. For international readers just beginning to appreciate the likes of Daniells, Lanagan and Warren. Please add Wilkins to your list, I think she’s one of our best.

Scarlet in the Snow Masson book cover A deserted mansion. Empty picture frames. A perfect red rose in a snowy garden. There is rich and powerful magic here, and a mystery to unravel …

I reviewed Scarlet in the Snow in the last month; a retelling of Beauty and the Beast which I was pleasantly surprised with. “[W]hen I started it, Scarlet in the Snow was in danger of being catalogued as ‘just another Beauty and the Beast retelling’. But this story, which intertwines two Russian fairytales (The Scarlet Flower and Fenist the Falcon), is charming, lyrical and beautiful.” I was impressed by Masson’s writing, and am looking forward to reading her retelling of Cinderella, called Moonlight and Ashes, which is set in the same haunting world of this novel.

Imagine by Alison Lester book coverA vivid introduction to animals from all parts of the world, portraying them in their specialized environments with intricately detailed pictures“.

Shannon @ Giraffe Days reviewed the charming children’s book Imagine, saying that it’s perfect for both adults and children because of the nostalgia it invokes. Shannon says “This isn’t so much a story as a series of imaginative scenarios: children playing, creating worlds in their collective imaginations, turning bunk beds into tents and fishbowls into the ocean. The corresponding text consists of a beautifully-worded, poetic ode to the scene they’ve created through play-acting, and then you turn the page and get a double-page spread of what they’re seeing in their own heads. An elaborate panorama of an Amazonian jungle or African plains or Australian wilderness or a farm or deep in the ocean or among the dinosaurs.”

Vulture's Gate Murray book cover It is 40 years into the future and the world is in turmoil. A plague has destroyed humans’ ability to conceive females, or so Callum thinks until he meets Bo.

How amazing does that sound? Vulture’s Gate by Kirsty Murray has been reviewed by Annabel Smith, who says “[t]he social structures of the new world order are well-though out, plausible and interesting. Unlike much YA fiction, Vulture’s Gate did not spoon-feed the reader.”

Lethal Inheritance by Tahlia Newland book coverOn a rescue mission in a mysterious hidden realm, ex-fencing champion Ariel battles treacherous terrain, vicious elementals, and wraith-like demons who feed on fear and want her dead. To defeat the demons and free her mother, she must learn a secret esoteric wisdom to awaken the dormant but potentially explosive power of her mind.

Lethal Inheritance by Tahlia Newland was reviewed this month by Lynxie, who proclaims it “extremely well written and an enjoyable story of adventure, self exploration, magic and general mayhem.” Lethal Inheritance is the first novel in The Diamond Peak series.

The Blood She Betrayed by Cheryse Durrant book coverThrust into the technology-driven Earthlands via magical mists, Shahkara is forced to rely on Max McCalden to help find the ancient Elnara death lantern, her homeworld’s last chance of survival against the heart-devouring Taloners.

“This isn’t just a fast-paced action, it deals with the burdens of family, of trust and of true love. A gripping read from start to finish.” The final book on today’s round-up is The Blood She Betrayed by Cheryse Durrant. Peta-Jo enjoyed the Queensland setting and exquisite female protagonist, and was even drawn in by the romance between Shahkara and Max. This sounds like a wonderful read, and Peta-Jo is already panning to read

That’s it for October’s YA Speculative Fiction reviews. I’ll catch you next time, happy reading!


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 completing my PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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