Welcome to the first YA SpecFic round-up of 2014! Over the last month we’ve had 7 reviews submitted.

Music Box Allyn book coverFour teenagers chance across a mysterious, crumbling mansion in the depths of the mountains….
– One of them is about to vanish.
– One of them is lying about what he or she knows.
– None of them will escape the fate awaiting them in the terrifying Dollhouse beneath the old mansion–a place of nightmarish horrors and insanity.

A slow-burn nightmare, a world of supernatural darkness and strange secrets.

Brenda reviewed Music Box (Dollhouse #4) by Anya Allyn, saying that it is a “dramatic and suspenseful conclusion to the Dollhouse series”. The books are Gothic YA Horror stories, and would be perfect for those looking for darker books.

Unearthed Bloomer Vol 1 book cover If you’re going to colonise a planet, you’d better be willing to fight for it.

Within Anphobos, there grows a new race. The first generation of humans never to set foot on Earth. They are pale skinned, large eyed and worship no god but science. They possess technological skills and processes Earth has refused to acknowledge. Until now…

UnEarthed (UnEarthed #1) by Rebecca Bloomer has been reviewed by Lynxie, who liked the technical side of the story and was surprised by who the antagonist was. She mentions that the blurb needs to be rethought for the book, however, as the went into it thinking aliens were going to attack humans on Mars, and that’s not what happened.

The Dreaming Vol 1 Queenie Chan book coverWhen twin sisters Amber and Jeanie are accepted into an exclusive Australian boarding school, their future looks bright. But the school’s halls harbor a terrible secret: students have been known to wander into the surrounding bushlands and vanish…without a trace! No one knows where they went–or why. But as Amber and Jeanie are about to learn, the key to the school’s dark past may lie in the world of their dreams…“.

Tsana reviewed Queenie Chan’s The Dreaming, a manga series that focusses on two sisters at a boarding school, mixing horror and great Australian fiction into graphic novel format.

“Overall I quite enjoyed reading this manga. It’s quite different, especially in form, to anything else I’ve read and I’ll definitely be seeking out other work by Chan in the future.”

Read Tsana’s reviews of Volumes 2 and 3 here.

Shadowfell Juliet Marillier book cover The people of Alban are afraid.

The tyrannical king and his masked Enforcers are scouring the land, burning villages and enslaving the canny. Fifteen-year-old Neryn has fled her home in the wake of their destruction, and is alone and penniless, hiding her extraordinary magical power. She can rely on no one – not even the elusive Good Folk who challenge and bewilder her with their words.

My first review for AWW2014 is Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier, the first book in her YA fantasy series. “A great example of everything that is good and wonderful about YA fantasy, Shadowfell is bound to enthrall its readers. It has certainly captivated me!” I’m currently reading Raven Flight, the second book in the series, but am very sad to report that the paperback publication of the final book, The Caller, has been put on hold indefinitely.

Splashdance Silver Roberts book coverKassa Daggersharp has just heard word that her dad’s dead and she’s heir to a vast silver treasure-trove from the famous Splashdance pirate ship. But in grand pirate tradition, the last will and testament of Vicious Bigbeard Daggersharp doesn’t actually say where the silver is.

Leonie had mixed feelings about this book, her first by Tansy Rayner Roberts. “There is no doubt that Tansy Rayner Roberts is a clever and eloquent writer” she says, finding the comparisons to Terry Pratchett apt because of the way Roberts takes fantasy tropes and builds a story around them. However, Leonie found it difficult to connect with the characters – “I was struggling to keep them all straight” – and isn’t desperate for the sequel.

That’s all from me – I’ll be back in April to share all of the February and March reviews. Remember to keep supporting awesome Aussie women, and keep linking your reviews!

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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