Welcome to the February and March round up of YA Speculative Fiction! We’ve had 19 reviews submitted over the last two months – 9 in February and 10 in March 🙂
Since her mother vanished nine years ago, Anamae and her father have shared a quiet life. But when Anamae discovers a brooch identical to her mother’s favorite pendant, she unknowingly invites a slew of trouble into their world. When the brooch and the pendant are worn together they’re no longer pretty pieces of jewelry — they’re part of a highly developed technology capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewelry’s power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device — and silence everyone who is aware of its existence. Anamae knows too much, and now she’s Enemy Number One.
The most reviewed book over this period has been Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash, with three reviews.”The tension, the twists and turns throughout, the web of intrigue – all had me glued to the pages” says Brenda, and Cassandra Page concurs with “[T]he story is action- and character-driven, whisking you along”. Rochelle Sharpe rounds out the praise of the novel with “If you like awesome technology and secret societies in your YA, as well as action and romance, I highly recommend Forget Me Not.” Sounds like a read that shouldn’t be missed!
The Reckoning destroyed civilisation. Rising from the ashes, some people have developed unique abilities, and society is scared of them. Guided by the ancient spirits of the land, Ashala Wolf will do anything to keep them safe.
When Ashala is captured, she realises she has been betrayed by someone she trusted. When her interrogator starts digging in her memories for information, she doubts she can protect her people forever. Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?
The second most popular book has been The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina. The first book in a dystopian series written by an indigenous author, the book has been getting steady attention in this challenge since its publication in 2012. There is a sequel, The Disappearance of Ember Crow, which is available now. Stephanie Gunn describes it as “a start to a very promising series by an Australian author, and an extremely accomplished debut” and Jason Nahrung elaborates on the Australian feel: “In this action story with its underlying and competently drawn romance subplot, the theme of the strength of the pack – of mutual care and concern – gives the book its heart. There are echoes of the colonial devastation of Indigenous Australia subtly vibrating through the story as Ashala draws strength from the memory and inspiration of her friends.”
“Lucy Jones possesses an unusual—and extraordinary—gift. Her ability to sense the emotions of others is both a blessing and a curse, eventually driving her to seek refuge from its consequences by fleeing her hometown of Sydney.”
Aussie Owned and Read enjoyed Gifted by Ingrid Alexandra, saying “Gifted was one of those books that keep you guessing. There’s a lot of mystery threaded in between all that teen drama and Ingrid balanced it out well. The whole whodunit aspect pushed the plot along and made Gifted a quick read.”
Danika and her crew of escaped refugees are seeking the safety of the Magnetic Valley – and trying to evade Sharr Morrigan, the king’s most lethal hunter. But the borderlands they must cross to reach the Valley are smugglers’ territory: lawless, wild and steeped in ancient magic. When one of the crew is badly wounded, Danika turns to the smugglers for help – and accepts a bargain that might prove deadly.
It is Lukas, however, who hides the most dangerous secret. What has he seen through the eagle’s eyes? The answer can be found in an alchemy charm and a smuggler’s tale, and will lead Danika and her friends to an electrifying, unputdownable showdown.
“[Chasing the Valley:]Borderlands is a wonderful blend of adventure, science fiction and magic set in a dystopian world” says Sally from Oz about the second book in Wegner’s Chasing the Valley series. Sally actually picked up the book not knowing it was the second book in a series, but she didn’t find it difficult to follow at all, and is looking forward to the third book in the series.
Sally also reviewed Frontier Incursion by Leonie Rogers, the first book in a new YA Science Fiction trilogy, calling it “A truly wonderful reading experience”. She loved everything about the book, including its pacing, action and character relationships.
Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World – a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie’s Tea Shop. Elliot Baranski lives in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello – where seasons roam, the Butterfly Child sleeps in a glass jar, and bells warn of attacks from dangerous Colours. They are worlds apart – until a crack opens up between them; a corner of white – the slim seam of a letter.
“A Corner of White is a wonderful example of the endless possibilities of fiction, and the brilliance that emerges when those possibilities are explored” says Raelke, who enjoyed the novel despite finding it a bit hard to get into, and remarks that “[h]aving finished the book, it is clearer to see that the beginning is not really slow at all, just Moriarty planting seeds which the discerning reader might sow before the end of the book.” The sequel, The Cracks in the Kingdom, is available now.
The other reviews submitted during February and March:
- Nymph (The Love Oracles #1) by Tonya Alexandra – reviewed by Rochelle Sharpe.
- Hidden (The Avena #1) by Marianne Curely – reviewed by Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity
- Broken (The Avena #2) by Marianne Curely – reviewed by Shaheen @ Speculating on SpecFic
- Carrier by Vanessa Garden – reviewed by Tsana
- While We Run (When We Wake #2) by Karen Healey – reviewed by Shaheen @ Speculating on SpecFic
- Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan – reviewed by Mindy
- Liar by Justine Larbalestier – reviewed by Nerdy Fanboy
- Raven Flight (Shadowfell #2) by Juliet Marillier – reviewed by Shaheen @ Speculating on SpecFic
- Haze (The Rephaim #2) by Paula Weston – reviewed by Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity
- The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn – reviewed by Shaheen @ Speculating on SpecFic
I’ll be back in June with the April and May reviews 🙂 In the mean time, look out for Disruption by Jessica Shirvington, a science fiction thriller I think a lot of people will enjoy.
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.