Welcome to the February and March 2015 round-up of YA Speculative Fiction!
Chester is on the road, searching every town for clues about his father and why he disappeared. But when he’s caught accidentally – and illegally – connecting with the Song as he plays his beloved fiddle, Chester is sentenced to death. Only a licensed Songshaper can bend music to their will. The axe is about to fall . . . But there is someone else watching Chester. Someone who needs his special talents. Who can use him for their own ends. And who knows the secrets of The Hush, where there is no music, only deadly Echoes who will steal your soul. Susannah is that someone. The young captain of the infamous Nightfall Gang, Susannah has plans for Chester. Finally, she will have her revenge.
Of the 13 reviews submitted in February and March 2015, three of them are for books by Melki-Wegner. Tsana has reviewed The Hush, Melki-Wegner’s newest offering, describing it as “a pleasingly complex read set in a fleshed out world”, perfect for fans of stand-alone novels.
Brenda reviewed Chasing the Valley and Borderlands, the first two books in Skye Melki-Wegner’s Chasing the Valley trilogy about magic, treachery and survival. She loved both books, describing the first as – “a fun read with an unlikely heroine. Danika is full of grit and determination and her new friends are the same” – and commending the sequel on being “just as action packed and thrilling as the first.”
Brenda has also reviewed Cargo (Cargo Trilogy #1) by Katie Mineeff, a début dystopian YA about a young girl who is forced to volunteer for a sea voyage to find The Refuge, a rumoured sanctuary free of Age Sickness. Brenda says “I enjoyed the characters of both Tomas and Max, but found Pia to be a bit of a brat! I felt that the duration of the sea voyage dragged now and then, but overall the story had mystery wrapped with an element of danger plus of course the mix of fantasy blended throughout. A great debut which I recommend to lovers of the genre.”
Isla is determined to understand her heritage and control her new abilities, but concealing them from those close to her proves difficult. Convincing the local fae she isn’t a threat despite her mixed blood is harder still. When the dazzling Everest arrives with a retinue of servants, Isla gets her first glimpse of why her mother’s people are hated…and feared.
Veronica Joy has reviewed Isla’s Oath, the second instalment in Cassandra Page’s paranormal trilogy. She was impressed by the characters in the story: “Isla’s character developed well moving from anxious and reluctant to confident and taking charge. Sarah, although I thought was a bit opinionated to begin with quickly grew to become my favourite character.”
Veronica has also reviewed The Heir by Lynne Stringer, and recommends it to readers who would like to get into science fiction but don’t know where to start. She also says that “The story builds rapidly with a real feel of mystery and suspense. It will have you second guessing who is good and who is evil. It’s never obvious what is about to happen next and each event takes you by surprise.”
“In late 2012, Australia and India were rocked by violent crimes against young women. In Delhi, thousands protested against rape. In Melbourne, thousands stood vigil in memory of a young woman raped and murdered walking home. The fate of all young women, what they should fear and what they could hope for were hot topics in the media around the world. Out of that storm rose the idea for this anthology.”
Brona @ Brona’s Books has reviewed Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean, an anthology edited by Kirsty Murray, Payal Dahr & Anita Roy. Like many of us, Brona comments on the gorgeous cover for the book, before diving in and telling us about her favourite stories. She particularly enjoyed “Swallow the Moon” by Kate Constable & Priya Kuriyan – “a graphic novel that follows a small group embarking on a female initiation ceremony”, “Little Red Suit” by Justine Larbalestier – an “evocative story … about a futuristic fairy-tale Sydney”, and Anita Roy’s “Cooking Time” which “tantalises us with a time-travelling Masterchef contest”.
All her life, eighteen-year-old Bea has wanted nothing more than to become a sniper on the wall and earn the coveted ink of a Dread warrior – a mark of distinction among her people. She knows that one day the terrifying Erebii might break through the city’s outer defences, and if her people aren’t prepared and the wall is breached then the last human city will fall. But everything Bea thinks she knows is about to be challenged…
Bree @ 1 Girl 2 Many Books has reviewed Unwanted by Amanda Holohan, a new YA dystopian novel set after an alien invasion. Bree comments that the book started slowly but “the last third of the book is significantly faster paced and I think that’s the part I enjoyed the most”.
Other February and March 2015 reviews:
- Impulse (Submerged Sun #2) by Vanessa Garden – reviewed by Tien @ Tien’s Blurb
- Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier – reviewed by Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out
- Akarnae by Lynette Noni – reviewed by Rochelle Sharpe
- Emblaze by Jessica Shirvington – reviewed by Tien @ Tien’s Blurb
- The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn – reviewed by Louise @ A Strong Belief In Wicker
News: The cover for Illuminae (Illuminae #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff has been revealed!
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.