Revenger, Alastair Reynolds

 

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“We all have it in us to be something other than what we are, I thought, but we don’t often get a glimpse of what we could have been”

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4 / 5

Alastair Reynolds is a pretty big name in sci-fi, but I’ve never actually read anything by him before. Well, that all changed with Revenger. Though, as I understand it, classically an Adult Sci-Fi writer, Reynolds mixed it up a bit with a YA novel. Revenger perfectly slots into that 16+ YA gap, for those younger readers that want to read something a bit more complex and sophisticated, and those adult readers (like me) who want something a bit less technical and easy to read.

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The Grace Year, Kim Liggett

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“Kneeling in the dirt, barefoot, eyes to God, bathed in golden light, they look like something not of this earth.”

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden. In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

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4 / 5

A classic tale of womanhood, first love, fighting oppression, and becoming your basest self. The Grace Year hung in my thoughts for days after reading it, clouding my mind with the violence and savagery of it, the subtle horror and the sheer weirdness of the tale of it weaves.

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The Rage of Dragons, Evan Winter

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He would fight until he won or he died. There would be, he swore, no days without difficulty

The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. The lucky ones are born gifted. Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, and when those closest to him are brutally murdered, his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.

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3 / 5

The Rage of Dragons has been getting a good rep in book reviewing circles for its epicness, African-inspired setting, and readability. I’m here to offer a slightly controversial opinion: this book was okay.

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Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper & Fire #2), Natasha Ngan

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Wren and I might not be Paper Girls anymore, but we are still capable of creating fire. And now we have a whole world to set ablaze

Slaying the cruel Demon King wasn’t the end of the plan—it’s just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei’s head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within.

Read my review of the first book in the series here.

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3 / 5

I adored Girls of Paper and Fire and I was delighted to receive a copy of Girls of Storm and Shadow. However, whilst the first book was a mesmerising five stars, this sequel is lacklustre in comparison. Ngan’s prose remains delightful and I still adore Lei and Wren’s difficult and morally grey relationship, but the plot was distinctly uninspired.

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The Sin Soldiers, Tracy Auerbach

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This was where all the magic happened; where ordinary people were transformed into slaves and monsters

Red compound makes them angry. Yellow exhausts them. Blue drives them into a state of ravenous addiction. The thief Kai knows about the chemically controlled soldiers of the Eastern forces and their savage, deadly nature. When a robbery attempt at Club Seven goes wrong, Kai is captured by a handler and his bestial soldier-boy. She wakes up inside the military base with no idea what happened to her twin brother, Dex.

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2 / 5

The Sin Soldiers has a cool concept and it hooked me at the start, but unlikeable characters and a confusing setting left me unsatisfied.

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Jinxed, Amy McCulloch

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Sometimes you have to change your dreams, Lacey. No matter how hard you work, sometimes things won’t go your way

When Lacey finds out she hasn’t been accepted into Profectus – the elite academy for cutting edge tech – it seems her dreams are over. Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profecus.

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4 / 5

So I’m probably a bit (read: a lot) too old to be the target audience for a book like Jinxed, but dang it was a fun book to read whilst I was on the train for three hours. Because that’s how long it took me to start and finish Jinxed. A girl with big dreams, electronic companion pets, a school with a twist; Jinxed is a coming of age book with all the classic themes and some different ideas.

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American Royals, Katherine McGee

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Beatrice wasn’t living a story. She was living history, and history went on forever.

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American. And their country was born of rebellion.

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2 / 5

McGee’s other series, The Thousandth Floor, is a guilty pleasure of mine. I loved the drama, the glitz, the glamour, the rumours, the intrigue, and the imaginative setting. Instead of being set in a futuristic tower, American Royals takes the premise “what if George Washington made himself King?” and runs with it. Well, it’s more of a shuffle. 

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix Harrow

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She accumulated the dust of other worlds on her skin like ten thousand perfumes, and left constellations of wistful men and impossible tales in her wake

In the summer of 1901, at the age of seven, January Scaller found a Door. You know the kind of door–they lead to Faerie, to Valhalla, to Atlantis, to all the places never found on a map. Years later, January has forgotten her brief glimpse of Elsewhere. Her life is quiet and lonely but safe on her guardian’s estate, until one day she stumbles across a strange book. 

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4 / 5

I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book quite like The Ten Thousand Doors of January. It was whimsical, charming, adventurous, strange, and daring. It wasn’t what I expected it to be and I loved it for it.

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Queen of Ruin (Grace and Fury #2), Tracy Banghart

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Asa would fall, and the women of Viridia would rise

Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again. When Nomi and Malachi arrive on the island of Mount Ruin, it is not the island of conquered, broken women that they expected. It is an island in the grip of revolution, and Serina–polite, submissive Serina–is its leader. They plan to sweep across the entire kingdom, issuing in a new age of freedom for all. But first they’ll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.

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4 / 5

First off, why are we using models on YA book covers still? Pretty sure they aren’t even the same women as the other cover… That aside, Queen of Ruin is a fantastic and worthy sequel to Grace and Fury.

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We Hunt The Flame, Hafsah Faizal

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She was going to bring her father justice, kings and witches be damned. And when she returned, magic in her grasp, she would give a calipha her throne.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter.

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2 / 5

When I picked up We Hunt The Flame I wasn’t aware that it was a hotly anticipated YA release. I just thought that the premise and the cover were cool. Whilst I was intrigued by the magic and adored the setting, We Hunt The Flame failed to connect with me emotionally, resulting in me half-heartedly leafing through it. Continue reading “We Hunt The Flame, Hafsah Faizal”