Category: HQ Digital

City of Dust by @MKennyPR @HQDigitalUK

City of Dust_FINALCharacter
Talia is back on fighting form, with Max and her twin right at her side. The book jumps right back into Arafel life and brings with it a reunion of old friends and introduction of new players.
Talia continues to remain a character that will forever remain the perfect heroine that from the very start joined the ranks along with Katniss, Triss and Hermione. The impact of Book of Fire is clearly ingrained; she’s battle bruised and trying to keep her thoughts on track. It’s only really when she’s set on a new path that her strength is really propelled to the limelight.
While those who have given their hearts to August will have to wait patiently for his presence within the pages, it only gives you the opportunity to consider Max as a strong character and romantic partner for Talia. He’s Talia’s equal and not scared to show his annoyance. There was the briefest of minutes when I’d forgotten about August.

Story
The world building is as immersive as ever and will consume you completely. The description of the desolate streets are hauntingly beautiful. Aside from the characters, the world building is my favourite part of this series.
The story sees Tailia back in old territory and searching for a stolen item. However, it’s only the tip of the iceberg as the plot opens up to an exploration of eugenics of mythic proportions.
Readers will need to breath when they can, because as the story reaches its final act you won’t get opportunity to. It’s fast paced and epic showdown will leave your heart in your mouth. No one is safe and the fates of many will be left clinging to the edge of a shocking cliff when the final page comes around.

Writing
Just like meeting up with an old friend, the words envelope you in a comfortable hug. Just like Book of Fire, City of Dust contains a glossary for terms. However, the world is so beautifully written, and the action so carefully crafted that the words don’t need the glossary.
The only negative would be that it’s so good that it’s going to be a painful wait for the next instalment.

#YALC Sampler Round Up One: @MKenneyPR , @akemidawn ,@HoJay92 & @mkhanauthor

City of Dust by Michelle Kenney
HQ
Kindle– 2 October 2018
PB– 13 December 2018
Book of Fire: Review & Buy

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I fell back into this world like meeting up with a friend I’d not seen in forever. For both me and the story time has passed, but it feels like yesterday that I was racing through Book of Fire, as if the character’s chance of survival increased by my speed of reading. In the three chapter sampler, you are quickly caught up with the characters and their lives for the last year before Talia’s life is thrown a curve ball.
The sampler ends on a cliffhanger that will have everyone counting down to that release date.
For those who have yet to read Book of Fire, I suggest you get on it, post haste. It was one of my top reads for 2017 and I’ve been waiting with such anticipation for this sequel.

 

 


Summer Blue Bird by Akemi Dawn Bowma
Ink Road
Spring 2019
Starfish: Review & Buy

Summer Blue Bird

This five chapter sampler has such a powerful opening and lays down a solid foundation for what will be unfolded in 2019. From what I’ve read so far, the set up reminds me of Fly Away Home; my favourite film and worn out novelisation from when I was a kid.
It’s a testament to Bowma’s writing that I’m already attached to her characters. 

 

 

 


A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
Electric Monkey Press
2 May 2019
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40916679-a-good-girl-s-guide-to-murder?from_search=true

Holly-Jackson-Good-Girls-Guide-proof-cover

 

“We dare you to put it down” states the tagline on the cover of the two chapter sampler. Believe me, I’m gutted I can’t meet that challenge. It’s short, but very effective and I already have so many questions and theories that I need more information to be certain.
There was already a buzz at YALC about this book and even from the pages I’ve had the privilege to read, I can tell this is going to be the big book for next summer.

 

 

 


Kick the Moon by Muhammad Khan
MacMillian
19 January 2019
First book: I am Thunder

kick the moon

I knew nothing about Khan’s second book and I knew that I wanted it in my life. I work as an RE teacher in a diverse school in which some students feel they are almost invisible to society. Unless of course, they’re the subject of negative press. There are others who love reading, but find characters they identify with are tokens and there merely to check a box. It’s wonderful to say ‘here, you are being represented.’
Imagine my delight when I discover that the book will center around a protagonist that loves comic-book heroes. Not only is this perfect for me, I know of at least five students who will be fighting to be the first one to read it come January.

Book of Fire by Michelle Kenney #bookreview #Hanreview

Book of Fire by Michelle Kenney #bookreview #Hanreview
Release date: 25.08.2017
From Amazon: Life outside the domes is not possible. At least that’s what Insiders are told.
Twins Eli and Talia shouldn’t exist. They’re Outsiders.
Their home is a secret. Their lives are a secret. Arafel is a secret.
An unexpected forest raid forces Talia into a desperate mission to rescue her family while protecting the sacred Book of Arafel from those who would use it as a weapon. As Talia and her lifelong friend Max enter the dome, she makes some unexpected discoveries, and allies, in the form of rugged Insider August, that will change the course of her life forever.
She’ll stop at nothing to save her family but will she sacrifice her heart in the process?The Fire Sermon meets Gladiator in this brilliant YA debut.

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My first thoughts

I was lucky enough to win a proof copy of this wonderful debut novel. I devoured it, I loved it, I want someone to wipe my memory so I can read it all over again. I felt like I was dipping into a world born from my childhood favourite sci-fi movies and books. From Logan’s Run to Mad Max, this book was what I always wanted.

The Characters

All characters are well rounded and being fully engaging, you care for them and you wish for the people of Arafel to remain safe. However, there are certain characters who take your heart straight away.

Talia is a new breed of hero that is emerging in the literary field; confident, strong and accepting of what fate brings her way. Those of you who have just read Will Hill’s After the Fire will feel right at home with the strong-minded twin from Arafel who finds herself on a rescue mission.
Being the protagonist and narrator means you get to know her a little more, feel her pain, urgency and motivation.

My favourite character was Unus, the Cyclops. He’s Ludo in Roman glory; the beast that’s friendlier than a Labrador puppy. Proving that we shouldn’t judge on appearances. I’d go so far as to say I loved him more than Ludo; and he’s been in my heart for over 20 years, so that’s some feat.

There are also Max and August. I’m going to say very little about them, as I feel they speak for themselves. August, however, I will say has won my heart like a certain Warden in Sam Shannon’s Bone Season. They are not alike in any way, other than I have the upmost respect for the challenges they face as part of their lives.

The Plot

It is a world building, McGuffin plot of the most outstanding order. It’s the perfect introduction to what I hope will be many novels inside this wonderfully constructed world. It’s a new age of future; one in which the people have driven themselves to and aspects are reminiscent of the ground-breaking novel Brave New World. It’s scary, but there is a way out in the form of the Arafel. I just can’t wait to see them successful.

Having to save her family is the perfect motivation for Talia. I’m quite happy with the partial resolution to the narrative knowing that there is a second book. Even if there wasn’t, the open ending is rather refreshing and the final line of the epilogue is fuel for the fan fiction bunnies out there.

The Roman element of the plot is genius. It gives an almost Steampunk feel to the novel. So much so that I feel there should be a name for this element or historical fusion. It’s integrated well and explores the idea that sometimes the way forward is the way back. I have always loved the ancient civilisations to the point that I felt at home reading the book.

The Writing

Kenney’s writing is digestible and clear, despite having many Latin words and phrases to add to the world building process. I often found I didn’t need to look to the glossary provided, but it’s a nice touch for those who are not as well acquainted with the past.

The mission is well constructed single person narrative and the action sequences are so well written it’s as if they’ve leaped of the silver screen.