Tag Archives: Fiction

Great indie read! Memory’s Wake

Memory's WakeMemory’s Wake by Selina Fenech

My rating: 4.5 stars 

Memory’s Wake by Selina Fenech exceeded all of my expectations. This is one of the best indie books I have read. Fenech takes an interesting fantasy story and enhances it with her amazing artwork and crafted prose.

The small illustrations at the beginning of each chapter are beautiful. They give Memory’s Wake a fairytale feel. Thankfully the literary devices and the style of prose develop a more complex story that while inclusive of fairytale elements, is a far cry from a clichéd reinterpretation of a fairytale. Memory’s Wake also includes full page plate illustrations. Usually I am not a fan of illustrated novels because I often find that the artist’s interpretation of the characters and mine differs. As the illustrations are by Fenech, who was an artist before she became a writer, the characters are visually represented just as they are in the text. Fenech has created a phenomenal multimodal text.

There are an interesting mix of characters in Memory’s Wake . I’m in an unusual predicament where I can’t decide who my favourite character is. Each of the four focal characters have just enough flaws to make them loveable. Yet each also has his or her own unique quality that makes them special.

Memory’s Wake is a story of lost and hidden identities, betrayal, lies and the desire to uncover the past. It is a must read for all lovers of Young Adult fiction.

I can’t wait to read the second book

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Must listen/read: The False Prince

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)

Who are your favourite narrators?

Which books have you stayed up all night to finish?

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish this audiobook. It was worth it! The False Prince was a surprisingly good tale. I had downloaded the audiobook a while ago and I reluctantly put it on one night for lack of anything else to listen to. I will admit that it took me a few chapters to get involved in the story.

The False Prince has the right mix – just enough intrigue, twists, predictability, surprise revelations and cunning plans to keep you engaged and eager to discover what happens next.

Charlie McWade is a brilliant narrator. His interpretation of the characters is brought to life by his dramatisation through the dialogue. He gives each character a voice that represents their personalities and role in the narrative. Often I would forget that I was listening to a narrator and not a cast representation. I also really appreciate it when narrators make you forget that you are listening to someone imitate the opposite sex – Charlie McWade achieved this. My only disappointment is that, according the Goodreads, he has only narrated a few books but I will be putting all of them on my To Listen list.

After my sleepless night, I also pleasantly surprised to discover an additional scene like a secret track on an album. What a fantastic idea! Usually when I finish a book I’m bitterly disappointed either because it is finished and I wanted more or because I had just wasted so many hours of my life. This additional scene was the perfect remedy. The additional scene that was a bit of an origin story was like an after dinner mint with my coffee – I don’t really need it but it makes the end of a meal just a little bit sweeter.

My greatest fear with The False Prince is that I cannot see how the rest of the trilogy could possibly live up to the first installment. Where does Jennifer A. Nielsen have to go with this story?

The False Prince is the thrilling first audiobook in a brand-new trilogy with danger, deceit, and hidden identities that will keep listeners hanging on to the edge of their seats.

From <http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12862980-the-false-prince>
Happy reading 🙂 

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These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These Broken Stars, co-written by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner is a perfect bridge into science fiction for lovers of paranormal romance and fantasy, like me It is one of those stories where you sit down and think ‘I’ll just finish this chapter’. The next thing you know, three hours and ten chapters have just disappeared. This is just what I needed to read this week – a book I could lose myself in.

Set in a futuristic universe, where cross-dimensional travel is the norm, Lilac, only daughter of the richest man, and Tarver, a decorated soldier, find themselves crashed on a planet. Together they must survive long enough to be rescued.

Kaufman and Spooner affectively use foreshadowing at the beginning of each chapter by flashing forward to Tarver’s interview after the rescue. Surprisingly, this adds to the reader’s desire to keep reading rather than acting as a ‘spoiler’.

There Broken Stars examines, without conclusions, what it means to be you. I wasn’t expecting this existential discussion on ‘who am I?’ while reading the novel. Am I my memories? Am I my body? Am I the combination of both? An interesting twist.

A story of love, class distinction, survival and identity that is well worth a read. Check out the first installment in the Starbound trilogy, These Broken Stars.

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Filed under Advance Reading Copy, Young Adult fiction

Science fiction – a growing love

For a long time I believed that I hated science fiction and I wouldn’t even give it a chance. However, after taking on a science fiction project in 2011 as part of my Masters degree, I have started to explore the genre more and more. Guess what I have found? There are some fantastic science fiction stories out there that are a far cry from my stereotypical assumptions of what is science fiction.

I know I’m not the only one. When The Hunger Games was at the height of popularity, many of my students were disgruntled to be informed that The Hunger Games was a science fiction novel. They were happy enough when we studied the subgenre of dystopian fiction because they too did not consider themselves to be science fiction readers.

Some of the great science fiction titles I have read in the last couple of years include:

Juno Of Taris Juno of Taris by Fleur Beale

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1) These Broken Stars by Amie kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Divergent (Divergent, #1) Divergent by Veronica Roth

Delirium (Delirium, #1) Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Partials (Partials, #1) Partials by Dan Wells

Audiobooks
Metatropolis META-tropolis

As you can see, my science fiction tastes aren’t very varied … yet.

Recommend me some of your favourite or most interesting science fiction titles.

Happy reading 🙂
 

 

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For The Birds (A Tall Pines Mystery) by Aaron Paul Lazar

For the BirdsFor the Birds by Aaron Paul Lazar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For The Birds makes a great holiday or travelling listening. While the plot has a few twists and turns, it is easy enough to follow while driving or relaxing on a trip. There isn’t an overwhelming number of characters to confuse you if you’re multitasking while listening. Instead you will be utterly enchanted by Ruby, a sassy, talking parakeet, who is brought to life by Hannah Seusy, the narrator.

Marcella was a character that I found myself empathising with her in one passage then being frustrated with her in the next when she acts as an impetuous child. I actually liked this and I wonder if Lazar has done this purposefully. Characters need to be flawed to make the reader relate to them and for plots to progress. Marcella’s selfish and irresponsible decisions reengaged me with the story as I almost yelled at her not to go alone or to call for help. It has been a while since I have been invested enough in a story to want to give the characters advice.

For The Birds makes a great holiday read because no matter what hiccups and delays you encounter on your trip, they will be nothing compared to what Marcella, Quinn and Thelma have to endure on their weekend escape to the bird show.

This is a mystery with a sense of humour that keeps the story enjoyable and balances well with the drama and light violence. This humour is evident in character names, the lavish bird motel, some of the plot twists and the dialogue of Thelma and Ruby.

I highly recommend that you give it a listen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Aaron Paul Lazar – “You da man!”

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Synopsis

When her audacious mother, Thelma, is kidnapped, it is up to Marcella – with the help of her husband, Quinn, and parakeet, Ruby – to find her and unravel a fifty year-old mystery.

Have you read anything by Aaron Paul Lazar?

What is your favourite mystery series?

Happy reading 🙂

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Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike

Earthbound (Earthbound, #1)Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike
My rating: 3.5 stars

By page 3 of Earthbound I was hooked.
By page 300 I thought it was getting a bit ridiculous.

The opening chapter sets the suspense and draws you into the story with  an intriguing premise. Another thing I really liked about this novel was that it portrayed librarians in a new light. I don’t think there are many stories where the love interest is a library intern.

I was surprised at the novel’s resolution. The story came to what I thought would be the natural cliff-hanging resolution but there were a couple of chapters still to come. I think I’ve been reading too much series fiction because I expect frustrating endings that leave me pining for the next installment. Earthbound had a very satisfying resolution. If it doesn’t turn into a series, I won’t be heartbroken but if it does I look forward to reading about Tavia’s next adventure.

Wings is one of my favourite YA novels, so I had high hopes for Earthbound. While there are several parallels between the plot, characters and themes in both books, Wings seemed to create rounder characters and a more detailed world. Most fans of Wings will enjoy reading Earthbound and will find comfort in the comparisons when they slide into this world with its new challenges and love triangle.

Happy reading!

Love, fate, and power collide in this new series by #1 New York Times best-selling author Aprilynne Pike!

Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed her parents. When she starts to see strange visions of a boy she’s never spoken with in real life, she begins to suspect that there’s much about her past that she isn’t being told. Tavia will soon to discover that she alone holds the key to stopping the Reduciata, an evil society that manipulates global events for its own shadowy purposes. But Tavia must make a choice: to come into her own powers and save the world from the evil Reduciata, or choose free will and a love of her own.

This heart-stopping romance, filled with epic stakes and a centuries-long conspiracy, built on a love triangle like you’ve never seen before, will be available from Razorbill on July 30, 2013.

From http://www.aprilynnepike.com/

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Scent of Magic by Maria Synder

Scent of Magic (Healer, #2)Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After reading, Touch of Power, I was really excited to read Scent of Magic. Unfortunately, I was disappointed that it wasn’t as good as the first one in the series. Each twist and turn in the story seemed to get more and more far fetched (even for a fantasy novel). Even though I say this, if the third instalment had of been written already, I would have read it.Read July 2013

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