Sunday, October 29, 2017

Melanie's Week in Review - October 29, 2017

Well, I am back in the UK again after almost 2 week in Canada. If you read my post last week you would know I was hoping to see some lovely fall colours. I was quite disappointed as the leaves were very dull this year.  It was like someone took a brown wash and painted over top what should have been bright reds, deep oranges and sunny yellows. This was probably the best display of colours I saw the whole week I was there. I took this photo at Lion's Head lake in Ontario, near Georgian bay.  The water was soo blue but not what I would exactly say is warm even though the weather was fantastic. If you live in Ontario or ever travel there I highly recommend going up to that area or around Tobermory. It is a beautiful part of the country.

Although as much as I am sure you are fascinated about my holiday I am certain you are more interested in what I read while on hols.

The first book I am going to tell you about is Starborn by Lucy Hounsom. This is the first in the Worldmaker series and I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley. I have to admit I actually started reading this book a few months ago, stopped to read something else then forgot I had it. Oops!

Kyndra has just come of age and looking forward to participating in the ancient naming ceremony that will allow her to find her true path. Unfortunately, for Kyndra the vessel used in the ceremony breaks when she is about to find out her true name and she is blamed for disrupting the ceremony and all the tragic events that follow. Its not long before she finds herself on the run with two sorcerers who take her to the secret citadel of Naris. There she is plagued with visions from the past, through the eyes of man thought to be long dead. Caught in the middle of the rebels and the fanatics within the hidden chambers of the citadel Kyndra is cruelly tested in a bid to unlock her magic.  All the while the visions show her a past no one knew existed. Kyndra doesn't have much time to find out who she truly is, save her new friends in the citadel and the family she was forced to leave behind.

Starborn is rather standard fantasy aimed at a younger reader although not too young as there is a rather dark theme, mainly towards one of the female characters, that might not be suitable for anyone under the age of 18. I thought that Kyndra was realistically portrayed for her age - neither too brave or too cowardly. Several chapters in the later half of the book were told from the POV of two of Kyndra's companions which was a bit jarring as this wasn't the format of the story throughout and I wish it had been as it really worked. I think that Hounsom could have done a bit more to build the world in which the characters were set. There was fairly little description of the landscape, society or different races throughout Kyndra's travels. Within Naris it was more descriptive but I thought that was more to set the scene rather than to create a realistic world for the characters to interact with.  Overall, it was an OK read but I am not completely sure I wan to invest more time with Kyndra. I used to really enjoy young fantasy but think I have a bit of burn out from reading too much of it that wasn't that exceptional in the last few years.

The second book I would like to tell you about is the novella Ironclads by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I was mainly drawn to this book by the cover (yes, I am a cover snob!) and the fact that this book was a limited edition (not sure why that impressed me but it did!).

The world is at war and the scions are always the winners. The sons of the great corporate families always survive all thanks to their 'ironclads' which is power armour that can protect them against almost any attack. When one goes missing, which is almost unheard of, Sergeant Ted Reagan is sent to Europe to bring to find his ironclad and bring them both home. Reagan and a selection of the more disenfranchised soldiers are sent behind enemy lines, out manned and out gunned to find out what happened and bring back the suit....if they survive that is.

If you are a fan of science fiction and / or military based fiction then this is a must read. I am not a fan of the latter and like some, but not all, science fiction however, I really enjoyed Tchaikovsky's tale. Reagan and his men are believable and combined with the backstory of the war, the scions and the ironclads gives this story depth. Given the fact that this is a novella there is quite a bit of detail and it seemed much longer because of this. I never knew what was going to happen next and there seems to be a suggestion at the end that there could be future books, which I would happily read.

That is it for me this week. I hope to have a few more books to tell you about next week if jetlag doesn't prevail so until then Happy Reading.

The Worldmaker Trilogy 1
Pan Macmillan, January 1, 2018
     Trade Paperback, 512 pages
Pan Macmillan, April 23, 2015
     eBook, 513 pages

Death and destruction will bar her way. . .

Kyndra's fate holds betrayal and salvation, but the journey starts in her small village. On the day she comes of age, she accidentally disrupts an ancient ceremony, ending centuries of tradition. So when an unnatural storm targets her superstitious community, Kyndra is blamed. She fears for her life until two strangers save her, by wielding powers not seen for an age - powers fuelled by the sun and the moon.

Together, they flee to the hidden citadel of Naris. And here, Kyndra experiences disturbing visions of the past, showing war and one man's terrifying response. She'll learn more in the city's subterranean chambers, amongst fanatics and rebels. But first Kyndra will be brutally tested in a bid to unlock her own magic.

If she survives the ordeal, she'll discover a force greater than she could ever have imagined. But could it create as well as destroy? And can she control it, to right an ancient wrong?

Solaris, November 7, 2017
Limited Edition Hardcover and eBook, 200 pages

Special limited edition science fiction hardcover novella by the Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author. Only 1000 copies.

Scions have no limits. Scions do not die. And Scions do not disappear.

Sergeant Ted Regan has a problem. A son of one of the great corporate families, a Scion, has gone missing at the front. He should have been protected by his Ironclad – the lethal battle suits that make the Scions masters of war – but something has gone catastrophically wrong.

Now Regan and his men, ill equipped and demoralised, must go behind enemy lines, find the missing Scion, and uncover how his suit failed. Is there a new Ironclad-killer out there? And how are common soldiers lacking the protection afforded the rich supposed to survive the battlefield of tomorrow?


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