Sunday, 25 October 2015

Review: 'Til the World Ends - Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre & Karen Duvall

New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed authors Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre and Karen Duvall imagine what it takes to survive in a world where everything you know—and love—is about to disappear…forever.

Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa

Before The Immortal Rules, there was Red Lung, a relentless virus determined to take out all in its path. For Kylie, the miracle of her survival is also her burden—as a doctor at one of the clinics for the infected, she is forced to witness endless suffering. What's worse, strange things are happening to the remains of the dead, and by the time she befriends Ben Archer, she's beginning to wonder if a global pandemic is the least of her problems….

Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre

After a catastrophic spill turns the country into a vast chemical wasteland, those who could afford it retreated to fortresses, self-contained communities run by powerful corporations. But for Mari Thistle, life on the outside—in the Red Zone—is a constant struggle. To protect her family, Mari teams up with the mysterious Thorne Goodman. Together, they'll face an evil plot in both the underworld of the Red Zone and the society inside the fortresses that could destroy those on the outside…for good.

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall

Sarah Daggot has been chasing storms since she was a child. But after the biggest solar flares in history nearly destroy the planet, she becomes a Kinetic, endowed by her exposure to extreme radiation with the power to sense coming storms—in the cosmos and beyond. And she's not the only one. Sarah believes the Kinetics are destined to join forces and halt the final onslaught of the sun. She'll vow to keep trying to convince the one missing link in their chain of defense, the enigmatic Ian Matthews, up until the world ends.

For more information about any of these authors you can visit their websites by clicking the links below:
Julie Kagawa
Ann Aguirre
Karen Duvall

Review:

Dawn of Eden - Julie Kagawa

Blood of Eden series:
Dawn of Eden (Novella in the 'Til the World Ends anthology)
The Immortal Rules
The Eternity Cure
The Forever Song

Dawn of Eden is a prequel to Julie Kagawa's Blood of Eden series, it's set long before events in The Immortal Rules and gives readers more insight into how the red lung plague initially started and just how quickly it spread. To be honest this story was the reason I wanted to read the anthology and it was a really nice addition to the series. It introduces us to two new characters: Kylie is a young doctor struggling to look after the patients at her field hospital with limited medical supplies and dwindling members of staff; and Ben is a young man who just wants to make it back to the isolated farm he grew up on to check that his family are okay. If you've read The Immortal Rules you'll probably recognise Ben's farm but I'm not going to say more than that in case you're new to the series.

This was a great prequel that hooked me in very quickly. It's quite dark (all the books in this anthology are to a certain extent) but there is a thread of hope running through it too. Ben and Kylie are great characters and I enjoyed the romance that develops between them. We get a brief appearance from Kanin too and it was interesting to learn a bit more about his past.

Thistle & Thorne - Ann Aguirre

I think Thistle & Thorne actually ended up being my favourite story in the anthology, as far as I can tell it's stand alone but the way things were left at the end has me hoping that we'll see more of these characters in the future - I would definitely purchase a full length novel about these two if Ann Aguirre decided to write one! This is set in a dark world where much of the land is desolate, the wealthy live in protected, gated communities while the poor struggle to survive in what's left of the old cities and towns. Life is hard, gangs rule and unless you keep your head down you're very likely to come under attack.

Mari Thistle is an expert thief but she only steals what she needs to survive and to keep her younger siblings safe. She is the sole provider for her family and when she catches the attention of one of the gang bosses she suddenly finds herself in deep trouble. Thorne is a member of the gang who isn't happy with the way things are run, he has been waiting for a chance to make a power play against the current leader and Mari gives him the perfect excuse. The two of them must work together to find a way to beat a dangerous enemy if they are going to have any hope of surviving.

I loved these two characters, Mari is fiercely independent and is used to having no one but herself to rely on. She is incredibly protective of her siblings and will do whatever it takes to keep them safe even if it costs her everything. Thorne is harder to read in the beginning, I wasn't sure what his motives were but it quickly becomes clear he has a good reason to want to change things. It's not easy for these two to trust anyone but the more time they spend together the better they are at reading each other. I enjoyed the world building and would love to revisit these characters so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed we see them again in the future.

Sunstorm - Karen Duvall

I actually ended up feeling disappointed by Sunstorm which was annoying because the story had so much potential. The world building was really interesting and I liked the idea of solar flares causing so much damage to the earth. Due to the strength of the flares people were now only able to leave their homes in darkness, daylight was too dangerous and would cause horrific burns to anyone caught outside with no shelter. A few people were able to survive the sunfever though and they gained some pretty interesting abilities.

I think the story fell down for me because of the characters, I found it hard to connect to any of them and I never felt particularly invested in what happened to them. There were frequently large jumps in time which made the story harder to follow and so many things that happened just seemed too conveniently placed just to move the plot forward. I still think the anthology is worth reading if only for the first two stories but this one could have been so much better.

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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