Month: June 2016

Book Review: The Declaration

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The Declaration by Gemma Malley (The Declaration #1) – Paperback, 295 pages – Published November 8th 2012 by Bloomsbury

I read the first two books in this trilogy when I was maybe twelve years old, and I was so excited about the third novel. But I never got round to reading it, so I have decided to read the whole trilogy now.

The novel is based in 2140, mainly in a “Surplus Hall” in England. After the invention of Longevity – and the ability to live forever – the population had to be controlled. This meant no more children. But of course, not everyone complied, resulting in “Surpluses” – illegal children who would be captured and trained to do the jobs the Legals refused to do.

Anna is one of these unfortunate children. She was found when she was just a toddler, and was doing well. She was a Prefect in Grange Hall, and was set to be a Valuable Asset. And she’s content with this, content with repaying her parents’ sins, until Peter arrives.

Peter is the oldest Surplus to arrive at the Hall. He had been in hiding for fifteen years, never discovered until he wanted to be. And the only reason he let them find him was to save Anna, to return her to her parents. The parents she had been taught to hate, who were responsible for creating an illegal child. At first, Anna refuses to listen to Peter’s words. But as she overhears Mrs Pincent’s plans for exterminating Peter, she realises that Grange Hall is not the place to be.

There are some fabulous underlying stories – such as Mrs Pincent’s issue with her beloved son – that make this a truly fantastic and thrilling read. It is maybe aimed at slightly younger teens – the protagonist is, after all, only fourteen – and does lack things such as strong language and such. But it is a really enjoyable novel, and I am super excited about the rest of the trilogy.

I am slightly disappointed with the romance aspect of the book. Peter and Anna seem to fall in love almost instantly, and it just feels so immature and childish to me. But I suppose I should wait and see what happens in the next books, hey?

I didn’t remember much about this, but I enjoyed it a lot the second time around. Four stars.

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Book Review: The Disappearances

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The Disappearances by Gemma Malley (The Killables #2) – Paperback, 414 pages – Published October 10th 2013 by Hodder & Stoughton

This is the sequel to Gemma Malley’s The Killables which I read recently. It consists of the same characters as before, such as Raffy, Linus, Lucas, Evie, the Brother, and also some extra characters. It, obviously, takes place after the System has been shut down – this having caused some issues, such as the Disappearances.

This is written in a rather different way to the previous book, in that it is told from different viewpoints and even during different time periods. The reader must piece together what is happening without it being explained to them, and how it’s relevant to the plot. We’re given insights to the start of the Horrors and the past lives of some of the characters.

I was honestly quite surprised with how dark this was quite early on; I was expecting the Disappearances to have a happy ending, not the pile of bodies that is actually given. Personally, this made it more thrilling and exciting, though.

The love triangle is slightly irritating, as all YA love triangles are. But I like that Raffy has his issues – anger and possessive issues, in fact, which is a very real problem for many people. And the backstories of the characters make them so much more real and lovable.

I think I prefer this to the previous novel, if only just a bit. I think 4 stars is a good rating for this.

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Random Fridays

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The Disappearances by Gemma Malley (The Killables #2)

‘This author was writing over a hundred years ago, but her books are relevant to any time because her themes are universal, because there’s truth in her words.’


RANDOM FRIDAYS:

A quote from the book you’re currently reading selected using a random number generator.

Hosted by Rebecca at Books and Messy Buns.

WWW Wednesdays

What am I currently reading?

I’m reading Highland Fling and The Secret Apocalypse still, as well as The Disappearances and Somewhere In Between.

What did I finish reading recently?

This week I finished Ruins and The Killables.

What am I reading next?

I’d still like to get through The Blessing and Past Imperfect.

But I still have the usual polls up:

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Book Review: Ruins

pro_readerThis is one of the galleys I’m reviewing thanks to NetGalley – a massive thank you to Peridot Press for granting me access to the title.

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Ruins by Joshua Winning (Sentinel #2) – Kindle edition, 328 pages – Published May 18th 2015 by Peridot Press

I started reading this a rather long time ago now (way over a month). It’s not a particularly long book, but neither was the previous novel and that took me a pretty long time to get through, too. Hmm.

Following the first book, this novel is focused on Nicholas Hallow, who has just discovered his Sentinel heritage. He’s still learning but has finally realised how important his existence is.

Nicholas is to use his Sensitive powers and is also required to unlock certain knowledge within his mind. He has to find a girl, a girl who is important for reasons he doesn’t yet know. But how does he find a girl he’s never met before?

Laurent is attempting to revive the Dark Prophets, bringing terrible destruction to Bury St Edmunds in the process. Nicholas must find the girl to stop him, and he needs to get a hold of his powers, too.

There are a few nice fight scenes in this, and some hints of mystery and suspense. But I can’t get past the lack of time passing in this series, and the lack of character development. I don’t feel like I’m living the book along with the characters, and I don’t feel that the characters are real. There’s just something very wrong with the pacing of these books.

It’s not a bad book, but there may actually be a bit too much description. As I said, the pacing really ruins (hah!) these books for me, sadly. I’m going to have to say 2-3 stars for this.

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Book Review: The Killables

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The Killables by Gemma Malley (The Killables #1) – Paperback, 372 pages – Published October 1st 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton

I first discovered Gemma Malley thanks to my close friend several years ago. I remember loving her books and was so upset when the sequel to the book I’d read had not been released. I’m planning on reading that book soon…

So, the plot. Evie thinks she’s evil, doomed to be reconditioned. She has dreams that must be caused by her evilness, and even meets up secretly with her matched one’s brother.

The city Evie lives in is supposed to be safe, with no evil. But when her lover, Raffy, is destined to become a K, Evie knows something is wrong. His brother, Lucas, who once seemed so harsh and cold, is now the one helping Evie and Raffy escape. What if everything she had thought about him was wrong?

Beyond the city walls, Raffy and Evie meet Linus. He reveals the truth about the New Baptism, about the effects of the operation – how removing the amygdala does not only remove evil but humanity itself. They devise a plan to overcome the System as it is and return it to its original design.

I love the plot of this, and it’s fantastically written. It’s exciting and unexpected and really easy to read. But the love triangle… Why… Why does every YA book have one?! Why can’t Evie just be in love with one brother and leave it at that?! Meh.

I am soon to read the rest of this trilogy, and will be posting my reviews on those too. But I do really like Gemma Malley, and would certainly recommend reading some of her books.

As for this particular novel, I’m going to rate it 4 stars out of 5. Exciting and thrilling, but not perfect.

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WWW Wednesdays

What am I currently reading?

Ruins, The Killables, Highland Fling and The Secret Apocalypse.

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What did I finish reading recently?

I haven’t had many exams this week yet I only managed to finish Kellie’s Diary #1

What am I reading next?

I’ve still got to get through these two:

But you can still vote:

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Book Review: Kellie’s Diary #1

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Kellie’s Diary #1 by Thomas Jenner and Angeline Perkins – eBook, 50 pages – Published March 1st 2013 by Survive Entertainment

This was free in the Kindle store and despite not really knowing much about it, I decided I’d download it. It’s the graphic novel version of the first part of this collection, which is also available as an ordinary novel. It’s a short story, as I believe each individual story is.

As this is only a really short part of the collection, and I don’t want to spoil the story, I can’t really tell you much. But it is written fantastically, really capturing the voice of a young child. It’s based in the early nineties, when several children – and then teachers – start to fall ill and disappear. Kellie is later forced to fight for her life against the “monsters” – most commonly known as zombies. Yep, this is an apocalypse diary written by a small child, alone.

Of course, being “written by a child” means that description – even spelling – is not great. But that is obviously intentional and adds to the overall effect of the book. This particular edition happens to be designed to look like a notebook too, as opposed to the ordinary text of a novel.

I am really tempted to look into buying the whole collection. It really ends quite suddenly and unexpectedly, and I do want to know what happens to Kellie. Does she find her family? Does she even survive in the end? I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed this in the end. 3.5 stars!

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