Friday 30 May 2014

The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour's dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.

This was a gift from my boyfriend, who is also autistic. Probably should have given me this about 6 years ago, would have helped me to figure out the way he thinks a lot. But never mind that, let's focus on Christopher. A 15 year old boy, living in Swindon with Aspergers Syndrome, finds a murdered dog in his neighbour's garden. Confused as to why anyone would hurt a dog, he is found by his neighbour and subsequently the police. Most people with autism, I've found, don't like to be touched, so when the policeman tries to take him arm, Christopher lashes out. And that is how Christopher spends an evening in jail.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this and was, in my opinion, a very good portrayal of autistic's way of thinking, I did find this quite difficult to read. It was written without emotion, purely factual, and although I would expect nothing less from an autistic narrator, it was very distant. However, thinking about it, I think the way people's treated Christopher made me more uncomfortable than the way Christopher saw things. He was very logical but people are not logical, they rule with emotion so when a strange boy is counting cars on the way to school or holds his fingers in his ears because of the noise, they don't understand why and this made them usually very rude. It made my heart ache to see how little everyone understood him. 

As I said, my boyfriend and his younger brother is autistic, so I knew what was happening and why. I like to think that this helped with my reading and understanding of this book but there's no way of knowing. I do think it did change the way I saw Christopher and his mindset; I already knew that this was how autistic people think so it didn't come as a surprise or something to get used to. 

Anyway, Christopher has quite a bit more than the mystery of the dead dog to deal with like his mother's temper, his father's misunderstandings and both his parents lies. Christopher doesn't deal with emotions well so the shocking parts that made me gasp, Christopher didn't bat an eye. Like I've said, my knowledge of autism made this easy to comprehend, practically predictable even. All in all, I think this gives us an insight into a very difficult to comprehend mind alongside a great story. 

Published 15th April 2004 by Vintage. 

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson

In the village of Martindale, hundreds of miles north of the new English capital of Windsor, sixteen-year-old Silver Blackthorn takes the Reckoning. This coming-of-age test not only decides her place in society - Elite, Member, Inter or Trog - but also determines that Silver is to become an Offering for King Victor.

But these are uncertain times and no one really knows what happens to the teenagers who disappear into Windsor Castle. Is being an Offering the privilege everyone assumes it to be, or do the walls of the castle have something to hide?

Trapped in a maze of ancient corridors, Silver finds herself in a warped world of suspicion where it is difficult to know who to trust and who to fear. The one thing Silver does know is that she must find a way out . . . 

I was hooked by the synopsis: a Hunger Games type competition in Windsor Castle? Bring it on! Turns out it was a bit more complicated than that but still damn good. I
n a tiny village in the north of England, Silver is waiting for the Reckoning, a test every 16 year old has to take to determine their place in society. The test searches your memories, tries to understand what motivates you and places you where it thinks you would suit the betterment of the country. But Silver can't relax after the test, because in the results show, she is randomly selected as an Offering, one of thirty across the country to serve the King in Windsor Castle. Nobody knows what happens to the Offerings, they go into the castle and never come back out.

I loved this dystopian version of England, separated into realms, all working together for the better of the country. Or so it's supposed to be. Of course in a good dystopian, nothing is as it seems and everything from the paranoia and secrets to the King's fake public image had me guessing what was going to happen. Silver was a very good heroine, smart, loyal, good with taking apart and understanding gadgets. All this she put to very good use in navigating and surviving in the castle, piecing together odd bits of information about different parts of the building, the people who live and work there and most importantly, the security system. Then there was Imrin, another Offering that Silver allied herself with. He was quiet and seemed nice but with everything going on in the castle, I'm a little surprised Silver was so quick to trust him. I could understand why Silver needed a friend but he had a lot to prove. 

The King was awful. When we first saw him for real, I thought maybe he was just a drunk and useless but it turns out he was vicious and insanely cruel. What he does to the Offerings, to everyone living in the castle, was just horrible; it was amazing how different he was to his public image and if that's not a warning about our social media and celebrity obsessions, then I don't know what is! In surviving against the King's awful rule, it becomes more than just Silver's story and I loved the eventual sense of community and group survival.

So, a great dystopian made better by being set in my beloved homeland, plus some amazing characters, heroic or creepy they may be, and a gripping and intriguing plot line to round it all off. This was an incredible book, I flew threw it, and I cannot wait to see where Silver takes us next. 

Published 22nd May 2014 by Pan Macmillan. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Monday 26 May 2014

The Look by Sophia Bennett

Ted doesn't think of herself as glamorous. But her gorgeous sister Ava is. So when it's Ted who spotted by a model agency, at the same time that Ava is diagnosed with cancer, things have clearly gone very wrong. Ted isn't interested in modelling but Ava wants her to give it a try. Just how far will Ted go to please her sister? And what sacrifices will she have to make?

Every girl out there has had a moment, or several, where you cannot see your own beauty. Ted Trout has been living that moment all her life until a model scout picks her out on the street. What makes this even more unbelievable is that he wasn't interested in her completely gorgeous older sister. As a premise, it held infinite possibilities and Bennett definitely delivered. Ted doesn't want to be a model, she is the typical teenage girl uncomfortable in her skin and I loved that about her. She only agrees to humour her sister.

Speaking of her sister, Ava was just amazing. At first, with her sure fire confidence, I wasn't sure I would like her but after seeing her relationship with Ted, and then getting the worst news possible, Ava went up in my books and I fell for her completely. Dealing with cancer and a mad little sister, Ava was surprisingly strong and I admired her a lot for that. 

I loved the turns this story took. Not only was the modelling deal legit, but Ted handled it just I expected she would: not very well. She wasn't exactly suited to it but stuck with it to cheer up Ava. But when she has to make a choice between a gig in New York and her sister, Ted is swept up in the glamour and intrigue. I can't say I blame her, Ted's new agent was a force to be reckoned with. But of course it wouldn't be a great Sophia Bennett novel without learning something about yourself, and Ted needed the push to start pushing back, to do what she wanted and not what the modeling people told her. 

Not only was this an interesting take on the modelling world but also a great story about sisterly love and growing as your own person. A great example of UKYA too!

Published 1st March 2012 by Chicken House. 

Friday 23 May 2014

Friday Reads: God Save The Queen and White Hot Kiss

Apart from my short 'Currently Reading' part of my Weekly Highlights and of course my Goodreads, I don't really make you guys aware of what I'm reading and thinking as I'm reading it. And as part of a slight overhaul of my blog to make it more interesting and diverse, I thought I would occasionally write up some random thoughts I might have about the book I'm reading that can't wait for the review.

Anyway, that was a much longer introduction than I meant it to be, so let's get to it!

A couple of days ago I started God Save The Queen by Kate Locke. This is the first in a series set in a Steampunk alternate history London, following a young woman as she tries to find her sister and uncover the truth about the aristocracy. Because I've only had a chance to read on the train to and from work lately, I've been reading this quite slowly. I expected to fall completely in love with this and while I am enjoying it, it's not what I thought it would be.

I'm not at work today so apart from a few errands, I have plenty of time to read so hopefully will get through it faster than I have been! 

I am also reading White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L Armentrout. Her books are something of a guilty pleasure; I just cannot resist a good dark romance and this is no different! I read the first 40% on a sunny afternoon earlier in the week and hope to fly through the rest this weekend.

What is everyone reading/planning to read this weekend? Will it be in the sun or the rain? (I'm in the rain for a lot of this weekend)

Wednesday 21 May 2014

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

The sequel to The Raven Boys, which I read last year so details were fuzzy but luckily, everything came flooding back and the story progressed quite smoothly. However, I don't think I was in the right frame of mind to read this when I did, as I kinda slipped in and out of interest. Nothing to do with the story or the writing, just my lack of brain power.

That being said, I had some major problems with the characters, which is almost certainly my fault, but I just could not connect with them. Maybe it was just the writing style was too much for my poor tired brain but I could only understand the characters in a superficial way. For whatever reason, I didn't get the deep connection  I normally love in my books. I still don't completely understand Gansey, nor Adam, although I do like both of them. I adore Blue but sometimes she reacts in a way I wasn't expecting and it just throws me off. But Ronan was the real focus of this book and I really liked getting the know him in a deeper way. Although I still don't entirely understand why he is irrationally angry all the time, it was interesting and entertaining to read about his family and the dream magic thing.

Anyway, that's enough moaning. Apart from my weird frame of mind, I do love Stiefvater's writing style and while it was a bit complex, The Dream Thieves was just as amazingly detailed and smooth as I have come to expect from her books. As I said, the main focus of this part of the story was Ronan but we also learned more about Gansey's home life, Adam's troubles, both financially and with Cabeswater, and Blue's strange and complicated family. We were also introduced to a new character, My Gray, who has been tasked with finding the Greywarren by a mysterious benefactor. I'm not going to tell you what the Greywarren is but I will tell that My Gray is no stranger to violence. 

So while my tired brain might have ruined some of my enjoyment, I did still really like this, especially to have another chance with these amazing characters and their incredibly crazy journey to find Glendower. Some more clues were revealed and they are one step closer to finding the ancient king. 

Published 5th September 2013 by Scholastic. 

Monday 19 May 2014

Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

This is the story of how we became freaks. It's how a group of I's became a we.

When Class 10B got their flu shots, they expected some side effects. Maybe a sore arm. Maybe a headache. They definitely didn't expect to get telepathy. But suddenly they could hear what everyone was thinking. Their friends. Their teachers. Their parents. Now they all know that Tess has a crush on her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper. Some of them will thrive. Some of them will break. None of them will ever be the same. 

I was really looking forward to this one; where an entire class gets telepathy? I mean, how can that not be a brilliant story? And it truly was, it was hilarious and touching and embarrassing and so much fun to read. Telepathy is one of those things that everyone wonders what they'd do if it happened to them; personally, I don't think I'd even know where to begin!

It started with the just a few of them getting assulted by stray thoughts but soon their entire homeroom could read minds. I loved the different directions it took, from Pi using for information, Olivia with the boy she likes, Mackenzie worrying about her boyfriend finding out the truth; everyone was so varied and used their powers for completely different reasons, although usually unintentionally, it was very entertaining to read. Plus it was written in this sort of collective third person, which took a bit of getting used to but was used very well, as they became almost one entity with each others thoughts in their heads. 

Although a whole class of 22 got powers, we mostly followed the original 11 and I especially liked hearing from Olivia. She was incredibly shy and was paranoid to even open her mouth, scared of what others might think of her. So being able to see that she wasn't in many people's thoughts gave her a confidence boost. She was very sweet and grew quite a lot as a person throughout the book, as did Cooper, although for a very different reason. 

The constant assault of stray thoughts was often too much to bear and many of them took to heart what they heard in their friend's head. Reading thoughts isn't like reading someone's diary, it's much more raw and, ironically, thoughtless what crops up in people's heads and I thought Mlynowski handles this very well. I loved this book, it was just what I needed as the sun was coming out: something that had me giggling on the train to work and cringing alongside them all as they discovered things they didn't want to know. I am so looking forward to more adventures from the Espies!

Published 1st May 2014 by Orchard Books. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Weekly Highlights: the 'I return!' edition

Yep, I'm back! Feeling much better about this blogging thing, a week off to just catch up on reading was exactly what I needed. I'm sure I've missed quite a bit in the blogging world and I apologise for that, I hope to catch up as soon as I can.

On The Blog
I have a little game/competition coming up that I'm really excited for and I think there may be a giveaway in the near future, I just need to decide on a prize. What do you guys think?

Currently Reading
Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson - an amazing dystopian set in England and especially Windsor Castle. About half way through, I'm really enjoying it so far, with its crazy King and paranoia that is just threatening to boil over.

On My Bookshelf
Take Me On by Katie McGarry
Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.
West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping him fighting for her is a shot at redemption. Especially since it' s his fault her family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.
Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

Oh I will read anything by Katie McGarry and a new Pushing The Limits book promises to be just as amazing as the rest of the series! Thank you Netgalley!

Monday 12 May 2014

Unexpected Hiatus

Hello everyone. You may have noticed that I haven't been posting as much lately and I have definitely noticed that my reviews haven't quite been my best. Well, my blog seems to be slipping a little and it is stressing me out to get posts up on time and reviews written so I've decided to take a bit of a break.

I haven't done this before, I'm usually pretty good at balancing my blog and my normal life but my reading has slowed down, not for any particular reason, and my reviews are rushed as a result of this. 

If you've been reading my Weekly Highlights intros, you will know that I am currently doing some work experience in lieu of an actual job. As much as I love it there, the work hours are trying to kill me and I haven't been online as much or had as much time to read or check emails, anything. It's a push to drag my laptop out to do my daily job hunt! Anyway, partly because of this, partly because it took me two weeks to read two books, I have decided to take a week or two, catch up on my reading and get my blog back up to a standard I am proud of. 

I am sorry to have to do this, but it won't be for long and I actually got a great idea for a little competition on the way home (courtesy of my boyfriend) so I'm excited about that. But for now, I need to get my brain power back. I will still be online, on twitter as usual, so come find me there and I will see you all soon.

Friday 9 May 2014

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth...

This is my first Charlaine Harris book and I'm actually glad I started with this one. While it had quite a slow start, introducing characters and getting to know them all and how they interact with each other, but once it got going, it was smoothly written and the mystery/thriller element was incredibly gripping. 

All the residents of Midnight were all a little bit weird, like a collective town of strange-ness, from Fiji's witchy powers to Bobo's disappearing girlfriend. So newcomer Manfred, with his online psychic business, will fit right in. The big one was Lemuel, Bobo's downstairs tenant, who turns out to be vampire. Which is perfectly fine and pretty awesome but what got me was how Manfred wasn't freaked out by this! It is one thing to have sort of psychic powers but it is quite another to find an energy vampire feeding off you without explaining. That was my one main bugbear, but apart from that, I really liked all the characters; they all had their own distinct voice and personality, some quiet and some obnoxious, and all were very interesting to learn about. Plus, everyone was perfectly content with keeping secrets; no one knew anything about Bobo's grandfather or why Shawn's kids aren't allowed online and while this did annoy me quite a bit, it was fun to try and guess, and the prolonged hints made the reveal exciting and often surprising. 

I did like it but the supernatural was not the main focus, and as I was expecting that, I was left a little disappointed. But thinking back, I think I actually prefer it that way; allow Midnight's residents to have their secrets and have a story that explored extreme politics and influences. The whole mystery/thriller plotline, as I said, was very cool to read about and very well woven in with Midnight's secrets as well as the awful white-supremacist politics. All in all, a great introduction to the town and its residents and a great story that kept me gripped until the very end. 

Published 8th May 2014 by Gollancz. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Top Protagonists: Female

To compliment my top male protagonists, here are my favourite female main characters. Again, almost certainly not my own idea!

- Cath from Fangirl - oh, a girl after my own heart, Rainbow Rowell creates someone we can all relate to, from her love for fan-fiction to her feeling completely alone at new college campus.
- Katy from Lux series - faced with strange neighbours, Katy had just the right balance of blind curiosity and reserved judgement to find out what the hell is going on in her new town. And she was a book blogger, who falls in love with a gorgeous alien! What's not to love?
- Tella from Fire and Flood - the story might be a bit of a rip-off of The Hunger Games, but Tella could not be more different from Katniss; no survival skills, inappropriately vain and sarcastic attitude, Tella was surprisingly refreshing in the dystopian genre, as she was completely normal. Maybe a little too preoccupied with the cute guy when she should be focusing on how to survive, but still gotta love her!
- Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone - from her startling blue hair to her amazing drawing skills, Karou is not quite what she seems. The human daughter of a family of chimera, Karou is strong-willed and adventurous and just wanted her happy ending. Oh, and of course a special shout-out to best friend Zuzana, who is adorable and hilarious.
- Allie from The Immortal Rules - growing up fighting to survive in the slums, Allie almost dies but is saved by Kanin, who offers her a choice: vampire or death. Allie was pretty kickass, even though she barely knew the first thing about being a vampire. More importantly, she had a good heart and the strength to be the bad guy if it meant saving the ones she loves.
- Poppy from Soulmates - of course the girl who is skeptical about love finds the most gorgeous guy, it's just the way it works! Luckily, Poppy is too adorable to stay mad at, plus her and Noah's love story is so damn sweet, it breaks my heart to think about.
- Wanderer from The Host - I know there are very mixed feelings about this book, but I for one love it wholeheartedly. Wanderer is a fantastic narrator, as an alien new to our planet, we see things from her perspective and trying to explain the way things are can get annoying. But she quickly falls in love with her little band of humans and I adore the way she flails to understand human relationships.
- Harriet from Geek Girl - just thinking about Harriet's adventures makes me laugh! She is the most unlikely model ever but from her spouting random facts to her complete inability to see the obvious until too late, you can't help but fall in love with her.

Monday 5 May 2014

The Worst Girlfriend in the World by Sarra Manning

My best friend was now my deadliest enemy, the one person I'd hate beyond all measure for the rest of my life . . .

Franny Barker's best friend, Alice, is the worst girlfriend in the world according to the many boys of Merrycliffe-on-Sea. She toys with them, then dumps them. But she'll never dump fashion-obsessed Franny. Nothing and no one can come between them.

Not even tousle-haired rock god, Louis Allen, who Franny's been crushing on hard. Until Alice, bored with immature boys and jealous of Franny's new college friends, sets her sights on Louis. Suddenly, best friends are bitter rivals.

Is winning Louis's heart worth more than their friendship? There's only one way for Franny to find out.

Another amazing contemporary from the brilliant mind of Sarra Manning, whom I am developing quite a girl crush on! This one tells of best friends since forever, Franny B and Alice, completely inseparable until Franny goes to college and leaves Alice at sixth form. Not such a big deal, if it wasn't for Alice alienating everyone else in town for her attitude towards boys as her playthings.

I adored everything about this story, from its rich and varied characters to the up and downs of friendship. Franny B was especially adorable and very strong; from her conviction that she was going to succeed in fashion to her looking after her mum with depression, Franny B was an amazing character with such a tough lot in life and while she did complain and did throw one heck of a tantrum when it became too much, she was incredibly collected. I wish I was that cool when I was her age!

Everyone knows or knew someone like Alice, especially in their teens. Someone with no regard to rules or convention, pretty big ego, doesn't care what anyone thinks of her because it doesn't matter, she's got the one great friend that sticks up for her. Until she doesn't and everything hits the fan, Alice lashes out the only way she knows how: by getting the guy. While I could completely understand Alice and Franny B's friendship, and did very much idolise it, Alice lashing out was the stupidest thing I had ever seen. I simultaneously wanted to hug and smack her!

Now for the guys. First up, Louis, lead singer of local band. He was pretty good looking but as we got to know him, even Franny B with the world's biggest crush on him removed the rose-tinted glasses and realised what a huge dork he was. I mean he was adorable and very funny but he was a big goof and had no brain to mouth filter, which made him excellent best-guy friend material, not so much boyfriend. And then there was Francis, the grumpy technician and bass player. I knew from the offset he would be important to Franny B, if only in realising not to judge a book by its cover. But he was pretty damn cool, with his strange knowledge of sixties films and weird YouTube videos, and perfect for Franny B. If only she realised it!

Another hit from Manning; for fans of contemporary, romance, friendship versus guys, or indeed Sarra Manning (which was I picked it up), I promise you'll love it as much as I did.

Published 1st May 2014 by Atom. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday 4 May 2014

Weekly Highlights: the 'April TBR' edition

Weekly Highlights is a feature borrowed from Faye of A Daydreamer's Thoughts, where I get to highlight my posts of the week, show you my new books and talk about bookish things! 

Been a slow and tiring week, especially on the reading and blogging front. Apologies for that, my reading has slowed down somewhat due to work but I'm getting back into the swing of it. Sort of. Anyway, in other news, work experience is going great; and I had an interview on Friday for a job in my local council but haven't heard back yet so fingers crossed!

On The Blog
Review of Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (5 stars)
Review of Raging Star by Moira Young (4.5 stars)

Currently Reading
Midnight Crossroads (info below) - the newest book from Netgalley, and my first Charlaine Harris. Am enjoying it so far, but as only about 16% through, not much has happened yet!

On My Bookshelf
Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth...

Requested from Netgalley after seeing Sophie's comments on it, as well as Carly's recommendation. Currently reading it, it's a bit of a slow start but getting interesting! So anyway, thank you Netgalley and Gollancz!

Red At Night by Katie McGarry
Stella and Jonah are total opposites. She's the girl with purple hair from the wrong part of town. He's a high school senior who hangs with the cool crowd. Until a car accident leaves him haunted by guilt, and Jonah starts spending time at Stella's favorite refuge…the local cemetery.
Stella knows she should keep her distance—after all, she spent her girlhood being bullied by Jonah's friends. Once he's sorted out his tangled emotions, Jonah won't have time for her anymore. Too bad she's already fallen for him….

I didn't even read what it was about, but any Katie McGarry book, especially one that is free, I am going to swipe up!

April TBR
I have two review books: Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski, The Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson; one old Netgalley book: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L Armentrout; and a push up the TBR from my boyfriend: The Curious Incident by Mark Haddon. I have fewer review books this month, which is good, gives me a chance to make a dent on my back-log!

Friday 2 May 2014

Raging Star by Moira Young

When the star reader, Auriel Tai, challenged Saba to seize her destiny and defeat DeMalo and the Tonton, Saba was so confident in her purpose. Then she met DeMalo and he confounded all expectations with his seductive vision of a healed earth, a New Eden. DeMalo and Saba had an intense and passionate encounter - physical, emotional and psychic - that changed her life, and now he wants Saba to join him, in life and work, to create and build a healthy, stable, sustainable world…for the chosen few.

Jack’s choice is clear: to fight DeMalo and try to stop his dangerous New Eden project. Still uncertain, her connection with DeMalo a secret, Saba commits herself to the fight. Joined by her brother Lugh, anxious for the land in New Eden, Saba leads an inexperienced guerilla band against the powerfully charismatic DeMalo, in command of his settlers and the Tonton militia.

What chance do they have? Saba must act. And be willing to pay the price.

This is it, the final book in the Dustlands trilogy, Saba's last stand against DeMalo and his twisted vision of the future. And while I had forgotten how long it takes me to read Saba's awful English, I just adore her story and the final stages of it did not disappoint. There were just as many twists and turns as I've come to expect from Saba's journey, not to mention troubles, this time the main one being that DeMalo has given her a deadline for their endgame: a week. 

So yeah, DeMalo was a pretentious jerk and just as annoying as I remember him being. There was also another moment when I wanted to smack Saba for not seeing through his stuck-up nature but that was early in the book and Saba learned from that. Thank goodness. DeMalo is so sure of his perfect future that he doesn't see what Saba does, that it is built upon basic faults: the lack of relationship. So Saba has just a few days to try and undermine DeMalo's ruling. Things heat up and lose control fast, and Saba and her little gang struggle to make a dent in DeMalo's so-called perfect world structure. But of course Saba wouldn't be the Angel of Death if she just gave up and she had a moment of pure genius with her fault lines idea that I just wanted to hug her.  

Enough about DeMalo, let's get to Jack. He actually managed to annoy me a bit in this book. I have loved him from the start but his complete lack of faith in Saba, as well as this whole passive-aggressive thing that made no sense, had me wanting to smack him. The lack of his appearance didn't help much either, but as most everyone thinks he is dead, obviously Jack is laying low. But he plays his part, sending information to Saba about Tonton movements and plans, as well as heading up another gang of anti-DeMalo fighters to help Saba with her new plan.

And finally, the big finale. God, the ending had me breathless. It contained so many twists in just a few pages that I was nearly knocked sideways and was definitely sure that Saba's triumph was unlikely. But of course, Saba has it (mostly) under control and nothing is as perfect as it seems. Just be wary that I was close to tears in the ending, plus pretty deflated at the prospect of an unhappy ending. Young cut it damn close and of course it won't be perfect but there is hope for a brighter future. 

Published 1st May 2014 by Marion Lloyd Books.