Book Review ~ ‘Nod’ by Adrian Barnes.

 

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Nod by Adrian Barnes
Genres: Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Release Date: 1st September 2015
Publisher: Titan Books

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SYNOPSIS

Dawn breaks over Vancouver and no one in the world has slept the night before, or almost no one. A few people, perhaps one in ten thousand, can still sleep, and they’ve all shared the same golden dream.

After six days of absolute sleep deprivation, psychosis will set in. After four weeks, the body will die. In the interim, panic ensues and a bizarre new world arises in which those previously on the fringes of society take the lead.

Paul, a writer, continues to sleep while his partner Tanya disintegrates before his eyes, and the new world swallows the old one whole.

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Book Review ~ ‘Nod’ by Adrian Barnes ~ 5 Stars!

This book was sheer brilliance!

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you suddenly you were unable to sleep?

Day One, you’d be grouchy but fine; after all, students do all-nighters all the time.

Day Two? You’d be looking forward to a long sleep.

What about Day Seven?

Haunting, psychological, nerve-wracking, ‘Nod’ was a perfectly crafted post-apocalyptic style novel, which had me still thinking about it long after I’d turned the last page.

I’m not much into zombie fiction, because I don’t believe it’s realistic, so when I read the blurb for ‘Nod’ I was instantly excited. Insomnia causing a breakdown of society? Yes, please! It was a believable scenario, which gave the story so much more impact. We see people who love each other turn against each other as the lack of sleep kicks in, and we see morality take a backseat as everybody desperately tries to stay alive.

Adrian Barnes brilliantly questions what happens to human nature when the fundamental  ability to sleep is taken away from you.

It is a rollercoaster of a ride, and I guarantee you won’t be able to put the book down until you see how it finishes.

5 Stars!


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Adrian Barnes

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5 Star Book Review ~ ‘The Heart Goes Last’ by Margaret Atwood.

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The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
A Positron Novel
Genres: Adult, Literary Fiction.
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: 24th September 2015.

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SYNOPSIS

Living in their car, surviving on tips, Charmaine and Stan are in a desperate state. So, when they see an advertisement for Consilience, a ‘social experiment’ offering stable jobs and a home of their own, they sign up immediately. All they have to do in return for suburban paradise is give up their freedom every second month – swapping their home for a prison cell. At first, all is well. But then, unknown to each other, Stan and Charmaine develop passionate obsessions with their ‘Alternates,’ the couple that occupy their house when they are in prison. Soon the pressures of conformity, mistrust, guilt and sexual desire begin to take over.

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Book Review ~ ‘The Heart Goes Last’ by Margaret Atwood ~ 5 Stars!

This was a real winner from Margaret Atwood.

Because I LOVED Margaret Atwood’s other books so much, I was slightly nervous about starting ‘The Heart Goes Last’. I just didn’t want to part with the great impression they had left on me. But here I am after finishing ‘The Heart Goes Last’, and I am yet again in awe of Atwood’s talent!

This is a very different kind of book for me. but I was won over straight away. I identified with Stan and Charmaine as real people, living with the struggles that the fall of society has left them with, and the flaws that made them up. They were still a relatively new married couple, but Atwood gave us the insight straight away that sometimes love isn’t enough. Living in a car off the tips from Charmaine’s waitressing job would cause tension between even the most loving couple. It was great to see how their desperation to make a better life for themselves overcame their uncertainty about the Consilience experiment.

I love seeing how desperation will feed people into making choices they wouldn’t normally, and throughout this book I could see the choices for the characters being taken away gradually until there was no easy answer. But it wasn’t just this that made this book such a winner for me. It was how darkly comic it was. I laughed so much, yet not because it was overtly funny, but because of how true it was. Stan and Charmaine battle a lot through their story, a dystopian crumbling world, a life consisting of a month in and then a month out of prison, adultery and sabotage, yet throughout their views on life, their views on their relationship with each other, their thoughts on the temptations that cross their paths, all was done so with a human honesty, that I found both dark, yet hugely amusing. People are still people, even when the world is falling apart!

This story has everything I would have wanted from it, and I loved every bit! If you are a dystopian fan, a literary fiction fan, or even just looking for a good book. then you should definitely give ‘The Heart Goes Last’ a try!

A great book from one of my favourite writers!

5 Stars!

*Review copy was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


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Book Review ~ ‘Material Girls’ by Elaine Dimopoulos.

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Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos.
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance.
Release Date: 5th May 2015.

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SYNOPSIS

In Marla Klein and Ivy Wilde’s world, teens are the gatekeepers of culture. A top fashion label employs sixteen-year-old Marla to dictate hot new clothing trends, while Ivy, a teen pop star, popularizes the garments that Marla approves. Both girls are pawns in a calculated but seductive system of corporate control, and both begin to question their world’s aggressive levels of consumption. Will their new “eco-chic” trend subversively resist and overturn the industry that controls every part of their lives?
Smart, provocative, and entertaining, this thrilling page-turner for teens questions the cult like mentality of fame and fashion. Are you in or are you out?

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Book Review ~ ‘Material Girls’ by Elaine Dimopoulos ~ 5+ Stars!

‘Material Girls’ is on my list of favourite books of 2015. I mean, seriously – WOW! What a stunner of a book! The emotion and feeling that came across in this book, alongside the realistic depictions of everyday challenges that teenagers face, was just overwhelming in how perfect it was.

I’m ashamed to say that knowing it was a book aimed at young adults, I wasn’t expecting ‘Material Girls’ to resonate with me, but boy was I wrong. Elaine Dimopoulos brings to the story a level of maturity and reality that it can be difficult to find even in adult books. Everything about the world that Dimopoulos created, the characters and their daily trials with the regime, the system that they accept without question, and the underlying feeling that maybe not everything is as OK as it seems, all brilliantly mirrors a great dystopian story. But as well as that, this story is just so much more.

The use of materialism and fashion as the focus point of ‘Material Girls’ was so unique and exciting. Everyday we are bombarded with billboards of new fashions which likely won’t last over a couple of months. Dimopoulos has heightened this, and with it heightened the risks that such a consumerist society has on others.

Marla was a fantastic character who I loved from the get-go. I really felt for her, seeing as how her innocence and naivity were used against her, and how her eyes were opened up to the real workings, when she is unfairly dismissed. Seeing her come to the realisation that the company she has placed all her trust in, and devoted her life to has not been worthy of it, was really exciting, and I loved seeing how she developed throughout the course of the novel, and how she formed such meaningful relationships with her new colleagues, compared to her old ones. Her sweet, and desperate character was brilliantly contrasted by Ivy, who was just as exciting to see develop, especially when we see the differences that having supportive friends around can have on the overall outcome of their story arc.

And Felix…what can I say about Felix other than that he is the best. *fans self* Kind of in love with him. OK, a lot in love with him!

5+ stars for this amazing book. This is an all-time favourite of mine, and I know that adults and young-adults alike will fall in love with Marla’s story as much as I did!

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


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Pre-Order Links
Available May 5th

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Tour Stop ~ ‘The Afterworld Series’ by Karice Bolton.

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Afterworld Series by Karice Bolton
Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic
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RecruitZ (Afterworld #1)
SYNOPSIS

Scientists are the new rock stars. The infection has been contained for nearly three months, and the world is celebrating. But humans are still dying. Rebekah Taylor has seen it firsthand. Her husband was killed right in front of her by the very creatures that humans were told they no longer had to fear.

Rebekah is determined to find out who is responsible for the death of her husband and the obvious cover-up. Fueled with revenge, she begins to find answers that lead to one frightening conclusion. The apocalypse might be over, but the battles are just beginning.

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AlibiZ (Afterworld #2)

SYNOPSIS

 The outbreak might be over, but the nightmare is just beginning…

Rebekah vows to expose the truth behind the RecruitZ that are killing the innocents. These creatures must be stopped, but so should the people controlling them. When Rebekah uncovers who is behind the uprisings, her own life becomes in danger.

Rebekah knows that she is not alone in this fight but vengeance alone won’t help her and the others to victory. It is up to her to uncover the truth for the public before the world is turned over to an elite few.

Regardless of what may happen to her, she knows it’s a race against time to destroy these creatures and the monsters controlling them before there is no one left worth saving.

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See my Review for ‘RecruitZ’ here
Book Review ~ ‘Alibiz’ by Karice Bolton ~ 5 Stars!
‘RecruitZ’ was one of my favourite reads this year, so when I saw that ‘AlibiZ’ was soon to be available I squealed with excitement.
Karice Bolton has created such a well developed world that not only intrigues me, but has me on the edge of my seat as the inhabitants of it struggle to move on with their life.
Before I started the ‘Afterworld Series’ I was relatively new to the Zombie genre and it was due to my desire to find a story that not only showed the full force of the blood and gore, but also really went into the minds of the survivors and showed the pain and suffering that these people have to live through in order on.
Bekah and Preston are some of my favourite characters period. Karice Bolton has given them such engrossing storylines and I’ve loved seeing how they developed in not only their relationship with each other, but also in the inner strength and hope they begin to feel for the future. What I found refreshing in ‘RecruitZ’ was the slow burn to the romance in their relationship, and boy was the wait worth it. The time they took to become close friends, and in a way soul mates, is what has made their romantic relationship all the more special as we see two people who have feared to form attachments in an unpredictable world find a love that keeps them going through the tough times.
The scientific elements of this series are the things that really make this story stand out from others in its genre. I loved seeing more about the development of the vaccine and seeing how science can be used in both good and evil ways. Seeing all these elements and how they caused the events of the Zombie apocalypse is what made the storyline seem all that more real and relatable to me.
This was an action packed and thrilling second book in the ‘Afterworld’ Series, and I am officially addicted. Karice Bolton has such an incredible writing style that I just couldn’t put the book down for one second without feeling stuck in the story and thinking about the characters that were waiting for me on the next page. A fantastic addition to the series and I can’t wait to read more of Bekah and Preston!
5 Stars!
 
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    • A zombie theme prize pack + a $10 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Karice
Karice Bolton
Karice received an MFA in Creative Writing from the U of W. She has written fifteen novels and has several exciting projects in the works. Karice lives with her husband and two English Bulldogs in rainy Washington.
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Books currently available:
Luke Fletcher Series: Hidden Sins (Book 1), Buried Sins (Book 2) – coming soon
Beyond Love Series: Beyond Control (Book 1) Beyond Doubt (Book 2) Beyond Reason (Book 3) Beyond Intent (Book 4) Beyond Chance, Beyond Promise, and Beyond the Mistletoe coming soon
Afterworld Series: RecruitZ (Book 1) AlibiZ (Book 2) – October 2014
The Witch Avenue Series: Lonely Souls (Book 1), Altered Souls (Book 2), Released Souls (Book 3) Shattered Souls (Book 4)
The Watchers Trilogy: Awakening (Book 1), Legions (Book 2), Cataclysm (Book 3), Taken Novella (Watchers Prequel)
The Camp

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Blog Tour organised by Xpresso Book Tours.
Click the banner above to follow the ‘Afterworld’ Series Blog Tour.
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Book Blitz ~ ‘Frost’ by Kate Avery Ellison.

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Frost by Kate Avery Ellison
(The Frost Chronicles #1)
Publication date: March 28th 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Frost

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SYNOPSIS

In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person could end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone.

After monsters kill her parents, Lia must keep the family farm running despite the freezing cold and threat of monster attacks or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and failure just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest—a young stranger named Gabe—Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.

She saves his life.

Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him.

But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle the farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but every move she makes puts her in more danger.

Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?

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He came out of nowhere, hitting me hard from one side and knocking me over. We rolled together across the floor and he came out on top, his hands on either side of my head, holding my wrists down against the stones. His burning eyes bored into mine.

I couldn’t seem to find my breath. The whole world slowed down, and I realized with perfect clarity that he might kill me.

“Don’t scream,” he hissed.

I shook my head.

“How far is the village?” He whispered it, the words harsh and raspy in the air between us. I could see his mind working behind his eyes—was he calculating how long it would take him to try to struggle away on his own, how long before they found my lifeless body?

I was neither brave nor stupid. I told him what he wanted to know. “The village is less than a mile.”

He grimaced, and I realized he must be half-mad with the pain. Maybe if I moved suddenly, I could throw him off and get to the door…

He must have sensed my plan, for he pressed down harder on my wrists, keeping me pinned. “And the gate?”

“What gate? You mean the village gate?”

He didn’t explain. “The mountains, then.”

“The farm sits in its shadow,” I gasped. His hands were cutting off my circulation. “But killing me does nothing to help you. You are too weak to get far, and the Watchers fill the woods.”

His eyebrows drew together sharply, and he coughed. He was weakening—I could see it. “Kill you?”

His grip on my wrists slackened. I saw my chance, and I took advantage of it.

I slammed my elbow into his face. The Farther cried out, falling sideways like a puppet with its strings cut. I scrambled up for the door and yanked it open.

“Stop—wait—”

I turned. He was crumpled on the ground, his limbs shaking. I could see that he had no strength left.

“I’m sorry if I hurt you,” he gasped. “I just needed answers.”

I lingered, not running but not relaxing, either. “You would kill me for information, then?”

He pressed a hand against his side and wheezed a bewildered laugh. “I’m not a murderer of farm girls. Not even those who plan to harm me.”

“Harm you?” My words were sharp. “I’m sticking my neck out for you. I’m putting my family in danger for you. I’m sheltering and feeding you—and for what? It’s you who just tried to harm me.”

“I just needed information about my location,” he said, wincing at my words. He struggled up into a kneeling position and raised his dazzling blue eyes to mine. Blood colored his lip red. “I won’t try anything again, I promise, even though I know you want me dead.”

It was my turn to laugh, breathlessly. “You make no sense.” I grabbed the herbs from my pocket and brandished them at him. “I came to bring you these for your wound. I’m not going to kill you. I just want you gone before you can cause any more trouble.”

His expression turned inside out—the planes of his face softened in surprise, and his eyes widened slightly. But then they slitted shut, and I could tell he didn’t believe me. “You’re lying.”

“Why would I lie?” I snapped. “If I wanted to kill you, I’d have done it by now. I could have simply left you in the snow, or refused to clean your wounds, or refused to feed you.”

He was silent, considering this. Some of the wild terror on his face eased at the logic of what I’d said. “Why haven’t you? Left me to die, I mean?”

I didn’t answer that, because I didn’t know how to put my reasons into words. I didn’t even quite know what the reasons were.

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What book are you reading now?

Requiem, by Lauren Oliver. Fantastic book. Every word she writes is poetry.

Do you read a lot?

Yes! Although lately I’ve been reading more nonfiction. I try to read voraciously and widely, though—it’s important to stay exposed to lots of genres and styles as a writer.

Where do you like to write?

I usually write at my local public library, or a coffee shop near my house. I like to lose myself in the noise and atmosphere of quiet hustle and bustle—it keeps me focused and somehow filters out my own mental distractions. When I’m at home, I tend to procrastinate with Youtube or Netflix too much.

What is your writing process like?

I usually start with an outline, or something that you might call an outline if you squinted at it just right. I hate outlining, but it’s a useful way to organize preliminary thoughts and make sure you have a clear direction for the story. Then I sort of ignore the outline and just start writing. I almost always write in order from start to finish, but it depends on the book. If there’s a scene I’m itching to write and I see it all perfectly in my head, I might skip ahead and get it down on paper. When I’m done with the first draft, my editor and my beta reader get their hands on it, give me feedback, and then I revise. Rise and repeat. Most of the writing process comes down to revision and editing.

What was it like to write Frost?

When I write, I get immersed in the world of the story. Frost is set in a cold, dangerous place, so I lived in this mindset of chilly, grimness. When I’d finished the series, I started work on a new series set in about as different a place as I could imagine—warm and tropical. That became my Secrets of Itlantis series.

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Kate

Kate Avery Ellison

I live in Georgia with my wonderful husband and two spoiled cats. When I’m not writing, I’m usually catching up on my extensive Netflix queue, reading a book, giggling at something funny online, or trying to convince my husband to give me just ONE bite of whatever he’s eating.

Learn more about my writing and books at my blog find teasers for upcoming works on my Facebook page, and subscribe to my new releases newsletter to be notified of new novels as soon as they hit stores.

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Book Blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours.

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Book Blitz ~ ‘Day Zero’ by Summer Lane.

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Day Zero by Summer Lane
(The Zero Trilogy #1)
Publication date: October 10th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

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SYNOPSIS

Elle is a survivor.

Since the collapse of modern society, she’s been living in the remains of downtown Hollywood, California, foraging for food and fighting for her life.

And then everything changes.

After she is forced out of her home, she heads north. What she finds is a group of bunker survivors, unlikely comrades, and the hope of a safe haven. Together, they journey toward the dregs of civilization, facing starvation, imprisonment and death.

They are alone, but they are ready.

Day Zero begins today.

Day Zero is a novella, the first installment in The Zero Trilogy, a novella series complementing the international bestselling Collapse Series.

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Writing about Post-Apocalyptic Hollywood and Santa Monica

Writers of post-apocalyptic fiction have the interesting task of taking the world in which we live and transforming it into an entirely different reality. For Day Zero, I chose Hollywood and Santa Monica, California, as the primary setting for my novella. Why those two cities? For one, I’m very familiar with them. I’ve spent a lot of time in southern California, visiting the Walk of Fame and Santa Monica Boulevard. It’s always best to base fiction on the legs of reality, so I went with what I knew.

I also recall asking myself the question, What would happen if Hollywood became uninhabitable? It’s interesting to think about the city without the glitz and glamour, with only the threads of civilization hanging on. I researched and visited famous places like Wilshire Boulevard, the Santa Monica Pier and Millions of Milkshakes on Santa Monica Boulevard. I believe grounding a story in something that exists makes it relatable to the reader – and fun for the author!

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INTL Giveaway

A pack of eBooks including:

    • Dead Girl Walking, by Ruth Silver
    • Fractured Dream, by K.M. Randall
    • Spirit Warriors: The Scarring by DEL Connor
    • Eyes of the Enemy by Kelly Hess
    • Jacob, King of Portalia by Casey Club
    • Destiny Gift by Juliana Haygert
    • Aftershock by Roberta Trahan

~ A Rafflecopter Giveaway ~

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Summer

Summer Lane

Summer Lane is the author of the international bestselling Collapse Series, which includes State of Emergency, State of Chaos, State of Rebellion and State of Pursuit. The fifth installment, State of Alliance, is releasing January 2015. Summer is also the author of The Zero Trilogy and an upcoming survivalist/science fantasy series coming in 2015. She owns WB Publishing, Writing Belle Magazine, and is an accomplished creative writing teacher and journalist.

Summer lives in the Central Valley of California, where she spends her time writing, teaching, and writing some more. When she is not writing, she enjoys leisurely visits with friends at coffee shops, dates to the movies, hiking in the mountains and strolling on the beach.

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~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Website ~

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Book Blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours.

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Book Review ~ ‘The 100’ by Kass Morgan.

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The 100 by Kass Morgan
(The 100 #1)
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Sci-Fi.

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SYNOPSIS

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries — until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth’s radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents — considered expendable by society — are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life…or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she’s haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor’s son, came to Earth for the girl he loves — but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind’s last hope.

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Book Review ~ ‘The 100’ by Kass Morgan ~ 4 Stars!

I love novels set in the dystopian genre, so when I saw the adverts on television for the TV adaptation of this book, I knew straight away that I had to read it.

The dystopian elements are what drew me into this story, but it was the emotional elements and character development that kept me engrossed in the book. I really enjoyed the way that Keira Cass made almost half of this novel flashbacks to the past and half in the present day, as I loved getting little snippets of information about the characters pasts and the reasons for their current situations little by little so that in the end the characters that I really liked I began to see in a less than flattering light, and the characters I was unsure of, I began to really care for.

As soon as I started reading this book I had one hope for the story, and that was to see Clarke and Wells reconnect and move on from the trauma of their past, so I was so disappointed to see the author take the story in another direction, particularly as I felt that Wells was being painted as the bad guy too often, when in fact he was doing everything he did out of love for Clarke. Sadly, I think it was Clarke’s storyline, the one that I originally was most invested in, is the reason that I couldn’t give this book 5 Stars. Everything that Clarke did I began to feel angry about, and the introduction of Bellamy and the spark of connection between the two made me feel desperately sad as to the way the story was being taken, which made me begin to view these two characters, originally ones that I really liked, with annoyance.

However, that being said, the other storylines in this novel were in my opinion executed perfectly. I loved Glass, and she became the character that I rooted for above all the others, which was in a way a bit disappointing, as I was looking forward to seeing the action on earth, but due to my issues with the characters, I was more invested on the goings on in the ship. Luke was such a great character, and I loved seeing him and Glass reconnect. I felt far more emotionally connected to this couple than I did to the idea of Clarke and Bellamy, and my heart broke for Glass when she escapes the ship to earth only to discover that Luke had moved on with an old friend of his. This storyline was one that kept me on the edge of my seat and my mouth was hanging open at the end in shock. HOW COULD IT END WITH THAT!? The author did a great job at pulling me into the world and leaving me reeling with the secrets of the past.

Overall this was a really unique novel and one that I did enjoy, however I felt a bit let down with Clarke’s storyline, and in the end didn’t feel much of a connection with her, as I thought her affections seemed to jump around like a yoyo, making her seem a bit unrealistic. Nevertheless I shall read the next book in the series, and I really hope I grow to love Clarke as much as I hoped I would.

4 Stars.

*Review copy was kindly provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ B&N ~

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Kass Morgan

~ Twitter ~ Website ~

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