BOOK REVIEW: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (Review by Emily Meredith)

passengerReview by Emily Meredith

Etta Spencer is a violin prodigy preparing to make her debut in the professional music world. But her performance doesn’t go to plan, she loses focus, and then she wakes up in 1776 in the middle of a sea battle.

Etta comes from a line of families with the ability to travel through time. However, her mother ran away from this world, and neglected to tell Etta anything about this skill. With a protagonist as oblivious as the reader, Bracken helps us fall into the world of Passenger with relative ease.

What I found incredibly unique about this particular method of time travel is that there are specific doors, or passages, which always lead to a particular place. Travellers can’t just choose a time and place to get to immediately – the path they must take can become convoluted.

Guided by Nicholas, an old-fashioned gentleman with a hint of pirate, Etta must locate an object only her family line had access to, or risk the wrath of a manipulative old patriarch. Although fearing for her mother’s life, Etta still finds a tiny bit of time for romance – who can resist a rogue? Plus, it makes for some brilliant moments when Nicholas’ old-fashioned manners clash with Etta’s modern ideas.

There are plenty of fascinating characters besides the two protagonists – Rose, Etta’s mother, Alice, her violin teacher, and the conniving Sophia Ironwood, just to name a few. The world-building is also fantastic – I absolutely loved falling into this one!

A great mix between historical fiction and fantasy, Passenger is a brilliant story. My only major issue with the book is that I now have to wait for the next one…This was my first foray into Alexandra Bracken, but I will definitely be checking out her The Darkest Minds series – if the premise is even half as good as Passenger I am sure to enjoy myself immensely!

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Pre-Order your copy of Passenger here!


* eBook deal *

Grab Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds for only $2.99!
(Only until Monday January 18, 2016)

The Darkest Minds

by Alexandra Bracken

the-darkest-mindsFirst in a dystopian trilogy, where showing your true colours can get you killed.

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to thurmond, a government ‘rehabilitation camp’. Ruby might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America’s children, but she and the others had emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes thurmond with her life. Now on the run, she is desperate to find … Read More.

Grab your eBook copy of The Darkest Minds here!

 

 

 

GUEST BLOG: Lauren Kate talks about her 5th Fallen novel, Unforgiven.

UnforgivenMy first vision of Unforgiven came to me accompanied by music: a stunning redhead strums a lyre beside an ancient river, making up a song about a boy whose existence she only senses. The fierce dreaminess of the music makes it clear she was always already in love.

I didn’t know Lilith when I wrote her briefly into Passion, but I knew her affair with Cam had determined much of his fate. She was the key to understanding him. When I met her again in Unforgiven, three thousand years had passed, but she was still singing the same mesmerizing song. An electric guitar and synthesizer added new texture, a rock band was now backing her, but the lyrics and the melody hadn’t changed.

Her song is called “Exile,” though Cam will always know it as “Lilith’s Song.” The song is real, as is Cam and Lilith’s band Revenge.

I’ve long wanted to tell Cam’s side of the story. The love expressed through Revenge’s music makes the release of Unforgiven especially exciting. I hope the story thrills you, and that you listen to Revenge’s music with someone you always already loved.

Grab your copy of Unforgiven here!


Unforgiven

Lauren Kate

Unforgiven“High school can be hell.”

Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes.

Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails . . . there’s a special place in Hell just for him. Tick-tock.

The long-awaited new novel in the global bestselling Fallen series.

Grab your copy of Unforgiven here!


Watch the Book Trailer:

Grab your copy of Unforgiven here!

About the Author

Lauren KateThe author of several pseudonymous novels for Alloy’s Inside Girl series, as well as The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove, and the bestselling Fallen series, Lauren Kate grew up in Dallas, Texas. She received her Bachelor’s degree in the deep South at Emory University, then went to New York for a brief stint in publishing, before enrolling in the University of California’s Davis Master of Arts Creative Writing program. She finished her degree at UC Davis, where she also teaches. She lives and writes from an old farm house in Winters, California.

Visit Lauren Kate’s Booktopia author page

BOOK REVIEW: The Obernwytn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody (Review by Sarah McDuling)

xthe-red-queen.jpg.pagespeed.ic.IO8CV4RPXNIt’s (almost) here!

At long last, it has (nearly) arrived!

All hail The Red Queen.

Like so many others, I’ve been a fan of The Obernewtyn Chronicles since I was kid. I have read and re-read these books so many times, my copies have grown battered and torn and the characters have come to feel like old friends.

But alas, all good things must come to an end! With The Red Queen, Isobelle Carmody is finishing a story that has been captivating readers for many years. And I cannot wait to see how she does it. Really, I cannot wait. If I don’t get my hands on a copy soon, there is a very distinct possibility that my head is going to explode …

I’m very much looking forward to reading this book, is what I’m saying.

In case you’re not familiar with this highly acclaimed and much beloved series, allow me to explain. The first book in The Obernewtyn Chronicles was published nearly 30 years ago. (Well … 28 years to be precise.) Since then it has been a consistent bestseller, collecting new generations of fans with each passing year. In fact, the first book has been published as a Popular Penguin title (a true sign of greatness). In editions both pink and orange – how cool is that?!

Way before Dystopian Fiction became a whole big craze, literally decades before anyone had ever heard of The Hunger Games or Divergent, Isobelle Carmody was writing about a distant future in which the world has been ravaged by a nuclear holocaust. In other words, when it comes to Dystopian YA, Isobelle Carmody did it first. And more importantly, she did it better.

This series is a beautifully written and painstakingly imagined, with the kind of detailed world-building and intricate plotting that has ensured each new book is better than the last. It also boasts the most iron-willed, big-hearted and strong-minded heroine I have ever encountered. No kidding. Elspeth Gordie is pretty much my role model in life. In times of hardship, I frequently ask myself, “What would Elspeth do?” and the answer is invariably, “Elspeth would do the most difficult, awe-inspiring and heroic thing imaginable. And she would do it alone. And she would do it without hesitation and without complaining.”

So yeah. I think it’s safe to say that The Red Queen is my favourite YA book of 2015. And I say this with the utmost confidence, despite the fact that I haven’t read it yet. Such is my unwavering faith in Isobelle Carmody.

Long live the Queen!

Grab your copy of The Red Queen here.

xthe-red-queen.jpg.pagespeed.ic.IO8CV4RPXNThe Red Queen

by Isobelle Carmody

The time has come at last for Elspeth Gordie to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computermachine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal.

But before she can embark on her quest, she must find a lost key; and although she has long prepared for this day, nothing is as she imagined.

This is the final, dramatic volume in series of books that undoubtedly shines as one of the most fantastic, and fantastical, tapestries ever woven.

 Grab your copy of The Red Queen here.

BOOK REVIEW: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (review by Sarah McDuling)

illuminaeWhen I first heard about Illuminae, it was described to me as “Battlestar Galatica meets 10 Things I Hate About You”. This obviously sounded like the best idea ever to me. I figured I was probably going to adore the hell out of it. And I was right!

With a story that has been carefully constructed using a collection of emails, IM chats, descriptions of video footage, classified documents, diary entries, interview transcripts, pictures and poetry – Illuminae is a wildly imaginative, constantly surprisingly and often visually stunning reading experience.

This is creative storytelling at its best. In fact, the book reads almost like watching a movie or playing a video game … except for being way better than either of those things because it’s a BOOK!

From the combined imaginations of Amie Kaufman (The Starbound Trilogy) and Jay Kristoff (The Lotus War Trilogy) – Illuminae is the first book in a new trilogy that is best categorized as a Young-Adult-Space-Opera-slash-Romantic-Comedy-slash-Psychological-Thriller. This book shimmers with playful humour and burns bright with raw emotion. It’s exactly the kind of addictive read that will keep you up all night frantically flipping pages and mentally casting the movie adaptation in the back of your mind. (For the record, I settled on Miles Teller to play Ezra and Zoey Deutch to play Kady.)

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

A gloriously bold, genre-mashing masterpiece, Illuminae will take you on a madcap joy-ride through space, spinning a story that involves a fleet of refugees on the run from certain death, a highly contagious zombie disease, an evil planet-destroying corporation and a possibly deranged, definitely eccentric super computer called AIDAN, (Artificial Intelligence Defense Analytics Network).

It also features a wonderful cast of endearing characters that will capture your heart (and then crush it into space dust) and an utterly adorable love/hate relationship between a wise-cracking hero and a pink-haired astro-princess with mad computer skills.

In short, Illuminae is a crazy-amazing rollercoaster ride!

Guaranteed to blow your mind, tie your heartstrings up in knots and play a frenzied game of ping-pong with your expectations – Illuminae is a must read for science fiction lovers, romance junkies and comedy fans alike.

Grab your copy of Illuminae here!

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illuminaeIlluminae

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Kady and Ezra thought their break-up was messy until they witnessed their entire world literally falling apart. Now they’re piecing together what’s left of their lives, and their romance, and trying to survive an intergalactic war. An innovatively designed story that’s best described as Battlestar Galactica meets 10 Things I Hate About You.

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe … Read more.

Grab your copy of Illuminae here!


Garth Nix talks to Booktopia TV about his new book, Newt’s Emerald

Australian bestselling author Garth Nix talks to us about his new book, Newt’s Emerald, an enchanting regency romance centred around an intrepid young lady, dashing young hero, French spies, a case of mistaken identity and an enchanted moustache. Yep, an enchanted moustache!

Order your copy of Newt’s Emerald here and for a limited time receive a signed copy!


Newt’s Emerald

Garth Nix

Newt's emerald

After the Newington Emerald is stolen at the height of a conjured storm, eighteen-year-old Lady Truthful Newington goes to London to search for the magical heirloom of her house. But as no well-bred young lady can hunt the metropolis for a stolen jewel, she has to disguise herself as a man, and is soon caught up in a dangerous adventure where she must risk her life, her reputation…and her heart.

Balancing twin roles as a young lady coming out in her first season and as an intrepid young man up against an evil sorceress isn’t easy, but Truthful has to manage it. Her father’s life and even the fate of England may depend upon her recovering the Newington Emerald!

Read Sarah McDuling’s review here.

Order your copy of Newt’s Emerald here and for a limited time receive a signed copy!

BOOK REVIEW: Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix (review by Sarah McDuling

unnamedWhat do you get when you combine Regency Romance with Gaslamp Fantasy and toss in a healthy dose of light-hearted humour and rollicking adventure?

You get Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix, without doubt the most charming book I have read in AGES! Seriously. Why don’t more people write books like this?

An intrepid young lady, a dashing young hero, a stolen emerald with magical powers, kidnappings, French spies, adventures on the high seas and best of all … an enchanted moustache!

What all this adds up to is a shining example of one of my most favourite sub-genres – the ever so elusive ‘Fantasy of Manners’.

Books like this are just so hard to find!

Newt’s Emerald introduces readers to a plucky young heroine named Truthful who has disguised herself a man in order to recover a stolen family heirloom with magical properties. She is aided in her quest by her aged relative  (definitely my favourite character in the book) Lady Badgery – an imperious old woman with a sword hidden in her walking stick. After donning her disguise, Truthful meets a handsome young man calling himself “Major Hartnett” and what ensues is a magical frolic though a reimagined of version of Regency England.

As a devoted Georgette Heyer fan I’m constantly on the look out for books that boast that same brand of lively romance mingled with sparkling humour and old-world charm. The magical twist in Newt’s Emerald is an added bonus and places it amongst my absolute favourite ‘Fantasy of Manners’ reads – alongside Patricia C. Wrede’s A Matter of Magic and Mary Robinette Kowal’s Shades of Milk and Honey and Kiersten White’s Illusions of Fate.

An absolute must read for fans of all the above listed titles, as well as lovers of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen (and for fans of Garth Nix, of course!) – Newt’s Emerald is a high-spirited and playful romp guaranteed to enchant and delight!

Grab your copy of Newt’s Emerald here

Have you won $500 worth of Euro Crime or the ENTIRE DISCWORLD SERIES?

To celebrate the release of The Girl in the Spider’s Web, written by David Lagercrantz, and The Shepherd’s Crown, released after the passing of Terry Pratchett, we gave Booktopians the chance to win $500 of Euro Crime and THE ENTIRE DISCWORLD SERIES, worth $800!

Here’s what you had to do to enter…


99780857053503_The_Girl_in_the_Spider's_Web_large_promo_banner17072017

All you had to do to enter was order The Girl in the Spider’s Web, by August 27th!

isbn9780857053503The Girl in the Spider’s Web (as created by Stieg Larsson)

Millennium : Book 4

by David Lagercrantz, George Goulding (Transcribed by), Stieg Larsson (Created by)

She is the girl with the dragon tattoo. Lisbeth Salander. An uncompromising misfit whose burning sense of injustice and talent for investigation will never respect boundaries of state or status.

He is a campaigning journalist. Mikael Blomkvist. A lone wolf whose integrity and championing of the truth bring him time and again to the brink of unemployment – and prosecution.

The call comes in late at night: a superhacker has gained access to more…

…and the winner is:

M.Wykoff, Bayview, NSW


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All you had to do to enter was order The Shepherd’s Crown, by August 27th!

The Shepherd’s Crownxthe-shepherd-s-crown.jpg.pagespeed.ic.L9bJJIDgGB

Discworld Novels : Book 41

by Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry Pratchett’s final Discworld novel.

Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.

This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.

As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must more…

…and the winner is:

G.Tavendale, Trevallyn, TAS


Congratulations to the winners!

Missed out on the prize? Hey, turn that frown upside up, we’ve got so much more up for grabs, not to mention limited editions signed copies and 2 for 1 offers!

Head to our Promotions and Competitions page, where you could be a winner every day!

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