Book Review

Moon Reads: The Wolf and the Water

The Wolf and the Water by Josie Jaffrey

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Read before: No

Ownership: A free review copy was provided by the author. I have read two of her series previously so I knew I wanted to read this book regardless. This doesn’t change the review of influence it at all.

Spoiler free review: Yes

Series: Deluge #1

Content warnings: There is a variety of abuse and violence, murder, poisoning, ableism and a few other -isms, basically this is not a cosy book but rather brutal.

It took me a while to get to this book because Josie usually builds this incredibly intricate world so I knew I had to have the brain space for it and last year was not the right time. However, I started reading before work and waking up earlier and this was one of those books read in the early hours of the day at my leisure.

I struggled to get into it a little bit because there is a lot going on and it basically starts with finding Kala’s dad dead in the library, and knowing that it means her mother will have to remarry and that due to her limp and deformity of her leg, she may be cast out.

But it looks like her father was murdered and as Kala tries her best to adjust to a very fast remarriage, a new family to share the tribe with and a “brother” that is kind and actually treats her like a “normal” person (the people in the world think she is deformed and bad luck and a variety of bad things and therefore consider Kala lesser than even if she is of nobility)., things start getting very complicated fast.

What starts in a way fast paced, slows down just a little bit to give you a panorama of what Kala’s life is like and then it picks right up coming to a festival and Kala’s life becoming more and more in danger in a bad way. Maybe the person who murdered her father is also out for her? And what about the secrets that caused her father to die, can she unravel them and leverage them for her safety before someone ensures her silence?

Overall this is like amurder mystery in a brutal society from the point of view of someone slightly in the privileged nobility but still not considered one of them because she is too different and “not right”. I liked the interesting contrasts between characters, their situations and what causes them to make certain decisions.

As you get to the last third of the book there is a lot of new reveals happening so there is a lot to keep up with but it means you will not want to let go of the book and just finish. I ended up reading the last few pages through a couple of dead “inbetween meetings” kinda five minutes or so and I was glad to do so as it was worth getting to that ending.

Book Review

Moon Reads: The Key To Fear

The Key To Fear by Kristin Cast

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Short disclaimer first, I received a copy of the book for free from the publisher so I could be part of the blog tour and provide a review (I only read hard copies). This doesn’t change or influence my opinion except maybe it adds a book I may not have considered if it hadn’t been brought up to me for consideration.

Now to the actual blog tour review, because apparently I have lived under a rock and hadn’t read any of Kristin’s books before so this a new author to me and new stories to read.

This is a book a little outside of my usual books but not something I wouldn’t have read when I was younger. It is a dystopia with romance and a lot of finding yourself, being a rebel and just figuring things out. When I heard the premise I immediately was of two minds, it could be quite interesting to read or too close to the present (this is basically post-pandemic semi dystopia where the Key control the areas and have brought technology to help combat this ugly virus, plus genetic modifications, so it isn’t fully dystopia but really close and touching is a no-no). Thankfully, it was done well and it only barely reminded me of the present situation (needing that escape sometimes is key and I didn’t want to try and enjoy a story that was too close to real life and therefore not a different place).

We meet our main characters, Elodie and Aiden, and Blair. I have to say that Elodie at first frustrated me a little, but as the story goes, I warmed up to her and she provided a good panorama to a relatively cushioned life under the Key even if she isn’t aware of how protected she has been up to now by not questioning the rules and having family in the right places (but also, she doesn’t know how fragile the balance is).

Then we have Aiden, who is not fitting in well with how the Key want him to integrate into society and is on the last chance to be able to do something with his life (because in this world you’re matched to your partner, and you have your career chosen after taking some tests, nothing or barely anything is left to chance, and even old books and stories are banned). And then Blair who is the side that wants to move up the ranks inside the Key and to do more, achieve and not lose power are her intense desires.

I have to say that overall I enjoyed the story and was curious as to what would come. I think it dragged a little to try to make it into more than one book (I didn’t realise it wasn’t a standalone until I saw how much of the book was left and how little actual action ahd happened). But the dragging of the plot does provide a good setting and background. However, I do think the plot could’ve gone further if we had skipped the story bits Elodie reads (those I definitely did not like and would skim read).

Still, it was interesting to see how touch had been banned, the webs of lies and how people manipulate or rise through ranks and amke their place by “following rules” without ever questioning and calling themselves loyal. Yet at the same time, that position is always so fragile even if the players do not know it.

So, what’s the prospect? If you are a fan of the young adult fiction from 5-10 years ago, this is the book for you. It has that vibe with a fresher look, like when a trend comes back, and it ha some interesting concepts of technology, power and characters, and now I am very curious as to what actually happens next and what is in Zone Seven.

Book Review, Books

Jelly Review

Jelly by Clare Rees

After a traumatic event that no one can talk about or even quite remember, they’re stuck on a giant killer jellyfish, tantalisingly close to the shore and safety. They’ve had enough of it. They’ve decided that they’re either going to escape, or die trying.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

This book was a wild ride. I got my copy as an early copy at YALC but only read it recently. Woops!

The premise is that there was a devastating event that caused giant jellyfish to spawn near land, water levels raised, and some odd creatures have taken to land chasing humanity to potentially almost extintion.

Our main cast is a bunch of ragtag people, with some crazy ones, some daring ones, some older ones and a few teenagers. Main character is Martha, who is bored and tired of living on top of a giant jellyfish. And it isn’t that they haven’t tried jumping off the edge of the jellyfish and swim. Somehow the jellyifhs just grabs them with a tentacle and puts them back on the top.

The book takes you through them finding some hope that maybe there is another way of escaping or at least a way of stopping the jellyfish from catching them and returning them to it. At the same time you learn about their normal “routine” (or as normal as can be given the circumstances).

The book to me was divided itno two parts, one ont he jellyfish and one off it. The second part felt quite rushed and confusing compared to the first, which is why it didn’t rate as well for me. It felt choppy and less worked on. But the premise of maybe being stuck in the ocean/sea and having to cope with strange circumstances and the world changing due to climate change, is quite interesting though I certainly hope we do not get giant jellyfish that like keeping us as pets on top of them.

Book Review

The Gilded King Review

20180917_180250.jpg

The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

Rating:MoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book really pulled some punches on me. Starting with the fact at first I just couldn’t get into Cam’s chapters as much and part of me wanted to get through with them to go back to Julia’s.

And then all of a sudden I felt completely the opposite and I wanted more Cam chapters than Julia’s.

Not that either was bad, but more that at times one was more intriguing to me than the other. The concept of The Silvers/Nobles/Izcacus/etc is neat and I like that even a little bit of Lestat was into this book. They don’t glitter (yes!, thousand times yes!) and they are in a much more futuristic setting rather than going to the past or the present/contemporary.

Instead you have an intriguing dystopia that keeps you asking questions and trying to figure out which side is right, why are they doing what they are doing, and who exactly is right and wrong in their assumptions. I breezed through it and really loved. Then I realised that the next one isn’t out yet (why are you doing this to me world?!).

Moon Recommends

So, I guess my advice this time is to buy this one, preorder A Bargain in Silver and go curl up into a ball until it comes out and you can read more about Emmy.