Thursday, February 21, 2013

'Til the World Ends by Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre, and Karen Duvall

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen, I got to read this book as an e-galley.  It was the perfect time for a book of short stories, or novellas as they are often called.  This was a pretty good book.  I have to say that I got The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa at BEA last summer (still not sure why I didn't get her to autograph it when I was getting my picture taken with her), and since I haven't read any of her books yet, I've been a bit reluctant, dragging my feet to pick it up.  So when I saw this available on Netgalley, and that the first story was a prequel or 0.5 in the Blood of Eden series, I thought what a great way to see if I want to read on, if the story works, if I like her writing, etc.  Believe it or not, as much as I do love vampire stories, I get very picky and skeptical of new stories.  I mean, people get all up in arms about Twilight vampires sparkling, and yet if you read ANY vampire series, good ones that is, there are all kinds of different aspects based on what that author has written.  And I am a Twilight fan, but also a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, and a Sookie Stackhouse fan, as well as a fan of Anne Rice's vampire series.  So, after reading this book, my next book I've picked up to read on my snow day is The Immortal Rules, that is how good the Dawn of Eden story in this book was.  So here are my reviews of each of the stories below.
As I said, the first story is Dawn of Eden, and in it we meet Kylie, who was in school to be a doctor, but we're not ever told for sure, I don't think she quite completed her education before the plague called Red Lung started taking over.  It's a virus that basically does what the name says.  People get sick, and begin coughing up blood as well as bleeding from other areas.  Kylie is about the only doctor left at one of the few clinics left to help people.  As there is no cure, pretty much they just help the people be comfortable as long as they can.  One night two men come in.  Ben Archer is helping his friend who is bleeding.  Now the wounds look like an animal or a human even attacked him.  And Archer is kind of secretive about what has happened to them, and why he is so paranoid about telling Kylie and the other workers that they need to leave, that it isn't safe there, especially at night.  When his friend dies, the different symptoms he had begin spreading to the other patients, and Kylie learns what may have really caused the Red Lung virus.  And now she is left with just Archer to trust and try to survive against a new creature, part vampire, part zombie it seems.  I loved it!  Can't wait to read the first book!
The second story is by Ann Aguirre, who is the author of the Razorland series, a series I've heard was good, but again, it wasn't at the top of my TBR list.  Now, it is.  I don't see anywhere that this story is related in any way to that series, but I did like the characters and writing, so I know I'll be sure to move it up on my list!  This story is called Thistle and Thorn.  In this futuristic world some kind of chemical disaster has led to all the land being basically unlivable, unless you are one of the rich, powerful people, who build fortress cities to contain their family and friends, and keep their food and such safe.  Outside of the fortresses are places like The Red Zone, where our main character, Mari Thistle lives.  Mari must take care of her younger brother and sister.  And to do this, like her father she is a thief.  Partly because she is very small and agile.  We start the story with her being about to fail her first job ever.  But it almost seems as if she has been set up to fail by the boss of the zone she lives in.  Once in the fortress, she is unable to find her way to her object she is supposed to be stealing, she's been given old plans of the city.  Fortunately someone seems to want to help her, a guy named Thorne Goodman, who is one of the thugs that works for the boss.  But seems Thorne has a grudge he wants to settle, and saving Mari can help him do what he feels needs to be done.  Mari soon grows to somewhat trust Thorne, and hopes that maybe she's inspired him to make some changes if he is ever in a position that he could be in charge of the zones.  Another good story, which likable characters, and moves the books up my TBR list!  Well, once I get copies of them that is.
And the 3rd and final story, Sun Storm, is by Karen Duvall.  I've not heard of her before, and while this story was okay, don't know that I'll necessarily search out to read her other books, from the list of them on Goodreads anyway.  I definitely liked the "science" aspect of this future world.  The sun has basically begun having solar flares and storms bigger than any in the history of the Earth.  So bad they've basically destroyed the atmosphere of Earth.  Millions of people have died from a sun fever, a few who have been exposed to the flares survive, and develop powers, like our main character Sarah.  Sarah can now predict when a nearby storm is going to occur and she can go and warn those towns to try to save lives.  She was unable to save her mother who died, or her father who is still in the hospital where Sarah lives and works helping the doctors when she is not out warning of storms.  The interesting thing about Sarah's family is that they actually used to be storm chasers before all this happened, and so she has in a way continued that with her advance notice.  One day she meets a guy named Ian Matthews at the hospital, and soon learns that he too has a power.  He is able to control the weather.  He can cause the wind to blow, he can take water from a source like underground, lake, etc., and cause rain.  But he is a bit different and secretive.  Turns out there was a federal agent that had tried to "capture" him and use his power.  There was some story saying that they needed one more after him in order to stop the solar storms and even save the world.  And Sarah has a strange attraction to Ian.  More than just being interested in someone like her, it is an actual physical pull.  She can get power and energy from him.  And together, they can actually do more.  But now they must run to try to get away from this bad agent, and try to discover if there really is some way that together they can save the world.  This was a good story, took a bit for me to get into it, but once I did, I enjoyed it.  I just don't know if any of this author's other books sound like ones I want to read.  I'd love to see more like this from her.
Definitely pick up this book and read it if you like futuristic, apocalyptic types of stories.  I definitely recommend all three stories!  And now, I'm off to read The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa and enjoy my snow day!

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