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Monday, 22 June 2015

COVER REVEAL AND GIVEAWAY! Forsworn: The Last Oracle by Emily Wibberley

Forsworn: The Last Oracle Book II
Author: Emily Wibberley
Release Date:  July 21st, 2015


Clio can see the future, but what she doesn’t know about her past could destroy her.

It’s been a year since Clio made her sacrifice to the Deities and embraced her destiny as the Oracle to save her people.

The only family she has left is a brother who wants her dead.
The prince, her oldest friend, is a king with his own agenda.
And the man who once loved her, now hates her.

All she can do is try to forget about Riece, the enemy commander whose heart she broke to save his life, as she serves the Deities. Her days are filled with Visions and bloodshed in a never-ending war against the Untouched. To add to her problems, she must pose as King Derik’s mistress to conceal her forbidden powers from the Emperor’s spies.

When Riece unexpectedly returns to Sheehan with a new and beautiful ally, Clio knows she must put him out of her mind once and for all, but first, they are thrust together into battle against a mysterious Untouched warrior with otherworldly power. To reclaim her city, she must team up with the man she hurt, the man she still loves but can never be with, and finally confront the questions about her origin—questions with answers that Clio may not be prepared to face.

The highly anticipated sequel to the award-winning novel Sacrificed (The Last Oracle, Book 1) heralded as a “Must-Read Romantic Fantasy” by

My Five-Star Review of the first book: Sacrificed: The Last Oracle.



The hallways had never felt so small before, never so stifling. Clio could hardly catch her breath as she sped down the corridors toward Riece’s old chambers. 
She needed to find out what the symbol meant. She had no choice but to go to Riece. She would just have to keep her feelings out of it.
Before she could argue herself out of her thin conclusions, she found herself standing at Riece’s door. She knocked once, quietly, almost hoping Riece wouldn’t hear, wouldn’t invite her in. 
“Come in,” he said almost distractedly from within.She stepped inside and found him seated on a small bench, sharpening the edge of a small dagger. His cloak lay folded at his side, and his chest was left bare except for the smudged lines of his warrior ink. Happily, there was no sign that the princess was around. Perhaps Clio had imagined everything between them. 
“Of course. It’s you,” Riece said without glancing at her. 
“You changed your hair.” He put aside his dagger and looked up at her. “Black. It seems like every time I see you, it’s a different color. Fitting, I suppose. Goes with your capricious nature.” 
“Capricious? That’s a pretty big word for you, Commander. You sure you know what it means?” 
He laughed bitterly, and for some reason Clio felt the familiar itch in her skin that could only ever be soothed with a fight. 
He was suddenly serious. “It means ever-changing. Isn’t that why you haven’t wed the king? Has he, too, grown tired of your fickle heart?” His eyes mirrored the hate in his tone. 
He had never looked at her with such antipathy before, and Clio’s blood flooded her cheeks. “Of course not,” she snapped. 
“No?” He rose and advanced toward her. “Then you’ve some other reason?” 
He was far too close, and Clio was having trouble thinking straight. 
“We’ve been at war, hardly the time for nuptials. And—” she stammered. This close, she could tell that Riece was much larger than he had been a year ago. The muscles in his shoulders shifted and bulged with the slightest movement of his neck. 
“And?” he prompted. 
“And someone had to defend this city after you took your army, to what? Rescue some princess?” She spat the words at him. 
Riece’s eyes sparkled with silent laughter. “So that’s the reason for this delightful visit. You’re jealous. Well, you have no right to be.” 
“I’m not jealous,” Clio protested. 
“No? Because my remembering of this,” he gestured to the two of them, “was that you used me so you could get back to your beloved king. You made your true feelings perfectly clear.” His look had darkened, and his jaw tightened with restrained fury. 
She would have preferred a slap to the way he was looking at her. “You’re right,” she admitted. 
Riece’s gaze bored into her, but what he looked to find, she couldn’t say. 
“Why are you really here, Clio?” he finally sighed, exasperated. 
To tell you that I’ve dreamt about you every night for a year, she wanted to scream. “I need you to look at something.” 
“Ordering me around so soon?” His lips quirked up in a grin that didn’t travel to his eyes.


Emily Wibberley grew up in the South Bay where she spent her formative years battling zombies on her Xbox, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and voraciously reading everything from The Hunger Games to Jane Austen, where her love for feisty young heroines was born.

After graduating from Princeton University Magna Cum Laude in 2014, she began writing. Her debut novel, Sacrificed, was named a finalist in the Young Adult category of the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards, in the Young Author category of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and in the 2015 International Book Awards. Since its release, Sacrificed has spent more than four months as a Kindle Top Ten Teen and Young Adult Bestseller.

When she isn't reading the latest YA book, she enjoys watching kick-butt action movies with her two rescue German Shepherds, Hudson and Bishop, named after characters from James Cameron's Aliens.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram |


1 winner will get a signed paperback copy of Sacrificed – Open INT – Giveaway is scheduled for June 22nd.

The Martian by Andy Weir

Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Published: February 13, 2014
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre: Sci-Fi

I'm stranded on Mars.
I have no way to communicate with Earth.
I'm in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.
If the Oxygenator breaks down, I'll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I'll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I'll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I'll eventually run out of food and starve to death.
So yeah. I'm screwed.


I really, really enjoyed this book. I hope they do it justice when the Film comes out.

I fully expected this to be a boring narration of one mans depressing time stranded on an alien planet. I was sure it would be full of morose soliloquies and fantastical, unrealistic imaginings of how he survives and, eventually, gets himself home.

Instead, I got Mark Watney. Mark Watney is my Hero.


The book is split between Mark's logs and a narrative of what is happening back on Earth. Normally, I tend to favour one POV over the other when this is the case, but not this time. I enjoyed both POVs equally and loved every character that came along, even those who only made a pit-stop appearance. Particularly Mark's Ares 3 crew-mates. Martinez, you're the man! 

Mark's personality is wonderful, and I don't think this book could have worked as well as it did if Mark had been any other kind of person. He's optimistic, intelligent, realistic, brave, incredibly funny and very much all-or-nothing. Mark's can-do attitude and restless need to do everything he can to save himself really keeps you rooting for him through-out the book. You can't help but like Mark Watney.


The story itself is great; its the story of how one mans plight manages to bring an entire world together to try to get him home. It's heart-warming. It's how you hope the world would react to a situation like this. It's how you want the world to react to every situation. 

It's a very technical story. There is a lot of science in this book - funnily enough, that's probably why it comes under Science Fiction. A lot of the science went completely over my head, and it did eventually come to the point that as soon as I realised that I wasn't going to understand whatever it was that Mark was trying to explain, I started to skim read until we got back to more comfortable ground for me - this is where the book loses a star, as far as I'm concerned. But there was actually so much to learn in this book.


It turns out that there is a hell of a lot about this book that is technically accurate, as far as it can be. I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of research that must have gone into this book. Andy Weir, you are a trooper.

This book had me smiling and laughing and frustrated and gripping the edge of my kindle in suspense. It had it all.

But the thing that really makes this book? The humour. Oh God, the humour is incredible ...
"[11:49] JPL: What we can see of your planned cut looks good. We’re assuming the other side is identical. You’re cleared to start drilling.
[12:07] Watney: That’s what she said.
[12:25] JPL: Seriously, Mark? Seriously?"

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Published: April 12, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Historical Fiction

Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.
Achilles, ‘best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper — despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.
Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.
Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart. 


I would like to say in all seriousness: This is now my favourite book.

I've been trying to figure out what to say in this review for a few days now, and I just can't? This book destroyed me.

This book was meant for me.

I remember the first time I ever saw this book was in an airport. It can't have been very long after it was published because this was only about 3-4 years ago, and I was on my way to visit my Father in the UK. I hadn't even read the blurb, but I had decided I wanted this book. I knew I was going to love it. I wanted to buy it! But, as my Mother pointed out, I already had enough books to read whilst I was away - I could get the book when we got back.

I didn't get the book when I got back. I ended up getting it on Kindle years later, and then put off reading it for months.

Why? I don't know. I love all things Ancient History - more than anything, the Ancient Greeks. This is exactly my kind of thing. I remember having this same love affair with Mary Renault's The Alexander Trilogy. So I honestly don't know why I waited until now to read this book.

Do I regret that I waited this long? Absolutely not. It might only be a matter of 3-4 years, but I would never have appreciated this book then, the way I do now.

The Song of Achilles is the story of the illustrious Achilles Peleides, Aristos Achaion. More than that, it's the story of what made him human in spite of being half-god. The book is told from the narrative of Patroclus Menotiades, an exiled prince, who comes to the court of King Peleus, and there meets the second half of his soul.

Miller has obviously followed Plato's interpretation of their relationship here. Contrary to major movies starring Brad Pitt, Achilles and Patroclus were not cousins. They were not remotely related. There is no definitive answer to the question of 'were they lovers?' but I like to think they were. There's enough evidence out there for me, and certainly Homer doesn't make it explicit, but you cannot deny the way, aside from it's depth, in which Achilles grieves - refusing to burn Patroclus' body, keeping it in his tent and weeping over it - provides pretty compelling evidence.

Anyway ...

What I really love about this book? The fact that it's told from Patroclus' narrative. This was a genius stroke by Miller. It certainly wouldn't have been anywhere near as good if it had been told from an impersonal third person, or even from Achilles point of view. How could you possibly relate to someone who was half-god? But to the poor mortal who loved him? That you can relate to. Almost everyone will have had that experience of thinking someone divine through the force of your feelings for them. The only difference here, is Achilles really is of the divine.

Patroclus is the relateable outcast. He's not a loser by any means, but he's just not a warrior in a culture where the true measure of a man is in his ability to be one, surrounded as they are by stories of heroes and gods. So far in that the divinities are real characters in this book: Thetis, Achilles' mother; Chiron, Centaur and teacher; and cameos by Apollo and minor Gods. The addition of these characters adds a sense of magic, whilst maintaining a sense of realism. You feel that it is quite feasible that they existed once, and that they did play a part in this story.

The Story of Achilles is one that is recognised the world over, and the name of Achilles is synonymous with the name Troy. But that's not what this book is about. This book is a love story. It's the story of two best friends growing up, learning to love each other, discovering their world together and their willingness to sacrifice for the sake of their love.The depth of the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus is what really sets this book apart from all the other re-tellings of the Illiad.

If you only read one book this year, make it this one. 

Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Title: The Witch Hunter
Author: Virginia Boecker
Published: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Genre: Fantasy

Witches, watch out... Half Bad meets Kill Bill in this incredible new supernatural series.
Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Grey doesn't look dangerous. A tiny, blonde, wisp of a girl shouldn't know how to poison a wizard and make it look like an accident. Or take out ten necromancers with a single sword and a bag of salt. Or kill a man using only her thumb. But things are not always as they appear. Elizabeth is one of the best witch hunters in Anglia and a member of the king's elite guard, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and bringing those who practice it to justice. And in Anglia, the price of justice is high: death by burning.
When Elizabeth is accused of being a witch herself, she's arrested and thrown in prison. The king declares her a traitor and her life is all but forfeit. With just hours before she's to die at the stake, Elizabeth gets a visitor - Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in Anglia. He offers her a deal: he will free her from prison and save her from execution if she will track down the wizard who laid a deadly curse on him.
As Elizabeth uncovers the horrifying facts about Nicholas's curse and the unwitting role she played in its creation, she is forced to redefine the differences between right and wrong, friends and enemies, love and hate... and life and death.
The first book in an incredible new series set in a fantastical medieval world. 


Wow, guys, this was a really fun.

Elizabeth Grey is part of an elite force of Witch Hunters in medieval Anglia when her life starts to go horribly wrong. Found in possession of witch's herbs, she is sentenced to death by her own mentor and thrown into Fleet prison. Desolate and alone, Elizabeth is sure she is on the verge of death when she is given a last minute reprieve by Nicholas Perevil, a wizard and the most wanted man in Anglia. Suddenly, she now finds herself in hiding with a motley crew of witches and wizards (and a recalcitrant ghost)- none of whom know about her previous position as a witch hunter- and in the midst of a prophecy that she doesn't want any part of but cannot help being caught up in.

This was an incredibly enjoyable and addictive read; I couldn't put it down. The writing is strong, clear and immersive, the world building is first class and the characters are interesting and well-fleshed out.

I can understand some people's concerns regarding the Harry Potter connection given that the story centers around Witches but this is nothing like Harry Potter. Although, Nicholas does have something Dumbledore-y about him. But I can honestly say, this is completely different from the Harry Potter series.

I think one of the things I liked most about this book was that you didn't spend ages trying to force your way through the beginning of the book whilst the author did the necessary world building. Things get crazy pretty fast and you learn everything you need to along the way. BUT there's no info dumps either. It's seamlessly done.

I loved Elizabeth as a character. She's exactly the kind of plucky, prickly female MC that I usually hate, but there's something really different about her. She hasn't had an easy life and she's had some pretty horrific things happen to her. I love the way Boecker uses Elizabeth as a device to address the ideals regarding innocence in women and I love that regardless of the horrors that Elizabeth has faced, she doesn't allow them to rule her life nor do they become a constant feature of her thoughts throughout the book. The pity train can only be ridden for so long before it becomes painfully annoying, but with Elizabeth this trip is short and pain-free.

The supporting cast is equally fantastic. I love Elizabeth's relationship with John and the antagonistic friendship that she picks up with George. It was great watching her friendship with Fifer blossom, and Fifer in and of herself was a very entertaining character to read. Blackwell inspires all of the hatred and anger that he's supposed to, and Caleb - well, the less said about him, the better!

This whole thing was just really well done. I can't wait for the second book.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Title: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Published: September 29, 2011
Publisher: Headline
Genre: Fantasy

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together. 

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell. 

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.


DNF at 40%...

This book made me very, very angry.

The Good. 

- Well written (albeit she does like the sound of her own voice).
- Deborah Harkness is well researched.

The Bad 

Diana Bishop - She tries too hard to be an "independent woman" to the point where she comes across as rude and immature. It's okay to let a man open a door for you. In fact, Diana's insistence that she's capable of opening doors (or in fact, doing anything) on her own is invalidating Matthew's attempts at being a nice person

This is a massive issue for me in books with "strong women". I'm all for being an independent woman who doesn't need a man in her life. Yes, women are more than capable of doing the same things as men. Yes, I fully approve of a character which demonstrates this fact. When that character makes a habit of pointing this fact out, I start to get annoyed. Allowing men to do things for you doesn't make you any less capable, nor does it make you any less of a feminist. Throwing their attempts back in their face does make you an arsehole, however. 

Diana Bishop has to be the most repugnant character I have ever come across.


Matthew Clairmont - Insta-love? Good Lord ... I can't really make much comment on the possessive/obsessive/needy nature of his feelings for Diana because it's a by-product of his vampiricism, but urgh. Most women like an Alpha male. Most women like the idea of their man being that eensy bit possessive, because they like to think that their man cares about them enough to want to protect them. Matthew takes possessive to the limit, and it's bad. It comes across as needy and clingy and it's just all a lot a bit cringe-worthy. Do not like.


Irrelevant Information Overload - I don't care that Matthew writes with a Montblanc Meisterstuck Mechanical pencil. I don't care what wines he likes to drink; I really do not need Harkness to give me a name and vintage every single time. I don't care how often Diana goes running/rowing. This book reads like a journal of her naps. Irrelevant, boring scenes that add nothing to the story because they don't advance the plot in any way. Repetitive, conceited inner-monologues that make me wish Diana Bishop was a real person so I could hunt her down and burn her at the stake.


Pretentious - Deborah Harkness tries so hard to prove to us just how very clever she is. She tries far, far too hard. I am far from impressed by her mensa-candidate characters, fact-dumps, use of multiple languages for her characters, obscure medieval poetry quotes. She spends pages and pages explaining how Diana conducts her research and how she documents her observations and findings on manuscripts she's looking at in the Oxford Bodleian Library, and yes, we're all very impressed that you're an Historian, Deborah, but, apparently, not as much as you are. 


Wishful Thinking - I don't even want to start on the obvious wish fulfillment that is the character Diana Bishop who is an historian of science with blond hair. And, oh, look! So is Deborah Harkness. Isn't that amazing? She made herself the main character/mary-sue/heroine/love interest of the extremely hunky vampire.


Length of book - The book is unnecessarily long. I mean, on the romance side of things, the pacing is ok - a bit fast for my tastes, but it wasn't an insta-relationship (even if it was insta-love-on-first sight). But as far as plot goes? Everything we learn in the 40% I read could have easily been condensed into the first 15%.

I got to the point with this book that I didn't even care about the plot anymore. Harkness had successfully bored and annoyed me to the point where I completely forgot there was a plot and that I should care about what was happening.

Okay, okay, I need to stop now and sort out my blood pressure.

Like I said, this book made me angry. I do not recommend.

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Title: Golden Son (Red Rising #2)
Author: Pierce Brown
Published: Januray 6, 2015
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Genre: Sci-Fi

Ender's Game meets The Hunger Games in this, the second in an extraordinary trilogy from an incredible new voice.
'I'm still playing games. This is just the deadliest yet.'
Darrow is a rebel forged by tragedy. For years he and his fellow Reds worked the mines, toiling to make the surface of Mars inhabitable. They were, they believed, mankind's last hope. Until Darrow discovered that it was all a lie, and that the Red were nothing more than unwitting slaves to an elitist ruling class, the Golds, who had been living on Mars in luxury for generations.
In RED RISING, Darrow infiltrated Gold society, to fight in secret for a better future for his people. Now fully embedded amongst the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his dangerous work to bring them down from within. It's a journey that will take him further than he's ever been before - but is Darrow truly willing to pay the price that rebellion demands?
Hic sunt leones.
A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart,Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown's growing status as one of fiction's most exciting new voices.




These books are beyond incredible. Pierce Brown, take a bow.


I got this book straight after I finished Red Rising, and then I froze. I couldn't do it. I couldn't start this book. I was scared. What if it didn't live up? What if this book was an acute sufferer of Second Book Syndrome? How would I cope? So I put it off. And put it off. And put it off. Then, I couldn't put it off anymore because I kept thinking about Red Rising. Yes, it was that good. I had a book hang-over for weeks. So I sucked it up and started Golden Son.


This book picks up about 2-3 years after the last one left off. Darrow is now 20 years old and on the verge of becoming a Praetor. On the verge. Then everything goes to shit. Really, this is the only way I can describe the plot, because there really is no other way. It defies explanation and the only way you will understand is if you read this book. Which you need to do. Everyone needs to read this book.

I love how brutal Brown is with his characters. One thing that really, really bugs me about a lot of characters in this type of book is how "noble" they are. They don't want to get their hands dirty. When confronted with a really difficult decision, they chicken out. They are the crux of a world-saving, revolutionary force, nearly everything is riding on them, but in a "their-life-or-yours" decision which could potentially destroy everything they have been working for, they can't go through with the plan. They always back out and save the other person's life, and then, somehow, miraculously escape. Brown does not do this. Darrow knows how important his position is, and Darrow has absolutely no problems with doing whatever he feels necessary in order to keep that mission alive.

He is the ultimate MC. I have NEVER come across an MC that I like anywhere near as much as I like Darrow au Andromedus. Not even Harry Potter, and I'm sure everyone knows how much I fucking adore Harry Potter. No, Darrow blows that completely out of the water. He's incredible. He's intelligent, confident, and ruthless. What's not to like?

I don't know what else I can say that's not going to spoil this book for those who haven't read it? So, so much happens and I feel like everything I want to say would give something away. So I won't.

What I will say is: THAT FUCKING ENDING, THOUGH?! George R.R. Martin, take your Red Wedding and stand aside. 

I did not see it coming until it was too late. Pierce Brown is a master story teller.

I have no idea what to expect from the next book, but I know what I'd like to happen:

"If your heart beats like a drum,
and your leg’s a little wet,
it’s ‘cause the Reaper’s come
to collect a little debt."

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Title: Red Rising (Red Rising #1)
Author: Pierce Brown
Published: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Genre: Sci-Fi

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity's last hope.
Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it's all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.
Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda.


I want to say it's been a long time since I came across a book that deserves the hype it's been given, but I can't - but that's only because I've been reading a lot of awesome books lately. This is definitely another book that deserves it's hype.

Do you know what this book did?


I've had this on my Kindle since the beginning of the month and I kept putting it off and putting it off and putting it off. The more I read the blurb, the more I started to think that this was going to be a complete Snoozefest.


I'll be the first to admit, the world building does take some commitment - especially the lingo - which, for the first few chapters I did cringe at a bit - but Pierce Brown does it all in such a way that it isn't boring and it isn't just pages and pages of info-dumping. You go straight into the story and it all becomes a part of it; it's very naturally done.

I struggled a bit with the narrative and Brown's writing style for a while in the beginning. Short sentences, minimal descriptions and at times, things could be very abrupt. However, once I had gotten used to this, I realised just how much I liked it and how much it adds to the book. Besides, there's so much happening that the book would have been 5-times longer if it hadn't been like that.

Ok, I need to put this one down now. The Ancient Rome influence and parallels definitely bumps it up immeasurably for me. I love that shit. I never went to University, but if i had, it would have been to study Ancient History. Love me some Greeks and Romans.

Darrow was incredible. As a character he's what you look for as a reader: Everything you wish you could be, and yet undeniably flawed. He's still human (I think). He lets himself get carried away, he makes mistakes, he can't help himself at times. But he's strong, and intelligent and cunning. He knows how the game is played and doesn't shy away from it in the way that a lot of Dystopian Heroes and Heroins tend to do. He does some horrific things, faces hard decisions and makes bad choices. It's gritty, and morally ambiguous and I love it!


Pierce tackles some gritty topics, too. Most notably inequality and racism, the breakdown of civilization, society and morality during times of war and the corruptability of power and what lengths people are willing to go in order to gain or maintain it. And he does this through a host of characters who have more dimensions than, I think, a single read can really convey. I can already tell, this is one of those books which is going to give you something new to think about every time you re-read it. And re-read it I will.