Reviews & Ramblings

Review: The Erasure Initiative by Lili Wilkinson

Published by Allen and Unwin, 4th August, 2020

Gripping and thought provoking from the first page, The Erasure Initiative, will have you on the edge of your seat, determined to find the answers to all of Cecilys questions.

Lili Wilkinson has a way of writing that gives you just enough information to keep you hooked. It is suspenseful and clever. Wilkinson presents us with an endless stream of ethical and moral dilemmas, she makes us question ourselves as well as the characters. It is psychologically gripping.

The Erasure Initiative, keeps you on he edge of your seat, keeps your brain running at a million miles an hour trying to work out what is happening and who is telling the truth. These characters are so complex and throw in the added idea of them having their memories wiped, it adds a layer of unknowing, there is no predictability to them at all.

The ending was bitter sweet. Yes we get to see what is truly behind The Erasure Initiative, the technology and the person behind it. And we get to see Cecily stay true to herself and finally be happy. But it is done in such a way that the reader will forever be guessing, wondering if Cecily made it to her beachside cottage.

The ending was a little anti-climactic. It was evident, pretty early on that none of them were making it off of that island in one piece. I felt as though there was a build up, just for it to all fall apart. Like we were encouraged to think our protagonists might stand a chance. Which is amazing writing on Wilkinsons’ part, but devastating for the reader.

Fast paced and a plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire book. Characters, so complex you won’t know if you love or hate them and an original concept done with incredible flair for psychological thrilling. The Erasure Initiative is a must read.

Thank you so much to the team at Allen & Unwin for sending me out a review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review: Secrets of The Witch

Published 4th August, 2020 by Allen & Unwin

Secrets of the Witch is elegant and enchanting. From the first page we are treated to stunning illustrations and diagrams that immediately draw you into the text.

“Magic is Magic and the only difference (between white and black magic) lies within our intentions and how we choose to use it” p13

Filled to the brim with historical witchiness and definitions, Secrets of The Witch is easy to read and to understand. I love that this book covers the impact of Christianity on magical perceptions and how it has changed the modern view on practicing witchcraft.

From Wicca to Druids, this book has everything for the budding witch or the curious. It is so easy to read and to understand, even though it reads as a history textbook. It makes learning about magical history fun.

The Practical Magic section of this title is incredible. With the medicinal properties of common plants, crystals and their uses, talismans and pendulums.

This was an eye opening, refreshing read. It is written using modern language, making the history of witches and their craft, more accessable to a new generation. The illustrations are haunting and you will lose yourself in their beauty.

Secrets of the Witch is beautifully written and put together. Thank you to Allen and Unwin for sending me out a review copy of this title. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Release Days!, Reviews & Ramblings

Review & Ramblings: Again Again by e. lockhart

Published 2nd June, 2020. Allen & Unwin

Straight away I am reminded why I love books by e. lockhart. The way she pulls words together in an almost prose like style. How she fills them with so much emotion and power. Her style is unique and relevant and current.

Adelaide is such a complex character. And her complexity is written so authentically. She pushes out the vibe of someone gentle, of someone who is so used to experiencing pain and confusion that she thinks being someone happy is more important than being herself. Getting to know Adelaide is a joy.

I like how Jack complements Adelaide. How he calls her on her subtelties. How he sees her, not the persona she puts on. But the person she is inside. How he knows what she wants but he knows himself enough to not enter into something that he can’t handle. Jack is such an intriguing chatacter.

Again Again, is a book that talks about so many heavy subjects, from drug abuse to relationship breakups. And it tackles them so elegantly. We are shown love throughout this book. It feels as though it is the centre of Adelaides world. And why shouldn’t it be.

We see love as it appears to Adelaide. Messy and hard. Neat and organised. Fast and loud. With her whole heart, openly and also hidden deep within. Lockhart has written a book that shows us all aspects of a persons ability to love.

Again Again is a fascinating, coming of age tale, that shows us we aren’t alone when we are thinking of every possible way a conversation can happen, before it happens. It is honest and gritty and definitely a must read.

Thank you so much to the team at Allen and Unwin for sending me out a review copy of this title. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review & Ramblings: Aurora Burning by Kristoff & Kauffman

Published May 2020 by Allen & Unwin

In true Kaufman and Kristoff style, we are thrown back into the world of Squad 312 and it is all action from the get go. Aurora Burning takes off where Aurora Rising ended and the transition between the two is effortless.

At the beginning of Aurora Burning, the reader is provided with a refresher on the characters. I love this idea. It is giving the reader snippets of the characters, what they look like, what they do, their heritage. It gives the reader the perfect refresher before entering the world of Squad 312 again.

No one in the entire galaxy wants this squad of misfits to survive and I am finding that so frustrating. We make it to halfway through the book and there is no clear plot, no path that the squad are following other than survive this, romance that. For those of you who need a more defined plot, just hang on for the ride, it soon sorts itself out.

As I did in Aurora Rising, I love the multiple points of view. I love the additional information it gives us on each character. The way it lets us know them. I was happy to see longer chapters for Zila, this time around. I find her and her story fascinating.
I’m also enjoying Aurora’s new purpose. Her character is evolving and growing but her personality is colder, through learning what being the trigger means, she is losing herself.

I struggled deeply with what Squad 312 did to Kal, I won’t go into details because I want to avoid spoilers. But they didn’t even give him a chance to tell his story. They seemed to forget that he has been there for each of them, they just decided “nope, Kal sucks” in the moment and that was that. Not a fan K&K!

Aurora Burning ends on such a high impact cliff hanger that all of us readers are going to be spinning from until book 3 comes out. The action scenes in this book are fantastic, so detailed and articulate. So much research into solar systems and technology has gone into these books and it shows.

Once again Kristoff and Kauffman have provided us with a high action, sci-fi. Filled with snark, killing and sexy pixie people. Incredibly fast paced and so easy to read, books by these two authors are unlike any you will ever read.

Thank you so much to Allen and Unwin for sending me out a review copy! I loved rejoining the Squad and can’t wait for the next book!

Reviews & Ramblings

Review & Ramblings: Who We Were by B.M. Carroll

Published April 2020 by Viper Books

Right off the bat, Who We Were is engaging and thought provoking. We are immediately thrown into Annabel’s busy life and are shown the first instance of our creepy antagonist.

The chapters are short and punchy, we aren’t locked into a single characters point of view for too long, which keeps the book moving. I love the multiple points of view, it gives the reader more information and back story and gives more chance for an unreliable narrator, which is always an interesting turn of events.

Who We Were encapsulates high school perfectly. How much we, as teenagers ignore our better judgement and go along with things we know we shouldn’t. I’m enjoying meeting the different characters and learning how different they are from their past selves. But some aren’t as different as they think.

The first half of the book allows us to really get to know the characters and their families. Learn about their lives and their secrets, which paves the way for the second half of the book, where our antagonist really comes out to play.

The overarching takeaway from this book is that teenagers are so impressionable, what happens to and around us in those formative years, impacts who we grow up to be. Who We Were encapsulates that so well, shows how as adults, all of these people are still deeply effected by what happened at highschool. And looking back, can any of us say that we weren’t.

The other strong takeaway from this book is the strength of family. That when it comes down to it, they are always there for you. Sometimes in ways like Nick was and sometimes in ways like Izzy was. Family is what makes us strong, gives us a sense of belonging and often shows us where we stand in the world. Carroll has explored these aspects brilliantly in Who We Were.

I enjoyed this almost light, psychological thriller, throughout the book, there was no way to pick who the antagonist was. No real clues, only the characters suspicions, which was refreshingly different to many other adult fiction novels on the market.

Who We Were is fast paced and filled with interesting characters. This book will keep you guessing until the final twenty pages and you won’t be dissappointed. Carroll has written a book about how lives intertwine, how the connections you make growing up can stay with you, long into adulthood. Well written and easy to read, Who We Were is unique and captivating.

Thank you to the publicity team at Allen & Unwin for sending me out a review copy. All thoughts are my own.