Tag Archives: Young Adult/New Adult

Vanguard, by Ann Aguirre

17 Aug

Please be advised: back in 2009, I was Ms Aguirre’s virtual assistant, for about ten months. I was also one of the first beta readers for Razorland, the manuscript that became Enclave, the first novel set in this world.

Despite how much I like Ms Aguirre’s work, I have not reviewed any of the novels in the series, or anything else by her written or published after 2008, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Given that said relationship, as well as my beta reading any of her work, ended about eight years ago, I decided I would review this novel, no matter what. Keep in mind that we are still friendly online.

I was lucky to get an ARC about three weeks ago; I really wanted to publish this review on release day, but…well, you know what happens to plans.

Caveat: there is some violence on the page, as well as violence in most of the characters’ past.

Vanguard, by Ann Aguirre

This story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is recovering from, basically, a zombie plague. (Except these are not truly zombies.)

If you have not read the Razorland books, you will definitely have questions about what happened before, especially because there are repeated references to past events, by pretty much all characters. You will also have questions because the world is presented with very little background explanation. It’s not hard to extrapolate and come up with your own conclusions as to what brought the world to this point, but if you truly want all the whys and wherefores, you will end up reading the rest of the series.

Which is pretty damned good, so it’s a win-win.

If you are a fan of the Razorland series, you should know that this is not the beginning of a second trilogy; it is not even a direct continuation of the original trilogy. You should also know that Vanguard is told in third person, from three deep points of view. This is Tegan’s story–one I had very much hoped to read since meeting her in the ruins, during the events narrated in Enclave.

Oh, alright; it’s also about Szarok and Morrow, but the best parts are about Tegan.

Here, have a blurb:
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The Year We Fell Down, by Sarina Bowen

13 Feb

The Year We Fell DownI do not believe that I had heard about Sarina Bowen for more than perhaps a week before DAJane posted her (now famous) money back guarantee on this book. Of course, in the face of such enthusiasm, I immediately bought it and then…

Waited for a bit.

Which I regretted pretty much as soon as I started reading it, because it truly was all that–and then some.

But see, it’s new adult and told in first person and with alternating points of view.

As I wail loudly (and more often than I like to admit, these days), I don’t like NA or first person. I don’t like either of those things, not a bit.

I don’t, I don’t, I don’t!

Until, that is, a talented writer shows me how it’s done, and then I inhale three novels and one novella one after the other, barely pausing for things like work or sleep. (Fortunately, I mastered the art of one-handed eating, getting dressed, etc a very long time ago) (because of holding books, you pervs, get your minds out of the gutter)

Where was I? Ah, yes.

I bought it on DAJane’s recommendation, waited a month, inhaled it and then bought the next three books in the series the same day, and proceeded to binge on them. Which brings me to this review.

The Year We Fell Down, by Sarina Bowen

Oh my, the good book noises from this one were pretty epic. I loved both characters, despite the fact that this is NA–and very much NA, as the protagonists are both still in college. The novel starts on ‘move-in day’ in a fictional Ivy League college in Connecticut, from the point of view of our heroine, Corey.

It took me about three pages to be hopelessly into the story, Corey’s stupid ‘hope fairy’ be damned. By the time we met Hartley, half way through the first chapter, I was already all the way into the book, and I didn’t surface until the very last page.

Here’s the blurb, from the author’s website:
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Disjointed thoughts on Harry Potter (not quite a review, frankly)

8 Sep

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneAs I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve been feeling more than a bit nostalgic for happier times, a feeling I indulged by rereading the whole seven Harry Potter books one after the other–no detours, no distractions. (Which, quite frankly, is more of a feat than I remembered–did you know the first US hardcover edition of The Order of the Phoenix is over 800 pages long?)

For anyone left in the world who has not read the books (or seen the movies), what follows is extremely spoiler heavy. Oh, and also extremely critical–and definitely not in the “constructive, bland, meaninglessly polite criticism” way either.

Consider yerself warned!

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