Today I’m reviewing my chosen book from the second batch of books. For the SPFBO I split my books into 6 batches of 5 with the aim of choosing one favourite book from each and then to pick an overall winner from those final 6. When I wrote my original update for the second set of books I had two potential books that I wanted to continue to read: Unwilling Souls by Gregory D Little and Vergence by John March. I’ve revisited both these books now and read further and having done so my book choice from batch No.2 is Unwilling Souls and today’s post is my review of that book.
I originally had a bit of a slow start to Unwilling Souls and in fact in my original post I mentioned that I had a few niggles but as I read on the author managed to iron most of those out and did a good job of keeping my attention in what turned into a very enjoyable read with a complex and unique world.
At the start of the story we make the acquaintance of Ses Lucani. Ses is being trained to forge wrightings, tools that help to keep imprisoned the Gods that were banished many years earlier. She lives at the core of the planet, a strange hollowed out cavernous place where the gravitational pull seems to be more akin to what you would expect in outer space. As the story commences Ses is forced to flee the prison after a terrorist attack throws suspicion on her. Ses is the daughter of two powerful people. Put in very simple terms her father is the iconic leader of a terrorist network and her mother is one of the top officials of the centrality which basically means they are on opposing sides and when her parentage comes to light obviously Ses falls under suspicion.
On the run Ses returns to the home of her grandfather but finding that this is unsafe she is forced to move on and seek out the parents who have, for most of her life, denied her existence. Ses has a dangerous road to travel, pursued by the government and a host of their operatives, attacked by cultists and befriended by a boy from a shady network her adventure is going to go a little wild and she will encounter revelations, home truths and treachery along the way.
This is an intriguing world and one that I would definitely like to revisit. I don’t think I fully have a grip of everything, even now at the conclusion of the story, but I think that’s because there is quite a lot going on and the author has had to make a decision about not slowing things down by trying to cram in too much information. I would like to have a bit of a trip down memory lane, as it were, and find out some more about the strange cities and the way that they have grown out of the bones of mammoth beasts – I was especially intrigued by Arach Arbor – which is the realm of spiders – and spiders there are aplenty! I’d also like to know more about the war and subsequent imprisonment of the Gods.
In terms of the characters I found myself liking Ses. She’s a very believable protagonist, she isn’t perfect, she’s not totally kick ass and she certainly isn’t capable of getting out of every situation without help but she’s resourceful and determined and it makes a great combination. We also meet Ses’s parents and a young man called Murien who befriends Ses in her hour of need. I can’t say too much about those at the moment as they’re not quite as well developed as Ses but nonetheless they’re a good supporting cast.
Overall I found this a well written and enjoyable story, I found Ses easy to like, there’s intrigue and deception and lets not forget walking skeletons, soul driven magic and huge spiders – really, what more could you possibly want.
My books so far:
- Batch 1: Rebel’s Honor by Gwynn White
- Unwilling Souls by Gregory D Little
- As the Crow Flies by Robin Lythgoe – review to follow
- The Amber Isles by Ashley Capes
- Outpost by F T McKinstry – review to follow
- My book from batch 6 to be forthcoming soon!
My aim is to review As The Crow Flies/Outpost and my final book from batch 6 over the next 3 days so that I can then announce my final book.
Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy . This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers. The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite. Future week’s themes are listed below. This week’s theme:
‘There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home: a cover with a house/abandoned house’
Of course, Halloween is fast approaching, the nights are drawing in and so what better book to go than with Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.
There are some good covers here and different things that I like about all of them (oh and by the way – there are a heck of a lot more covers – but I decided to restrain myself). I actually really like the bottom row first cover, the simplicity and sensuality but I really don’t feel it quite suits the book somehow.
My winner is, because it really does fit for me, I love the psychedelic colour, the house with the roots growing down and the huge ass name – this really does scream King doesn’t it:
Which is your favourite??
If you fancy joining in with the FFO the themes for the next few weeks are below.
28th October – ‘And I, Jack, The Pumpkin King’! – a cover for Halloween
4th November – Nomad is an island – a cover with a wanderer
11th November -Falling off the rails – a cover with train tracks
18th November – The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day – a cover with stormy weather
25th November – As old as the hills?? – A cover with mountains
2nd December – Oranges and lemons say the bells of St Clements – A cover with fruit
9th December – Soul Meets Soul on Lovers’ Lips – a cover with lips
16 December – Give a Girl the Right Shoes and she can conquor the world – a cover with shoes
23rd December – The first noel… – a cover with angels
30th December – Ho ho ho! To the bottle I go… – a cover with drink
Friday Firsts is a new meme that runs every Friday over on Tenacious Reader. The idea is to feature the first few sentences/paragraph of your current book and try and outline your first impressions as a result. This is a quick and easy way to share a snippet of information about your current read and to perhaps tempt others. Stop on by and link up with Tenacious Reader.
‘”My dear friend, hold fast the doctrine: when all impossibilities are eliminated, what remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Nothing could be so improbable that I must now and forever address you as Sir Arthur!”
Dr Joseph Bell stood at the head of the dining table before twenty assembled guests offering a robust toast to the guest of honor, his student and friend, the newly knighted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in London for the first time since the honor had been bestowed, his confidante Jean Elizabeth Leckie at his side.’
My First Impressions
Well, I certainly find that opening intriguing. The style of writing and the name dropping worked a treat – I’m on board now!
What are you reading right now? Did it start out strong? Feel free to join in.
The Toby Daye series has fast turned into a must read series for me and one where I’ve become very attached to the characters and One Salt Sea is another instalment that just ladles on the love. Yet again McGuire builds on the world, telling us more of the rules that bind the land of Faerie and introducing us to yet more characters whilst strengthening the relationships of those that we already know. One Salt Sea manages to be a winning combination of fast paced plot and great characters. Firstly, please beware of potential spoilers for previous books in the series.
So, One Salt Sea, unsurprisingly, takes us to yet another land of the fae. The Undersea. Not to get ahead of myself, at the start of the story Toby is called before The Queen of the Mists – never a pleasant experience for her to be honest – and she discovers that two young boys have been kidnapped. Sons of the Duchess of Lorden, who rules the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. Now, knowing Toby as we do, she’s going to go rushing into the fray and try to find the boys – which is all good but, she needs to find the boys fast, prove that the Queen of the Mists was not involved in their abduction and, by doing so, prevent a war between the land and the sea fae. Wars between the fae never go well!
Now, I can’t really go too much into the plot, similar to my other reviews for the Daye books – Toby has an investigation to undertake, she has a timeframe and she has someone trying to stop her – someone who isn’t abiding by Oberon’s Laws.
For me the absolute best part of this series is the way that McGuire adds layer by layer with each new book. Every time you pick one of these up you know that something else will be revealed. At the start of this series Toby is at rock bottom. She’s estranged from her family, she has no friends, no real prospects, she’s in a seriously dark place. Over the course of the past five books though what a transformation McGuire has wrought. Toby is now surrounded by people who care about her and want to help and some of these people are pretty high up on the ‘don’t mess with me’ ladder. The Luidaeg. I love this character. The Sea Witch that every one is scared of and yet here she is in Toby’s corner. We have a fetch that is no longer a fetch! May, who not only isn’t a harbinger of Toby’s death but has been actively involved in keeping her alive. Then of course we have Tybalt and the slow burning romance that exists between Toby and the King of Cats – even though they’re both in denial about it. On top of this – we get to visit the Undersea, we uncover some rather massive secrets and things get very dark indeed culminating in a shocking and emotional conclusion.
Another great instalment. If you’re looking for a new urban fantasy then give this a try.
“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Every Wednesday we get to highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to. My book this week is : A dark historical fantasy! You know you want this. I’ve just read another of Cherie Priest’s books: The Family Plot – and loved it. I have to have this book. I have *all the wants* and *grabby hands*.
A new dark historical fantasy from the supremely gifted Cherie Priest, author ofMapelcroft and Boneshaker.
In the trenches of Europe during the Great War, Tomas Cordero operated a weapon more devastating than any gun: a flame projector that doused the enemy in liquid fire. Having left the battlefield a shattered man, he comes home to find yet more tragedy for in his absence, his wife has died of the flu. Haunted by memories of the woman he loved and the atrocities he perpetrated, Tomas dreams of fire and finds himself setting match to flame when awake….
Alice Dartle is a talented clairvoyant living among others who share her gifts in the community of Cassadaga, Florida. She too dreams of fire, knowing her nightmares are connected to the shell-shocked war veteran and widower. And she believes she can bring peace to him and his wife s spirit.
But the inferno that threatens to consume Tomas and Alice was set ablaze centuries ago by someone whose hatred transcended death itself….
Due out in April 2017.