Review: Light by Michael Grant

  Light is the final book in Grant’s series, which I’ve reviewed as I’ve been reading them. Despite a dip in the middle, I think this final book was superb – the characters all came together, action was fast paced and exciting, and it was a good ending to the series. Starting the novel with the statement that “the best bit about any story is its ending” smacks a little of arrogance – and certainly sets himself a high target to achieve! I wouldn’t say this is necessarily the best of the books, but it is a fitting ending. Each …

Review: Fear (Michael Grant)

Despite a slight disappointment in Plague, the fourth book in this series, I read Fear straight after it – and Grant definitely got his writing mojo back!! The FAYZ is still as deadly as ever, but this book focuses on the way the FAYZ is changing rather than the people in it. Nobody’s developing new powers except the gaiaphage, the creature that seems to have been taking advantage of the FAYZ to grow, take over and destroy. There’s an uneasy sense of peace between Perdido Beach and the lake, and the changing relationship between Sam and Caine is fascinating – they’re …

Review: Hunger, Lies and Plague by Michael Grant

As I read these in quick succession, I thought I’d review them all at once. The series picked up pace in Hunger and Lies; Grant’s world continues to be horrific after everyone aged 15 and over disappears suddenly one day, and the showdown between Sam and Caine has resulted in a divided group of children who don’t know what to do next. Things just go from bad to so unbelievably worse in the FAYZ. In these three books, there’s famine because the kids were disorganised at first and ate everything processed and sweet before the veg now rotting in the …

Review: Gone by Michael Grant

The short opening chapter of Goneis great – sitting in class, Sam’s staring out of the window dreaming about surfing rather than paying attention. Then, without warning, the teacher vanishes. Along with every other adult and child over the age of 15 in their town. It’s a gripping, bold start, which I loved. Major characters are introduced very early on and while they are pretty stereotypical, there’s a few more unusual ones to keep things fresh. The children left, all under 14, at first are completely bewildered – torn between mourning their parents and enjoying the sudden all-you-can-eat candy or …

Review: The Winter Palace by Eve Stachniak

The Winter Palace (A novel of the young Catherine the Great) This novel is described as being the story of the young Catherine the Great, on her way to power in the Russian palace, playing at palace intrigue and alternately watched and helped by a spy, Varvara. Varvara came to the Russian court as an orphaned Polish child, left alone when her parents die. She starts in the wardrobe and then moves up to become spy of the Chancellor, gradually becoming more confident and self-reliant, until she befriends Catherine. I don’t really know anything about Catherine the Great and I do …

Review: From 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron

2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love I read this book a couple of weeks ago. Rachel Aaron is a fantasy author who’s written a series, of fairly hefty books, and is a full time writer. This book is based on a blog post in which she explores how she went from writing 2000 words a day, as a professional full-time writer, to writing 10k a day. She’s expanded it, added some more reflective ideas, and there’s a whole second half about how she plans in detail.  Planning is where it’s at for Rachel …