Emma was in an accident that has robbed her of her past. While convalescing she is introduced to Declan Burke, her charming and handsome husband whom...more
Emma was in an accident that has robbed her of her past. While convalescing she is introduced to Declan Burke, her charming and handsome husband whom she does not remember. Declan is devoted and attentive but Emma is still having a hard time adjusting post trauma. Haunted by disturbing dreams Emma turns to painting; easily creating lush seascapes that lull her into a false sense of security. When Emma's recovery is deemed acceptable she is sent home to the mountains with Declan. The two fall into an easy partnership with one another but something is off. Emma's dreams still undo her; dreams of the WTC and of a man named Noah. She begins to wonder if her dreams are only that or if they could mean the destruction of her entire world.
This book redefines the phrase "trophy wife". Archetype poses several frightening views of a possible future were women are bought and sold like merchandise. Every mandate about what they do with their bodies is strictly regulated by men. As such a woman's body does not belong to her. It belongs to her husband and he is within his legal rights to do whatever he wants with his property. It is a grim outlook of a future that could someday become reality.
Archetype is a dazzling debut, a very sharp book. It has such a dignified air to it, a beautiful poignancy in the writing. But the beauty is a skin deep mask threatening to expose itself at any moment. Beneath the surface is a haunting, corrosive tension that eats the reader alive. It makes the reader nauseous in the best possible way.
This is one of those books that seeps into your consciousness. It breeds discontent. It forces one to ponder the possible "what if?"… What if this book was true and this grim outlook implied a probably future for women? What if this is what our genders have to look forward to... the selling of sex in the most literal way.
The Trap is easily one of my most anticipated books of this year. The first book, The Hunt, was my favourite book from last year. Period. This year I read the sequel, The Prey, and was equally overwhelmed. The Prey managed to not only meet but exceed my expectations. It’s bold, it’s terrifying, and it’s memorable, and I’ve been telling customers for six months that The Prey has the scariest vampire scene in it that I have ever read.
This week The Trap blew both of those books out of the water. And, with that, Andrew Fukuda cements himself into that rare pantheon of authors I have read who penned a perfect trilogy… as well as a firm footing in my autobuy list forever.
* Spoilers for those who have not read The Hunt and The Prey *
The Trap picks up immediately after the events in book two. Gene and Sissy have fled the Mission in a train with Epap, David, and the surviving mutilated rescued girls. When the train stops the evacuees finds themself facing down new horrors as well as a new path. Bound to face his past, Gene is determined to survive at all costs. He has to. He and Sissy are the only hope to save the Hepers from the Duskers.
And they cannot fail.
I cannot even begin to describe what a joy it was to be back in this world. This book is one of those rare reads that enthralls the reader from open to close. Fukuda swaps his trademark chills and terror for a new angle; a creeping, disturbing tautness that provokes shudders as well as gasps from the reader. I found the scenes to be more gruesome, more grotesque, and, if possible, more frightening than in the previous books. There’s more of a sense of lingering unease than anything in this book but it works better than outright panic. I feel that Fukuda had to amp up the ante with this book. And he did it with style and a skill that I can only shake my head at. The scenes in this book… yeah. If you weren’t a fan of book two rest assured that book three brings everything back home.
With a vengeance.
There is a new twist to Fukuda’s writing. He branches out and writes this book from other characters’ points-of-view. We still follow Gene for the most part. His narrative is told in first person. The secondary, and tertiary, narrators are told in third person… and you will be amazed to see who they are. I thought it would be a jarring change but it’s not. It continues the momentum from the first two books and carries it until the tumultuous end.
I am in awe by this book. I am so glad that Fukuda went here. And, by the same measure, I am glad that the trilogy is at an end, because I cannot wait to see what he does next.
For Darkness Shows the Stars was among my top ten favourite books last year. Diana Peterfreund has proven herself again and again with me. I adored he...more
For Darkness Shows the Stars was among my top ten favourite books last year. Diana Peterfreund has proven herself again and again with me. I adored her Killer Unicorn series and I adore this one as well. It is no surprise that its sequel, Across a Star-Swept Sea, is just as incredible of a read as the first book is.
While not a direct sequel Star-Swept Sea is a companion book to For Darkness… It takes place in a different part of a world ravaged by Reduction, a brain malady that brought civilization to a halt. There is little left of the world, but in New Pacifica the people thrive. Two islands, Albion and Galatea, are in peril as a drug induced uprising threatens to upset the order of things. One islander steps up to meet the challenge, the Wild Poppy, New Pacifica’s infamous spy.
What the people do not know is that the Wild Poppy is actually bombshell socialite Persis Blake, a native of Albion, in disguise. Persis hides her wit and ability under cosmetic tedium and her gorgeous facade. She fixates on clothing and makeup and generally dissuading people from realizing who she is. But her nation’s Queen, Isla, has a task that may be beyond her skill. An important revolutionary from the neighbouring island of Galatea, Justen Helo, has demanded sanctuary and Isla has to hide him. What could be more perfect than having him masquerade as Albion’s leading it-girl’s new lover?
Sound familiar? Well, that would be because it’s a retelling of another book some of you may have read – The Scarlet Pimpernel. Myself, I have not had the chance yet. However, reading this makes me want to jump headlong into it. I adored this book. Both the tone and the setting are rich and evocative. Peterfreund has world build a nation that feels like Hawaii, and I am sure that is the intent (the hints that this is Hawaii in the future abound). Persis is so multi-dimensional that she is a delight to follow. And Justen could not be a better foil for her. There is also Andrine, and Isla (whom I loved) and a host of other characters, including one genetically fabricated mischievous sea mink named Slipstream.
This is one of those books where everything works, and it works beautifully. Peterfreund is nothing but consistent. I cannot begin to convey how much I enjoyed this book. Also, how much I am looking forward to another book in this universe. I hope that Peterfreund continues in this vein. She could write five more books set in this universe and I would be exceedingly happy. Her retellings are top notch!