Obviously can't rate this as it's my book - but I'll share a little about it if that's OK.
I started writing Hope's Daughter in April 2009. I'd been r...moreObviously can't rate this as it's my book - but I'll share a little about it if that's OK.
I started writing Hope's Daughter in April 2009. I'd been reading a lot of sci-fi stuff at the time and had never written anything in that genre myself (I'd stuck to fantasy mainly before then - all unpublished), so I thought I'd give it a go, albeit in a 'lightly' sci-fi setting.
The main features of the story were set quite clearly in my head early on, but the actual events and some of the plots twists surprised me, even as I was writing them - especially the changes to my planned ending and the activity of the Married Quarter - I'll save that for a SPOILER discussion if anyone's interested.
I knew Cassie and Balik pretty much straight off - they were both very 'flesh and blood' to me before they started going through the events of the book, which certainly made it easier to write for them as you get a feel for how they'd react to things. Balik is probably my ideal kind of guy... Obviously a handsome chap lol; smart, but savvy and practical with a sarcastic twist, and who likes his girls pretty much the same :)
So that's it really - my publishing debut - I hope you enjoy it - and if you'd like to talk about anything relating to the book please get in touch.
PS - a vote for this on 'YA Debuts 2012' list would be nice if you enjoy the book :) (less)
Loved this book - I know I'm very late in getting to it as it's been around for a long while - but finally made it.
The inverted apartheid system of t...moreLoved this book - I know I'm very late in getting to it as it's been around for a long while - but finally made it.
The inverted apartheid system of the book's society enables a really fantastic examination of human nature and our response in a specific society to certain behaviour. The dual narrative voices of Sephy and Callum offer perfect synergy and diversity simultaneously - and they're so real and enjoyable to read. Blackman obviously isn't afraid of exploring the darker side of people and I think this really adds to the depth of personality the narrators have.
Am looking forward to reading the rest of the series, but just can't face it straight away because Callum got under my skin so much. It really is heart in the mouth stuff for YA. (less)
A strong sequel to The Russian Concubine, which I loved when I read it a few years ago.
Lydia and Chang are two of the strongest and most...more A strong sequel to The Russian Concubine, which I loved when I read it a few years ago.
Lydia and Chang are two of the strongest and most independent characters I've come across who are well-drawn and have 'real' motivations for their behaviour and actions (cultural, romantic, situational). They're also one of my favourite book couples - wildly independent, but so much two-halves of the same creature whether they're apart or not.
The narrative has quite a lot of action, centring on the search for Lydia's father and Chang's elevation in the Chinese Communist campaign. The development of Alexi (Lydia's half-brother) was also a welcome addition for me - I like the strong, silent type! :) So overall the story keeps you interested.
Furnivall uses lovely imagery to paint people's emotions and relationships. This skill at description extends in the same way to the settings and she shows the dark, grey world of new communist Russia as skilfully as she drew a colourful pre-revolution China.
Not so keen on:
The story is told by an omniscient narrator, covering several strands of linked plots and shifts through a number of different perspectives, timeframes and locations. These jumps were sometimes confusing as there was little indication that a change had occurred and if it happened mid-page or conversation I struggled to work out who where I was. This may be a 'kindle related' issue as that's what I read on, so don't know if there's better definition of the changes in a printed book.
I could put this down, which I really couldn't do with The Russian Concubine. I can't pinpoint exactly what the difference is - perhaps even the setting change is responsible meaning I liked the bleak Russian backdrop less...not sure.
Overall - I enjoyed the book and Chang and Lydia remain one of my favourite book couples. (less)
I was reasonably excited and hopeful for Breaking Dawn... I'll say it - I loved Twilight and wanted some more.... I think the problem is that Meyer do...moreI was reasonably excited and hopeful for Breaking Dawn... I'll say it - I loved Twilight and wanted some more.... I think the problem is that Meyer doesn'T really seem to know what to do with some good characters. She builds you up and let's you down a bit.
I'll not get in to spoiler territory but this let me down because it was l......o......n......g . It dragged on a lot longer than necessary and didn't do much along the way. There was no suspense: the central premise for the book was given away by the end of the prologue. Some of the stuff was really not appropriate for the audience she'd built up IMO.
Generally I pretend that she only wrote twilight and left it at that so I can imagine my own happy ending without ripping jake's heart apart and turning Bella into a somewhat whingy girl.
I'm not on a complete downer with Meyer.... I really like Midnight Sun and hope she finishes it, I also enjoyed Bree's story. I think for me she has characters I really like but the story isn't strong in comparison after the first book. (less)
Meyer writes great characters and so it was nice to meet some new people going through an interesting phase -...moreNOTE SPOILER IF YOU'VE NOT READ ECLIPSE!
Meyer writes great characters and so it was nice to meet some new people going through an interesting phase - I think she was running out of steam with Bella and Edward by BD ( just my opinion). I liked seeing Eclipse from another POV and this book gave a different perspective to Edward for me - I think in the very short part at the end when they meet Bree allows you to see Edward as himself rather than through the filter of Bella's eyes which I really liked.(less)
This is alright - nice idea but delivery feels very much like a 'made in a packet' spin off of the twilight ilk.
Female protagonist and her love inter...moreThis is alright - nice idea but delivery feels very much like a 'made in a packet' spin off of the twilight ilk.
Female protagonist and her love interest had me rooting for the 'baddie' though - so probably not the best romantic coupling. Overall it doesn't have much depth to it or the quality of characters of Meyer, but is readable enough. Easy quick read. Personally, I can live without reading more of the series. There's much better out there.(less)
Since finishing this last night I've been trying to think of anything I don't like...and there's nothing. Some p...moreNow I see what all the fuss is about!
Since finishing this last night I've been trying to think of anything I don't like...and there's nothing. Some people might have done things I didn't want them to do - but the actions fit with their characters and so I have to accept maybe I'm just more of a romantic than I thought. Plus it means I need to read the other books - now! :)
The plot, action, character development were all great - I guessed some twists but still wanted to read them happen which tells me this is a good book. I liked the parallel drawn with modern obsessions with reality tv with no real consideration given to young people being put before cameras and being ripped apart (figuratively) by judges. The society of haves and have-nots and the great chasms between them.
Really good quality YA book - I didn't want to put it down. I don't do 5 stars often, but this definitely gets one.(less)
I liked the Manhattan-elite take on vampires this offers and some of the scenes were interesting. Overall, the characters and story didn't absolutely...more I liked the Manhattan-elite take on vampires this offers and some of the scenes were interesting. Overall, the characters and story didn't absolutely wow me and so I'll not be bothering with the rest of the series. I think maybe because it's a series there is more (and perhaps better) to come, but I like a book to have some punch in its own right and for me this didn't really. But it was easily readable and enjoyable enough. (less)