Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman #BookReview #YA

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Title: Retribution Rails
Author: Erin Bowman
Series: Vengeance Road #2
Format: Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Publication Details: November 7th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): YA; Adventure; Historical Fiction; Western
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads 

 

REDEMPTION IS NEVER FREE
When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece’s path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever.


Review

Vengeance Road was a tour de force, so I was thrilled when I heard there was going to be a sequel (of sorts – more on that later), and although it’s not released until November, I couldn’t wait. I devoured it ASAP.

And you know what, I wasn’t disappointed. Thank the unicorns!!

Retribution Rails is a companion novel, not a direct sequel, so if you missed out on Vengeance Road you need not worry (although you really should read it!), there are two new plucky main characters to focus on, and it’s set around ten years after the first book.

Charlotte Vaughn is a young aspiring journalist who is determined to succeed despite all the odds that are stacked against her. Inspired by her hero (and real-life feminist icon) Nellie Bly she takes matters into her own hands and heads off in search of a story worthy of being her big break. A story so big that the newspapers won’t be able to turn her down. Even if she is a woman.

When Charlotte’s train is targeted by the fearless and ruthless Rose Riders, it could be the answer to her prayers, or it could be the death of her. Her encounter with the infamous Rose Kid sets in motion a whole train map of trouble, leading her on a wild west adventure that’s a little more than she bargained for.

This book was a rip-roaring adventure full of heart. Erin Bowman’s ability to bring history to life with a fresh and modern outlook is nothing short of a revelation, and I really think she’s paved the way for a whole new strand of YA. It’s a great, empowering story for young girls, and full of action for any thrill-seeker.

I couldn’t remember the ins and outs of Vengeance Road going into this (probably because I’m old and drink too much), just that I really enjoyed it, but as we are reunited with Kate and Jessie from the first book it all slowly came back to me. It was so nice to back in their company and see how life had panned out for them ten years on.

I loved everything about it. The adventure, the romance, the historical accuracies, the suspense, the heart-break, the everything. More please!

Have ALL THE UNICORNS.

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Winter by Marissa Meyer #BookReview #YA

wintermeyerTitle: Winter
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
Format: paperback, 827 pages
Publication Details:  November 10th 2015 by Feiwel and Friends
Genre(s): YA; Fairy-tale retellings
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!

Goodreads // Purchase

 
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Review

Let me warn you now that is going to be more like a diarrhoea of emotions than it is a review…

OMG I cannot tell you how happy I felt reading this, and having all the amazing characters from the previous books finally brought together to defeat the evil Queen Levana! Insert fangirl squeal here.

Winter was everything I hoped for and more. Cinder kicked-ass, Scarlet was sassy and hilarious, Cress was adorably cute and Princess Winter…oh how I love her crazy ways.

And don’t even get me started on the guys. I mean, how are supposed to choose between Prince Kai, Captain Thorne and Wolf..? I just can’t even!

I don’t really want to give anything away plot-wise, but I’m just so happy that I wasn’t disappointed in this book. I was worried it was unnecessarily long (being over 800 pages) but it packed A LOT into those pages, and I think it both needed and deserved it. Also with this being the last book, I was worried that it wouldn’t have the ending I’d hoped for, but I think it ended in the only way it could without causing millions of readers to revolt!

I only had two (very small) gripes about this book, and it’s true for the whole series as well – I found it a bit annoying how each female protagonist was paired up with the man of their dreams. You know? It was all just a bit too perfect. And they got paired up pretty quickly as well. But I guess this is a fairy-tale after all. It would have been nice to have a gay character in there though…it was all very ‘traditional’ for a cyborg fairytale.

The second was Cress. Don’t get me wrong, I love her. But her constant insecurities in this book started to annoy me at times. I got over it though.

So there you have it. The Lunar Chronicles has been one of the most surprising, and amazing YA series I’ve read in recent years. A series that on paper sounds like it just shouldn’t work, but it’s a testament to Meyer how perfect it actually is.

I can’t wait to read more Marissa Meyer!

unicorn rating 4

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Book Quotes

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Inspiring Quotes From Books (anything that inspires you, challenges you, makes you think, encourages you, etc).

Ahhh I really love this week’s topic; it was really hard to stick to ten. And I just know there’s so many of my favourites I’ve missed out too, but I didn’t want to pick ones I thought everyone else would so I’ve avoided some of the classics. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else has picked!

In no particular order…

1.

I used to think that when I got older, the world would make so much more sense. But you know what? The older I get, the more confusing it is to me. The more complicated it is. Harder. You’d think we’d be getting better at it. But there’s just more and more chaos. The pieces – they’re everywhere. And nobody knows what to do about it. I find myself grasping, Nick. You know that feeling? That feeling when you just want the right thing to fall into the right place, not only because it’s right, but because it would mean that such a thing is still possible? I want to believe that.”

David Levithan & Rachel Cohn, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

2. “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

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4. “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

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― A Million Little Pieces

6.

I wanted to tell them that I’d never had a friend, not ever, not a real one. Until Dante. I wanted to tell them that I never knew that people like Dante existed in the world, people who looked at the stars, and knew the mysteries of water, and knew enough to know that birds belonged to the heavens and weren’t meant to be shot down from their graceful flights by mean and stupid boys. I wanted to tell them that he had changed my life and that I would never be the same, not ever. And that somehow it felt like it was Dante who had saved my life and not the other way around. I wanted to tell them that he was the first human being aside from my mother who had ever made me want to talk about the things that scared me. I wanted to tell them so many things and yet I didn’t have the words. So I just stupidly repeated myself. “Dante’s my friend.”

― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

7.

“Never, is an awfully long time.”

― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

8. “Choices may be unbelievably hard but they’re never impossible. To say you have no choice is to release yourself from responsibility and that’s not how a person with integrity acts.”

― Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men

9.

“Sometimes, you do things and you do them not because you’re thinking but because you’re feeling. Because you’re feeling too much. And you can’t always control the things you do when you’re feeling too much.”

― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (I could have probably done all ten from this book <3)

10. “No one bends further than someone made of completely straight lines”

― Will Elliot, The Pilo Family Circus

Almost made the Top Ten…

“It was one of those moments when you wonder whether there is some kind of big misunderstanding and really this is all just a dream or a made-up story, and not the real world like you thought it was.”

― Chris Beckett, Dark Eden

“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”

― Stephenie Meyer, Twilight (Couldn’t resist!)

Friday Feature: Labyrinth Mania

Labyrinth, the 1986 Jim Henson film starring David Bowie (swoon) and Jennifer Connelly (it’s not fairrrrr) is clearly the best film there ever was.

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So just imagine my excitement when I discovered that not only is there a book ‘based on the film’-why is that not a thing anymore?- there is also a sequel in manga form. And it is amazing.

So far, I’ve only managed to get Vol 1 and 2 and have been on the look our for the other two for about three years now…they seem quite rare, and pricey! I refuse to pay £20 for a manga comic, even if it does look as cool as this:

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Just look at Jareth. Woah.

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You can read the first two volumes online at Manga Here.

And that is my gift to you all as we head into the weekend. Big Yays.

View the series on Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read Before I Started Blogging…

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week. This week the topic is a freebie. We could pick a previously done topic, one we missed or something chosen at random. I don’t fancy revisiting any previously done topics just yet, and I’m sure there’s loads of good ones I missed but what I really want to do is Top Ten Books I Read Before Blogging That I Wished I’d Reviewed!

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The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson: I had a love/hate relationship with this book. From what I remember I loved the present day story but got a but bored by the flashbacks. I wish I’d reviewed this as it was a really interesting read even though I only gave it 3 stars on Goodreads.

Dirty Angels by Andrew Clover: I remember really loving this book but I can’t remember a thing about it – it only has TWO reviews on Goodreads and it doesn’t even have a synopsis!????

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes: I loved this too, but a few of my friends read it and hated it. Why did I love it so much?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: I wish I’d reviewed this before the film came out. I had been wanting to read Perks for about six years before I actually picked up a copy and it broke/melted my icy heart! But now all I can think about is the AWFUL film which everyone else seemed to enjoy. No.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: I have kind of reviewed this in a Favourites Friday post, but I wish I’d written my thoughts down about it at the time.

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Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion: Again, I wished I’d reviewed this before I saw the film – which I didn’t hate, but I definitely preferred the book. The film was much more light-hearted than I found the book. I did a very short Goodreads review before I started blogging.

The Gates by John Connolly: I will get the opportunity to review this for my Rereads Challenge so watch this space. This book was funny, clever, and just awesome.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan: I think this has been my favourite Green book to date, and maybe my favourite Levithan too. The characters have left a lasting impression on me but I can’t remember the ins and outs of the story.

Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin: I knew about this book before I’d ever even heard of Game of Thrones, it’s a bizarre tale of a riverboat captain and a vampire. I remember it being really hard to get into but also too intriguing to put down. I’d like to give it another go at some point.

The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas: Scarlett Thomas is one of my favourite British authors and this is the first book of hers I read, falling in love instantly. I class it as a favourite but I’ve only read it once, and everyone that I’ve convinced to read it didn’t like it as much as I did….so maybe I was wrong?