Sentinel By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Sentinel (Covenant: Book Five)
Written by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published 01 / 10 / 2013
312 Pages
It's a beautiful day for a war.

As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.

And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.

In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.

Champion By Marie Lu: Mini Review

Legend: Book Three
Written by Marie Lu
Dystopian, Romance
Published November 5th 2013
384 Pages
Add to Goodreads
June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic, and each other, and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion

Stacking The Shelves #007 Christmas Edition

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online bookshops, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks. Hosted by Tyngas Reviews.
Welcome to the special Christmas edition of Stacking the Shelves. I'll get straight into it, as there is a whole lot to get through this week.

Publisher paperbacks received in the last week:

The Shade Of The Moon By Susan Beth Pfeffer


The Shade Of The Moon (The Last Survivors: Book Four)
Written By Susan Beth Pfeffer
Published 13 / 08 / 2013
304 Pages
Thank you to HMH Books and Edelweiss 
It's been more than two years since Jon Evans and his family left Pennsylvania, hoping to find a safe place to live, yet Jon remains haunted by the deaths of those he loved. His prowess on a soccer field has guaranteed him a home in a well-protected enclave. But Jon is painfully aware that a missed goal, a careless word, even falling in love, can put his life and the lives of his mother, his sister Miranda, and her husband, Alex, in jeopardy. Can Jon risk doing what is right in a world gone so terribly wrong?

Pawn By Aimee Carter

The Blackcoat Rebellion: Book One
Written By Aimee Carter
Published 01 / 12 / 2013
352 Pages
Thank you to Harlequin Australia
For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked, surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose, and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

The Eve By Keary Taylor

The Eve (The Eden Trilogy: Book three)
Written by Keary Taylor
Published 21 / 11 / 2013
288 Pages
Thank you to the author for providing me with an ARC to review.
Add to Goodreads 
A plan was laid out as the Evolution crushed mankind, a plan that was right under Eden’s nose all along. And Eve is the key to everything. New Eden, mankind, they have a small chance at fixing their dismembered planet.

But it will be a reckless sprint against time and the coming Bane to retrieve the final piece to the plot. New Eden’s worst fears have become reality. The Bane are back in the city and they’re smarter and more aggressive than ever. They know where the humans are and they’re coming to finish what they’ve nearly completed.

Eve has been content with the family she’s found, Avian, West, Gabriel, Royce. But she’s about to discover she may have the one family Eve never thought she would: blood. With every odd stacked against her, all the lies and all the secrets of her origins will be exposed.

The past and the future are about to come full circle.

That One Summer By C. J Duggan

That One Summer Summer Book Three
Written By C. J Duggan
Contemporary, Romance
Published December 17th 2013
305 Pages
Thank you to The Three Bookateers and C. J Duggan
Add to Goodreads
Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day… But there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day…

He sure could kiss.

As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve. So that can only mean one thing: road trip!

No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson. She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place? After chickening out on the trip, a last minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less than happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.

Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.

Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.
Tammy Maskala's social life has become far more hectic since Amy Henderson moved back to town, drinks at the local, Sunday's at Sean's lake house, parties and now the New Year's Eve camping trip the Onslow boys have planned. Typically a boys only event, Tammy is already inventing excuses why she won't be able to attend the Port Shank Music Festival to countdown the New Year. Lately she's been feeling like the third wheel within the group of happy couples, and she'll be damned if she's stuck with someone of the likes of Chris Henderson. The moody barkeep and new part owner of the Onslow pub may be devastatingly good looking, but Tammy can't think of anything worse than spending seeing in the New Year with him. Amy has a plan, she knows something Tammy doesn't and is determined to throw the two together.

Tammy, fitness fanatic and part time personal trainer, is studying Biomedicine at university and wants to make the most of her well deserved break. Her only options? Spending the new year wedged between her parents, or a road trip with her new group of friends. But when she changes her mind and decides to take the plunge, it seems the group has already left... Except Chris. Well played Amy Henderson, not only does she need to sit in close proximity to the sullen Onslow boy and initiate idle chatter, but she'll be making the journey from the inside of a black panel van. Chris is a man of very few words, usually communicating through scoffing and exaggerated sighs, but the further he travels from Onslow, the more relaxed he seems to become. When Tammy forgets to bring her prescription migraine medication, she sees a new side to Chris that she thought was incapable of existing. Caring, gentle and unnerving. The last thing Tammy needs is to fall in love with someone like Chris, an enigma who seems determined not to let his guard down. Always the responsible one, reliable and quiet to a fault. But it's the quiet ones you usually need to worry about.

Armed with nothing more than her flannelette pajamas and a second hand Punky Brewster sleeping bag, the campsite where the two traveling companions are resting... Isn't a camp site at all. Chris refuses to sleep in a tent, so why would he have brought one along on the road trip? He didn't, but luckily the panel van has a mattress in the back. When a phone call to the convoy reveals that Amy left without her on purpose and blackmailed Chris into becoming Amy's ride, Tammy can't help but wonder what it is that Amy holds over him. Is it something about her? The group decide to camp at Evoka Springs for the night, allowing Chris and Tammy to catch up, but when Tammy overhears a conversation that could very well tear the couple apart, her and Chris hit the road and decide to drive straight through.

Chris doesn't ask any questions but instead suggests since their friends are playing matchmaker, that he and Tammy should have a little fun themselves. The flirtatious touches, winks and knowing drawn out glances, perhaps the two aren't fooling anyone after all. But when the road trip finally reaches it's destination, friendships will be tested, relationships will move forward but will Tammy and Chris admit the shouldering attraction between them?

Kelly's Thoughts

There is something remarkably special about Onslow and the characters that call the fictional town home. At the center of each story, is an Onslow boy, affectionately known due to the groups frequent visits to the Onslow Hotel. They're tradesmen, footballers, lighthearted and entertaining. But the one surprising aspect about these young men, they love their women fiercely. That One Summer is centered around a road trip that the couples and singles take, to escape the country town to celebrate the New Year in a more picturesque surrounding. Tammy, who has just reunited with Amy Henderson in An Endless Summer of the Summer series, and now finds herself with a new group of friends, often taken out of her comfort zone. The most infuriating is Chris Henderson, Amy's cousin and new part owner of the Onslow Hotel. Throughout the Summer series, Chris has always been the hardworking, yet incredibly moody one, and That One Summer is no different. But we finally learn what Chris's soft spot is, or namely who will make that tough exterior crumble.

C. J Duggan has created yet another beautiful and heartwarming story, where her Summer series seems to mature with each installment. That One Summer is not your typical romance, it's first and foremost a quirky, witty and contemporary read. The characters and relationships are realistic, and readers will appreciate that the Onslow boys aren't arrogant, aggressive or dominate. Each character is unique and not without their issues. I adored Tammy and Chris's story, Chris has been a forefront character in the Summer series and in That One Summer, we see a side of Chris that is passionate, spontaneous and tender that will move him into the book boyfriend status.

I'm not a fan of your typical new adult novels, but this series is simply magical and worthy of reading again and again. Brilliant one liners, absolutely hilarious scenes and tender moments. You're incredible C. J Duggan, and I can't wait for Ellie and Adam's story.

12: The Last Thirteen By James Phelan


Twelve The Last Thirteen: Book Two  

Written By James Phelan

Published December 2013
192 Pages
Thank you to Scholastic Australia
Add to Goodreads 
This is where you die, Sam.

The nightmare is real and Sam must face his destiny. Will the chilling prophecy and the ultimate battle against Solaris come true? Nothing could have prepared Sam for this terrifying new life as one of the last 13 Dreamers. From New York to Egypt, to Italy - the search for the rest of the last 13 will take Sam across the globe. He cannot do it alone, but who can he really trust? He must find the rest of the last 13.

The race has begun.
13 books. 13 nightmares. 1 destiny.
Are you one of them?
Sam is lucky to have escaped the clutches of Solaris, and live to tell the story. Sam is part of a group of Dreamers, simply known as The Last Thirteen. He experiences vivid nightmares that are a window to the future, sending Sam and those from The Academy on the adventure to save the world. After The Academy's aircraft was hit with a missile, Sam faced off with the evil Solaris for The Star of Egypt, and now finds himself on the way to the ancient pendants homeland along with friend Xavier. His dream having shown Sam what is to come by visiting the ancient city, but when he and Xavier wake up on top of a pyramid, with the Star of Egypt in two halves, little does Sam release that his adventure has just begun.

Stacking The Shelves #006

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online bookshops, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks. Hosted by Tyngas Reviews.

Physical and digital copies I received this week...

Author on the Grill: Interview With Vanessa Garden Captivate Tour

You can read my review of Captivate by clicking here.

Captivate was a brilliant read that will transport readers into the dangerous, yet brilliant underwater world of Marin. When I had the opportunity to ask Vanessa to guest post, of course I jumped at the chance.

How the idea for Miranda's story come about?


The first vision I had was of Miranda and Marko in a beautiful garden under glittering lights. I knew they were somewhere different, somewhere foreign, and from this one scene, the rest of the story unfolded. I knew right away that Miranda was facing issues in her real life that she'd rather run from. And also, from this scene, I could sense that she was afraid to love, that she'd lost loved ones in the past and therefore was afraid to form new relationships of any kind. In a strange way, it all unfolded rather organically after that.
What made you decide to set Miranda's story underwater?


I liked the idea of Miranda being whisked away to a magical underwater city, where she might think at first (despite the new obstacles she faces) that she can escape all the issues she's been having with her sister and herself. Instead, Miranda's new situation, her captivity in the city of Marin, actually allows her to see the fractured relationship with her sister in a new light. She finds hidden layers within herself she never knew about, grows in confidence, and this changes how Miranda sees herself in the world.
How did the character of Marko come about?


Marko, along with Miranda, appeared fully formed in that very first scene. He was the one character throughout writing Captivate whose motives never changed once. He was my favourite to write. He was so conflicted by what 'must be done' and what he wanted to do, that every scene he was in held some kind of conflict, making him very interesting to write.
What elements of Robbie's character did you enjoy writing most?


Robbie's internal conflict. He is strong in a physical sense, and yet beneath all that muscle lies a deeply sensitive soul. It eats him up inside that he was the one who dragged Miranda from the sea and brought her to Marin. But it was his loyalty to Marko that caused him to carry it out. As his friendship with Miranda develops, poor Robbie is twisted up inside with guilt. He keeps trying to justify his actions, but in the end feels sickened by what he has done to this innocent, broken girl.
Who is your favourite secondary character from Captivate?


It would have to be Damir. I love his psychoticness and the fact that he has this obsession with mermaids that formed in childhood from a story his grandfather told him. There is so much back story behind why he is the man he is and I loved exploring that while writing him. There is a lot more of Damir in book 2 (which I completed recently), and it has been so much fun working with a character who doesn't have your average aspirations.
Thanks for having me, Kelly.

About the author

A bookseller and Young Adult author, Vanessa loves nothing more than immersing herself in the exciting world of books. When she is not raving about her favourite reads with customers, or mentally casting actors to play the characters in her next novel, she enjoys hanging out with those she loves most.

You can find Vanessa via her Blog or follow her on Twitter

Captivate By Vanessa Garden ARC Review

Captivate Submerged Sun Book One
Written By Vanessa Garden
Fantasy, Romance
Published January 1st 2014
304 Pages
Thank you to Harlequin Teen Australia
Add to Goodreads
In a glittering underwater world, nothing is as it seems...

For the past twelve months since her parents’ death, seventeen year old Miranda Sun has harboured a dark secret, a secret that has strained the close relationship she once shared with her older sister, Lauren. In an effort to repair this broken bond, Miranda’s grandparents whisk the siblings away on a secluded beach holiday. Except before Miranda gets a chance to confess her life changing secret, she’s dragged underwater by a mysterious stranger while taking a midnight swim.

Awakening days later, Miranda discovers that she’s being held captive in a glittering underwater city by an arrogant young man named Marko... The King of this underwater civilization.

Nineteen year old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his half brother, Damir. There’s only one problem. Miranda is desperate to return home to right things with her sister and she wants nothing to do with Marko. Trying to secure her freedom, Miranda quickly forms an alliance with Robbie, Marko’s personal guard. However, she soon discovers that even underwater, people are hiding dangerous secrets...
Since losing her parents in a horrific accident almost a year ago, Miranda Sun is hopeful that her two week summer vacation at her grandparents beach shack, may just be the perfect opportunity to reconnect with her older sister Lauren. Lauren has barely spoken to Miranda since they had lost their parents, not counting the snide comments about Miranda's weight under her breath. With only a week to go until her birthday, Lauren is slowly beginning to allow Miranda back into her life, when tragedy strikes. During a midnight swim, Miranda is dragged under the water by something wrapped around her ankle, until she feels two hands drag her further down. Kicking and struggling for air, the last thing Miranda remembers is the facial stubble of a stranger, his lips... And then the world went black.

Miranda wakes up in a foreign bedroom with a lone male in the corner, seemingly watching her sleep. He refuses to provide any answers, until a woman he refers to as Sylvia arrives. Greeting her captor simply as Robbie, Miranda pleas for her freedom, only to be denied. Sylvia is the lone sister to Marko, king of Marin. Miranda has no choice but to tell her captors her name, or a name will be provided for her. Deciding that Miranda is of no use to the king until she comes of age, Sylvia insists that her well being and safety is to be entrusted to Robbie. She prays that Lauren and her grandparents haven't given up hope of finding her. She needs to find a way to escape. But escape seems impossible when you're trapped in what seems to be a windowless bunker, with only an air vent to circulate oxygen. Where is Marin?

Although Miranda was taken to save Marin and it's civilization, Marko doesn't seem to be interested in her at all. When Robbie had taken her, it was at the request of Sylvia and a royal guard must follow orders. But it isn't her captors that she needs to be weary of, the third sibling and Sylvia's twin brother Damir believes he is the rightful heir to the throne that Marko occupies, unless Marko produces an heir. Miranda's fate decided when she was chosen at random, and with no chance to escape the underwater civilization alone, her only option is to befriend Robbie and be thankful that Marko has taken a dislike to her. But regardless of his repulsion towards her, Marko's duty is to the people of Marin and the expectancy of marrying and producing an offspring. If only Sylvia didn't threaten Miranda's non compliance with a gruesome death within the city's Colosseum.

Marin was founded by the siblings grandfather while searching for the elusive mermaids, and had discovered the underwater kingdom. Building the population from inhabitants on the surface. Money, power and discretion ensured that the new residents of utopia were silenced, with the lure of the kingdom eventually compelling them to stay. But after three generations of women have become barren, Miranda is expected to not only be fertile, but proudly willing to give the city the first child born in eighteen years... If Damir doesn't reach her first.

Miranda's only means of escape, is through the exit in Marko's bedroom, conveniently. But as she spends time with him in order to gain access, she finds that she and Marko have more in common that she cares to admit. It doesn't help that he's not only attractive, but treats Miranda as though she's beautiful, something that Miranda's low confidence won't allow her to believe. Her friendship with Robbie blooms into something far deeper than Miranda should feel for her captor. But as Robbie agrees to help her, Miranda starts to wonder if there is anything in her world to return to. Perhaps Marin is her chance to start again.

Kelly's Thoughts

Captivate tells the story of a magical underwater world, that is as close to perfection as humans will experience. Ruled by the charismatic and gentle hearted Marko, who is under pressure to produce an heir with a foreign girl that he finds himself falling in love with... And he isn't the only one. Captivate is a science fiction romance, rather than fantasy, as the citizens that live within the lost underwater world are actually human. Some born within Marin and some taken, just as Miranda was. It's a fun, light read which is perfect for the Australian summer.

Vanessa Garden has created a perfect underwater world where readers can escape and submerge themselves in the magic.

Into The Still Blue By Veronica Rossi ARC Review

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do, and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

Never Fade By Alexandra Bracken

Never Fade
The Darkest Minds: Book Two
Written By Alexandra Bracken 
Dystopian, Paranormal
Published October 15th 2013  
508 Pages
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis. Other kids in the Children's League call Ruby Leader, but she knows what she really is, a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet, leaving the Children's League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America's children, and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts, has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place, in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future and who now wouldn't recognise her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam, she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if survival was never an option?
It's been six months since Ruby has seen Liam, after wiping his memory clean and leaving her freedom behind in the ashes of East River. Ruby now works with the Children's League, her only option to keep Liam safe. When children with supernatural abilities were thrown into rehabilitation camps, parents believing in president Grey's philosophy that their children will be treated and sent home. But the colour coded children never see their families again. After Ruby escaped the clutches of the Children's league, she stumbled across Liam, Chubs and Zu. Three unique personalities with abilities to rival her own, it's a past that Ruby needs to leave behind. The powers of control that she possesses are being tested as her role of Leader within the league, but it seems that not everyone at HQ believes in utilising their abilities. Suspicious incidents during missions are thinning the field, and Ruby knows that it may very well be her who's next. The league aren't the revolutionaries they claim to be, once established to expose the truth behind the children being detained within the camps, now seemingly have lost their way.

A fellow agent enlists her help with a mission off grid, to retrieve a data device that is potentially holding crucial information to cure the ability infected children, releasing them from the rehabilitation camps. Her only hesitation is seeing Liam again. He holds the information that has been unknowingly sewn into his jacket pocket, making him an instant target, should the League find him first. The League are sending untrained and underdeveloped children out on missions, so when Ruby accepts her next mission, with the intention of fleeing to find Liam in the process, she never expected that she would need to keep fellow team member Jude safe. Jude may be able to draw energy through himself in order to burn through circuits and electronics, but Jude has never been inducted for a mission before, and has seen what happens to new recruits.

Smuggled into a cargo plane bound for Boston, Jude and Ruby need to survive long enough to shirk their mission Minder and find their way to North Carolina. They never accounted for their team member, the sassy and often crude Vida finding them, along with the Beta Team. But how have they been tracked to the middle of nowhere bus station? Their only escape comes when truck driver Andy stows the two away, in exchange for information on the rehabilitation camps, where his grandson is rumored to be held. Before long, the truck approaches the outskirts of Wilmington and the house where Liam's last whereabouts were tracked. Not only has Vida caught up with them yet again, but Ruby discovers that she isn't the only person who is looking for Liam, as a friend from her past joins the search. But Vida isn't looking for justice for Ruby derailing from her mission, she's here to help and together they only have two weeks to find Liam, retrieve the data device and return to HQ.

With bounty hunters on the prowl and agents looking to bring the teens back to the Children's league or taking them into government custody, they stumble across Knox, who claims to be The Slip Kid and running his own camp called East River. His followers believes his spiel as gospel, bringing up the painful reminder of Clancy and the smouldering East River sanctuary. But little do the group know, that Liam is closer than they think. While Ruby and Vida are forced to fight for their lives against a dangerous Red, the oppressive camp drifts into a state of unrest and Knox has lost his hold over his followers, apart from the rogue and dangerous few who are relentless in maintaining the powerhold.

But what they discover may just change the course of history, the government and president Grey's lies coming to fruition along with a heavily stocked airport hanger. Liam's has never held back on his dislike for the Children's League and frustrated why he can't shake his attraction to Ruby. He isn't supposed to remember who she is, she wiped his mind clean of their time together. But she didn't account for his feelings. Could Liam really remember her? When the group returns with the data device, HQ is thrown into chaos. Friendships will be tested, bonds will be broken and not everyone will survive. Ruby is in for the fight of her life, for the detained children and for a better world that starts with the information on that data device.

My Thoughts

The Darkest Minds was the surprise of 2012, and Never Fade was a worthy follow up, even bordering on surpassing the original. A group of kids that were plucked from their lives and thrown into detention camps around the country, for exhibiting supernatural abilities. A disease that swept through the juvenile population spared some, while others simply perished. Parents often called the authorities, scared of being harmed and only wanting to rehabilitate their young. The children are barely kept alive, tortured and abused, yet the public aren't aware that the children aren't being rehabilitated, nor will they ever be cured. But with the information that Ruby is sent to retrieve, the future of the children and their families may never be the same again.

Ruby is an awesome female heroine, she's tough and makes no apologies. But the real star of Never Fade is Vida. Vida is a member of Ruby's team at the Children's League and if you think her bark is bad, you've never seen this girl bite. She's snarky, witty and balls to the wall tough as they come. My only complaint is that for the first few chapters, I was struggling to remember where book one had left off and who some of the characters are, unfortunately Never Fade provides little to no back story until you read midway through. But as the storyline began to click into place, I absolutely loved it. The Darkest Minds is a series that challenges the young adult boundaries and is impossible to put down. Alexandra Bracken has mastered the art of submerging the reader into the storyline and allowing us to connect with her characters. And the ending? Epic. The third book is set to be explosive.

Author on the Grill: Ambelin Kwaymullina The Tribe Blog Tour

The Tribe is a brilliant young adult series that blends supernatural, fantasy, science fiction and dystopian, while weaving an important environmental message and romance throughout. Book one, The Interrogation Of Ashala Wolf was incredible. Ashala is a strong and fierce young heroine, that isn't afraid to fight against an oppressive regime against a new world that is rebuilding. But in The Disappearance Of Ember Crow, Ashala's strength is tested when her best friend Ember disappears. Ambelin Kwaymullina is a magical and natural storyteller. She allows readers to immerse themselves into Ashala's world, while incorporating the Australian indigenous Dreaming.

The Tribe series isn't just to be read, it's an experience. So when I had heard that Walker Books Australia were organising a tour for Ambelin, I was desperate to take part. I was fortunate enough to interview Embelin, who I quickly realised that the sassy, strong willed yet devoted and caring Ashala is a reflection of. Ambelin shares her thoughts on Ashala, The Tribe series' environmental message and gives us an understanding of Dreaming and the Aboriginal culture. Thank you Ambelin for not only creating a strong and intelligent young female heroine, but for breaking the young adult mould.

Most Australian's have an understanding of Dreaming and the spiritual aspect of our traditional land owners, but for international readers, would you be able to describe a little about Dreaming and the significance in plays in The Tribe series?


What is the Dreaming? It was during the Dreaming that the ancient creative Ancestors formed reality as we know it now – they travelled, danced, sung, fought, laughed, slept – and by doing these things and many others, they made them manifest in the world. The Dreaming beings shaped the many homelands of the many Aboriginal nations of Australia, our ‘Countries’, and when their work was done, they went back into the Countries they created. The world they made is animate and ever-moving; for everything in it is alive, and it is the nature of life to be dynamic and changeable. Everything lives, and everything connects – all that is, links together into living networks of relationships. 

When writing the Tribe series, I had to consider, what happens when the world ends? What happens to the Dreaming beings, or to old spirits of the earth from places other than Australia? In The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, it is discovered that one at least survived – Ashala’s grandfather Serpent, who formed the mighty Firstwood and imbued it with spirit and consciousness. In The Disappearance of Ember Crow, we discover that another ancient spirit lives too – not a Dreaming being, but another ancient spirit from elsewhere on this earth.

The stories of the Dreaming teach of a complex interconnected world where there is always more to what is than what can be perceived. In The Tribe series, the earth has torn itself apart in an environmental cataclysm. But the new earth is still an animate place of many voices and hidden realities. Ashala perhaps captures it best in The Disappearance of Ember Crow, when she thinks – ‘there are layers and layers to this world’. 
Ashala is a sassy, strong young woman and a brilliant female heroine in the young adult genre. What was the inspiration behind her character?


Ashala herself. She – well, is. I never felt like I invented her; I felt like I found her, or she found me. In some ways she’s like me; enough so that we understand each other, she and I. Perhaps that is why she chose me to tell her story. It is a great privilege and a great responsibility to do so. And yes, she is strong, and stubborn, and defiant. She burns bright, my Ash, and she will need all of her courage and all of her fire to meet the challenges of the world and the times in which she lives.

But she is not the only one. As I type these words I am conscious of how many young women in this world are living in difficult circumstances; how many are struggling to protect themselves and others; to make the best choice they can when their options have narrowed to nothing. It is a great privilege and a great responsibility to tell Ashala’s story – because, in many ways, it is not only Ashala’s story.
We understand each other, Ashala and I.
What inspired you to put pen to paper and tell Ashala and The Tribe's story?


There are some stories which must be told. If you ever find such a story, you will know it; you will sense the living, breathing nature of the narrative. And to deny such a story, to leave it isolated and untold, is a betrayal of the trust the story has placed in you. Ashala’s story is like that. I hear her voice so clearly; I think what she thinks and feel what she feels. I could never do other than to tell it. 
The Interrogation Of Ashala Wolf is an intelligent read with a strong message about caring for our world. Was it a conscious decision to weave an environmental message throughout the storyline?


I think I probably wrote of the world I knew. The responsibility to care for Country is a fundamental part of Aboriginal culture, and Country is not separate from us, so in nourishing the earth we also nourish our own selves. In Ashala’s reality the world ended in environmental disaster, and it is only natural for the survivors to place a high value on environmental stewardship. But her society is far less successful at caring for human beings; anyone with an ability is labelled an Illegal and locked away in detention centres. Ashala sees the flaw in this clearly, at the end of The Disappearance of Ember Crow: ‘People were good to the Earth now, but they weren’t good to each other, and it wasn’t enough to value only one kind of connection. All life matters, or none does.’
If you could leave readers one message about Ashala's story, what would that be?


Yeah, that’s a difficult question. There’s so many aspects to her story, and I think that readers bring their own thoughts and feelings to it, too. I want whoever reads the books to be free to find their own truth, the same way I discover new insights every time I re-read one of my favourite books.

But…I was asked at a conference this year who I write for, and in answering that question I realised something for the first time. I realised I have someone in mind when I write, and it is not the person who has never known what it is to experience some of what Ashala does; who has never been frightened or in danger. I write for the vulnerable, not for the safe. And for them – yes, I do have a message.

You are not alone. 
Ambelin Kwaymullina loves reading sci-fi and fantasy books, and has wanted to write a novel since she was six years old. She comes from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. When not writing or reading she works in cultural heritage, illustrates picture books and hangs out with her dogs. She has previously written a number of children’s books, both alone and with other members of her family. Her first novel, The Tribe Book 1: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, was short-listed in both the Science Fiction and Young Adult Fiction categories of the 2012 Aurealis Awards.

You can follow Ambelin's tour to her next stop at Treasured Tales For Young Adults.

Join The Tribe now by visiting The Firstwood

Purchase The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf from:
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The Disappearance Of Ember Crow is available from:

The Disappearance of Ember Crow By Ambelin Kwaymullina

The Disappearance Of Ember Crow The Tribe Book Two
Written By Ambelin Kwaymullina
Science Fiction, Dystopian
Published November 1st 2013
400 Pages
Thank you to Walker Books Australia
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However this ends, you're probably going to find out some things about me, and they're not nice things. But, Ash, even after you know, do you think you could remember the good? And whatever you end up discovering, try to think of me kindly. If you can.

Ember Crow is missing. To find her friend, Ashala Wolf must control her increasingly erratic and dangerous Sleepwalking ability and leave the Firstwood. But Ashala doesn't realise that Ember is harbouring terrible secrets and is trying to shield the Tribe and all Illegals from a devastating new threat, her own past.
Since the fall of Neville Rose, escaping the detention centre and returning back to the Firstwood, Ashala has been living with her pack. Drawn into the woods and living as a wolf, Ash attempts to escape her inability to control her Sleepwalking, fearful that she may unconsciously hurt someone of the Tribe, or Connor. But the feeling of freedom and lack of responsibility is short lived, as Georgie and Connor admit that Ember is missing. Ember left the safety of the Firstwood for Gull City, where she had planned to meet the elusive Serpent. Once only a rumor in order to distract the government, a man calling himself The Serpent has emerged at rallies where rebels are challenging the Citizenship Accords and now Ember is missing. But when a dog bounds into the forest carrying one of Ember's memory stones, that may hold the key to Ember's disappearance, Ashala will stop at nothing to find her best friend and bring her home safely.

She is pulled into Ember's memories, in a one sided conversation. Ash discovers that Ember may know who the figure referring to himself as The Serpent is, and if she's proven correct, then Ember refuses to stand idly by. She doesn't know when she'll be able to return to the Firstwood, if at all. Like all members of The Tribe, Ember has a past she would rather forget. But as Ashala begins to ask questions, she may just find more than she bargained for. Ember's only wish is to be remembered kindly and with understanding, in what may be her last goodbye.

Feeling lost and in need of guidance, Ash returns to the lake where the spirit of her grandfather has settled. Speaking within her mind, her grandfather expresses his concern about the world that man once destroyed, and he isn't the only one. Ancient beings and spirits that survived the Reckoning are fearful that man is destined to repeat the atrocities of the past. Ember isn't lost but rather where she has chosen to be, but his warning to beware of the angels leaves Ash feeling uneasy and cautious. Ash had once thought of Connor as an angel since Georgie had likened his perfect features to one of the old world statues. Surely he couldn't be warning Ashala to beware of Connor, could he?

Ash and Connor need to retrace Ember's movements, but remembering her life before arriving at Firstwood, Ash releases that she knows very little of who Ember was. Her father was deeply embedded within the Spinifex City reform movement, but as his health failed, he and Ember fled using the tunnels beneath Firstwood, with her father losing his life before they had arrived. But who was Ember before Firstwood, the inquisitive and feisty young woman is insistent that her past contains secrets that Ash may not be able to forgive.

Jaz's tribe captures an illegal making his way to the Firstwood. Jules is an Impersonator, being able to shift into anyone he has come into contact with and he brings a message from Ember embedded in yet another river stone. What Ash is about to learn about Ember will rock the foundations of not only the Tribe, but society. From the Serpent, how she came about meeting Jules and where she is. But can Ashala reach Ember in time before she disappears believing that Ash didn't have her support and understanding?

Kelly's Thoughts

The Tribe series is phenomenal. Rarely does book two in any series live up to our expectations, but The Disappearance of Ember Crow intensifies the action, the intrigue and adds the extra element of introducing new characters and a science fiction storyline. I loved it immensely. Ambelin is a storyteller, she creates magical and intriguing worlds that you can't help but be immediately drawn into. With an impeccable writing style, the fusion of fantasy, dystopian science fiction and romance is breathtaking.

The Final Verdict

With both The Interrogation Of Ashala Wolf and The Disappearance Of Ember Crow, the story lines are unpredictable, engaging and enthralling. I can't wait for the third and final installment in this series, The Foretelling Of Georgie Spider.

Stacking The Shelves #005

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online bookshops, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks. Hosted by Tyngas Reviews.

Physical copies I received this week...

Red Hill By Jamie McGuire

When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly 'outbreak' begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy, an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

After Eden By Helen Douglas

Eden Anfield loves puzzles, so when mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school she's hooked. On the face of it, he's a typical American teenager. So why doesn't he recognise pizza? And how come he hasn't heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden the most, however, is the interest he's taking in her.

As Eden starts to fall in love with Ryan, she begins to unravel his secret. Her breakthrough comes one rainy afternoon when she stumbles across a book in Ryan's bedroom, a biography of her best friend, written over fifty years in the future. Confronting Ryan, she discovers that he is there with one unbelievably important purpose... And she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.

It was inevitable that the entire school would be talking about Ryan Westland, even sixteen year old Eden, but what she didn't expect was to capture his attention. Eden lives in Cornwell and dreams about her life being that from the pages of a novel, wanting to be brave, take risks and make a difference. Little does she know that she'll be given the opportunity to change the world.

Wild Cards By Simone Elkeles

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek's counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else's family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain, people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek, someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

After yet another prank, Derek finds himself homeless. Regents Preparatory Academy are refusing to ignore his antics any longer, and Derek has been expelled and send packing back to his step mother Brandi. Derek's father remarried only eight months ago, after Derek lost his mother to cancer. Brandi, although spirited and kind hearted, already had her hands full with four year old Julian, and Derek's father has been deployed for six months. But when Brandi decides to move to Chicago to live with her family, Derek has no choice but to relocate.

Stacking The Shelves #004

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online bookshops, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks. Hosted by Tyngas Reviews.

This week I received a few digital copies for review...
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