Written by Skye Melki Wegner
Published in Australia January 2nd 2014
Thank you to Random House Australia
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Danika and her crew of escaped refugees are seeking the safety of the Magnetic Valley, and trying to evade Sharr Morrigan, the king's most lethal hunter. But the borderlands they must cross to reach the Valley are smugglers' territory: lawless, wild and steeped in ancient magic. When one of the crew is badly wounded, Danika turns to the smugglers for help, and accepts a bargain that might prove deadly.It is Lukas, however, who hides the most dangerous secret. What has he seen through the eagle's eyes? The answer can be found in an alchemy charm and a smuggler's tale, and will lead Danika and her friends to an electrifying, unputdownable showdown.
They've destroyed the King's airbase and now the hunters are hot on their trail, as they continue to search for the Magnetic Valley. With only the smugglers song to guide them, the refugee crew is in the midst of the ultimate game of cat and mouse, with the newly ostracized Sharr Morrigan leading the charge. Danika is struggling to control her newly developed proclivity of night, desperately afraid of herself to the shadows. The terrain is unforgiving as the group descend into knife, the rocky barriers proving too much for their stolen Foxaries and now the group must complete their journey on foot, keeping to the undergrowth and rocky outcrops to disguise their steps.
Using his proclivity, Lukas can see what the journey holds beyond Taladia, much to the distrust of his crew. Danika clings to the moment she and Lukas shared while waiting for their execution, and refuses to believe he has betrayed them. So when Lukas sneaks off into the night, Danika is close behind. But little does she know that she's now responsible for Teddy, Maisy and Clementin's demise. She's desperate to find her crew when she stumbles across Silver, an aging Smuggler who reluctantly agrees to join the search, but for a price. Silver holds a secret of her own, she's more than just another illegal merchant, but will she betray the group before they reach freedom?
The King is amassing an army. Since the explosion depleted the King's first plan of action, he is now recruiting those of earth and water proclivities and congregating within reach of the Magnetic Valley. The crew is in a shambles, either barely clinging to life, missing and now they're being followed to the Valley, by someone who just may want to see their demise as well. Their only option is to forge forward, but even with the aide of an alchemy charm and sheer determination, will it be enough?
The Chasing the Valley series has skyrocketed to one my favourite series. Book one was among my top five reads of last year, and Borderlands blows it out of the water. It's the ultimate blend of an oppressive rule, a post apocalyptic landscape, adventure, survival and a touch of romance, beautifully woven into a heart stopping storyline. The crew is still clinging to the Magnetic Valley being their savior, with Danika having nothing to return to. The alchemy bombs destroyed her home, killing her family in the process. Danika is struggling with her feelings towards Lukas, the crew don't trust the son of the King himself and perhaps with good reason. But more than a few twists arise along the way, and one you won't see coming. I loved the element of surprise, it's unpredictable and will keep you guessing to the very end.
It was once only Australian young adult contemporary novels that were receiving accolades, but the magical mix of fantasy and dystopian being released by Australian authors is incredible, and Skye Melki Wegner is leading the charge. The release of Skyfire, the final in this incredible trilogy, can't come soon enough.
Bravo Skye, Bravo.