‘Til The World Ends
Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre & Karen Duvall
Publisher: Harlequin Luna: Released on 29th January 2013
E-Arc courtesy of Netgalley & Harlequin Luna
This is a collection of three stories all set at shortly after the end of the world – with each story focused on a very different apocalypse so I really need take this review one story at a time.
Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa
Before The Immortal Rules, there was the Red Lung, a relentless virus determined to take out all in its path. For Kylie, the miracle of her survival is also her burden-as a doctor at one of the clinics for the infected, she is forced to witness endless suffering. What's worse, strange things are happening to the remains of the dead, and by the time she befriends Ben Archer, she's beginning to wonder if a global pandemic is the least of her problems....
This is a prequel to the fantastic Immortal Rules. Set at the start of the zombie plague, this focuses on Kylie, a young doctor who continues to help those infect with the Red Lung disease, until Ben Archer turns up at her clinic and the dead suddenly don’t stay dead for long. The relationship between Kylie and Ben is a joy to read as they are thrown together in the most terrifying of circumstances and try to build something together. Theirs is a really tender relationship, really heart warming. Although for a YA book, there is a rather hot scene at one point! The writing is absorbing and captivating – it was impossible to stop reading until the end!
Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre
After a catastrophic spill turns the country into a vast chemical wasteland, those who could afford it retreated to fortresses, self-contained communities run by powerful corporations. But for Mari Thistle, life on the outside-in the Red Zone-is a constant struggle. To protect her family, Mari teams up with the mysterious Thorne Goodman. Together, they'll face an evil plot in both the underworld of the Red Zone and the society inside the fortresses that could destroy those on the outside...for good.
This was just a wonderful ride through a post-apocalyptic wasteland with thief Mari forced to work with mysterious Thorne in order to save her family and over throw the leader of the underworld in their zone. As ever Ann Aguirre creates realistic characters that aren’t invincible but smart enough to play to their strengths. Mari and Thorne think their away obstacles and problems, while the Red Zone and the enclosed fortress worlds are wonderfully described and I really felt like this was just the beginning of Mari’s story. Hopefully Ann will revisit this world at some point!
Sun Storm by Karen Duvall
Sarah Daggot has been chasing storms since she was a child. But after the biggest solar flares in history nearly destroy the planet, she becomes a Kinetic, endowed by her exposure to extreme radiation with the power to sense coming storms-in the cosmos and beyond. And she's not the only one. Sarah believes the Kinetics are destined to join forces and halt the final onslaught of the sun. She'll vow to keep trying to convince the one missing link in their chain of defense, the enigmatic Ian Matthews, up until the world end.
Sarah has the ability to predict the devastating sun storms that are ravaging the planet but when Ian turns up in her home town she finds herself in the midst of a battle for the survival for the world. There was enough action in this short story to fill a whole novel. However, I felt that Sarah wasn’t someone I felt much for – she seemed to believe people very quickly. There were plenty of occasions when characters were just info-dumping to her, bringing her up to-date and she kept changing her mind based on what they said. I’d rather she was shown what was happening more rather than just listening. It made her seem quite gullible. I liked the idea of the dangerous sun storms and the mutations for those few who survived but overall I just didn’t connect with the main character.
The Dawn of Eden and Thistle and Thorn were both excellent and well worth a read, but I was less enthused with Sun Storm
Recommended for fans of Suzanne Collins and Jennifer Estep. 8 out of 10