…Trainee Superhero! It’s like a funnier Ender’s Game, but in better outfits. It’s like a gender-balanced Avengers, but with more realism. It’s a superhero tale, but utterly original. My favourite thing about it is the names: The trainer’s superhero name is ‘Past Prime’!
Here’s the blurb of Book One (which seems to currently be free to you Kindle folk):
I was five when the alien saucers first attacked Earth.
They tore up mountains and cities for reasons that we still don’t understand, killing millions of innocents. There was nothing our military could do to break the aliens’ shields, and we thought it was the end for Earth. The superheroes saved us, fighting back using technology stolen from the saucers. The superheroes are the thin shield that stands between humanity and Armageddon, but it’s dangerous work and many of the brave souls who fly out do not return.
I was chosen to be a superhero when I was seventeen. It’s not everything I had expected: my heroes hate me, my trainers want me dead and my team are misfits and rebels with dark pasts.
But none of that matters. I may only be a trainee superhero, but this my chance to get my revenge.
Earth needs me, so I’m going to end this year in a cape or a coffin.
Book Two is out as well and I’m waiting eagerly for the next installment. Download it and enjoy!
This collection of young adult short stories is engaging, spanning varying social and cultural issues. The first concerns a girl escaping from potential trafficking. I particularly like the style of the beginning; short sentences and fragments reflect almost a stream of consciousness. This gives way to a more traditional narrative style in parts of the story. The weather is used for effect charmingly: ‘The sun excited the whole hillside until the flowers, the trees, the bushes and the grass, all burst into colour.’ The first person narrative is insistently present with an almost visual pattern in the continual use of ‘I’. This creates an urgency which draws the reader into the character’s very present danger.
The second story adopts the perspective of a teenager training for the Paralympics. The author uses voice credibly; the character feels relate-able and genuine. This story is particularly impressive for its shifting focus and the way it presents a rounded view of the character and her concerns. The brevity of the paragraphing here intelligently reflects her young character’s thoughts.
The other two stories are futuristic with biblical themes. Both used imagery strongly and would interest some readers. The use of diary form in ‘Meg’s Diary’ is interesting and gives a certain pace and intrigue. Fiona Linday is clearly adept at writing in varied styles and knows the craft well. The mix of genres in this collection means there are aspects that will appeal to all.
Thanks to Fiona Linday for sending me a copy to review. Find out more here.
C. H. Aalberry beautifully conjures magical lands and thrilling encounters in his debut YA fantasy novel, ‘Wish’. Shards of the shattered WishStone have granted unpredictable powers to a cast of lovely and credible characters. Dak the Warrior is a fearsome giant with swirling red tattoos, two sharp axes and an unexpectedly generous nature. He travels with Lae, who is magical, sarcastic and well-read, and their charmingly anthropomorphised scruffy dog. Their adventure to save the world from war and the necromancer and to find the secrets of the WishStone is gripping and heart-warming in equal measure. Every character that they meet is distinct and well-written.
The author is very witty and uses humour cleverly in his characterisation. Dak, for example, speaks simply, for the most part, but occasionally surprises with excellently-timed moments of wisdom. Aventur, a narcissistic shiny-haired time-travelling bard, is given some very funny lines and maxims we can all live by: ‘Fortune favours the brave of heart and clean of hair!’
I don’t often review books that I’ve edited, but I think this one is particularly special. The plot is imaginative and unpredictable, the settings are vividly drawn and the characters feel very genuine. Also, it is very cheap ($0.99) so if you like the sound of it, take a punt! Buy it on Smashwords here or on Amazon Kindle for just £0.77.