YALC 16 was a delightful affair and I still have not been able to read all the books I picked up while I was there. I have, however, read a number of the sneak peeks which were given away at all the numerous stalls. Believe me, there were a lot of sneak peeks and now, as a result, the number of books on my wish-list has increased. Here are a few of those that I read and my thoughts on them. All of these books are out now.
Broken Sky by L.A. Weatherly – 4.5/5
This was my first sneak peek of the bunch and I was duly impressed. It only included the prologue, but that prologue did an ample job of setting up the story. Yet, nor does it waste time – there is plenty of progress in the first few pages. It’s very easy to get a sense of who Amity is and I love the idea of astrology being a political force. Plenty is left unsaid, however, and there is a curious conspiracy I would certainly like to learn more about.
The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone – 3.5/5
A very different book this one, one that leads plenty of room for chills to crawl down your spine. The prologue does not involve too much of the creepiness that is promises, but does a very good job of setting up the characters and hinting at what is yet to come. There are a number of threads that all look like they will come together to form an intricate web. The writing, characters, and hidden threat hint at a thrilling tale. Unfortunately, it is only the promise we see in the prologue.
Revenger by Alastair Reynolds – 4.5/5
From creepy happenings on present day Earth to adventures far out in space and millions of years into the future. The first chapter of Revenger sets the scene for a thrilling sci-fi adventure and, already, many layers of intrigue are introduced to the reader. From bone-reading to the mysterious drug which stops you from aging, I am so curious to see where everything is headed; out into the unknown, most likely.
Heart of Granite by James Barclay – 3/5
This was probably my least favourite of the sneak-peeks, and not just because of all the swearing (a big turn off in books for me). We are only given chapter 1 as a taster and so I can’t really base my opinion of the novel as a whole by what I read, but I ended up rather confused. This confusion stems from the fact the novel becomes a little difficult to follow once we meet the mysterious drake (dragons with another name). I did love the idea of linking them and Max, though annoying at times, was very easy to visualise. This is probably a book which needs more than one read to fully appreciate.
13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough – 4.5/5
On the other hand, this was the sneak peek which took me most by surprise. From the cover, I was expecting something similar to other YA contemporary novels (John Green, Gayle Foreman), but what I read was something very different. The writing is brilliant, especially the first paragraph, and it sets up a mystery to get the mind whirring. The only part I was not sure about was the texting – no-one I know texts like that, and it was very difficult to read, although it does add a bit of an extra layer to the novel.
I hope you enjoyed those short sneak peek reviews. They’re a great way to discover new books without spending money on something you don’t know much about. Although, there is the danger that, if you do end up liking the books, you end up buying them all.