Review: Til the World Ends by Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre, and Karen Duvall

Til the World EndsSource: Harlequin Luna/Netgalley – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation.
Publisher: Harlequin Luna
Series: Blood of Eden #0.5
Edition: Egalley, 368 pages
Genre: Young Adult Anthology Fantasy/Horror
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

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….

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.

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 ends.

Dawn of Eden is a novella connected directly to the storyline of Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series. It centers around Kylie, a doctor who has been trying to battle the Red Lung, and Ben Archer. If you’ve read Immortal Rules then his name should ring some bells, but don’t worry because even if you have not read the first book this is not dependent on it at all and would be a great place to start. It is a great intro to the world as well as the beginning of the events described in The Immortal Rules. The relationship between Kylie and Ben feel genuine and it’s rather sweet, and given the horrid situation they are both in I don’t find it strange that they would come to depend on each other. I will say that this one does bump up the maturity level, so be aware of that. Individually I’d give this novella a 4 star rating.

Thistle and Thorn is by Ann Aguirre, the author of the Razorland series. As far as I know this novella is not connected to any storyline she has going right now, which is a bit of a disappointment because this story was really awesome. I’d love to see a full length version of this run down and battered world. I was actually impressed that she fit what could have been a whole  book’s plot into about 33% of this over all anthology, and managed to pull it off. Mari, is a rather tough young woman who is struggling to survive and keep her family safe in what is known as the Red Zone. It’s a gritty area where crime is an everyday occurrence. She’s strong and fairly resourceful. Thorne is an emotionally and physically scarred guy who is sick of the corruption and the killing, and he finds himself dependent on Mari to help bring it all down. These two are fiercely independent so it was nice to see what they could do working together and I liked the subtle growth of emotion between them. I loved that their pasts were explained and that they were given needed depth to truly understand their struggles. It’s also fairly action packed and the pacing of the novel is deliberate yet quick. The way this one ended has me wanting more and I hope she revisits this world in the future. Individually this one gets 4 stars as well.

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall, author of the Knight Curse series, is another free standing novella with a ton of potential. For me this was the weakest one of the three because it didn’t really work for me as a short story. I would have preferred to see this one played out in a full length novel, where everything can really flesh out and wouldn’t feel as rushed. The concept is really awesome. Earth is dying and it’s all because the Sun is bombarding it with solar storms, the humans that have survived do so at great peril because not only is the temperature rising it’s deadly to be caught in one of these storms. The lucky few who don’t die from exposure end up as Kinetics with some amazing powers. Sarah can predict Solar storms and she uses it to warn people before they hit, and Ian Matthews is just as powerful as her though his gift is very different. There is a lot going on in this one from the fact that Earth is dying, to people gaining powers from the radiation, to having the government involved. As I read this I couldn’t help but feel it was a tad rushed because there is so much detail proved and yet at the same time it feels a bit glossed over. I wanted to know more about everything and I wanted to have the characters fleshed out a bit more. If Duvall ever writes a full length story in this particular world I’d definitely read it. Individually I have to give this one a 3 star rating.

I received this in exchange for an honest review.

4 stars

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4 Responses to Review: Til the World Ends by Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre, and Karen Duvall

  1. I don’t read novellas often, but this sounds really good. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  2. It is strange that I some how missed a book by Julie Kagawa. Not that I have read many of her books, but she has enough of a following that you would have thought that I would have seen it by now. Thanks for your great review and introduction.

  3. I really enjoyed all three tales and I am so glad you did too. I cannot wait for the next book by Kagawa. This novella was darker, edger and ooh I loved it!

  4. I agree with all your ratings! I loved Thistle and Thorn the best, and I also really hope Ann Aguirre writes a full length novel in this world! Sun Storm also felt really rushed to me. A full length book would be better. Great review!

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