Kirsty Logan, The Gracekeepers
This novel is set in a post-apocalyptic universe where almost the entire world is covered in ocean; the land has been reduced to a few small, isolated groups of islands. In this world, people are divided into “landlockers” and “damplings,” with the landlockers generally being richer and more powerful — though no one is truly rich anymore. But Callanish Sand has a unique status: though she lives on her own tiny island, she is a gracekeeper, one who performs the necessary burial rituals for damplings who have died. Her life is a solitary one, a self-imposed punishment for a mistake she made long ago — until she meets North, a dampling circus performer whose act involves dancing with a semi-trained bear. Both Callanish and North are lonely individuals trying to escape their unwanted destinies; but only when their lives collide do they dare to imagine a different life.
I have to say, I have mixed feelings about this book, and I think it’s because I was expecting a different kind of story. The back cover doesn’t reveal North’s gender, so I was assuming that the character was male and that there would be a romance with Callanish. But in fact, North is a woman, and her relationship with Callanish is somewhat ambiguous (possibly romantic, but not necessarily). I also assumed that the characters would interact far more than they actually do in the book. While there is some overlap, most of their stories take place in their own separate worlds. Personally, I found North’s story much more interesting, and I was fascinated by the description of the floating circus and its various performers. Callanish’s story is more subdued, and the stakes seem lower. Also, something about the writing style kept me a distance, so I didn’t feel very invested in the plot or characters. Overall, I think this book would appeal to people who love settings and strong world-building, but it didn’t do anything special for me.
Win This Book!
If you’d like to win an ARC of this book, simply comment on this post by midnight on February 6, 2015 (EST). The giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry, international folks!). A winner will be chosen randomly, and results will be announced sometime on February 7. I’ll also try to contact the winner personally, but that only works if I can find contact info for you somewhere. 🙂 Good luck!
Happy Independence Day, my fellow Americans! As you know, I’ve decided to give away my ARC of Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers, and it’s time to announce the results! The winner, picked by random.org, is…Doing Dewey!
Congratulations! Please email me at youbookmeallnightlong(at)gmail(dot)com with your address so that I can send you your book! I’ll get it in the mail by next weekend at the latest.
Thanks to everyone who entered! There weren’t many of you, so obviously I need to publicize better and/or get more followers. 🙂 Better luck next time!
Robin LaFevers, Mortal Heart
This final book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy focuses on Annith, one of the most skilled novices at the convent of St. Mortain in medieval Brittany. She has lived her entire life in the convent but yearns to be sent on her first mission to the outside world, so that she can finally use her skills to serve the god of death. But the abbess has stubbornly kept her in the convent while allowing other, less skilled novices to go out on missions. When Annith hears that the abbess intends to make her the next Seeress, effectively locking her within the convent walls forever, she decides to leave the convent and find her own way to serve Mortain. Along the way she runs into a group of hellequin, doomed souls who can only redeem themselves by ushering the spirits of the dying into the afterlife. At first the hellequin terrify Annith, but she soon grows closer to their mysterious leader, Balthazaar. Will Annith be able to overcome her past, including the secrets the abbess is keeping, and forge her own destiny?
I was a big fan of Grave Mercy and, to a lesser extent, Dark Triumph, so I jumped at the chance to grab this galley at BEA! Unfortunately, I wasn’t completely enamored with the book, although I’m having a hard time pinpointing why. For one thing, the plot doesn’t have much forward momentum; there’s a lot about Annith’s past and the secrets hidden in the convent, but her current journey is much less interesting. I also found Balthazaar underwhelming as a romantic lead. There’s just no spark between him and Annith, possibly because the book spends so much time in the past. And although his big secret makes total sense in the world of this series, it made me less enthusiastic about him and Annith as a couple. That said, I do think the book is a good resolution to the series as a whole, providing some closure on all the main characters and resolving the dangling plot threads from earlier books. So I’d certainly recommend this novel to fans of the series, but I still think the first book, Grave Mercy, is the best.
WIN THIS BOOK
Since I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to read this book, I’d like to give someone else a chance as well. So with that in mind, I am offering one lucky winner my advance reader copy of Mortal Heart. It’s only been read one time and is still in great shape, I promise! 🙂 Here’s how to enter:
- Comment on this blog post between now and July 3, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern time). Be sure to mention that you are entering the giveaway!
- One entry per person, please!
- This giveaway is limited to US readers only. (I know, I know, sorry!)
- The winner will be chosen randomly, and I’ll announce the results in a new post sometime on July 4.
And…that’s it! Good luck, everyone!