Tawney Twin here and it’s Book Friday where we talk all about the books we read for the week.
I wanted to tell you about one book in particular, that completely blew me away.
I read it in one day. Maybe just a couple of hours. It grasped my attention from the beginning. What book could have grabbed hold of me in such a way? Well….a book about bees. Yes real bees that fly around and get honey.
Review: I wasn’t sure what to think about this book. How the heck would bees interest me? I love honey and bees always intrigued me so I wanted to give it a try. What could it hurt? I was very happy I did read it. From the moment I read chapter one, the main character Flora 717 had me hooked. She has just emerged from her comb as an adult. Here new life has begun. We are thrust into the bee world with cast systems, oppression, societal rules, a mother religion and many many bees. This world drew my attention right away. Laline brings their world to life with Flora in an exceptional way.
Flora is born into a low cast system, the lowest in her hive. It’s a matriarchal hive ruled by one Queen. But the moment Flora is born its obvious she’s different. At her birth a deformed bee gets killed by the fertility police because of being different from the others, which they call sickness. Because Flora is bigger and different it could get her killed. But she’s saved by a priestess bee named Sage. She’s a priestess part of the caste system that rules the hive and takes care of the Queen. The Sage sees potential in Flora, so she gives her different positions with different bees, which is unusual. Normal bees usually die in their positions. She helps newborns hatch from their eggs, moves to the nursery to help raise them then becomes a forger flying for pollen only to move back to the servitude of her low caste system, a sanitary worker. Laline moves us flawless through the hierarchy of the hive with Flora’s job hopping to show us how unique Flora is and her world.
The first half of the book does a wonderful job in introducing us to the bees world on their religion for the Mother. The biggest rule is only the Queen can breed. Given that its a female hive with only few drones, male bees, it shouldn’t be that hard. But surprise are in store and Flora was born to bend the rules. She also meets many different bees along the way including a drone named Sir Linden. And boy are these male bees spoiled! But Flora was born to bend the rules. The bees communicate through their antennas, scent and touch. Many things happen to Flora that she needs to block her antenna from other bees reading her thoughts. And boy does she need to keep her secrets!
The book is written wonderfully, so much so that sometimes I forget that I’m reading about a bee! Flora was a character I grew attached to and concerned for throughout the book. I loved the language Laline developed for the bees. “The Queen’s Love”, “The Blessing,” “The Visitation” are a few of the words used for the bees rituals. I whipped through this book in one day. It was so unique that I highly recommend it for others to read.
The Bees Plot:
Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.
But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen’s fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.
The Author: Laline Paull
Laline Paull studied English at Oxford, screenwriting in Los Angeles, and theater in London. She lives in England with her husband, photographer Adrian Peacock, and their three children.
Thank you for joining us today. Until next time!
It’s Tawney twin here and today we’re talking about Scott Westerfield’s Afterworlds. We had the pleasure of reading this book before publication by receiving an ARC from BEA. Here’s a little about the book.
Darcy Patel has put college on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. With a contract in hand, she arrives in New York City with no apartment, no friends, and all the wrong clothes. But lucky for Darcy, she’s taken under the wings of other seasoned and fledgling writers who help her navigate the city and the world of writing and publishing. Over the course of a year, Darcy finishes her book, faces critique, and falls in love.
Woven into Darcy’s personal story is her novel, Afterworlds, a suspenseful thriller about a teen who slips into the “Afterworld” to survive a terrorist attack. The Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead, and where many unsolved—and terrifying—stories need to be reconciled. Like Darcy, Lizzie too falls in love…until a new threat resurfaces, and her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she cares about most.
Afterworlds is a great concept for a story! This novel is actually a story within a story. Scott weaves both stories together using every other chapter for us to follow each story. There are two main characters. the first is Darcy Patel. Her story is told in third person. Darcy just signed her first publishing deal for a story she wrote while in high school, Afterworlds. With her book deal she moves to New York where she discovers the ins and outs of being a newbie author. She mingles with other authors at a YA Drinks Night. This is where she meets another debut author Imogen. They become fast friends but soon love blooms and the two are together 24/7. But Imogen has her secrets and they begin to unravel while Darcy is trying to figure out the world of publishing. Darcy’s story is a contemporary story where we follow her trying to edit Afterworlds, write the sequel to Afterworlds, talking to her agent, hanging with other authors and trying to survive first love. It’s a wonderful story of what the publishing world is about.
Our second main character is Lizzie. She’s Dacy’s main character in the book she just signed Afterworlds. Her story is told in first person. We begin Lizzie’s story at the airport when terrorists attack. The only thing Darcy can do is play dead, and dead she does. A little too much to the point she crosses over to the world of the dead. There she meets Yami and her brother Yamaraj, Yama for short. Yama tells her she’s a psychopomp and begins to teach her how to survive with the dead. But soon she wants to help the ghost of her mother’s childhood friend against a pedophile. But with power things can go wrong and they do. Lizzie grows close to Yama and we watch her love grow for him as she even finds out what he truly is. Lizzie’s story is a paranormal adventure which starts off with a bang.
Back and forth we follow both girls through their trials of first love and the obstacles life brings. I have to admit I liked Darcy’s story a lot better than Lizzie’s. Lizzie’s was a great paranormal story but I didn’t connect with the character more than I did with Darcy. I wanted to see more in the world of publishing and her connection with Imogen. It was nice to see a diverse relationship that isn’t much offered to readers. I give this book 3 stars. I liked the writing and how both worlds flowed together but I just wasn’t interested in Lizzie as I was Darcy. Both worlds also seemed to become depressing with the downs and out of relationships. I would like to see Darcy sell her second book and how the relationship with Imogen is going. I want more about the publishing world. Lizzie’s story I’m not sure I would follow again so I’m probably I wouldn’t read a sequel.
Here’s your chance to read Afterworlds before it comes out! Go enter to win an ARC.
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It’s Tawney twin here! Let’s talk about books!
I’ve been reading a lot lately due to the fact I’m unemployed at the moment. It could be both a good thing and bad thing! But due to my free time I’ve read so many good books! I’ve decided to share them with you because they’re an excellent, fast reads that you need to add to your “to be read” list!
Here’s 3 books I’ve read the past week and why you should read them too!
If you haven’t read The Cahill Witch Chronicles…you need to get on it! Coming from the last book Star Cursed, we were left with a cliffhanger! The dreaded cliffhanger that makes you wait agonizing months/years to see what happens. But it wasn’t just any cliffhanger, it was a OMG-I-didn’t-see-that-coming-cliffhanger! Cate returns to the world that Jessica beautifully created with the prophecy and for a fight to protect her sisters. Cate has always tried to keep it a secret that she’s a witch from the Brotherhood. And it gets harder and harder with the amped up security. The Sisterhood doesn’t know what to do and Cate needs to protect her sisters. I’m not going to give much away but it all twines together perfectly when this book is finished. I devoured this book once I got it in my hands! It was a great ending for the series.
A fever ravages New London, but with the Brotherhood sending suspected witches straight to the gallows, the Sisters are powerless against the disease. They can’t help without revealing their powers—as Cate learns when a potent display of magic turns her into the most wanted witch in all of New England.
To make matters worse, Cate has been erased from the memory of her beloved Finn. While she’s torn between protecting him from further attacks and encouraging him to fall for her all over again, she’s certain she can never forgive Maura’s betrayal. And now that Tess’s visions have taken a deadly turn, the prophecy that one Cahill sister will murder another looms ever closer to its fulfillment.
I love fantasy, so when I heard about this book I immediately added it to my TBR list. The cover is gorgeous and the concept of the book sounded fabulous. Once I bought my book and had it in my hands I engulfed this book like it was a rare chocolate treat. And what a treat it was! It’s a story of magic, romance, time bending and a gutsy main character that I loved reading about. We follow Kai through an absolute wonderful world that Lori created. I love world building and she didn’t disappoint with caste systems and magic. There’s the Infinite, the Grays and the mahjo. What’s not to love? Kai is a datermined girl who wants to save her brother Reev, who was kidnapped. Enter Avan who wants to help Kai. What a great friendship they have that slightly moves to the possibility of more. The writing flowed and I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough to see what happened next to Kai. A great adventurous read. I can’t wait to learn more from this world that Lori created. I know she has more in store for us!
In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.
In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.
Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
I love angel books! When I got the first book in this series, A Shimmer of Angels, I was hooked! So I immediately snatched the second book when it was released. We have the Fallen, angels, and hottie Kade, (Love that name) and our main character Rayna has wings! The writing was great and I whipped through this book like a road runner, quickly turning each page. Rayna must learn to protect herself form the Fallen and Kade can help with that but when she runs back to her family things get a little complicated….the suspense kicks in as we follow her trying to save herself and those she loves.
A SLITHER OF HOPE
Rayna struggles to piece her life back together, but hiding in plain sight from the police, the SS Crazy, and the Fallen isn’t a foolproof plan—something Kade, the World’s Worst Roommate, reminds her of everyday.
The late nights of failing to teach Ray how to protect herself against the Fallen are getting to Kade, changing him in ways he doesn’t like, and after a family emergency sends Ray back into Cam’s arms, Kade decides he’s had enough.
News of Rayna’s resurfacing brings both angels and the Fallen to San Francisco by the dozens, all eyes scouring the city for the girl with the gray wings. Rayna will need both Kade and Cam’s help to ensure her family’s safety, navigate the new dangers and enemies springing up all over the city, and manage the surprises that arise with her new set of wings.
So those are the books I’ve read this last week! Magic, witches and angels! I just love magic and fantasy!
How about you? What have you read?