Sunday, January 13, 2013

Short stories are awesome.  They give us in-depth insight into characters, providing anecdotal proof of why some characters are they way they are.  They entertain by creating a certain mood or focusing on a singular effect...some instance in a previous body of work (or one to follow) that might have been glossed over or ignored completely in a longer novel. 

And so, every Sunday for the foreseeable future, I would like to highlight short stories and novellas set in worlds I've already come to love and learn a little more about some of the secondary characters in my favorite novels.  I'll be underscoring some of my favorite aspects of these short works of fiction, in addition to offering up a mini review of each work.

This week I'm featuring a short story from an anthology focusing on the end of the world as we know it:

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Title: 'Til the World Ends
Author: Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre & Karen Duvall
Series: Blood of Eden, book #0.5 (prequel)
Publisher: Harlequin Luna
Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Source: from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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.

This week, I'll be reviewing Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa.  Next week, I plan to review the short story by Ann Aguirre, followed the next week by Sun Storm by Karen Duvall.  That's the plan, anyway.  :)

Dawn of Eden, prequel to The Immortal Rules, by Julie Kagawa

First, let me say that although this is a prequel to the Blood of Eden series, you don't have to know anything about that series to enjoy it.  If you have read The Immortal Rules, you'll definitely enjoy this short story more because it takes place right at the turning point, when things went from bad to worse, and the characters happen upon a familiar face, one that I didn't even realize how much I'd missed until their identity became clearer.  In fact, there were quite a few familiar things, which kind of made this book feel like coming home.

Second, this short story is a bit more mature than a lot of YA, including The Immortal Rules.  It doesn't detract from the story; I just wanted to give fair warning.  Actually, the (sometimes graphic) sexuality of the book fits the intensity of the situation.  Baser instincts take over when survival is on the line, when your world has been turned upside down and you're not sure whether you'll see the light of another day.

I really enjoyed this short story.  I actually had forgotten how much I enjoyed The Immortal Rules and its post-apocalyptic/dystopian take on vampires and the surviving humans.  It was interesting to see how the plague originated and how people reacted to it...and to those that it changed.  The reactions were so believable and realistic, with the characters reflecting on losing their humanity along with everything else they'd already lost.

This is a great addition to the Blood of Eden series and has me anticipating The Eternity Cure even more than I already was.  Because as much as I liked the characters in Dawn of Eden, I am so ready to return to the aftermath and all the characters I've already grown to care about:  Allie, Zeke, and (hopefully) Kanin.

Rating:  Photobucket


  1. I want to read this book sooo bad. Great review. I can't wait to read about the world before The Immortal Rules. Color me intrigued.

    1. I can't wait to see what you think! I'm seriously excited about the sequel now!

  2. I agree, reading this story made me realize how much I miss The Immortal Rules and our cameo guest ;) As you've read in my review, I also thought that the adult parts of the story suited it well. I don't think it would have been possible to tell it as YA. I've read Ann Aguire story and hope I can make myself review it soon (I liked it but writing reviews is always hard for me). Why don't you want to read the third story? Did you start and not like it? Looking forward to your thoughts about Thistle & Thorne this Sunday :)

    1. No, I haven't started it, which is kind of the problem...I have a lot of other reads on my plate, and that one isn't a high priority, though it does sound interesting. I want to read it, I just don't know if I'll get to it soon. I had planned on it being my 1/27 SSS post, but now I'm not sure. It's short, though -- obviously -- so hopefully I can fit it in somewhere.


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