Sunday, January 27, 2013

image source
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:

Add to Goodreads
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 Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre.  Time permitting, I'm hoping to get to Sun Storm by Karen Duvall later this week and review it on a future Short Story Sunday post.  That's the plan, anyway.  :)

Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre

So, I don't know why I was under the assumption that this short story was a precursor to the Razorland series.  Maybe it's the names...they seem reminiscent of the ones given to the brats once they were of age.  (I was probably thinking of Thimble, right?)  At any rate, once I got past the fact that this was a new post-apocalyptic world Ann Aguirre had created, I found it much easier to immerse myself in the story.

In fact, this story flew by once Thorne's character was introduced, which is honestly pretty early on.  He plays a rather important role.  Don't get me wrong, I really liked Mari's no-holds-barred attitude, but all her plans went out the window the minute Thorne Goodman stepped into her life.  Don't expect any big romantic declarations of undying love or anything like that, though.  These characters have their own complicated lives to get in order before they can find time for love...though, they would make a very good match.

This short story is a brief glimpse into a dying world, where half the population lives in opulent fortresses while the other half struggles outside the fortress walls, paying "the bossman" for safety.  But no one is really safe on the outside.  The degradation and squalor of this world is due in part to chemical spills and earthquakes that ravaged the landscape many years before, but the people have done nothing to slow its further decline.  And that's sorta where Mari Thistle and Thorne Goodman come in.

I really, really hope that there's a full-length novel planned to follow this short story.  The intensity of this story and the pacing both kept me riveted, but the world itself has me intrigued, as well.  The colorful cast of characters doesn't hurt either.  All in all, this was an explosive story sure to delight fan's of Aguirre's Razorland series.  Here's hoping there's more where this came from!

Rating:   photo 5-1.png


  1. I'm a big fan of anthologies and short stories so I'll defiantly be picking this one up. I like your once upon a time the end logo!

  2. This sounds really good! I have to read this series now :) Great review!

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

  3. I am so on the fence about the whole novella craze, but thanks for the review :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...