Monday 31 July 2023
Thursday 27 July 2023
Fantasy, YA, Sci Fi
Length: 496 Pages. Published by Penguin.
Trust no one.
It is six months since the Arcadia set sail for the first time in forty years. But this wasn't the freedom the inhabitants were hoping for. Esther Crossland did what she had to do, but it has left a trail of destruction in her wake. Now the wrecked ship is abandoned. Its inhabitants are in exile, trapped in sprawling make-shift shelters made up of warehouse, tents, shipping containers.
Esther and Nik, architects of the rebellion, are on the run. Esther is in hiding, desperate to do something to help her people, and Nik seems to have abandoned all hope, on a journey taking him further and further from home. And neither of them want to face up to their true feelings about one another . . .
Not only that, there is a new villain in town. With the fall of Commander Hadley, it's left to the ruthless Admiral Janek to deal with the traitors, and her own past is beginning to catch-up with her.
Then the shaky ceasefire negotiated by General Lall, Nik's mum, falls apart. Nik and Esther find themselves in a world of betrayals and double crossings - a game of power, with no one to trust but themselves.
It's time for the final showdown.
The Exiled is the thrilling and fast-paced sequel to The Stranded.
Again, the story is told from different points of view; Esther, Nik, Meg, and Janek. The main characters are well established after The Stranded so it was easy to jump straight back into all the action along with them. Meg and Janek are new characters and both present challenges for rebels. Alex also makes a reappearance to throw a spanner in the works.
In The Exiled, we find that the survivors of the Arcadia are camped in an area of wasteland given to them by the Federated States as a temporary measure. The camp is a grim place to live with no real accommodation. The people are entirely fenced in and the Federation have planted booby traps in the streets. The camp has no medical facilities and no access to news from the outside world.
Nik's mother is leading the rebellion to escape the camp and cross over the border to Maine where the people will be safe and looked after. To do that, she has to play the politician and put up the appearance of cooperating with the Federation. Janek has her own nefarious plan for the people in the camp and it doesn't include anyone going free, especially Nik and Esther.
As tensions escalate with assassination attempts on General Lall and Nik and an imminent attack on the camp by the Coalies it becomes a race against time to evacuate and send the cavalcade of refugees to safety.
Suspense and tension ratchet up even more in the final chapters, during the trial and the rescue attempt that looked likely to fail. I was on tenterhooks the whole time and I wasn't sure if my favourite characters were going to make it out alive.
A riveting, heart-thumping read.
Sarah Daniels is an ex-archaeologist who escaped academia and now writes stories from her home in rural Lincolnshire. Her work has been published in various online magazines and has been nominated for best British and Irish Flash Fiction and Best Small Fictions.
Thanks to TheWriteReads for including me in the blog tour and to Penguin for review copies.
Thursday 20 July 2023
Sunday 16 July 2023
Compulsive reading at its best. Iris Woodmore's fourth mystery has a mix of love, jealousy, and betrayal of the kind that can only lead to murder. Iris has put it upon herself to unravel the threads of how the victim and the people of the area are connected and who had the most reason to want the victim dead.
The discovery of one murder leads to another and things start getting more tense as it is clear that a murderer is amongst them hiding in plain sight. Red herrings and clever twists made this an addictive read.
I like the fact that this book can be read as a standalone even though it's the fourth in the series. It is obviously more enjoyable to follow Iris from the beginning but there will be no confusion for any reader jumping in at this point.
Purchase link here
Author Bio Michelle Salter
Michelle Salter writes historical cozy crime set in Hampshire, where she lives, and is inspired by real-life events in 1920s Britain. The first book in her Iris Woodmore series, Death at Crookham Hall, draws on her interest in the aftermath of the Great War and the suffragette movement.
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Check out the blog tour for more reviews of A Killing at Smuggler's Cove