Written by: Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre, and Karen Duvall
Published by: Harlequin Luna
Published on: January 29, 2013
Provided by the publisher for review through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa
Julie Kagawa is a master at short stories. So far she has three series: The Iron Fey, the spinoff Call of the Forgotten (including The Lost Prince which I reviewed), and the Blood of Eden series (including The Immortal Rules which I reviewed). For each series she kindly releases short novellas which feature supporting characters and help fulfill her fans' cravings! She has put all of that experience into crafting a satisfying prequel to The Immortal Rules in Dawn of Eden.
Kylie was in medical school when the Red Lung virus hit- and she was one of the 16% who survived infection. While doing what she can in a clinic, she meets Ben Archer, who brings the horrors of the outside world to her attention. Kylie and Ben decide to make a run for Ben's family farm, meeting both rabids and the benevolent and mysterious K on the way. I doubt it's a coincidence that Ben shares his surname with the farmers in The Immortal Rules.
Kylie and Ben's journey is fraught with danger, and yet Kagawa draws two strong characters and gives us great background for her Blood of Eden series - my favourite of all she has written. Although her other series are YA, this one is definitely more adult. Only four months until The Eternity Cure is released!
Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre
Gold-hearted thief Mari Thistle is just trying to survive and keep her siblings alive when she gets caught up in a dangerous coup being staged by Thorne Goodman. They play a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a bossman and his henchmen in a world ravaged by chemical spills and corporate cronyism. Mari is the yin to Thorne's yang and their chemistry is palpable. This series reminds me a lot of Caragh O'Brien's Birthmarked. The problem is, Aguirre is a little too good at a cliffhanger. I don't know if there will be a continuation of this story but I really hope there is, and I'll be biting my nails until I know.
Sun Storm by Karen Duvall
The sun's power lead to a shock that changed the earth and its atmosphere. Aftershocks in the form of dangerous sun storms still threaten humanity. When exposed to dangerously high levels of radiation, people either become ill and die, or become Kinetics. Sarah and Ian have both become Kinetics, and now they need to fight a rogue government agent for their freedom. Clunky exposition and irregular pacing can't hide the likeability of Sarah or the potential this idea has. This is like X-Men but the powers are more mental than physical. Can Sarah and Ian find others who are trying to save the world?
Until now, Kagawa's novellas have been released as standalone e-novellas. Combining one with short stories from another bestselling science fiction author and an up-and-comer is a great way to introduce the reader to other similar reads. Here's hoping this isn't a one-off idea.