Ann Aguirre, Karen Duvall
Published by Harlequin Luna
Publish Date: January 29, 2013
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. -(summary from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: I am not the biggest fan of short stories and anthologies, but when I saw that Julie Kagawa’s The Immortal Rules prequel would be published as part of this anthology, I was completely on-board with the idea of checking it out. You all know that I am a Julie Kagawa fangirl, grabbing and devouring everything she writes. I was so excited to start this story and I was not disappointed at all.
Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden gives us a pretty great backstory to the events that happened in The Immortal Rules. This story drops readers right in the middle of the chaos that is the Red Lung virus. We meet Kylie, a doctor struggling to care for victims in a makeshift infirmary, and Ben, who brings his friend Nathan in for care after Nathan was attacked and bitten by…something. After everyone in the infirmary falls to the rapidly-spreading virus, Ben and Kylie barely make it out alive before they’re attacked too. They decide to try to make it to the farm where Ben’s family lives in hopes that they are all still alive.
Blood of Eden is intensely gripping for a novella. It’s a fantastic prequel to this series. I love that the virus is in full-swing when the story begins, so the story starts with emotions high. Truthfully, I read quickly and clicked the heck out of my Kindle the entire way through this one because it almost crosses over into horrifying at times, which was great. I was holding my breath for Kylie and Ben as they fought their way out of the infirmary, worked their way across the country, and then had to deal with all kinds of crazy issues once they arrive at the family farm.
Blood of Eden is well-worth the read if you can get your hands on a copy of this book. It’s an awesome set-up for The Immortal Rules and I was completely wrapped up in the entire story. I loved that Kanin makes an appearance. Another plus to reading this story: it makes the backstory of one of the characters from Kagawa’s upcoming The Eternity Cure make much more sense.
After the excitement of Blood of Eden, I was a little more hesitant to read the next two stories because I didn’t know much about them. Are they prequels, standalones, parts of a series? Do the authors plan to expand these worlds? It makes me more interested in becoming invested in these short stories if I know they’re going to pan-out into something larger.
Ann Aguirre’s Thistle & Thorne takes place in a post-catastrophic chemical spill wasteland in which the well-off live in fortresses. Regular people live in a place called the Red Zone where it is pretty dangerous and tough to survive. People lucky enough to have things like money and guns are hold the power in this area and food is pretty hard to come by. Mari Thistle survives by working for one of these powerful mob-type men – she exchanges working for him for protection for her family. On this particular job, Mari is hired to break into the fortress and steal an artifact. After failing at this, she barely escapes – only able to do so because she has help from a motorcycle-riding guy named Thorne Goodman. In return, she helps Thorne with a pretty huge plan that he has involving the same mob boss that employs Mari.
This story is one that has promise but unfortunately it is just too much of a short story for me. I would love to have seen more of this tale – a little more of Mari’s backstory, a little more of what happened after the ending, that type of thing. There is no romance between Mari Thistle and Thorne Goodman, which is okay, but in this case I felt like the story was a little bit incomplete without more chemistry between these two characters. If I found that this story was part of a larger series, I probably would be interested in reading it because I think these two characters are pretty interesting and have a lot to offer.
Karen Duvall’s Sun Storm is a very interesting premise for a story and one that I really wish was a full-length novel. In this post-apocalyptic world, solar flares and sun storms have devastated the Earth. People die all the time from the effects of these solar flares or from the terrible and dreaded sun fever. Sarah Daggot was fortunate enough to survive being exposed to a sun storm and then the resulting sun fever – as a result, Sarah is a Kinetic, meaning that she has the ability to predict when and where these sun storms will hit. Her unusual ability enables her to save countless lives every day. There are other Kinetics out there too – they all have unique abilities. One day, Sarah meets Ian Matthews, a Kinetic who can control weather. When they put their abilities together, WOW! the things they can do.
This story was so interesting to me, from the post-apocalyptic things to the Kinetic things to the government conspiracy to kidnap the Kinetics to use them for things – I just loved it. There is even a hint of a romance-to-come between Sarah and Ian, which was fun. Again, I wish this story was longer. There are a few parts to the story that felt a little bit rushed to me (including the big ending), and I feel like that is because the story is bound within the confines of a novella. Expanding it to a full-length novel would be awesome.
Ultimately, these are three great stories, but it is apparent by the cover that the draw is Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden and the title phrase comes from Kagawa’s novella. I personally picked up this book because of Kagawa’s addition, and that story is my favorite because I am so invested in The Immortal Rules series, in that world and that story arc.
Also – on a positive note, I loved the length of each of the stories – they each were about one-third of the book, which is a nice-sized novella when you look at the length of the book as a whole. On a not-as-positive note, these stories come only as an entire book at this time (from what I can tell) – not individual ebook novellas. So while these stories are indeed a great length, they are not very easy to acquire unless you are willing to fork up the cost of this entire book. For example, what if I would like the option of adding the Blood of Eden novella to my Julie Kagawa collection? (I am perhaps becoming spoiled to this ebook novella trend that is upon us these days – for my favorite authors, I like adding their digital shorts to my collection. I do, after all, have the other Kagawa ebook novellas.)
I recommend Til The World Ends to readers that enjoy post-apocalyptic, catastrophic, dystopian-ish stories as these three are all stories in which the world is in chaos and disorder. I also recommend it to readers that are fans of The Immortal Rules series because Blood of Eden is a great prequel – I would try a library copy first if you can before purchasing to see if it is something that you would like to spend the full price on before committing to the purchase.
Til The World Ends will appeal to fans of:
YA Post-apocalyptic/dystopian stories with Sci-Fi
Til The World Ends by Julie Kagawa,
Ann Aguirre, and Karen Duvall
is currently available for purchase.
**I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you Harlequin Luna and NetGalley!
Has anyone else read TIL THE WORLD ENDS?
Does anyone enjoy reading short stories/anthologies?
Thoughts on not being able to purchase the