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WWW Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a book list hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words, it’s quick and I enjoy participating (usually every second Wednesday) because it allows me to connect with other bookish bloggers and see what everyone is reading.

All you have to do is answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

I’ve only just started this book, but I am enjoying it so far. The concept of inter-dimensional travel intrigues me.

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Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father’s killer through multiple dimensions.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

What did you recently finish reading?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff AND The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood.

Illuminae is excellent, fast-paced YA sci-fi told through an unconventional format (emails, transcripts, blueprints, etc.) The plot really drew me in and I felt that the characters were written well despite the fact the format didn’t allow me to connect with them completely. I love reading about girls in STEM fields and Kady is both tech savy and unburdened with the false modesty that seems so common in YA heroines. Her counterpart Ezra is hilarious at times and probably one of my favourite guys in young adult fiction. I loved the twists and turns this novel took and I enjoyed reading through the perspective of the creepy AI.

In contrast, The Natural Way of Things is a grim analogy of modern misogyny, described as The Hand Maiden’s tale meets Lord of the Flies, it does not flinch away from some controversial issues. The main characters Yolanda and Vera are transformed over the course of the novel as they endure horrible torture. The way the women and men interacted was humanity stripped down to its bare bones, with Wood drawing parallels between the ordeal faced by her protagonists and how women are treated in contemporary society. There is an overwhelming sense that the events in the novel could actually happen.

This book challenged me in a number of ways and I enjoyed reading something a little more serious for a change. The one criticism I have is that the ending left a lot open and while I understand this was done to provoke discussion and let the reader draw their own conclusions I did feel cheated.

Illuminae

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. 

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

The Natural Way of Things

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in an abandoned property in the middle of a desert in a story of two friends, sisterly love and courage – a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted.

Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a ‘nurse’. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl’s past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue – but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.

The Natural Way of Things is a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted. Most of all, it is the story of two friends, their sisterly love and courage.

What do you think you will read next?

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken OR Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar

I am on a waiting list for both these books at my local library. I’ve heard that Passenger is a good YA read, while Salt Creek will be the second book from the 2016 Miles Franklin shortlist that I have read (the first was The Natural Way of Things).

Passenger

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

Salt Creek

Salt Creek, 1855, lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including fifteen-year-old Hester Finch.

Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can: with the few travellers that pass along the nearby stock route – among them a young artist, Charles – and the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed. Over the years that pass, an Aboriginal boy, Tully, at first a friend, becomes part of the family.

Stanton’s attempts to tame the harsh landscape bring ruin to the Ngarrindjeri people’s homes and livelihoods, and unleash a chain of events that will tear the family asunder. As Hester witnesses the destruction of the Ngarrindjeri’s subtle culture and the ideals that her family once held so close, she begins to wonder what civilization is. Was it for this life and this world that she was educated?

Thank you for reading this post, feel free to post a link to your WWW Wednesday in the comments and I will check it out 🙂

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13 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday

  1. I hope you will enjoy A Thousand Pieces Of You! I wasn’t completely convinced when I read it last year, but I know most people seem to love it. I’m glad you enjoyed Illuminae and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Passenger myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m enjoying A Thousand Pieces of you so far, although the writing isn’t great. There are a few annoying tropes, but I like the premise. I can tell it’s not in the same league as Illuminae, but it’s an easy read 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A Thousand Pieces of You is on my TBR list! I’ve heard some really good things about it. Illuminae was an amazing read and I enjoyed all of the creative illustrations. The authors did a brilliant collaboration. I have never heard of The Natural Way of Things or Salt Creek but they both sound interesting. Passenger is another book on my TBR list. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m enjoying it so far 🙂
      I’m glad you liked Illuminae, it might just be up there with my favourite books of 2016. I loved how they did the text during the space battles 🙂

      Like

    1. Thanks, I usually try and read a few off the Miles Franklin shortlist, they can be a bit rough, but always worth it.
      A Thousand Pieces of You was not amoung the best books that I have read this year, full of tropes but the plot was interesting enough and the romantic tension was good.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m really looking forward to Gemina as well, I know it is supposed to focus on new characters but I really want to read more about Kady and Ezra.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yikes, the Natural Way of Things sounds very intense! I wasn’t the biggest fan of Illuminae (I actually found the format a bit distracting) but I totally agree about Kady and female YA characters into STEM. 😀

    Here’s my WWW post

    Liked by 1 person

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