The two books I’m reviewing today were total thrillers. I had to read them each in one sitting! There was absolutely no point in either book when I could tear myself away from the story! Both books are four stars, only because they were so gripping and fast-paced that I don’t remember details! And what makes it even better – both of these authors are Aussies!
Black – Fleur Ferris
27th June 2016, Random House Australia
282 pages, 4/5 stars
I liked and reviewed Fleur Ferris’ Risk a while ago, but she has absolutely perfected the art of the YA thriller in Black. Ebony Marshall, known as Black, can’t wait to skip town as soon as the school year ends. Everyone in town says that she is cursed – all because three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents.
Black doesn’t really believe in this supposed curse, until her date for the formal ends up in intensive care. That’s when everything gets intense. Creepy Father Ratchet keeps turning up – it’s almost as though he’s keeping an eye on Black. I really can’t say much more or there will be way too many spoilers! I thought that it was going to be a bit predictable, and then I was surprised and shocked – I love when books do that to me!
Basically, I might class this as a cult story – there are cultish elements! (I’m a little obsessed with cult stories after The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly.) There is also a teeny bit of a love triangle, but it isn’t TOO awful. And I found the epilogue unnecessary. However, overall, Black is well worth a read – a total page-turner!
The Road to Winter – Mark Smith
27th June 2016, Text Publishing
240 pages, 4/5 stars
A deadly virus and the ensuing riots has wiped out much of civilisation. Finn has lived with only his loyal canine Rowdy for company since his parents’ death. He hunts and fishes, keeping away from the Wilders, an armed and dangerous gang.
Finn’s relative peace is broken when a girl arrives on his beach. (Of course, this teenage boy still finds time to surf in the apocalypse!) Rose is a Siley – an indentured asylum seeker – and she has escaped from the Wilders. She is desperate, sick, and worried about her sister Kas, who is still missing in the bush. Finn is determined to help, and leaves his safe haven to search.
Like Black, I couldn’t pull myself from the pages of The Road to Winter. The pacing was incredibly fast, with twists and turns happening all the time. I liked that Mark Smith gave the reader a glimpse into a number of different groups, and their reactions to the apocalypse; it showed a great diversity of human nature. I am looking forward to the sequels, and hope that Mark Smith can write at the same rate as his story progresses!
Watch the book trailer here.