The Waking Land

waking

I received this ARC courtesy of Random House Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

Lady Elanna has been raised a hostage in a foreign land-well treated by the king, educated, castle dwelling-but a hostage just the same.  She cares for botany, for her best friend and dreams of heading off to study under a master.  Her memories of her hometown have faded to nearly nothing, her home is Laon now.  The rumors of magic from her homeland all but forgotten.

Then the nightmares faded; my tutors taught me that, while magic is considered anathema, in truth it simply has no place in the rational, modern world.

Everything changes when her father comes for her, at long last.  Accused of regicide, her “otherness” has never left her.  To Caeris she must run, to a land and a people she no longer knows.  It’s time for a revolution, birth land against homeland.

No one in this revolution is ever alone.

A motley crew of assorted figures fill out our cast of characters and Bates’ writing shines.  I loved the prose, loved the plot, loved the world-building.  Follow along as El goes to war against an empire, and herself.

All the gods damn it.  I hate battle, El.  I hate it-I hate what it makes me into.  It makes people’s lives seem not to matter.  But they do.  No one should have to die like that, not even for freedom.

You see, Elanna isn’t just a hostage.  She has the power to wake the land.  What does that mean?  Read and find out!

4 stars.

Publication Date: June 27, 2017

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The Nightwalker

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This wasn’t an ARC.  For once this was a random library website find that sounded interesting enough for me to read for fun!

I’ve had a fascination with sleepwalking ever since I was first prescribed Ambien for insomnia when I lived in Korea, right after university.  I wasn’t sleeping and it caused a host of other problems.  As I read about the side effects online I was most terrified of the idea of sleepwalking and living a second life I was unaware of, so to speak.

It’s happening again.

This is where we find Leon.  As a child he suffered a loss and develops a problem with sleepwalking.  He remembers nothing when he awakes but it’s a big enough problem that those around him feel afraid.  Eventually with the help of a therapist he is cured, or is he?  Fast forward to his late 20s and he thinks he’s doing it again.  This time his wife is missing and he’s convinced that he did something to facilitate her absence, in his sleep state.

As he continues to lose sleep, hours of his life, and potentially his hold on reality, Leon races to discover the truth. With a camera strapped to his head, a therapist on the line and his childhood friend in play, it will all be resolved, right?

This was a fast-paced page turner, a true thriller.  Once I got beyond the general introductions and got to the heart of the tale I was hooked.  I was just as concerned, horrified and determined as Leon.  I particularly enjoyed some of the flashbacks to previous points in his life as they served to help better understand his character.  I will definitely read some more of Fitzek’s work whenever I’m in the mood for suspense.  This sort of book would be excellent for breaking up the drudgery that is a long trip.

Somewhere in the world.

In a town you know.

Maybe even in your neighbourhood.

4 stars.

**This was translated from German and the movie rights have already been optioned.

Release Date: February 7, 2017 (USA)