Book Review: The Legacy by Gemma Malley

* Warning…this is a review of the third and final book in a series and it’s inevitable there will be spoilers of the previous two books if you haven’t already read them *

When a Pincent Pharma lorry is ambushed by the Underground, its contents come as a huge surprise – not drugs, but corpses in a horrible state. It appears Longevity isn’t working and the drugs promising eternal youth are failing to live up to their promises. A virus is sweeping the country, killing in its wake, and Longevity is powerless to fight it. When Richard Pincent of Pincent Pharma suggest that the Underground has released the virus, something has to be done to put the story straight and once and for all alert everyone to the truth. (from Goodreads.Com)
In the final instalment of Gemma Malley’s dystopian series where the cure to old age appears to have been found and children are now forbidden, we’re plunged into a situation, which of course was always inevitable. The wonder drug Longevity isn’t working anymore and worldwide catastrophe is just around the corner. A super bug is sweeping across the world and Longevity can’t fight it this time.While it seemed a foregone conclusion that at some point the drugs promising eternal life were going to fail, Malley still provides a shocking and twist filled plot that once again had me hooked. 
There are flashbacks in this book to more present times, when longevity was first invented and I really enjoyed these scenes as until this point we’re only really aware of it’s existence and not how it actually came about and the ethical dilemma’s it’s creator felt were fascinating.I also really liked how we saw the development of the characters from past books; ones whose stories I’d pretty much thought were finished. I continued to like the main characters of peter and Anna, Jude and Sheila, especially as Malley gives each of them flaws, creating shades of grey amongst their beliefs and motives. Richard Pincent becomes even crueler and disturbing, ruthless to the very end.
Like the previous books I found The Legacy an easy and compelling read and was gripped throughout. But then the ending completely threw me and left me feeling a little dissatisfied. There’s a major twist, one I certainly didn’t see coming yet rather than being bowled over, I kind of felt I should have seen it. While I’d always felt the book was very believable, this twist just didn’t ring as true and seemed completely far-fetched. I have to be honest and say by now I was expecting more from this book and for the most part it seemed to deliver. The ending just seemed like a quiet ‘oh’ rather than a breathless ‘wow’.

Despite this I’ve no regrets about reading this series. I’m also glad I came to it late, just as the final instalment was released, as this meant I was able to storm through all three books one after the other, which I thought worked very well. At around 250 pages each these are quick, easy and gripping reads but at the same time throw up many questions that will have you pondering long after you’ve set the book aside. Gemma Malley’s vision of the future is dark and scary but not altogether unbelievable and there is a familiarity and currentness to the themes. I would recommend these books highly, in particular the first two of the series, which I thought were fantastic. 


Review of The Declaration, review of The Resistance


Published in the UK by Bloomsbury September 2010


Thanks to the Publishers for sending me this copy for review.


Read as part of Read-A-Series in September



Book Review: The Resistance by Gemma Malley

* Warning! This is the second book in the series and while I’ve done my best to avid spoilers there may be some for those who haven’t read the first book’ *


The year is 2140. Having escaped the horrors of Grange Hall, Peter and Anna are living freely on the Outside, trying hard to lead normal lives, but unable to leave the terror of the Declaration—and their experiences as surpluses—completely behind them. Peter is determined to infiltrate Pharma Corporation, which claims to have a new drug in the works; “Longevity+” will not just stop the ravages of old age, it is rumoured to reverse the aging process. But what Peter and Anna discover behind the walls of Pharma is so nightmarish it makes the prison of their childhood seem like a sanctuary: for in order to supply Pharma with the building blocks for Longevity+, scientists will need to harvest it from the young. Shocking, controversial, and frighteningly topical, this sequel to Gemma Malley’s stellar debut novel, The Declaration, will take the conversation about ethics and science to the next level. (From Goodreads.com)
I loved the first book in Gemma Malley’s dystopian series, The Declaration (review here ), so much that once I turned the last page I eagerly picked up this second instalment straight away. The Resistance picks up Anna and Peter’s story not long after the first left off and I found it a very easy continuation to make. In fact I loved The Resistance even more and once again flew through the pages.
While The Declaration focuses mainly on Anna and life for the Surplus children, this time the focus is on Peter and life outside amongst ‘legals’. Finding it difficult to adjust to life outside the Surplus Halls in a world were the young are always treated with suspicion and resentment, and both still heavily involved with the underground movement, Peter seeks to infiltrate Pincent Pharma, where longevity is made by getting a job. But the lure of eternal life is difficult to resist and Peter finds his loyalties tested to the limit, putting everything and everyone he cares about in danger.
The action really steps up in The Resistance. I mentioned in my review of The Declaration that despite being set in the future it had a Dickensian workhouse feel about it. Now we’re outside the Surplus Halls and right in the middle of Pincent Pharma, the huge and powerful home of Longevity, and in the midst of another scientific breakthrough. I’m not the most scientifically minded person ever (understatement) but this fascinated me. Malley gives us enough information to really imagine the world of Longevity without overloading my brain and forcing me to switch off.
The Resistance also takes an even more sinister turn than The Declaration, one that is truly shocking and horrific and yet again, being aware of how hideous humans can be, I still believed it. Nothing about this series seems far fetched at all, many of the themes are ones we can identify even now- only magnified, and this makes it all the more scary.
There are several new characters introduced in this novel. We meet Jude, the half brother who robbed Peter of his legal status by being born just weeks earlier. There’s a real air of mystery around him, I couldn’t work out if he was a good guy or bad guy for most of the book, and I actually don’t think he could. Richard Pincent, owner of Pincent Pharma is ruthless and cruel, making a fantastic villain while Pip, head of the Underground has the true spirit of a resistance leader. He’s both terrifying yet compassionate in equal measures and very mysterious. I continued to like both Anna and Peter too. Malley doesn’t make her heroes perfect, they have flaws which make them all the more human. I thought having Peter question his previous beliefs regarding longevity was a brilliant move and his battle within himself was honest and believable.

Gemma Malley’s writing style is incredibly accessible and readable yet remains intelligent throughout, and I think this series will appeal to a very wide audience, young and old. There are some quite adult themes in this book, and I probably wouldn’t recommend this one in particular to anyone under twelve, however I think they are tackled appropriately enough that I’d be happy for my own children to read these books from around that age. I’d also strongly recommend these books to reluctant readers because of their readability and especially boys who may be put of a little by the very attractive covers. I think it’s pretty important to read the series in order as I think I may have been a little lost if I hadn’t read The Declaration first. As far as sequels go, this is a winner and exceeded my expectation. Again, once I’d read the last page I went straight on to the third and final book in the series, the Legacy. 


Watch out for my review of The Legacy coming next.


Read as part of Read-A-series in September 

Guest Post: Lucie (The Book Girl) on Why Harry Potter is the best series!

As part of Read-A Series in September month I’ve asked several bloggers if they’d like to write guest posts about their favourite series. This weeks post is from Lucie of The Book Girl, a fab new YA blog you must check out,  Over to you Lucie:


What is it about the Harry Potter series that is so fantastic? For me, it’s the story-telling. JK Rowling has managed to write seven fantastic books all of which I manage to lose myself in easily. There is nothing I liked better than getting back into Harry, Ron and Hermoine’s wizarding world and no matter how many times I re-read the series, it’s always as good as the first time I read it.
I must admit I was late into reading the Harry Potter books and managed to read the first five before having to wait, like everyone else, for the final two books, to see how it all ended. It was a difficult wait, because I was so into the series that I just wanted to read the last two books as quickly as possible. Unlike the majority of the population, though, I was satisfied with how Harry Potter ended. The ‘Epilogue’ of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows may not have been what everyone was expecting but I liked it and I thought it ended the series perfectly.
I don’t know how JK Rowling has done it, but she’s managed to create such a great wizarding world that it’s become a firm favourite of children and adults alike. Everyone is able to join Harry’s plight as he tries to stop the evil Lord Voldemort along with friends Ron and Hermione and the adventures they embark on are always hugely enjoyable (and just a bit scary). To see the three youngsters go from being shy 11-year-olds to becoming world-saving 18-year-olds is quite something and we’re there every step of the way, rooting for them and hoping they can pull off the seemingly impossible.
Hogwarts, of course, plays a huge part throughout the Harry Potter books and it’s the kind of school any child would love to go to. It’s the focal point of everything that happens, in every single book, and it is, in itself, its very own character. But what is Hogwarts without its matriarch Professor Dumbledore? Quite possibly the greatest wizard ever to live? A man who helps Harry throughout and is more like a parent to him that the Dursley’s, his Aunt and Uncle whom he stays with each summer. In fact, all who reside at Hogwarts are like family to Harry, despite how twee that may sound.

The battles throughout each and every Harry Potter book are legendary and some stay in the mind longer than others. The amount of deaths is mind-boggling (particularly in Deathly Hallows) but there’s also romance, friendship and the battle of good vs. evil which is undoubtedly the biggest battle of them all. The question is, who will win out? Despite everything Harry manages to get through, there’s always a question mark over whether he will indeed survive. These books are must-read books for any book fan, because the fact is the books appeal to people of all ages; young children, teenagers, adults, and you’re certainly missing out if you haven’t yet read the Harry Potter books.

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Thanks Lucie! You can check our Lucie’s blog, The Book Girl Here 

Book Review: The Declaration by Gemma Malley

Anna Covey is a ‘Surplus’. She should not have been born. In a society in which ageing is no longer feared, and death is no longer an inevitability, children are an abomination. Like all Surpluses, Anna is living in a Surplus Hall and learning how to make amends for the selfish act her parents committed in having her. She is quietly accepting of her fate until, one day, a new inmate arrives. Anna’s life is thrown into chaos. But is she brave enough to believe this mysterious boy? This is a tense and utterly compelling story about a society behind a wall, and the way in which two young people seize the chance to break free. 



I’ve wanted to read this series for ages. The premise is brilliant, a not so distant future where the cure to illness, disease and old age has been found and people live forever but children are forbidden. Finally getting around to it in time for the release of the final book of the trilogy, I flew through all three books within a couple of days.
The Declaration is the first book in the series and introduces us to Anna and the world where people live forever thanks to a drug called Longevity. One of the downsides of eternal life is over population. If no one dies then there’s no room for anyone else to be born. To solve the problem the Government, or Authorities have created a Declaration making procreation illegal. But there are still children born, children like Anna. The Authorities solution is to deem these children surplus, strip them of any human rights and rip them away from their parents. These children are then housed in a Surplus Hall, beaten, starved and trained to be a Valuable Asset, or in other words, slaves.
I adored every page of this book and read it in one go. The future Gemma Malley creates is shocking. Anna’s story, along with the other surpluses is heart breaking; the idea of assigning such labels to children is horrifying. Yet there’s also something very believable and familiar about the story. The Surplus Hall, while set 100 years in the future, brought to my mind the workhouses of the past in many ways. Life is hard and children are stripped of anything that makes them human. Mrs Pincent, the cruel house matron, wouldn’t be out of place in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Longevity, the wonder drug that means everyone lives forever, never aging and never getting ill is quite frankly horrifying. Yet again there is something believable about the situation and the problems created by it both on the population and the world’s resources. It wasn’t at all difficult to imagine life with longevity and that made the story very scary indeed.

Gemma Malley’s writing is very readable, I found myself completely caught up and involved in the story. The characters are vivid and well developed. I particularly liked Anna, who is quietly strong and resilient even when she doesn’t know it. I was thoroughly behind her throughout the book. Peter intrigued me immediately with his intensity and passion for his cause.  My only complaint while reading this book was that we didn’t really get much of an insight into the world outside the Surplus Hall and I had a lot of questions relating to the beginnings of Longevity and how it was used. However I started the next book in the series immediately after finishing and all my questions are addressed then. Overall I though The Declaration was a fantastic first book. It’s extremely readable, gripping, emotional and thought provoking and is one I will think about for a long time to come.


Coming up next: Review of the second book in the series, The Resistance where things get even more interesting!





Read as part of Read-A-Series in September. Click Here to find out more!



Read-A-Series in September Link your reviews here!


Finally! This is the place to link your reviews for Read-A-Series in September (sorry for the delay…life!)

Up for grabs are two prizes: One for UK participants and one for International. At The end of the month participants will be chosen at random from the links post and each winner will recieve a prize of: 1 copy of Strange Angels by Lili St Crow plus a poster, fabulous bookmarks featuring the Drake Chronicles (Alyxandra Harvey) and Need series (Carrie Jones)  and the choice of one book from a series of their choice up to a maximum of £5 (must be available on Book depository)


And here’s a reminder of the rules:




1: You don’t need a blog to participate. Reviews on Goodreadsor other review sites count too! If you’re planning on taking part I’d love to know..you can leave a comment here if you’d like. 

2. Link per book. Each book in a series you mange gets you one entry. The more you read the more entries you get


3. It doesn’t have to be a huge series…as long as there’s more than one book published! Sequels, trilogy’s unfinished series count too.

3. Already read some of the series? No worries. You can still take part to finish the series up but only reviews posted in September will count as an entry

4. Want to tell the world about a favourite series you’ve read in the past or write a discussion post about series in general? Great…post it and link up…that will get you an entry too!

5. Get the word out! Grab the HTML and post this button on your sidebar or in your series posts to let everyone know about the challenge.

 

6. Link your reviews and posts below. Please use the following format in Link title:
Blog name, name of series/book and either Uk or Int.

http://www.simply-linked.com/listwidget.aspx?l=050b506f-32b7-4305-aa6f-ed0774ccee28

Guest Post: Lyndsey (Heaven, Hell and Purgatory book reviews) on The Morganville Vampires




As part of Read-A Series in September month I’ve asked several bloggers if they’d like to write guest posts about their favourite series. This weeks post is from my very good blogging pal, Lyndsey from Heaven, Hell and Purgatory book reviews. Over to you Lyndsey:
The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine has to be my favourite (long) series of the year. It was actually the first long series that I bought too. I got all 8 released books in one go (even though I had no idea what I would think of them) because they were at a price I just couldn’t refuse. Luckily, I loved them all and managed to read them all in just under a week.
The four main characters are unlike any others I have ever read about. People who read my reviews know that I usually hate female characters because a lot of the time they are whiney and a bit pathetic. Morganville’s Claire is really strong and not afraid to say how she feels. She isn’t strong all of the time though which is just one of the things I love about her. There are times when she lets people know that she is terrified and doesn’t really know what she’s doing. Claire is a real girl who has hang ups about the things that other teenagers worry about and it made her really easy to relate to.
Not only is Claire realistic but so are housemates Eve, Michael and Shane. Something that really bugs me in paranormal or fantasy books that have teenage characters is that real life is never really a part of the story. Claire is often seen in her classes at College and everyone has normal jobs. Things like paying rent and being able to afford a car are taken into account which makes me think that Rachel Caine has really thought of every little detail possible. These little things help to add to everything else that I love about this series.
Rachel Caine never fails to amaze me with each new book in the series and I keep wondering how she manages to come up with such interesting ideas. Morganville is so vivid and real that every time I pick up a book from this series, I am instantly transported back there and I feel as though I should be living there myself. I can really imagine what everything looks like, down to the coffee shop and Myrnin’s lab.



Midnight Alley (Book 3) is by far my favourite from the series and basically for one reason. Myrnin. He is one of the best written characters in this whole series because he is so complex. He’s a very old vampire with a lot of life experience and is extremely clever. Well… until he began to get sick and lose his mind anyway. Myrnin is also a funny character because he has been stuck inside for such a long time that he doesn’t have any real sense of what is going on in the outside world and he is very much stuck in whatever time it was when he left the real world. Although Midnight Alleyshows the first appearance of Myrnin, he is a feature character throughout the rest of the series and he only gets better over time.



Book 8, Kiss of Death is the first book where most of the story takes place out of Morganville and I was quite thankful for that. As much as I love everything that happens in the town, it was about time for Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael to get away. This book had such a Resident Evilfeel to it and that made the story really exciting and action packed. I don’t want to say too much in case you haven’t read this series or you aren’t quite this far yet but Kiss of Death will change a lot of what you already thought you knew about these vampires!



The Morganville Vampires is by far the best vampire series that I have read and I never really find much that I don’t like about it. The ideas behind how the town is run and where the vampires are from are very original but there are always parts that I never see coming. The whole series was a complete surprise to me because I wasn’t expecting to love it quite so much. I cant wait for Ghost Town to be released. It has been pre ordered for months now and I will be so excited for the day that it drops though my letterbox. I can see that as a one sitting book!

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Thanks Lyndsey, another series I’d love to get round to (but probably not this month!)
Have you read the Morganville vampire series…what did you think?

Read A Series in September!

Welcome to Read A Series in September!
(Firstly… I apologise for the lateness of this post…it should have been up earlier but my daughter had a bit of an accident with her bike and we’ve been in A&E for a few hours! Nothing broken…just a very sore and bruised Knee and very little skin left on elbow.)

I decided to set myself a challenge to read some of the series I’ve never got round to this month. I’m sure we all have them and so I decided to invite you all to join in!

Read-A-Series in September is open to anyone who wants to take part. Choose your series (or more if you’re up to it …I’m aiming for three/four), read and review it (either on your blog or Goodreads) and then come back here and post a link to your review(s) in a specified post (I will ad a linky form as soon as I work it out!)

I also have two prizes to give away…one for UK participants and one for International. At The end of the month participants will be chosen at random from the links post and each winner will recieve a prize of: 1 copy of Strange Angels by Lili St Crow plus a poster, fabulous bookmarks featuring the Drake Chronicles (Alyxandra Harvey) and Need series (Carrie Jones)  and the choice of one book from a series of their choice up to a maximum of £5 (must be available on Book depository)

Challenge Details/Rules:

1: You don’t need a blog to participate. Reviews on Goodreadsor other review sites count too! If you’re planning on taking part I’d love to know..you can leave a comment here if you’d like. 

2. Link per book. Each book in a series you mange gets you one entry. The more you read the more entries you get


3. It doesn’t have to be a huge series…as long as there’s more than one book published! Sequels, trilogy’s unfinished series count too.

3. Already read some of the series? No worries. You can still take part to finish the series up but only reviews posted in September will count as an entry

4. Want to tell the world about a favourite series you’ve read in the past or write a discussion post about series in general? Great…post it and link up…that will get you an entry too!

5. Get the word out! Grab the HTML and post this button on your sidebar or in your series posts to let everyone know about the challenge.




6: Check back later in the week for the linky form and start linking up!

Finally have fun! I look forward to reading your reviews and posts!


I also have some fantastic guest posts coming up and will be kicking off my series themed month this week with reviews of The Declaration/The Resistance and The Legacy by Gemma Mally as well as a review of the first book in a super cute new series. 

Read-A-Series September..come join in!

So, I’m sure we all have them…a series/trilogy we’ve been dying to read for ages but haven’t got round to. I do. In fact I have a few! So I decided to set myself a challenge to read a couple of those series in September. But then I thought…why not invite other’s to join in? So here it is…

Read-A-Series September is going to be a month long theme here on Rhiana-Reads. From 6th September to the 1st October I’ll be reading and reviewing some series and trilogy’s as well as some guest posts from other bloggers about their favourite series and why they love them!

But I’d also like to encourage others to take part and read and review at least one series in September themselves. And to make things fun, I’ll start of next Monday by posting a form for you all to link up your series reviews (either on your blog or Goodreads/Amazon etc) There’ll be at least one prize awarded to a random participant at the end of the month…which will be confirmed when the linky post goes up.

So are you up for the challenge? Let me know in the comments if you’re planning on taking part and feel free to take the image to post on your own blog if you’d like..to get the word out! Even if you can’t take part this time and read a series yourself but would like to tell us all about your favourite series get in touch!