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Ravensong

 

Name: Raven Song

Series: Inoki’s Game (Book 1)

Paperback: 290 pages

Published Date: March 14, 2016

Publisher: Lucid Dreams Publishing

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1944674004

ISBN-13: 978-1944674007

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29521339-raven-song

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Song-Dystopian-Fantasy-Inokis/dp/1944674004/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/raven-song-i-a-ashcroft/1123510684

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/raven-song

 

Book Blurb:

A century ago, the world burned. Even now, though rebuilt and defiant, civilization is still choking on the ashes.

 

Jackson, a smuggler, lives in the shadows, once a boy with no memory, no name, and no future. Ravens followed him, long-extinct birds only he could see, and nightmares flew in their wake. Once, Jackson thought himself to be one of the lucky few touched by magic, a candidate for the Order of Mages. He is a man now, and that dream has died. But, the ravens still follow. The nightmares still whisper in his ear.

 

Anna’s life was under the sun, her future bright, her scientific work promising. She knew nothing of The Bombings, the poisoned world, or the occult. One day, she went to work, and the next, she awoke in a box over a hundred years in the future, screaming, fighting to breathe, and looking up into the eyes of a smuggler. Anna fears she’s gone crazy, unable to fill the massive hole in her memories, and terrified of the strange abilities she now possesses.

 

The Coalition government has turned its watchful eyes towards them. The secret factions of the city move to collect them first. And, old gods stir in the darkness, shifting their pawns on the playing field.

 

If Anna and Jackson wish to stay free, they must learn what they are and why they exist.

 

Unfortunately, even if they do, it may be too late.

 

Raven Song is the first of a four book adult-oriented dystopian fantasy series, a story of intrigue, love, violence, and the old spirits in the shadows who wait for us to notice them again. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Charlie Human will enjoy this dark magic-laced tale rooted on the bones of what our world could become.

 

Author Bio:

​I. A. Ashcroft has been writing fiction in many forms for almost twenty years. The author’s first book, written at age seven, featured the family cat hunting an evil sorceress alongside dragons and eagles. This preoccupation with the fantastical has not changed in the slightest.

 

Now, the author dwells in Phoenix, AZ alongside a wonderful tale-spinner and two increasingly deranged cats. Ashcroft writes almost exclusively in the realm of darker fantasy these days, loving to entertain adults with stories of magic, wonder, despair, violence, and hope, bringing a deep love of mythology into every tale penned. The author also loves diverse and intriguing casts of characters.

 

When not buried in a book, one might find Ashcroft learning languages, charting road trips, and playing tabletop RPGs with clever and fun people.

Contact the Author:

Website: http://www.ia-ashcroft.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/i.a.ashcroft

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ia_ashcroft

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15077746.I_A_Ashcroft

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/I.-A.-Ashcroft/e/B01CTY42S0/

Review: 

I did find this okay. Anna and Jackson are both distinct, with their narration being relatable. But for me, it just didn’t work. It just didn’t cut. It didn’t feel like it to me. I simply could not immerse myself in the story, reading it and relating to them was the best I could do. 

As for the world, the future is rather well thought out. Facing radiation, nuclear exposure. It’s true that we would face the problem eventually, but I could have liked a little more development and exploration of this. And making feel more like that world, I didn’t feel that it was really any different. Even though over a hundred years in the future likely would change everything. 

But I just couldn’t feel with them, I didn’t find myself supporting them. It felt as though nothing was happening. Anna and Jackson have a lot more development, yet their interactions was so few and their relationship went to being very friendly really quick. I just couldn’t buy it, and that is a flaw of the book I feel about. 

The plot was also quite a letdown, there was so many ways this could have gone. Whether Anna is someone that lives forever, or whether Anna is extremely wanted because of her abilities. I could see why, she could prevent radiation. Yet, I just didn’t feel that danger here. There wasn’t any tension really driving me, and I really couldn’t feel the emotion of the characters. It just went over me. 

I would say that this is a case of it’s not you, it’s me since it is a very good book. But it just didn’t connect with me, and I couldn’t really enjoy it. But I still recommend you to check it out, and it does have good character development but to me, needs a lot on the plot, the characters interaction. 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Scythe


I would say that this was enjoyable in how the author explored immortality. Which is actually something that if possible, what are its effects and what can become of the world. Nonetheless, I do see where it’s heading in the first book, and the ending excerpt definitely hints where the book is going itself. 

The world here is I would say quite well thought out with almost everything answered for, such as revival centres, turning of corners and everything. Especially also the scythes, seeing how even now they are associated with death and symbolises it makes a lot of sense here, and their names as well. 

As usual, I like his world more than anything and his style of writing which gives a more bigger picture than if he used limited. Here, I guess it worked well with the excerpts which were interesting bits of information about the possibility of becoming like cartoons, the really disturbing mentalities of some, and the more poignant. 

As for the plot, there were plenty of twists which I simply didn’t see. Such as Scythe Faraday and his death, that twist was simply one of the most boggling either way. But nonetheless, I liked where it was heading with this, and where both Rowan and Citra went different ways at the end. It was more enjoyable than anything else. 

Rowan and Citra, they both are good jusr different as well. And where they split is when Scythe Faraday died and they went to separate Scythes which was nicer as I got a more in-depth look on Scythe Goddard, there was some moments where he was quite disturbing with his thinking and line of thoughts. And even then, there were some twists which never really affected my image of him. He is despicable and just someone who believed he is entitled but it feels as though the entire plot itself didn’t have him as a villain after all. 

This book goes down a lot of unexpected roads, and makes plenty of twists which I never saw coming, which was quite pleasant. Though I do think that this is just setting up the series for future events, despite it was enjoyable, it really couldn’t be contained in one book, even at the end some loose ends are left with us. 

But I really enjoyed this for it gave me answers to questions which is really rarely answered about immortality and death, and how do we control them after it. So, I recommend this if you’re interested in books that explore the unknown. This really was unknown and hard to guess where this would go, even though it feels like utopia, yet it is only a dystopia. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Undivided 


This has been a really a satisfying conclusion to me. And a whole lot of things happened all at once here, which I would agree. 

But I do like the ending well enough, it makes everything feel worthwhile yet not perfect. Even though all characters survived, but some are not completely the same anymore. And some characters reappear as well. 

But with the final stamp against unwinding, and having more of the effort of everyone rather than just one person. Connor just so happens to be the one who started it all, Lev the one who made people rethink. 

But nonetheless some characters here play a vital role, even Cam and Hayden both doing things on their own to stop unwinding. 

And something major does happen to Connor, which is one of the only things which makes my heart jump in the book. And Lev’s sacrifice as well. 

I would say this is the most decent ya dystopian book I have read, not perfect but made a lot of sense with am argument that I really think it’s solid and valid and debatable. Because the society is messed, but not completely so yet at the same time some pretty horrendous things go through. Which is dystopia. 

And this is more about fighting unwinding than someone, about beliefs and misguided notions of the public. That accepted such a procedure to pass. And that is something that I really think dystopia should be more about than a person. 

Overall, I would say this is a perfect conclusion to a series and picked up by those who want to see a pretty decent ya dystopian. 

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Unsouled


Well, here I believe is where a lot of the interesting points come into play. Such as the ending, being something that might end unwinding for good, and dealing with someone that is made from unwind parts. And all the while following Connor and Lev as they try to survive. 

The information on the Rhineschild here was even interesting to read nonetheless, where little tidbits here and there were more than enough to tell of Janson Rhineschild. As well as how did Unwinding really became a part of the society, and how it became a daily occurence, accepted by all. 

All the while following another set of characters and seeing hell break loose through Starkey’s action. And seeing Hayden alive was something that I didn’t mind, I rather liked him in fact. All the while Risa is also on the run, where she manages to find a suitable place to hide. 

Well, the fight on ending unwinding probably has only just begun, and really this was a long long book. And at times I was rather bored, well dragged due to some point of views being mostly unimportant people. 

As for Camus, well nonetheless still surpised with how things turned out for him and where he was in the end. Even though I have really nothing on him but I never really liked him, he was both fascinating and disturbing at the same time. Una, I totally agree with you about his existence. And his obsession with Risa can be rather strange, even stranger is also his sudden dislike for a guy that Risa liked. But he still rather interesting, and most likely a villain. 

Overall, I do like this addition although at times some of it may have been random. But it does bring up a lot of food for thought, and the likeliness of where it would end. So, I would still reconmend this at the end of the day, since this is one of the better dystopian books. Some in this genre has almost no real reason why the world could turn out like that. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Unwholly 


This was a pretty amazing sequel. There is really no words for it, as well as putting up the questions even further about unwind and relavations which may come into useful.

Here we have Cam, who’s basically a someone who was built from unwinds, all of it from talented parts. I rather liked that part, where it showed about the possibility and how it comes to life. And how he’s eventually affecting is something I’m more or less wanting to know and to find out. 

As for Connor, I really enjoyed reading him. How he becomes mature by choosing the better choices to save, even if it’s not right, but really, he’s just doing the best he can for them. And to prevent the greatest losses. And that how he had to change to become a pretty capable leader, I rather believed him and his principles. 

As for the entire society, although it has lessened, the rules having a six month period to decide before they could really unwound their child. I rather liked how it showed the two sides, the benefits and consequences. 

As for Risa, she may still be on wheelchair but I definitely like her, as for her eventual acceptance of a spine being part of deal to protect the Graveyard from being found out. But the best I think was at the end, when she chose to really talk about it since the Graveyard was raided anyway, and the actual truth concerning it.  

And Lev, he grew even more here. Where he ends up and tries to push off the status of being a idolized figure and instead choose to help in his own way and not to become perfect. 

Overall, this is a sequel that is affected by the previous books and even more on it. As for the worldbuilding here is really really expanded here. 

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Unwind 


Well, this was actually a pretty decent read. The motives and opinions make me think about it. Whether unwinding is truly useful or not and soon enough I’m almost finished. And the ending, it’s just a beginning of what’s to come as well. 

What did I enjoy? Reading a rather decent and thought provoking ya dystopian where it’s mostly dominated by governments who have just found a great new way to just kill kids. Even when it makes little to no sense. 

The world here which believed unwinding is a compromise that solves all their problems along with abortion. And many parts say it was perfect but then, in actual reality didn’t make humans lives valuable rather cheapen it. All the laws which followed was actually a result. 

I can see why a lot of people accept it, since there were many occurrences when it happened such as CyFi, to seeing how someone was unwound literally was quite unnerving but makes me think how was it possible that they can live on. Probably to retain consciousness of them in a sense keeping them alive. Even though seeing that to someone I didn’t like, was indeed quite horrifying to know how you were taken apart. 

Another thing I found enjoyable was the little romance, although hinted at but it’s not the centre of the story for once. It’s much more about the survival and possibility of how they can stay alive until they turn eighteen. 

And Risa, I loved her. She was a character that was intelligent and only set aside because she wasn’t good enough. She didn’t have enough talent. But her need and desire to want to survive was evident from the start where she asked to learn another. Even more so in the end where she decides not to have her spinal cord changed. 

As for Connor, well I really really hate his parents. Was he a problem student? He wasn’t, he clearly wasn’t. His parents wanted a perfect son, but heads up first, no one is perfect. All children have their own issues and problems and choose to unwind their child just because they weren’t the best, well they neither were incorrigible either. He was kind, just very very impulsive and not able to think things through. And I agree with how he treated his parents, they were idiots. It wasn’t as though they were raising the epitome of evil, just a child with plenty of issues that with good patience and guidance he would be useful to society. 

Lev, well he changed a lot. And his circumstances are very interesting where he is a tithe to the family, and eventually slowly changing. In the end, I did like the possibility of his ending where his brother might get custody of him, to him becoming a clapper. 

And those characters they all added up somehow to contribute. And even tales which was spinned off really well in my opinion such as the tale of Humphrey and his parents trying to put him back.

I enjoyed the world because of the possibilities and that most were explored already. Such as tithes, parents who regretted their decisions and what happens to abandoned infants. 

Overall, this was compelling and enticing and make me think about what we should really think. Treasure life or choice? And also I think I would most definitely continue with this. 

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The selection

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326 pages later, I’m very ambivalent about this book.

This book is absolutely terrible, I like it at first but has plot holes and worldbuilding holes the size of mountains. It is as though it was dumbed down and what happened to the political intentions. Oh wait, there were none. This is not a dystopia, it really isn’t. Nothing to make you think, it really sounds like a fantasy.

A few things that I felt was good: the beginning and the relationship with America and Maxon by now, that was okay and that’s about it.

I didn’t like the worldbuilding, it made no sense at all. It looked like fantasy just under a dystopian tag. Also the plot runs like a typical palace drama except the meter cranked up to the highest. And the thing about castes, it makes no sense and usually is found in fantasy. If this is badly written dystopia, I would hate to see badly written fantasy. This book is not intelligent at all, if you actually think it makes no sense.

Heck even those from there, the rules are much better. In this book, it sounds like you are being bonded or enslaved by one.

I like America at first, she didn’t seem so bad. She hated the selection, the only thing I have for it is that I also agree with her. Especially with its lack of common sense. How it ran lacks sense, what happens to tests of intelligence, what happen to tests of manners. It sounds like it’s a pageant where as long as he likes it they will be selected. Yeah, I’m not going to buy it.

Also, new asia, why would anyone want to take over the world. It makes no sense at all. I’m Asian and I’m.sure that people have more common sense than that to start another war.

Also, I gave this book a fair chance. Even though I should have known from the very moment that the reviews on Goodreads were all very negative. And I fully agree.

The selection makes no sense, why would thirty five girls be chosen. A true daughter of Illea, yeah no again makes no sense. It would make more sense to just limit it to those of the upper castes. Unless it’s a lottery for those who can enter. Or maybe you know have America enter the Palace for something other than the selection. Heck I have seen better Chinese Dramas than this where it is decent. Also, what happened to the dangers of this place. I mean people would be driven over the edge to have the chance of becoming a queen. What happened to the underhanded means of the typical palace drama I seen. Wait, this is a dystopia for young adults. Such things should not be present. Well, I guess my expectations was too high. I mean show the underhanded means to us not just tell it straight to our face.

Also about the country, again it makes no sense. The rules sounds like a dictatorship with no right to answer or even not to do it. For goodness sake, there is even a curfew.

The plot, there was nothing. Just America going to the selection and everything. No tension, nothing serious going nothing at all. Even till over half of the book, nothing is happening. There are no stakes, just America being herself and wading her way through the selection. There is literally nothing happening. Or nothing serious that have stakes. Just until the last forty pages or so.

Also, Celeste sounds like a class A bitch and that she isn’t even fleshed out as a character. She just feels like a cardboard cut out.

Aspen, well I liked him at the beginning and still do. In fact he seems pretty interesting except for the fact that his character I feel as though he isn’t fully fleshed out. He likes America, has a complex that he should be providing for her and not the other way. But I just feel that there is more to him.

Actually the last forty pages isn’t so bad, America seems better and actually cares.

Well, I only read up to around 50%. The rest I just skimmed. Until around the last forty pages or so.

And the ending, are you serious? Nothing happens apart from the fact that America is declared an elite. This story has no development, nothing serious, nothing ended or even concluded and heck there was no plot.

Rating:  1.5 out of 5

Only 1.5 as there were some pretty good moments, that was about it. And that I would most definitely not read the sequel, I didn’t like it and I had better things to read. Thank god I didn’t buy it, just borrowed it.

Sweet Dreams Postings from Dawningmoon