Category Archives: Young Adult

Young Adult reviews

Pierce Brown: Red Rising (Review)


Pierce Brown

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.

Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre

Book Description

red rising

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the planet livable for future generations. Darrow has never seen the sky.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow and Reds like him are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.


Red Rising by Pierce Brown: This book was a foray into something different for me, which is my personal challenge this year “To Read as many books as i can that take me out of my comfort zone”.

Right from the start i had to hang on to the book covers to stop from being swept up into the maelstrom of this plot and transported to Mars. I was amazed to discover its being billed as a Young Adult novel. Its complex world building and multi-layered society is leaps ahead in style and depth of almost any other YA book i have ever read. It very much put me in mind of Julian May and the Many Coloured land series (this being one of my all time fav series, gives you an idea of the compliment here).

Taking place on Mars, introducing the Red, the bottom of society, the worker slaves, in a society led by the elite Golds. One red is destined to rise from his station, to learn adapt and grow. It is this adaptation and growth that allows the reader to experience all the levels of emotion. through failure, victory, death, love, friendship, comradeship and so much more.

Inevitable comparisons will be made to Hunger Games, but this blows that series away. For me this is right up there with the quality of Wool by Hugh Howey A book that transported me to another time another place and other reality. For those that read you will understand the phrase : Book hangover, this is what i have now, i don’t know what to read next as my hair of the dog… but it will need to be damn good.



Filed under Dystopian, Pierce Brown, Young Adult

Ellie Quin : Alex Scarrow Q&A + Review

The Author


I live in Norwich with my wife, Frances, my son, Jake a very spirited little dog    called Max. I spent the first 10 years out of college in the music business chasing    record deals and the next 12 years in the computer games business as a graphic artist    and eventually a games designer. For those of you who like their computer games,    here’s some of the titles I’ve worked on:

Waterworld, Evolva, The Thing, Spartan, Gates of Troy, Legion Arena. In 2005 I got    my first book deal with Orion, writing adult thrillers. And in 2009 I signed up with    Puffin to write the TimeRiders series.

I seem to spend most of my time hunched over my laptop in various cafes and coffee    bars sipping lattes, tapping keys and watching the ebb and flow of shoppers outside    on the street. As I write this, I’m working on the third book in the TimeRiders series.    Ahead of me, lies research work for my next thriller, and also some screenplays I’m    looking forward to writing. Although I’m glad to be where I am now, I do occasionally    kick myself for not having succumbed to the writing bug much earlier. But then we    all just muddle along through life, don’t we? There’s rarely a plan.

Ellie Quin

A brand new series from the Author of TIMERIDERS!

Welcome to a universe
as you’ve never seen it before;- genetically engineered pocket pets, plant life
with a crabby attitude, soda pops that fight back…and revoltingly slimy junk

Ellie Quin’s just a normal young woman. Bored with her life on a
remote farm, staring up at the stars at night and wishing she was far away on
another more exciting world.

She thought she was normal. Turns out she
was wrong. It turns out she’s the most valuable, the most dangerous, the most
hunted-for human in the universe… and there are people already closing in on

The Legend of Ellie Quin: a breathless pursuit across a colourful,
madcap universe of shopping malls and space ships. Lip-gloss and lazer guns.


Alex scarrow best known for his TimeRiders
(Book 1)
series, and also for his adult thrillers A
Thousand Suns
, The
Candle Man
, Last
 Afterlight October Skies.

The one thing that Alex has been consistent with is his great
Each person is brought to life very quickly, with a very honest
human quality, never given an ability or set of circumstances that the every day
person could not deal with.
Its this approach that makes all his books grab
you from the first page to the last.
Ellie Quin is no exception, i have to
say that i draw some comparisons with “The Ballad of Halo Jones” the 2000ad
classic tale, but don’t let that put you off, its not a classic for no reason,
its one of their iconic tales. But Alex does take the concept in a different
Some might wonder if this is a tale for teens? or just girls. But
I’m a 40 year old man and i enjoyed it very much….(does that say more about me
or the book…i leave that to you).

I give you none of the story, as its
too easy to give spoilers… but suffice to say its worth a download (its free
for the next few days, and then still only £1.99 after 2 & 3 are
already on amazon to download as well, so get stuck in and immersed in the new
Iconic story of a young Woman’s travels in a highly imaginative future world. a
thriller set against and extraordinary Universe

Buy it


 Alex at Brit School Brussels
1) So Ellie Quin: a bit of a departure from Timeriders and the timeslip thrillers, how did you settle on this idea? ELLIE QUIN was in part inspired by a story in the classic British comic 2000AD. The story was called HALO JONES and followed the exploits of a very ordinary young female protagonist exploring a madcap universe. It was a story that was never finished and pulled mid-way because the comic’s publishers weren’t sure the all-male audience would buy into a less than heroic female central character. Another influence was Douglas Adam’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which I loved as a teenager. I remember wishing there really was that insane, wonderful, colourful universe out there to explore.
2) Were there any influences from your past for this book? Well Halo Jones and HitchHikers I’ve already mentioned. But other influences would probably include Frank Herbert’s DUNE, the movie FIFTH ELEMENT, the tv series FIREFLY.
3) What authors influence you as a writer? and how much did your Brother Simon Scarrow influence you? Stephen King was a big influence on me as a youngster. Also Arthur C Clarke. Simon and I have grown up reading the same books, watching the same movies, playing the same PC games even. So I wouldn’t say Simon has influenced me, more, we’ve both drawn from the same pool of imagination.
4) Why a female lead character? Why female? Good question. I think I’m drawn more to female characters, perhaps because in an action adventure, they’re innately more vulnerable than some spunky, heroic young guy who can defy death with his chiselled jaw and finely honed wise-cracks.
5) Is Ellie based on anyone/ Influenced by anyone in your life, or pure fiction? Ellie’s basically a navel-gazer. A futuristic emo. If she’d been a peer of mine she’d have listened to the Smiths. She’s pretty plain and unexciting – an everyman (woman). And that’s what works best I think. To see a character who isn’t blessed with superpowers, or ingenuity or incredibly brave. Those sorts of characters bore me witless because you know the author will allow them to deftly dodge the bad guy’s bullets simply because it suits the story. (What I call Selective Stormtrooper Stupidity – ie; in Star Wars the Stormtroopers are lethally accurate against average Rebel grunts, but, put them up against a main character, and sheeesh, they can’t shoot for Sh*t)
6) What age range (if any) are you aiming Ellie Quin at? Teen and up. To be honest 11+. Hopefully like TimeRiders, ELLIE QUIN will find readers of both genders and all ages.
7) The first 3 parts are already for Sale on amazon. Will you be adding these to other formats (Nook etc?) and when will the next installment be ready / on sale? I’ll be writing the next 3 book saga in the new year and hopefully it’ll be up on Amazon by late summer. As for other formats, I’m afraid its Kindle only for the next year, after that, who knows?
8) Of all the books you have written, which is your fav? Gawd that’s a tough one. The answer does change everytime I get asked that question. But quite often I’m drawn to the first TimeRiders book as an answer because that’s the book where we get to meet Liam, Maddy and Sal for the first time. Very special place in my heart, that book has.
9) What comes next? for Timeriders? any Adult Thrillers? anything new? I am also at the planning stage with a new teen series for Puffin. Unfortunately I’m having to keep that one well and truly under-wraps for the moment.
10) Free forum: What would you say to your Readers and new readers to convince them to read Ellie Quin? I’d like TimeRiders fans to download a sample of the first ELLIE QUIN book and see how they get on. It’s very similar to TimeRiders in terms of pace, big ideas, strong likeable characters. It’s about a very ordinary girl who yearns to escape a boring rural existence on a remote agricultural planet. But soon becomes embroiled in a universe-spanning conspiracy. She finds herself on the run through this madcap, colourful, vibrant universe full of really fun ideas. For instance….pets you can grow from seeds, nail varnish that when it dries you can watch TV on your finger, genetically engineered labourers with four arms, weird fortune telling aliens, soda pops that change flavour all the time, plants with a cabby attitude!….lotsa fun stuff in a big, big, universe. The series has just been launched on Amazon. You can download it as an ebook or order (soon) a printed version from Amazon. If you’re interested in learning more about it go to

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Filed under Young Adult