PJV Quickie: Three dystopian tales from three authors, offered me a little taste of the apocalypse. I was thoroughly pleased with the shorts by Kagawa and Aguirre but left a little bored by Duvall’s addition to the mix.

[frame align=”left”]Adult Dystopian[/frame]

Adult Dystopian Anthology,
 ‘Til The World Ends 

Title:  ‘Til The World Ends
Author: Julie Kagawa , Ann Aguirre and Karen Duvall
Series: Blood of Eden .5
Type: Dystopian
Publication: January 29th 2013 by Harlequin Luna
Source: Amazon Vine

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Til the World Ends was an Anthology with three novellas. The first novella was DAWN OF EDEN by Julie Kagawa, which is a prequel to her Blood of Eden novels. DAWN OF EDEN is sixty years before Allie’s story, and covers the onset of the Red Lung virus. The story opens in the midst of the pandemic, people are dying everywhere from Red Lung and a doctor and a few assistants are the only medical unit still open. They are there to basically care for the patients as they die. Kylie, who is one of the lucky 20% that survived the plague is holding on to the last remnants of normalcy by caring for all of her dying patients. Anything normal flies out of the window though, when Ben Archer drags his boss into her clinic. It looks as if he has been attacked by a wild animal. The Blood of Eden world begins to emerge as rabidism takes effect.

The characters of Kylie and Archer were a dynamic edition to the anthology. Kagawa creates head-strong female characters that punch first and ask questions later. She also has a way of developing tough-male heroes, with a softer, more brooding-emo side, which I really like. She delivered a great team with Kylie and Archer. There were a few plot points that I found confusing, I sometimes couldn’t figure out if Kylie was an actual doctor or if she was just a student, because she gave off a very young vibe, but other than that, I adored Dawn of Eden and liked the insight it gave me into the Blood of Eden world.

THISTLE AND THORN by Ann Aguirre, blew my socks off. I just have one question to ask Ann Aguirre…will we see more of this world?? It was rich and full and the characters Mari and Thorne were very engrossing. The story is set in a well established dystopian world, the world has been ravaged by chemicals and pollution and the government is city-states run by corporations. Mari and Thorne live outside of the corporations in what is called the Red Zone. This area is ruled over by crime-lords and people are in abject poverty on the brink of starvation or some form of violent end. Mari is a thief and her services are hired by the local crime-boss. She knows the job is a death trap, but she can’t turn down the guy, without getting killed out-right. She has to try. Things go wrong though, as expected, but what she didn’t expect was Thorne Goodman, one of the big-bosses muscle, to aid her in escaping the death sentence.

I loved Mari and Thorne and I want more! The story was action-packed, non-stop anxiety and richly woven with great world-building. This was my favorite story in the anthology.

SUN STORM by Karen Duvall was my least favorite out of the three novels. The story was about a well-established dystopian world that was ravished by sun storms. The solar flares affected some of the humans a little differently though, giving some of them certain powers that manifested right after the first barrage of solar flares. Sarah is one of the those people, she now has the ability to sense when one of the storms is about to hit and almost as a compulsion she has to go into the storm to absorb the radiation. Her father and mother were storm chasers before the world was ravaged and she uses their knowledge and gear to chase the sun storms and warn towns of the impending radiation storms. Sarah’s father was over-exposed to radiation and now, even though he is young is senile, so Sarah works at the hospital where he lives, which is where she meets Ian Matthews another person with abilities (they call them Kinetics) and together they have to defeat an FBI agent turned slaver, locate a clandestine government group that is utilizing Kinetics and then put an end to another devastating solar attack that just might end their world for good. It was a lot to pack within a little novella and I think that was where I lost my footing. It was just too much. Duvall had so much exposition, so many plot threads that the novel was not character driven in the least. Ian and Sarah were just thrown themselves together, they have a bit of drama, emotionally and then are professing undying love. Duvall had to choose between a heavy plot or character development and she chose plot. The plot was good though, it was high-impact and was a very interesting concept. I wish it would have been a full-length novel, with more time for the in-betweens and relationship development, then I think it would have been great. Duvall has great potential, she wove a good tale and delivering a dystopian love story in just 100 pages would give any veteran author a run-for-their-money. I think I might have to check out Duvall’s other series to get a better idea of her style.

Overall, great anthology and I recommend it for anyone who loves the dystopian genre. This one is of the adult variety, so it puts some distance from the normal Young Adult fare. Even though this is adult, I do think Young Adult fans of the authors will enjoy, there is nothing too graphic or sexually explicit to give  innocent readers that many reasons to blush.

Recommendations: If you are a fan of any of the authors, you’ll love this anthology. You do not have to have read Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series to read this one, it is only set within the world, it has nothing to do with her young adult characters. Fans of Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series, or her books as Ellen Connor should really enjoy.

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Rachel Rivera