Danger, secrets, drama and danger in Ironheart, a good old adventure from Allan Bouroughs

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, London, teen book reviews


India Bentley is fighting for her family’s survival in dystopian London, but when a stranger and her android appear with questions about her missing father’s mission she is drawn into a race to find the legendary Ironheart in frozen Siberia. With a cast of step-mothers, pirates, androids, killers, baddies, traitors and more she discovers the secrets of the world, her family and herself as she goes.

This book was crazy. But, I think, good crazy! After all these miserable dystopias this was a bit silly fast moving, packed full of adventure, magic, mystery, technology, danger and a lot of fun. I think I would have loved this when I was younger, and I really enjoyed it now too!

The impulsive teen main character trope: illustrated in Captive by Aimee Carter

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, teen book reviews, Writing Thoughts


Lila Hart is really Kitty Doe. She was somehow persuaded it was for the good of the resistance for her to impersonate the niece of the President, and does so begrudgingly, pretending to be engaged to the bossy Knox and longing for her loving boyfriend Benjy. But her impulsive decisions and confusion over who to trust lead to an attempt to escape – but she is caught sent to the mysterious Elsewhere, where again she finds herself torn between fleeing for her freedom or fighting for her country.

The set up was good here. Why is she impersonating someone? What secrets does this strange society hold? Is Knox really on her side? What has happened to make society like this? Will Kitty be able to keep up the pretence? Why did the real Lila go into hiding? The story was gripping and pacy… but ultimately let down by the characters.

Endgame: The Calling by James Frey – yet another teen dystopia. But actually it’s good!

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, teen book reviews, Uncategorized, Writing Thoughts


Throughout history twelve families have trained their children to be players in Endgame. And when meteors hit the earth, twelve teenagers across the world know that it’s time, leave their homes and congregate. They think the rules are simple: the tribe of the last one alive gets to live on. A strange alien being sets their first task – to find the earth key. Unlikely alliances, brutal torture and metaphysical speculation take place across the world as the players race for survival.

Gosh I’ve read about a lot of dystopias recently. Red Rising, Station Eleven, The Forever Watch (review coming soon), Frozen (not reviewing, didn’t like it). And I’m going to see The Hunger Games last night. But hey, though I was a bit tired of the genre by now, this was a pretty good one!

Real Teen Reviews: EVERYONE SHOULD READ RED RISING – Zoë Mac on Pierce Brown

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Recommended, teen book reviews

And now for a new feature. Any teen/young adult book I review that I think my marvellous fifteen-year-old sister Zoë would like I will pass on to her, pester her to read it and then interview her about it. Read my Red Rising review here (it’s safe to say we disagree) – then read #real! #teen! #opinions! below. 

What did you think of Red Rising?

I thought it was a BRILLIANT book! It kept me completely hooked all the way through – I adore it! It’s got a very prominent theme of revolution that you can’t help but be dragged into – you really feel like a part of a story.

Grippingly Good though not Overly Original – Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Recommended, Uncategorized


Darrow is a Red mining on Mars for the future of humanity. But when his wife sacrifices herself his worldview is shattered as he realises his people are slaves to the grandeur and luxury of the already-built Gold empire on Mars and beyond. The resistance movement saves his life then channel his anger to turn him into a Gold, sending him to the illustrious Institute which turns out to contain a year-long bloody battle of the Roman god inspired Houses, with the mandate to overthrow the system.

Though many (okay, most) elements of the world set-up and plot are familiar this book is gripping, pacy and thrilling as it races through a big, emotion and action-packed plot stuffed with intense characters, intriguing situations and a multi-layered world. I dashed through it in just two days.