Addition: E-book
Genre: Young adult
Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis:

What if compassion was not an emotion that evoked a response,
but was a prize to be won?

57142 has only ever known the reality of Outside, the place where he has to glean a lonely existence from the discarded rubbish of Tropolis.

Everything changes when he receives the crimson Post. It invites him to the competition that is the Compassion Prize offering wealth, happiness and a place in Tropolis if he succeeds.

How could he refuse to enter?

This is the third novel by Katy Hollway, and is completely different from her other two books, which are part of the Remnant Chronicles. This novel is not part of this series, it seems to be the beginning of a new series of young adult books.

This is a young adult, dystopia novel. 57142 lives in the Outside, surviving off the scraps from Tropolis, until he is selected to enter The Compassion Prize. This gives him the opportunity to compete against 19 others for a live in Tropolis for him and his family. This novel reminds me of both The Hunger Games and the Divergent series for the following reasons:
1. The idea of the very rich city and the very poor outside sectors
2. Competing for a place in a different, better society
3. The public in the city voting for their favourite contestant
That said, this novel does take a different look at this type of society. Hollway starts to unpack the idea that compassion and charity can be outlawed, and the effect this has on live. There are no friendship, no trust and no communities. It is a stark look at how important compassion is. How do you survive in a world like this? Is it possible to build friendships and escape this sad existence? Is being rich and fortunate enough to live in the city actually worth it? I really liked this different take on the dystopia novel.

I found this book really drew me in. I was hooked right from the first page and would have easily read it in one sitting had I been able to! I really liked the characters. They displayed a whole range of emotions, and despite their faults and lack of understanding, I was drawn to them and wanted to see what would happen. I also liked that they weren’t all inward-looking. Some were gentle and caring, despite what life has thrown at them. They were realistic and likeable.

I liked the storyline too. The tension built really well throughout the book. I found the novel easy to read and really easy to get drawn in to. Hollway creates a world and scenes that aren’t hard to imagine. There is drama, adventure, fear and a lovely study into friendship and trust. This storyline is so different from Hollway’s other novels, yet it was such a good read. Hollway is displaying that she has a wide range of writing talents, and a vivid imagination. This book draws you in – the more I read, the more I wanted to read and find out what happened. I am hoping this is the start of a new series by Hollway as this was a great read.

I am rating this novel 4 out of 5 because I really enjoyed it. This is a great, dystopia novel. If you like novels by Suzanne Collins, Lauren Oliver and Veronica Roth than this book is for you!

The first three chapters of this book are available to read to Katy Hollway’s blog.

Share on Facebook

I haven’t done a Recommended Author post in a long time, but today I wanted to change that!

recommended authors

The author I am recommending is: Katy Hollway!

katy_avatar

Katy has released two books so far; The Times of Kerim and The Days of Eliora. These are the first two books in the Remnant Chronicles series. Katy’s books are young adult, Christian books and I have really enjoyed both of them. Her writing is engaging and draws you in – with both novels I found myself reading huge chunks in one go as I wanted to know what would happen. I have found Katy’s writing to be like Frank Peretti, which is a big compliment as although I have only read one of his books, I really enjoyed it. If you like young adult fiction, if you like fantasy fiction, and if you like Christian fiction, than Katy is definitely worth checking out!

You can find out more about Katy Hollway and read the first three chapters of The Days of Eliora at her website, www.katyhollway.com

Share on Facebook

Book number 47 was in fact an audiobook! I wanted to listen to a book whilst I worked hard on making my Mum’s Christmas present so decided to listen to Frank E. Peretti because someone had said to me that Katy Hollway‘s novels are similar to his – and as I enjoy Hollway’s books I thought I would try out Peretti. I am pleased I did, I found this a really enjoyable book to listen too. It was engaging, full of action, with twists and turns. This is not young adult fiction like Hollway but so enjoyable. I have another Peretti book on my shelf which I am looking forward to reading (even though it is MASSIVE!)

Addition: Audiobook
Genre: Christian, fantasy
Published: 1986
Rating: 4 out of 5

Share on Facebook

The Days of ElioraAddition: Paperback
Genre: Young adult, Christian
Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis:

The Days of Eliora “Si dominates her, eager for respect Caleb notices her, detecting someone unique The Remnant shuns her And I watch over, as turmoil encompasses the land Eliora lives between worlds. Disowned by one and mistrusted by the other; she has no identity. Finding solace in conflicting friendships will shape her future beyond recognition. Caleb brings relief to her testing days, but can he bring startling revelation about who she really belongs to. Will she still her confusion and listen to my message? Is her heart prepared for the battle?” Eliora does not fit. Neither the palace nor the settlement offers her a place to be who she is called to be. Join Eliora as she discovers her calling amid the slavery of her people and the tyrannical Pharaoh. Discover the unfolding story through both the human and supernatural realm.

This is the second book by Katy Hollway, and the second in the Remnant Chronicles. I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed The Times of Kerim, but fear my comments may be similar.

As was with The Times of Kerim, I found the synopsis gives away nothing about this book! I had no idea what or who to expect when I opened the novel. I don’t want to give away much of the story but I will explain that the Remnants are angels, who are protecting certain charges. Eliora is one of those charges, and she has a tough life. She is a Hebrew slave in Egypt, but expected to work at the palace amongst other Egyptians. She finds herself caught between the two different cultures, unsure who to follow and whether to believe in the Egyptian gods or the Hebrew God. Again, I don’t want to spoil the story or give away too much, but Hollway bases these novels on Biblical stories, but the main character is rarely the key Biblical person, the are intwined into the story as we follow those around them.

I found the beginning of this novel a little slow, like with her previous novel, we launched straight into a world where we are not sure what is going on. The story does become clear after a couple of chapters and I liked how we are slowly introduced to the key players in the story. As for the storyline, I found myself in a strange place – I liked it, and I didn’t like it, all at the same time! There is one particular incident in the book that then shapes the rest of the story, but I didn’t like it. I wasn’t sure if it even needed to be there. I also was surprised by how fast time moved in the book as there didn’t seem to be any indication of weeks or months. Yet, I did enjoy the book and found myself reading large chunks in one go because I wanted to know what was going to happen. I was gripped, and I did enjoy this book. There is hardship, pain, friendship and love in this book. Family and faith are so important in life, and in this novel. I loved watching how each event unfolded. This book is descriptive and draws you in. I was captivated by the story and for the most part, really enjoyed sitting and reading this book.

I keep asking myself the question, did I like Eliora? I’m quite undecided! There were moments in her vulnerability when I felt for her, really empathised with her, yet she was also a bit sulky and I didn’t like that. I did like Caleb – a hero in this book! He always saw the best in her, stood by her at all times and showed her God. He had such a great trust in God, it was amazing.

I want to make one comment about how the book is laid out. We often jumped between Eliora’s story and the Remnant’s story. We know this because it is shown through a font change. The Remnants can see the demons surrounding and covering people, and sometimes would engage them in conversation, however I didn’t find it was always clear if the demon was speaking, or if the person he was controlling was speaking.

This isn’t just a story about how God can save a nation. This is also a story about how God cares and loves each individual. God is so loving and caring – he does work all things out for the good of those who love him, and we saw this in the book. The Creator was always there, and he always has a plan for us. Bad things do happen – they happen in this book – yet God loves us, he protects us and he saves us. What was meant for evil, God uses for good – and that is the key message through the book and I love it. It was so good to be reminded of this truth in a subtle, powerful way.

I’m rating this book 4 out of 5. I liked most of the story, and my comments above are minor things in the scheme of the story. I just loved being reminded of God’s grace, and how much he loves and cares for his children. This isn’t a hard read, but it is enjoyable and full of God’s truth.

Share on Facebook

The Days of Eliora

Katy Hollway’s The Days of Eliora was book 43 in 2014. This is the second novel by Hollway, and the second in the Remnant Chronicles series.

Like with her first novel, I wasn’t sure what to expect – when this book is set or who the main characters will be. However, that should not put you off this book. Set in the times of Moses as he follows God’s orders to see his people freed, we follow Eliora, a girl stuck between the Hebrew and Egyptian worlds. It is hard to say what I thought coherently! I did enjoy this book, I wanted to keep reading and I found myself thinking about it. However, I didn’t like some of the storylines! I will write a proper review of this book, but I would rate it 4 out of 5 because I wanted to keep reading, and I would recommend it.

Addition: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult
Published: 2014
Rating: 4 out of 5

Share on Facebook

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
Addition: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis:

In the year 6000 BC humanity was on the brink of extinction. Their ancestors forgot and betrayed the ancient knowledge making a way for the forms of darkness to become like humans. Young Kerim possess the insight to detect the mortals from the dark seeds of the night sky. She alone holds the key to the end of the world or its saving grace. But when she is captured and prepared for a sacrifice the divine plan must be set in place. She is to found, rescued, and convinced she is the one!

This is the debut novel by Katy Hollway, which follows Kerim, a girl who is living in troubled times. A witch has come to her town and has corrupted all the settlers there, except her father and herself. Life becomes difficult for Kerim as she becomes a target for the next sacrifice. She is captured, by her brother of all people, and locked in a cage to await the awful things that the witch promised to do to her. However, she is freed by a figure in white who then protects her from other evil to come. Listening to this man, she runs in the direction he sends her and to safety. There she finds shelter and falls in love with Japh – plus she finds something extraordinary. She finds that the family are building an ark. She is welcomed into Noah’s family and the story follows her as she is let on the Ark.

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect from this book. The blurb doesn’t give too much away and in the first couple of chapters you are launched straight into the horrors Kerim is rescued form without any explanation. I have to say though, I was pleased I kept reading! It took me by surprise to run into Noah! I didn’t work out immediately what the big wooden structure was! Silly me!

This book is aimed at young adults and is a Christian book. The writing style, how Kerim hears God and the angels that look out for her, reminded me a lot of Karen Kingsbury, which I really liked. I enjoyed the story. It was fascinating thinking about what life would have been like in 2000BC; what life would have been like on the Ark and I loved reading about how God protects His people. In this story there was nothing too big for God and his army.

I liked the characters. I felt a lot of empathy for Kerim. She couldn’t see how special she was and even in the worst times she wanted to protect and rescue her family. I liked Japh. I found him a little forward at times but he had her best interests at heart and loved her a lot. I loved Noah’s family. Noah was very wise and calm; however it was his wife Tabitha whom I really liked. She was protective and caring. She understood Kerim and always had time for her.

I think this is an excellent book. It was gripping and insightful. It is encouraging and well written. I think this book will appeal to adults as well as young adults. The book isn’t overly religious. There is fear, real threat plus love and action in this book. I read this in one sitting and really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to the next book!

Share on Facebook