All of Our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

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Publisher: Gollancz (Trade Paperback – 30 August 2022)

Series: All of Us Villains – Book Two

Length: 470 pages

My Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

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After wowing the world with their first collaboration, 2021’s All of Us Villains, the superstar young adult fiction team of Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman return with the second book in their impressive duology, All of Our Demise, one of the most anticipated young adult fantasy releases of the year.

For generations, seven prominent families of the city of Ilvernath have each sacrificed one of their children to a legendary death tournament, the winner of which would secure the extremely powerful high magick for their family.  However, this latest tournament has not turned out like anyone expected.  Already exposed to the world thanks to a tell-all book, some of the champions, led by the seemingly heroic Briony Thorburn, are determined to break free from the bloody tournament that has long haunted their families.  But as they attempt to break the curse that binds the tournament to them by destroying the enchanted artefacts and locations associated with their families, their actions will have unexpected consequences on all around them.

For the first time in its history, the magical Blood Veil that physically separates the participants from the outside world has been broken and now everyone can witness the tournament unfold.  As reporters and members of the public swarm into the historic battleground as witnesses, the participants can return to Ilvernath and seek help from those in town.  The destruction of the Blood Veil seems proof that Briony’s plan is working, but not everyone wants the curse to end.

After the miraculous resurrection of his murdered brother, Hendry, Alistair Lowe believes that the only way he can keep Hendry alive is by winning the tournament.  After murdering his entire evil family and after being cursed by the girl he fell for, Alistair finds himself isolated with Hendry, unsure how to proceed.  However, he soon finds himself working with a surprising new ally in Gavin Grieve, the boy no-one expected to survive, and who has his own desperate reasons for working with the Lowes.  At the same time, the formerly glamorous Isobel Macaslan finds herself drawn to the mysterious Reid MacTavish, whose manipulation of the champions has brought nothing but trouble.  Determined to help Briony destroy the tournament, Isobel will break all the rules to survive, even if that means drafting Reid in against his will.

As the battle lines are drawn and the two groups of champions attempt to path their respective courses to victory, they find unexpected obstacles blocking their way.  Not only are the champions’ manipulative families attempting to sway events to their favour, but the media is determined to make all of them infamous in their own way.  Forced to battle each other both in the tournament and in the field of public opinion, the champions will face unbelievable tragedy and despair as they all try to survive.  However, the biggest threat to all of them may come from outside the tournament, and no-one is prepared for the evils waiting for them in the wider world.

Foody and Lynn Herman have delivered quite an impressive sequel here with All of Our Demise, which presents the reader with another epic and powerful story.  Building on the elaborate narrative and character arcs of All of Us Villains, All of Our Demise takes the reader on an exceptional emotional rollercoaster as they watch four extremely complex and distinctive point-of-view characters battle in impossible circumstances.  All of Our Demise ends up being just as good, if not a little better, than Foody and Lynn Herman’s first impressive outing, and it provides readers with an outstanding and memorable conclusion to this captivating young adult fantasy duology.

I’m still reeling a little bit about how All of Our Demise’s story turned out.  Foody and Lynn Hermann did a remarkable job with this sequel and the story continues seamlessly on from the events of the first book.  Told from the perspective of the four main characters, the death tournament focus of the story has evolved due to the events of All of Us Villains and the characters are now forced to contend with outside forces as they fight in an extended battleground.  The protagonists are now split down the middle as some fight to destroy the tournament for good, while they others try to keep it alive so they can win, either for their own survival or to save those closest to them.  All four protagonists have some brilliant character driven storylines around them, and each of them is fighting for something important to them, whether it be redemption, family, reputation, or respect.  In addition, the protagonists are still reeling from the events of All of Us Villains, and no-one has been left emotionally or physically untouched from the events of the first book.  This results in an emotionally heavy storyline, especially once everyone gets a taste of betrayal, either from the other champions or from other malign figures outside of the main group.  The story evolves at a great pace, and the authors chuck in some imaginative and clever twists as each group starts to get closer to their goal.  New relationships are built while others are torn down, and there are some very intense moments as scorned friends finally confront each other over past betrayals.  Everything leads up perfectly to the big conclusion, where there are some big sacrifices and some major changes in the lives of every protagonist as they reach their endgame.  I really appreciated how this impressive story came together, and you will be left shocked, moved and very satisfied with how this outstanding duology came to an end.

I think the excellent team of Foody and Lynn Herman did a remarkable job pulling All of Our Demise together, and this was an extremely well-written book.  As I mentioned above, this is a pretty epic sequel, and the authors strike off right after the cool cliff-hanger that All of Us Villains ended on.  All the great story elements from the first book are seamlessly continued here, and I really appreciated being able to jump straight into the narrative again.  While the authors do ensure that there is some exposition so that readers can remember what happened in the first book, I would say that All of Our Demise is a bit of a harder book to enjoy if you haven’t read All of Us Villains first.  There are some story and character gaps featured here that might be a bit hard to follow without having read the first book, so I would definitely recommend checking that out first.  Once you are into this story, there really isn’t a slow moment, as the characters are constantly engaged in some form of action, the enhanced intrigue surrounding the event, or a deep examination of their psyche and relationships, especially as they continue to examine the terrible events they have found themselves in.  While All of Our Demise is a bit of a brick, you honestly are never left feeling bored or stuck, and you frankly can’t help but move forward as you are drawn into this elaborate tale.  I really think that the split between the four protagonists is handled perfectly as well, and it ensures you get a well-balanced narrative and substantial time to dive into their respective and impressive character arcs.  This was one of those young adult novels that has a lot of appeal both for its target teen audience, and much older readers, as everyone will deeply appreciate its clever storylines and deeply relatable characters.  I felt that All of Our Demise came together exceptionally well, and this ended up being quite an outstanding and addictive read.

I must make special note of the cool death tournament that is such a fantastic feature of this amazing duology.  I love a great young adult death tournament scenario (who doesn’t?), and the one featured in All of Us Villains and All of Our Demise is particularly inventive, loaded with a unique history, fun magical features, and all manner of devastating tragedy.  I was really impressed with how the authors set up and featured this elaborate tournament in the previous book, and they continue to utilise it throughout All of Our Demise.  The constant fight to survive the lethal tournament becomes even more complicated throughout this second book, and it was fascinating to see how the characters deal with the pressure and the constant war they find themselves in.  There are some excellent features of the tournament that come into play in this second book, including the new magical artefacts and locations featured within that give them varying advantages.  These are generally short lived as the champions are determined to destroy them all, which not only requires them to learn more of their various family’s dark histories but forces them to engage in deadly challenges built into the tournament to destroy it.  These challenges are pretty epic, and it was great to see the protagonists involved in progressively more lethal encounters.

However, the most distinctive and entertaining change to the tournament that occurred in All of Our Demise was the sudden lack invasion of the public that occurred due to the breaking of the Blood Veil barrier.  The tournament has always historically been a private affair between the champions, but now the entire battle is a worldwide sensation being constantly reported on by the media.  It was quite fascinating and a little maddening to see the supposed sombre death tournament devolve further into a gaudy spectacle, equipped with baying fans, manipulative outsiders and a ton of paparazzi, all of whom have a very different view of the events occurring.  I particularly enjoyed seeing the ridiculous media coverage that occurred throughout this second part of the tournament, especially as various over-the-top and often blatantly false headlines and discussions of current tournament events appeared at the start of every chapter, replacing the quotes from the tell-all book that were featured in All of Us Villains.  This media coverage nearly always painted the complex characters in such a terrible light for the rest of world, which was a little hard to see, especially after you have become quite attached to the various protagonists.  However, I personally felt that it drew me into the narrative a little more, and it was a very entertaining and fun element that I had an amazing amount of fun with.  This media coverage had an interesting impact on the events of the narrative, as the characters are forced to conduct interviews and discussions with reporters to further their goals.  This entire change in the publicity of the tournament was a brilliant addition to this second book, and it altered the tone of the book in an impressive and amazing way, that really added to my enjoyment of the book.

However, the best thing about All of Our Demise was the exceptional character work featured within.  Foody and Lynn Herman did such a brilliant job setting up the four complex protagonists in All of Us Villains, and these impressive character arcs are continued seamlessly in the sequel, with each of the protagonists forced to deal with some of the further traumas that were inflicted on them in the first book.  All of Our Demise maintains the same four point-of-view characters as before, and I found myself instantly connected to them again as I remembered their compelling history and the devastating events that occurred to them in the first book.  The authors continued to perfectly build these characters throughout All of Our Demise, subjecting them to further trauma, emotional concerns and hardships, and watching them try to deal with these as they fight for their survival is a key and impressive part of this epic young adult book.

Probably the most compelling character in the entire duology is Alistair Lowe, who simultaneously plays the role of the best antagonist and an intriguing and likeable protagonist.  Alistair is the oldest son of the Lowe family, who are generally considered to be the major villains of the tournament.  Despite being raised from birth to be a monster, Alistair was hesitant about his role in the tournament and was initially a reluctant participant, even though he knew it was his destiny.  Thanks to his romantic interactions with fellow champion Isobel and the murder of his brother Hendry by his family to boost his chances, Alistair had a brief brush as being a hero and destroying the tournament with the others.  However, the apparent resurrection of Hendry by the tournament at the end of All of Us Villains caused Alistair to abandon his allies and attempt to kill Isobel as he believes their plan would result in his brother dying again.  Now fatally cursed and having taken brutal revenge on his family, Alistair is forced to re-envision himself as the villain once again to convince himself to kill the other champions, all to save the most important person in his life.

It is very hard not to appreciate Alistair as character as the authors have done an incredible job creating him and turning him into the most complex figure in the novel.  The authors really did a number on Alistair in the last book, and watching him try and work through all these issues here is extremely powerful, especially as he keeps experiencing more setbacks and traumas as he proceeds.  There is so much tragedy and emotional turmoil surrounding Alistair in this book, and the authors write an excellent arc around him for this sequel.  Watching him try to balance his desires and true nature with everyone’s perspective of him as a monster is just so damn fascinating and moving, and you can’t help but feel sorry for this fictional character.  I am glad that Foody and Lynn Herman did work in a redemption arc for Alistair in All of Our Demise, and there are some surprising, but very heartfelt relationships surrounding him in this novel that help to keep him going.  I really think that the authors handled Alistair perfectly, and he is definitely the character that everyone will remember once they finish this book.

Another character who you fall in love with Isobel Macaslan, another person who has gone through absolute hell through the course of the books.  Forced into the tournament against her will, Isobel tried to use her sudden infamy to her benefit and projected an air of confidence before the tournament, despite being terrified and used by her family.  Since then, she had an unfortunate romantic entanglement with Alistair Lowe which resulted in him murdering her.  Resurrected by a dark curse that makes her more corpse than woman, Isobel is in a very bad place during this book.  Still controlled by doubt and despair, Isobel is uncertain about whether she believes in the plan her friends are proposing and spends most of the book coming to terms with her fears and her growing attachment to another dangerous character.  Throw in some major family issues, as she continues to struggle with her selfish family, and a hostile press who produce some typical paparazzi junk about her, and you some excellent and compelling moments around Isobel that are fascinating to see.  Isobel continues to experience quite a lot of tragedy in this novel and watching her power through them and try to fix all her damaged relationships is a great part of the plot.

The third point-of-view character is Briony Thorburn, who serves quite a key role in the plot.  Briony has seen herself as the hero her entire life and was the only person excited for the tournament.  However, after her younger sister was chosen in her place thanks to the machinations of the government, Briony illegally entered the tournament by incapacitating her sister and cutting her finger off.  Now determined to destroy the tournament, Briony leads the charge to destroy the artefacts and landmarks.  However, there are some major concerns about her actual motivations, as many assume this part of her manipulative hero complex.  Briony spends most of the book trying to redeem herself after the mistakes of the first novel, a task that is complicated by her own family, who have their own sinister plans for her and the other champions.  Mentally isolated and hated by the media, Briony has a terrible time in All of Our Demise, and the authors weave some powerful moments around her.  I honestly think that Briony had one of the best and most complete narratives in the entire series, and All of Our Demise brought her character arc together extremely well.  Like the rest of the cast, it is very hard not to grow attached to Briony as you witness her complicated physical and mental battles unfold, and I really appreciated the outstanding way it ended.

The final main character is Gavin Grieve, who proved to be one of the most surprising and captivating characters from the first book.  The chosen sacrifice of the one family who has never won the tournament, Gavin always knew he was destined to die.  Full of rage and resentment, Gavin chose to make a deal with the devil and accessed a dangerous form of magick that drained his own life to gain substantial power.  Made into a lethal contender but slowly dying, Gavin is convinced by outside forces that they can save him, but they require him to work with Alistair Lowe.  Forced to overcome his own prejudices, most of which revolve from the perceived disrespect of the other champions, Gavin grows close to Alistair, and they form an interesting team.  I was really surprised by the direction of Gavin’s storylines in this book, especially as there are some fantastic reveals and changes in personality.  The authors did a great job of explaining his changes in personality, and I felt that it was quite a natural transition, especially when you consider everything he’s gone through.  Gavin rounded out the central cast of damaged, complex protagonists, extremely well, and I thought that this was a brilliant combination of characters.  Their combined complex storylines and arcs are just superb, and while you might get a little more drawn in to one or two of the characters more than the rest, there is no perspective that you are actively wanting to avoid.  I cannot highlight just how impressive these four characters were, and Foody and Lynn Herman should be commended for the exceptional character work they did here.

The wonderful and insanely talented team of Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman have come up with something truly special with All of Our Demise.  Perfectly finishing the brilliant story started in All of Us Villains, All of Our Demise lived up to all the hype surrounding it and ended up being one of the best young adult fantasy books of the year.  Featuring all the great characters from the first book, Foody and Lynn Herman weave an addictive and deeply personal narrative around them that takes the reader back into the midst of a constantly evolving and deeply traumatising magical death tournament.  Intense, captivating and very complex, All of Our Demise is a highly recommended read, and I cannot have envisioned a better end for the exceptional young adult duology.

All of Our Demise Cover

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WWW Wednesday – 7 September 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

No Country for Girls by Emma Styles (Trade Paperback)

No Country for Girls Cover

I just started reading the fantastic Australian crime fiction debut, No Country for Girls by new author Emma Styles.  Set in the Western Australian outback, No Country for Girls is an intense and compelling novel that sees two strangers embark on a deadly road trip after becoming accomplices in a crime.  I’ve made a bit of progress on this book already and it is turning out to be an excellent and fun read.  I look forward to seeing how it turns out in the end, but I can already tell you that this is going to be one of the more interesting Australian books of 2022.

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Glacier’s Edge by R. A. Salvatore (Audiobook)

Glacier's Edge Cover

I was really hoping to have finished Glacier’s Edge by now, but a few things got in my way this last week.  However, I am nearly finished this sequel to Starlight Enclave, and should knock it out in the next day or so.  I am really getting into this amazing book, and it is proving to be an outstanding addition to the larger Drizzt Do’Urden series (which includes TimelessBoundless and Relentless). I look forward to seeing what happens in Glacier’s Edge’s final moments, and it will be interesting to see how Salvatore leads into his next epic novel.

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What did you recently finish reading?

All of Our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman (Trade Paperback)

All of Our Demise Cover

I managed to knock off All of Our Demise this week and it proved to be just as good, if not better, than the first novel in this duology, All of Us Villains.  The impressive team of Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman did a remarkable job with All of Our Demise, and I had an exceptional time seeing how this series came to an end.  There are some big twists, epic surprises, and so much damn amazing character work, that you will come away from this book shocked, moved, and deeply satisfied.  This really is one of the best young adult books of 2022, and it comes very highly recommended.  Review to follow soon.

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What do you think you’ll read next?

Dark Rooms by Lynda La Plante

Dark Rooms Cover

Based on my current collection of books, I think that the novel I will read next is Dark Rooms by leading crime fiction author Lynda La Plante.  The latest book in the bestselling Tennison series (which has included awesome reads like Murder MileBlunt Force and Unholy Murder), Dark Rooms looks set to contain another fantastic and thrilling murder mystery which I know I will get very wrapped up in.  I have no doubt that I am going to love Dark Rooms, as La Plante’ captivating writing style has never disappointed me before.

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Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris

Act of Oblivion Cover

In the next week I will also try and read Act of Oblivion by bestselling author Robert Harris.  I have deeply enjoyed some of Harris’s historical fiction novels in the past, and he can create some gripping and extremely addictive reads, especially if he bases it on an exceptional historical event.  Well, his new novel, Act of Oblivion definitely has one of those, and I am extremely hopeful this will result in a particularly good read.  Act of Oblivion follows the hunt for two of the men responsible for the execution of King Charles I and will see the two fugitives flee to the American colonies whilst being pursued by the British.  This novel has so much potential, and I can’t wait to see how Harris portrays these epic historical events.

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Essex Dogs by Dan Jones

Essex Dogs Cover

I am also hoping to read the very intriguing historical fiction debut, Essex Dogs, in the next week.  The first book from new author Dan Jones, Essex Dogs sounds like a fantastic and fun medieval adventure that I know I am going to enjoy.  Following a group of mercenaries who get drafted into the Hundred Year’s War, Essex Dogs has an amazing plot behind it, and I can’t wait to see what happens to this close-nit band of fighters during this conflict.  I have been meaning to read this book for a while, and I am very excited to finally be able to read this debut.

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That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.

Book Haul – 1 September 2022

I have been having an absolutely fantastic couple of weeks for books, as I have been lucky enough to receive several incredible and amazing new novels from some of my local publishers.  These novels include some truly awesome new releases, some of which rank amongst my top books of 2022.  I am extremely keen to check out all of the books below and they should make for some amazing reads.

Blowback by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois

Blowback Cover

The first book I was lucky enough to receive was Blowback by the wonderful team of James Patterson and Brendan DuBois.  A clever and interesting new thriller about a power-hungry US president who uses his position to launch an insane course of action against the rest of the world. This was an excellent and action-packed book that takes the reader on a very wild ride. I have already finished it off and I will hopefully get a review together for it soon.

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All of Our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

All of Our Demise Cover 2

I was also lucky enough to receive a copy of All of Our Demise, which I have just started reading.  The sequel to last year’s fantastic All of Us Villains, the team of Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman have done an excellent job of continuing the narrative here, expanding on the death tournament concept and taking the compelling, damaged protagonists on an even darker journey.  I can’t wait to see how this epic book comes to an end, and I am very confident this will turn out to be one of the best young adult novels of 2022.

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Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Nona the Ninth Cover

I was extremely happy to receive a copy of Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir out of the blue.  The third book in The Locked Tomb series, Nona the Ninth continues the excellent storylines about spacefaring necromancers started in the previous two novels.  I have loved the outstanding and elaborate first two entries in the series, Gideon the Ninth (one of my favourite debuts of 2019) and Harrow the Ninth (one my favourite books and audiobooks of 2020), and I cannot wait to see how this complex series continues.  I have very, very high expectations for Nona the Ninth and I know I am going to have an exceptional time reading it.

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The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman

The Bullet That Missed Cover

There are few books in 2022 I am as excited for as The Bullet that Missed by comedian Richard Osman.  The sequel to The Thursday Murder Club (one of my favourite debuts of 2020) and The Man Who Died Twice (one of my favourite books and audiobooks of 2021), The Bullet that Missed promises to be another exceptional and captivating mystery novel with some amazing characters and a fantastic sense of humour to it.  I have no doubt that this will be another five-star book and I will hopefully read it soon.

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Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis

Star Wars - The Princess and the Scoundrel Cover

There have been some great Star Wars tie-in novels coming out this year but one of the ones I have been most interested in checking out is The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis.  Set immediately after the events of Return of the Jedi, The Princess and the Scoundrel will show the wedding and honeymoon of Han Solo and Princess Leia, all set to the backdrop of the formation of the New Republic.  I can’t wait to see what happens in this awesome sounding book and I reckon it will be one of the top Star Wars novels of 2022.

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Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris

Act of Oblivion Cover

I was very happy to also receive a copy of the new Robert Harris book, Act of Oblivion, which I reckon is going to be really interesting.  Harris has been tearing it up with some fascinating historical fiction novels lately, including the 2020 release V2, and I really like the sound of Act of Oblivion.  Based on real historical events, Act of Oblivion will follow two of the men responsible for the death of Charles I as they attempt to hide from the English in the American colonies.  I love this impressive concept and I am very excited to see Harris’ take on these historical fugitives.

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Lion by Conn Iggulden

Lion Cover

I was in the mood for some awesome historical fiction, so I went out and grabbed a copy of Lion by Conn Iggulden.  The follow-up to Iggulden’s last two novels, The Gates of Athens and Protector, Lion will continue to tell the story of ancient Athens, this time showcasing the rise of Pericles. I have had an exceptional time reading the previous books in this series and I cannot wait to see how Iggulden continues it.

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No Country for Girls by Emma Styles

No Country for Girls Cover

I was extremely intrigued by one of the cool books I received in the last week with the Australian thriller No Country For Girls by Emma Styles.  Set in the Australian outback, this awesome sounding book will follow two strangers who get thrust into a deadly situation and must flee into the wild bush to survive. I really love the sound of this book’s amazing story and I am very curious to find out how this fantastic novel goes.

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The Killing Code by Ellie Marney

The Killing Code Cover

Another compelling novel I received was the young adult, historical murder mystery, The Killing Code by Australian author Ellie Marney.  Set during World War II, this book follows several American codebreakers as they attempt to find out who is murdering their colleagues.  The Killing Code has a fantastic and very appealing narrative, and I am very keen to check out Marney’s writing style.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Volume One by Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, Dan Duncan and more

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Volume One Cover

The final book I recently grabbed was the awesome first volume of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IDW comics.  I have been a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise for a long time, primarily the television series, and I have been meaning to check out some of the comics for ages, especially considering how much I enjoy the related Usagi Yojimbo comics. As such I splashed out and grabbed volume one of the IDW run on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is the current version of the comics.  Including Issues #1-12 of the series, as well as a couple of character-focused issues, this proved to be an excellent introduction to this current series.  I had a brilliant time getting through this comic, and it was interesting to see this new take on the characters and the universe.  Featuring a great writing team in Kevin Eastman (one of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creators) and Tom Waltz, as well as art from Dan Duncan, this was an excellent and impressive comic, and I will try and do a Throwback Thursday post about it soon.

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Well, that’s the end of this latest Book Haul post.  As you can see I have quite a bit of reading to do at the moment thanks to all these awesome books that have come in.  Let me know which of the above you are most interested in and make sure to check back in a few weeks to see my reviews of them.

WWW Wednesday – 31 August 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

All of Our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman (Trade Paperback)

All of Our Demise Cover 2

I just started reading All of Our Demise today, one of the most anticipated young adult releases of 2022.  The sequel to last year’s epic All of Us Villains, All of Our Demise serves as the conclusion to the events of this previous book and continues to follow the unique, magical death tournament taking place. I haven’t made a lot of progress on this book yet, but the first 50 pages are pretty entertaining.  The authors are doing an excellent job of continuing the complex and captivating story from the previous book, and I am already pretty hooked, especially as each of the point of view characters have their own compelling storylines.  I cannot wait to see how this book turns out and I am expecting a lot of heartbreak and betrayals before All of Our Demise comes to an end.

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Glacier’s Edge by R. A. Salvatore (Audiobook)

Glacier's Edge Cover

I am still going with the latest fantasy novel from R. A. Salvatore, Glacier’s Edge.  The sequel to last year’s excellent Starlight EnclaveGlacier’s Edge is the second book in The Way of the Drow series, which falls into Salvatore’s larger collection of Drizzt Do’Urden books (such as Timeless, Boundless and Relentless). I am currently over halfway through this audiobook, and I am really enjoying its complex and addictive narrative.  Glacier’s Edge has a pretty wide focus and is following a range of great characters that Salvatore has introduced over his career, each of whom have their own unique plot threads.  Everything looks set to come together extremely well and I am very curious to see what final note Salvatore leaves everything on.  It wouldn’t surprise me if there is a fun cliffhanger towards the end, especially as one of the main storylines is gearing up for a full-on Drow civil war.

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What did you recently finish reading?

Blowback by James Patterson and Brendan Dubois (Trade Paperback)

Blowback Cover

I managed to finish of Blowback on the weekend, and boy was it a very fun read.  Containing an impressive story about a US President who goes mad with power and decides to destroy the world, Blowback was really intense and action-packed, and I loved its entertaining and unique thriller narrative.  One of the more exciting novels of 2022, this was an excellent read that you can really sink your teeth into.

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Upgrade by Blake Crouch (Trade Paperback)

Upgrade Cover

I also managed to get through Upgrade, the latest science fiction thriller by Blake Crouch.  I had some very high expectations for this book, especially after loving Recursion, and Crouch really did not disappoint me.  I loved its captivating tale about genetic engineering gone mad, and the elaborate and extremely compelling thriller narrative written around it was extremely good.  I had an outstanding time with Upgrade, and it was one of the better science fiction novels I have read this year.  Review to follow soon.

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What do you think you’ll read next?

Dark Rooms by Lynda La Plante

Dark Rooms Cover

Based on my current collection of books, I think that the novel I will try to check out next is Dark Rooms by leading crime fiction author Lynda La Plante.  The latest book in the bestselling Tennison series (which has included awesome reads like Murder Mile, Blunt Force and Unholy Murder), Dark Rooms looks set to contain another fantastic and thrilling murder mystery which I know I will get very wrapped up in.  I have no doubt that I am going to love Dark Rooms, as La Plante’ captivating writing style has never disappointed me before.

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That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.

Top Ten Tuesday – Books on My Winter 2022 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics.  The official Top Ten Tuesday topic for this week was around comfort reads, however, I decided to instead move up my quarterly post about the best upcoming books to read (TBR) for the following three months.  This is a regular post I do at the start of each season, and as this Tuesday is just before Winter (Summer for folks in the Northern Hemisphere), this is the ideal time to put this up.

For this list, I have come up with 10 of the most anticipated novels that are coming out between 1 June 2022 and 31 August 2022.  There are quite a few very cool novels set for release in the next few months that I am extremely excited for, including some of my most anticipated books and fantasy novels of the year.  Due to how impressive some of these upcoming books are, it took me a little while to finalise my list but I was eventually able to whittle it down into a Top Ten list (with a few honourable mentions).  I have primarily used the Australian publication dates to reflect when I will be able to get these awesome novels, and these might be somewhat different to the rest of the world.  I have previously discussed a number of these books before in prior Top Ten Tuesdays and Waiting on Wednesday articles and I think all of them will turn out to be pretty incredible reads.  I have extremely excited for the next three months as quite a few up these upcoming reads are easily going to be amongst the best books of 2022.

Honourable Mentions:

Firefly: What Makes Us Mighty by M. K. England – 19 July 2022

Firefly - What Makes Us Mighty Cover

Another awesome tie-in to the beloved Firefly franchise, What Makes Us Mighty is England’s first entry in this series and will see the crew stuck amid a deadly revolution.  This sounds like an exciting and fun read that I will no doubt have a blast with.

 

Seventeen: Last Man Standing by John Brownlow – 26 July 2022

Seventeen Cover

 

The Pride by Tony Park – 26 July 2022

The Pride Cover

Australia’s leading thriller author, Tony Park, returns with another intense and action-packed adventure set in Africa with The Pride.  This time his recurring protagonist, Sonja Kurtz, must contend with gangsters and poachers across multiple countries as she finds herself dragged into another deadly conspiracy.  Easily going to be one of the best Australia novels of 2022, I am extremely excited for this book.

 

Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis – 16 August 2022

Star Wars - The Princess and the Scoundrel Cover

Top Ten List:

Master of Furies by Raymond E. Feist – 1 June 2022

Master of Furies Cover

 

The Omega Factor by Steve Berry – 7 June 2022

The Omega Factor Cover

 

In the Shadow of Lighting by Brian McClellan – 21 June 2022

In the Shadow of Lightning Cover

 

The Martyr by Anthony Ryan – 28 June 2022

The Martyr Cover

 

Upgrade by Blake Crouch – 12 July 2022

Upgrade Cover

One of the leading names in science fiction, Blake Crouch, will soon unleash his next mind bending, futuristic thriller with Upgrade, sure to be one of the best books of the year.  Crouch’s latest novel will deal with genetic manipulation as a new protagonist finds himself being upgraded against his will as he is dragged into a terrible, world-ending plot.  I have some major hopes for this book, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

 

Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher – 19 July 2022

Shadow of the Sith Cover

 

The Accomplice by Steve Cavanagh – 26 July 2022

The Accomplice Cover

 

Glacier’s Edge by R. A. Salvatore – 9 August 2022

Glacier's Edge Cover

 

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin – 16 August 2022

Stay Awake Cover

 

All of Our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Herman – 30 August 2022

All of Our Demise Cover

 

 

Well, that is the end of my Top Ten list.  I think it turned out pretty well and it does a good job of capturing all my most anticipated books for the next three months.  Each of the above should be extremely epic, and I cannot wait to read each of them soon.  Let me know which of the above you are most excited for and stay tuned for reviews of them in the next few months.  In the meantime, it looks like I have quite a few books to get through soon and they should all be pretty awesome.

Waiting on Wednesday – All of Our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  In this week’s Waiting on Wednesday I highlight an awesome upcoming sequel that I am extremely keen to check out, All of Our Demise by the dream team of Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman.

All of Our Demise Cover

Amazon     Book Depository

Last year, established authors Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman came together for the first time to produce an intriguing and unique young adult fantasy novel that followed several great protagonists into a magical death tournament with All of Us Villains.  Set in a world where access to extremely powerful high magick is determined by a death tournament featuring the children of ancient families, this novel closely followed four of the seven participants and showed the dangerous and epic personal and magical struggles they went through.

I had an incredible time reading All of Us Villains, which really lived up to all the hype surrounding it, and Foody and Lynn Herman ended up being some of my favourite new authors of 2021.  This first book was loaded with intrigue, clever magical sequences, an intriguing media angle, complex teenage characters who are forced to make intense, life-altering decisions, as well as some outstanding shocks and betrayals.  The novel ended on an excellent and heartbreaking note that left readers desperately wanting more.  Well, we do not have to wait much longer as details about the next book, All of Our Demise, have just been released and it sounds pretty damn awesome.

Synopsis:

“I feel like I should warn you: this is going to be absolutely brutal.”

For the first time in this ancient, bloodstained story, the tournament is breaking. The boundaries between the city of Ilvernath and the arena have fallen. Reporters swarm the historic battlegrounds. A dead boy now lives again. And a new champion has entered the fray, one who seeks to break the curse for good… no matter how many lives are sacrificed in the process.

As the curse teeters closer and closer to collapse, the surviving champions each face a choice: dismantle the tournament piece by piece, or fight to the death as this story was always intended.

Long-held alliances will be severed. Hearts will break. Lives will end. Because a tale as wicked as this one was never destined for happily ever after.


All of Our Demise
will be set immediately after the events of All of Us Villains and will act as the conclusion to the fantastic duology.  Currently set for release on 30 August 2022, All of Our Demise will continue the intriguing storylines set up in the first novel as some of the participants fight to destroy the tournament for good, while others set out to win for power, glory and revenge.  However, with the mystical barrier that usually separates the participants from the rest of the world coming down and a mysterious individual manipulating events from the shadows, there are going to be a lot of compelling elements here that should add a great edge to the story.  I am extremely excited for this impressive upcoming young adult fantasy sequel, and I cannot wait to see how the cool story comes to an end.  All of Our Demise is easily one of the books I am most looking forward to in the second half of 2022, and it should be extremely epic.