Thursday, October 2, 2014

Short and Exciting: Expiration Day and Whisper the Dead

Expiration DayAuthor: William Campbell Powell
Series: Standalone
Released: April 22nd 2014
Publisher: Tor Teen
Length: 336 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Expiration Day

What happens when you turn eighteen and there are no more tomorrows?
It is the year 2049, and humanity is on the brink of extinction….
Tania Deeley has always been told that she’s a rarity: a human child in a world where most children are sophisticated androids manufactured by Oxted Corporation. When a decline in global fertility ensued, it was the creation of these near-perfect human copies called teknoids that helped to prevent the utter collapse of society.
Though she has always been aware of the existence of teknoids, it is not until her first day at The Lady Maud High School for Girls that Tania realizes that her best friend, Siân, may be one. Returning home from the summer holiday, she is shocked by how much Siân has changed. Is it possible that these changes were engineered by Oxted? And if Siân could be a teknoid, how many others in Tania’s life are not real?
Driven by the need to understand what sets teknoids apart from their human counterparts, Tania begins to seek answers. But time is running out. For everyone knows that on their eighteenth “birthdays,” teknoids must be returned to Oxted—never to be heard from again.

At first glance, Expiration Day may seem more appropriate for a middle grade audience, and perhaps it is. The protagonist is young and her voice is very immature, almost childish at times. But at the same time, William Powell’s thought-provoking book raises some very important existential and philosophical questions, things we all need to think about, regardless of our age. The bones of this story are certainly nothing new in the world of literature: a society that rarely produces children chooses to fill the void with teknoids, robot children that live a normal childhood until their eighteenth birthday. The teknoids are crafted exceptionally well; most of them don’t even know they’re not human until Oxted, the company that manufactured them, comes to collect them when they become of age.

Our Tania Deeley is a rare human child among teknoids, but she suspects that her best friend Sian isn’t. In Tania’s school, teknoids are second-class citizens, shunned and ostracized by their “human” peers. The problem with that is that most of the “humans” are actually teknoids themselves, they just don’t know it, and it’s almost impossible to determine who is a real person and who is not. Our Tania, as expected, struggles to understand what constitutes a real person, and she writes these doubts in her diary. The book is divided between Tania’s diary entries and short letters from an unknown alien Zog, a creature that discovers these entries in a very distant future.

Although young, Tania’s voice is clear and beautifully done. Mr Zog’s responses to Tania’s entries bring a lot to the table, an unusual freshness that makes the story stand out among many similar ones. They shows us that, even though our worries and existential issues seem inconsequential at times, we all leave a lasting mark on this world, a proof of our existence that is impossible to erase.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.

Whisper the Dead (The Lovegrove Legacy, #2)Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Series: The Lovegrove Legacy, #2
Released: October 9th 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Length: 408 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

Cousins Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope are all dealing with what it means to be a Lovegrove. For Gretchen, it means she often feels like her head is going to explode. As a Whisperer, Gretchen constantly hears the whispers of other witches' spells. And while this does help her to know when one of her own spells is going wrong, the incessant buzzing and pain the whispers cause makes it difficult to use her gift.
But when something evil begins to menace Mayfair, Gretchen must find a way to master her power. Along with her cousins, a madcap named Moira, and the icy yet irresistible Tobias Lawless, Gretchen faces deadly threats and unimaginable loss in the hopes of preventing the terrible Greymalkin Sisters from rising again. 
The second book in The Lovegrove Legacy trilogy, Whisper the Dead will leave readers spellbound.

Those among you who have been missing Alyxandra Harvey’s marvelous humor ever since she ended her Drake Chronicles can heave a sigh of relief right alongside me. The Lovegrove Legacy series is exactly what Harvey’s fans have been waiting for – a series rich with interesting characters, complex plotlines and a whole lot of hilarious one-liners.

Aside from being wildly entertaining (and one can always count on Harvey to be just that) The Lovegrove Legacy is an excellent example of YA historical paranormal fiction done just right. Harvey has built a world rich in detail and interesting facts, not just a perfunctory setting to serve as background for romantic developments, but strong enough to support very complicated and well-crafted plots. She then filled this world with fabulous characters: our three heroines, Emma, Penelope and Gretchen, are further developed in this second installment, and supporting characters are also built extremely well and they shine just as brightly.

Whisper the Dead is a very strong second installment that leaves us begging for more. I’m less than thrilled about the cliffhanger, but I can forgive even that to a reliable author like Alyxandra Harvey. If you enjoy exciting plots, lovely romance and a good laugh, these books are perfect for you.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. Yay for you loving Whisper the Dead as well! Isn't it fabulous? And I have missed the Drake Chronicles so very much and you are so right about Lucy being a lot like Gretchen, I never made the connection until you mentioned it the other day.

  2. I like the sound of the larger themes Expiration Day deals with. Definitely checking that one out! :).

  3. Oh Whisper the Dead is coming out so soon! I thought I had to wait another whole year so this is excellent news. I'm so glad that the sequel was just as brilliant and humouress, Maja!

    Fabulous reviews! <33

  4. Hmmmm, both Expiration Day and Whisper the Dead sound like very interesting books, if widely different! I feel like I must add both to the wish list for sure!
    Thank you for putting these two in my radar, Maja!

  5. I'm so glad you loved Whisper the Dead! I loved it so much too and I agree Harvey's humor in the books is just magical. I also agree with you on her knowing how to write a good historical paranormal book well with all her details.
    The ending was cruel but it's not unbearable. :)

    I'm not too sure about Expiration Day being for me though. It just doesn't appeal to me.

    Lovely reviews, Maja! :)

  6. I hadn't heard anything about either of these, so thanks! Love the idea of the witch cousins....
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  7. Great reviews, Maja. I'm curious about Expiration Day. It might sound like your typical futuristic novel but it makes me think that there's some deeper knowledge hidden within its pages.

  8. Alyxandra Harvey is an author I've been wanting to try for a while Maja, I heard nothing but good things about the Drake Chronicles! So glad to see that this series is following that one in terms of her trademark humor and ability to entertain, and I'm hoping to get to these one day. My list of "one day" reads is startlingly long!

  9. I didn't know about the first book but I wonder if I would have liked the main character if she is like that. I heard about the second one though but I haven't tried a book by Harvey yet. Maybe one day.

  10. The first one sounds like an interesting, thought provoking read. I will have to look it up. The second, I have read some great reviews on it, but I thought it was the first in the series. Darn it.

  11. Expiration Date is definitely a book that I want to check out. It reminds me a lot of Lost Girl which I read and really enjoyed last year. I've heard great things about Alyxandra Harvey, but I haven't read any of her books yet. I should try her Drake chronicles sometime.

  12. Girl I'll be reading Expiration Day just because of the main characters name! Someone finally put my name in a book. YES! I want that. But yeah it does sound like a really interesting read. I have heard of that other series but sadly haven't got a chance to read it yet. Will work on that. Great reviews, Maja :)

  13. Good to hear her voice was well done.

  14. Ooh, love these reviews for intriguing books! It's been a while since I read an Alyxandra Harvey story but I've enjoyed what I read. I was wondering about Expiration Day...sounds good.

  15. Expiration Day sounds like something I could share with my niece. I love that we're reading the same books now! lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth


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