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review 2016-07-03 00:00
Windrunner's Daughter
Windrunner's Daughter - Bryony Pearce Windrunner's Daughter - Bryony Pearce When I received the email from YA Bound Tours for this tour, the cover immediately grabbed my eye. My only hesitate was being run down on post-apocalyptic dystopians with the last several being less than stellar. After reading the blurb, I decided to test myself. If I still thought about the Windrunner’s Daughter days later, I’d sign up to review it.

Good news, this system worked!

The Windrunner’s Daughter starts with a rapid fire prologue that tells the story of the founding trip to Mars. Earth is lost irrevocably, the exact reason matters not but of course, we destroyed it.

However, I’ve had a couple more questions since reading because it doesn’t give details on who started their sexist set up. Was it the Originals, humans agreed to this before coming over, or was it sabotaged along with the physical set up? How far back does this conspiracy go? How deep does the bigotry run?

Ultimately, it’s neither here nor there but it’s another avenue I wish was explored more. The world building is kept tight around what’s relevant for Wren’s journey and bucks the trend of dystopian trilogies. It’s refreshing along with the uniqueness of the setting. Yet…those very things make me want more.


The Good:
+Loved Wren
+Character progression
+Important and intriguing prologue that lays the ground work
+Action & twists I didn’t see
+Personal character conclusion is sweet
+Atmospheric with the wind descriptions and weather.
+Love the world building and setting
+Different and stands out from the pack of other dystopians
+Cover love

The Bad & The Other:
-Slow start
-Didn’t like Raw at first & his beginning actions still sour me a bit…
-Likable romance while reading but remain doubtful afterwards
-Open ending, Don’t find out answers behind the sabotage or how Mars will turn out


We meet Wren after the prologue and how she lives in her Mars colony. It’s a screeching halt after the space action in the prologue. It builds the politics, oppression, environment, and characters until Wren finally takes flight. It’s good. I enjoyed it and it’s necessary but for some reason I wasn’t ensnared yet. Maybe it’s just another world where women are oppressed and that’s depressing? IDK. It was easily put down but wasn’t forgotten, so I stuck around. Then the rush hit and I couldn’t walk away.

Wren isn’t the typical dystopian heroine. She isn’t the chosen one and she doesn’t initially set out to change the world. She’s afraid. She worries and second guesses herself. I love how she’s dependent on her mask and terrified of the creatures. She’s not unique, except she’s the only daughter of a runner we met. I’m sure there’s more, breeding wouldn’t work any other way. She’s not the next Katniss and stronger for it.

“I'm not a broken pot," Wren cried. "You can't just give me away. I’d rather join the damned baby exchange.”



One of the foundations of the story is Raw. He’s an asshole and I don’t mean that in the “oooohh, bad boy” kind of way. I fucking hated him. He’s every douche nozzle boy bully on the playground. He’s legitimately terrifying and I worried for Wren. However, he ends up revealed, developed, and useful. I eventually enjoyed his part of Windrunner’s Daughter.

Even after discovering his backstory and progression, I’m still not sweet on him though. I was swept up while reading but it was soured by the “oh, he’s doing that because he likes you” undertones. I loathed hearing that growing up and even if it is true he’s interested in you, that’s no excuse. The good news is his behavior is corrected instead of condoned. I just have a hard time letting go.

I like how they grew as people and adapted to each other during their adventure. It’s sweet how they started to look at each other differently. While it’s true people bond over experiences and misattribution of arousal leads to stronger couples, I wish they had more in common. They clearly disagree about religion, politics, come from different subpopulations, and we don’t even know about the popular culture of the Dome to know what else they could agree or split on. How will Rawren live together and get along?

While I still appreciate what they’ve been through and think they can work it out, I’m left wondering about their future; their OTP status is up in the air along with the future of humanity on Mars.

But I LOVED the flying and exploring they did. It’s gorgeous with better wind/air descriptions that I’ve run across, even in wind nymph/mage books. The feeling, the freedom of flight is so pure and prominent it elevates the setting and creates atmosphere to sweep you away.

“Light played over silver graphene and the fluttering material sang alongside Wren’s laughter.”


For a long while it’s only these two kids on a dangerous topsy-turvy path. We only learn about Wren’s family through flashbacks until much later. I love how it includes the naturally skewed way we view people close to us and how everyone has different sides.

It was a welcome change to meet more runners and grounders. Their religious fever and witch trial parallels are apparent and it fits their evolution. My only question is how did runners end up immune? Was it just separation or a deliberate decision by the establishment? Fascinating. I love thinking all these things through. It’s not a spoon-fed blue print of failure and preaching, but a snap shot of possibilities while remaining clear in its stand.

“I write these acknowledgements with my own message - never give up on your dreams, dear reader. Because somebody, somewhere is waiting for you to get it right.”


The dystopian craze may be over but The Windrunner’s Daughter shows there’s still plenty to enjoy and explore, even if it doesn’t break all the molds.

For dystopian fans that want a different setting and a different type of heroine. If you’re burnt out on the oppression of women or want a diverse cast, you might want to skip it. If you love hate-love relationships and redemption, you’ll love Rawren.

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review 2015-02-09 07:18
Mini Review: The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce
The Weight of Souls - Bryony Pearce

A copy of this novel was provided for review via Net Galley on behalf of the publisher.

A good book! Hallelujah, hallelujah, halleeeeeelllluuuujjjaaaahhhhh.

I had been looking forward to The Weight of Souls ever since I saw a review for it on Tammy's blog Books, Bones & Buffy (like a year ago - I know SHAME ON ME for reading things so late but hey ... better late than never, right? RIGHT?). I trust her opinions on books, so I knew that I was probably going to like The Weight of Souls. Which I did. Very much so.

Pearce's writing style is very, very good. I slipped right into the story and into Taylor's POV extremely easy. It was also the kind of style that just begs you to keep reading. I mean, I read this book in a few hours because it was so engrossing. Beyond that, the storyline was flipping fantastic and completely unique in the fact that Taylor has to ... murder murderers. SO AWESOME.

I wasn't entirely enthused about the ~secret society~ aspect of the book, but it wasn't enough to deter my enjoyment of the book. There's little to no romance, and it certainly isn't instalove so I appreciated that wholeheartedly. I actually love Taylor for all the shit she gave Justin after he died. I laughed.

I must warn you, though: there is a lot of potential for a book #2, but so far no word on that. So if you aren't keen on a book that has a few unanswered questions and room for a sequel but no news so far ... still read it because it was awesome.

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review 2013-09-14 23:21
The Weight of Souls - Bryony Pearce

There isn't really much going for this book other than the premise. Dude, how awesome is the idea of a girl cursed by ghosts to hunt murderers? For some reason though, Pearce thought it a better idea to make Taylor's social life the main point of the book instead of I don't know, her curse. 

Brilliant, just brilliant. Yes, that's a perfect idea. Focus on high school, because obviously that's going to attract more YA readers who can't read books without a huge focus on high school.



While, sure we do get some time focusing on the curse, most of the book doesn't pay much attention to it. I really only read the book because of the awesome sounding plot and Pearce does a very poor job of keeping it the center of attention. Instead it gets piled under loads of unnecessary bits and pieces that detract from the overall book. I don't get it. Why would you bog down your murder mystery with an boring drama and angst? 

It honestly seemed like, that even though there was a lot resting on this, Taylor really didn't care too much about finding Justin's murderer. She seemed more interested in his pretty body to be honest. It was more of something she had to do at some point but it didn't really matter when. If it took a while, she would basically shrug her shoulders and say "c'est la vie". 

Taylor, gurl, you do realise you, the main character, don't even care about your own plot? At all? I don't think that's how it usually works but okaaay...

Like I said, Pearce focuses so much of her efforts into building drama and angst that the curse is largely underdeveloped. We are given the bare bones to work with and are basically left to speculate about the rest. There is some backstory but it's presented in such a way that it makes it a chore to read through and I, like many others, really just skimmed or skipped these parts. 

The Weight of Souls isn't an entirely bad book. The main character, Taylor, is actually pretty cool. She's one of those fun narrators that aren't really amazing but just keep the book going and you reading. Taylor is pretty level headed and actually, fairly intelligent.

Before I end this review, I have to mention two things: Justin the asshole and the 'illusive super secret organisation' that is part of the mystery for a long time. 

Justin the asshole is this guy who's died and now he's a ghost who refuses to acknowledge this. He's also, *gasp*, the love interest. You're so surprised, I know. Who would have guessed right? Well, he's also the guy who bullied Taylor for years. You know, the guy who sent his goons after her. The goons harassed her and called her horrible things all under the blessing of this Justin guy.

Yeah, really romantic backstory.

Somehow, when someone bullies you, it means that they have a crush on you. Yes, friends, every bully that will ever bully you is actually someone who has a huuuge crush on you and you'll end up living happily ever after.



What? No. That's not how it works. Bullying ≠ Crush nor will it ever. Romanticizing bullying is absolutely horrible and should not be accepted. 

The second thing is much less atrocious, and more humourous. 

I'm going to try and not spoil anything but basically this extremely powerful club is a bunch of kids doing dares and having sleep overs. But not just any dares, *whispers* bad boy dares. Oh yeah, they're doing big kid dares. So. Scary.

There is a lot of unexplored potential in this book that really just went to waste. The Weight of Souls could have been so much more if certain aspects were fleshed out a bit more and others given a more minor role. Overall, The Weight of Souls was a huge disappointment. While it wasn't completely unenjoyable, it wasn't very good either. I don't really recommend this book to anyone.

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review 2013-08-24 00:00
The Weight of Souls
The Weight of Souls - Bryony Pearce YES. Asian protagonist. Asian model on the cover.Thank you.(Oh, and the synopsis sounds cool too.)8/24 Edit: Need to write a real review ... but I really did like this one. Lots of cool stuff thrown in without it feeling too mish-mashy (probably not a word ... but whatevs.) I also liked that the protagonist is Chinese but it wasn't like OMG THIS CHARACTER IS ASIAN LOOK HOW ASIAN AND DIFFERENT SHE IS (thank you for not making her a martial arts expert as well.) She's just the main character and is also Chinese. Proper review to come soon.
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review 2013-08-14 00:00
The Weight of Souls - Bryony Pearce I liked the concept. The combination of teenage angst, high school drama and the connection to an ancient family curse was quite interesting.It ticks all the YA boxes and has a side note of pending horror.The author also tackles the issue of bullying and being isolated in school. The emphasis was on one of these 'popular people' teen groups that forces kids to take part in dangerous stunts or face a life of hell in school. This type of peer pressure, in the guise of fun, seems to be an alarming trend in our day and age. It is a type of group hazing, which often ends with disastrous results.I have to say I was a tad disappointed that Pearce decided to end it with a pseudo Partridge family ending. Where is the mystery in that? Why not let them leave things on a sour note instead of packing nearly all the loose ends into one neat box. How about leaving some of the conflict for the sequel?Taylor's Dad needs to see a shrink, Hannah needs to grow a pair and Pete deserves a clip round the earhole.There, I fixed that for you.Despite that it was a good read and both the character and concept have a lot of potential, so I am hoping Taylor Oh comes back with a bit more bite and lot more darkness.I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.
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