Sampler Round Up #4

the scarlet threadThe Scarlet Thread by D.S. Murphy (Out Now from Urban Epics)

I liked this much better than the previous sampler for D.S. Murphy’s work. The character is just the sort of prickly I enjoy, and though the first couple of pages felt quite stilted and disjointed, the premise and the concept was interesting enough that I stuck it out to the end of the sampler, by which point I was intrigued enough that, had it been a whole book, I would have continued. 3/5

The Territory by Sarah The TerritoryGovett

Really enjoyed this one. An authentic teenage voice with world building that drips through in a compelling – and often chilling – way. I really loved the concept of a world reduced to a tiny amount of space by flood water, and all the changes to society that would bring. But mostly, I’m left with the sense of really, really wanting to know what happens next. So, job done, Sampler, I’ll be keeping my eye out for this one! 5/5

Lost on MarsLost on Mars by Paul Magrs (Out Now from Firefly Press)

Little House on the Prairie meets The Martian in this sampler about a family trying to harvest food from the hostile Martian landscape, only to have their crops destroyed by a storm in the first chapter. It’s an interesting premise – third generation settlers struggling to survive in the Martian wilderness. The main character is feisty and interesting, and there were lots of hints about a rich, if short, history on the red planet. I’d be interested to keep reading. 3/5

the king of ratsThe King of Rats by Melinda Salisbury (Out now from Scholastic)

This is a mini prequel to The Sin Eater’s Daughter and a complete story in itself. The prose takes a little getting in to, but when you do it’s bewitching and lyrical in the style of fairy tales. And it is essentially a retelling of The Pied Piper, though with considerably more depth, and a few twists. Salisbury isn’t afraid of making her characters unlikable – which I enjoy – so it’s definitely piqued my interest for the trilogy proper. 4/5

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