Author: Andrea K. Host
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopian,
Come for the apocalypse. Stay for cupcakes. Die for love. Madeleine Cost is working to become the youngest person ever to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. Her elusive cousin Tyler is the perfect subject: androgynous, beautiful, and famous. All she needs to do is pin him down for the sittings. None of her plans factored in the Spires: featureless, impossible, spearing into the hearts of cities across the world - and spraying clouds of sparkling dust into the wind. Is it an alien invasion? Germ warfare? They are questions everyone on Earth would like answered, but Madeleine has a more immediate problem. At Ground Zero of the Sydney Spire, beneath the collapsed ruin of St James Station, she must make it to the surface before she can hope to find out if the world is ending. -Goodreads
I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley in return for an honest review.
It's been such a long time since I requested this book, that I'd completely forgotten what it was about (sorry about the delay Net Galley!!). However I actually really enjoyed picking up a book without having any idea what the story was about.
This novel is the story of Madeleine, an aspiring artist, and how she copes with an alien invasion, and her developing powers, from her home in Sydney.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really enjoyed this novel. It was an alien invasion story with an excellent group of characters and an intriguing alien invasion set up.
The novel begins with Maddie in an underground tube station where she has gone to meet her cousin. There is what appears to be some sort of explosion or bomb which knocks Maddie unconscious. Having no idea what the premise of this novel was, I must admit this beginning reminded me quite a lot of the 7/7 bombings in London. I was more than a little grateful to find out it was actually an alien invasion. This beginning was action packed and did an excellent job of drawing me in to the novel and keeping me intrigued, even if it was a little confusing and disorientating at first.
I also enjoyed the fact that that this YA novel was set in Sydney, Australia. It made a pleasant change from most of the YA I read which is set in the USA.
In my opinion this novel has one of the most enjoyable group of main characters I've read about in a long time. They were diverse in terms of Nationality, Sexuality, Gender and personality. They were all enjoyable, and gelled well together, but were different enough to mirror real life. They had humour, sarcasm, anger, brains and they were just a really perfect set of characters. The main character Maddie was a really good main character too. I am trying to think of something that I didn't really like about her but I can't actually think of anything. She was caring and thoughtful but also shy and socially awkward, which I thought was a nice touch, I don't read enough novels with a character who doesn't just charm their way through any social situation they find themselves in.
There was a nice element of romance in the novel between a couple of characters, which didn't feel rushed, and actually felt like real feelings between the characters. Although I feel the story didn't really require this romance, it was a nice addition, which made the epilogue at the end a nice touch.
The plot of this novel is action-packed, there was a lot of fighting, running, hiding and puzzling over the aliens, but it moved at a fast pace which meant I was able to speed through it in a couple of days.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by just how good this novel is, it was exciting and intriguing, and I definitely recommend it for a fascinating take on the alien invasion genre!