The New Hunger
I can safely say this is the best digital short I’ve read. It’s actually a full novella length at 160 pages and is a prequel to the utterly fantastic Warm Bodies. You will get more out of this by reading the novel first but it’s certainly not filler material. It follows Julie as she travels with her family in search of civilisation, Nora and her brother moving from place to place in search of food and safety and one of the undead, in his first days as he slowly becomes less human. I loved this idea as in Warm Bodies, it’s all about the zombies becoming more human and it’s interesting to see this reversal and how the inner zombie slowly wipes out humanity. I really want another full length novel out of Issac Marion, but for now, this will tide me over.
The Witch’s Betrayal
Another prequel, this time to The Assassin’s Curse but much, much shorter at around 38 pages. It gives a little glimpse into Naji’s past and tells the tale of how he becomes scarred. There is also a bit of back story and him and Leila. Definitely worth a read if you’re reading the series, though wouldn’t work as a standalone.
The Automaton’s Treasure
I’m guessing this is a prequel to The Pirate’s Wish which I haven’t read yet. It introduces Marjani who is a lady being taken away from her previous life on a passenger ship…which soon gets taken over by pirates. She befriends an automaton on board and hatches a plan to save herself. It’s a nice little adventure story but I wonder if it would be better read after book two in the series to give it more context.
Crossing the Line
Set in the same universe as Pushing the Limits, this is Lila’s story and chronologically sits between the two novels. I didn’t remember much about Lila but she is Echo’s best friend and stood beside her. When she was at Echo’s brother’s funeral, she met Lincoln, grieving for his own brother, also being buried that day. They strike up a friendship, corresponding by letters and he soon becomes the one person Lila can confide in. Until she finds out he’s been lying. The main problem I found with this story was that the build-up of the relationship wasn’t there and they came across as a bit mushy. There were a few snippets of their letters at the start of each chapter which gave context but…I don’t know, not to the same standard as Pushing the Limits. They probably could have done with a whole book with time to do some proper character development as I quite liked Lincoln.
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