H. J Stephens
H. J. Stephens is a freelance author, artist and poet. She is also the founder and chief editor of the electronic children’s magazine The Desert’s Hand. When she isn’t writing she’s dabbling in art or exploring the various cultures, histories and current issues of the beautiful yet troubled world around us. She lives in Perth, Western Australia and is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts specialising in Professional Writing, Editing and Publishing. When There’s No Tomorrow is her first novel.
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Smashwords book reviews by H. J Stephens
- You Are Mine (Mine #1)
on Sep. 03, 2013
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
To be honest, I wasn't sure about this book based on the cover. It definitely didn't look like my usual sort of book but the blurb was definitely intriguing, so I was willing to give this book a open-minded read.
I didn't regret my decision to read this book in the slightest. You Are Mine is a stunning debut and I can't wait for the sequels. I just want to dive right in immediately.
The women in this world do not have any rights. When they are born, they are automatically 'owned' by their fathers. When they get married or purchased, usually about the age of seventeen, they are then owned by their husbands and must obey their every wish.
On her seventeen birthday, Serena is taken to be tested. Her blood is checked for magic, the potency of which will determine her future. The higher the potency of magic in her blood, the highest the chances she will be chosen and purchased by a warlock to be his wife and mother of his children. To be chosen by a chancellor or councilman is the highest honour.
Serena, though having no wish to ever get married, is betrothed to a wealthy young man who has great ambition. However, he soon dies in a tournament. His defeater wins all of his property, including Serena.
This book follows the story of Serena as she struggles to find out where she stands in a society where she has no rights. She pushes her boundaries and takes incredible risks, all to discover how she will live in a world where she is only worth as much as the children she bears.
The characters of this book were very believable. Zane is a gentleman of a character, never folding to the social ways of the land in which he has moved too. Though the customs must seem strange to him, he tries his best to understand, and help the enslaved women in his life. Waverley and Katherine are both incredibly strong female characters which were great to see in such a book like this.
There were a few loose plot holes that I would have liked explored a bit more, such as what the story behind Zane's previous fiance, who helped Serena in the ball, or how women can hold the magic in their blood but not access them. I can only hope that these things are cleared up in the next book.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. Though it covers a common topic of magic, oppression of females and such, it does it uniquely. 4 out of 5 stars.
- The Earth Dwellers
on Sep. 09, 2013
Though I am sad to see the Country and Dweller series come to an end, I couldn't have asked for a better finish. The Earth Dwellers is a action-packed, romance filled, tear-inducing, amazing end to an amazing two series. I couldn't put it down, it only left my hands maybe two or three times in the journey from start to end.
In this book The Country and the Dweller series merge together and all of the characters we have laughed, cried and lived with in the previous book come together for the final stand against the Glassies. I was ecstatic to see my favourite characters, Siena, Sadie, Tawni and Feve, alive on the pages once more. I loved the re-appearance of Perry the pricker, which has to be my most favourite inanimate character EVER in all the worlds of fiction.
In all of the previous books, an important and much loved character has died. I began this book knowing that a dear and beloved character was going to die. But in this book, the realities of war are really explored. At one point in reading this book I felt that I was watching one of those Japanese anime shows that by the end, not a single person has survived. But, like in most great wars, people do survive, and they win, though the cost of freedom is great. I won't name those that pass on in this book, so not to spoil it for others, but they are sorely missed. Their deaths will be mourned by many future readers.
All in all, I adored this book. It had all of the right ingredients. It is definitely a book I will return to some time in the future. 5 out of 5 stars, this book is a legend.