Tag Archives: Cured

[REVIEW] Cured – Bethany Wiggins

Bethany Wiggins
Cured (Stung, Book 2)
Bloomsbury (AU: 1st March 2014; US: 4th March 2014; UK: 13th March 2014)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (AU) Buy (Worldwide)

I’ve forgotten most of Stung. There was bee flu, but the vaccine turned people into “beasts”. The population is low now – due to lack of crops (no bee pollination, or there’s killer-bee population), bees killing people, or people killing people? This isn’t really explained in Cured; it’s more “this is how things are now – deal with it”.

The author succeeds in creating a genuinely dystopian world. In this rampant rape culture, females are particularly sought after now that a hundred captives of raiders have been mysteriously freed. To be safe, Jacqui lives as a boy: Jack. (Is this before or after she and her mother are denied access to the walled city because they’re “obese”? Fat-shaming, y’all.)

Jacqui is presented as a twelve-year-old boy. Thus a particular scene, wherein a raider handles her neck, seems like logic-fail. During puberty, a male’s laryngeal prominence (Adam’s apple) enlarges considerably. And when does puberty hit? Twelve years old. The age “Jack” is supposed to be. And even though the raider thoroughly feels up her neck, he doesn’t seem to notice the lack of laryngeal prominence.

Speaking of nonsense: the romance. In this fictional world, m/m sexuality seems non-existent. Without female captives, the raiders have become less violent due to lack of rape opportunities, and they apparently haven’t turned to raping males. (Rape may be about power rather than sexuality in the real world, but in this book it’s definitely more about sex.) It would’ve been interesting had Kevin not known Jack’s true gender, so he could question his sexuality, but no. The author shuts the door on that, and instead constructs an eye-rolling, weak story of Kevin having loved Jacqui long before he encounters her.

Another missed opportunity for internal conflict involves Jacqui’s brother. Had he actually turned out to be bad (as opposed to just pretending), Jacqui would’ve had to do some deep soul-searching. Would she have been able to forgive him? Would she still love him, knowing he was such an awful person? But this doesn’t happen, and therefore we don’t get the serious thinking.

Happy endings in dystopia feel so false, and kind of insulting to the reader. We can handle reading the dark stuff; that’s why we read dystopias. But to chicken out, and have the main character remain unscathed, with all her loved ones alive? Go hard or go home, writers – don’t just have your story play pretend.

4th March 2014 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Kira Brady
Hearts of Chaos (Deadglass, Book 3)
Kensington Zebra (US: 4th March 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

She is betrothed to Seattle’s most feared shifter clan leader. Still, the Lady Lucia can never be the dainty aristocratic wife Emory Corbette thinks he needs. And as a malevolent, all-consuming monster plots to take hold of their shattered world, Lucia will risk her untapped powers to defeat it – and challenge the Raven King’s seductive rule. No one in Emory’s many lifetimes has ever defied him. Lucia’s courage and strength are shaking his iron control to its core…and making him hungry for all she can give. But their only hope is a wrenching sacrifice that could unite humans and shifters in victory – or destroy everything Lucia and Emory desire most…

Máire Claremont
The Dark Affair (Mad Passions, Book 3)
Penguin Signet (US & CA: 4th March 2014); Hachette Headline Eternal (UK: 4th March 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Lady Margaret Cassidy left a life of nobility behind in Ireland, forsaking her grieving homeland to aid war-ravaged men in England. Still, she never expected a cruel turn of fate to lock her into an unwanted betrothal with one of her English patients – much less one as broken and dangerous as Viscount Powers. Wrecked by his tragic past, Powers’ opiate-addled sanity hangs precariously in the balance, leaving him poised to destroy anyone who dares to utter the names of the wife and child he still so deeply mourns. So when he is forced to marry Margaret in exchange for freedom, he is shocked by the desire to earn her trust, her body, and – most alarming of all – her heart…

Rinda Elliott
Dweller on the Threshold (Beri O’Dell, Book 1)
Samhain (US: 4th March 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Beri O’Dell is investigating paranormal creatures because she wants to know what she is. Taller and stronger than most men, she astral projects and can peel through dimensional layers to see the creatures and spirits beyond. She once helped her foster sister, Detective Elsa Remington, track down killers in Jacksonville, Florida, but stopped when a nasty fire elemental turned her strength against her. Now, she finds herself pulled back when something steals Elsa’s soul and puts her into a coma. With little time to spare, Beri searches for the reason behind her sister’s coma. She has help in her spirit guides Fred and Phro, but others come along for the ride, including a pyro-nervous witch, and an androgynous necromancer. The last thing Beri needs is to fall in love with a mysterious stranger. But the handsome Minoan warrior Nikolos knows what creature she’s after because he’s battled it before. It’s bad. Really, really bad. He calls it the Dweller on the Threshold.

Seanan McGuire
Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid, Book 3)
Penguin DAW (US & CA: 4th March 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn’t expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend – Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats – is starting to get suspicious. Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone…

Bethany Wiggins
Cured (Stung, Book 2)
Bloomsbury (US: 4th March 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Fiona Tarsis is a legend. Her world was ravaged by a lethal virus, her family separated. Her friends were turned into ferocious beasts by an even deadlier vaccine. Mindless monsters now raid the streets. But Fiona has survived. Jacqui Bloom needs Fiona’s help. Two years ago, Jacqui’s brother, Dean, left the safety of his home to guide Fiona’s mother to a safe haven. He never returned. Jacqui has been hiding away in the family house, disguised as a boy, and hoping Dean will come back. But she can no longer live like this. She has to find him. Even with the two men Fiona loves most by their side, leading Jacqui into the desert will be risky. Raiders are everywhere – they will do anything to prevent the beast-cure her group are carrying from being spread – and knowing who to trust is near impossible. Lone traveller Kevin is sexy and self-assured, and has caught Jacqui’s attention, but he is hiding his past. Is he also hiding the truth about what he really wants from them?

Carol Lynch Williams
The Haven
Macmillan St. Martin’s Griffin (US: 4th March 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

For the teens at The Haven, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surrounds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It has always been this way, ever since the hospital was established in the year 2020. But The Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food, and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs – and memories. But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they’ve been told is a lie? What if The Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shiloh starts asking dangerous questions?

March 2014 Releases

Done with February 2014 Releases? Here are March 2014 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

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[COVER ART] Cured (UK) – Bethany Wiggins

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4 New Covers (Robertson, Seles & LaRosa, Vaught, Wiggins)

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Now Available for US Pre-Order

Jenna Black: RESISTANCE: 11th March 2014: Buy (US)
Jessica Brody: UNFORGOTTEN: 26th February 2014: Buy (US)
Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane, & Jessica Sims: FIRE & FROST anthology: 25th May 2013: Buy (US)
Megan Crewe: THE LIVES WE LOST (paperback): 7th January 2014: Buy (US)
Erica Hayes: CHERRY KISSES: 23 May 2013: Buy (US)
Rhiannon Held: TARNISHED (mass market paperback): 1st January 2014: Buy (US)
Sarah K.: BONDS OF LOVE: 21st January 2014: Buy (US)
Mary Miller: THE LAST DAYS OF CALIFORNIA: 20th January 2014: Buy (US)
Monica Seles: LOVE MATCH: 25th February 2014: Buy (US)
Kassy Tayler: REMNANTS OF TOMORROW: 4th February 2014: Buy (US)
Bethany Wiggins: CURED: 4th March 2014: Buy (US)

[GUEST BLOG] Bethany Wiggins on Plotting

This is a stop of the official Stung tour schedule. Here you will find a guest post by Bethany Wiggins, information on her books, and a giveaway link.

So, you want to know my views on plotting? Well, I’m one of those people who doesn’t exactly know the details of the manuscript I’m writing until I type The End. I know HOW it will end, just not quite how I’m going to get my characters there.

Example: the fastest way from point A to point B is a straight line, right? Not when I wrote Stung! If point A was page one, and point B was page 304, there were about 5,000 different routs between the two and I had to pick the twistiest one. It was hard. It made my brain hurt some nights. I got stumped sometimes.

I remember being about 100 pages into Stung and getting totally lost, so I sat down with a trusted creative person (my husband in this case) and told him Stung‘s plot so far, told him how I wanted it to end, and then begged him to throw out some bizarre plot scenarios. 9 out of ten I would disregard, but every tenth or so idea he had got my brain working. It all started to come together.

When I finally wrote THE END of Stung, the dots didn’t quite line up, and I knew it! Grrr! There was something missing. I sat down, mapped out the whole story, and then I wrote the chapter in the very middle of the book (in the shadowed alley, with the raiders). And THEN it was done.

So that’s how I plot!

Prize: Signed copies of Stung (number TBD) and honey sticks! (Read the book to understand!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bethany Wiggins
Stung (Stung, Book 1)
Bloomsbury (US: 2nd April 2013; AU: 1st July 2013 UK: 4th July 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered – her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighbourhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right wrist – a black oval with five marks on either side – that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. And she’s right. When the honeybee population collapsed, a worldwide pandemic occurred and the government tried to bio-engineer a cure. Only the solution was deadlier than the original problem – the vaccination turned people into ferocious, deadly beasts who were branded as a warning to un-vaccinated survivors. Key people needed to rebuild society are protected from disease and beasts inside a fortress-like wall. But Fiona has awakened branded, alone – and on the wrong side of the wall…

Bethany Wiggins
Cured (Stung, Book 2)
Bloomsbury (UK: 2nd January 2014)
Buy (UK) Buy (Worldwide)

Bethany Wiggins
Bloomsbury (US & AU: 27th September 2011; UK: 6th December 2012)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she’s eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she’s determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal. Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O’Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it’s not for the reasons most people would expect – it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear – and Maggie is their next target.

Author photo from BethanyWiggins.com