Monday, 2 October 2017


Title: Danger's Halo
Series: A Holly Danger Novel
Author: Amanda Carlson
Genre: Futuristic, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Release Date: 18th September 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Holly Danger’s current assignment, gleaned from a set of foggy instructions and a handful of coins stuffed into a slot, is to pick up a street kid who’s about to terminate himself by jumping off a cliff. And, as a rule, she doesn’t turn down currency. Her job as a salvager keeps her fed and clothed above the norm, which isn’t saying much.

The norm in this city is a scrape-by existence in a post-apocalyptic world, where the rain never stops, food is always scarce, and the elite have deserted the ranks in search of something better. Picking up this urchin won’t take much time, even if he’s located outside city limits. Her craft is fast, her weapons deadly, and her tech has been optimized as well as it can be for a climate clogged with iron dust. 

But things take a big turn when she decides to become the boy’s guardian instead of hand him over. Outskirts have descended on the city, and their plans don’t include playing nice. When her crew is backed against a graphene wall, it’s a good thing her Gem is primed and ready to go. It’s almost as deadly as she is…

Goodreads Link

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I'll be totally honest I was a little wary of this one when I read the blurb. I wouldn't normally read anything, that I would class as having a possibly "Star Trek-ish" feel to it. This book was not in my usual reading genres. In fact the main reason I went ahead and read the book was because of how much I love Amanda Carlson's other two series, Jessica McClain and the Phoebe Meadows.

The cover shows a futuristic yet post apocalyptic looking landscape with damaged sky scraper buildings. There's a sci-fi, star wars/star trek type of aircraft flying over the city with a light perhaps searching for someone. I'd say the figure silhouette is a good representation on the character of Daze. Then again it could be a younger Holly too. I like the affect on the top half of the book, as if it is a package that has been ripped open. It draws your eye to it, so I guess it will jump out at you on a bookstore shelf.

I did find the beginning of the book a little slow paced for my usual reading taste, which I think was down to the sci-fi geek technology of the futuristic craft that Holly was using. Once I read past the detailed, descriptive aircraft technology I settled into pace of the book quite well. 

So I should explain a little about the setting of the book. As I said in my cover description set in a post-apocalyptic world that has torn down both the buildings and the morale of the citizens , yet at the same time certain parts such as the make up of the society and the technology is futuristic. Then there are other things such as inoculations are that are extremely expensive, so few "normal"people have them. Any type of illnesses are referred to as the plague and are difficult to treat.

It's a difficult and dangerous society to be trying to live in. Everyone has a tag which they must have to receive their rations of food. It's a hazardous place to live, so the main character Holly Danger has had to be tough to survive. Holly scavenges for salvage and items to barter for anything she may need. Holly has a mind of her own and has a good sense of what is right and wrong. Holly tends to trust no one, and expect the worst.

She also sources specific items to order. Holly is on one such assignment when she meets what she describes as a young urchin boy who goes by the name Daze. Daze reveals that his mother is dead and that his sustainer family were going to see him into slavery. Holly is smart and trusts only her close circle of friends, so she is initially very skeptical about this boy. Then she begins to think back to how she felt when she was all alone with no one to trust or help her. Holly decides to go against her better judgement and usual course of action of keeping to herself and tells the boy he can come with her in exchange for information on the latest newcomer that is controlling the slave trade. It turns out that Daze is not the poor hungry waif that he presents himself to Holly as. Daze has something very valuable that Tandor wants and is prepared to pay for or possibly kill for!

Holly doesn't trust easily, yet manages to on a couple of occasions - sadly one of the times leads to her losing the place she felt most safe, that holds all her secret precious items she has collected over the years. These items hold many memories for her specifically of her mother. I loved the part where the origins of Holly's name is revealed.
Though Holly's mother is gone, I like the way that Holly has managed to integrate into her crew and recreate herself a family. Then when she identifies with Daze she makes the big decision to help him the way someone went out of their way to help her. 

It's quite difficult to say much more without giving away too much detail or plot. Although it took me a little while to warm up to this book, I did enjoy reading it, and didn't want to put it down. I'd say that Amanda Carlson has created yet another kick-ass female character comparable to her Jessica McClain & Phoebe Meadows characters and though my loyalty will always stay with the Jessica McClain series, I soon became quite attached to Holly too. I do feel invested in the series and would certainly want to read more as the book does end with a bit of a cliffhanger for some of the characters. I think as the series develops this could very well become addictive reading.

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