Storm and Stone by Joss Stirling

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Storm and Stone by Joss Stirling

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: Excellent plot and characters whom I really warmed to as the novel progressed, combined with a strong romance, make this one an intriguing new direction for Joss Stirling.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: February 2014
Publisher: OUP Oxford
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0192735683

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American student Raven Stone doesn't like it at her exclusive English boarding school. People are going missing, and return seeming very different. The teachers pick on her as a scholarship students, and her classmates hate her - one of them enough to send her death threats. Just as the mystery starts to deepen, two new boys arrive. Joe is friendly and charismatic, but it's Kieran's analytical brain which may be the clue to solving her problems. Although her problems may be bigger than either of them had realised...

This was a slow-burner in many ways, and while it didn't grab me with the immediacy of Stirling's wonderful Finding Sky, it got better and better as the book went on. I think part of my issue with it at the start was that neither lead is a particularly easy character to warm to - Raven is prickly and hot-tempered, while Kieran is extremely analytical and cool. (Although his Sherlock Holmes style deductions in his first scene are impressive!) However as the book, and their relationship progresses, they become much easier to like and I thought the romance was very well-written.

Also, it has a plot with several twists which was unpredictable and which had me glued to the book even before I'd warmed to the characters - a real rarity for me; normally I'm not that bothered about a novel unless at least a couple of the characters grab me early on. In this case, I was so desperate to find out what was happening that I raced through it anyway. It helps that Stirling's writing style is extremely easy to read and her books always rattle along at a cracking pace! Of course, this meant that once Kieran and Raven had found their way into my affections, I was even more involved. (Making the climax almost unbearably tense - I knew from reading her earlier books that I'd have my heart in my mouth by the end; I think I did so even more than previously here.)

Highly recommended as a really good read for fans of teen contemporaries and/or mysteries. Oh, interestingly, while the proof cover proclaims it be a standalone, Joss Stirling's website says it's a new series - I'd definitely be interested in reading a follow-up!

I think fans of this one will enjoy Crusher by Niall Leonard, another intriguing mystery.

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Buy Storm and Stone by Joss Stirling at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Storm and Stone by Joss Stirling at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
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