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Blightborn (The Heartland Trilogy Book 2) (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Chuck Wendig

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    Cael McAvoy is on the run.

    He’s heading toward the Empyrean to rescue his sister, Merelda, and to find Gwennie before she’s lost to Cael forever. With his pals, Lane and Rigo, Cael journeys across the Heartland to catch a ride into the sky. But with Boyland and others after them, Cael and his friends won’t make it through unchanged.

    Gwennie’s living the life of a Lottery winner, but it’s not what she expected. Separated from her family, Gwennie makes a bold move—one that catches the attention of the Empyrean and changes the course of an Empyrean man’s life.

    The crew from Boxelder aren’t the only folks willing to sacrifice everything to see the Empyrean fall. The question is: Can the others be trusted?

    They’d all better hurry. Because the Empyrean has plans that could ensure that the Heartland never fights back again.

    Chuck Wendig’s riveting sequel to Under the Empyrean Sky plunges readers into an unsettling world of inequality and destruction, and fleshes out a cast of ragtag characters all fighting for survival and, ultimately, change.

    Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

    Chuck Wendig is the author of The Heartland Trilogy, the Atlanta Burns series, and numerous novels for adults. He is also a game designer and screenwriter. Chuck lives in Pennsylvania with his family. He blogs at


    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • Dateigröße: 7617 KB
    • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 528 Seiten
    • Verlag: Skyscape (29. Juli 2014)
    • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Sprache: Englisch
    • ASIN: B00I0WPKDW
    • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
    • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
    • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #234.690 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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    6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    4.0 von 5 Sternen Even better than the first book in the series 31. Juli 2014
    Von Monica Mileti - Veröffentlicht auf
    This review was originally posted on Avid Reviews:

    Blightborn is the second installment in the Heartland Trilogy by Chuck Wendig. You can find my review of the first novel in the series, Under the Empyrean Sky, here:

    The Heartland Trilogy is comprised of dystopian novels that paint a picture of a future where corn is the only crop permitted to be grown, and the rich live in cities that float in the sky. In the first novel in the series Wendig introduced the reader to the Heartland in a fast paced story that highlighted the struggles of the people who live amongst the endless sea of corn. Blightborn continues the story of the Heartlanders while at the same time introducing a glimpse of the privileged lives of those that live on the Empyrean flotillas. With this novel Wendig manages to create a story as fast paced and exciting as the first novel in the series, while also raising the stakes for his characters and expanding on his world in new and remarkable ways.

    I would advise against reading the rest of this review if you have not yet read Under the Empyrean Sky, as the rest of this review will contain spoilers for the first novel in the Heartland trilogy.

    Blightborn picks up right where Under the Empyrean Sky left off, with Cael and his friends on the run from their hometown, and with hopes of making it onto an Empyrean flotilla in order to rescue Gwennie, the woman Cael loves. Gwennie is currently living the life of a lottery winner, though it is far from what she expected it to be. She separated from her family, and rarely gets a break from her job of mucking out the stables of genetically mutated horses. Intermittently she is invited to one of the flotillas’ extravagant parties only to be gawked at by the upper class, which finds her to be little more than an unfortunate provincial specimen. Both Cael and Gwennie must fight against the odds to change their fate; and if they fail, the Empyrean has plans that may change their lives forever, and make sure that the Heartlanders will never be able to fight back again, or change their lives for the better.

    This book is both darker and more complex than its predecessor, and in many ways a more mature and accomplished novel. Fans of the first book in the Heartland trilogy will find much in this book to fall in love with. The characters grow and become more developed, the plot both expands the world and raises the stakes, and the ending of the book leaves the reader wanting more. The vast inequalities between the Heartlanders and the Empyreans become even more defined in this novel, and bring more meaning to the series’ environmental message.

    In a genre that is flooded with mediocre novels, Wendigs’ stand far above the rest of the pack due to his unique setting and wildly exciting plot lines. This is a series that will surprise even the most jaded fans of the dystopian genre. Wendig has made me a true fan with this book, and I will be eagerly awaiting the final installment in the Heartland series.

    My rating for this book is 8/10.

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.
    5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    5.0 von 5 Sternen Reaches For The Sky 29. Juli 2014
    Von Michael Hicks - Veröffentlicht auf
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
    [This review is based on an advanced copy received by the publisher through NetGalley.]

    Blightborn, the latest release from the ever-prolific Chuck Wendig, and second in his cornpunk The Heartland Trilogy, follows swiftly on the heels of Under The Empyrean Sky‘s conclusion.

    With the world building out of the way, and many of the main cast’s rivalries set up in Empyrean, Blightborn allows Wendig to go hog-wild and blow stuff up, upend expectations, and expand on the premise of The Heartland series in fine fashion.

    When last we saw the intrepid crew of the sky ship Betty

    - spoilers for Under The Empyrean Sky -

    Cael had learned that his father was illegally growing fresh produce and had killed the mayor. His girlfriend, Gwennie, was a lottery winner and elevated, along with her family, to live aboard one of the Empyrean’s floating cities and escape the hardscrabble life of the dirt-farming Heartlanders. Needless to say, Cael wasn’t going to let that happen without a fight, and he and his teenage crew of Blue Sky Scavengers set out to cross the desolation of the Heartland and, somehow, win her back. Unfortunately, that ticked the hell out of his Obligated bride-to-be, and the dead mayor’s son, and rival to Cael for Gwennie’s affections, had an awful large score to settle.

    Returning to these characters in Blightborn, Wendig delivers fully on the conflicts established at the close of book one, and creates even larger obstacles for his cast to contend with, while driving new wedges between them. As expected, the Empyrean’s lottery is a double-edged sword: the promise of elevation too good to be true, and it comes wrapped in the caul of class-warfare. As Gwennie quickly learns, life in the Empyrean sky is hardly a joy, and even less so for a pure-bred Heartlander like she and her family, who are separated, exiled, and forced into labor.

    Beneath the floating flotilla, Cael and his friends are trying to make it to a loading depot, with grand designs of boarding a sky ship (after losing Betty in the previous book) and making their way upward. Along the way, they are beset by raiders, Boyland’s crew, a murderous hobo who wants to catch the wanted trio (they’re considered terrorists by the Empyrean overlords and have a hefty bounty hanging over their heads), and the blight, a ravenous disease that stems from the genetically modified corn fields that cover the Heartland. All of this ties neatly into a bit family history that Cael is unaware of and provides some terrific background to his now-absent parents, which helps to fuel and shape his own quest and place in the Heartland.

    Wendig is an author who has been on absolute fire of late. His Miriam Black books are among some of the finest paranormal thrillers I’ve had the pleasure to read, and Mookie Pearl from The Blue Blazes (watch out for subtle nod toward that book early on in Blightborn!) was a fun new character whose return I’m greatly looking forward to later this year in The Hellsblood Bride. The Heartland series is a wonderful departure from either of those previous series, and, in some ways, proves to be a bit darker and deeper. While Miriam’s visions of death and ordeals with serial killers isn’t exactly light-weight stuff, there’s a buoyant flippancy to that series, thanks in large part to her natural sarcasm that lends for a natural sort of humor. There are far less funny shenanigans, wry observations, or witty back-and-forths in this cornpunk entry, but that’s life in the Heartland.

    Wendig is focused more on exploring the struggles of a violent class warfare and food politics. That’s not too say the read is dry and dreary – far, far, far from it. Rather, it simply strikes me as, tonally, a more serious work, and that tone grows naturally from the characters and the world they inhabit, as well as the threats they face. It’s dark story of survival and impossible odds.

    One thing I appreciated was the increased focus on the female cast members, particularly Gwennie and Cael’s sister, Merelda. The two find themselves on opposite ends of the social spectrum, with the latter having become the mistress of the flotilla’s chief security officer and hiding her true Heartlander roots. Their roles are necessarily expanded after having gotten a bit of a short-shrift in the previous book, but they shine nicely in Blightborn, and it was great to see Gwennie so prominently in on the action (especially since she’s the one who taught Cael how to throw a punch!). I won’t spoil her role in the book, but she does carry a lot of the thematic weight mentioned earlier in regards to the class struggle, and it’s juicy stuff.

    Blightborn is a heftier, more serious work than its predecessor, and Wendig is clearly crafting an epic trilogy of terrific scope with this series. It’s also quite a bit darker, which is pretty common in middle entries – the stakes are higher and the threats more formidable. The Initiative, which is teased a bit before finally being revealed in the book’s third act, is a horrifying manipulation that perfectly illustrates the evil and grandiose ego of the Empyrean rulers, and their sense of entitlement. Wendig has also planted a good number of compelling seeds that will bear beautiful fruit come book three. I’d expect the conclusion of this story to release next year, but damn if that’s not going to be a long, brutal wait. Alas, that’s life in the heartland.
    4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    5.0 von 5 Sternen AWESOME second book to the series! You will not be disappointed. 30. Juli 2014
    Von Melanie Meadors - Veröffentlicht auf

    This book was everything awesome that the first Heartland book, UNDER THE EMPYREAN SKY, was, and more. Wendig’s characters are like real people, multi-dimensional and complicated. There are no cliche cardboard cutout archetypes or tropes here. Every character has their strengths, weaknesses, things that you love, and things that make you want to scream.

    I went into this book expecting a second book, maybe a little saggy, like many middle books of trilogies are. Hell no. This book kept me engaged the entire time, kept me wondering what would happen next, and kept surprising me. The setting details are fantastic, the action and pacing impeccable. In this book, we learn so much more about the characters we already know/love/hate from the first book, and meet several new folks, too. Things grow more complicated as the plot thickens, and the world isn’t as black and white as it perhaps seemed earlier in the series.

    Something that stood out for me about this book as I read it is Wendig’s treatment of his younger characters. There is no talking down here, no weird older author’s take on teens. This is an author who understands the way a seventeen year old thinks, and tells it like it is. Wendig’s respect for his subjects is clear. There is no annoying whining here, like I’ve noticed in several other YA books I’ve read. These are characters who teens can be proud of, who they can sympathize with. Sure, they have their rough moments, but they take action. They make mistakes, but they learn.

    The future Wendig has portrayed here is eerily reflective of issues happening today–I can see how this world could exist. The themes of this trilogy are timely and thought provoking.

    BLIGHTBORN is an action packed, emotional ride that both teens and adults would enjoy. The only negative part is that I have to wait a year before getting my hands on the next one!
    4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    4.0 von 5 Sternen Riveting. Improved On The First Book 29. Juli 2014
    Von Talvi - Veröffentlicht auf
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Blightborn was a surprise; although I enjoyed the first Heartland book, I admittedly didn't love it. I worried that the second book would be more of the same: brash Homer Hickman type young hero fighting oppression and making a lot of mistakes along the way. However, this second book took a very dark turn by the 50% mark and had me intrigued to the end. Twisty turning plot points and unexpected events made this a thrilling read.

    Story: Cael and his small group are now outlaws, following the train tracks on a course set by his missing father. Gwennie, meanwhile, learns the dark side of the lottery as she is indentured to a brilliant but socially awkward geneticist tasked with creating a Pegasus mascot for the Empyrean. Both will encounter heartbreak, death, and danger as a group of rebels seeks to bring about the downfall of the Empyrean empire.

    The story is told from both Gwennie's and Cael's point of view. Gwennie becomes immersed in Empyrean politics as she tries to track down her separated family. Cael, meanwhile, discovers all the dangers out there in the corn, not the least of which are the rebels themselves. We'll learn a lot of secrets about Cael's family including his father's past and his sister's whereabouts. A host of new and fascinating characters are added but we still keep most of the Boxelder kids as well since Cael's group will be tracked by the Praetor.

    Admittedly, I was just coasting during the first part of the story. Reading about headstrong kids making dumb decisions wasn't the story I was interested in following. But author Wendig turns up the heat midway and suddenly there are a lot of devastating events that slowly destroy both Gwennie and Cael. As well, we get a lot of information about the world that is very inventive.

    I am really looking forward to book 3 and seeing where Wendig takes the story.

    Reviewed from an ARC.
    3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    4.0 von 5 Sternen Amazing and Timeless 31. Juli 2014
    Von m pollard - Veröffentlicht auf
    Format:Kindle Edition
    I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

    This was an engrossing, fast paced story. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. This being the second book in the series I was afraid the story would drag or fizzle out. However, the author does a great job keeping the reader wrapped up in the story. The characters were relatable and the setting was described so well you could picture the place. Can't wait for the next installment.
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