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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romance in a boarding school with spies? How could you pass this book up
After reading Stirling's Benedict series, I knew that I could not stay away from this story for very long. Storm and Stone is set in a mysterious boarding school where students disappear for a few weeks and come back as changed individuals. Kieran and Joe are spies that have been sent to see what's going on and get the job done as soon as possible. But Kieran befriends...
Published 5 months ago by Sam

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Teenage spies and a sinister boarding school
This is a fun story of teenage spies in a sinister boarding school with a helping of romance on the side. The mystery story works well but I have to say that I found the romance a bit of an add-on and wasn't completely convinced by it - it seems to get in the way of the 'real' story as feisty Raven and super-geek Kieran moon around each rather too much for my taste. That...
Published 1 day ago by Roman Clodia


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romance in a boarding school with spies? How could you pass this book up, 11 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Storm and Stone: Struck (Paperback)
After reading Stirling's Benedict series, I knew that I could not stay away from this story for very long. Storm and Stone is set in a mysterious boarding school where students disappear for a few weeks and come back as changed individuals. Kieran and Joe are spies that have been sent to see what's going on and get the job done as soon as possible. But Kieran befriends Raven and he not only wants to help her as she gets bullied, he wants the chance to fall in love. Oh, stop my beating heart.

The story is told from both Kieran and Raven's POVs, which gives you a nice 360 degree understanding of the whole story. Like Kieran's past, his actual mission and his deeper thoughts, while we see Raven's background and discover why she gets bullied. But also, we witness them both falling for each other which is honestly the cutest thing I've read in a while.

Don't expect this book to be a light contemporary romance with lots of batting eyelashes and air kisses. This book gets down to what you want! There is plenty of action scenes that kick in to spice everything up when you least expect it, along with the spies-looking-for-clues scenes filled with tension. I love Joss Stirling so much and this book had a great premise to draw my attention. i can't wait for even more from this author!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Storm and Stone is a book that you’ll just love.', 16 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Storm and Stone: Struck (Paperback)
There was so much riding on my enjoyment of this book because I loved Stirling’s Savant books before I started blogging. Whenever I pick up a book by an author I read previous books from before blogging, I always feel like there’s more pressure to enjoy it, and I’m always more nervous. I really enjoyed Storm and Stone though, so I didn’t need to worry too much.

When Raven Stone returns to her select boarding school after the holidays, she comes back to find that everything has changed. Suddenly nobody treats her same and instead she is shunned. Not only that, but her friend is missing, too. And what about the two new students who seem to have come in the wake of the affair? Raven is rapidly becoming involved in something unlike anything she’s seen before…

As I said above, I did enjoy Storm and Stone but there was just something missing that stopped it from being drop-dead amazing like Stirling’s Savant books were to me. I think the fact that I had heard that this was another Savant book swayed my happiness levels and I kept waiting for some mention of the Savant powers to be dropped, but alas no mentions turned up. I quickly got over it when I realised that it wasn’t a Savant book and I then sank into the story easier.

Although it wasn’t a Savant book, it still included everything I loved about Stirling’s previous books and I raced through it. There’s something about the books that make me want to grab hold of them and give them a massive hug – they have a feel to them that you don’t often find.

I felt so sorry for Raven because the situation she was in wasn’t just your typical bullying. As the plot unfolds, we learn darker things about why Raven is being targeted and it really is quite sinister. When Raven gets to know the two new boys things start getting crazier and suddenly she’s caught up in something unlike anything she’s ever experienced before. Raven was a pretty kickass girl and, particularly towards the end of the novel, we really see her shine. I think she’s an inspiration to anyone who has been bullied or is being because the way she dealt with things was handled well.

Storm and Stone is a book that you’ll just love (I know because I’m psychic), and, although nothing will ever beat the Savant books, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be telling everyone about it. Despite having a few issues with some of it, it’s a book that I’m looking forward to re-reading in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping- I could not put this book down!, 17 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Storm and Stone: Struck (Paperback)
I have tried not to include any spoilers in this review, so you can enjoy the book as you wish.

As a firm fan of Joss Stirling's Savant trilogy, I could not wait to get my hands on her latest book, 'Storm and Stone'. As with every other of Stirling's novels, this proved to cause me severe lack of sleep the night I bought it! This book is completely absorbing with well thought out characters and just the right amount of romance throughout.

However, I have only given this four stars. Part of the reason for this is that, with the writing style and expressions used so similar to 'Finding Sky', it reminds fans of the Savants of the Benedicts and soulfinders, making it hard to remeber that this is an unattatched story. Also, I felt that perhaps it was missing an extra element or dimension to it. In the Savant trilogy, this 'extra something' comes in the form of each character having a 'power' which Stirling uses to add to the storylines. In 'Storm and Stone' I think something like this would have helped to depthen the book and create some memorable moments.

Having said this, I think the character of Kieran Storm makes up for some of these small problems. A huge Sherlock fan myself, I loved his cool, calm and collected front and found his deductions of the world around him as intriguing and entertaining as those from the man himself (Mr Holmes!) I also thought that the relationship between Kieran and Joe- his best friend- worked very well and was really believable, with them being complete opposites of each other. In addition, though I do not think I am like her at all, I found Raven Storm- the protagonist- very easy to relate to which made me even more involved in the book!

Overall, I found 'Storm and Stone' a thrilling, inventive read, but perhaps not quite surpassing the high bar of the Savant trilogy.
Perfect for any teen looking for a romance novel with plenty of twists and turns, I would highly recommend 'Storm and Stone'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ROMANCE & EXCITEMENT, 9 Jan. 2014
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Storm and Stone: Struck (Paperback)
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Thief! Orphan Raven Stone is a scholarship girl at exclusive Westron School, fellow pupils the offspring of very famous people indeed. They do not take to her at all, she the victim of trumped-up charges and systematic bullying - seemingly with the approval of Head Mrs Bain and most of the staff. Only ally is Raven's delightful caretaker granddad. At least, that is until the arrival of charmer Joe Masters and ultra scholarly Kieran Stone. The two are really going to rock the boat....

In so many ways, the novel works very well. The victimization chillingly convinces (except for teachers neglecting to mark Raven's work) as does the growing conviction something is very wrong indeed. Pupils returning after mysterious absences somehow seem to have been brainwashed. Cue for dramatic revelations and an adrenaline-fuelled climax. Readers' hopes will be high that the three remain intact (and granddad, please), not to mention that the nasties on high receive long overdue comeuppance!

I enjoyed most of the read, except for a distinct wobble about half way through. Perhaps this is a gender thing, but Raven's reaction after that unexpected encounter in London seems totally insensitive and out of character - more of a literary contrivance to make us fear for the promising growing relationship between Raven and Kieran.

A minor matter amidst much that pleases! Kieran is clearly a character so full of potential, one book will simply not be enough. Perhaps for a whole series villains will have reason to fear when Stone and Storm are about.

Intended for young adults, but likely to please more than them.

Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Teenage spies and a sinister boarding school, 29 Mar. 2015
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Storm and Stone: Struck (Paperback)
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This is a fun story of teenage spies in a sinister boarding school with a helping of romance on the side. The mystery story works well but I have to say that I found the romance a bit of an add-on and wasn't completely convinced by it - it seems to get in the way of the 'real' story as feisty Raven and super-geek Kieran moon around each rather too much for my taste. That said, Joe is a great best friend character for Kieran, and the plot has pace and interest. Despite some over-worked characterisation (Kieran is a young Sherlock Holmes, there are the usual Mean Girls queen bitch personalities) this romps along - probably best for the younger reader 11-13+.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Riveting - just BRILLIANT!, 6 Jan. 2014
By 
Chris in Hampshire "Mrs C" (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Storm and Stone: Struck (Paperback)
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From the first few lines of Chapter 1 you are in to this book. This is great because I hate to have to wade through a bewildering, boring, complicated chapter or two to get interested. This book is there from the start!

The story is set in an English Boarding School, which is mainly attended by students (male and female) who have wealthy parents who can afford the fees. Some of the students however had won scholarships to Westron the ivy clad castle that was the school. The story starts at the beginning of a new term with the students just back from their vacation.

The heroine, Raven Stone is an American whose Grandfather works at Westron as the school caretaker. She has been there for three years, since losing her parents. Her mother died first and then her African American father who had been an officer in the American Army. Granddad was now Raven's legal guardian.

Raven has a hard time at school and is treated nastily by the posh kids and the kids of celebrity parents. There are a lot of undercurrents and tension but Raven has a friend, Gina with whom she shares a room. Strangely though, when the new term starts, Gina has not come back and Raven's attempts to find out what is wrong is unsuccessful. The start of the term also brings two new students, Joe Masters who hails from Eastern USA and his friend Kieran Storm. These boys are a bit of a mystery, especially as they have joined Westron late in the academic year. Their story is that they both got expelled from their previous school and they share a generous Godfather.

As the story gathers pace, Joe and Kieran do not appear to be the normal students that they say they are. Raven gets on well with them but continues to have dreadful problems with the other students. There are strange goings on at the school and Raven is trying to figure it all out.

To tell you any more about the story will spoil your enjoyment of the book. There is a lot of intrigue, a 'who dun it' and 'why' interspersed with a closeness and romance between Raven and Kieran. Trust me, you will not be able to put this book down. The more and more you get into it the less you will want to stop reading it.

It is a brilliant story and would make a great mini series for TV.

The book is for Young Adults aimed at 13 yrs upwards. Parents can be assured there are no nasties in the book, nothing to have a bad influence on the young and impressionable mind. I am an old adult and I really enjoyed this book and I think it is not just for the young, but for anyone who likes some mystery and intrigue.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Despite uneasiness about the writing, I still enjoyed this novel, 2 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Struck (Kindle Edition)
I've experienced Joss Stirling's writing before whilst reading her Benedicts series, and while she isn't the best author in my eyes, the ideas behind her stories are certainly intriguing. Stirling does write a good mystery, I just wish the execution was a little cleaner. Nevertheless, I will be reading the companion novel. I really did love the idea behind this story, and the fact that I managed to get past the mediocre writing is proof that it's not all bad.

As the "scholarship kid," Raven Stone has put up with a fair amount of bullying over her last three years at Westron, a boarding school that has a fancy reputation for housing the children of celebrities and other influential parents. When her best friend, Gina, returns from an overrun course at the manor - a part of the school that houses kids during the holidays if they can't/don't want to return home - Raven soon realises that Gina is different. She no longer recognizes Raven as a friend, and does some pretty horrible things to make sure Raven's life at Westron is miserable. But she's not the only one who has returned from the manor completely changed. Kieran Storm and Joe Masters - new students, secretly undercover on a mission for the Youth Detective Agency (or Yoda, as they call it) - are the only two people who don't treat Raven like a leper. With their help, she uncovers the truth about what's really happening behind the scenes at this prestigous school, and what they find is worse than she imagined.

I kind of loved and hated Raven. She was immature and whiney most of the time, but she had an uncercurrent of energy that was almost palpable. She was beyond determined for justice to be served, and it showed in her character. She was just a little... juvenile for my liking. Kieran was the same way. I found his intelligence really interesting, and the little unknown facts he spouted throughout this novel were fascinating. It's clear that Stirling put a lot of thought behind Kieran's character, but he wasn't written in a way that truly showed off what Stirling was trying to do. He was never really described beyond his superior intellect, and it got a little stale. Though he did open up to choices that perhaps weren't the logical solution, his progress was slow and disappointing. Nevertheless, I appreciate what Stirling tried to do with these characters, stopping me from loathing them completely.

The relationship between Raven and Kieran is something that I did loathe, however. It never felt real, and that's a deal breaker for me. I cannot love a book without a realistic romance. Though there were a few passionate kisses and tender moments, they never truly felt like a couple. Though their differences should have brought them together, their relationship just didn't feel right. There was an undercurrent of... something. I can't explain it very well. I simply didn't like them as a couple.

The storyline itself was interesting. I love a good mystery, and even more so when it's a YA mystery. The deductions that I made whilst the investigation was open were right 90% of the time, but that didn't make the book feel predictable. I felt a strange sense of pride every time I was proved correct, and it added a new layer to the plot that helped me connect a little more to the story.

Overall, I would recommend this book to people who enjoyed Stirling's other works. This is a good mystery story that will have you second-guessing everything. Despite my uneasiness about the writing, I did enjoy this novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Review by Holly Year 8, 8 May 2014
This review is from: Storm and Stone: Struck (Paperback)
Storm and Stone is centred on the two main characters; Kieran Storm and Raven Stone. Raven is a simple girl, who expects to start her school term with her best friend Gina but when this doesn’t go to plan she finds herself crossing paths with the two new boys at the school: Joe and Kieran. Kieran and his partner, Joe, are sent into a school whose students are being entered in a suspicious course and returned somewhat, differently. Kieran finds himself befriending a newly socially rejected girl; Raven, as he and his partner try to unscramble the network of lies encasing the network of schools. Storm and Stone narrates the story of young love, forbidden, in a world of secrets and mischief.

In my opinion, the love story in this book was perfectly balanced with the ‘spy’ element. I found reading from both of the main character’s perspectives interesting as this style of writing was new to me. I enjoyed reading Kieran’s tale of twisted undercover work and his struggles of falling in love when he shouldn’t. Raven told of her questioning her new-found friendship and of her heartbreak due to the secrets she could not be told. I especially liked the freedom and knowledge of understanding both parts of the story.

I would not change anything but one about this book. The characters were loveable and you fell in and out of their shoes as the story changed and progressed. The storyline was inventive and interesting to find out more about as it would appeal to those looking for a romance and a thriller alike. However, I did find that towards the end the writing became sloppy as if it were rushed to be completed. I would have liked to see a more detailed ending to a book riddled with details towards the start. It does, on the other hand, have a well thought out conclusion that ties up any loose ends that the reader could have thought about.

I would be interested in reading books by this author but I would only think of reading them if the story line appeals to me as the writing alone was a slight let down. I would read Joss Stirling’s books if I were looking for a bedtime story; this wasn’t a classic example of a book I could not put down. Despite my negative comments, I still really enjoyed this book. If you wish to fall in love with a character, read this. The author really created the illusion of being part of one of, if not both of, the characters.

I could not pin a specific age group to this book as I’m not entirely sure at what age a person would be to enjoy this book. All I would say is that I suggest it to more mature readers, from about eleven onwards so that they are able to understand further into the themes of the book. It does not contain any severe bad language or mature themes.

I would give this book four out of five stars. I enjoyed the style of writing and the storyline, however the ending, I found, really let it down. The characters and plot are interesting to read about and I enjoyed the sense of feeling the emotion that the writer intended to give.

I would definitely recommend this book, particularly to people I know as this may not be for everybody with its deep and clever story. If you enjoy love stories, then this book is definitely for you, but it may also appeal to people who enjoy other genres that aren’t too strong and overwhelming.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like all of Joss Stirling's books, 30 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Storm and Stone: Struck (Paperback)
I was given this book for Christmas 2014 and I completed it by the end of boxing day. Like all of Joss Stirling's books, I couldn't put it down until I had finished the very last page.

The fact that I could picture the book so clearly just shows how amazing a writer Joss is! I could picture myself alongside Raven in her upsetting term at boarding school. I felt sad with her and happy too. Having been bullied myself I could understand how she was feeling and a sense of anger towards the people who picked on her and the teachers not paying attention to her. When she became friends with the boys I was so happy for her (please forgive me for not writing their names, I have read many more books since then and have all the names mixed up).

I believe if this book were to be made into film, it would go far. Along with the Savant series. I have recommended this book to various friends and family members as they too enjoy reading Joss' books.

I feel a strong pull to read the book again whenever I look on my bookshelf because it was so captivating and my imagination tingled with every page. I was sad when I finished the book but then went on to read Misty Falls, also by Joss Stirling.

If a random person were to ask me about this book, I would have to restrain myself from reciting the whole story to them. I strongly encourage other readers to get this book it is fantastic.

10/10!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another fantastic read by Stirling, 25 Feb. 2014
By 
Ms. C. A. Anderson "Cassandra220689" (East Kilbride, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Storm and Stone: Struck (Paperback)
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I was already a fan of Joss Stirling from her supernatural romance series, spanning the books so far of Finding Sky, Stealing Phoenix and seeking Crystal. I love her ability to make all her female characters so strong and able to hold their own so I was particularly intrigued to see what a stand alone book by her was like.

As usual, our main character and lead; Raven Stone is a kick ass kind of girl who takes no rubbish and is pretty strong physically and minded. We meet her in the back drop of their Private school where she is the scholar ship student who seems to be taking the flack this term for some of the pupils missing possessions. Having no family and her Grandfather working as the school caretaker makes Stirlings usual female role lacking in blood family and lack of friends.

Then the term gets interesting when two new boys arrive and one in particular catches her eye...

Soon Raven is wrapped up right in the middle of something much much bigger than being blamed for stealing and she helps to unveil the scandal and maybe get the guy...

As usual, Stirling manages to captivate and hold you all the way through the book so you never really want to put it down. Always giving you an obstacle for the love of her two main characters in her stories, a love that needs to always overcome and makes her books a pleasure and joy to read.

Cassandra220689
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Storm and Stone: Struck
Storm and Stone: Struck by Joss Stirling (Paperback - 6 Feb. 2014)
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