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on 21 June 2015
OMG!! Cliff McNish is a literary genius. I was a little dubious about this book but I gave it a chance. I loved Breathe & Angel so I imagined this would be good. This book has an originality I have never experienced. The only thing wrong with it is the title. Savannah Grey does not do this book justice at all. It has 2 stories (past and present) which both come together at the end. The past story is stunning, and highly unexpected in a book with this title. Still I would recommend this book to anyone. It was an amazing read and it totally blew me away.
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on 17 June 2013
LOVE IT!!! McNish is an awesome author, his other books are awesome and this book is no different :) a must read! for anyone who loves books :)
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VINE VOICEon 18 March 2010
The cover of this book attracted me - it's not black for a start, and the green combined with autumn leaves is a winner. The taglines suggest something nasty... but combined with romance, and with the figure on the cover, you could be forgiven for expecting a rather soft supernatural tale.

But soft it is not! This novel is the opposite of those black-jacketed high school tales of glances across the room in maths, those slight touches brushing past in the lunch queue - there's no time for that sort of slow-burn here. Set in urban South London, the very first character we meet is a monster known as the `Horror' who is monitoring a teenaged girl, Savannah Grey, asleep in bed ...

"Disobeying its orders, the Horror teased the sheet away from Savannah's shoulders to reveal her neck. It discovered nothing unusual. Smooth skin. Soft flesh. The hollow of the throat rising gently up to the vocal chords. It was hard for the Horror to accept that inside that throat of hers was a weapon so uniquely powerful that if Savannah ever learned to control it there was virtually nothing which could stand against her.

But the Horror could hear the beginnings of that weapon. Distant noises. Faint rustlings. Distinctive click-click-clicks. They drifted in intervals from her lips. And occasionally even more ominous sounds emerged. Heavy booms. Muffled explosions - as if velveted bombs were igniting in the depth of her throat.

The Horror leaned avidly forward. It had an almost irresistible urge to wake Savannah by biting that throat of hers, but no, it couldn't do that, it wasn't allowed. Its task was merely to listen to the sounds and report the findings to its master, the Ocrassa."

Savannah is an orphan, and lives with foster mum Annette. She's had a sore throat for a while, and has an imminent hospital appointment. Her best friend Nina persuades her to go to a party where she meets Reece, a boy with a scar across his throat - it's love at first sight. Her throat is getting stranger, she can no longer let anything go inside her mouth and she strikes out at the doctors and runs away. Taking a photo of her throat with her mobile, she sees she has something growing in it around her vocal chords - it's obviously not natural, but she feels protective of it even though she's producing strange clicks and bursts of energy from her mouth. It turns out Reece is similarly afflicted - maybe they can do this together?

We also meet the Ocrassa, an alien who arrived on Earth in space dust millions of years ago and has spent the time in between evolving. Chapters now alternate between the Ocrassa's ongoing development in perverting the course of nature by assimilating it, and Savannah, realising that her voice is evolving into a weapon which she must learn to control, and that there must be a purpose to it all. It feels like winter's on its way too for the leaves are swirling everywhere seeming almost alive. But if you thought we were set for a conventional battle, you'd be wrong, for McNish does something amazing! He introduces a third monster, the Nyktomorph, another creature of the night and then more twists - but I can't tell you more about it without really spoiling the plot.

McNish's style is intense and direct. Lots of short sentences indicating action with no words wasted; longer ones more descriptive. I didn't find this novel about the power of nature very scary, although its key teen audience might. Savannah was difficult to get to like at first, but like her throat weapon, she does grow on you! The monsters are fascinating and complex, and it is as much a coming of age story for them as for Savannah. I really enjoyed it as a crossover novel and will search out his other teen novels - McNish is one to watch.
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Savannah Grey isn't at all what I was expecting, but I loved it anyway. It's a perfect blend of mystery, horror and suspense, and even has a bit of romance thrown in too. It's wonderfully written, with a well-executed story that twists and turns like a winding road.

It's clear that McNish has a particular interest in the horror genre, and I like how he mixes things up and adds new elements, in turn making Savannah Grey a horror/sci-fi/romance that even the most reluctant reader will be hard pressed to ignore. Evolution plays a part in the proceedings, with a huge period of time revisited and woven into the story. It's fascinating stuff, with something new to discover on every page.

I'd really like to say that Savannah was my favourite character, but she wasn't. That particular accolade goes to the monsters of the book: Ocrassa, Nyktomorph and Horror. These monsters aren't your average creatures of the night; they're deformed, creepy, and downright weird. They have a fantastic story to tell, which makes their chapters enthralling, intriguing and the most enjoyable of the whole novel. Savannah and new friend Reece are brilliant too, and are harbouring a secret like no other I've encountered. To say this book is unusual is an understatement, but that's part of its charm and appeal.

At times lyrical and haunting, Savannah Grey is by far my favourite offering from Cliff McNish. The horror lover in me is happy, and I'm glad I've found a book that is both gruesome and romantic. It's a rare mash-up, but it works incredibly well. I hope more authors have the confidence to try something a little bit different, as it's like opening the door to a breath of fresh air.
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on 17 June 2011
this book is by my favourite author cliff mcnish it was amazing i recomend all his books as i have read them all :)
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To be honest with you I had a number of problems trying to figure this book out. On one hand it's a horror tale, on another it has elements of Science Fiction but perhaps the strongest thread throughout is the love story within between Savannah and Reece. It's beautifully written, almost poetic at times. Add to this a cracking story arc, a wonderful understanding of prose and a tale that's fascinating from the multiple viewpoints and it's a tale that I think is perhaps McNish's best to date.
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on 18 May 2012
This is a dark, imaginative tale with several twists that took my breath away. What makes this book really stand out is the fact that the monsters are so believable - there are some fascinating ideas wrapped in a beautifully-written horror story that really resonated for me.

Highly recommended!
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on 12 July 2011
The pages in the book were upside down. I am very dissappointed in this, i could have brought it from someone else. I wouldn't want to buy from this seller again.
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