Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer is a deeply original coming of age tale that is quirky, unique and strangely funny while managing to highlight the perils that come with growing up.
Seventeen year old Mara Carlyle’s whole world changes the day one of her classmates quite literally blows up during third period. Boom. Gone. Sayonara Katelyn Ogden. Katelyn may be the first to explode but she’s definitely not the last, as the rest of the remaining senior class start spontaneously combusting with no warning and no explanation. As the rest of the world responds, people flock to Mara’s small New Jersey town to witness the phenomenon that is plaguing the teenagers. Scientists, FBI agents and experts can’t explain why these everyday teenagers are suddenly exploding, and with the death toll rising, Mara knows that any day now could mean the end for herself and those she loves.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Spontaneous is a unique novel. I mean, come on---teenagers exploding at random for no noticeable reason? Teamed with some sharp writing, that’s as unique as you can get….and then Aaron Starmer throws Mara Carlyle into the works who is sarcastic, silly and just stumbling along as teenagers do. She drinks, she does drugs, has sex and just basically lives her life with no promises and no regrets.
Mara was one of those characters I didn’t know if I loved or hated. There’s moments where she’s selfish and unthinking, but you know what? She a teenager. She’s growing and learning and making mistakes. As those around Mara explode, her life changes and Spontaneous sees her try to live her everyday life while a black cloud hangs over her head. No one can explain why teenagers are dying the way they are and no one can offer a solution. It’s intriguing to see Mara potter along, falling in love and hanging with her best friend Tess as teens explode all around her.
This novel is really true to its name, in a lot of different ways. I never knew what would happen next. Who would live, who would die and whose life was about to end. Aaron Starmer doesn’t shy away from introducing you to a character just to have them die down the track….quite the opposite. Almost everyone you meet (the senior class that is) is one moment away from being gone, and I actually felt quite emotional at times. The losses were hard-hitting and sad, and did hit me at times.
My only negative about this book was the ending. I felt like we were building to something—all these spontaneous combustions and deaths; I wanted answers and I don’t feel like Starmer ever really gave us any. Perhaps that was his intention, but after reading a novel like this, I would have liked a bit more closure.
Even though it’s often silly at times, Spontaneous did make me think; about life and the mark we leave on this world. Sharp and biting, Spontaneous is definitely going to appeal to those readers after something quirky and different. ...more
Queen of Hearts is the first novel in Colleen Oaks Queen of Hearts Saga and introduces readers to a unique and often overlooked branch of the Alice in Wonderland classic tale with this intriguing story.
As the Princess of Wonderland, seventeen year old Dinah’s days are spent studying and preparing for the day she will become Queen of Hearts and rule alongside her father, the current King of Hearts. Monotonous as they are, Dinah’s days are only broken up by teas, crochet and stolen moments with her best friend Wardley, the future Knave of Hearts. Yet, as her coronation fast approaches, strange things are happening in Wonderland. And as secret messages, mysterious arrivals and odd occurrences plague Dinah’s life, Dinah sets out to determine exactly what is going on, even as the danger looms larger than ever before….
I’ll be honest, Queen of Hearts wasn’t an easy novel for me to read. It started out slow and wasn’t overly fast paced, but for the small issues I seemed to have with it, I did enjoy the story. Author Colleen Oakes explores an often overlooked aspect of Alice in Wonderland; the Queen of Hearts. Everyone knows, or is at least marginally familiar with Alice’s tale, but what about the woman known for cutting of heads, the infamous Queen of Hearts? How did she become the woman who ruled Wonderland with an iron will and feared reputation?
Well, Queen of Hearts finally explores that avenue, following future Queen of Hearts Dinah when she was only a Princess of Wonderland. In the beginning Dinah comes across as a really spoilt, selfish individual, but as the novel progresses it becomes clear that she does feel and care about the people in her life. Treated terribly by her father, I actually felt really sorry for her. There was something that kept me from connecting with Dinah fully and I didn't feel much towards her feelings for Wardly, but I did feel like Dinah has potential as a main character.
Colleen Oaks weaves a very intricate tale of deception and betrayal in Queen of Hearts. It’s difficult to ascertain just who is friend and who is foe as the motives of certain individuals come into question. I loved that Oaks went out of her way to incorporate all the different aspects of the original tale into her story; the Cheshire “cat”, the Mad Hatter, the Knave of Hearts etc…..it gives a fresh and clever feel to story while embracing the Alice in Wonderland classic.
Overall, I do think Queen of Hearts is worth a read and I enjoyed the story the more I read. Queen of Hearts ends in a manner that left me keen to see what happens to Dinah next and I will be looking to read the sequel when I have the chance to see what Colleen Oaks has planned next to this vivid Wonderland world.
The Witch’s Kiss is the debut novel for sisters Katharine and Elizabeth Corr and is an intriguing twist on a classic fairy-tale.
Sixteen year old Meredith "Merry" Cooper is a witch…..technically. After a series of bad decisions, Merry has sworn off using her magic, but that doesn’t mean she can control the magic that shoots out of her fingers when she’s stressed or upset. When Merry begins having a series of dreams about a handsome young man named Jack, she soon learns that her family is connected to a centuries old curse placed upon Jack by a wizard out for revenge; a wizard that Merry is expected to defeat by using the very magic she’s sworn off using. But with lives on the line and the wizard growing more powerful every day, will Merry be able to save Jack and stop the wizard? Or is Jack fated to be doomed forever?
The Witch’s Kiss is one of those books that leaves me really conflicted. The concept is brilliant—loosely based around Sleeping Beauty, but where Sleeping Beauty is actually a prince not a princess who has been cursed by a wizard, not a witch that was wronged by the prince’s parents. Yet everything else about this novel seemed to fall flat….
I was hoping for a really fast paced story, but The Witch’s Kiss seemed to drag on for me. There was, what seemed to me, like a lot of unnecessary build up to a battle that is short lived and anticlimactic. Unfortunately, I found our main character Merry to be a little lacklustre. She got the job done as the heroine, but I failed to connect with her, as I did the rest of the characters.
Considering the curse put on Jack and the connection to the Sleeping Beauty fairy-tale that The Witch’s Kiss featured, I was anticipating this really heartfelt romance during this story, surely if some kind of true love is supposed to break the spell? Yet no. There is little to no romance between Merry and Jack that impacts on the story and the romance and connection between them seemed forced on the author’s part. I feel like Katharine and Elizabeth Corr had a brilliant idea, but the execution just isn’t there.
The back story surrounding The Witch’s Kiss was really interesting; lending a new twist on Sleeping Beauty. I personally would have loved to see more of Jack and his time—I actually quite liked this part of the book and thought his sweet character had potential.
Though it was a slow read that could have soared, but ultimately didn’t, The Witch’s Kiss wasn’t necessarily a bad book. It just didn’t do enough for me. Overall a good attempt—jury’s out on whether I’ll read the sequel. I may simply because the curiosity in me can’t be satisfied with anything but a true happily ever after….. ...more
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight is a deeply mysterious and unexpected read that will keep you guessing until the final page.
The Outliers introduces readers to Wylie Lang whose estranged best friend Cassie contacts her via text message out of the blue, mysteriously telling Wylie she is in trouble and asking Wylie to come pick her up. Alongside Cassie’s boyfriend Jasper, Wylie travels across the state in a desperate attempt to reach her friend, but when weird things begin to happen, Wylie and Jasper discover that not everything is as it seems.
I’m going to be honest, The Outliers is a really hard book for me to review; mainly because I’ve finished the story and still can’t completely wrap my head around what I’ve read. While I must say kudos to Kimberly McCreight for keeping the mystery up and keeping me guessing until the final page, The Outliers starts out slow and unfortunately keeps this pace. I feel like McCreight wanted to write something really different and really unique, but The Outliers ultimately fell flat. And yet I find myself oddly eager to read the second book.
One of the reasons I think I struggled with this book so much at times is the characters. Wylie had potential, but I felt like she made too many bad choices. Perhaps Kimberly McCreight can redeem her in future novels, but during The Outliers Wylie failed to blow me away. And don’t even get me started on Cassie—Wylie’s supposedly best friend who was a spoilt and selfish individual who didn’t care who she hurt. Jasper I did like; he wasn’t who Wylie thought him to be, although he got the raw end of the stick where his girlfriend is concerned.
I felt like The Outliers only showed us the tip of the iceberg where this plotline is concerned. So much of the story is spent with Wylie and Jasper racing to reach Cassie—we never really get to see exactly what Outliers are and what they can do. Considering I am genuinely interested in reading the sequel when Kimberly McCreight releases it, I’d like to see more focus around the basic part of the storyline.
With The Outliers heating up in the final few chapters and then ending on a bit of a cliff-hanger, I’m intrigued to see what happens next. Ultimately I don’t think this book will be for everyone, but I plan to persevere and recommend this novel for those looking for something a little different. ...more
Desolation is the second book in Derek Landy’s Demon Road trilogy and is an exciting continuation to the series that I can only hope continues to get better.
Desolation picks up briefly where the first novel left off, with Amber and Milo fleeing the clutches of the Shining Demon Astaroth and heading towards the town of Desolation Hill. Hoping to hide out from Astaroth who sends his Hounds of Hell on their trail, Amber and Milo quickly discover that the polite town of Desolation Hill hides sinister secrets and isn’t the safe haven they hoped.
In all honesty, I’m at a mixed mind when it comes to this novel. Personally, I found the first novel Demon Road to be a really light, entertaining read, and while I could still easily see Desolation in the same manner, there were a few moments where I struggled with the novel at times. And I hated that. I feel like Landy made a few choices with the novel he didn’t need to and as such let the story down…..
Desolation is a quirky mix of light-hearted humor and horror. Blending different supernatural elements together, there’s no doubt Desolation is a fast paced story with a lot of substance. It’s one thing after the other and I never know what the characters are going to face next—something that keeps me guessing and eagerly turning the pages.
Yet as I mentioned, I did have a few issues with the novel. Landy introduces a number of new characters to this installation including a duo of mystery exploring old men, and a group of young people reminiscent of the Scooby gang, complete with dog, who hunt and stop things that go bump in the night. Personally I found the introduction of many of these characters unnecessary and confusing at times. I think Landy could have included maybe one or two of these characters and had a better effect on the story.
I’m also a little bit disappointed by the amount of emphasis Derek Landy has made on Amber’s looks so far in the series. Considering she has self-confidence issues, at first I understood when Landy pointed out the different in Amber’s beauty as a demon as opposed to a human—but it’s become too much now. The amount to times Amber was referenced as being ugly or less than attractive was beyond necessary. Landy could have pointed the issue out and then left it at that, but instead he has gone back to it time and time again. In a time when society is so focused on looks above all else, this was poor on Landy’s part as far as I’m concerned…..
That being said, kudos on Derek Landy for giving Amber a love interest that is outside the box. Amber and Milo’s friendship remains strong, something I enjoy and appreciate within the story. An unlikely team they may appear, Amber and Milo are enjoyable to follow and work well together.
Though I had my issues with this novel, for all its faults for the most part I enjoyed Desolation. There’s something so addictive about all the paranormal Derek Landy has packed together and I look forward to seeing how it all ends when the third and final novel American Monsters is released. ...more
American Monsters is the third and final novel in Derek Landy’s Demon Road Trilogy and is a comedic and action paced ending to the series.
Having recently agreed to be Astroths representative and collect those foolish enough to hope to escape him, Amber finds herself hot on the heels of her murderous parents as she and Milo follow them across the country. Hoping to find a way to escape her deal with the Shining Demon herself, Amber and Milo must come out with a plan to outsmart Astroth that doesn’t get them killed, which is easier said than done…..
American Monsters finishes off Derek Landy’s demonic adventure in fitting form. On the whole, the Demon Road Trilogy has been easy enough to read. Perfect for those who have loved demonic shows like Supernatural and their books with a bit of bite, there’s no doubt in my mind that Derek Landy has written something unique and original with this series even if admittedly there were times when the series felt off to me.
Although the series failed to reach the heights I hoped it would reach in my eyes, it has been a decent enough read and I think Landy packed enough action, humour and sarcasm into the story to keep his readers satisfied. Personally, there were some times where the series faltered for me—mainly as I failed to connect with some of the characters on a deeper level and as things turned strange. Still, I'm glad I gave the series a go and am happy to have seen it out to the end.
As an intricate and unique story with a lot of different paranormal goings on—demons, ghostly hauntings, vampires, hellhounds etc—there is plenty to discover within American Monsters and Demon Road all together. This series will be a great addition to most male readers to-read-list and is something to give a go if you’re looking for something light, not overly serious and easy to follow. ...more
Demon Road is the first novel in acclaimed author Derek Landy’s new series and is an action packed thrill ride that explores all your favourite elements of the paranormal.
Sixteen year old Amber has always thought she was a normal teenager, but all that changed when her parents tried to kill her. Revealing their true demon forms, Amber’s parents have big plans for their child, and it’s only by fleeing town with a stranger named Milo that Amber has any hope of surviving. Facing threat after threat Amber and Milo are on a race against time if they hope to find a way of protecting Amber against her parents, who will stop at nothing to find her.
As my first Derek Landy novel, Demon Road was a really interesting book to read, although in all honesty it didn’t blow me away. The story was well written and incredibly fast paced, but I felt a little disconnected from the characters. I couldn’t connect with the main character Amber as much as I’d have liked. However, Derek Landy included so much action and so many exciting moments that it was really hard not to enjoy the novel. If only for the entertainment factor.
Demon Road was choc-a-block full of the supernatural and if there’s anything I love it’s the supernatural. Demons, vampires, undead murders, curses, cars that are literally alive and even psychotic children….Demon Road had it all and then some. I wonder what more Landy has up his sleeves with the rest of the series.
Though I failed to connect with her as much as I would have liked, Amber was easy to follow and her voice sure. The relationship between Amber and Milo has me intrigued with the father/daughter friendship that is developing. I liked Glen and I liked Imelda, but boy Landy sure knew how to hit hard. My poor heart. Don’t want to get too attached to any of these characters as I’m not sure how long they’ll be around for!
Funny at times and forward moving, Demon Road is a solid book, very much worth a read. Derek Landy packs a lot into one novel that is a lot of fun and has left me ready to read the next book to see how Amber and Milo get themselves out of their sticky situation!
Author of the bestselling Angel series L.A Weatherly is back with Broken Sky, a powerful and exciting novel set in an alternate 1940’s that features a strong heroine, harrowing danger and plenty of suspense!
Broken Sky introduces readers to an almost dystopian like alternate 1940’s world, where American as we know it is non-existent. Instead the world is separated into different states and nations that operate differently and are run by different leaders. It’s a world where war is a past occurrence and nations instead battle over government and economic issues through a series of flights where opposing pilots engage in one-on-one air strikes against each other until one plane goes down—usually with the pilot parachuting out—with the other side winning the fight and the rights over whatever conflicts they were battling for. Each nation and their conflicts are overseen by a neutral party called the World for Peace.
Heading into this novel I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The description of the novel doesn’t give much away, but Broken Sky quickly drew me in. L.A. Weatherly presents a very vivid and authentic alternate 1940’s world in Broken Sky and was reminiscent of the movie Pearl Harbour—without the air attacks and huge loss of life. I was really impressed with all the different details Weatherly included to bring Broken Skies to life; the slang, the dialogue, the clothes etc. The very way of life for the characters was so reminiscent of 1940’s life but with an alternate twist. I also commend her on allowing females to be strong flyers and fighters, something that wasn’t always true for this time.
Our heroine in this novel is Amity Vancour, a Peacefighter—a pilot that flies for the Western Seaboard. Amity is very strong and personable. She’s not naive and is a really fighter. Amity has a strong belief in what she believes to be right and she fights whole heartedly for this. She comes across as guarded to those who meet her, but as we follow her throughout the story, it’s obvious she cares deeply.
The Western Seaboard’s greatest threat in Broken Sky is the Central States, led by a man by the name of John Gunnerson whose belief in astrology and the power of star signs sees him rule with an iron fist. In the Central States, those with bad star signs are labelled Disordinant and sent to correction camps and with a majority of the population of the Central States living in fear. Weatherly includes a villain in Gunnerson, a man whose dictatorial methods are a threat to all the other nations around him. Gunnerson has big plans for expanding his state and doesn’t care what methods he uses including espionage, bribery and murder.
Though Broken Sky predominantly follows Amity, we also see a portion of the story follow Kay Peirce, a Central States astrologer whose choices and predictions have harrowing effects on Amity’s life and those of the Western Seaboard. Kay doesn’t believe in astrology, but her intelligence and ability to read people keep her alive under Gunnerson’s watchful eyes. It’s really interesting to see how Kay’s predictions effect Amity; they never meet and they don’t know each other, but their lives are inexplicably intertwined.
L.A. Weatherly packs the story with a great cast of minor characters including many of Amity’s Peacefighting comrades and her love interest Collie—the boy who has always owned her heart, but whose disappearance changed something in her. Amity’s mother and brother Hal are also great additions and I’m eager to see whether their roles grow in the coming novels.
With plenty of suspense and unexpected twists, Broken Sky isn’t always predictable and features an ending so unexpected you’ll be left gaping. Fast paced and fantastically detailed, Broken Sky by L.A Weartherly is a unique dystopian style novel well worth a read that leaves me aching for more! ...more
Wayfarer is the second and final instalment in Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger duology and is a stimulating conclusion to an enjoyable tale that will transport you to another time and place.
After the harrowing events that took place in the first book, Etta Spencer finds herself waking up in an unknown place and time, cut off from those she loves and orphaned in an unstable timeline. Alongside a surprising guide in Julian Ironwood, Etta knows the only way to stop the ever changing timeline is to find the astrolabe before Cyrus Ironwood does, a feat that grows increasingly more complex every day. Located in a completely different era and across land and sea, Nicholas Carter is desperately searching for a way to locate the woman he loves, but try as he might nothing seems to bring him any closer to finding Etta. Encountering old enemies and new friends, Nicholas travels alongside Sophia in his quest to locate Etta, but with multiple individuals hunting the astrolabe Nicholas may have to face a danger he could never have expected…..
After the thrilling ending of Passenger, Alexandra Bracken sees Wayfarer pick up where the last book left off, taking readers across vast lands and seas, jumping from one era to the next with intriguing characters and histological figures making appearances in the novel. Though a thoroughly enjoyable and well written read, I’m a little bit disappointed with the fact I didn’t love Wayfarer to the same extent I did Passenger.
Don’t get me wrong, Wayfarer is still an exceptionally well told and depicted tale, but I wasn’t as blown away as I was with Passenger. Maybe because I missed seeing Etta and Nicholas together in the story and missed the “them-against-the-world” element that was evident in Passenger as they travelled together and gradually fell in love. That being said, Wayfarer was still a vastly engaging book. Bracken keeps her readers absorbed and continues to entertain.
Alexandra Bracken has introduced her readers to a very enticing world of time travel and alternate timelines in this duology. The characters—especially leading characters Nicholas and Etta—have been vibrant and highly likable. There’s so much potential with the world she has constructed and I must admit I’d love the opportunity to explore more if the chance ever arose. Julian, Sophia and Li Min have so much promise and to see tales about them down the track would be just fabulous. I don’t know if it’s a possibility, but I definitely think there’s a story there and a great opportunity to learn more about this world of travellers.
Entertaining and engaging, Wayfarer is a worthwhile follow up to Passenger and concludes Alexandra Brackens latest series in manner that leaves me satisfied but still hoping to see more of this thoroughly entrancing world....more
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken is an exhilarating and adventurous time travel saga that weaves together dangerous possibilities, sizzling romance and daring escapades in the first instalment of Bracken's latest series!
Henrietta "Etta" Spencer is a violin prodigy about to make the most important debut of her life, when she suddenly finds herself thrust into an unfamiliar world alongside a stranger with a hidden secret. Quickly discovering that not only is she miles from home, but years, Etta soon learns that members of her family share an incredible ability, one she has known nothing about until now. Nicholas Carter has spent years trying to be free from the Ironwood family who lord over those with the ability to time travel. Content to sail the sea alongside his trusted crew, everything changes when the beautiful and fiery Etta arrives, throwing his world in chaos. With the Ironwoods trying to find an important device and wanting to use Etta to do so, Nicholas must join Etta in locating it before it falls into Ironwood hands. Traveling together sees Nicholas and Etta growing closer with every day that passes but will Nicholas’s secrets and his desire to protect Etta be the thing that keeps them apart?
I was a little bit surprised by the amount of bad reviews Passenger has seemed to garner, especially considering I really enjoyed the book. I’ll admit it seemed to start off slow, but in the tradition of Libba Bray and Rachel Caine, Alexandra Bracken has created a really compelling time travelling tale that picks up pace and introduces readers to some very personable characters.
The writing within Passenger was lyrical and forward moving. Unfolding through Etta and Nicholas’s back and forth POV’s Bracken depicts a really well rounded story with two main characters who have strong voices. I really liked the intricate time travel mythology Alexandra Bracken wove into Passenger also. I thought it was clever how she created the ability and the way in which travelers used passages. Taking readers on a journey across the sea, through deserts and jungles and in the middle of modern wars, Passenger is a delight of culture and history. The dynamic between the main families was intriguing and I’m definitely keen to learn more with the rest of the series.
I found Etta to be a solid female lead who was easily likable. Her voice was easy to follow within the story and I think she has a lot of potential. I don’t necessarily think her being a violin prodigy was necessary to the storyline, and I do hope to see her continue to grow as the series progresses.
If I’m being true to my heart and honest in my review, I have to say that I absolutely loved Nicholas! He’s my favourite part of the whole story and I commend Alexandra Bracken for not only including an interracial romance, but for writing a sensational coloured male lead. Nicholas was a true product of his time and his place, but boy do I love his fire, intelligence and his desire to make something of himself. Bracken weaves into Passenger truths written in history and doesn’t shy away from the trials and difficulties those like Nicholas faced in his time as they tried to find their freedom.
Despite coming from different times and the differences in the colour of their skin, Etta and Nicholas are drawn to and attracted to each other from the moment they meet and I loved seeing them fall in love. Alexandra Bracken writes some fabulous chemistry between them and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Etta come to adore Nicholas the way she does and he her. There is a lot that may stand in the way of a union between the two of them, but I have no doubt if Etta and Nicholas are able to fight, they’ll get a happily ever after. Bracken has to give them one. Nicholas especially would do anything to protect Etta and considering all they go through, Bracken has set the stage for a really deep and meaningful romance.
Racing towards a heart pounding and unexpected ending, Passenger concludes at a powerful moment guaranteed to leave readers grasping for more and desperate to see what Alexandra Bracken has in store for her characters next. Romantic, adventurous and exciting, Passenger is a tale sure to take you on a perilous journey through time and if you're anything like me, desperately wanting more! ...more
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir is a thoroughly entertaining and impressive debut novel that draws readers into a powerful and dangerous world and follows two strong leads whose lives intertwine with deadly consequence.
In the tradition of ancient Rome, An Ember in the Ashes depicts a brutal and dangerous society where defiance usually means death and those in power dominate those of lesser stations. In a world where the Martial Empire long ago defeated and enslaved the Scholar people, An Ember in the Ashes follows and is told through the eyes of two very different individuals; Laia, a slave and Elias a solider.
When Laia’s remaining family is slaughtered and her only surviving relative, her brother is imprisoned for treason, Laia sets out to find a way to save him from execution, even when it means she must take a position as a slave and spy on the Commandant, a barbaric and heinous woman who runs a training school for Masks, the most fierce and deadly of Empire soldiers. Elias on the other hand is a Mask in training; one of the best and a student under the Commandant. However Elias has a secret; he loathes everything the Empire stands for and has plans to desert. As Laia and Elias’s lives begin to intertwine, the two begin a dangerous journey that will see them make tough choices and push the boundaries of their world like never before.
An Ember in the Ashes is actually a really interesting book. Author Sabaa Tahir has clearly thought really hard and put a lot of work into detailing her complex world. The society within An Ember in the Ashes is a mix of ancient Rome with a hint of dystopia; there is magic, evil and many secrets to be discovered within. There’s so much unknown within this tale and I like that I still feel like there’s so much to be discovered.
Tahir details an intriguing world of magic, danger and war in An Ember in the Ashes. There’s almost a medieval feel to it at times, and this blends well with the developing storyline as well as the main characters and the minor ones to create a very engrossing read. The storyline is still clearly developing but Tahir has won me over with the mystery surrounding her main characters destinies and their purposes. Powerful wise men known as Augurs hint at a bigger picture for both Laia and Elias and I for one cannot wait to discover what that may be.
I really loved Laia and Elias as characters. They’re both solid individuals and have their own personalities, fears and flaws. They both want more from life and are slowly discovering their individual limits. From different worlds, it takes a while for their lives to intersect, but Tahir sets a good foundation and gives them both purpose. They both have different wants and desires, but it’s seeing them find their common goals amidst the undeniable attraction between them despite their different positions in life that cements the fact they could do so much together.
Considering, Elias and Laia are obvious love interests for each other, there isn’t an actual love triangle within An Ember in the Ashes; it’s more a love square. There’s no denying there’s an attraction and appeal between Elias and Laia, but they also both have deep, and very real, feelings and connections with other people. It’s odd…..seeing them with their respectable love interests, you feel the relationships and the desire. They both burn so deeply and you honestly feel these two individual romances and the possibilities they present. But then Laia and Elias are together and you can’t help but feel like they should be together. It’s confusing emotionally and you don’t know who to get behind, but Sabaa Tahir writes this all so well that I honestly feel at this point they could be with each other, or the others they care about and it would just work.
Even after finishing the final page of this novel I’m still very caught up in the story. An Ember in the Ashes races towards a stunning conclusion that leaves the story set up beautifully for the sequel. Sabaa Tahir has created a dark, brutal world of magic, creatures and possibilities, and I for one cannot wait to see what happens to Laia and Elias next!
Inheritance is the first book in Lisa Forrest’s Inheritance series and is a debut novel that explores ancient circus performers like never before in this unique and fresh tale!
I have to be honest; I was really excited to read this novel. I’m always excited to read new Aussie fiction, especially when the novel is set in Australia and Inheritance very much caught my attention the moment I read about its unique concept. Unfortunately, Inheritance didn’t completely live up to my expectations, although I will consider reading the next instalment to see how Forest continues to develop the story.
Inheritance follows seventeen year old Tallulah, a young woman who has always known she was different. When Tallulah begins training at the esteemed Cirque d’Avenir, a school for budding circus performers and artists, Tallulah discovers that the abilities and secrets she has always shared with her nanny Irena mark her as something special, a Cirkulatti. Drawn into dangerous Cirkulatti politics and a centuries old mystery, Tallulah slowly discovers that her abilities set her apart from even the Cirkulatti and mean she’s even more different than she ever imagined.
I think the concept within Inheritance is absolutely sensational. I’ve never seen such manner of circus performers explored and linked in the way Lisa Forrest manages to do so in Inheritance. And yet I don’t think it met the potential it displayed when I first began the book. I would have liked to spend a little more time understand all the different performers; clowns, strongmen, flamethrowers and more, rather than focuses so much on Tallulah’s life which in my eyes paled in comparison to the possibilities of the circus folk.
Overall I didn’t mind Tallulah as the main character, but where were times when I struggled to connect with her too. I understand Forrest wrote Tallulah’s character with the intention of her being powerful and having a huge importance to the Cirkulatti that we still don’t yet understand, but sometimes this came across as too obvious and I felt it was thrown in my face repeatedly when it wasn’t necessary.
I liked the different characters in this book and how they form different friendships with Tallulah. I would have liked to have seen more of certain individuals as they really would have complimented the story more. I was a bit perplexed by Tallulah’s love interests, as I thought one was too obvious and the other almost non-existent, although it was clear Forrest wanted to display a connection between Tallulah and this certain guy.
Inheritance is a very detailed book and races towards a climactic ending that sees betrayals come to light by some characters you’re simply not expecting. A solid start to a new series but an Aussie author; I may just be persuaded to pick up the second book to see what happens next! ...more
Ghost House is Alexandra Adornetto’s latest release and is a hauntingly and brilliantly written tale of vengeful spirits, ghosts and the supernatural woven together with exhilarating connections and a beautiful romance.
Reminiscent of Meg Cabot’s Mediator series, Ghost House follows seventeen year old Chloe Kennedy, a young woman who is still grieving the recent loss of her mother and who has the troublesome ability to see the dead. When Chloe and her brother head to England to spend some time with their grandmother in the wake of their fathers grief, Chloe finds herself swept up in a unexpected mystery when it becomes evident the country estate her grandmother owns houses more secrets and spirits than Chloe could have ever expected. Meeting the alluring stranger Alexander Reade, long since dead who sparks feelings in her she never expected to experience, Chloe soon finds herself in the dangerous sights of Alex’s long dead love that won’t rest until Chloe joins her in death.
I have to say that I absolutely loved Ghost House! This is the first novel I’ve ever read that has been written by Alexandra Adornetto, although I do know her Halo trilogy is quite popular, but I can say it will definitely not be the last as I was completely swept up into this ghostly tale that was perfectly written and a joy to read! The story within Ghost House is wonderfully detailed, with Adornetto’s writing lyrical and flowing. The country estate where the majority of the novel is set is wonderfully described, haunting and almost gothic.
I was very much a fan of the multitude of characters we met during the story including heroine Chloe, ghostly Alex, Chloe’s brother Rory and Grandmother Dee and even others such as Joe the stable hand, quirky ghost hunters Mavis and May and even the vengeful spirit of Isobel. All added so much life (even if some of them were actually dead!) and character to the story. The setting was perfect and the characters complimented it, and the plotline, perfectly.
As our protagonist, I really liked Chloe. She’s obviously in a state of grief having just lost her mother, but she still was such a down to earth and willing character to follow. Surprisingly Chloe undertakes a lot of growth in this novel as she learns of Alex’s past and begins to understand her ability to see the dead. There’s still so much left to know about Chloe’s gift, but Alexandra Adornetto gives us just enough info to keep the story moving and Chloe learning.
Alexander Reade was beguiling as the seductive 19th century ghost who haunts Grange Hall. Alex is one of those old world gentlemen with morals and standards. There’s something so appealing about a guy like him and even though he made some mistakes during his life on earth, Alex is truly good and comes to care for Chloe. Oh, and he’s also devilishly handsome, charming and witty, which are a plus!
Chloe and Alex are beyond adorable together. Despite the fact they both come from different eras and one is dead while the other is alive, these two really compliment each other. Their romance isn’t overly thrown in your face and is instead a subtle underlining to the story that will have you giddy with the promise of their relationship. They have many obstacles in their way including Alex’s vengeful past love and his being a ghost and all, but it’s impossible not to hope they find a way to be together.
Wrought with ghostly hauntings and danger, Ghost House had me glued from the opening page. Considering it’s such an enjoyable read, I didn’t want it to end and Alexandra Adornetto has me keen as can be to get my ends on the second book with the promising ending! ...more
Jessica Shirvington's latest release Disruption is a phenomenal tale of corrupted leaders and shocking secrets; exploring the destruction that relying on technology can bring in this science fiction thriller that weaves high stakes danger and riveting suspense with passionate love and unexpected friendship!
I have to say.....Disruption is a sensational read! Honestly. I almost have no words to adequately describe how much I loved this book. This may be the first Jessica Shirvington novel I've read to date, but her sensational writing and suburb character development so early on had me sucked in and incredibly addicted to this story! Disruption was perfectly paced and detailed, with plenty of shocking twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Jessica Shirvinton pens a brilliant heroine that made reading this story a brilliant experience and I was extremely impressed with the originality of Disruption and it's engaging storyline.
Following eighteen year old Maggie Stevens, Shirvington details a riveting society within Disruption where every individual is fitted with an M-band; an electronic wristband that monitors everything from time to heart rate, and allows people to access money as well as communicate. In a world so reliant on this one piece of technology, their most important use is to determine everyone's "match". In Disruption, we learn that when an individual reaches the age of eighteen, their M-band is upgraded to include Phera-tech; technology that allows the wearer to "rate" with those they come into contact with using pheromones produced in order to determine whether they are compatible or not. Those that rate high--70% or over, are deemed to be good matches, while those who rate lower are not. This is how people determine who they have relationships with, all the while hoping they will come across their "true match", the one person in the world with whom they rate 100% and are meant to be with. Though not everyone ever finds their true match, instead choosing to be content with someone they rate highly with, everyone hopes to find the one person they're meant to be with.
I was so very impressed with Jessica Shirvinton's concept within this story. It's so brilliantly explored, and very original. It was fresh and explosive and I thought she did an endlessly brilliant job exploring the corruption and devastating relying on technology had on the free will of those within Disruption. In this world where everyone relies so much on their M-band, there is a darker side to this society, a fact Shirvinton deliciously explores. With M-bands monitored by the government and the company that created them, the Mercer Corporation, there are cases where individuals rate negative with at three people in a month long period. These individuals known as negs are seem to be a drain on society and are severely dealt with, taken away into rehabilitation camps"
Featuring a fresh and creative concept, Disruption wouldn't have been as half as good as it was without an amazing main character to compliment the storyline and we certainly found that in Maggie. I adored Maggie from the moment I met her in this book and fell in love with her even more with the turn of every page.She's such a strong character and her voice so easy to follow. I found Maggie to stubborn and daring and incredibly brave. Smart, but calculating, Maggie is in no way perfect and she knows it. Willing to do whatever it takes to save those she loves, Maggie can be selfish and brash, but as you come to learn her story, you can't help but respect her. The thing I loved most about the character Jessica Shirvington has written in Maggie is that even though she's tough as nails, the act and tough exterior she puts on really is just that, an act. Maggie is haunted by her choices and though she makes them, struggles more and more throughout the course of the book.
Personally effected by the darker sides of the society she lives in, Maggie is on a mission. A mission to save someone who was taken from her and she's not about to let anything get in her way. That is until the key to her years long plan manages to worm his way under her skin and slowly into her heart......In order to rescue the person she loves, Maggie must rely on Quentin Mercer, heir to the M-Corp empire, and unwitting pawn in Maggie's schemes. What starts out as a way to extract Intel soon turns into something unexpected and deeper, as Maggie and Quentin form a grudging alliance, that sees Maggie open Quentin's eyes to the dark underground and true going ons of his family's company.
As Maggie expertly manipulates Quentin, the relationship that develops between the two is sensational to read about. Sweet, but passionate, their relationship is a slow simmering flame that burns brighter and brighter as they slowly test one another and come to rely on the other in a way neither expected. As different as they are, Maggie and Quentin compliment each other perfectly and as they work toward different goals, the chemistry that sizzles makes for some exciting dialogue and believable romance.
Excellent world building and pace make Disruption an addictive and beguiling read. You'll find Disruption hard to put down and Jessica Shirvington skillfully builds on every moment in this layered and surprising story to leave you breathlessly wanting more. Starring a kick-ass heroine and an electrifying storyline, Disruption shapes up to be one of the must-reads of the year and is a brilliant start to what promises to be a sensational new series from Shirvington! Mark this on your to-be-read lists, ladies and gentlemen--you won't regret it!
As a reader, there are rare times in one's life when you come across a book that changes you. Often unexpected, it's story manages to reach down into a deep, inner part inside you and wretch your emotions apart with it's haunting depth and beauty....All The Truth That's In Me is one of those books.
Having recently finished Julie Berry's stunning novel All The Truth That's In Me, I'm not really sure what to think. Or to say. Or even where to begin. This book is so far out of my comfort zone it's beyond ridiculous and yet I don't think I have the words to ensure my review does it justice. Nothing I could write would even come close to describing the unexpected brilliance and beauty, I personally, found within it's pages. This story is on another level entirely.
Written in rare second person and told in short, brief chapters All The Truth That's In Me is in no way my normal read. Admittedly, I experienced a brief difficulty getting into it in the very beginning due to the brief flashes into past experiences that I found confusing, but after this initial confusion I honestly found myself swept up into our protagonist Judith's haunting story. Author Julie Berry has done a terrific job with this historical novel. I feel wrecked having read it. There were so many moments when I felt torn apart, broken, an emotional wreck and yet I feel better having read it.
Understandably there are going to be people out there hesitant to read this book due to it's themes and the strong issues it explores, but All The Truth That's In Me is so much more than it seems. It's dark subject matter leads to a really unexpected read. Judith's story is agonizing; agonizing to read, heart wrenching at times to experience. And so incredibly beautiful.
As this book progressed, I felt more for Judith at times than I think I've felt for a main character in a long, long time. Possibly ever. Her voice is so incredibly raw and her emotions bleed through the pages. You simply can't not feel her pain and agony. Her loneliness and heartbreak take on a life of it's own and the broken, damaged way she, and others, view herself will break you. Seeing her pine for the one she thinks she can never have but still ultimately loves is so incredibly emotional.
The journey Judith goes on throughout this story is inspiring. Watching her find the strength to overcome what was taken from her and for her to want to better herself really does touch something in you. Seeing small acts of kindness for her from people in a village where the majority scorn and ridicule her; often seeing her as stupid and nothing is amazing to witness.
So, in saying how emotionally torn apart this book left me at times, it also stitched me back together. I was glued to this novel, frantically turning pages and amazed by the beauty I found in this story. Our protagonist goes though so much and as you see what it has done to her and the impact it's had on her, seeing the happy, fitting things she experiences towards the end of the novel just gives it so much more meaning.
Julie Berry takes you right into Judith's head with All The Truth That's In Me. Her voice is haunting and pain filled and as the story progresses and truths come to light, All The Truth That's In Me proves to be one of those stories that stays with you always. Despite having turned the final page, I find that Judy's story still lingers with me and I'm still lost in it's painful beauty.
Without a doubt a MUST read of 2013, All The Truth That's In Me is haunting, tragic and completely unforgettable! ...more
Carnival of Souls is a darkly seductive read that will enthrall you from start to finish. Its Mortal Instruments meets the Demon Trappers in the latest release from one of the queens of Urban Fantasy, Melissa Marr!
I have to be honest here and say that I've never been blown away by Melissa Marr's books. I've read a few of them by now, and I know people seem to adore them-especially her Wicked Lovely series-but I've never been a fan.....until now! Melissa Marr blew my mind with this book and I cannot begin to accurately describe just how much I adored it.
From the very opening chapter, this dark twisted world of pleasure and violence beckoned me. The mysterious and exciting story, so expertly told, mixed beautifully with amazingly dark, but thrilling characters to completely entrap me. Truly, I did not want this book to end!
Melissa Marr's writing is dark and beautiful, incredibly detailing the unique world she has created within Carnival of Souls where witches and daimons dwell and no one is ever what they seem. The world of The City and the actual Carnival of Souls itself is quite alluring. The carnival atmosphere mixes with desperation and despair to create a place so raw and so harsh, that it took my breath away at times.
Awash with danger and pleasure, this story wouldn't be complete without a fantastic cast of characters to capture the reader. Carnival of Soul switches back and forth between the human and daimon worlds and features characters that are simply beguiling. They're so mysterious and so tormented and twisted in their own ways that it's impossible not to find yourself invested in their journey, even so early on. With each one facing their own individual problems and dangers, they all have a different story to tell and it's this that really makes the book. Told in third person, this book introduces us to those that live and fight in The City, Aya, Kaleb, Belias and Zevi as well as Mallory, a supposedly "human" girl who isn't exactly what she thinks she is and her father Adam, who loves her deeply and protects her no matter what, but whose connection to her isn't traditional.
Marr has set up an interesting relationship between the daimons and the witches, where their history is complicated and their present intermingles, forcing the characters into situations that don't really want and into personal connections they're not yet aware of. I must give Melissa Marr props for the way she connects each of the characters to each other--it's spectacular!
The growing relationship between Mallory and Kaleb proves to be a big focus, with Mallory the character the book features around the most, but I have to say, Aya and her plight have become as important to me as Mallory and Kaleb. There's so much going on in this book and so much mystery and uncertainty surrounding the characters that I find myself soaking up every minute of it!
With romance, danger and revelations galore, Melissa Marr's superb storytelling abilities become apparent as she weaves together this very intricate and exciting story in the first installment of her new series beginning with Carnival of Souls! ...more
Aussie author Matt Boyd’s debut novel I, Wolf is an enjoyable read, filled with werewolves and excitement, and is a perfect way to spend an afternoon!
This was a really nice, entertaining book to read. Speeding through it really quickly, it was a great way to spend the day and I found that there was more than enough mystery and action to keep me entertained. I truly liked the plotline of this story. The idea of the main character suffering a terminal disease and the desperation he feels at having no choice but to become a werewolf or die is really outstanding. Boyd tells Romy’s tale well, whisking us off to various different European countries throughout the novel.
I must admit however that there were times when I found it hard to connect with some of the characters and in parts, the story. Perhaps it was just me, but I felt it lacked the depth and emotion I usually enjoy. While there was always a question left to be answered that pushed the story onwards and a purpose for the characters, things seemed to drag on at times. And yet, then there would be a moment where I’d be sucked in entirely.
I found I really liked the way Boyd has written his werewolves. I did feel like the majority of the book centred around what it meant for Romy to be a werewolf with the extensive teachings he and the other new werewolves went though, but it was impossible not to feel the excitement that buzzed through the pages in the lead up to every full moon and during it. Being inside Romy’s head during his time as a wolf was thrilling and enjoyable.
As a main character Romy is easy to follow and quite level headed. After his initial shock, he adjusts quite well to being a werewolf and has a strong sense of right and wrong. He does lose who his is due to some of the events of the book and he has a lot of guilt he must carry because of actions that he had no real control of, but I’m hopeful that he’ll stay the same great characters he in possible future books.
I was a bit put off by the introduction of a romance between Romy and the female wolf Antonia. I just didn’t feel it. I would have liked to, but it seemed to me like the author simply put it in to be there, rather than really be there, if that makes sense. Yes, it was a very normal attraction between two teenagers, but they didn’t have any electricity or outright connection that made their relationship stand up. While I can definitely see the potential storylines considering Antonia’s involvement towards the end of the novel, I don’t feel anything would have been lost if this hadn’t been a part of the book.
One of my favourite parts of the book was the friendship Romy develops with Dimitri and Nat. These two were great characters with very different lives and different histories but they quickly became great friends for Romy. The three of them had a great friendship from the very beginning, which continues on throughout the book.
With plenty of mystery and revelations in the lead up to a action driven ending, I, Wolf does leave you wanting more. There’s plenty of possibilities and hints about Romy’s ancestory and I’m truly looking forward to the next book if there is one. ...more
Venom is an intensely intriguing debut by Fiona Paul that mixes murder with romance in a thrilling mystery tale where passions rage and no one is as they seem!
I’m not ordinarily the biggest fan of historical fiction. I’ve read a few I’ve enjoyed and other not so much, so I was hesitant when starting Venom. Yet, I had high expectations heading into this book thanks to the fantastic description and beautiful cover…..so I’m happy to say that Venom not only lived up to my expectations, but exceeded them!
A riveting tale of murder and love, Venom is a beautifully written debut by author Fiona Paul. Paul’s writing is riveting; stunning in its beauty and detail. Set in the exquisite city of Venice, the luscious setting is gorgeously described and detailed. It’s impossible not to become swept up in the rich world of Venice in the hay day, get lost in the canals, art and the flourish that is this world.
Fiona Paul has told the story perfectly; the plotline is mysterious and consuming and you strive to understand what is going on as our heroine Cassandra journeys into the dark underworld of Venice and harsh situations all in an attempt to discover what is going on with the missing maids and courtesans, learning to live and beginning to find herself on the way.
This story feels authentic, with characters and situations right out of this time where inhibitions are hidden and those of high society do not mix with those of the lower society. I quite liked those I met throughout the story.
Cassandra was exactly what I expected. Repressed and proper, a true young woman of this time, but someone who had secrets and held a hidden fire within herself. As she took risks and learned to live I really found myself cheering for her. Keeping the company of men and journeying unchaperoned all paled in comparison to the dangers she risked as she ventured into secret moments of passion and romance. I enjoyed seeing her discover love and passion for the first time; seeing her let go and only feel. Regardless of their differences, Falco made her feel.
I quite liked Falco. He was feisty and free; with a good nature and truly was a good match for Cassandra. The two of them may have seemed like an unlikely pair and may have been experiencing a doomed romance with their different social standing her Cass’s engagement but they felt so good. What they had was passionate and true and it was beautiful seeing Cass experience the feelings of first love and what Falco brought about in her.
Paul writes confliction well throughout this book. Cass is conflicted over what she feels and what she knows to be correct. With what she wants over what others want for her. However, Fiona Paul does a good job of leaving you as the reader conflicted too. Especially where Cassandra’s two suitors are concerned. Everything Cass feels for Falco is beautiful and deep, but her fiancé Luka proves to be a fantastic character and man too. He’s kind and brave and obviously adores her. In a world where Falco never existed, it’d be so, so easy to imagine they could potentially have something beautiful together if Cass let it.
Venom proves to be a fantastic debut in every aspect. It’s thrilling and mysterious, but also lends itself to the fact that there is something more, something bigger going on in the city of Venice. As the murder comes to light, their intentions will make sense, but you as the reader also come to realize that there is a lot Cass hasn’t learnt yet, a lot that you just know Fiona Paul is going to explore in the next book and as her Secrets Of The Eternal Rose series progresses.
Featuring a beautiful setting and passionate romance, Venom is one debut you will not want to miss! ...more
Boundless is the highly anticipated conclusion to Cynthia Hand’s thrilling Unearthly Trilogy!
Honestly, I’m not quite sure what to think of this book. In the majority of ways I loved it, but having looked forward to it for so long I don’t feel that it quite lived up to my expectations for how the series would end. Don’t get me wrong—I enjoyed this book immensely, but at the same time there was just a part of me that expected more.
As a whole, this series has been an absolute joy to read! As a debut novelist when Unearthly was released, Cynthia Hand jumped right into her series with all the talent and poise you’d expect of a seasoned writer. Her writing is beautiful and riveting and her storylines have gripped me from the very beginning.
As the finale in the series, Boundless was always going to be a roller coaster ride of emotion and danger. Going into it there were so many decisions and ultimate choices that Clara would face, and set over the course of almost a year, and in this retrospect Boundless doesn’t disappoint as it takes us from one issue to the next. I’m really sad to see all the characters I’ve come to love go. Obviously Clara, but also Angela, Tucker, Wendy, Christian and even Jeffery. Regardless of how big their role in the series was, they all have it such life.
It’s been quite incredible watching Clara grow in this series. As our heroine, she’s always been so grounded and easy to follow. She’s found love and lost it and struggled with her feelings for more than one boy as she faced who, and what she is, and the losses that can come with that. And yet even when she was at her most vulnerable or in the worst possible situation, there’s always been a strength to her that shone through. I have to applaud Hand for writing a main character that I’ve truly enjoyed reading about. I liked Clara, plain and simple. No matter what she faced, her heart and spirit always guaranteed that I’d follow her no matter what. It was that perfect blend of strength and fragility; innocence and power that made me enjoy being in her head so much.
In the end I’m ultimately glad with the decision Clara made on who she would be with, but at the same time, Boundless often left me wondering whether the other guy was the one for her. Cynthia Hand has done a fantastic job with the love triangle that was Clara-Tucker-Christian. In many series, the heroine has a strong relationship with one guy and is simply with the other to get over him or because she thinks she should give him a chance, etc. when all the while you know her heart belongs to guy number one completely. However, in the Unearthly series, this is not the case. The relationships Clara had with both Tucker and Christian could easily have stood on their own. Clara shared a deep, romantic, forbidden love with Tucker that was not only passionate and thrilling, but that felt real. It was consuming, but also real, despite the fact that it went against her destiny in a way. With Christian, the connection was strong and it was there, with neither able to deny it. He was her best friend who she turned to and cared about but in the end her heart belonged with Tucker a little bit more.
My biggest issue with this book is that I felt cheated in many ways. Cynthia Hand had this novel span months and months, and because of this I feel too much was glossed over. I would have liked to have explored things deeper and seen more happen. Oh, and the lack of Tucker may have gotten to me too. There wasn’t enough him and Wendy for my liking.
However, with so many unexpected discoveries and even a baby in the picture, Boundless brings about the end of the Unearthly Trilogy in a happy, and hopeful way. As I mentioned, I’m sad to see the series end, but I certainly expect big things from Cynthia Hand in the future!
**spoiler alert** *Firstly, thanks to Harper Collins for sending me a copy to read and review*
I both enjoyed and disliked this book. There were things**spoiler alert** *Firstly, thanks to Harper Collins for sending me a copy to read and review*
I both enjoyed and disliked this book. There were things about it I both adored and things I hated. I can’t deny that Melissa Marr is a fantastic writer; she writes dark, gritty tales, full of depth and despair, but I found it hard to connect with the characters of this book. And that, in turn, is what let it down for me.
In the beginning of this book I really didn’t like the main characters. Rebekkah was tormented and had been through a lot, but I couldn’t help feeling like she seemed selfish and unyielding at times. I disliked how she treated Byron and in turn I disliked him for letting her treat him that way. I mean, I understand loving someone and that sometimes they can hurt you because of this, but time and time again Byron let Rebekkah into his life knowing full well that she would hurt him. It’s hard to like a character and feel sorry for them in that kind of situation. It’s hard to respect someone when they don’t respect themselves. I guess in time though I did warm up to the characters a little bit. I began to like them more and emphasise with them and their plight as the story unfolded, but I never really loved them. There was never a moment when they appealed to me completely and even the “love” they shared and had for each other fell flat for me. I just didn’t feel it how I hoped I would.
The best part about this book for me and what actually made it worth reading was the world within it! I loved the mythology behind this book and the actual idea itself was brilliant. This is a unique twist on the living dead that seem to be floating around out there in the book world right now and I haven’t seen anything like this. The dead in this world were murders and killers and yet getting a glimpse into the mind of one at times made it hard to hate them. I felt sorry for the young woman in this book, but I warred with myself over the horrible things she’d done. It was all woven together so beautifully, that even though I didn’t love the main characters, the way their lives were interwoven and the history their two lines shared kept me reading.
This book may have not been for me, but I think the excellent storyline and mystery that surrounds it will appeal to Marr fans and readers who love a great mystery tale or want a unique zombie story! ...more
**spoiler alert** Firstly, thanks to Harper Collins Australia for sending me a copy of this to read and review*
The Name Of The Star was a very excitin**spoiler alert** Firstly, thanks to Harper Collins Australia for sending me a copy of this to read and review*
The Name Of The Star was a very exciting, mysterious read that twisted together the story of Jack the Ripper with modern London in a enjoyable ghostly tale.
In honesty, I have mixed emotions about this book. There were some aspects I really, really loved and others that just fell flat in my eyes. The book starts out slow, but then picks up pace as events happen and things fall into place. The entire area of London is in the grip of panic and mayhem as murders mimicking those of the famous Jack the Ripper murders terrorise London. The writing was average, but went well with the story. The author has painted her picture well, and I feel she has captured the feeling of uncertainty and an over “what-will-happen-next” feeling with the book.
The premise sounded wonderful, but I think I was exciting more from it than what I got. That’s not to say the book wasn’t good, because it was, but I would have liked a little more from it. Emotions ran rampantly though me as I was reading in regards to the crime and mystery surrounding these Jack the Ripper style murders, but I found it hard to connect with the characters at times. With such a strong plotline and idea, there needed to be equally strong characters to support the story and I’m just not quite sure I got that. Rory was your average teenager and there were times when I really enjoyed her and her bravery in the face of everything, but I was just never caught by her as a main character. There were times when she showed some real promise, especially towards the end and I am hoping she develops more in future books. She had spunk and definitely stood out amongst the proper English, but I never felt she reached her potential as a character.
I never felt the “romance” in the book. Perhaps it’s just me, but the way it was written didn’t appeal to me. I felt no connection between her and Jerome, nor did I love him. Sometimes it seemed like it was there just to be there. I found I loved the other characters with sight more. Boo was a quirky one, and I can see potential in Stephen; I’d love to see more of them in the rest of the series.
For all the small issues I had with the book, it generally was an enjoyable read and I do recommend it. I think there’s a lot of potential for future books and the ending left me wanting to know what happens next. I think this book will appeal to lovers of a good crime tale with historical roots and a mystery. A great start to a new series--I can't wait for more!...more
**Thank-you to HarperCollins Australia for providing me with a copy of this to read and review!**
Balthazar is the**spoiler alert** Read in March 2012
**Thank-you to HarperCollins Australia for providing me with a copy of this to read and review!**
Balthazar is the book all Evernight fans have been waiting for, and with its enthralling storyline it does not disappoint!
I’m a big fan of Claudia Gray. I’ve read all her books and while some may say vampires are done, I disagree when it comes to this series. The Evernight series never ceases to entertain me and while the storyline in Balthazar is nothing I haven’t seen before, Gray’s darkly gothic writing and beautiful storytelling had me captivated from the very first page.
Finally, finally we have Balthazar’s story. After all the wishing and the waiting, one of the most beloved if not saddest and loneliest characters finally get’s his story. We’ve all wanted this story and I’m pleased to say I’m thrilled with what Claudia Gray did! I’ve always loved Balthazar, but in this book I feel like we see a very different side to him. With the kindness and charm that he showed throughout the Evernight series hiding his true sadness, it’s in his story that we see the real pain he houses and we get to see the real Balthazar. There’s no denying that he’s sexy, with his dark good looks and appeal, but as he’s front and centre in this book, Gray’s ability to sweep us back into the various stages of Balthazar’s past allow us to see him as we’ve never seen him before. It’s almost like he’s a different character, but looking back I can see the hints of his true nature we saw throughout Evernight. And I liked what I saw—it was raw and it was horrible; sadder than I expected but I liked it none the less. He wasn’t so much just the 400 hundred vampire that he was, although there’s no doubt that he accomplished everything a vampire is, but rather a man conflicted and vulnerable at times.
We were first introduced to Skye Tierney in the final Evernight book, Afterlife, and I must say she made an impression on me even back then as a human girl who managed to handle her discovery of vampires with surprising grace and bravery. I liked Skye in this book; she was easy to read about and follower---a worthy love interest for Balthazar. She was brave and had plenty of courage. She was rational, but very normal; reacting as I expected her to. I liked the little bit of fire Skye had at times too; tempting and baiting Balty no matter how hard he tried to resist—it was funny seeing a centuries old vampire so flustered by a mere mortal.
I was both thrilled and a tad disappointed with the relationship between Skye and Balthazar. Thrilled because I loved how Claudia Gray wrote it; Skye and Balthazar were both so comfortable with one another. Their relationship was without a doubt one of attraction yet it was built on the friendship that developed throughout the novel. It was sweet and endearing and passionate and fiery at the same time. From their heated stares and hilariously exchanged texts to their soft conversations and the laughs they shared, Balthazar and Skye had chemistry.....and this is also why I’m a tad disappointed. Balthazar and Skye have attended the same school for two years, why couldn’t they have found each other before now? I understand that writers don’t always plan certain things when they begin a series, but I would have loved to have seen their relationship throughout the entire Evernight series! Still, I’m thrilled to see them find each other now.
With an exciting plot full of danger and excitement that see’s Balthazar face people from his past Balthazar is a fantastic read! A few characters from the Evernight series make cameos and we finally get to see Balthazar get his long deserved happily ever after. I’m feeling satisfied with how this story ended, but there are still a few loose ends left untied if you ask me. I feel like Balthazar finally found the happiness he deserved by the end of this book and am thrilled Claudia Gray allowed us to see it! ...more
**spoiler alert** **Firstly, thank-you to HarperCollins for providing me with a copy to read and review**
Carrier Of The Mark is an enjoyable debut by**spoiler alert** **Firstly, thank-you to HarperCollins for providing me with a copy to read and review**
Carrier Of The Mark is an enjoyable debut by Leigh Fallon! While I admit it may not be the best choice for someone looking for something different in the YA paranormal romance genre, it blends together all the elements that make a great paranormal romance book; romance, mystery, action and danger. It’s a traditional, boy meets girl tale with a supernatural element and is a nice tale to relax and enjoy.
I loved the mythology in this book and I must say that the idea of Carrier’s and Marked is really interesting. It was a tad confusing when it was first being explained, with so much going on but it’s nothing I’ve heard before. The way it all goes together and each element is very intriguing. It took a while for me to really slip into the book and characters but when I did, I found that I really enjoyed reading it; especially towards the end. Then I just could not stop reading and was drawn into the mystery.
The characters were nothing I hadn’t seen before, but I loved them regardless. Megan was easy to read about and her voice easy to follow. She experienced a lot in such a short amount of time and I felt she dealt with it well, if not a bit too well at times. I liked seeing her learn about her new abilities and the world around her and I enjoyed seeing her form such strong friendships with both Caitlin and then later Aine. Adam was your typical male lead, so of course I found him very sexy. Liked his element and he had a good heart. I felt he was good for Megan and I did like the relationship that developed between them. I really loved Aine and even Rian---I thought the relationship that Adam had with his siblings and even Fionn was very well done and was actually a highlight of the book for me. I’m a sucker for any story where families have a close bond and this was the case with this book.
Adam and Megan’s relationship built very fast and seemed to sprout from nowhere really, but there was no denying the passion that seemed to jump off the pages when they were together. Fallon writes really well in this respect and you couldn’t help but feel the depth and desperation these two felt, regardless of how quickly their relationship began. The trials and issues they face as part of their relationship and being Marked are very real and I foresee it being an ongoing problem for them in future books. It goes without saying that I want them to be together, but I think it’s going to be a tough road for these two.
This whole book is shrouded in mystery, even as things are revealed. The pace is easy to read and relaxing, but races to a conflict towards the end that leaves more than one of the characters in hospital and Megan having to embrace what she is. This chapter of the series ends well, and regardless of the similarities I found with it and other YA novels I’m looking forward to the next chapter and seeing what Megan, Adam and their family are in store for next. ...more