Desperate for more is quite apt! I read The Sleeping Prince in one sitting and now I feel strangely bereft. Having read and enjoyed The Sin Eater's DaDesperate for more is quite apt! I read The Sleeping Prince in one sitting and now I feel strangely bereft. Having read and enjoyed The Sin Eater's Daughter I wasn't sure what to expect from The Sleeping Prince, I certainly wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did. Rather than being a straight sequel it's a sort of companion/sequel hybrid so much of the action/storyline takes place at the same time as Twylla's story, coming together later in the book and then tying the two together.
We're introduced to new characters, Errin (Lief's sister) and a mysterious hooded stranger named Silas Kolby and of course the Sleeping Prince, Aurek. I found it much easier to warm to these characters than I did Twylla and Lief although I happily admit to being a Merek fan and wanting more of him. Errin is so different to Twylla, she's independent from the start, headstrong, loyal, stubborn and a dozen other things all of which get her into trouble. Silas is, well, Silas. He's nothing like Merek or Lief, he's mysterious and obviously very attached to Errin in ways which are difficult to read. It's so hard to gush about this book without being completely spoilery!!!
I loved the mythology of this book too, it was fascinating to hear more about the story of the Sleeping Prince, Aurek and his sister Aurelia and the origins of his myth. There was alchemy, healing, golems. mystery, romance, action, all of which created a fantastic second novel by Salisbury. The writing seemed much more mature and so detailed again, especially the parts about the alchemists and the religions of the world, about the fairy tales and myths. It all felt so real and the characters were so well developed. I literally could not put the book down until it was finished.
With The Sleeping Prince we now have a much more solid setting, everything felt so authentic and rose off the page to completely entrance the reader and immerse you in Errin's world. I was for the most part completely spellbound! The only things I hated? There were a couple of events that I can't mention for fear of spoilers but one of them completely broke me. The other thing tied into this and was that ending... What a cliffhanger! I'm now off to stalk Melinda on Twitter and anywhere else she goes to ensure that she is writing my third book :) ...more
Rush Jobs follows on from The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf. Choi is in her second week of interning and has no idea how to say to Hobson that she'd like to sRush Jobs follows on from The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf. Choi is in her second week of interning and has no idea how to say to Hobson that she'd like to stay but on the other hand it does look like she might have an actual date with Will the receptionist. Hobson has burnt his bridges with Ellie, his ex-wife and is floundering a bit. Instead of one case our dynamic duo take on several, including a kidnapping involving an accountant and a shady recruitment agency, a drug mule dog who might just be the newest recruit and a favor for Benny, the chap from the first book who sits outside the tube station promoting the word of God, and actually turns out to be an estate agent!
In my opinion Rush Jobs is the better book, maybe because we see Hobson & Choi working on more cases, but I love the dynamic that's developing between them and I'm thrilled that they will be returning in Case Three: The Hardest Bargains In Town. It's quite hard to know how to categorize these books, there is massive crossover appeal I think but given that there is a lot of profanity (the F-word is a favorite of both Hobson & Choi) I would be wary of giving them to a YA reader. ...more
Adult/YA crossover but there's lots of swearing, especially the F word.
If you like your crime solving private eyes with a dash of humor, a lot of cynAdult/YA crossover but there's lots of swearing, especially the F word.
If you like your crime solving private eyes with a dash of humor, a lot of cynicism and one of the oddest parings in history then the Hobson & Choi books are definitely for you. John Hobson is a one man detective agency stuck firmly in the 20th century and really doesn't know how he's ended up with a sixteen year old intern for two weeks. It's not like he actually does much... Angelina Choi is is sixteen and wondering how she can use her her internship for Hobson and turn it into something for more permanent. In setting up a Twitter account for technophobe Hobson, she inadvertently gets them caught up in a murder case where the bodies are piling up quickly!
The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf sees the unusual duo solving murders that seem to involve some sort of giant hound. As Choi has just tweeted about Hobson fighting a wolf if their twitter account gets to 400 followers the timing all seems to be a little too handy for their first case together. What follows is the sort of crime caper you don't get to read very often, the story is more about the characters rather than the plot and I absolutely fell in love with them. The case almost takes second place to some of the funniest characters I've read in a long time and we're introduced to a lot of them - Choi's adoptive mother, Hobson's ex-wife who just happens to be a serving police officer and gets them out of more than one scrape, the hipster receptionist Will who Choi takes a shine to, Benny, the Pimp and the staff of the Inspiration Gestation Station (yes, really...)...more
Ascension of the Whyte is the first book in a series called The Afterland Chronicles and is an intriguing fantasy that will have you turning the pagesAscension of the Whyte is the first book in a series called The Afterland Chronicles and is an intriguing fantasy that will have you turning the pages. I'm a sucker for any book that starts with a map so I couldn't wait to see the places on the map described so I could picture them in my head.
The beginning of the book opens with Sara chatting to a friend as they leave school and ends with a sudden & horrific death. We're then transported to another dimension and the story really begins. We are introduced to a whole new way of life where, when you die, your soul ascends and becomes another person who may or may not have ascended many times before. Meet Rose, the first Whyte Ascendant for a thousand years, who with Ash, Auriel and Lee, make a very select cell who will save the world of Hydrarygrum if a prophecy written centuries before is to be believed.
I found it quite hard to believe that this was a debut novel. The writing was mostly extremely well written and each & every character had their own distinct voice. The magical system created was nothing short of amazing and quite frankly there were one or two potens (or abilities) that I would love to be real. The ability to read dozens of books in mere minutes would have come in very handy at school!
I became so immersed in the world Karen has created that I didn't even realize that it was starting to get light outside, I managed to read Ascension of the Whyte from start to finish and get to watch the sun come up! If you like your fantasy well thought out with an intriguing magic system, djinns who want to take over the world and characters who will become friends then this is the book for you. Karen has created a fascinating world which made me laugh and made me well up, I was thoroughly entranced by the writing and the characters. Also, as a word of warning, Karen isn't afraid to kill characters off so don't get too attached! I'm now desperate to read the next book in the series as things are just getting warmed up. Need another beta reader?...more
I was contacted by the authors and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing Branded, as I already had Branded on my wishlist naturally I said yes as II was contacted by the authors and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing Branded, as I already had Branded on my wishlist naturally I said yes as I loved the premise of the book and it sounded like something I would love.
Branded is the story of Lexi Hamilton and her fight to survive in a compound known as the Hole after being falsely accused of lust. In this Dystopian society when people sin they are branded with whatever color their sin is represented by, literally branded around their neck like a tattoo, in Lexi's case her brand is blue for lust but from the very beginning Lexi protests her innocence. Once in the Hole she is handed over to Cole, a young guard in the Commander's forces who comes with a sidekick, Zeus the Great Dane. Luckily for Lexi Cole isn't like the other guards who are cruel, vicious and wouldn't hesitate to take advantage of Lexi given that her sin is Lust and most others in the same situation work as prostitutes.
Sent to work in the hospital as a nursing assistant she meets Sutton, a doctor who is obviously connected to Lexi in some way given that he seems to know far too much about her. Escorted to and from the hospital by Cole and living together means they become close quite quickly, their relationship rapidly develops into something far beyond guard & sinner and in amongst all the action is the story of Lexi and Cole trying (and failing) not to act on their respective feelings.
The main theme of the book seems to be romance, with a Dystopian twist, which is fine if you like your books heavy on the romance side but I wanted to know more about their society, how it worked and more about the Seven Deadly Sins. The action in Branded is virtually non-stop, almost from the beginning of the book. Lexi is an easy target, both for other Sinners and the guards, and they spend most of their time either running or hiding. Things get interesting when the character of Bruno is introduced and she starts learning self-defence which comes in handy in the second half of the book when her training becomes far more intensive. I really wanted to like Lexi but I found it really hard, on one hand I felt awful at everything she'd gone through previous to landing in the Hole but sometimes her behavior made me want to scream! She veered between victim and heroine frequently, she thought nothing of ignoring warnings about not doing things/going places she's not meant to but fell apart when faced with the consequences.
Cole is still as much a mystery at the end of the book as he is at the start, we don't really get to know much about him beyond the fact that he's a guard, he still has some faith left in humanity and he has a great dog! I'm hoping we maybe get to hear more about Cole's life in another book as it really would flesh out things out knowing even just a little of his back-story. Hands down the best character in the book though was Cole's dog, Zeus the Great Dane and from someone who is not a huge dog fan that's saying something! Zeus brought something else to the book, a little bit of humor (I fear for any more pillows/sheets/blankets, he seems to have a thing for shredding bedlinen!) and after a while becomes fiercely protective of Lexi, a good thing as sometimes she needs all the protection she can get!
Overall I did like Branded but I was left wanting more by the end of the book, more detail, more insight into the characters and more depth. I'm glad I read it and I will definitely look out for the second book in the series which is apparently going to feature Lexi's brother Keegan more prominently. He was another character I wasn't sure if I liked or not so I'm intrigued to read more about him....more