When I first received this book to review, I read the synopsis and thought it was going to be about fantasy and magic, but what I got was so much more...moreWhen I first received this book to review, I read the synopsis and thought it was going to be about fantasy and magic, but what I got was so much more.
The story begins in 1985. One bitterly cold night, Margaret quinn, a widow, who lives alone and still mourns the loss of her child; a daughter, who ran away a decade earlier with the boy that she loved, opens the door to find Norah, a small bespectacled girl, frozen and shivering with a battered suitcase leaning against her legs. Margaret takes the girl in, but who is she and what is her purpose?
The second part of the book flashes back to 1975 and tells the story of Erica, Margaret's child, and Wiley, a boy who is obsessed with the Angels of Destruction, a group of radicals, and decides to join their revolution. It reveals how love is at times blind and how it can sweep you along with things you have no control over. Part three returns to 1985 and is about forgiveness and hope. The two parts preceding are now entwined and come together in conclusion.
This book is expertly written. There is fantasy and magic, but it's subtle and weaves its way through the story leading the reader to believe, without question. However, for me, the story was more about love and loss, grief and forgiveness. It is haunting and melancholy without sentimentality. The mystery behind Norah, Una and the man in the camel-haired coat is never really revealed, but the hint of angels influences us in who we believe them to be. The true essence of the story does have an ending, which is very moving.
This is not a quick read, but then I wouldn't want it to be. The story demands the pace to be slow to coincide with the sorrowful atmosphere.
I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.(less)
This book is very different from the usual vampire novel in that the vampires are neither beautiful, sexy supernatural beings or complete monsters. In...moreThis book is very different from the usual vampire novel in that the vampires are neither beautiful, sexy supernatural beings or complete monsters. Instead they are pasty, skinny, sickly vampires with no supernatural powers and who have to feed off Guinea Pigs and wear sunglasses so their eyes don't hemorrhage, even in artificial light.
I wasn't sure if I liked this take on the vampire or not. I usually enjoy reading about the sexy vamp or the cruel vamp. However, as I read through the chapters I began to like the characters and this original vampire story. It's quirky, humorous and quite witty. The characters are a completely odd bunch and argue with each other like a normal family. Of course, they're not family, but members of a therapy group that they all attend every Tuesday night. But you get the sense that they are close, even if they are mightily grumpy and think they hate each other.
This is definitely a fun read. It especially picks up when Nina, Dave and Father Ramon travel to cobar to find the slayer that killed a member of their therapy group. When they get there they find a lot more than they bargained for - enter the sexy young werewolf and two nasty thugs with guns...
I did find the structure of the book a little odd. It opens up with Nina narrating in the third person only to switch to the first person after a couple of pages. At the end of the book it leaves you with the notion that the entire story was written by Nina as a memoir but there was no indication of this at the beginning of the book. In fact at the start we were hearing Nina's thoughts on her novel (as she writes vampires novels). It wasn't confusing, just unnecessary. It felt as though the author didn't know how to begin or end the book. However, the middle section was great and I enjoyed it a lot.
I gave this 7/10 on my blog but couldn't on Goodreads as doesn't offer half stars.
Marked is the first book in the House of Night series and we are introduced quite quickly to the House of Night vampyre school, where 'marked' kids go...moreMarked is the first book in the House of Night series and we are introduced quite quickly to the House of Night vampyre school, where 'marked' kids go to become vampyres. Zoey, our main protagonist, is one of the kids who gets 'marked' by a vampyre tracker and subsequently has to leave home to begin her new life at House of Night.
Zoey takes this revelation and complete life change in her stride and seems fairly happy to leave her toxic home-life, where her mother and step-father make her life a misery. I really like Zoey. She is quite feisty and doesn't allow herself to be pushed around by others. But it's tough when you are the new girl in school and you're already different from everyone else. Zoey's mark differs to other fledglings in that the crescent shaped symbol is filled in. This only happens to fledglings who have gone through 'the change'.
However, Zoey quickly finds friendship with Damian, Shaunee, Erin and Stevie Rae, but she also finds competition in the form of Aphrodite, a beautiful fledgling being groomed for the role as a Vampyre Priestess who has taken a major dislike to Zoey. But like Zoey's life isn't already complicated enough, she meets Erik and instantly becomes smitten, unfortunately for Zoey he's also Aphrodite's ex, and she still has to deal with her human boyfriend, Heath.
Zoey finds life at the House of Night difficult at times but she finds strength from her Priestess, Neferet and her new cat Nala - who is adorable. But she also starts to see things that she's not sure are there, like ghosts of fledlings that have died. She's also confronted with her human life when Heath, her human boyfriend, comes looking for her. That's really when life doesn't exactly go to plan.
Marked is really about introducing us to the characters and the world of 'House of Night' and is a great start to the series. It gives us a glimpse into Zoey's life and each of the personalities of the people who surround her. There are quite a few twists and turns which kept me turning the pages and sets us up nicely for the next book in the series, Betrayed - check out my review tomorrow!
I gave this book 7/10 on my blog but Goodreads still doesn't offer half stars!(less)
Betrayed is the second book in the House of Night series and we see Zoey, the main protagonist, more settled in her environment and coming to terms wi...moreBetrayed is the second book in the House of Night series and we see Zoey, the main protagonist, more settled in her environment and coming to terms with her new life at the House of Night Vampyre school. She is also dealing with her new powers, which she obtained in Marked. The gang is still together, consisting of Zoey, Stevie Rae, Damian, Erin and Shaunee, and Aphrodite is still around too, and as bitchy as ever.
Zoey's life is just as complicated as it was in Marked, even more so. She's still confused about what she saw in the grounds at House of Night. Did she see the ghosts of Elizabeth and Elliot - two fledglings who died but are now somehow walking around the grounds at night?
Zoey's boy trouble is also at an all time high. She is smitten with her new boyfriend, Erik, another fledgling at House of Night, but is also tied to Heath, her human boyfriend, especially after tasting his blood. They are now imprinted and Heath finds it increasingly difficult to be away from Zoey and vice versa.
There's also the matter of two human boys who have been murdered, with Heath being the third boy to go missing. However, due to the imprint between them, Zoey learns she can 'feel' Heath and uses her power to find him before something terrible happens.
In this installment, without giving too much away, Zoey discovers a secret regarding Neferet and realises she isn't what she seems. The plot moves at a quicker pace than Marked and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. There's also sadness in the Zoey camp as one of her friends die but comes back as something else, and it's not good!
Zoey is a strong heroine, except when it comes to boys when everything seems to go out the window and she becomes distracted. But overall, the story is getting more interesting and I'm becoming increasingly more excited about this series with each book. Betrayed is a great second installment and after the last few chapters I can't wait to crack on with book three!
I gave this book 7/10 on my blog, but Goodreads doesn't offer half stars! Grrr(less)
Chosen is the third book in the House of Night series and I really enjoyed it. Each book I've read so far is evolving and the storyline is getting mor...moreChosen is the third book in the House of Night series and I really enjoyed it. Each book I've read so far is evolving and the storyline is getting more and more exciting.
Although Chosen was a very addictive read, I do have a few issues with Zoey. She has three guys on the go and even though, for the most part, it is just innocent 'making-out' sessions, I really wish there would have been a reason behind her inability to stick with one guy.
I understand the Heath connection due to the Imprinting forcing them together. I understand Erik, he is also a fledgeling so they have things in common. I sympathise that it's difficult to cut out her old life, leaving it behind to begin a new one, so her conflict between the two boys is realistic.
But then enter Loren. In Betrayed there was just a bit of flirting, more of a crush on Zoey's part, but in Chosen the innocent crush and flirting becomes something more and I'm a bit disappointed in Zoey for allowing herself to become involved with a third. I was hoping that a reason such as 'vampire glamour' would be the cause of her infatuation with Loren, but unfortunately it wasn't and as Zoey so eloquently put it herself, she was "becoming a ho".
Zoey's friends are interesting and I do enjoy reading about them. However, I wish that Shaunee and Erin would stop calling each other 'twin'. Although they are of different colour, one being black the other white, they are seen as 'twins' due to the fact that they are alike in personality and finish each others sentences. But they have a very annoying habit of calling each other 'twin' in nearly all of their conversations and after a while it gets very irritating. I also wish I could get to know all of Zoey's friends a little more. The story is told from Zoey's point of view but I would like to see her friends developed a bit more through the series.
Zoey is growing up very fast, but unfortunately she doesn't often make the right choices. Her shoulders are heavy with secrets and she has no-one to turn to, not even her friends, in fear of getting them hurt - except, that is, for Aphrodite.
Aphrodite and Zoey put aside most of their differences and join forces to help one of Zoey's friends who has died and risen as something dangerous and soulless. But Zoey believes her friends humanity remains and has to figure out a way to save her before it's too late.
Things get seriously hot between Zoey and one of her boyfriends. another gets hurt and because of all the secrets and lies Zoey begins to lose her friends. What was revealed regarding Neferet in Betrayed is developed further in Chosen and as I don't want to give too much away all I will say is the plot thickens nicely and drives the story forward to a cliffhanger ending that had me instantly reaching for book four!
Even with it's faults, Chosen is a thrilling, fast-paced and exciting read, and for me, the best book so far! Here I come book four!! (less)
Untamed follows on from where Chosen left off and Zoey is still trying to find a way to stop Neferet and her evil plans. In Untamed we are introduced...moreUntamed follows on from where Chosen left off and Zoey is still trying to find a way to stop Neferet and her evil plans. In Untamed we are introduced to a new evil disguised as ravens and Zoey soon realises that there's a bigger evil than Neferet she has to prevent from rising.
Zoey is burdened with many secrets, which she has to keep to herself, and because of this Zoey has lost her friends as they see her as a liar, when in reality she's keeping secrets to keep them safe. The only one she can talk to is Aphrodite, who knows the secrets that haunt her and completely understands.
Over the last two books Aphrodite has grown on me. Her bitchiness is a breath of fresh air amongst all the loving that goes on between Zoey and her friends. But Aphrodite is also showing a more human, caring side to her nature and when called upon she is strong and completely focused. Of course, she's still as catty as ever, but wonderfully so. She is slowly becoming my favourite character.
Zoey is realising that there is more to Aphrodite too and they are slowly becoming unlikely friends, to the astonishment of those around them. It takes Zoey's friends a little longer to see Aphrodite as part of their inner circle, but once they realise that she's there to help, they begin to treat her a little better - not that Aphrodite cares of course!
In Marked, the first book of the series, we saw Zoey's disgust for Aphrodite regarding her actions with Erik in the hallway at House of Night, and because of it Zoey and her friends have continued to call Aphrodite names. However, Zoey has become boy-mad! At least Aphrodite was only interested in the one!
Zoey never seems happy with just one and always seems to want to complicate her life further by adding another. This time it's Stark, a mysterious boy Zoey feels herself drawn to, who's been transferred from another House of Night. So that makes three boys and one man, in what is only a few months! And she thought Aphrodite was the "ho"! ;)
When it comes to boys this is where my love for Zoey diminishes slightly. Four boys in a few months is a lot for any girl to handle, and falling in and out of love with all of them alternately and thinking of one boy after just kissing another, makes her seem shallow and, in my opinion, not very likeable. These are traits I don't particularly want to see in my heroine. Putting her boy issues aside I like Zoey and think she's a strong character, most of the time. Her actions speak volumes when she's trying to save the lives of her friends and family and wants to do the right thing by Nyx, her Goddess.
Moving away from Zoey's love life, there's a lot of great story telling. Zoey finally reveals what has been going on with Neferet to her friends and they all band together to help Zoey and protect her, even Erik wants to help despite the pain he's feeling due to her betrayal. Aphrodite is still having scary visions and the plot unfolds further with the introduction of Shekinah, the High Priestess of all vampyres, The Sons of Erebus, warriors with vast skills, and a terrifying new evil. We also see a lot more of Zoey's Grandma and I really enjoy the inclusion of Cherokee myths and legends, but we are left worrying about her life due to terrible accident...
I am really enjoying this series. The prose flows easily and the world of House of Night is written very well to the point I could almost be there, but it's the fast-paced plot which is really the core of the series and which makes me reach excitedly for the next book. As with all the books in the series so far, Untamed is a great read. It's not as good as Chosen but it still kept my attention from beginning to end and I can't wait to read Hunted! These books are seriously addictive!
I gave this book 7/10 on my blog, but Goodreads doesn't offer half stars!(less)
Hunted is the fifth book in the House of Night series and continues from Untamed by only a day or two.
Zoey and her friends are now hiding out in the t...moreHunted is the fifth book in the House of Night series and continues from Untamed by only a day or two.
Zoey and her friends are now hiding out in the tunnels with the red fledgelings, a different kind of fledgeling who change into a different kind of vampyre, and one which Zoey doesn't know if she can trust yet. Stevie Rae is badly hurt by an arrow piercing through her chest after being fired by the newly risen red fledgeling, Stark. All the gang is pretty freaked out by what happened at the end of Untamed and band together to decide the best course of action.
Erik is also one of the group hiding out and at first things are awkward between him and Zoey, but they decide to forgive each other. Although Heath, Zoey's other ex-boyfriend, are no longer imprinted, he seeks her out at the tunnels and wants to talk. But while she is struggling with her love for Heath and the knowledge that it's best for him if they don't see each other again, Zoey is attacked by one of the raven-men and is now fighting for her life.
Unfortunately, to save herself, Zoey has to drink Heath's blood and so they are imprinted again, at the delight of Heath, but Erik is definitely not happy. But things still do not look good for Zoey so they have to take her back to the House of Night, to Neferet, who is the only one who can heal her. But it feels as though they are entering a different House of Night, one filled with raven-men, fear and Kalona, an evil fallen angel who rose from the Earth at the end of Untamed.
At the end of the last book, Aphrodite was coming through as a very strong character, and was slowly becoming my favourite. After reading Hunted I can now say she *is* my favourite. She still likes the boys but she doesn't let them take over her life. She's funny and sexy as well as strong-willed and determined. I just love all her witty retorts. To me she's the most level headed character and to be honest the most strong, even more so than Zoey.
Zoey still has boy troubles and continues to make them worse, but after reading my previous reviews, I am sure you are now well aware how this part of the series has my eyes rolling. However, the action is still there in Hunted, which kept me reading until the last page.
Although Hunted is quite a roller coaster ride and a good read, it didn't engage me as much as the previous four books. I admit I am getting tired of Zoey and all her boyfriend issues, and the choices she makes when around them, but I'm still looking forward to reading Tempted, the next book in the series.(less)
This is the first book in Georgia Evans' World War 2 paranormal series. I found this book really easy to get into from the first page and I was taken...moreThis is the first book in Georgia Evans' World War 2 paranormal series. I found this book really easy to get into from the first page and I was taken to a place that is quintessentially English, with lots of tea drinking and gossiping. This is quite true of English culture, we do like to drink lots of tea, and we do like to sit around and have a good gossip while drinking it: it's just what we do!
There's great atmosphere to this book and you really get an essence of English country life during the war. The characters are well rounded, interesting and likable. There is Alice, the very attractive village doctor; Helena, her grandmother and Devonshire Pixie; the village bobby, Sgt Howell Pendragon, the resident shapeshifting dragon; Gloria, the district nurse and werefox; Samuel, the local grocer and elf; and Peter, Alice's love interest, who is just plain human and can't believe these people exist. And, of course not forgetting, the German, vampire nazis...
Although this story is set around the time of WW2, it's emphasis is more on the characters in the village and the vampires. The war is merely a backdrop and doesn't get too bogged down with lots of historical data. This isn't a frightening, scary or gory read, it's light, fun and easy reading. A bit like Agatha Christie but with vampires, and without the mystery, and Miss Marple... but you get the idea - the feeling of an old fashioned story with old fashioned values.
The dialogue flows easily and is quite humorous at times with no swearing. So, that's why when I got to the loves scenes, I was shocked! After many chapters of innocent Alice, dear old grandma Helena and lots of old fashioned tea drinking - WHAM! Sex! Using words that made me blush! Now, I'm no prude but this was so out of context that it made me cringe rather than feel all hot and bothered. Sometimes I think certain explicit words are used that really don't have to be. If certain words that were used were toned down a touch, it would have been much more successful, but instead I winced and squirmed in discomfort. Saying that, I did enjoy reading about the relationship between Alice and Peter, most of the time it was sweet and innocent and much needed in a time of war.
However, overall this book is very entertaining, light-hearted and fun and I would definitely recommend it, (as long as you can cope with the explicit sex scenes!).
I actually gave this 7/10 on my blog but Goodreads doesn't have half stars.(less)
This is the first book I have read by Paul Magrs but it's the third installment in the Brenda & Effie mystery series.
This is such a great read. It...moreThis is the first book I have read by Paul Magrs but it's the third installment in the Brenda & Effie mystery series.
This is such a great read. It's quirky, fun and light-hearted and totally absorbing. The characters are brilliantly written and there are moments of humour that had me laughing out loud. The story has an old-fashioned charm about it and with the backdrop being Whitby, Yorkshire, the place Bram Stoker's Dracula resided, it has a sense of the macabre too.
Brenda is a lovable character who has retired to Whitby and gets into all sorts of trouble with her best friend and neighbour Effie, who comes from a powerful line of witches. Brenda is also the Bride of Frankenstein, a horrible monster in her eyes and all she wants is to live a normal life in Whitby and forget her past, which she has been running from for the past 200 years. Unfortunately, Whitby is also the gateway to Hell and so she and her friend Effie have to guard the entrance with their lives. This is quite a funny scenario as they are both retired ladies! But they can fight with the best of them, and many of the scenes has Brenda boxing the ears of her adversary!
There is also the supporting cast: Mr Danby, who is the host of a nightly radio talk show and seems to have the whole town hypnotised. Frank, who comes back for his Bride to be and his destiny, Brenda, who fights against their so called destiny and together they find themselves in Hell, and the evil Mrs Claus, who owns a hotel that is dedicated to Christmas all year round but beneath the surface there are more sinister goings on, including murder.
I was swept along with Brenda and Effie's adventures and enjoyed every moment. There wasn't one point where I was bored, it was just so much fun to read. This book is a mixture of humour with the supernatural including monsters, witches and vampires. There is something for everyone.
After reading Conjugal Rites I will definitely be rushing out to buy books 1 & 2, although this is still a great stand alone read. Absolutely brilliant - I highly recommend it.(less)
Well, what can I say - absolutely fabulous! I read my first Brenda and Effie book by Paul Magrs last month and absolutely loved it. With Hell's Belles...moreWell, what can I say - absolutely fabulous! I read my first Brenda and Effie book by Paul Magrs last month and absolutely loved it. With Hell's Belles being the fourth book in the series I thought that it would loose some of the story's zest as so many sequels in series do, but this is better than the last. I just loved it!
Margs has such an amazing talent. His writing is so clever as although there are many plot twists and turns they all read smoothly and easily, there is no confusion as to what's going on. We are introduced to many characters throughout the book but each character has a unique voice and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them all. Two of the main characters, Brenda and Effie, are retired old ladies!
I honestly didn't think that reading about two old ladies would be my thing. I have to connect and be able to relate to the characters in some way to really enjoy a book and reading about two retired old ladies did initially make me a little apprehensive. But after reading Conjugal Rites, I absolutely fell in love with Brenda and Effie, and I had no problem connecting with them. It was the same with Hell's Belles. They are just so funny, quirky and warm. And don't think for a minute because they are old they can't fight their own battles - Brenda and Effie can kick-arse with the best of them - well, they have to, being the guardians of the hell mouth!
I also love Robert, Brenda's other best friend, who finds love in Hell's Belles with a guy called Michael. They meet each night to have moonlit rides on an enchanted settee, but as expected, nothing is as it first seems. Penny, a new resident of Whitby, is also falling for a guy called Michael, but he's seeing the evil Mrs Claus, who is thoroughly enjoying his attention. As always there a funny goings on in all the lives of the Whitby characters, which makes each one so interesting and intriguing.
A secret, that was alluded to in Conjugal Rites, is revealed in Hell's Belles and I'm excited to see where Magrs takes this part of the story. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the character of Penny will be back with her own revelations in book five!
This is a totally unique story with original characters. Deliciously written with enough action to keep you turning the pages. Magrs has you jumping back and forth between characters but instead of it being annoying and confusing it made it exciting and I was totally absorbed. This is a comedy too but with a dark edge. With vampires, monsters, zombies and demons. Wonderful story. Superbly executed.
I actually gave this 9/10 on my blog but Goodreads doesn't allow half stars!
Okay, so there has been a lot of buzz about this book. I tried not to have high expectations but I did, I couldn't help it. It was impossible not to g...moreOkay, so there has been a lot of buzz about this book. I tried not to have high expectations but I did, I couldn't help it. It was impossible not to get excited about reading a book that most bloggers rated 5/5. Unfortunately, for me the first few chapters of the book were quite ordinary. I couldn't really see what all the hype was about. I wasn't gripped and I didn't really take to Nora. Patch didn't come across as the dark and dangerous guy I read about in so many other reviews. To me he was more cocky and even slightly irritating. I could feel the disappointment rising. And then everything changed.
I can't really put my finger on what changed for me. Was it the fact that Nora nearly dies but is then saved that grabbed my attention, or that the Archangel, a fair-ride in town, told the story of the fallen angels in a series of paintings on the side that piqued my interest, or that Elliot, a guy that Nora's best friend keeps pushing on her to date, has a more sinister side that he doesn't really want anyone to know about? And who is Jules...?
I was now intrigued and the story had me captivated. The characters suddenly came to life: Patch was now what I wanted him to be, dark, dangerous, mysterious, and his cockiness became as sexy as hell. I was loving his bad boy attitude and all black ensemble. I also knew that deep down he wasn't a bad person at all. I even began to like Nora. She wasn't particularly outgoing or interesting at the beginning of the book, but her determination and courage she showed when searching for the truth about Elliot and wanting to find out who Patch really was shined through. I also liked her when she became all hot and bothered, and couldn't focus on a single thing, when Patch was around - all that angst, self doubt, sexual tension...
The other characters are all well written, and Nora's best friend, Vee, with her upbeat, outspoken attitude, is a breath of fresh air in what is at times an intense atmosphere due to the relationship between Nora and Patch. The pace picks up considerably half way through and the plot has lots of twists and turns which keeps the momentum of the book crashing forward until the very last page. To be honest I just couldn't stop reading. In fact I read the rest of the book in one sitting. I wanted to find out everything! I loved how it ended and now I want more!
Did this book live up to the hype? I think it's fair to say that after the build up it's had I don't think it had a chance. But for a debut novel I thought it was fantastic! I really, really enjoyed it. This book was so nearly a ten, but as it didn't start as well as I'd hoped, and for the fact it took me a while to get into the story, it will have to settle for a nine.
I would whole heartedly recommend this book, even for the gorgeous cover alone and the beautiful feather designs covering the pages. Simon and Schuster designed this book brilliantly, it really is stunning.
I can't wait for Crescendo, the next installment in this heavenly new series.
I actually gave this book 9/10 on my blog but Goodreads doesn't give half stars.(less)
I was really excited about reading Fallen, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and I just had to have it! Luckily I received an ARC, thanks to Random Hou...moreI was really excited about reading Fallen, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and I just had to have it! Luckily I received an ARC, thanks to Random House Children's Books. This is another book that has had a lot of hype recently and, as with Hush Hush, it had a lot to live up to. I have read negative as well as positive reviews, so I went in with a completely open mind, and I wasn't disappointed.
The story starts out a little slow at the beginning and not a lot really happens in the way of action until half way through the book. The days Luce spends at Sword and Cross reform school, where she has been sent after an incident with a fire, which killed her ex-boyfriend, does become a little repetitive and drawn out and all I really wanted was the story to get going. But I think the author was trying to set the scene, give us some really well developed characters and lots of suspense before revealing all. In retrospect, I liked this approach as sometimes a story can move along quickly but then have no depth at all.
There are many characters in Fallen, all of which I think are really well rounded. Even those that are not the main focus still have their own story and you feel they are all central to Luce's life. Although none of the characters are particularly 'dangerous', there is a darkness about Daniel and Cam that is subtle but definitely there. As each character grows and a little more is revealed about them, you realise that there is more to each of them which is not necessarily what you first thought. Nice twists and turns kept my interest and I was very intrigued as to how this book would pan out. The atmosphere is dark and edgy too and each detail of Luce's surroundings is described well and at times I really felt as though I was there.
Luce herself is a nice character. She is interesting and I think she will develop into quite an intriguing female protagonist. Sometimes she is quite witty and feisty, but at other times she can be a little slow on the uptake. But overall, I'm looking forward to seeing how she develops and deals with the revelations which occur at the end of Fallen.
Cam and Daniel, who are the two main love interests for Luce, are both delicious. They are very different from each other and at first I wasn't quite sure who was the good guy and who was the bad guy. As I got to know Daniel, I began to like him more and more and could completely understand why Luce is so captivated, and almost hypnotised, by him. He is gorgeous, and a very sexy fallen angel, *move over Patch!*
The story does take time to get going and is definitely a slow burner, but I think it is well worth the wait, so be patient. The ending is exciting, albeit a bit rushed; maybe a few pages from the beginning would have been better used at the end. I was left with a few questions, but that's okay, as I know there's another book coming, and I can't wait! Fallen is a brilliant read and has set the scene for what I hope will be a very exciting series.
I gave this 9/10 on my blog, but Goodreads doesn't offer half stars.
I really enjoyed this story. I liked the main character Picky (real name Penelope), and all the supporting cast of characters were well written and ha...moreI really enjoyed this story. I liked the main character Picky (real name Penelope), and all the supporting cast of characters were well written and had a lot of depth to them. I was able to immerse myself in Picky's life quite quickly and found the travelling from the present to the past really interesting and most of the time absorbing.
Picky, however, did have an annoying habit of saying "no, seriously" quite a lot, which at first was quite funny as I could really hear a thirteen-year-old saying it. But after a while it lost its appeal and became irritating. I was also surprised at Picky's lack of knowledge. Her exclamation of "what on earth is a Nazi?" and her insistence of not quite grasping the fact that the 17th Century didn't have phones or the internet, even though she had travelled back three or four times, was annoying. And yet, she knew Christopher Wren and that he built St. Paul's Cathedral and Isaac Newton, so her intelligence, or lack of it, wasn't really consistent.
However, overall Picky is very witty and had me smiling several times throughout the book. The premise of her slipping on a dress and travelling back in time is a good one. Her descriptions of Victorian England are very visual and I enjoyed the detail of the 'flouncy' dresses she had to wear and how different Victorian London is to London today. At times the descriptions had me using my other senses too... "I step outside onto the path, and seemingly into a giant bonfire. Black soot lies over everything... It's hard to breathe... I am still trying not to use my nose because of the putrid smell. I begin to cough, then I notice that the brown stuff on the street is poo...". Hmm, lovely...
This is a really good read and I found myself reading the majority of the book in one sitting. I think it is more suitable for the lower teens, but I'm sure you would enjoy it at any age, as I did, and I look forward to the next book from Mary Naylus, The Plaguemaker. (less)
Tempted is a brilliant sixth intallment of the House of Night series. I have heard disgruntles over the use of a different point of view other than Zo...moreTempted is a brilliant sixth intallment of the House of Night series. I have heard disgruntles over the use of a different point of view other than Zoey's, which is a different format to the previous books in the series, but I loved it. It was a breath of fresh air and a well needed break from Zoey. Although she is still central to the story and has more chapters than the others, it was nice to get to know more about Aphrodite, Stevie Rae and Rephaim, the son of the fallen angel, who is part bird and part man.
Tempted begins exactly where Hunted finished and takes the reader on a thrilling ride. Although I did find the first few chapters slower than usual it didn't take me long to get sucked back into the House of Night world and the different plots propelled me towards an absolutely brilliant, but sad, climax.
I really enjoyed reading about all the different characters, including Zoey. If you've read my reviews for the previous books in the series, you will know that I have a love/hate relationship with Zoey. On the one hand I think she's quite a strong character with a feisty attitude, but her boy issues drive me mad! However, in Tempted, Zoey's boyfriend problems didn't bother me so much and I enjoyed her connection with Heath and Stark, although she's still a bit immature with her reactions to certain situations at times.
Stevie Rae is coming into her own and she's really growing as a person. She still has a lot of secrets but is too frighted to tell Zoey and the others in case they don't understand. Aphrodite, Heath and Stark are all growing as characters too. Aphrodite is still bitchy but she's actually liking being Zoey's friend and she's also falling in love, but will never admit it of course! Heath and Stark are coming to terms with their roles where Zoey is concerned and are slowly accepting each other as being a big part of her life, unfortunately Erik is doing no such thing, but pays the price.
There is just so much going on in Tempted that I was completely glued to the pages and read most of it in one sitting. Each main character has their own story to tell and each one is exciting. I'm really looking forward to seeing where the story leads as the ending was such a huge climax, with a great cliffhanger. For me, Tempted, along with Chosen, is by far the best book in the series and I really cannot wait to read Burned. (less)
Sweet Inspiration oozes Christmas. From the descriptions of the sweet delights of cookies and cinnamon pastries created by Nicholas and Lucy to the de...moreSweet Inspiration oozes Christmas. From the descriptions of the sweet delights of cookies and cinnamon pastries created by Nicholas and Lucy to the description of Santa's magical home, Glasdorf, in the North Pole. All gave me that Christmasy feeling, which is what I hoped to feel from reading this book.
Nicholas is the eldest son of five and next in line to be Santa Clause when his father retires. However, Nicholas really doesn't want the job as he loves to bake and owns his own bakery. He meets Lucy who also owns her own bakery, Sweet Inspiration, in New York and It's love at first sight for both of them. One night they end up baking together in her small bakery and one thing leads to another.
The relationship between Nicholas and Lucy is believable in parts, but sometimes the dialogue is a bit sickly sweet and really doesn't reflect real life. When they get together in the bedroom the heat rises and their sexual encounter is steamy! Although it was fun to read, the relationship is a bit rushed and although love at first sight is a nice thought, would you really give up your entire life and business for a man you have only really known for a week or two?
The elves are funny and mischievous as well as a tad grumpy, which is great as that is exactly how I imagine elves to be. The life of Santa is a big business and Lucy gets to see this magical place with her own eyes when she is hit by a truck outside her bakery. Nicholas is bereft and breaks all sorts of rules by taking her back to Glasdorf, where Lucy is healed by elfin magic.
Lucy takes the discovery of Santa, the elves and Glasdorf, in her stride and she fits in perfectly. The elves love her and so do Nicholas's family. But as always with romance, nothing runs smoothly and after a few wonderful days Lucy heads back home to New York, leaving a broken hearted Nicholas back in Glasdorf.
Sweet Inspirations is exactly that, 'sweet', sometimes overly so, but overall it was a light, fun and entertaining read with enough going on to keep you reading until the very end. A lovely Christmas read!(less)
I do feel that Fae are the new Vampire in the YA catagory, but I love faeries, so it's not a bad thing but its a qu...moreReviewed by Jo for Book Chick City.
I do feel that Fae are the new Vampire in the YA catagory, but I love faeries, so it's not a bad thing but its a question if the latest faerie book brings something new or not. I thought 'The Iron King' was really enjoyable, and the mythology it brings really is new and magical.
This book felt like an original fairy tale. Before Disney sugar coated things, fairy tales were a thing of horror, with gruesome plots and where love is never guaranteed and a happy ever after always came with a price. I loved this!
The plot is really intriguing. Meghan has no idea of her true origins, and lately some weird stuff has been happening. A stranger is stalking her, her best friend is becoming increasingly protective and could be hiding a secret also and her brother has disappeared.
There are love interests for Meghan, and I can already imagine there are t-shirts and mugs with either 'Team Puck' or 'Team Ash' reminiscent of an Edward Vs. Jacob showdown. (I'm , like, totally Team Puck!) I really like there are nods to other stories, such as Midsummer Night's Dream, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and this book held as much magic for me. The characters drew me in, and I loved getting to know them all and finding out their secrets. There were a couple of cliches in here, such as the popular cheerleader and jock that did make my eyes roll slightly though, but maybe that is just because I'm becoming old!
If you enjoyed Melissa Marr's 'Wicked Lovely' series, then I know you will love this too. For me, this had an edge because of it's narrative and the characters.
An enthralling tale of Fae and their wicked ways, it drew me in and I didn't want to put it down. (less)
More recently, when I read a book's subject is about werewolves I am hesitant because of the amou...moreReviewed by Jo for Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.
More recently, when I read a book's subject is about werewolves I am hesitant because of the amount of werewolf books we have had. How can this one be any different from the rest?
I was pleasantly surprised by 'Claire de Lune'. There are no cliches here. For starters, you cannot be made into a wolf from a hungry were looking for a quick nibble, and there are only female wolves too. Also, humans know werewolves exist, so there are no angsty secrets being kept!
This novel starts with Claire finding out who she is and what she is turning into. I thought it was a nice change that this happened at the beginning, and not halfway through while we, the reader, is kind of already getting bored. It was very interesting to go through 'the change' with Claire, from the enhanced speed, to the inhuman senses taking over.
Claire also has to deal with a rogue wolf, a werewolf hunting team that is headed by the father of Claire's love interest, Matthew. Erm, awkward! I don't think he'll be taking her home to meet the folks any time soon.
All in all, it was a really quick read and there are some characters that felt lacking but unlike some recent books, I did feel there were redeeming qualities to keep me interested in future books in this series.
A refreshing addition to the werewolf genre, I'm really interested in a sequel. While at time the characters feel a bit flat, there was enough substance in the plot and dialogue to keep me reading.(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Poison Throne'. The lead character is Wynter. She returns hom...moreReviewed by Laura for Book Chick City. Rating 7/10 on the blog.
I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Poison Throne'. The lead character is Wynter. She returns home after several years of travelling and succeeding in a man's trade, working as her father's carpentry apprentice. She is looking forward to seeing her childhood friends Prince Alberon, heir to the throne, and Razi the King's bastard son. However, as soon as she and her father arrive at the Kingdom gates it because evident that things have changed in their years of absence, the atmosphere is tense and something is very wrong.
The King, a previously genial and kind man has become a cruel dictator. The King's son and heir, Alberon is missing, declared a traitor, and her dear friend Razi is named the new successor despite his reluctance and public outcry.
The King, unwilling to listen is ruling through fear and violence. The only man he seems to listen to is Wynter's father. But Wynter's father is seriously ill, a condition they must keep secret from the rest of the court.
When Wynter is reconciled with Razi she is introduced to his new companion and best friend Christopher. Aside from his promiscuity, Wynter is suspicious of Christopher and Razi's relationship. Razi's deep, unquestioning trust of Christopher gives Wynter cause for concern.
This is a story of dark secrets and dangerous political games. Amidst violence, fear and games she really doesn't understand Wynter is left with some very difficult decisions. How can she choose between her dying father, her best friend and saving the Kingdom?
The plot of the story is very difficult to explain both because it is very detailed, but also for fear that I may give too much away.
What really makes this book is the characters and their relationships with one another. Wynter's warm and loving relationship with her father, her deep bond with Razi and her confusion and desperation to help those she cares for. Wynter is a determined and brave heroine you cannot help to admire. Each of the characters are complex and rounded. With as many flaws as they have strengths and this is what makes the story so engaging.
One thing to note, is that while I know this book is the first of a trilogy, it is most definitely written as one of three and does not stand-alone on its own. You finish the last page ready to grasp for the next book. It is also advertised as a young adult novel, but despite Wynter being a teenage girl, it reads very much like an adult story.
This book sucks you in with its rich characters and intrigue. The 512 pages whizz by at the speed of a much shorter book. It's not what I would call action packed, the lure of the story is the mystery as to what has caused the darkness that is spreading through the Kingdom, and at the heart of it the love and friendships that fight to survive. (less)
'The Crown's Conspiracy' was guest reviewed by TJ from Dreams & Speculation. Rating 3/10 on the blog - Goodreads still doesn't offer half stars!
I...more'The Crown's Conspiracy' was guest reviewed by TJ from Dreams & Speculation. Rating 3/10 on the blog - Goodreads still doesn't offer half stars!
I'm sorry to say that, all around, The Crown Conspiracy didn't work for me. However, it seems that I'm in the minority, because the book has been nominated and given several awards. Plus, just a quick glance at The Crown Conspiracy on Amazon shows a wealth of five and four star ratings. But I just can't really see why. Now, I figure my job as a reviewer is to explain why, in specific detail, a book didn't work for me so that others can read that and better decide if the book is something they might like or not.
Where to start? Well, the first scene would a point as good as any to begin with, I think. To put it bluntly, if I had picked this novel up in a bookstore and read the first chapter, there is no way it would have left the store with me. The first chapter, although in third person like the rest of the book, gives a limited perspective of Archibald Ballentyne who is a flashy, overly-ambitious, and obnoxious character that seems more caricature than actual character. (Actually, I continued to have this problem with every other character in the book, but I'll get to that in a bit.) Because of the character, the whole chapter--despite some interesting plot set up--was equally obnoxious. Sure, there's an awesome theft, but I had to put up with pages of Archibald whining.
So, from the first chapter, I wasn't off on the right foot with The Crown Conspiracy. As I began the second chapter I was incredibly relieved to see that the focus shifted to Alenda, a character I expected to like. Unfortunately, that was taken from me swiftly. Within minutes my hope was squashed with awkward dialogue I know I've heard out of dozens of characters: "People like us simply shouldn't do business with people like them." [p19] And, a little later, "You already know me better than any woman should, more than is safe for either of us." [p42]
For me, the characters never evolved from simple, ordinary constructions found in any fantasy novel to somebody with life, reasoning skills, or emotion. They were as dead as paper. Honestly, I couldn't bring myself to care about a single one. I just didn't want to bother since I could practically see where there ends would be, because constructions dance along plots and I find when that's the plots, too, become more predictable.
I had some issues with plot that went far beyond predictability. Even if predictability is annoying, the far worse crime is to have a gap or break in the plot that leaves the reader reeling wondering what sort of logic one has to use to understand the story movement. There were several times where I wondered exactly how idiotic a character would have to be to make a certain decision, the worst came fairly early. The two rogues have been captured and framed for the assassination of the king. They're put in the dungeons and await death. So, of course, the princess (because women are the bearers of compassion) comes, believes their story, and decides the best route for them to take is to kidnap her brother the king to keep him out of harm's way. What? Really now? There's not a soul in the world she trusts more than two guys who just say they weren't the ones who killed the king? And then they just carry the Prince-King along until a beautiful friendship (or at least an obligatory relationship without much in the way of negative feelings) forms. I don't know, it's completely debatable, but I couldn't quite roll with it.
In the plus category for The Crown Conspiracy I can only say that it was a quick read and might have been much more entertaining if only I could have let go of my issues against the novel.
I hate to say it, but I can't bring myself to recommend The Crown Conspiracy. With so many sure-to-be-great fantasy novels on the horizon, I wish I wouldn't have bothered with this one and spent my reading time elsewhere.(less)