As with all anthologies I have reviewed I wanted to review a large selection of the short stories to give yo3.5 Stars (overall for the stories I read)
As with all anthologies I have reviewed I wanted to review a large selection of the short stories to give you a good indication if this book is worth reading/buying, unfortunately with the lead up to Christmas I just haven't had the time to read much at all. So I only have two mini reviews for you. Hopefully I will review a few more from this anthology in due course.
GIFT WRAP ~ Charlaine Harris
How does Ms Harris do it? In just twenty odd pages she pulled me into the story and I didn't want to leave. This is a lovely self-contained little story with a beginning, middle and end and written with Harris's usual easy southern style.
Being without family and friends over the Christmas holiday, Sookie is feeling a little lonely. While out the day before she'd heard a strange noise in the words and so decides to investigate. Well, what else has she to do?
She happens upon an injured, naked man who, in Sookie style, she takes back to her place to clean him up and take care of his wounds. She knows he's a were from his psychic waves and also finds she can't quite keep her eyes off his naked body!
But things are not as they seem. Sookie feels something's off about him but still lusts after him. And after a while a howl from outside alerts the man, who calls himself Preston, that the creatures that hurt him have found him and he's in danger. Sookie hides him and manages to see off the bad guys with her shotgun in hand.
Things take a surprising turn for Sookie as she finds herself in bed with Preston. Let's just say she wakes up Christmas morning with a smile on her face. The ending I didn't see coming which was great, especially for such a short story and there's also a little twist. When I finished I desperately wanted to go and read the next book in the Sookie series that's sitting on my shelf. (8/10)
LUCY, AT CHRISTMASTIME ~ Simon R. Green
Although I've heard of this author and even have one of his books on my shelf, I've never read anything by him before. His writing style is great with a dryness that I liked a lot.
We meet a guy in a bar who's remembering a lost love on Christmas Eve. His thoughts are with Lucy from years ago, when they first met, how their love grew. This is a bittersweet story with a sting in its tale. I enjoyed this story even though it was very short story (seven pages), but it was enough of a taster to want to read more by this author. (7/10)
The two stories I read were great and I am looking forward to reading more from this anthology, I'm just sorry I didn't have time to read and review more for you. ...more
It is no secret that I loved 'Avenger's Angel' and because of that I purchased "Always Angel" the day it was released. It has many of the asp3.5 Stars
It is no secret that I loved 'Avenger's Angel' and because of that I purchased "Always Angel" the day it was released. It has many of the aspects I loved about 'Avenger's Angel' from the great writing to intriguing, sexy characters.
"Always Angel" is very short, too short in my opinion, and because of this there's not much plot. It's not a self-contained story as there's no real beginning, middle and end. It's more of a prologue to the main series. In the summary above it states that it 'introduces' the reader to The Lost Angels, well I'm not sure it does. None of the four Archangel's who are in the main series feature and the protagonist is one we never meet at all in the first book in the series.
We do get to see a little more of the naughty Samuel though, which I really enjoyed as I love Samuel. And we see the Archesses but from afar and only from the view point of Angel.
Angel is the main character and I liked her a lot. She's interesting and has cool abilities such as being able to change her appearance and transport to different parts of the world. I didn't really get to know who she is or what her role is with regards to The Lost Angels, but what we do know is that she's keeping an eye on the Archesses and she has a relationship or connection with Samuel that is never fully explained...
"Always Angel" gives me the feeling that there's a much bigger story to be told, which is very exciting and I hope Angel's story is developed further and all the questions about the Culmination and Samuel will be answered. *Oh I do hope Samuel gets his own book!*
We are also introduced to a few more supernatural characters such as Hesperos or 'The Nightmare' as he's known, an incubus king who wishes to know what Angel is hiding *so would I* and tries to seduce it out of her with overwhelming feelings of lust and sex, but so far she's resisting...
Although there are many questions left unanswered and mysterious characters you meet but never really get to know, "Always Angel" definitely creates a feeling of "I want the next book NOW!"
I'm not sure if readers who haven't read 'Avenger's Angel' will benefit from reading this first as it may leave them confused and frustrated more than anything, but I would definitely recommend reading it, especially to those who have already delved into the world of The Lost Angels with 'Avenger's Angel'....more
"Karma Girl" is such a fun book - I really enjoyed it! I haven't read a paranormal romance witOriginally posted on Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.
"Karma Girl" is such a fun book - I really enjoyed it! I haven't read a paranormal romance with superheroes before, and I thought it was fresh and original. I loved the storyline and the characters. The awful cover you see above does absolutely nothing to portray the entertaining, quirky and original story inside - in this case it's definitely don't judge a book by its cover!
Our heroine is Carmen, a very likeable and relatable character. She's real, with every day insecurities and worries about herself physically, and the direction her life is heading. Occasionally she became a little bit too insecure and whiny in the latter chapters, but overall she's a fun vibrant woman who is flawed, compassionate, understanding and caring.
After being cheated on by her boyfriend with her best friend, as well as finding out they are two of the town's superhero's and übervillain's, Carmen decides to take revenge on all the superheroes in Bigtime by revealing their secret identities. But one day everything comes crashing down when one superhero commits suicide after being outed. Of course Carmen feels dreadful and blames herself.
The book skips a few months from this point. Carmen is still a reporter but she's now covering the social scene of the rich. It's not a job she particularly likes but she's happy to just blend into the background after what has happened.
One night she meets superhero, Striker. Ahh, Striker... gorgeous, hot, sexy - basically delicious enough to eat, but also strong, caring, loving... *swoon*
But despite loving both Carmen and Striker, it's here that you have to suspend your disbelief. There are many similarities to Superman. We all know who Superman is but Lois doesn't because Clark wears glasses! It's the same with Striker. He has very distinctive coloured eyes and voice, which Carmen comments on all the time, but she never makes the connection to Striker's true identity. As long as you don't take this too seriously (as we all didn't with Superman) then you will find this book bundles of fun.
The descriptions of Striker from Carmen are great at first as they give us a wonderful impression of how utterly gorgeous Striker is, but after a while the same expressions became repetitive. Every time she came face to face with Striker she would notice how well his leather superhero suit fitted his amazing body...
There is also quite a bit of telling rather than showing, especially when it came to Carmen's investigative skills of finding out the superhero's identity. Sentences such as "I worked feverishly for the next two days" were used a bit too often. It would have given more depth to story to see exactly what she did and how she did it.
There are only a couple of scenes where we see the superheroes do there thing, fighting the übervillains. Personally, I would have liked a bit more superhero action. I really enjoyed seeing the Fearless Five fight against the Terrible Triad.
It would have been good to see Carmen do a bit more reporting on the actions of the superheroes too. There's no explanation as to why there are superheroes and übervillains or why there are so many of them in one place. Bigtime is full of them, which made them not as unique and special as they should have been.
Overall "Karma Girl" is a fun, entertaining read with likeable characters. A little repetitive in places but nothing a bit more editing couldn't fix, which would make it a much tighter story and give more depth to what is essentially a terrific book. Estep has a fabulous writing style, which is smooth, easy to read and totally absorbing. I loved all the other characters and I hope each one will be given a turn in telling their story. I'm really looking forward to reading 'Hot Mama' the next book in the series. ...more
After reading and enjoying 'Karma Girl' I was really looking forward to meeting Carmen (aka Karma Girl) again and her gorgeous superhero boyfriend StrAfter reading and enjoying 'Karma Girl' I was really looking forward to meeting Carmen (aka Karma Girl) again and her gorgeous superhero boyfriend Striker. Unfortunately, considering this is meant to be a paranormal romance, there really isn't much romance. Striker hardly features at all, which was very disappointing, he's such a hotty.
Karma Girl, who is now one of Bigtime's Fearless Five superheroes, has been asked to look after a bunch of presents that are intended for children in need. Karma Girl is there to make sure nothing happens to the gifts and Bigtime's ubervillains don't get their hands on them.
But of course things don't go to plan, and what should have been any easy job turns out to be a lot more problematic. Karma Girl finds herself fighting two ubervillians who want to steal the Christmas gifts, and, to make things nice and easy, they have a nifty gadget that shrinks everything to a manageable carrying size!
I have to say the plot is rather thin and a little on the silly side. And as I did with 'Karma Girl' I tried to suspend my disbelief and remember that this is a superhero story. Sadly in this instance it was just all a bit too silly.
However, Estep has the ability to draw me in and keep me engaged, and although I didn't find this short story as enjoyable or as entertaining as 'Karma Girl' it did have some nice moments, especially the ending - ah Striker...
Despite the fact that "A Karma Girl Christmas" doesn't really deliver on the romance front, I did enjoy being back in Bigtime, and although part of a series, this short festive novella can easily be read as a stand alone. So, if you're looking for a quick, fun and light-hearted Christmas read then "A Karma Girl Christmas" could be just what you're looking for. ...more
Looking at the cover, the title as well as the fact Carina Press classes "Lure of the Mummy" as a horror, I was expecting more. The writing i2.5 Stars
Looking at the cover, the title as well as the fact Carina Press classes "Lure of the Mummy" as a horror, I was expecting more. The writing is good but the horror is non existent, and with just 72 pages to play with I felt that the story was just too short. It felt as if it was from a much longer work, but to keep it at novella length the author removed huge chunks of the story. It read a little thin.
There wasn't a lot of depth to the characters, and the world was very narrowly focused, mainly on an apartment and an office. The fact the story was set in Egypt should have given the author a lot to play with but unfortunately the opportunity was lost.
"Lure of the Mummy" is set in Egypt and should have conveyed the colourful Egyptian atmosphere, lifestyle and people. It did for the first couple of pages and then disappeared inside an office building and apartment. I would have like much more descriptive detail of the Egyptian museum and wish that it was set there rather than alternating between a boring office and apartment. I think it would have added to the story of the mummified cat and the strange goings on.
Bert is the main character and who most of the story centres around. He's a hieroglyphics expert, but he is bypassed for a more dynamic colleague when a new artefact needs translating. When he's out at a market he's offered a mummy to buy, which he does, but things are not as they seem with this mummified cat. When Bert thinks that a certain someone should just drop dead, they actually do...
When I finished the last page I was relieved. Bert is a very distasteful character and incredibly unlikable. He's selfish and bitter, filled with jealousy and anger, basically he's just a nasty little man. When he eventually gets his comeuppance I didn't feel any sympathy for him at all. In fact I was rather indifferent.
"Lure of the Mummy" is an interesting character study but not an immensely enjoyable piece of fiction. There wasn't enough depth to the characters for me to connect with, and although Bert did get under my skin it was not in a good way. There's also not enough world building, and with Egypt being the setting this novella should have oozed atmosphere. Although this isn't an awful novella I personally wouldn't recommend it, but if you like short, quick reads then you may enjoy this one more than me. ...more
When Angela is turned into a vampire against her will, her only thought is to run. The love of her life hates vaOriginally posted on Book Chick City.
When Angela is turned into a vampire against her will, her only thought is to run. The love of her life hates vampires so instead of confronting him and seeing that hate in his eyes, she decides to leave everything she knows and head out on her own. But when her friend is kidnapped, Angela has to go back to the one place she never thought she'd go again.
When alpha werewolf, Knox sets his eyes on Angela after ninety years, his feelings come rushing back. He never knew why Angela left and had never really got over it. When the head of her vampire family demands her return, Knox realises he can never let her go again and decides to fight anyone to the death who ties to take her away.
In such a short novella everything has to happen at lightning speed but the author does a wonderful job at keeping it as believable as possible. It's such a well contained story that I believed every word, which was helped by the great pacing.
The main characters, Angela and Knox, are fab. Angela is my kind of gal - feisty, independent and passionate. Knox is a born leader, slightly arrogant, but expected for an Alpha, and also very sexy. I loved that Angela was a woman who could take care of herself and that Knox had a caring side. They complimented each other brilliantly.
There are a few sensual moments but nothing really too explicit, which I liked. It made their coming together more real for me and my heart fluttered a little at their rediscovered love.
"Destined Mate" is a lovely, well written novella. I really enjoyed it and didn't want it to end. In such a short novella it's bursting with action, passion, heat and great characters. A very enjoyable bite-sized paranormal romance. ...more
I don't often read short stories. Not because I don't think they are good but because I preferOriginally posted on Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.
I don't often read short stories. Not because I don't think they are good but because I prefer the longer story and character arc that a novel can give. But when I found that one of my all time favourite series had a companion volume of short stories, I had to read it.
I'm not sure if readers coming in as a completely new reader will find this small collection of short stories as riveting as I did. The first two stories are short and I think were written for readers already familiar with the 'As The World Dies' trilogy. Because I had read the first two novels in the series, I was able to read the short stories with a mind already full of the world and the characters and the groundwork and foundations had already been set so to speak. However, as a companion to the trilogy they are fab.
The Broken Heart ~ Lydia's Story
This was the story I was most looking forward to reading, as well as dreading. Katie, one of the main characters in the full length novels in the 'As The World Dies' trilogy is such a wonderful character. Her sorrow and pain she feels about the death of her beloved wife, Lydia, is really poignant and one of the reasons I love Katie so much, so to finally see how Lydia died is sad but a must read all the same.
It was lovely to see Katie and Lydia together in happier times, good to see Katie smiling and buoyant rather than fighting for her life and tormented by memories of Lydia as a zombie. But at the same time the ending to Lydia's story is inevitable, we know what happens, and it's this ending that is so sad and heartbreaking, but very fitting to the trilogy and Katie's ongoing story.
Dangerous Highways ~ Monica's Story
It was nice to see Monica's journey before she arrived at the Fort. Not a pleasant journey by any means having been threatened at gun point by a man who had lost his sanity with hungry zombies all around. After seeing his wife being bitten and turned into a zombie and then see her kill and turn their children into zombies, you can understand why he's gone a little bit loopy.
But this is a different world now and it boils down to survival. Monica has to do what she can to stay alive so she can get to her home town and her family in one piece. As with all of Frater's work, there's an abundance of tension and suspense that makes this story exciting and heard to put down. But because it's very short, you don't have to wait long before it's ended - far too short in my opinion, but a great little story.
Vacation of the Undead ~ Eric's Story
I didn't find Eric particularly charismatic in 'Fighting to Survive'. He was a bit weedy. But this short story, which is a much better length, changed all that. Eric is actually pretty cool.
This short story is Eric's journey to the Fort and what a journey it is. After a huge fight with his girlfriend, Brandy, Eric finds himself, and his little dog, Pepe, in a bed and breakfast with zombies shuffling outside the front door. Before he enters the Fort we see him fighting off hordes of zombies, saving lives and falling in love.
The first half of the story seems to have been influenced by the novel, 'I Am Legend' by Richard Matheson. Although Matheson's novel deals with vampires rather than zombies, there are many similarities; a male character, who thinks he's all alone in a post-apocalyptic world, barricades himself inside a house, drinks himself into a stupor on a daily basis in despair, who owns a dog...
However, despite these similarities, Frater puts her distinct stamp on Eric's Story. Her ability to draw you into the action, of which there is plenty, to captivate you with her descriptive prose, to capture your heart with endearing characters, is now a definitive Frater trait, and as with everything I've read by Frater so far I enjoyed it immensely.
I loved the duo of Eric and his dog, Pepe. The relationship between them is sweet, and a man who loves animals is a great man indeed in my opinion. However, the human facial expressions Frater continually plasters on Pepe does become a bit unrealistic. Whether it was intended to be how Eric interprets his dogs behaviour is unclear. However, the love Eric has for his little dog is one of the reasons I like him so much, and a love I can totally understand. I heart animals.
I was surprised at how strong, capable and dynamic Eric became throughout this short story. He grew in my estimations and transformed into a sort of unwitting hero. Now that I have a better understanding of who he is, I hope he has a larger role to play in, 'Siege', the third novel in the trilogy.
I LOVED 'The First Days' and 'Fighting to Survive' - they will both go down as two of my all time favourite zombie horror novels *I can't wait to read 'Siege'. When I began reading this volume of short stories I was instantly pulled back into the zombie infested world Frater had created in her full length novels and I didn't want it to end. As this is a self-published work there are a few editing issues and some repetition, but Frater's writing talent shines through and these small issues soon became insignificant.
'As The World Dies Untold Tales' is a great insight into some of the lesser known characters, but Lydia and Monica's stories were not long enough for my liking, but that's probably just because I love this world so much. A wonderful companion to the 'As The World Dies' trilogy. I hope there's a volume two. ...more
How interesting does this anthology sound!? I loved the idea of reading from the view point of the monster. I'm aOriginally posted on Book Chick City.
How interesting does this anthology sound!? I loved the idea of reading from the view point of the monster. I'm also getting more and more into reading short stories. They really are great for when you're short on time, or going through a rough reading slump. And that's exactly what was happening to me when "The Monster's Corner" dropped through my letter box.
I decided I would read four of the stories in "The Monster's Corner" and write mini reviews of each. I thought this would be enough to give you an idea of the different styles you would find from the many different authors who contributed to this anthology and hope they will give a little taster if you will of what is on offer from this awesome looking book - the cover is fab don't you think? So here are my four choices from this bumper selection of supernatural shorties.
Succumb by John Mcllveen
This was a very visual, slightly dark but also tongue-in-cheek story with a huge amount of sexuality. The story is literally about a sexual act that has you guessing who, or what, is the entity doing the act. It's very difficult to explain without giving anything away, but let's just say I changed my mind about three times before the story ended. I liked the authors writing style a lot and even though this was a very short story there was a lot of information about the two characters involved. It had my complete undivided attention while reading.
Rakshasi by Kelley Armstrong
This is an excellent story. I really enjoyed it and I was disappointed when it ended. It's from the view point of a Rakshasi demon, who are cursed to walk the earth as a monster but are offered a way to repent and redeem their sins by a member of an isha family. If they accept, the member of the isha family becomes their master. When the Rakshasi has repaid their debt they will be set free. However, this hasn't happened for this particular demon who calls herself Amrita. Her 'family' have kept her for two hundred years as her job, with her master's help, is to seek out evil and eliminate it. When this is done the isha family can keep the wealth of their victim and because of this Amrita has become too valuable to set free, and she is not happy about it...
The ending is satisfying, although I must admit I was expecting something a little more dramatic, but over all this story is fab. I think Ms Armstrong should write a full length novel with Amrita as the heroine - I think this would make a very original type of urban fantasy.
Less of a Girl by Chelsea Cain
Sophie is in her bedroom with the bloody, dead body of, what I assume is her friend, Charlotte, on the floor. The narrator watches as Sophie scoops out an eyeball and offers it to her to eat, which she does and then continues to eat until there is no more trace of Charlotte, except for a blood stain on the carpet.
I do have my own thoughts as to who or what the narrater is, the clue for me is in the ending when the narrater slips under Sophie's bed, but I won't say any more as I don't want to influence you if you choose to read this anthology. However, it was a little too ambiguous for my taste and felt as though the author was relying on the reader to make their own assumptions as to who the narrater was. I'm not a huge fan of this style, but this story still had me instantly engrossed and is a great piece of descriptive writing.
Jesus and Satan Go Jogging in the Desert by Simon R. Green
This was my favourite story out of the four I selected to review. It is just so clever and funny, I loved it. It's exactly as the title suggests. Satan comes up from Hell to talk to Jesus who has been walking through the desert for forty days and forty nights. He's there to tempt Jesus, to test him at the instruction of their Father, God. It's quite poignant in places, and so funny in others. This story definitely makes me want to pick up a novel by this author.
Last year I read and reviewed a selection of stories from "Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead" (also edited by Christopher Golden), and thought it was excellent. From what I have read so far of "The Monster's Corner," it looks as though this is another fantastic collection of short stories from a great list of authors. I will definitely read more from this anthology, so look out for the review!...more
"Visions of Heat" is the second book in Nalini Singh's 'Psy-Changeling' series. I loved the first book 'Slave to Sensation' and although I ve3.5 Stars
"Visions of Heat" is the second book in Nalini Singh's 'Psy-Changeling' series. I loved the first book 'Slave to Sensation' and although I very much enjoyed this instalment I found I didn't like the heroine, Faith, as much as Sacha from the previous book. Faith seems a bit too weak, although she does try to be strong, and a little too cold. However, the hero, Vaughn, is deliciously dark and brooding.
Faith NightStar is an F-Psy who can forsee the future. She is a rare designation in the world of Psy and, due to her perfect predictions in the world of business, worth a fortune.
But her life is turned upside down when another Psy pushes into her mind to reveal the horror of her sisters murder and possible future murders. She's also feeling strong emotions and thinks she is going insane. So she decides to seek out Sascha and hopes she will be able to give her some answers and maybe even help.
Faith decides to leave the confines of her home, which is more like a prison, and enters the Changelings territory in search of Sacha, where she is confronted with a jaguar...Vaughn. Faith is very wary of this big cat but Vaughn feels something is different about her and so decides to play...
The budding romance between Faith and Vaughn is slow as Faith believes she will go insane if he touches her too much, but Vaughn keeps pushing her boundaries and of course succeeds. When they finally get together it's very steamy!
The format of this story is very similar to 'Slave to Sensation' so it was difficult for me not to compare. There's a cold Psy who thinks she's going insane and a killer who's on a murderous rampage. However, despite the similarities I still really enjoyed "Visions of Heat" and, as with all of Singh's novels, it was a real pleasure to read.
As well as the romance and mystery of the murders, Singh gives us a thrilling and complex world which honestly blows my mind. I love this unique world of Psy, Changeling and human. The way Singh describes the Psy-Changeling world is incredibly detailed and original. I'm fascinated with the NetMind, which moves on to something quite different and exciting at the end of this instalment and I'm so intrigued with how it will develop.
Many of the characters from 'Slave to Sensation' are present in some way or another, which is great as it allows me to get to know each of them a little bit more. I'm really looking forward to learning more about them as they all have different personalities and traits and to reading each of their own personal stories in future books.
Another great read from a fabulous author. Nalini Singh is without doubt my favourite paranormal romance author at the moment. So far everything I've read has been top notch, from the rich, lush writing to fantastic characterisation to vivid world building. An absolute must read!...more
I have been a big fan of Magrs’ writing ever since I read his ‘Brenda & Effie’ paranormal mystery series. Magrs writing style is quirky, with an oI have been a big fan of Magrs’ writing ever since I read his ‘Brenda & Effie’ paranormal mystery series. Magrs writing style is quirky, with an old fashioned touch, articulate and descriptive. “666 Charing Cross Road” has all of these qualities.
New Yorker, Elizabeth Bathory, loves books, especially the supernatural kind and when her friend, Jack, gives her the address of a book shop in London who specialises in old out of print books in her favourite genres, she begins to write to the owner and order herself a selection of paranormal romances and vampire fiction.
One day she unexpectedly receives an ancient book, which is cursed with a demon. Having dealt with many vamps and other supernatural creatures in her past, Liza instantly knows that there’s something decidedly evil about the book and wants to be rid of it.
Shelley, Liza’s niece, is a curator for an unconventional art gallery and is dating her boss Daniel. When Daniel sets his eyes on the grimoire he wants it and asks to examine it in more details, so reluctantly, as Liza dislikes this man intensely and thinks her niece can do so much better, allows him to take it. Unfortunately, the demon possesses Daniel after he invites the demon in and all hell breaks loose.
Unfortunately, “666 Charing Cross Road” started off very slowly, which made it difficult to get into. It also has many plot twists and turns that made my head spin a little, as well as numerous characters, but due to the clever writing I knew exactly what was going on and who was who. There isn’t much depth to the characters either and I felt as though I was watching their lives from afar. I much prefer to be immersed in my characters lives so I did feel slightly detached from them.
There are lots of supernatural creatures such as vampires, zombies, demons, and in particular, Betsy, an effigy of a woman who comes to life after many years to find that she’s been brought back to life by the very grimoire everyone wants to destroy.
I found Betsy fun and different, I enjoyed that she was quite prepared to beat Daniel to a pulp if he hurt Shelley. There was one specific scene that had me giggling. But because she has been 'dead' for a long time her voice was taking time to return. The way Magrs used this in Betsy's dialogue was funny at first, but when she didn't get any better it became irritating and started to grate on my nerves. I just wanted her to talk normally!
I was also hoping for something more from Elizabeth Bathory, with such a name I thought that there would be a big reveal at the end. Unfortunately there wasn’t – although she casts a few spells and implies that she has had dealings with vampires in her past, no other details were given, which was a little disappointing.
Although “666 Charing Cross Road” isn't the strongest novel I've read by Magrs asI found the pace to be too slow, which made the story drag, it's still another wonderfully written story, with clever prose, fabulously idiosyncratic characters and intriguing, original plot....more
There has been quite a lot of buzz about “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” so I’ve really been looking forward to reading this one.
There has been quite a lot of buzz about “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” so I’ve really been looking forward to reading this one.
The Otherworld Taylor has created, named Elsewhere, is mysterious and intriguing and the characters are imaginative and fun. The angels are frightening but beautiful and the Chimaera strange and complex, and Karou is a fabulous heroine.
As I read through each chapter, “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” just got better and better. The world building more vivid, the characters more captivating. I had difficulty putting this book down. Taylor’s writing is smooth, descriptive and easy to read. I glided through each chapter effortlessly and was so mesmerised by it that I hadn’t noticed when two hours had passed.
What starts out as a good, but not unfamiliar story, about a young girl at school, with a loyal best friend, immersed in the supernatural, soon turns into a completely different young adult novel, one which I haven’t come across before, making it unique.
Like Carolyn, I've seen this on the book blogosphere, with people commenting that it is probably one of their favourite books of the year. So I was rather excited about picking it up. Although is it just me or do you sometimes find when a book has been so revered by others, it's easy to get swept up in the buzz and then be a little disappointed by the story itself?
And I did find this was the case very slightly with "Daughter of Smoke and Bone". Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, but it's perhaps not the best I've read this year.
I totally agree that the book got better and better with each chapter, I thoroughly enjoyed the clever and unique world building Taylor has created, it is rich and fascinating. Set in Prague, it tells the story of Karou, a human girl who has been raised by otherworldly creatures, the chimaera. The chimaera can only be reached through secret doorways scattered about the globe, which enables Karou to transition between the two. The concept of the secret doorways totally captured my imagination! In some respects it had the same appeal as a modern day Secret Garden.
I agree with Laura that sometimes a book can be hyped up and then not meet expectations, I hate it when that happens, but I didn't feel it did with this book. Although it's probably not the best book I've ever read, it is one of my favourites of 2011 and definitely one of the best young adult novels I've read.
Karou is a talented artist studying at art school in Prague. Brought up by the charismatic but aloof Brimstone who deals in teeth and wishes. Karou transports from her life in Elsewhere to her life in Prague via portals from one world to the other.
Karou, being young and impulsive, is a little frivolous with her wishes. Most of the time she uses her necklace of wishes given to her by Brimstone for harmless things to help her along in life, such as wishing to speak Czech so she could study in Prague, as well as twenty other languages, unlocking her door when she’s forgotten her keys or wishing the eyebrows of the girl who slept with her boyfriend to become overly bushy…
Her best friend, Zuzana is fab – she really lightened the tone. But when she finds out about Karou and her life the story jumps forward three months so we never get to see Zuzana's surprise or disbelief and then her realisation that what Karou told her is true. Because of this I really had to keep reminding myself that three months had passed and that was why Zuzanna was so easy breezy about the angels and chimaera and all the other supernatural oddities that were happening around her.
The one aspect I noticed and really enjoyed was the limited amount of angst. There really isn’t much of it and Karou and Zuzanna are pretty mature for their seventeen years, especially in the latter part of the novel.
The story moves along at a good pace and I was completely engrossed. I enjoyed Karou’s world, friends and magic. The fight scenes are pretty good too and Karou can kick some serious butt. I liked that one of Karou’s weapons were devil eye tattoos on the palms of her hands and she gets satisfaction from her weapons, especially when she buys a new set in China!
I liked how the narrative set up Karou's life and how she balanced it between that as a human, studying art in Prague and life as Brimstone's ward. I find it interesting that you described him as charismatic Carolyn, as I found him really intriguing, probably one of my favourite characters in fact, but more monstrous than charismatic. He balanced on a strange edge between fatherly on occasion and at other times quite chilling.
My favourite part has to be Brimstone's occupation as a wish bearer. Trading wishes for teeth. Karou's frivolous wishes did make me smile. Who wouldn't want to make the eyebrows of the girl who slept with your eyebrows bushy? And there's a great scene scene when Karou is doing life drawing, but I mustn't say anymore!
I felt that the story was pacey, but did not really begin to pick up speed when Karou's world comes crashing down. When the doors to elsewhere close leaving Karou cut off from her other-worldy family, she suddenly finds herself amidst a war she didn't know existed. On one side the chimaerean and the other the seraphim or angels.
Interestingly, there is no clear division between good and evil in this novel. There are people that commit evil deeds, but one side is not necessarily better than the other. You could easily think the chimaera are the baddies due to their magical powers and unorthodox appearances, but as the book progresses you see that things are not that clear cut. And this was a concept I found cleverly portrayed. If there is no good and evil, how do you define right and wrong?
I definitely agree with Laura that Brimstone balances between being a loving fatherly figure and something a little more deadly, however, I definitely found him fascinating, which is probably why he is also one of my favourite characters in the book.
I enjoyed Brimstone's occupation too and I liked the idea of trading teeth for wishes. I did have my suspicions as to what the teeth were for and my thoughts were proven right when all was revealed near the end.
If I had one negative it would be how quick Karou and Akiva's love for one another grew. Akiva has been a hostile, cold angel devoid of emotions for centuries, and to just get his feelings back in a day after meeting Karou was a little unrealistic.
However, once I got over this blip, I really enjoyed their interactions with each other and the romance is an intense, sweeping love story that fills the heart. My favourite part of the novel was the last third of the book. The flashbacks to another time were just fabulous, which I won’t go into as I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but let's just say I can't wait for book two!
This book has definite crossover appeal and I would highly recommend it for adults as well as teenagers. Taylor’s imagination is just superb, and the world of Elsewhere is amazing. I loved reading about the Chimaera, a strange bizarre combination of animal parts, and the Angels, born of fire who are anguished, tortured beings. I am also intrigued to find out who, and what, Karou is.
Karou is a fascinating lead character, with her blue hair and tattoos. She does come across as quite young at first, but very quickly progresses in maturity. Determined and tough, but equally sensitive and vulnerable.
I'm impressed Carolyn guessed the significance of the teeth, as it kept me guessing for a long time. As did the reason why these creatures had raised a human child, what was her significance and what happened to her family?
The book is also comprised of some truly creative characters. From Karou's chimaerean family, I wanted to delve into Brimstone's mind and find out what exactly made him tick, to, as Carolyn has already referred to, the warm and very lifelike friendship portrayed between Karou and her human best friend Zuzana.
Of course I must not forget to mention the angel Akiva. As this book would not be complete without a love story, and going with recent trends, Karou's love interest is Akiva, a lost Angel. No longer sure of his path and tortured by his past, but it does make for a compelling story that is easy to get absorbed in. As Akiva and Karou become ever closer, the horror of the war dividing them becomes only more paramount. I didn't struggle so much with Akiva's transition from an angel devoid of emotions to one devastatingly in love, as I felt there was enough back story to cover this change. And found I got more sucked into the star-crossed lovers aspect of their story.
CAROLYN: “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” is a wonderful combination of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, with an amazing heroine and unique secondary characters. A new and refreshingly original world and a fantastic beginning to a new trilogy. I will definitely be continuing this series and wait with bated breath for the next instalment.
LAURA: "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" is a uniquely drawn novel, rich and creative. For me it's pulled into two parts: before the doors to elsewhere close, and after. With second part of the novel by far having the grittier storyline. Marketed as a YA novel, I think this book would appeal to readers who normally only pick up adult novels too. ...more
"Flip This Zombie" is the second book in the 'Living with the Undead' series and although it's an enjoyable read it didn't have the same impact, humou"Flip This Zombie" is the second book in the 'Living with the Undead' series and although it's an enjoyable read it didn't have the same impact, humour and laugh out loud moments that were so much a part of the first book 'Married with Zombies'.
Somewhere along the way, this novel became a little too much like so many other zombie novels. It lost a little bit of it's originality and although Sarah and David still snark at each other and banter back and forth it isn't in the same tongue in cheek way I loved to much in the first book.
"Flip This Zombie" is a little darker, which I normally like, but because this series started out with such a light and humourous tone I assumed, and hoped, this would be continued in the next instalment.
Sarah and Dave are now head of a new business, ZombieBusters Inc, which sees them splattering more zombie brains than usual. But now they are experienced zombie hunters and have gained knowledge of all their weaponry. They are no longer the naive married couple we met in the first book - which I missed a little too be honest - they are a zombie fighting duo.
There's also the addition of a scientist who proclaims to have a possible cure and hires Sarah and Dave to collect live zombies for him to test on. But things do not go to plan. There are quite a few twists and turns that kept me turning the pages, but mostly it was all quite predictable.
"Flip This Zombie" isn't as enjoyable or as fresh as the first book, 'Married with Zombies', but it is still entertaining. I will definitely be reading the third instalment, 'Eat, Slay, Love'....more
“Mistress by Midnight” is the third book in the ‘The Scandalous Women of the Ton’ series by Nicola Cornick, and the best so far in my opinion. Althoug“Mistress by Midnight” is the third book in the ‘The Scandalous Women of the Ton’ series by Nicola Cornick, and the best so far in my opinion. Although the format is very much the same with each novel I really enjoy Cornick’s style of writing, it’s very easy to read and her stories seem to suck me in from the first chapter. She is fast becoming one of my favourite historical romance authors.
Our heroine is Merryn Fenner, a young woman in her early twenties who is quite different from the other ladies of the ton. Merryn isn’t much into fashion and grand balls and thinks being a debutante is a tedious business. She would rather curl up with a good book, go to the theatre or attend lectures to broaden her mind.
Merryn is an intellectual, educated woman and is working secretly for an inquiry agency as a working woman, which is not the done thing in high society. Her main aim is taking revenge on the Duke of Farne for the death of her brother and the pain he caused ten years before.
At five feet tall, she maybe small, but she’s feisty and smart. I loved the way that when she became angry, and this usually happened when around Garrick, she lifts her chin and marches off in the opposite direction to show her displeasure. She is just so cute. I can totally understand why Garrick would be utterly taken with her.
Garrick Northesk, the Duke of Farne is our hero and he’s one of my all time favourites. I just fell hook line and sinker for this particular gentleman. He's strong and gorgeous, but sweet and caring with a touch of vulnerability, a great combination. He has a dark past which is revealed slowly and the outcome surprises all, especially Merryn...
Both Merryn and Garrick are wonderful characters. I fell in love with both of them. They are so lonely and yet don’t want to admit it. They both have a past that continues to weave its way into their present and prevents them from giving in to their feelings. But this restraint is what gives their relationship so much fire and passion. Their dialogue is wonderful, at times very witty and at other times intense and tender. Their relationship takes time to grow, which made the happy ending so much more satisfying.
Another wonderful historical romance from Ms Cornick. If you haven’t read this author before then I recommend you do – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed, especially if you love historical romance. “Mistress by Midnight” is a fabulous read and I would recommend it just for the jail scene alone *fans self*...more
I was a little dubious about reading "One Wicked Sin" after finding out the heroine was Lottie Cummings. She was in the previous book in the3.5 Stars
I was a little dubious about reading "One Wicked Sin" after finding out the heroine was Lottie Cummings. She was in the previous book in the series as a secondary character and I didn't like her at all.
However, although I found it difficult at first to forget how awfully she had treated her best friend by sleeping with her husband, trying to seduce her new husband and betraying her in other ways, I did begin to like her more and more as I read each chapter. I began to understand why she was the woman she had become, but I still think it was daring of the author to think that all would be forgiven and forgotten.
We find Lottie in a poor state of affairs after her husband had divorced her due to her indescreet affairs. Without the support of her family and her only true friend out of the country, Lottie didn't have anyone to turn too. With no money and no place to live, the only option she could see was to turn to prostitution. She hates it with a passion and has lost all her confidence. She is now a broken woman and competely different from the one we met in 'Whisper of Scandal'.
One evening a gentleman offers to pay her to be his mistress, and upon reflection Lottie felt that this was the lesser of two evils, so she agrees. She did not expect to fall in love.
Ethan Ryder is a great hero - at first he uses her, but not in a rough way. He's gentle and caring, but he still sees her as something he has bought. But after only a few days he begins to have feelings for her that confuse him as he's never felt anything like it before. Ethan grows considerably throughout the book, as does Lottie and they find true love.
The one aspect that prevents "One Wicked Sin" from a higher rating is the balance of sex and plot. With 'Whiper of Scandal' Cornick gets the balance perfectly, but here there is too much talking and thinking about sex. If they're not thinking about it, they're talking about it and if they're not talking about it they're doing it. And although I realise that sex, lust etc is part of a romance novel, there is too much of it here for my taste and nothing much else happens for a good portion of the novel. However, the second half is much better balanced that the first.
Overall, "One Wicked Sin" is a fun, entertaining read and the characters growth is touching and heartwarming. Cornick gives us another romantic ending that makes the heart flutter....more
"Kitty's Big Trouble" is the 9th book in the 'Kitty Norville' series and it's still going pretty strong. I continue to find all the characters interes"Kitty's Big Trouble" is the 9th book in the 'Kitty Norville' series and it's still going pretty strong. I continue to find all the characters interesting and most of the time, likable. However, I didn't quite like the plot in this one as much as I have in previous books. There's a lot going on with many different threads. It's not difficult to understand as Vaughn does a great job at keeping everything easy but it did get a little tiresome with jumping from one storyline to another.
Kitty is on the hunt for another story for her talk-radio show and is looking into the history of different famous people from the past. She finds some interesting facts about them. She's also helping Anastasia, along with Ben and Cormac, in the quest to find the Dragon's Pearl, where the gang come face to face with Roman, a two thousand year old vampire, who they met for the first time in 'Kitty Raises Hell'.
I felt a slight atmosphere change in this book, it just doesn't have the same feel as the preceding books. I'm not sure if it's because it contained a lot more magic, or if it was due to the inclusion of Gods and mythology, but there is a definite shift in tone. And although there's plenty of action as always, which I usually love, this time I found my mind drifting, I just wasn't as engaged.
Even after all this time, I still find it difficult to believe in Kitty as a warrior, a true alpha, as she doesn't fight with weapons, has no magical ability and hardly ever fights as a werewolf, therefore all that's left is her human side, which surely has no hope against a two thousand year old vampire. And yet Roman seems concerned by her and her ability to thwart him. Kitty manages to stop evil in its tracks just by being there and being her sarcastic, snarky self.
Also, what is happening to Cormac? This is not how I imagined his character to end up. He's a bounty hunter and yet he now feels stripped of that ruggedness I loved so much in earlier books. I'm not sure I like this turn of events for him and want him to be the guy I met in 'Kitty and the Midnight Hour'.
I'm also not sure about the inclusion of Gods - there are enough supernaturals in this series: werewolves, vampires, demons, psychics, wizards, ghosts, magicians, without having to add mythology and Gods to the equation - this is just overload. Although I must admit I did like Sun - he was pretty dishy ;)
Despite "Kitty's Big Trouble" not being the strongest book in the series, there's still plenty to keep the interest of Kitty fans. I'm intrigued to find out what happens next for Kitty and her band of merry men, and I look forward to reading 'Kitty Steals the Show' when released summer 2012....more
"Whisper of Scandal" is a meaty historical romance, with great plot and well defined characters. I liked the heroine straight away. Widowed Lady Joann"Whisper of Scandal" is a meaty historical romance, with great plot and well defined characters. I liked the heroine straight away. Widowed Lady Joanna Ware is a complex character, as is the hero, but she is immensely likeable, whereas Lord Alex Grant is not. It took me quite some time to warm to him due to his arrogent, presumptuous and incredibly shallow manner, where he dislikes Joanna without knowing her and only goes on one person's opinion.
From the first chapter, when Lady Joanna and Lord Alex meet and Joanna kisses him in the hope to disuade her dead husband's cousin from his advances, I thought this was going to be a fairly light historical romance, but it wasn't.
Joanna's husband, an adventurer, dies while abroad and we are given glimpses into this horrid little man's life and his treatment of Joanna as we read further into the novel, which helped me understand her and how much she has been through. So when Lord Alex Grant is nasty to her, all I want to do is box his ears! But luckily, Joanna is an intelligent and articulate woman and gives as good as she gets. At times, Joanna puts Alex in his place so much so, I wanted to fist pump the air and cry "Yes! Take that, you cad!"
Although I didn't particularly like Alex for most of the book, he did begin to grow on me when he joined Joanna on a trip to the Arctic to bring home an orphaned child, and by the end of the novel, I loved him nearly as much as she did!
The secondary characters are also full of life, I specially liked Purchase, the captain of the boat Joanna charters for the long voyage. He's so protective and so in love with Joanna he will do anything to protect her.
The only secondary character I didn't like was Lottie Cummings - what a horrid woman. She proclaims to be Joanna's best friend and yet had an affair with her husband, she's incredibly grating and very shallow. She doesn't grow or change a bit throughout the entire novel and then she betrays Joanna again. Why Joanna continues to be friends with her I don't quite understand.
The dialogue between all the characters is well written and sharp, especially between Joanna and Alex. I really felt their dislike of each other, even though they simultaneously want to rip each other's clothes off. Venom drips from their words which are, at times, hurtful and spiteful, and it was immensely enjoyable to read. The only thing I will say is this did go on for a bit too long in my opinion and became a touch frustrating.
However, overall the pacing is very good and I believed Joanna and Alex's growing love. It isn't too abrupt, everything happens at the right time, and Alex soon comes to his senses. The sex scenes are sensual rather than explicit and the romance builds wonderfully.
The ending is just swoon-worthy, and so romantic - I won't give anything away, but let me just say, I now want to go on a long boat voyage to the Arctic and be swept off my feet by a Lord...
A lovely historical romance with all the right ingredients. If you enjoy the love/hate relationship - and I do, it's my favourite kind - then you will gobble this up. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series, 'One Wicked Sin'....more
I have been so excited about “Avenger’s Angel” ever since I saw it at the Headline Publishing event back in May. The cover is just gorgeous, and as II have been so excited about “Avenger’s Angel” ever since I saw it at the Headline Publishing event back in May. The cover is just gorgeous, and as I have a huge thing for angels right now, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Luckily I received an early review copy, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed!
The writing is fabulous and there are three plots that weave together to create a thrilling action-packed story as well as a beautiful romance, and there are moments that are just gorgeous and made my heart melt.
The characterisation is great too. The protagonists in this book (there will be four books in the series altogether) are Ellie and Uriel. They are such great personalities and I love that their relationship wasn't insta-love, although it was definitely insta-lust. There’s lots of sexual tension between them, but it took Ellie quite a while to begin to trust and love Uriel and it was nice to see their relationship grow at a realistic pace.
I also fell in love with Uriel’s brothers: Gabriel, Michael and Azreal, especially Azreal, who’s an Archangel with a difference - he's also a vampire. He lives mostly in the basement on his own. I find him sad and can't wait until he finds his own Archess who will love him.
Also, unsurprisingly *I always seem to go for the bad boys* my favourite character was, Samael. He wants the archess for himself and pretends to be someone he’s not too gain her trust. Although he’s the villain, there's something about him that makes me believe there is so much more that meets the eye and I hope soooo much he gets his own book. I would love to meet the woman who's able to thaw his icy, black heart.
I really like the fact that Ellie is a strong character and can stand up for herself, but she's soft and vulnerable too, a great combination. Her realisation that these four brothers are Archangels and that she is an Archess is very well done. She doesn’t instantly believe, but the situation is helped by the fact that she’s had a niggling feeling for most of her life that something wasn't quite right, especially as she has abilities other humans don’t such as the ability to heal and the ability to control the weather.
The only real negative point I have with this novel was the sex scene between Uriel and Eleanore. As Uriel was a vampire at the time (due to an unknown spell cast by the naughty Samael to prevent Uriel from revealing Samael’s true identity to Ellie) it seemed as though he used his hypnotic abilities to keep her subdued and then had his wicked way with her. He even put his hand over her mouth as he took her virginity violently to keep her from crying out from the pain. This took the edge off from what should have been a satisfying union. It's what I had wanted since they first laid eyes on each other as the sexual chemistry between them is just so toe-curlingly good. But the tender hotness of this scene was diluted by not knowing if Ellie was willing or if she was under a vampires influence.
However, a few pages after the scene, Ellie did state that she liked being the submissive party and that she had thoroughly enjoyed what Uriel had done to her. I wish this was shared before the sex scene as I would have felt more comfortable reading it, although, I’m not a big fan of the submissive female as it goes against my nature.
I also wish there was a little bit more ‘wing’ action too. The cover is absolutely stunning and I love angels with wings, but most of the novel the archangels are just like humans but with supernatural powers. However, I do get my wish at the end of the novel, but not as much as I would have liked and there wasn’t enough emphasis on the beauty of the wings. However, the ending is great and leaves me very impatient for the next book in the series.
"Avenger's Angel" is a fantastic addition to the paranormal romance genre, with sexy Archangels and a strong, beautiful heroine. The world is intriguing and the action is fast-paced. I for one can't wait to read future instalments. Fans of paranormal romance will lap this up - a great start to a new paranormal series....more
What a brilliant debut novel. I loved it. The characters, the story, the world... There's lots of action too, which is suspenseful and engaging. I couWhat a brilliant debut novel. I loved it. The characters, the story, the world... There's lots of action too, which is suspenseful and engaging. I couldn't put this book down and read it in one sitting.
Charley is fantastic – I love her character. She’s sassy, brave, and keeps getting herself into trouble. She’s smart, funny, witty, and I love her snark. Charley is a grim reaper who can see and talk to the dead. She’s also the light, the portal to the other side and helps them cross over.
But as being a grim reaper doesn't pay the bills, Charley also works as a private investigator and helps her uncle and the police with certain cases, using her ability to talk to ghosts. Of course most of the police thinks she's nuts, but her uncle believes in her and she's been right too many times for it to be fake.
I loved all the characters in this book, especially Charley’s best friend, Cookie, she is such a hoot. She’s also fun and loyal and I loved her to bits. It’s great to see an urban fantasy heroine have a loyal friend who she can talk to about anything. It’s refreshing since so many of our urban fantasy gals are loners. Don’t get me wrong, I love the loner heroine who’s gritty with a dark past etc, but I must admit it was a breath of fresh air to meet Charley.
There's also Angel, a cheeky boy-ghost who acts as her informant and Mr Wong, a Chinese ghost who hovers in the corner of her living room and hasn't moved for years.
Although her uncle knows she can talk to the dead, he doesn't know the full extent of what Charley is. Charley hasn't told anyone about her Grim Reaper status, but she decides it's time to have a least one person in her life that knows. There is a great scene with Charley and Cookie when she reveals who and what she is, and why she keeps disappearing at short notice. I really enjoyed the fact that Charley was opening up to her best friend, but Cookie's acceptance of the whole scenario was a little bit quick. However, now that Cookie know's I'm wondering if she will get mixed up in Charley's world a lot more.
With such a sexy, funny and interesting character as Charley, there undoubtedly had to be a little romance involved. And there is, but not too much which is just how I like it. There are two love interests who are both totally hot but very different in their own way.
Reyes is a dark, sexy, mysterious entity who keeps entering Charley's dreams to seduce her, and materialising when she's in danger to protect her. He's a great character and there's so much we don't know about him - I'm very intrigued.
Then there's Garrett, a handsome policeman who's skeptical about her abilities and who doesn't believe in the supernatural. I didn't particularly like Garrett at first but he definitely grew on me. Their banter is great and I started to feel chemistry between them. He's as stubborn as hell, but a complete match for Charley's sarcastic nature. I'm looking forward to seeing how their relationship evolves.
A fresh new voice in the urban fantasy genre and a must read for any urban fantasy fan. I can’t wait for the next book in this series! ...more
“Fated” is a very clever and imaginative story. It’s quite different from what I usually read, and although I enjoyed this authors previous book, ‘Bre“Fated” is a very clever and imaginative story. It’s quite different from what I usually read, and although I enjoyed this authors previous book, ‘Breathers’, I thought “Fated” was much better in every respect.
Fate is disillusioned with his five and a half billion humans. He’s fed up with watching them make mistake after mistake and waste their lives, diverting from the path he has set out for each of them.
However, one day he meets Sara, a human and falls in love. Which means his broken rule #1 – never get involved with humans.
The story takes us through his relationship with Sara, which is touching and funny. I really liked Fate, also known as Fabio when on Earth. He’s endearing even when he scorns his human herd.
I thought the way the author integrated Destiny, Death, Gluttony, Sloth among others, and even God, (known as Jerry), into the story was brilliantly done. They all had personalities which went along with their name.
I loved the whole idea of how Jerry made the universe and how all the planets including Earth came to be, although it isn’t an original idea, it was skilfully composed which had me smiling.
“Fated” is a satirical novel, which did occasionally turn a bit preachy. Some passages where Fate was venting his anger about the stupidity of his billions of humans went on a bit too long. I was also saddened to see that all the humans were portrayed as pretty awful.
There was one particular passage where Fate was in a church and he could see the futures of all the people that were there – he listed them: adulterers, pedophiles, school drop-outs, unhappy housewives. Not one was happy or good or kind. Humanity is bad but surely not that bad!
However, because of what happens to him, which I won't go into as I don't want to give any spoilers, Fate does eventually realise that humans aren’t as bad as he first thought. He begins to understand what it is like to be human, he realises that by being immortal and able to transport at the speed of light didn’t really give him the empathy he needed to understand them. It was touching to see him grow and learn and ultimately see hope.
The ending I didn’t see coming for a long time, but I did eventually begin to have my suspicions. I was really hoping to be wrong, but I wasn’t, the ending is slightly disconcerting and I can’t say I liked it. But as I found with ‘Breathers’, Browne doesn’t write nicely wrapped up happy endings, which actually makes his novels deliciously unpredictable.
“Fated” is a unique and well written novel. It's also funny, quirky, warm-hearted and hugely entertaining, which made this book hard to put down. I would definitely recommend it! ...more
I have a bit of a soft spot for historical romance since I began reading the genre last year, but I'd never read one of the most loved authors withinI have a bit of a soft spot for historical romance since I began reading the genre last year, but I'd never read one of the most loved authors within this genre. I have heard from many sources that Quinn is a wonderful writer and now having read a novel I couldn't agree more.
"Just Like Heaven" is brilliantly written and just so witty. It's sparkly, lively and funny. The writing is smooth and the dialogue realistic, so much so I didn't realise how many pages I had read before I realised I had nearly finished the book. I literally couldn't put it down.
The characters are endearing and lovable, with substance and heart. Honoria is a sweet character, she's caring and trusting. Marcus is a complete gentleman who pretends to be brooding when in fact he has a charming sense of humour and is totally adorable. In fact there isn't really one character in the entire novel who is disagreeable.
Honoria and Marcus have known each other since they were children, when Marcus became best friends with her brother Daniel. The prologue sets the scene of when they were children and then chapter one moves forward to the current day.
Daniel has fled the country due to a duel gone wrong, Honoria is searching for a husband and Marcus is now Lord Chatteris with a large estate and healthy bank balance.
Before Daniel leaves he makes Marcus promise to look after Honoria, which he does, by chasing away all potential suitors. On one particular occasion there is an accident (which I won't go into as it's hilarious and don't want to spoil it for you), and Marcus hurts his ankle. Of course things go from bad to worse when Honoria has to leave him to go and fetch help. It starts pouring with rain, Marcus's ankle swells to such an extent his boot has to be cut off, where upon his butler cuts his leg while doing so, and Marcus catches the flu.
While taking care of Marcus, Honoira realises she loves him and, when not in the throws of fever, Marcus realises he's in love with her, but neither let on to the other about their feelings.
The supporting cast of characters are just as well written and I loved each of them. The quartet consists of Iris, Daisy, Sarah and of course Honoria. They play as a quartet and are utterly dreadful and know this themselves, which is why they are dreading the traditional Musicale that they put on each year. I really enjoyed the light-hearted bickering between these characters and it was a great distraction from the romance. It balanced the book well.
The only aspect I didn't like as much as the rest of the book were the last couple of chapters. It was rather rushed. Honoria and Marcus have a sensual moment, Daniel returns from abroad, Daniel and Marcus fight, Marcus threatens to punch a man who's not been nice to Honoria, and then he pops the question! All in the span of a few pages - phew!
However, the true ending is sweet and satisfying and just what you would expect from an historical romance, so if you love HEA then you'll love this.
"Just Like Heaven" is a wonderfully light and witty historical romance full of delightful characters. A real treat....more
“Fighting To Survive” is absolutely brilliant! It's the second instalment of the 'As the WorldOriginally posted on Book Chick City. 9/10 on the blog.
“Fighting To Survive” is absolutely brilliant! It's the second instalment of the 'As the World Dies' trilogy by horror writer, Rhiannon Frater. I loved the first book, 'The First Days' but this was even better. It was just so good I couldn't bear to put it down. I read it in two sittings and the story remained with me long after I finished the last page. The action came thick and fast and didn’t let go, but was so wonderfully paced I didn’t feel as though I was constantly trying to keep up.
The characterisation is just amazing, I love Katie and Jenni; they are such great protagonists and all the secondary characters are just as well rounded and all have a part to play in this zombie horror. It’s these characters that make this particular horror novel touching, moving, as well as it being gruesome, suspenseful and horrifying.
There are multiple plots in "Fighting to Survive" but Frater manages to keep everything straight and not allow it all to become a jumbled mess. If fact, I really felt as though I was following Jenni and Katie's lives in almost real time and as each obstacle was presented to them I found myself trying to work out how to fix it with them. It gave the book authenticity, which I loved.
The relationships between some of the characters are deepened. There's also lots of drama, emotional turmoil, for me as well as the characters, and lots of fantastic action. The scenes where the characters enter the hotel to clear it of zombies is honestly one of the most tense scenes I've read. My stomach was in knots for the entire time I was reading it. I was so worried about the characters and Frater does a superb job at keeping the suspense nice and tight and not let it drift, which made the whole thing nerve-racking.
Jenni slips from reality a little further and sees the ghost of her husband, who was actually zombified in the first book. She's losing it but tries to keep it together. Jenni and Katie's friendship is stronger than ever. They are still the main characters, but we do get to know a little more about the other characters especially Travis and Juan.
Katie's sexual attack was pretty horrific, my heart went out to her, but it was warming to see her friends rally around and support her. It was interesting to see how the residents of the fort reacted to this, most were supportive of Katie, but a few sided with the attacker. This frustrated me no end, but I suppose it's the same as in real life. Luckily, the horrid little man got his comeuppance!
With hordes of zombies moaning and shuffling outside the fort's perimeters, there's a lot more to think about than romance. However, there is an element of romance throughout the novel for Katie and Jenni, which was a continuation from 'The First Days'.
“Fighting To Survive” is a horror novel with heart. It’s funny and endearing in places and sickening and gory in others, but always perfectly balanced between the two. This series is a fantastic addition to the zombie genre and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of ‘Siege’ the final book in this phenomenal trilogy....more
"The First Days" is the first book in a new zombie series by Rhiannon Frater. Originally self-published all three books in the series are now being re"The First Days" is the first book in a new zombie series by Rhiannon Frater. Originally self-published all three books in the series are now being released by Tor US in fairly quick succession. As soon as I heard about this series I knew I had to read it, and squealed with delight when Tor offered me the first book to review - well, you know how much a love the zombies ;)
"The First Days" is an action-packed, character-driven novel and was immensely enjoyable and fun to read. I had difficulty putting it down. The writing also seemed to get better and better as the book progressed.
From literally the first page, Frater pulled me in and never let go. I went on an epic journey with two amazing women and it was scary, funny and exhilarating.
What I loved about Frater's writing was her ability to give her characters life. Her portrayal of Jenni, an abused an beaten wife who watches her husband eat her children alive and Katie, a lesbian lawyer who is nearly eaten by her wife, is just superb. I really cared about these two women.
The plot is fab too. It's not original in the sense that there are zombies and people are fighting to stay alive, as this has been done before, but the author does manage to give it a breath of fresh air by having two females as her protagonists.
Jenni's transformation from a downtrodden victim of marital abuse to that of a gun-toting zombie-killing machine was moving as well as, at times, hilarious. However, although Jenni is definitely unhinged this is shown to the reader through her actions and dialogue - it isn't spelled out to us. We garner all the information we need from the characters themselves and I loved this, it made them more real.
Life for Jenni was already tragic before the zombie apocalypse but now it's just downright catastrophic, it's almost laughable. And laugh she does, especially when she's splitting a zombies head in two with a bullet.
Katie's character is great too, and if I had to choose she is the one I connected with the most. She's down to earth, strong and independent. She keeps things together and seems a lot more sane than Jenni.
Katie and Jenni have a lot of scars emotionally and physically and both are traumatised. But they can certainly look after themselves and they both realise they are stronger than they thought, especially Jenni, but I think a lot of her strength is coming from a little craziness and I'm interested to see if she changes in subsequent books, or if this is just how she is now.
The only aspect I didn't like about Katie's character was the sudden change in her sexual orientation - it gets a bit of a shake up half way through the novel and I didn't know about it. I felt as though I had been kept in the dark along with the other characters and I didn't like it. There was no need to keep this aspect of Katie's story secret from the reader and I must admit I felt a bit duped - as I'm sure Katie's friends will when they find out.
The other small niggle I had was as the story moved forward it did become a little too focused on Katie and as this started out as a female duo, I missed Jenni.
However, these are very small annoyances, ultimately "The First Days" had me thrilled, excited, sad and happy as I read the ups and downs of these peoples lives. Characters come and go throughout the novel, but they always leave a lasting memory.
Katie and Jenni fight their way through hordes of flesh eating zombies with a dog and Jenni's step son. They eventually find a group of people who are rebuilding their world, even if it's a smaller and more insular one, by fortifying their town. It's a huge effort but most pitch in.
Although, as with life, there are the stupid ones, the ignorant ones and the thugs who want to rebel against change and what is happening or don't want to believe that they are now living with the walking dead who want to eat them alive. Some think that all the undead need is a little medical attention *idiots*. This attitude bugs me no end and I always relish when one of them gets eaten, just so I can be smug and say "see, not medical attention" ;)
"The First Days" is just SO good. It's a really fab addition to the zombie genre and I can't wait to follow Katie and Jenni's story with 'Fighting to Survive' and then 'Seige' - if you love strong characters, exciting plot and of course zombies then I'm sure you will love this....more
I really enjoyed the first book in the series, ‘Married with Zombies’ and thought it was a unique take on the genre’s leading characters. Dav3.5 Stars
I really enjoyed the first book in the series, ‘Married with Zombies’ and thought it was a unique take on the genre’s leading characters. Dave and Sarah are married you see, and just before the zombie apocalypse they were on the verge of divorce. But nothing brings you together more than the world around going to shit and Sarah and Dave found their love for one another growing again, and surprisingly they made a pretty good team.
However, with the second book ‘Flip the Zombie’ the humour was missing for me which made the book a little darker. Normally I love dark and gritty urban fantasies but since I fell in love with the snark and Dave and Sarah’s lighthearted married couple banter I was disappointed when I found it lacking.
Unfortunately, "Eat Slay Love" has gone the other way. There is way too much snark, innuendo and jokes that I felt saturated by it. Nearly every paragraph Sarah is making some quip or smart alek comment and after a while it just had my eyes rolling and started to get on my nerves.
But despite this irritation of Sarah’s I still liked her, she is kinda funny and sometimes the comedic moments were spot on and brought a smile to my lips. There’s also plenty of action and suspense, and with the addition of two other characters, Nicole, a reporter and McKray, a washed out rock star, there are lots of great interactions and the dynamics between these four was great to read.
After being bitten by a zombie at the end of book two, David is finding that he isn’t quite the same – he’s slightly different. Sarah is noticing all sorts of things such as his increased hunger, increased strength and the fact that the zombies don’t seem to want to eat him. While dealing with these disturbing revelations, their small group is also taken by another cult, which of course they have to escape from as well as avoiding the zombies who want to munch on their brains.
“Eat Slay Love” is fun reading and great for a quick entertaining read. It’s not quite up to par with the first book, but definitely better than the second. I’m sad to hear that Orbit have now dropped the series, I think Sarah and Dave still had quite a few stories to tell - at least the series ended on a high note. ...more
“Grave Witch” is an amazing first book to a series. I loved all the characters, the world-building and wriOriginally reviewed on www.BookChickCity.com
“Grave Witch” is an amazing first book to a series. I loved all the characters, the world-building and writing style. It was my kind of book and I really enjoyed it.
Alex Craft is a witch who uses ‘grave sight’ to speak to the dead and hover between the corporeal world and the world of the dead. She’s headstrong, sassy, interesting and very independent. She doesn’t get on well with her father, who absolutely hates that she uses magic, and a sister who looks like she’s getting into something that’s way over her head and asks Alex for help. Thus creating a fast-paced mystery aspect to the novel that combined brilliantly with Alex’s personal life.
The guys in her life (and potential love interests) are also great… and very hot! The first is Death, delicious and mysterious, who pops in and out of her life unannounced, especially when she’s in trouble, and Falin Andrews, a detective who’s working on a case she’s involved with. What I love about this relationship is its love/hate aspect – my favourite kind
Death I liked pretty much instantly, but Falin was a slow burner. But after many enjoyable head-butting sessions with Alex, Falin grew on me, and I was very happy when their frustration with each other moved to the bedroom!
The plot is fairly intricate Alex dealing with dark magic and murder, but Price’s writing flows effortlessly. This is the kind of writing style I love. It’s descriptive, full of depth and warmth, easy to visualise and very easy to read.
Although “Grave Witch” doesn’t end on much of a cliffhanger, there are a few little twists, and certainly leaves you with the need to grab a copy of ‘Grave Dance‘ immediately.
A fantastic start to a new urban fantasy series – great writing, great characters, great world-building. What more could you possibly want?...more
"Die For Me" is the debut novel from new author Amy Plum. The first thing I noticed was how easy to read this novel was - it sits very comfortably in"Die For Me" is the debut novel from new author Amy Plum. The first thing I noticed was how easy to read this novel was - it sits very comfortably in the young adult paranormal genre and didn't read as a debut. The writing flows very well and I turned the pages with ease, managing to finished it in just a few hours.
"Die For Me" focuses on the life of young heroine, Kate, who has moved to Paris with her older sister Georgia, after losing their parents in an accident. Kate is naturally devastated and is finding it difficult to move on with her life. But after a while she begins to venture out into Paris, even if it's on her own, to the relief of her grandparents. While on one of her many book reading jaunts to her local cafe she meets the mysterious and beautiful Vincent...
I really liked Kate in the first half of the book, and not because she's a total bookworm like me who likes to read in the bath for hours on end, but because she's sweet, intelligent and thoughtful. Her grief of losing her parents is moving and very realistic. Unfortunately after about half way through Kate begins to lose her individuality to become a replica of so many other teenage female protagonists I've read, especially with regards to the choices she makes. The story also travels a well trodden path and Ms Plum opts for safe and predictable rather than fresh and original - a great opportunity lost in my opinion because "Die For Me" started so well.
The absence of teenage angst and bitchy school girls is refreshing, and although Kate does go to school, the story focuses on her life outside the classroom. Of course there are aspects that root it firmly in the YA forum, such as some of Kate's thoughts, feelings and decisions, and the fact that she's 16 years old. For the most part Kate has a good sense of who she is...until she meets Vincent and begins to move towards a character who has to have a boy to make her life worth living, such as this quote demonstrates:
Although my head and heart were leading me in two different directions, I was certain that I didn't want my life to resemble what it had felt for the last three weeks: a drab existence void of color, warmth, and life.
This quote follows the three week break-up of Kate and Vincent (after only knowing each other a few days). I realise Kate has had an awful, traumatic experience of losing her parents, but Kate has two loving and warm grandparents and gets on well with her sister, who loves her, so it didn't sit well with me that to move forward and live a happy life she had to have Vincent, unfortunately this becomes more common as the story continues. I wish the author had kept Kate on the path of independence.
Overall the characterisation of the supporting cast is pretty good - I liked all the different personalities, especially Jules for his mischievous, naughty behaviour - I think I actually liked him more than Vincent - but I didn't really get to know any them that well as the story focuses mainly on Kate and Vincent - I hope more of the characters play a bigger role in subsequent novels.
I really enjoyed the Paris setting. The author does a wonderful job at describing the Paris lifestyle and nightlife. However, this too gets sadly pushed to one side in favour of Kate's and Vincent's rather unimaginative and uneventful relationship. Although Vincent is described as gorgeous, he didn't make my toes curl. In fact their relationship didn't really set me on sexy "all hot and bothered" fire.
Another aspect which was missing was action! Its absence (until a scene at the end) was disappointing as this kind of story needs it, the relationship between the main characters just wasn't enough. When Kate finds out what and who Vincent is there is a lot if info-dumping too, which was frustrating and rather dull.
With regards to the supernatural aspect, Ms Plum does try and give a fresh and original take on the immortal in the form of "Revenants", who die as humans to awaken as Revenants to sacrifice themselves again and again for eternity to save the lives of mortals. Unfortunately, Ms Plum doesn't seem particularly confident with her explanation of what and who "Revenants" are as the use of other supernatural creatures are constantly used throughout the novel: 'zombie', 'ghost', 'guardian angel', 'demon' - I didn't like that so many supernatural creatures were used to explain just one. The initial description given would have sufficed.
"Die For Me" is a good paranormal read but not brilliant. I wish there was a lot more action to keep the momentum of the novel moving forward and it was a shame that the story settled for predictable rather than fresh and exciting, an opportunity lost. However, because of the gorgeous Parisian setting and fun and interesting characters, I would still recommend it to those who enjoy young adult literature in this genre....more
I adore Singh's 'Guild Hunter' series and I was really looking forward to reading "ArchaOriginally posted on www.BookChickCity.com - 7/10 on the blog.
I adore Singh's 'Guild Hunter' series and I was really looking forward to reading "Archangel's Blade". When I first heard that it wouldn't feature Raphael and Elena as the main characters but focus instead on Raphael's second in command, I will admit I was a little worried.
Unfortunately, although I enjoyed the book, I did miss Raphael and Elena. I missed them a lot. I liked Dmitri but he didn't make me swoon or capture my heart. I liked Honor but she didn't rock my world. Whereas Raphael and Elena made each previous book in this series heart crushingly fabulous. Dmitri and Honor I found slightly luke warm rather than scorchingly hot as a couple.
As usual Singh gives her characters some amazing back stories. And usually this is enough to pull me into the story and invest in the characters. It did but only to a point. I found that it became a little repetitive and I wanted the relationship to move on a lot quicker than it did. Although, I also appreciated that because of their issues they waited and didn't just jump into bed with one another.
As with the previous books there are murders occurring which Dmitri and Honor band together to solve. They both have lots of issues. But as I read through each chapter, small details were given that helped me understand why they were the way they were.
We get to see what made Dmitri the cold-blooded killer he is by given glimpses into his past, it helps give us an understanding of who he was and more of an appreciated of who he is now. With Honor, the outcome to her journey with Dmitri revealed a twist, one I didn't like.
Some of the scenes in the book are pretty brutal and Singh does an amazing job with her descriptions, but then she always does. This is her gift. Every scene is crafted with luscious detail that brings her stories to life. My imagination revels in her words and I love her writing style. This is no different with "Archangel's Blade" I just think my problem was that it wasn't about my favourite couple.
In 'Archangel's Consort', the third book in the series, I got the feeling that Singh was getting a little bit tired of Raphael and Alena as it did feel as though it was just a rinse and repeat of book two, as the relationship between Elena and Raphael didn't really move on, so I was looking forward to being lifted once again with this series. Although I wasn't as enamoured with "Archangel's Blade" as I would have hoped, this is purely down to the fact I actually missed Raphael and Elena and thought Dmitri and Honor a weak substitute. As well as the fact that I wasn't smitten with Dmitri to begin with.
Dark, tortured Jason is the hero in the next instalment, 'Archangel's Storm' and he is one of my favourite angels - I can't wait to read his story.
As expected, a wonderfully written novel from an amazing author, but sadly it lacked the emotion and passion I felt when reading Raphael and Elena's story, but this is only my personal reaction to the story. "Archangel's Blade" is still worth a read and one I would definitely recommend. I'm hoping "Bluebell" gets his book soon as he's my favourite angel ;) ...more
I have been looking forward to reading "Darkness Becomes Her" ever since I saw it on Goodreads a while back, and while it didn't knock my soc3.5 Stars
I have been looking forward to reading "Darkness Becomes Her" ever since I saw it on Goodreads a while back, and while it didn't knock my socks off it was a really good read.
Ari Selkirk is seventeen and after being passed from one foster home to another for most of her childhood decides to find out about her birth mother. After visiting the doctor at Rocquemore House and being told that her mother had committed suicide shortly after she was born, Ari decides she needs to know more. The doctor gives her a box filled with her mother's things including a letter addressed to her.
The letter is one of the aspects of the plot I couldn't buy into. Ari reads the letter and her mother warns her to run. That's it? Her mother writes a letter but instead of telling her daughter what, why and when, all she gets across is "run"! I couldn't get on board with this. It feels as though the letter was just used as a spring board for the entire story, so Ari could investigate etc, I hate letters like this, whether they're in books or films. I always end up irritated as I think if they wanted to let their loved ones know about the dangers facing them they would surely just tell it straight and not in a series of riddles that they have to work out, which only buries them deeper in what they were being warned against. Just silly.
However, it does the trick as Ari decides to head out to New 2, which used to be New Orleans. Thirteen years ago, two hurricanes hit New Orleans devastating it. But instead of doing what is usually done after a natural disaster, the government sells the city it to a bunch of families for a few billion dollars - really? Not sure why the government would do this...it doesn't seem particularly plausible. Also, the hurricanes that hit the city were described as category four and not five, which is the most destructive hurricane there is. I would have found the selling of the city more believable if it was destroyed by nuclear means and was now a nuclear wasteland where nothing could live or grow for tens of years, but weather? It just didn't seem realistic to me.
But I ignored these two aspects and just followed Ari's journey and it is an interesting one. Ari is a great character and a fab heroine, full of grit, kick-arse moves and oodles of sass, which is sadly a rarity in paranormal YA as this is the kind of character I love reading about.
"Ari!" Sebastian stood on the sidewalk, holding up his hands in a 'What's going on?' gesture. ...I mimicked the gesture with probably more sarcasm than he deserved, and then jogged over, ignoring his questioning look and heading to the main entrance. He caught up to me at the doors. "You should wait here." A small laugh escaped my lips as the doors slid open. "You've got a lot to learn about me. I don't wait in the wings."
Ari uses coarse language (she should wash her mouth out with soap!) and has quite a serious personality, so when I read this next quote it really made me smile.
I was pretty sure I knew what I looked like: a cartoon hamster in the headlights. Totally not what I expected him to say, especially after I'd just implied he was one of the bad guys. "Uh..." What the hell was I supposed to say to that? "Okay" A grin split Sebastian's face, slicing two dimples into his cheeks. Holy Mary Mother of God. I actually stopped breathing for a second.
It made me smile, firstly because it was nice to hear Ari say something like this as she had been so serious up until this point and secondly, because I thought exactly the same thing. Sebastian is smokin'. There was something about his character I liked from the first moment he entered Ari's life, so I know where she's coming from... ;)
These are the type of moments that made the book for me despite the negative points I've mentioned and gives "Darkness Becomes Her" its huge potential. The combination of vampires and witches with greek gods is unique to me and was exciting to read.
I did find that everything happened a bit too quickly though, including the romance between Ari and Sebastian. Her time in New 2 barely spans two days and yet so much happens and is revealed that it made the novel seem a little shallow, there wasn't enough time to really develop the story or the characters in just 273 pages.
"Darkness Becomes Her" is an exciting read with a great lead heroine and although the story wasn't as edgy as Ari, it was still an enjoyable read. It's an interesting mix of urban fantasy and greek mythology which has incredible potential to be a fabulous series. I hope the next book will be a little longer to allow things to play out at a more realistic pace and for the characters to grow and mature, but I can't wait to read what happens next......more
As with many of you, I watched the movie 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' many years ago and didn't realise it was actually based on a novel. I say bAs with many of you, I watched the movie 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' many years ago and didn't realise it was actually based on a novel. I say based loosely as the film doesn't really have much to do with the book - whereas the film is much more in the 'horror' genre, the book is just a light thriller.
It was originally written in 1973 but I read the newly revised edition published by Atom. I'm not fond of revised books. I much prefer to read the original version, I don't like the idea of an author going back and changing aspects of the book that made it what is was. In this case 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' was a book rooted in the 70s, but the updates try and change it to current times by modifying certain elements. It didn't really work for me as the story and characters felt as though they were still very much from a different era and yet they were talking about mobile phones, emails and the internet.
With this aside, 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' is an entertaining read. It does contain a certain amount of tension, although not as much as I would have liked, and I read it fairly quickly. I must admit that I didn't really like any of the characters, with maybe the exception of Ray. Julie, Helen and Barry all had many unattractive traits which prevented me from finding them likable in any way. Unfortunately the book isn't as intense as the movie and I did find this a little disappointing as I do like to be scared and given the willies...
It maybe because nowadays we are saturated with high levels of blood, gore and violence (which I have no problem with, being a horror fan) and 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' just seems lame in comparison. I wonder if it created more of a reaction in 1973?
It's a very short novel too, only 211 pages, so I think it was difficult to get enough character depth and suspense going in such a short space of time. I also saw the twist coming a mile away, as I so often do, and so the ending was predictable and also happened far too quickly. It would have been better if it was drawn out a little longer, especially when the characters were being tormented by the villain, but it was all over in a matter of pages.
Despite all the negatives, 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' is a quick, entertaining bite-sized thriller (I say bite-sized as at only 211 pages it's a pretty short novel). However, it was disappointing to find that the thrills and chills were mostly kept for the movie and not the book. I also wish I had read the original work and not a revised edition....more