Wells and Wong are back in their third detective adventure. They are an unstoppable double act and one of my favourite sleuthing duos. What could be bWells and Wong are back in their third detective adventure. They are an unstoppable double act and one of my favourite sleuthing duos. What could be better then than setting their latest mystery on-board the famous Orient Express. When a murder is committed on the train, you know that Daisy and Hazel will be hot on the case, uncovering clues and hunting a killer, as they determine to crack the locked room mystery.
I love, love, love this series so much! I am a massive fan of the detective genre (particularly when like here, it is brilliantly done) and really like the fact that these books are set in the 1930s. They have a classic period feel, but also a freshness and immediacy about them. Hazel and Daisy are quite an intrepid pair and leave no stones unturned when they start to investigate.
I like the fact that it pays homage to Agatha Christie's original Murder on the Orient Express, and the setting is just fantastic. I would love to go on this train and it reminded me a little bit of Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes. The guilty party is on the train but the girls do not yet know which one of the passengers can not be trusted. The fact that no one can get off without raising suspicion, lends an air of claustrophobia and danger to proceedings.
I had no idea who the murderer was but I enjoyed seeing Daisy and Hazel untangle all the clues, along with some red herrings. I read this book in a flash and it was my favourite of the series so far. Bring on more of the detective society immediately! Five stars. ...more
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I hadn't heard much about it before it fell into my hands and I wasn't sure which genre itI was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I hadn't heard much about it before it fell into my hands and I wasn't sure which genre it fit into but I loved the fusion of historical fiction and fantasy. This was mixed with a thrilling plot which takes the reader on an amazing journey featuring brilliant characters who fight against the odds to achieve freedom and independence. It's always wonderful when you find a book which you know little about but ends up surpassing your expectations!
The story is inspired by the Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong which is a world of extreme lawlessness. Danger lurks around every corner and if you don't have your wits about you and your instincts for survival honed then you won't last. I am a big fan of stories which take place in Asia as I find the culture absolutely fascinating, so this was right up my alley.
There are three distinct character viewpoints in the book: Jin Ling, who is searching for her sister; Dai, who is on a dangerous mission and Mei Yee, who is trapped in a world not of her choosing. Each chapter alternates between them until their individual situations begin to collide and come together. It would spoil it to tell you much about the plot as this is a book which is best read with little prior knowledge of what it is about. Needless to say though you won't be disappointed and at times you will literally be on the edge of your seat.
I loved the epilogue which tied everything together properly and which left me beautifully satisfied with the outcome.
I thought that Ryan Graudin's debut was a thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing read. Her writing is gloriously atmospheric and I was intrigued and captivated by the characters, their relationships and their journeys. I'm excited to see what subject she decides to write about next.
Joss Stirling is one of my favourite UK authors and I'm always excited when she has a new book out. I adore her Soulfinders series but I'm turning intJoss Stirling is one of my favourite UK authors and I'm always excited when she has a new book out. I adore her Soulfinders series but I'm turning into an equally big fan of the titles in her new Young Detective Agency series. Last year's 'Storm and Stone' (renamed Struck) was a brilliant read and I was hopeful that she would write another instalment. My wishes were granted with 'Stung' which follows two other members of the team, Nathan and Kate, as they find themselves in danger and on the run.
The story was really exciting, with Nathan tasked with bringing Kate in. However, she is not the easiest person to apprehend and keeps him well and truly on his toes, as he tries to hunt her down. I thought the relationship between the two was great, with a kind of love/hate vibe going on in the beginning, until Kate comes to realise that Nathan is on her side and will do anything to help protect her. I didn't feel the romance between them as much as I had previously done with Raven and Kieran but I think that was in keeping with the overall storyline, which was more about the mystery behind what had happened to Kate and why she was on the run, rather than focusing on the two falling for each other.
I did prefer Nathan as a character to Kate, but I think that's partly due to the fact that Kate was on the defensive most of the time, so didn't reveal quite so much about herself. Nathan on the other hand was terribly sweet and also extremely likeable.
I loved the mystery and action of the plot and the sense of danger that lurked the whole way through the story. I found the ending really gripping and packed full of thrilling moments. This was another winning read for me and I'm dying for Joss Stirling to continue the series. What will happen next?! ...more
This is the second book in the series following last year's opening instalment 'Teardrop'. I have to say that I didn't enjoy this one as much as the fThis is the second book in the series following last year's opening instalment 'Teardrop'. I have to say that I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first book. I got quite confused about what was going on, particularly in the second half of the story and I found the pace very slow. I put this one down and picked it up again several times before I actually managed to finish the whole thing. I am disappointed because I was so looking forward to reading it and had such high hopes about it that I felt very flat by the time I got to the final page.
Eureka has caused the earth to flood and now has to deal with the consequences. People have died, those closest to her are in danger and her love for Anders and best friend Brooks lies in the balance. As Atlantis begins to rise and the evil Atlas threatens everything she holds dear, Eureka begins to discover some difficult truths about her past and future.
I thought that at times, Eureka seemed like a very different character in 'Waterfall'. She's been through so much and learnt so much about herself and I understand that this would change a person but I didn't always recognise the person that she ended up becoming. She was tougher but her human side was less evident. I also didn't feel the romance between Eureka and Anders this time around, even though I thought this was going to be developed in a really positive way. The bond between them is still strong but I didn't believe in it quite as much, so I wasn't as connected with them as a couple.
I do think that Lauren Kate writes beautifully and I always adore the mythological aspects of her stories. I enjoyed finding out more about the Seedbearers and the world of Atlantis but this wasn't enough to keep my attention firmly rooted on the characters' struggles.
I will be continuing with this series because I think that Lauren Kate may still knock it out of the park with a killer conclusion. ...more
This book was a really good read which left me puzzling out all the clues and trying to work out who did what. I'm a big fan of the Pretty Little LiarThis book was a really good read which left me puzzling out all the clues and trying to work out who did what. I'm a big fan of the Pretty Little Liars book and television series, so I was itching to read this new title by Sara Shepard as soon as I heard about it. The only thing that worries me is that the series will end up being as drawn out and protracted as PLL was. I like a generous helping of suspense and lots of red herrings and twisty plot turns but I also don't want to get fed-up with being left in the dark for too long.
The story focuses on Ava, Julie, Mackenzie (who was my personal favourite), Parker and Caitlin. Each chapter is from a different girls' point of view as they get drawn together by their shared actions. They all have seemingly perfect lives but they are all hiding secrets which they don't want anyone to reveal. The basic premise of the plot is that Nolan Hotchkiss, a rich kid who they hate, ends up dead at the beginning of the book. The reader is left to work out who did it and why as the girls find themselves up to their necks in trouble.
There are quite a lot of similarities with the PLL series, least of which being about a group of girls brought together by a dark secret, but I didn't really mind that as the story was so gripping. I couldn't connect up all the dots but I'm going to enjoy puzzling it all out and trying to discover who the guilty party actually is.
There is a massive cliff-hanger ending in the book which has left me in a state of suspense. I'm hooked and I desperately need to know what is going to happen to all the girls next.
Deliciously dark and twisty, this is a great read which will leave you wanting more...immediately! ...more
This is the first book about thirteen year old Tabitha Baird who at the beginning of the story finds herself having to start at a new school and get uThis is the first book about thirteen year old Tabitha Baird who at the beginning of the story finds herself having to start at a new school and get used to living in her Gran's house with her mum and younger brother. Luckily Tabitha does it all with a smile...most of the time!
This was such a funny, light-hearted and entertaining read. Arabella Weir has created a fantastically irrepressible character who I enjoyed laughing along with, as well as seeing how she extricates herself from one muddle after another. You can't help but like Tabitha. She has a great narrative voice and the book is told in diary style so we get to hear all about her misadventures, both at school and at home.
I liked the fact that although she has some big adjustments going on in her life, she is a pretty positive and upbeat person. Her Dad's no longer living with them because he's an alcoholic but she still tries to give him a chance, even when things start to go wrong. There's a good mix in the book of more serious matters, as well as plenty of humour which I think readers will enjoy.
I have to admit that I adored Basil too, her Gran's westie dog, who is always being made to wear ridiculous knitted outfits. Luckily Basil comes in handy when Tabitha comes across a gorgeous boy also out dog walking which leads to her trying to engineer a proper meeting.
Luckily, there is set to be another book in the series called 'The Endless Trials of Tabitha Baird' which I'm sure will have me laughing out loud as much as this one did. ...more
I am a huge fan of The 100 television series and an even bigger fan of the original book on which the show is based so I was extremely eager to get stI am a huge fan of The 100 television series and an even bigger fan of the original book on which the show is based so I was extremely eager to get stuck into the sequel. I devoured it in one evening and enjoyed it immensely. Kass Morgan has kept the pace fast, the plot intriguing and the characters interesting and I enjoyed this one as much, if not more than the original. If like me, you are hooked on the show then I would definitely recommend getting your hands on the books.
It's twenty-one days since the hundred landed on earth and they have discovered that they are not alone. As the characters struggle to get along together and survive in their new environment, there is an even bigger threat to their safety lurking on the periphery.
The narrative once again alternates between Glass, Clarke, Wells and Bellamy. I love all four characters and I enjoyed getting to see their differing perspectives on events. Wells has always been one of my favourites and I liked him even more this time around as he tries to be a strong leader to the rest of the group. Glass really grew on me too and I was gripped to her part of the story which takes place back in space. The people who remain behind on the ships are in even more danger than the hundred but I thought that Glass handled the threat with real courage and bravery. She is determined that nothing will come between her and Luke and is willing to fight for their love.
I really liked the introduction of some new faces too, particularly Sasha who Wells gets on with extremely well. I was never keen on the love triangle between him, Clarke and Bellamy, so I'm glad Kass Morgan has introduced another female to the mix.
'Day 21' was sheer brilliance and definitely got me out of my reading slump. The only problem is that because it was so fantastic, I ended up reading it really quickly and now have a long wait for the next instalment. I'm going to be on tenterhooks until then!
This is the third and final book in The 100 trilogy. I absolutely love this series so I delved straight into the opening chapter as soon as the book aThis is the third and final book in The 100 trilogy. I absolutely love this series so I delved straight into the opening chapter as soon as the book arrived. I devoured it in one sitting too! It was sooo good and a brilliant ending to what has been a fantastic adventure. Everyone's stories were concluded properly and no loose ends were left which always drives me mad. Although I am a massive fan of these books, I haven't actually been watching the TV series...yet. I have all the episodes recorded but I didn't want to watch them until I had finished reading the books. I'm now going to have a huge catch-up weekend. It will be interesting to see if I like the same characters when I see them on TV and whether much of the plot has been changed.
The story itself picks up where 'Day 21' left off. The colony is on it's way to earth in the remaining drop ships and the 100 have to adapt again when they arrive and immediately begin to disrupt their carefully ordered existence. Once again, Morgan shows us all the key players - Glass, Clarke, Wells and Bellamy, and how they cope with the adults arrival.
My favourite couple has always been Glass and Luke, so I was desperately rooting for them. I wanted them to get their happy ever after, particularly in light of all they had gone through to get to earth. Clarke, Wells and Bellamy also have their own challenges to face and I enjoyed following them on their journeys. They have had to do a lot of growing-up in a short space of time but they have matured and changed a lot since we were first introduced to them.
Exciting action and adventure is driven at a relentless pace in this final instalment. The various factions get the opportunity to face off against each, as the battle for survival reaches a climatic finish. I have really enjoyed the different settings in the series and seeing how all the characters have managed to survive both in space and in a foreign and unknown environment. Brilliant from start to finish, I would highly recommend this series. ...more
'The Wondrous and the Wicked' is the third and final part of Page Morgan's gothic gargoyle trilogy, set amidst the streets of Paris.
The Waverly siblin'The Wondrous and the Wicked' is the third and final part of Page Morgan's gothic gargoyle trilogy, set amidst the streets of Paris.
The Waverly siblings have already endured so much and faced loss, pain and heartache. I wasn't sure what more could possibly lie in wait for them. In this concluding book, they each have their own personal challenges to face before they can have any chance at the lives they really want. Separated geographically, they are caught in the middle of a dangerous power struggle with heavy stakes.
Page Morgan quickly gets readers up to speed with what happened in the previous instalments. I was thankful of a speedy recap because it's been a while since I read this series. It actually reminded me of just how much drama and action had taken place so far. Everything is still to play for.
My favourite character in the series has always been Gabby, the feisty and brave younger sister. At the beginning of the book she has been sent to London for her own protection. I knew however, that she would still find her way back into the middle of the action. Gabby isn't one for just sitting on the side-lines. I have loved the growing romance between her and Nolan, which I'm pleased to say gets even better. There are some really fantastic scenes between the two of them.
Ingrid and Luc's romance is played out too with Vander and Luc still vying for Ingrid's heart. I won't reveal which one wins the girl in the end but I'm sure readers of the series will be more than satisfied.
This is definitely a very underrated series which I'm pleased to say I have really enjoyed. I've loved all the gothic and supernatural elements and the wonderfully dark setting of historic Paris where anything could be (and frequently is!) lurking in the sewers. ...more
I've read nearly all of Lauren Oliver's books now but so far none of them have totally bowled me over. I thought 'Vanishing Girls' might have been theI've read nearly all of Lauren Oliver's books now but so far none of them have totally bowled me over. I thought 'Vanishing Girls' might have been the one to change that but although it was a good read and at times quite gripping, it wasn't one which would have kept me up all night reading to get to the bottom of the mystery.
The story is about sisters Dara and Nick and the deterioration of their sibling relationship. The story is told in Before and After chapters, following a car accident involving the two of them. You know that something else has happened to drive a wedge between them but you don't know what. It's a case of trying to read between the lines. Nick has always been the responsible older sister, so when Dara disappears on her birthday, Nick is determined to find her and fix their fractured bond.
Touted as a psychological thriller, I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't guessed the big twist very early on in the story. I think this is a device which has been used so often now that it wasn't a particularly big surprise. It was still incredibly well done but the element of tension and suspense was missing for me.
I also didn't like the narrative structure of the book. I found it quite fragmented and jumpy with two time frames and two characters sharing their perspectives and thoughts. I normally prefer more of a linear storyline so this took a bit more getting used to.
I really wanted to like this title more than I did but it was too predictable and overall I didn't connect with the characters enough to feel invested in them and their situation. There's no doubt that the writing itself was excellent but for me, I felt like there was definitely something lacking. ...more
'What If' is a wonderfully captivating book which will touch your heart and make you treasure life and each and every step you take on your journey. T'What If' is a wonderfully captivating book which will touch your heart and make you treasure life and each and every step you take on your journey. The book's message is about living life to the full and living the life you want. This really resonated with me and made me want to be more bold and carefree and to appreciate happiness, rather than waiting for happy to come along.
A young-adult standalone from Rebecca Donovan, author of the Breathing trilogy, I have been waiting to read this book ever since I first heard about it. I now want to recommend it to everyone for the very positive message it contains, as well as for it being such a fantastic contemporary read. It made me laugh, smile and cry. It tugged at my heartstrings and had me reading long into the night.
It has an intricately layered narrative structure which took a bit of getting used to. It switches narrators and the time frame jumps backwards a lot but it was so cleverly executed that I soon found myself not taking much notice of this. Plus, the events that the story takes us back to are extremely central to the plot and the motivations and actions of the characters.
The characters themselves are warm and real and flawed and really leap off the page. There's Cal, the main narrator of the story, along with childhood friends Rae, Richelle and Nicole. I'm not always so keen on male narrators, but I grew to like Cal immediately and I think Rebecca Donovan wrote him exceptionally well. Cal is at college when he meets Nyelle Preston - a girl who looks exactly like Nicole but acts in a completely different way. Their personalities are polar opposites. I don't want to say anything else about the plot except to say that this is a story you will want to puzzle out on your own. It has a surprising twist at the end but it's a treat to try and unravel.
'What If' is a brilliant romance that will make you question your actions and the what ifs of your own life. Gorgeously written, it will take you on an incredible journey that you will not want to miss. ...more
This is the third book in the Beautifully Broken series by Courtney Cole. I've enjoyed both of the previous two titles in the series but I wasn't sureThis is the third book in the Beautifully Broken series by Courtney Cole. I've enjoyed both of the previous two titles in the series but I wasn't sure about this one because it focuses on Gabe's sister Jacey who I wasn't a big fan of previously. However she really did win me over. I came to see that yes, she had made a lot of mistakes in the past but she was strong enough to realise that and to make a conscious decision to try and put her life back on track and build a better future. She learnt to respect herself and to not take any crap from anyone else.
As Jacey is trying to turn her life around, handsome actor Dominic Kinkaide is still haunted by a traumatic event in his past. Although he may be broken inside, Jacey could be just the one to put him back together again. I love Courtney Cole's characters. They are not perfect but that makes them much more real and human. They slip up a lot and sometimes I didn't like the decisions they made, but they always keep on going and that is an admirable quality to have.
Sexy Dominic wasn't necessarily my kind of guy in the beginning but he opens up a lot as the story progresses and I came to see quite a different side to him. Some of his lifestyle choices are questionable but when you begin to find out more about him, I began to see why he had closed parts of himself off.
'Before We Fall' turned out to be another great instalment in what is a thoroughly enjoyable series about men and women finding love against the odds. Although it wasn't my favourite, I still found it a great read and I loved hearing titbits about Gabe and co.
I would love to read a book about Gabe and Jacey's friend Brandt in the future. He is definitely boyfriend material! ...more
I'm a massive Michael Grant fan so I was desperate to read this book. The Gone series introduced me to his incredible writing and jaw-dropping storiesI'm a massive Michael Grant fan so I was desperate to read this book. The Gone series introduced me to his incredible writing and jaw-dropping stories but was almost too amazingly good, making it hard for any of his other series to really live up to it. 'Messenger of Fear' was brilliant but I still miss the Fayz and the characters that I had grown attached to.
If you are looking for a creepy, shocking story which is all out gruesome at times then this is the book for you. Horror fans will love it as Grant doesn't hold back from inviting the reader to join Mara on her twisted journey. When Mara finds herself an unwitting accomplice to the Messenger of Fear she struggles to remember how she ended up with him. She gradually starts to piece her memories back together which leads to a fantastic twist about her identity. The Messenger himself has been appointed to uphold the balance. If someone commits a terrible act then he ensures that they are given the choice to pay or play. This leads to some harsh lessons being dealt but all with the expectation that the person will learn to be better because of it.
There are lots of interwoven mini stories and characters throughout the book whose fates unravel as the plot progresses. Some of these stories were actually quite difficult to read about, as not everyone gets a happy ending. What I love about Michael Grant's books though is that happy endings are really immaterial. He is never afraid to wrench one of your favourite characters away from you or to confront the reader with a difficult scene if he feels that it is right for the story.
The plot is incredibly unique and original and I really did enjoy it, even though it didn't quite wow me as much as some of his other books have done in the past. A sequel is planned but you will have to wait until 2015 to get your hands on it. ...more