'The Novice' is the first book in the Summoner series and was a Wattpad sensation before it hit the shelves in print. Taran Matharu's debut takes the'The Novice' is the first book in the Summoner series and was a Wattpad sensation before it hit the shelves in print. Taran Matharu's debut takes the reader on a fantastical journey in a world unlike anything you've seen before. The characters are placed in dangerous life or death situations as the horror of war looms ever on the horizon.
The story is about an orphan boy called Fletcher who discovers that he can summon demons. He ends up going to train at the Vocans Academy where he prepares for his role in the fight to defeat the orcs in battle. A large portion of the book follows Fletcher as he practices his new-found skills with demon Ignatius. When the two are working in sync, they have the ability to do incredible things. The demons reminded me a little of those in Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy, as they become in tune with their owners' emotions. I've also heard them compared to Pokémon and actually they did remind me of this, because each demon has it's own animal characteristics and performs to a different level.
I really enjoyed watching the students train in the art of summoning. This makes up the biggest part of the story and delves in-depth into the training process. It was a bit drawn out and I felt like it slowed the pace of the plot down a little but at the same time it helped to draw me into Fletcher's world and gave me a better understanding of the demons themselves.
There's a fantastic and diverse range of characters in the book, including Othello the dwarf and Sylva the elf. It was fun getting to know them all. Fletcher's friends help to teach the value of friendship and the importance of making bonds which aren't based on class divides.
'The Novice' was a brilliant fantasy read where adventure always seems to be waiting on the horizon. It was a really promising start to the series and if the second book is equally, if not more exciting, then I'll be very happy. ...more
Joss Stirling's SoulFinder series is one of my favourites. I love the whole idea of the Savant community and the fact that all these couples are destiJoss Stirling's SoulFinder series is one of my favourites. I love the whole idea of the Savant community and the fact that all these couples are destined to be together but have to find each other first.
'Angel Dares' was another terrific addition to the series. The main character Angel, meets Marcus, a fellow musician at a festival and is drawn to him through their music. He is originally distrustful of her gift and refuses to believe in the savant community which makes their relationship extremely difficult. Angel however, is such a positive person that she won't be deterred and tries to get him to change his mind, with often mixed results I might add.
I have to say that as much as I love this series, I am a little disappointed that the direction of the stories has shifted away from the Benedict brothers and instead has focussed on some of the younger characters. I would have loved to have seen the whole book based around Will and his personal search for his soulfinder but this was relegated to being nothing more than a sub-plot. I realise that some of the brothers are slightly older, so I can only imagine that they were deemed too old to be the central focus of a young-adult series. All the same, I miss seeing them at the heart of the story. There were glimpses of them in the book though which did keep me very happy.
I thought the plot was good, especially the inclusion of the threat which hangs over the heads of the savants. This led to a really dramatic conclusion which was both exciting and gripping.
Hopefully the next book in the series will be about Victor Benedict who has always been one of my favourites. I'm hoping that he will eventually be lucky in love! ...more
The Shadow Cabinet’ is the third book in the Shades of London series. I thought this was the concluding part but judging by the ending, there is stillThe Shadow Cabinet’ is the third book in the Shades of London series. I thought this was the concluding part but judging by the ending, there is still more in store for Rory and co. I do think that the overall storyline could have been wrapped up in three books but Maureen Johnson obviously has more twists and turns up her sleeves.
The story picks up after the events of ‘The Madness Underneath’, with Stephen in hospital and Rory expelled from school. Things begin to get very strange as she starts to unravel the truth about what is going on beneath the streets of London. It was strange not seeing Rory at school and actually I missed that a lot in this book. I always enjoyed seeing her trying to maintain a normal school life with her newfound abilities and I felt that this offered an air of reality about proceedings. It took a bit of getting used to not having that feature as part of this instalment. At the same time, I did enjoy following Rory through the streets of London and visiting some very familiar landmarks.
Now, it’s a long time since I read the previous books in this series, so I felt like I needed a recap at the start and that’s just what I got. That helped to ease me back in and caught me up with everything I needed to know about the plot and the characters. I will admit that I got a little lost at times with some of the paranormal elements of the story but Maureen Johnson did a good job of steering things back on track and sucking me back in again.
Lots of terrible things happen in the book and the characters don’t always get what they want but I think this is reflective of life in general. It also helped to keep me on the edge of my seat because I had no doubt that just about anyone could meet a sticky end if the plot called for it.
The ending packed a real punch and definitely left me wanting more. I honestly have no idea what will be thrown at the characters next but it's exciting waiting to find out. ...more
If you're looking for a scorching hot read, then look no further than 'Rogue' by Julie Kagawa, the follow-up to the brilliant 'Talon'. The second bookIf you're looking for a scorching hot read, then look no further than 'Rogue' by Julie Kagawa, the follow-up to the brilliant 'Talon'. The second book in this fantastic series manages to do what few books can and that is to be even more gripping and captivating than it's predecessor. There's no case of second book syndrome here, as Julie Kagawa cranks up the action, ramps up the tension a couple of notches and leads the reader on a breathless journey of rescue, capture and escape. 'Talon' held me in thrall from the opening chapter and this was one book that I was most definitely going to finish reading in one sitting.
The story picks up after the action of 'Rogue' with Ember and Riley on the run and Garret held to account for his actions by the Order of St. George. It didn't take me long to get reacquainted with all the characters and the plot threads and I was soon immersed back into the world of dragons. I have read a lot of dragon books, going through quite a phase when I was in my teens, but this is the first series I've read where the author is spot on with the mythology and the world building. I love the idea of dragons assimilating themselves into the human world and walking amongst us without anyone realising.
The commentary is shared between Ember, Garret, Riley and Dante, with occasional flashbacks to twelve years ago when Riley, as rebel dragon Cobalt, was still working for the organisation he now despises. I wasn't too sure about Riley in the last book but he has suddenly become my number one favourite character. It was great discovering more about him and his past and I really enjoyed all the scenes between not only him and Ember but also him and Wes, his right-hand man. The love triangle between Riley, Ember and Garret continues to play out and while I feel strongly that I know which way it's going to end up, I am still firmly shipping Riley and Ember as a couple. They are great together and share a real understanding and bond.
There are some terrific action sequences in the book, particularly in the second-half of the story and I was on the edge of my seat throughout these. I honestly had no idea if everyone was going to make it to the end of the book alive. There is also a humongous revelation right at the end of the last chapter which leaves the reader on a massive cliff-hanger. I need to know now what is going to happen next!
The third book in the series, 'Soldier' will be published in 2016 unless my wish is granted and it gets an earlier release date! ...more
I saw this book in my local library and it caught my eye immediately because it was such a beautiful edition. It's a hardback in black with bright pinI saw this book in my local library and it caught my eye immediately because it was such a beautiful edition. It's a hardback in black with bright pink markings and writing on the front and back. I just had to pick it up! I then ran my eye down the list of included authors and saw some of my favourite writers so I really wanted to read it then. I'm not normally a fan of short stories, as I always find that I'm left wanting more, but I really enjoyed nearly all of these wonderful tales - some quirky, some dark but all unique and entertaining.
All of the stories in the book are fairy tale inspired but they each have a dark and sinister twist. It was interesting to see how each author subverted these traditional tales and turned them into something altogether different.
I had some absolute favourites in the book and these were The Raven Princess by Jon Skovron, The Pink by Amanda Hocking, Figment by Jeri Smith-Ready and The Key by Rachel Hawkins. I would definitely want to go back and read these again. I had fun as well trying to work out which tales they were all based on. Some were easier than others to figure out.
Other authors included within the collection are: Sarah Rees Brennan, Christine Johnson, Claudia Gray, Malinda Lo, Jackson Pearce, Kimberly Derting, Ellen Hopkins, Julie Kagawa, Myra McEntire, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler and Tessa Gratton. There were a couple of names that I wasn't quite as familiar with but I will be seeking out more of their work now. For example, I liked Saundra Mitchell's 'Thinner Than Water but I haven't read anything else by her. That's all about to change!
This would make the perfect book to give or receive as a Christmas present. The stories are lovely to dip in and out of and if, like me, you love fairy tales but are looking for a modern twist on the classics, then 'Grim' is the book for you. ...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
Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of the authors on my auto-buy list. I love her books and her characters and I adore the way she continually creates thesJennifer L. Armentrout is one of the authors on my auto-buy list. I love her books and her characters and I adore the way she continually creates these super-hot romances which practically make the pages sizzle. 'The Return' was fantastic and has given me a new book guy to swoon over!
Readers of the Covenant series will be familiar with the character of Seth. He finally gets his own story in 'The Return' and if you weren't his no. 1 fan before, you will be after reading this one. I guarantee it. He wasn't perhaps the most likeable character in the Covenant books but I began to see him in a whole new light and I really liked the person he developed into. So for the record, phwoar! Seth is super sexy and will definitely set female readers hearts aflutter.
This is a new-adult book, so there are some weak at the knees, tongue hanging out of you mouth moments. I loved it! Don't get me wrong, the story was fabulous too but Seth without a shirt? Everyone needs more of that in their lives.
At the beginning of the story, he is sent to protect a girl who is off-limits to him. However, Josie turns out to be no ordinary girl and sparks immediately begin to fly between them. The dual perspective meant that I was able to get inside both of their heads and understand more about them. I liked Josie instantly and I was intrigued about her role as she is extremely central to everything that happens. She has a great connection with Seth and I enjoyed seeing this grew throughout the book.
Exciting action, a heart stopping romance and plenty of moments of drama and adventure, 'The Return' was a winner for me. I want more and I want it now! ...more
I didn't enjoy these two stories as much as some of Christine Feehan's other books. Not sure I can put my finger on exactly why but it may have somethI didn't enjoy these two stories as much as some of Christine Feehan's other books. Not sure I can put my finger on exactly why but it may have something to do with the fact that these are two novellas rather than one full length story....more
Dark of the Moon’ is the second book in the Shipwrecked trilogy by Siobhan Curham. I will admit that the opening instalment in the series didn’t totalDark of the Moon’ is the second book in the Shipwrecked trilogy by Siobhan Curham. I will admit that the opening instalment in the series didn’t totally wow me, although I found it enjoyable enough but the excitement steps up in this one which I devoured and really loved.
I enjoyed it much more than the first book because I felt like I was thrown right into the middle of the action. Siobhan Curham never once let up on the sense of danger which hangs over the group or the sense of unease that you experience from them being on the island. There were also a lot more intriguing and unexpected twists along the way which had me hook, line and sinker.
Grace and her friends are still trying to escape the island and the Voodoo Queen Hortense. When they leave on a boat, hoping to find their way home, they realise that escape may not be possible until Hortense’s plan has played out to its full conclusion.
There's romance between Grace and her boyfriend Cruz, plus friendship drama between Grace and Jenna who is struggling to hold things together. The other secondary characters, Belle, Todd and Flea also feature but I kept expecting something terrible to happen to one of them the whole way through.
The ending was a huge surprise. Wow! I didn’t see it coming at all and desperately didn't want the story to end. I'm in absolute shock and the suspense of what is coming next is going to kill me!
This is a sizzling, spooky and supernatural read which is perfect to slip into your beach bag on a hot, sunny, summery day. ...more
This is the sequel to 'The Beautiful and the Cursed' in Page Morgan's series about the Waverly sisters. It feels like a long time ago since I read booThis is the sequel to 'The Beautiful and the Cursed' in Page Morgan's series about the Waverly sisters. It feels like a long time ago since I read book one, so I was pleased that pivotal events were nicely recapped at the start. This refreshed my memory of the characters and the plot so I was all set to read on and engross myself in the newest instalment.
There is a lot going on in the story as we follow Ingrid, Gabby and their brother Grayson. They find themselves becoming more and more embroiled in the actions of the Alliance, particularly Gabby and danger seems to be following at their heels. There is plenty of mystery and action thrown in to keep the reader enthralled and there is also a generous dose of romance which I loved.
Gabby is my favourite character in the series, so I enjoyed all the parts of the book which centred around her. She desperately wants to be a member of the Alliance and she wants to learn to fight and defend herself and others. She is stubborn and determined but also extremely brave which I admired. Her budding romance with Nolan was one of my favourite things about the book. They work so well together and I loved all of their interactions.
The will they, won't they romance also continues between Ingrid and Luc, although adding Vander to the mix turns this into somewhat of a love triangle. I can't wait to see how things will eventually be resolved between them.
I found the middle part of the story a little slow at times, but the beginning and the ending were so good that they more than made up for this. My absolute favourite thing about this series is still the wonderful setting of Paris in 1900 which lends a dark and moody atmosphere to events and lends itself nicely to the gothic and supernatural elements of the book.
If you enjoyed the first book in this series then you will undoubtedly find yourself hooked on the sequel which left me with a lot of questions still about how Page Morgan plans to resolve things for all the characters. ...more
'Talon' is the first book in a brilliant new Dragon series. I'm absolutely convinced that Julie Kagawa can turn her hand to any paranormal/supernatura'Talon' is the first book in a brilliant new Dragon series. I'm absolutely convinced that Julie Kagawa can turn her hand to any paranormal/supernatural subject and weave a captivating story around them. Faeries, vampires and now dragons all get her special treatment, making this an extremely hard to put down title. I thought it was going to be gripping and exciting and boy, it certainly was!
The central heroine, Ember, is sent to Crescent Beach along with her twin Dante to assimilate themselves into the human world. Ember and Dante are both dragons but in their human forms they get to experience a sense of freedom for the very first time. Although Talon keeps them on a tight leash, Ember gets to enjoy sun, sea and sand, as she makes new friends and begins to question the organisation that she has always obeyed.
Ember's point of view alternates with that of Garrett, a St George Soldier who is tasked with hunting and killing dragons. He and Ember are both used to following orders, but after they meet, Garrett's long-held beliefs start to waver. I liked the way that we got to see the perspective of both the hunter and prey but before long I was starting to question which might be which.
Love may be on the cards between Ember and Garrett but then there's a rogue dragon on the scene who might just come between them. Yes, there's something of a love triangle in the book but don't worry because it's not your typical boy loves girl, who loves other boy. This is a love triangle with a twist which will keep you guessing. I'm not sure who I wanted Ember to end up with more as there are elements to both male characters that I liked. I'm sure other readers will be equally torn.
Fast paced, exciting and with a strikingly gorgeous cover, this was a fantastic paranormal read to kick off the new year. The sequel, 'Rogue' is due out later in 2015 and I shall be queuing up to get a copy. ...more
'Darkest Fear' is the first title in a brand new trilogy by author Cate Tiernan. Having thoroughly enjoyed her Immortal Beloved series, I was psyched'Darkest Fear' is the first title in a brand new trilogy by author Cate Tiernan. Having thoroughly enjoyed her Immortal Beloved series, I was psyched to hear that she had a new book out and couldn't wait to pick it up. The story actually reminded me of Christine Feehan's Leopard People books (which I love) but for teens.
The majority of the action is set in New Orleans and features main character Vivi Neves, who is haguari. She has the ability to shapeshift into a jaguar but is reluctant to embrace her family's heritage. After a terrible event involving her parents, Vivi goes to live with her cousin Mateo and his girlfriend Aly and sets about trying to rebuild her life.
The dramatic opening to the book immediately grabbed me and I flew through the next few chapters. I was utterly engrossed as Vivi's whole world changes and she faces up a new future. I loved the communal feel of Vivi's new home with her cousin and his housemates. They may not all be related by blood but they share a common bond and they definitely feel like family. There's no doubt that they have each others backs.
Vivi's burgeoning romance with good-looking Rafael was another of my favourite things about the story and I can't wait to see how this progresses throughout the rest of the series. There are definite sparks between the two of them and I would love to see more of their romance!
The only bit I wasn't too sure about were the scenes in the book when Vivi is in her jaguar form. There's obviously and understandably no proper dialogue and instead her thoughts are conveyed as a stream of consciousness. This took quite a bit of getting used to and I must admit I did prefer it when she was in her human form.
Paranormal romance fans will love this opening instalment to the series which I heartily recommend. 'Darkest Night' the next book in the series will be published in September 2014. ...more
This is James Dawson's third book and his scariest one yet. You'll be afraid to be home alone after reading this!
The story is set at a local girls' boThis is James Dawson's third book and his scariest one yet. You'll be afraid to be home alone after reading this!
The story is set at a local girls' boarding school called Pipers Hall. Bobbie, her best friend Naya and local boy Caine are all involved in a silly dare - to look in a mirror and say the name 'Bloody Mary' five times in a row. They believe nothing will happen to them if they do, until one of their friends disappears and they realise that their own fates may hang in the balance.
The book is divided into sections, each corresponding to one of the five days. Bobbie is determined to get to the bottom of things and knows that she has to discover the truth but you're left in a perpetual state of doubt about whether she will be able to do it in time. There's a clock ticking throughout the book and it keeps getting louder and louder.
Super spooky and very scary, 'Say Her Name' is part horror and part ghost story. James Dawson has really stamped his mark on this genre and is the master of making your knuckles turn white and your heart beat faster. He draws the tension and shocks out wonderfully, as you're never quite sure whether something supernatural is really going on or whether there may well be a human hand behind it all.
The climax of the book was frankly terrifying with the suspense cranked up to an all time high. I love the way that even when you think everything is over, you are suddenly, at the very last moment, still left guessing. Deliciously cruel but a brilliant twist all at the same time. ...more