Wow. So on the whole I really really loved this book because it was original, clever, had a wonderful supporting cast of characters and a likable lead...moreWow. So on the whole I really really loved this book because it was original, clever, had a wonderful supporting cast of characters and a likable lead who isn't a one dimension idiot (always a plus).
The main character Nym reminded me strongly of Yelena from Maria V Snyder's Poison study series, and I mean that as the best compliment ever because Yelena is kick-ass. Both women are strong and yet have suffered greatly and still learning a lot from life.
My only one flaw with the novel was the amount of new stuff thrust upon me as the reader. There's a lot of world building and so many new terms I got lost a few times. I think the book could have been a bit longer in order to be a bit more explanatory and it wouldn't have made the plot suffer.
The romance is artfully done and not over-powering like some romances are and it doesn't eclipse the main story-line. If you're a fan of a good cliff-hanger, sweeping fantasy, romance and magic (and you're not afraid to get your heart trampled on) then definitely ass this to your to-read list.
Big thanks to Netgalley and the author for allowing me a copy to review.(less)
This was a good book, but the problem I have with anything that is hyped up is that it rarely meets the mind blowing expectations of the masses, and t...moreThis was a good book, but the problem I have with anything that is hyped up is that it rarely meets the mind blowing expectations of the masses, and this is what I found here. Don't get me wrong. The story is original and the chaotic nature of the plot reflects the nature of the main character, which I loved.
My problem was it didn't blow me away. I liked it and I will read the next in the series but I felt there was a lot of back and forth and nothing much happening towards the middle and end of the book. The ending left me feeling like there was something missing and I really wish there had been more info on Nathan's father (something I hope will happen in the second book)
Overall, it was a good fantasy novel. But a word of caution to other readers. This is written in the present tense, a writing style I don't always get on with, so maybe this affected my opinion. I felt in this book, especially at the beginning where it flashes back to the past, the present tense became confusing. It's a unique and rarely used writing style and I found it difficult to read. So maybe it's just me. Either way I'm invested enough in the well fleshed out characters to read the next in the series. I want to know what happens to Nathan. (less)
Oh dear Lord, I have never been so apprehensive to read a book in such a long time, especially with Mr Landy's ability to bump off characters like the...moreOh dear Lord, I have never been so apprehensive to read a book in such a long time, especially with Mr Landy's ability to bump off characters like there's no tomorrow. I won't post spoilers in my review but I think the wait was worse than the reading to be honest. This book is amazing! By far my favourite and I was so happy with the ending. thrilled in fact.
I almost choked up at some points and there are some truly sentimental moments, but this installment does not sacrifice on humour by any means. I laughed ridiculously at some points in the book and I think I shall re-read the whole series just for funsies.
Derek is a literary God, and much nicer than the ones depicted in his books (which lets face it, are bloody nuts and insane).
I still have a crush on skulduggery and I totally have a girl crush on Valkyrie and maybe on Tanith too. Hell, I even totally loved Billy-Ray Sanguine by the end of the book and Scapegrace.
Perhaps the most amazing part though is the ending and the way in which there are similarities to the beginning (you'll understand when you read it). I can't wait to read whatever Derek writes next and thank him for getting me out of my reading slump. I needed this book in more ways than one.
Whether you're 7, 17, 27 (like me) or 107, read this series!(less)
I was conflicted when it came to rating this. Part of me really wanted to drop my rating to 2/3 stars because of the similarities to the Harry Potter...moreI was conflicted when it came to rating this. Part of me really wanted to drop my rating to 2/3 stars because of the similarities to the Harry Potter series. And when I say similarities I mean I thought on multiple occasions: 'I'm sure I read that in harry potter'. There are so many elements the same as well; the magical powers, the school, the three friends, the secrets hidden down corridors and caves and one big bad evil person (with a dodgy name, I might add). You may then be wondering why it got four stars? Simply put this book in it's own way managed to twist into it's own original and weird story that I have come to love from both of these authors.
I can't post spoilers and say what made it so different by the end as it will spoil the book, but needed less to say by the end of the book I was asking myself questions about good and evil, the soul and all sorts of other deep things you wouldn't catch me thinking about this early on in the day. Not to mention i'm curious as to what happens to the Callum, Tamara and Aaron next, because this isn't a clear cut good versus evil story. And who is the true enemy in this? I haven't got a clue really but I'm sure going to read the next book because this is bizarre and it made my brain work in a rather complex and good way.
This couldn't have ended the series more perfectly if Sarah had tried. Though I feel like I've been through the emotional wringer and like someones sh...moreThis couldn't have ended the series more perfectly if Sarah had tried. Though I feel like I've been through the emotional wringer and like someones shot my soul to pieces with a magical shotgun. But hey, it was worth it.
I swear I cried myself dry at one part in particular, and I mean full on sobbing, not just a few tears escaping. I sounded like I was having a breakdown! On the flip side of this I was laughing out loud for a lot of the book too, because the dialogue between Kami, Jared, Ash and Co was so bloody funny! I can't write too much for fear of posting spoilers but it was an amazing ending and I wasn't disappointed.
Miss Brennan has an amazing talent for writing funny, dramatic, heart-wrenching and beautiful stories that stay with you long after the final page has been turned. I can't wait to discover what she brings out next.(less)
The main problem with writing this review will be doing so without spoiling the main secret within Pantomime, but I have to do so because I won't spoi...moreThe main problem with writing this review will be doing so without spoiling the main secret within Pantomime, but I have to do so because I won't spoil this book for anyone. This is so much more than a fantasy and it deals with issues that a lot of people won't even consider in there lives, let alone seriously think on or debate.
Having said that this book also struck a personal cord with me because I know someone who is pretty alike to Gene in more ways than one and this perhaps led me to think more deeply of the issues in this book than I more normally would have. Gene and Micah's journey is both harrowing, emotional and truly incredible. The magic of the circus comes to life in all it's beautiful brilliance, making the dark side seem even more shadowy in comparison.
Micah and Gene's story was beautiful told and I have been left longing for another book so I'm hoping to God that there's a sequel. There were so many twists, turns and unexpected events that I was left breathless and I wanted so much to be in that Circus swinging from the trapeze I've been left with so many questions. But most forward in my mind is this: What is inside those Penglass domes? I really want to know. It's killing me not knowing. Maybe that's the curious child in me :)
And what will become of Micah and Gene?! Ah why must I be tortured so? Maybe I'm being a bit dramatic. But go read this when it's out. Totally amazing. I am in awe of the author and her writing talent. She hasn't just written a book, she has a created a magical world, fascinating characters and broached subjects in this book that few have dared and she totally nailed it. Brilliant. (less)
I loved this story to pieces :) I could leave my review there, but I won't. I'm a sucker for happy endings and an even bigger sucker for fairy-tales s...moreI loved this story to pieces :) I could leave my review there, but I won't. I'm a sucker for happy endings and an even bigger sucker for fairy-tales so you can imagine I was enthralled by this enchanting retelling of Snow White.
Some parts of the story remained the same for example, the mirror, the evil Queen and Snow White herself. But everything was twisted in such a great way. Kat is not the vulnerable Disney character who lies waiting to be kissed, the dwarves are not little men who go out and dig in a mine and the story itself is much harsher in parts with the stark realism the original tale lacked. Danger follows the characters everywhere and the reader is given a constant reminder of exactly how dangerous a woman with an all-seeing mirror can be with all her hunting down of the 'rule breakers' in her kingdom without having to witness the rule breaking in person.
The romance side of it was brilliantly done and I loved the twist regarding Kat and Jeremy and the link between Kat and the man trapped in the Queen's mirror was amazing. I never saw it coming, nor did I guess the mystery surrounding Jeremy. Some of my favourite scenes though were between Kat and the Dwarves and my personal favourite was Pokole (such a sweet little dude) and there were some scenes with those guys that nearly had me in tears.
All in all this story has a lovely ending with some cleverly thought out plot twists, a healthy dose of humour and some heartwarming romance that I think will be just perfect for these cold winter months. Grab a hot chocolate, some nice biscuits and curl up with this book :) (less)
Usually I find writing reviews for books pretty straight forward because essentially the authors are all adults with life experience behind them and y...moreUsually I find writing reviews for books pretty straight forward because essentially the authors are all adults with life experience behind them and years of schooling or at least some knowledge of literary skills and devices. Occasionally however, I need to re-evaluate how I look at a book because the author is different. In this case, the author is only 12 years old.
When I think back to when I was twelve there is no way on this earth I had the urge to read much let alone write something. And if I did write stories, I got bored very quickly, so I have to give Pamela Shine full credit for her determination and staying power to the task at hand. To review her like an adult however, would be unfair.
Red Flame: Wizards’ School is a fun fantasy adventure about a group of wizards who go to the Red Flame School, one of many in the world of Wizland. These wizards are given missions and jobs to go on and in the case of some of the wizards, get to go out and cause a lot of trouble (the child in me grinned wickedly at this) and they also get into fights with other competing schools.
The powers the characters have were different to what I usually expect from a book centred on magic. It is often too easy to make your main character super powerful with an insane complicated power, but Pamela has created abilities for her characters which tend to stem from something simple or basic and become surprisingly powerful when used. The story itself is fast paced and quickly comes to a conclusion without any messing around or going off on a tangent (something some adult authors are guilty of), whereas it is the way of the teenager or younger person to get the point.
Having said that, as an older reader I think I would have liked a bit more explanation as to background and character history and description of the places the events were set. The ability to do this is something I feel she will develop over time and gain with experience, but if I were to give this to a younger person as it stands now I feel they will love it to bits without the added description. As this book is aimed at 8 to 12-year-olds then I think it would be nice if this book got a bit more publicity as I’m sure children in that age group will love it.
One important point to note while reading this, and as a reader it is one of my big sticking points; I hate grammatical errors and I was expecting some from such a young author, but you know what? There were NONE. None what-so-ever. I’ve been known to mark books as DNF because the grammar mistakes are so bad and this book has absolutely none at all. So I give 10/10 for her brilliant spell checking and grammar skills.
If Pamela writes a sequel I will definitely be reading it as I’m interested to follow her career and to see where she goes from here. I’m sure that with more experience and knowledge she will become a very competent adult author. (less)
Eeeeeek! It's over and now I have to say a sad goodbye Mr Maddox. Who will I fantasize about now?! :( Focusing on the positives though this installmen...moreEeeeeek! It's over and now I have to say a sad goodbye Mr Maddox. Who will I fantasize about now?! :( Focusing on the positives though this installment rocked! There was just the right balance of romance, peril, laughter, action and creepy evil vamps to make this perfect.
As usual this is a very character centered novel and Lily is a very easy character to relate to. She's funny, emotional, tough and her character is so well written it feels like she reaches out to you from the page so that you can almost feel what she's feeling. My heart almost tore in two during one certain scene with William (I won't post exactly what as I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't read it)
Other characters make a re-appearance and it was great to see how well Christian and Nicole were doing as well as meeting all the new characters that were introduced with the visits to London and Ireland. And in addition to all the lovely characters I've grown to love there was also a certain moo-cow introduced that reminded me strongly of someone I know. Seriously, the similarities scared me. If you can get through this book without hating Judy Lynn then you're stronger than I am.
Though this was a very emotional novel it was not without some pretty funny lighthearted scenes and I will never be able to do a jigsaw puzzle again without thinking of this book and doubling up with laughter. You will cry, you will laugh you will go awwwwwwww but ultimately you'll reach the end and probably be suffering William Maddox withdrawal symptoms. sniffle. Fantastic end to the series. Whatever Jennifer writes next I will be reading! (less)
This book was a joy to read and I find it easy to get lost in in such a way I forget where I am and can block out everyone and everything. This is rar...moreThis book was a joy to read and I find it easy to get lost in in such a way I forget where I am and can block out everyone and everything. This is rare in a book, and usually I find other people distract me from books which is why I read in peace usually. No such issues here though.
I've been following Zoe's adventures since I read the first two books ages ago and I thought I might have forgotten what happened, but i needn't have worried because the Dragon Diaries world just popped straight back into my mind. I loved the relationship between Derek and Zoe and Jared and Zoe, though I'm not going to say who she ends up with (if any! lol) because I don't like to post spoilers. The plot was electric and there was never a dull moment, and as with the first two, I am still amazed by the originality of this story and the characters in it.
One niggle though, I would love to know more about Kohana and the other shape shifters. Who knows...maybe there'll be another book one day!(less)
Ok, so being an original fan of the Percy Jackson books, it took me a while to warm to the Kane chronicles, but by the end of the first book I loved S...moreOk, so being an original fan of the Percy Jackson books, it took me a while to warm to the Kane chronicles, but by the end of the first book I loved Sadie and Carter and I love them even more now.
These books aren't just adventurous and a hugely entertaining lesson on Egyptian mythology but they are also laugh out loud funny. For example, one memorable moment (view spoiler)[has Sadie convincing a hunting goddess that jelly babies are horrific monsters along with the terrifying McVities Hobnob (hide spoiler)] and I haven't laughed so much in a long time!
The relationship between Carter and Sadie continues to go from strength to strength and as for Carter's relationship with Zia and Sadie's with Walt and Anubis...well I'm not saying a word. Lets just say it isn't all fun and games.
The bad guys are just as evil as in the last book though it quickly becomes clear that there is no black and white with regards to some of choices made and with whom the Kane's have to place there trust. With all the original evil doers and now with a bunch of new ones, the Kanes find themselves sorely tested.
However you read into this book and whatever you take away from it. If you've read the others in the series, if you love butt-kicking action, laugh out loud humour and dash of romance then this is a book not to be missed!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
There's something to be said about a book when I start yelling at people for trying to talk to me whilst I read it, and I have to say this book had th...moreThere's something to be said about a book when I start yelling at people for trying to talk to me whilst I read it, and I have to say this book had that affect on me (not to mention I have the sudden urge to dye my hair blue!)
To sum it up into a single paragraph:
This is epic, very original and so creative that I wonder what goes on inside the authors' head. Some first in the series novels seem to lack in either the world building, story telling or way too much wordiness and this book suffered from no such problem whatsoever. The writing is of first rate and I found myself lost in both Prague and Elsewhere whilst following Karou's journey. Laini has written a novel that is not only the best form of escapism but is such a twisty narrative and has such an epic ending that it will tug at your heart strings and leave you awestruck. Amazing!
I can't write much more without risking spoilers but this is one book you do not want to miss out on.
It seemed like a very long wait to read Legacy especially giving the ending of the previous book and the cliffhanger it was left on. I have a huge book...moreIt seemed like a very long wait to read Legacy especially giving the ending of the previous book and the cliffhanger it was left on. I have a huge book crush on Silas and I'm not ashamed to admit it and I'm not sure if it's because he's such a bad boy or maybe because he's a tortured soul...or maybe I just really like guys with a dark mystique about them ;) Thankfully though I'm not completely vain because the main reason I love this series so much is because it's original, dark and takes ghosts, death and the afterlife and gives it a new and exciting twist.
I haven't come across such originality in a series of this genre since I read the Abhorsen Trilogy about seven years ago now and I never did find something to fill the gap it left until I stumbled across Wintercraft and the blurb sucked me right in.
Legacy picks up a little bit after Blackwatch with Kate under Dalliah's control and almost powerless. Meanwhile Silas and Edgar are hot on their trail in an attempt to save Kate and stop the veil from being ripped apart and rending all the spirits in Albion free to roam and for people to see. Dalliah's plans are selfish and yet I couldn't help but feel pity for her, especially towards the end of the book when things came to a head and her plan began to come together.
The thing I have learned with these books is that even the bad guys are redeemable to a certain extent and it is nearly impossible to completely hate the enemy, even though I really really wanted too. I had several moments where my heart was in my mouth and I was silently yelling at Silas not to do something stupid and I was pleased when in the end Kate was finally able to do things her way. I won't spoil what happens at the very end and I'm sure readers will be pretty surprised by the outcome, though I hope very pleased too :)
I don't know what Jenna will be writing next but if it's anything as good as this series, I will not be able to put it down.(less)
After much kindle trouble I finally got to finishing this book and a big thanks to the author for the endless patience! A big big thank you goes to Pe...moreAfter much kindle trouble I finally got to finishing this book and a big thanks to the author for the endless patience! A big big thank you goes to Perry Aylen (actually two very clever people working on the same novel!) for asking me to review this book. To kick my review off here's the Goodreads synopsis to give you a brief introduction:
'When the seas rose and the world froze, much knowledge was lost. Mysterious twins, Jacob and Elya, shipwrecked in Hexult, discover their superior understanding of science is mistaken for magic by the superstitious islanders. With the aid of Aulf the mailman and his fiery crewmate, Ingar, the twins must overcome terrible tragedy and danger, to save their reputations and their lives.'
I love a good fantasty novel, especially as I'm one of those people who can imagine themselves in the places described in a book and I had no problems in doing so with this one. The text is so richly descriptive and highly imaginative that I found I could picture everything with clarity, from the Varja Crevasse and on to the wonderfully named Islands of Orking Do, Quayven and Pelago (among others!). With regards to this, perhaps the only issue I had with this novel was that there was a lot of new terms and places to absorb and at first I found myself struggling to take it all in, but by the time I was further into the novel and place names and people had been repeated I found that it had all sunk in, so much so that even with the huge gap in reading this book due to my broken kindle, I was able to remember names of places and people with ease when I went to finish it.
For those who love your adventure and magic (erm science, I mean) this is also an adventure story with a twist and I found myself laughing on occasion at the citizens of Hexult who, in the bigger part, drove me nuts with their superstitions, and I found myself wanting to yell at them all. One of the things that I quickly came to wonder was if the seas did rise and the world froze over and people forgot about science and common sense, would we go back to believing such things as magic, prophecy and judging people on such things? Or would we at least retain some of our knowledge? To me it would feel like a step backwards, but reading this book, it makes complete sense, because it would be quite easy in the absence of knowledge to revert to a very medieval attitude.
All that aside, the trips across the ice coupled with the fights, the raiding and the fantastical buildings that are created captured my imagination with ease and had my heart racing in some instances and I was left fascinated by some of the ideas and by the simple thought that it only takes a small group of people to change the world, even in the face of so much adversity and superstition. Character wise I loved the twins and how they dealt with the situation they were dropped into despite everything that was against them and I got rather attached to Aulf and Ingar too so I will definitely be reading the sequel to this to find out what happens next.
If your looking for something different to read give this a go, you won't be disappointed.(less)