Wow. This was horrifying. It takes something epic in a horror book to make me feel physically sick, but I did by the end. The story was very originalWow. This was horrifying. It takes something epic in a horror book to make me feel physically sick, but I did by the end. The story was very original and the fact that all the loose ends aren't tied up just adds to the atmosphere in my opinion.
I loved the main character Jon, mainly because his reactions were so realistic. At the end of the day human instinct is survival but it was nice to have it made obvious that he was mourning those he's lost. The only thing I would have liked to have known was if it was a global event, I assume it was judging by the way it's written, but that's something You never find our for definite.
Are the things aliens that invade? If so where are they from and for how long have they been planning the invasion? I normally hate it when I'm left with so many questions, but in this case this increased the realism. After all, in this sort of circumstance, with people dying (in increasingly gruesome ways) what is the likelihood that you would somehow find out exactly what's going on in the world? Very unlikely. The stark reality of this is what makes this book so plausible and so terrifying.
Cos lets face it, if we were to be invaded, I doubt we would be lucky enough for the aliens to drop dead of their own accord. War of the worlds this book is not. In a good way....more
I haven't read any historical fiction in a while, mainly because I hadn't found one that interested me. I stumbled upon this in the Oxfam Bookshop (II haven't read any historical fiction in a while, mainly because I hadn't found one that interested me. I stumbled upon this in the Oxfam Bookshop (I love charity book stores, they're fun to explore!)and I bought it without any hesitation because I'd heard of Mary Hooper after reading one of Marie-Louise Jensen's books.
This turned out to be a really good historical read. I was suitably enthralled, disgusted and excited all at the same time. Enthralled by the events going on, disgusted by the plague and how it was dealt with, and excited by Hannah's exploration and adventures in London. The character dynamics were brilliant too, and I loved Sarah and Abby as much as I loved Hannah.
My only niggle was the ending because it was abrupt and I never found out what happened to Baby Grace or Sarah. I know Hannah survives because she's in the next book, but Sarah doesn't go back to London with her. Other than that I loved it, and I will definitely be reading the next when I happen upon it. Mary Hooper is a new author for me but judging from the amount of books she's written I'l be reading them for a long time to come....more
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 sI 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 :) ...more
Usually I find writing reviews for books pretty straight forward because essentially the authors are all adults with life experience behind them and yUsually 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. ...more
First of all I would like to thank Jenna and headline publishing for sending me a proof copy to read, and as most of you know I will also be publishinFirst of all I would like to thank Jenna and headline publishing for sending me a proof copy to read, and as most of you know I will also be publishing my Interview with Jenna on the 12th of April. Anyway, Blackwatch is an amazing book and a fantastic edition to the Wintercraft series. All the favourites are back including Kate, Silas, Edgar and of course our feathery friend, Silas’s crow (I want one, their awesome!).
Blackwatch picks up roughly where Wintercraft left off. After the events on the night of souls, Silas has left for the continent and Kate has decided to try and get help from the Skilled even though she knows there’s a chance that she might be blamed for a murder she hasn’t committed. Things take a sinister turn though, and Kate finds herself in more trouble than ever, whilst Silas finds himself at the mercy of The Blackwatch and a woman named Delliah, also seems to be playing her part on a very twisted turn of events that could possibly change Albion for ever.
I love this series, I simply love it. The characters are so different and Unique and instead of having clear cut ‘bad-guys’ as you would get in most novels there are characters who have different levels of evil and often good reasons for what they do (that doesn’t make them good by a longshot, but it does make a change to have 3-dimensional reasoning and emotions) Silas is by far my favourite character, as he was in the previous novel. Maybe it’s because I have a thing for the literary bad boys but it’s also the fact that despite his bad points, he is the most complex character in the book. He’s dangerous, ruthless and can be very cold, but at the same time can be equally caring, concerned and capable of doing the right thing. He was the anti-hero of the previous novel, but I think now he’s edging more towards Hero, not that I mind, he is an awesome guy!
Kate also shone in this novel and her bravery never ceased to amaze me. At times she was hunted, stalked and attacked on an almost constant basis and she still stood her ground and stood strong. But at the same time, she wasn’t foolish and she also knew when to admit defeat when she had to and I admired her for that. Edgar impressed me a lot too! He was such a hero in his own way and added some humour when I felt it was most needed. Some of the things he came out with had me laughing ages after I’d past them in the book. As for his actions at the end I was stunned, he really was brave and I can see his relationship with Silas becoming interesting as well especially since the two of them never really got on. But I can’t say anymore without ruining the ending (or anything else in the book for that matter!)
Anyway, read this! It’s brilliant and it’s released in book store and other very nice book sellers from the 14th April. Read it I tell you! ...more
So i'm going to review this without posting spoilers that way everyone can read my review and not ruin the plot for themselves! :-)
To sum it up in twoSo i'm going to review this without posting spoilers that way everyone can read my review and not ruin the plot for themselves! :-)
To sum it up in two words: Awesomely Awesome. Yes, i'm well aware that the first is made up on my part but still, it deserves a made up word for how brilliant it is.
I'm well aware that people will pick this up and think it has a slow start, and they wouldn't be wrong, but it really picks up a couple of chapters in and it will have you hooked.
The characters are wonderful, Jet and Iridium both, although i preferred Iridium for a while mainly because i love a strong personality, but by half way through i'd grown attached to both women. The flashes back to their childhood at the academy were fascinating and i didn't find the jumping confusing because it was done simply and not ridiculously often.
The plot was so tightly woven that i couldn't have fit a pin through it, even if i tried to find holes in the plot. It moved quickly, kept me entranced and revealed things at just the right time. But the most amazing part...The Ending. The ending to me takes up the last three or so chapters and there are so many revelations and twists i just gasped, and i honestly didn't see them coming. I just sat there and thought 'What the hell!'.
As well as being an addictive thriller/superhero story i found it to be rather meaningful with emphasis on friendship and loyalty and there were some chapters that left my emotions reeling, and one in particular had me crying because it was so sad.
Anyway, i'm gonna stop before i give too much away and you readers hate me for lying about not giving spoilers! Seriously, give this book a read, it's fantastic!...more
Wow, this book is absolutely amazing!!! Don't get me wrong I'm not some con loving criminal but I have to admit reading about that lifestyle is absoluWow, this book is absolutely amazing!!! Don't get me wrong I'm not some con loving criminal but I have to admit reading about that lifestyle is absolutely fantastic. Red Glove is just as twisted, frightening, and unbelievably original as White Cat was, if not more. Here's my brief spoiler free description before I go further into my review, and please, if you haven't read White Cat, DON'T read any further...
Cassel Sharpe spent years thinking he had murdered his best friend Lila only to find out that in fact he had changed her into a white cat. How? Cassel is a transformation worker, able to transform people into anything he wants. Cruelly forced into doing his brothers murderous deeds and then forced into forgetting, Cassel wasn't even aware of his power until the truth came out when his brothers plans went wrong. Now things take an even bigger twist, Lila is now human again and has been forced to love Cassel by the hand of his emotion working mother and things go from bad to worse when Cassel's brother is killed and both the Law and the Mob try to get Cassel on their side, neither of which is an appealing prospect for him. As the sides gear up against him and as his troubles with Lila grow, Cassel will have to work his best con yet to get out of trouble.
Well what can I say? I just love the world this is set in. Yes, it is modern day America but with a twist. Some people are born with the gift of Curse Working, meaning they curse/gift people simply by touching them. This may seem wonderful in theory but in this story Holly Black has realised what the consequences of such powers would be. The result? Two sides: the pro-workers people and the anti-workers and a whole mess of politicians trying to force through laws that mean manditory testing to find out if your a worker. In this reality, everyone wears gloves so that no one will fear being touched and therefore 'worked', and to me this was a fascinating and yet sadly bleak future where there is little trust among anyone.
Having said that though, trust seems to be a theme in this series and in this book. Most of the characters in Red Glove are conning someone to some extent and in some cases it's pretty amusing, and in others very tragic and dangerous. What I found most amazing though was the strength of family values in this book, and the length to which Cassel went to protect even those that have hurt him was amazing.
The other thing I loved, in a more general sense, is the idea of Blowback. In most books you'll get characters that have limitless powers for them to use and abuse. In this reality there are consequences, for example, if your a death worker and you kill someone using your power, something else on you has to die. For example, you may lose a body part. I thought this was a genius idea and it added weight to some of the characters actions, after all, if your willing to lose a finger to kill someone, then you must really hate them!
The characters themselves were fantastic in every way. Cassel opened up a lot more in this novel and as a result was able to handle things a lot better and learn from his past mistakes whilst coming into his own instead of being led along by his family. Other characters shone in this installment as well, including Sam, Daneca and Lila. I can't really say in what way though without spoiling something, and I will not spoil this book for anyone :-)
I'm going to wrap this review up by saying that this is another wonderful novel by Holly Black and as well as having one hell of a con job at the end and a wonderful romance on the side, there is a meaningful undercurrent regarding family, ethics and ultimately doing what you believe is right, NOT what everyone else believes to be right....more
As i'm sure i've said before, i love a good fairy tale re-telling especially ones that totally twist the nonsense out of a fairy tale and make it a liAs i'm sure i've said before, i love a good fairy tale re-telling especially ones that totally twist the nonsense out of a fairy tale and make it a little bit more wholesome as opposed to just stupid. Considering the original version of this tale, in which a princess was able to feel a pea under lots of mattresses, i found the pea/mattress part in this book to be much better.
Although the elements are the same (there's princesses, a prince and tests involving various things including a pea!) but the rest is completely different. The princesses are tested but not on the aspects that, as the reader, i originally thought and it quickly becomes obvious that the the Prince Richard's parents are up to something. When that something is finally revealed i was left pleasantly surprised, which makes a change in a re-telling.
The love story itself is no mystery as it's obvious from the beginning that Violet and Richard love one another despite the fact she has to endure all sorts of annoyance to win her true love. This, for me anyway, allowed for other aspects of the story to come to the front such as the mystery of the tests, the other princesses back stories and Violet's past, things that in most fairy tales wouldn't even be glanced at.
The characters are truly wonderful, quite a few of which are given amazing depth and backstory. Some of the princesses were simply awesome and i couldn't help but feel for Goldie in particular. It's a wonderful different take on the 'perfect' world of a princess. I mean how annoying would it be if someone didn't even want you brushing your own hair? Richard sounded perfect, and you know it's love when a guy sends notes via his pet dog (so cute by the way!).
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and i will definately be checking out more of Debbie Viguié's work in the future.
**spoiler alert** I have to admit that when i first started reading this, the prologue really got me stuck to it, and it really was a fantastic start**spoiler alert** I have to admit that when i first started reading this, the prologue really got me stuck to it, and it really was a fantastic start (and very reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood) but then i have to confess, i found it a bit slow going. Don't get me wrong, by far this book is not a bad novel, in fact for the most part i really liked it, but i did feel that the first part of the book dragged a bit. In my case, i thought i could sense what conclusion the author was coming to (and i turned out to be right) but she drew it out a lot more than was necessary, and i found it a bit frustrating that in some instances it seemed like the hunting wolves cycle was being repeated an awful lot.
Anyways...now i have that bit said, i'll now go on to tell you exactly why i gave this book four stars when i was clearly annoyed by a few things:
1. The characters were original and inventive. I loved the relationship between Scarlett and Rosie. Clearly devoted to one another and yet torn by their differences, watching them struggle to make their own choices made for fascinating and heart-warming reading, as they discover just what they might have to do to stay sisters. (You'll understand once you read it). Silas was another character i loved, and his divided loyalties between being Scarletts hunting partner and Rosie's boyfriend was wonderfully described and explained, and i have to admit he sounded amazing ;-).
2. The plot itself was very unique. Once the story took off, i have to admit i was captivated by the plot and the idea behind it. After Rosie and Scarlett realise what the wolves are after and what marks that thing as unique (trying not to spoil things here) the story really takes off and i couldn't put it down. I personally believe that the slow start was due to the fact it was a first in a series and the characters have to be set up (a pain but necessary unless you want readers to get very confused), and because of that, i have to commend Jackson Pearce for her inventive and original story.
3. Unique blend of genres. I find it unusual that i've commented on this as usually it's not something i think about, but i have to admit i had trouble classifying this as a particular genre, because the truth is it has elements of romance, horror, fantasy, legend, family drama and it's all wrapped up as an original and modern fairytale. There's literally something for everyone (including people who like cats!)
So i'll now summarise. Although the beginning was a bit slow, i have to admit this is genuinely good read with a captivating and inventive plot that will activate the imaginations of the most un-imaginative people in existence. The characters are Kick-ass and are't afraid to get into trouble to do the right thing. I will most definately be reading the sequel! ...more
**spoiler alert** Wow, well i'm still slightly gobsmacked by how brilliant this book is. Admittedly, with Holly's writing you tend to love it or hate**spoiler alert** Wow, well i'm still slightly gobsmacked by how brilliant this book is. Admittedly, with Holly's writing you tend to love it or hate it, and i LOVE it. The writing style is awesome and the dramatic change in subject matter from her last series was a welcome jump, and she has proved herself (at least in my eyes) that she is a very versitile writer.
Cassel was a brilliant character, and i knew from the beginning that there'd be more to his story than initially thought. To me, when i first started reading about him killing someone, i thought he might be an anti-hero but it turned out i was so very wrong. His complex feelings towards other people were brilliantly written and his sense of confusion is expertly translated accross to the reader through the text.
Other characters also come to life on the pages. Cassel's grandfather was another favourite of mine, and by the end i completely hated his brothers Phillip and Barron. How can anyone be so Callous?
The twists and turns taken throughout the plot were strokes of genius and the Cons that went on throughout were hilarious, especially that final one in the bathroom. And, if all that wonderful twisty plot wasn't enough Holly then goes and leaves the book on a wonderful cliff-hanger of sorts that has left me seriously wanting to read the next in the series.
Holly you truly are a genius, keep writing because i love your books!...more
I'm going to start with the positives. Just like the Percy Jackson books, this too is funny, adventurous and emotional at times, but in different waysI'm going to start with the positives. Just like the Percy Jackson books, this too is funny, adventurous and emotional at times, but in different ways. This book is written from two different narrators view points, which can be a little confusing but also very funny at times. There are some fantastic and amusing one liners, that had me laughing like an idiot, and the complex sibling relationship between Carter and Sadie was both believable and quite emotional to read about. Unlike his earlier series, the Kane chronicals seems more grown-up in a way that i can't quite explain. This isn't a bad thing, infact i found it a great change of pace for a children/young adult book. The gods were also fun to learn about, sort of like a crash course in egyptian mythology, which is a topic i find really absorbing, and this was a much more amusing way to learn than say reading a factual book in the library. But...there a few things that did make me drop the rating to a 4/5. One of which is that it took a while for the pace to pick up (although once it did i couldn't put it down) and it didn't have as much humour as the his other books. Overall though, this is an amazing start to the series and i will definately be reading the next, Rick Riordan is a very talented author :-)...more
**spoiler alert** Absolute genius! When i first started reading i had a few blank moments, simply because it's been probably a year since i've read Re**spoiler alert** Absolute genius! When i first started reading i had a few blank moments, simply because it's been probably a year since i've read Red Headed Step-child, but within a chapter or so everything clicked back into place.
This story continues where the last ended, with Sabina leaving LA to go to New York with Adam and Giguhl, and it doesn't take long for the action to kick off (and for Sabina to admire Adam's very nice ass!) I actually enjoyed this book even more than the last, and that's saying something.
My favourite character by far is Giguhl, the mischief demon. He is AWESOME! Every other line of his is a joke and even the silly t-shirts he wears had me giggling like a little girl. His friendship with Sabina also deepens in this, rather than just being a minion of sorts, he actually listens to her willingly and has clearly grown attached, and it is obvious that she has changed the same way, calling him her friend and protecting him on several occasions. Maisie is also a good character, and the differences between her and Sabina make for some rather funny, and awkward scenes when they first meet (Consider the fact Sabina isn't really a huggy type, yet her sister is). There are also some really nasty bad guys in this one, a lot more than the first book, but this just adds to the mystery of who is responsible for everything that's happening throughout.
As with the last book, this never lets up and ends in a heart-stopping cliff-hanger that will leave you needing the next book almost immediately!...more