I would like to thank net galley for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this! I wasn't too sold on Half bad because I waI would like to thank net galley for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this! I wasn't too sold on Half bad because I wasn't used to the writing style or the characters. Now that I'm familiar with both I was able to just go with the flow of the story and I loved it.
If you weren't shipping Nathan and Gabriel by the end of the last book then you will be the end of this one. So much happens in this book, but not in the usual sense. It isn't action packed from start to finish but that didn't detract from the the enjoyment of the book and it was very character based.
Nathan and Gabriel to me are very anti-hero kind of hero's and so is Marcus to an extent. I'm aware of some of the stuff they do but it doesn't seem inherently evil. It's hard to explain, unless you read it.
This book introduces some new and amazing characters as well as taking some twists with the old ones. And I now hate some characters that I originally liked.
As for the ending. Don't even get me started on it. I did not see it coming but I am now desperate to find out what happens next....more
Woah. This book kicked ass. First of all a big thanks to the author and netgalley for allowing me to read the ARC of this, so glad I did.
This book isWoah. This book kicked ass. First of all a big thanks to the author and netgalley for allowing me to read the ARC of this, so glad I did.
This book is based on the Russian Empress Catherine the Great. And now having read some of her history I have to admit she really is a kick ass, girl power ruler (to put it bluntly)
When I had gotten to about 90% of the book my first thought was to feel sorry for Sophie/Catherine. But by the end I was applauding her genius, inner strength and sheer nerve, not to mention her sense of humour in the face of adversity.
Loss, love and love lost play a huge roll in this, not to mention the stark realism of the time period, and there are some things that I found astounding (but sadly not surprising in these sort of royal circles).
Though not usually a lover of politics, the political games being played in this were fascinating and though for the majority of the book I had the feeling the policy had won out, I can't help feeling (after reading Catherine's history) that she will most likely have the last laugh in all of this. As for peter...I really hope that the author keeps true to the true historical events when she writes the next in the series. Lets face it, he deserves it. The scoundrel.
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 spoiThe 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. ...more
When I first started reading this I was enjoying it immensely and then the Religion heavy content kicked in and it started overshadowing the HistoricaWhen I first started reading this I was enjoying it immensely and then the Religion heavy content kicked in and it started overshadowing the Historical Romance side of the story. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against religion in novels or in general. In fact i read the Amish Romance stories but they are a lot less Religion heavy than this book (odd considering they are set in a religious community). I also think it prudent to point out that I am NOT an Atheist just to make it clear that this is not an anti-god splurge.
At the beginning of the story it is the peril and romance that takes center stage, followed swiftly by the threat of war and some fighting. But then the religious side creeps in, sneaky and not so there at first, but then it hits you like a hammer and I found it hard to focus on Gisela, John and there budding romance. One part that particularly annoyed me was that John seemed more alarmed at the thought of the church splitting than losing the woman he loves and the lives that would be lost during a war that would cause said split of church. Now I understand that this was a different time period but still, it bugged me a lot.
If you can get past that and focus on the romance and the complicated military plots and betrayals then there is a good story underneath it all. And I was thrilled with the ending. The idea that Love will conquer all has always been a big thing for me and I love the idea. So for that reason this book still gets three out of five, because it is, underneath it all, a compelling love story. It helped that the characters were well fleshed out and with personalities that could be related to. I could understand the reasoning for John and Gisela trying to avoid there feelings even if i didn't like there stubbornness.
Maybe I'm a good old fashioned romantic but if you love someone, really love someone, then they are most definitely worth the struggle to be with. ...more
Wow. Just wow. Horowitz is a legend. What a mix of happy, sad and utterly heart breaking. Review to come (when the shock has worn off!)
Wow. WeWow. Just wow. Horowitz is a legend. What a mix of happy, sad and utterly heart breaking. Review to come (when the shock has worn off!)
Wow. Well I'm not even sure where to begin with this book. I waited years to read this and though I sort of guessed part of the ending correctly, it was no less of a shock when it happened. I bawled my eyes out and I felt immensely sad for two characters in particular though there was a happier epilogue to soften the blow. It was a little disconcerting at first, what with the jumping between Jamie/Holly, Matt/Lohan, Pedro/Scott and Scarlett/Richard and it took some serious getting used too, and that was just the gatekeepers and there companions. There were also some POV shifts to those behind the enemy lines too, but by the end these all came together brilliantly with no loose ends.
The research done for this book must have been immense because, whether the characters were in Rome, Naples, Brazil, Cairo or Antarctica, the descriptions were vivid and very easy to picture. Oblivion was especially well planned out; I could almost feel the empty coldness in the Old One's fortress while I was reading and imagine the swarms of enemy soldiers in the final battle.
Was I happy with the twists and turns? I'd say I was even if I would personally have preferred a happier ending for all involved. Poor Richard is all I have to say, I really felt for that man, and I wouldn't have wished what he was forced to do on any one (lets just say the mystery of the Inca's Knife is revealed). Having said that it wasn't doom and gloom all the way to the end and I have to admit if there was one character I was proud of it was Matt. He proved himself to be strong and determined despite being weighed down with knowledge he should never have had to carry. Scott also impressed me, though I wanted to slap him on several occasions near the middle of the book.
When it came to the epilogue I was hoping for some relief or maybe just some hope, which is actually what I got. I loved the epilogue and it did provide some sort of closure and I shed a few happy tears whilst reading it, and it was also nice to have a bit more explanation of the dream world too. All in all I was very impressed with the ending to this series. it was an emotional, frightening and thrilling ride and i'm sure certain scenes from this book will haunt me for a very long time (and no, I'm not exaggerating). I don't know how Horowitz will match this with what he writes next but I hope he gives it a good go. ...more
Oddly enough it was a song I heard that put me in the mood for some Historical Fiction (The Chevalier by Serenity) and though this is a completely difOddly enough it was a song I heard that put me in the mood for some Historical Fiction (The Chevalier by Serenity) and though this is a completely different era it satisfied my need for history, queens, lavish dresses and some heart-stopping romance. Summed up...this book is absolutely awesome!
Things aren't smooth sailing for either of the main characters or for Lady Jane (another favourite of mine!) and I spent most of the book mentally screaming at both Will and Ellie: 'Oi, will you two just forget duty and get together already?!' but since this is the 1500's one has to remember that duty was an important thing back then. Does this have a happy ending? I won't spoil it for you, but it has plenty of scandal, one particular obnoxious rude man, some incredibly emotional romance and a some truly strong female characters. I can't recommend this book enough :)...more
Alas, I really wanted to love this but sadly I couldn't. The story itself is the same as the book, for those who don't know anything about the maximumAlas, I really wanted to love this but sadly I couldn't. The story itself is the same as the book, for those who don't know anything about the maximum ride books here's the link to my review of the first novel: http://magicofreading.blogspot.com/20...
I didn't have a problem with the story because it wasn't altered at all, but I did have a couple of other issues. My first niggle was that for quite a long Manga it didn't cover a lot of ground and yes I do get that it is Manga and that it is supposed to have a lot of imagery, but even so, it didn't even cover a third of the book :-( My second niggle was that I wish the artist had read the descriptions of the characters a bit better (Fang does not have hair down to his butt in the books).
I don't think it's that I don't like Manga, but more that after reading the original novels I didn't think it was a good adaptation. I do feel that if you haven't read the Maximum Ride books and you hadn't already imagined the characters yourself or how things happened then you won't have a problem it at all. I wouldn't say don't read this because a lot of people love Manga based on books, but it really wasn't for me. If I could give half hearts I would give this one and a half, but as it stands, it scores a two....more
I would first like to thank Terry Tracy for contacting me to review her novel and for having the patience while I get through the many books I have toI would first like to thank Terry Tracy for contacting me to review her novel and for having the patience while I get through the many books I have to read. Now onto the novel itself!
I have to admit that my usual genre's (although I don't do it on purpose) tend to fall into the YA, Fantasy, Paranormal and romance departments but since I will literally review any genre I was more than happy to give this book a go. I was drawn in by the subject topic itself and, having briefly touched on epilepsy when studying my psychology degree, I was intrigued to learn a bit more. This is much more than just your standard novel. This is a story of life, love, loss, family and identity. The biggest question of all? Does epilepsy define the person or does the person define themselves? And that is the question that Mischa Dunn, the main character in this book, is faced with on a daily basis:
"Mischa Dunn's family flees Chile in the aftermath of the 1973 coup d'etat that installs a military dictatorship. After settling into life in the United States, at the age of fourteen, Mischa begins to have unexplained seizures. Diagnosed with epilepsy, she faces an uncertain life. With an engaging balance of humor, insight, and sensitivity Mischa's story takes the reader across three continents, over thirty years." (Synopsis taken from amazon.co.uk)
I really really loved this book! Mischa's voice was loud and clear in this story and I have amazing admiration for her (and anyone else who has to live with epilepsy) and how she lives her life despite the obstacles she encounters. What I admired the most on a character basis was Misha's ability to live. I know that sounds really weird but she's so strong throughout the novel right until the end and I found that truly inspiring. I wouldn't say she was stubborn in any light, but she is honest, a force to be reckoned with and out to prove herself, something else that I admired her for.
What I will say is that as well as experiencing a fantastic learning curve (I have never learnt so much about one thing from one book before) I also experienced a wonderfully woven story of a young girl growing into an adult and coming into herself. This book will make you laugh out loud, cry and even, at one stage, be left feeling a little shocked and if I'm honest the ending is incredible on so many different levels and literally made my jaw drop. I won't say why on here, this is a spoiler-free review, but you will understand when you read it.
If I'm honest I can't go into much more detail without spoiling massive chunks of the story. So i'll round off by saying this is a heartwarming, sensitive, enlightening story of a young woman's journey through life. I will also say that this is so well written I felt like I was actually with Mischa on this journey and when you feel like that it makes a book seem so more realistic, and this book feels very real. Terry Tracy has clearly put a lot of her own experience, emotions and thoughts into this book and as a result, it comes across crystal clear to the reader. Whether you have epilepsy, know someone with epilepsy or fit neither of those categories give this book a read, it will change how you see lots of things, not just how you see epilepsy, but other things such as relationships, making choices and dealing with life in general. This is one of those novels that will stay with you long after you read it. So back to my original question. Does epilepsy define the person or does the person define themselves? I'll let you read this and decide for yourself, but I know what my conclusion was....more
omg! it's over and i will now cry. i did not see the ending coming though i will say it was a big f**k you to the bad guys in this. though there are somg! it's over and i will now cry. i did not see the ending coming though i will say it was a big f**k you to the bad guys in this. though there are some unanswered niggles, and some of the plot in this series has been silly in some ways. i love it! and i will miss the epicness that is Maximum ride...more
This is the third in the Numbers series and yet this installment is as original and as enthralling as the other two! I have tried several times to rigThis is the third in the Numbers series and yet this installment is as original and as enthralling as the other two! I have tried several times to right my own synopsis but I keep failing to sum it up so for once I'm going to use the synopsis on Goodreads to avoid any spoilers:
"Post-Chaos 2029. Adam, Sarah and Mia are living together, struggling with the fame of seeing numbers - the dates when people will die. But something is about to tear them apart. During The Chaos Mia swapped her number for another. Suddenly her powerful new ability makes her a terrifying target. Everyone wants to live for ever."
So that's the story in a nutshell but there is so much more to it than that and it's going to be difficult to review without spoiling anything. It almost makes me wish I could go back to the days when I did post spoilers and put a warning on the post, but I don't want to do that with this because I think everyone should be able to read this. So...what can I tell you? Two years have passed since The Chaos and things in the UK still haven't picked up, most of the cities have emptied and civilians are living in tents in the country and some people are law unto themselves and I found this terrifying especially considering what then happens to Mia, Sarah and Adam and what they go through in this book.
As with the other books I was stunned the issues that Miss Ward manages to tackle in here while still being sensitive. In the last book we saw Child abuse and rape among other things. In this we see some truly horrifying and sensitive topics handled very carefully and yet in such a way that they are still able to shock and stun the reader without being overbearing. For some people these issues may be too hard to handle, but for me it highlighted some seriously twisted aspects of human nature that are more common than most of us would care to admit or see even when faced with them. You may be reading this thinking: 'Why would I read this?' Simply because this is a fantastic story and in the end this is a story of Good Vs Evil and despite the horrifying and gut wrenching parts you will feel so warmed by the ending.
If I were to generalise this novel I would say it's a thriller set in a dystopian world, but in fairness there is much more to this than meets the eye. This isn't just a thriller, it's a story of desperation, human nature, survival but also love, hope and family something that becomes all the more important in the world in which this is set. The characters are fantastic, especially Adam, Mia and Sarah and we see some new ones too (not all of which are good) including Saul, Daniel and a rather irritating and evil man named Newsome and they all play their parts in the events that occur.
All in all this is a powerful and emotive read which will have your heart racing at a ridiculous speed. It has an amazing ending, one death scene you will never forget and a heart wrenching twist that will shock you to the core. Amazing novel and full marks! ...more
I love Alex's books and I couldn't find a copy of Cloaked anywhere, that is until I went home to Sunderland for a week and took a trip to the MetrocenI love Alex's books and I couldn't find a copy of Cloaked anywhere, that is until I went home to Sunderland for a week and took a trip to the Metrocentre. That place has one of the biggest Waterstones stores going and a lot of American imports. What do I find buried in the YA section? Yup! Cloaked in all it's hardback glory :-) Anyway, before i delve into my review I'll give you a brief synopsis:
Johnny is a teenager who works in his mothers shoe repair shop trying to make ends meet. His father has been missing since he was very small and they make very little money. Things take a twisting turn when Princess Victoriana makes a visit to Miami and asks him to go on a quest to rescue her brother who has been transformed into a frog. With the promise of enough money to allow him and his mother to live comfortably, Johnny sets out looking for the Prince armed with a magical cloak and with the help of animals that aren't quite what they seem.
I loved this! I am a sucker for a fairytale retelling and this one had everything. Not only was this based on 'The Frog Prince' but it also has some elements of some other not so known tales like 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' and 'The Salad'. I was truly fascinated by how all these elements came together to make a seamless and enchanting fairytale that any romantic will love. With everything from talking swans and foxes, magical spells, witches and giants there is literally something for everyone whether young or old, male or female.
The romance is beautifully told and I loved the relationship Johnny forms with his best friend Meg over the course of the story. Usually romances are love at first sight and this one was different and I loved it for that and I was also captivated by the journey both Meg and Johnny take together and the way things play out. There are some scenes that are so hilariously funny I was almost doubled up laughing at some of the situations they got themselves into and as for kissing frogs? Well, I might try that myself ;-)
Honestly, if your going to read a fairytale this year make it this one. It's funny, romantic and one amazing adventure from start to finish and has more twists than a hedge maze. This is definitely going to be one of the books I keep for rereading....more
As someone whose entire work history has been routed in some form of customer service or other (some telephony and some face-to-face) i have to admitAs someone whose entire work history has been routed in some form of customer service or other (some telephony and some face-to-face) i have to admit there are some idiots out there. So imagine my amusement to discover a book dedicated to basically celebrating the idiocity of that small percentage of customers that no one in my line of work likes to meet.
Seriously, if you've ever had to deal with anyone who thinks they can still watch the telly without taking it out of the box, or had a nude woman run into your store and steal a muffin, or even if you just like a good laugh, this is a most definate must read.
Seriously, laugh out loud funny. Do not read on public transport!...more
It doesn't matter how i write this review i am never going to do this book justice. Thats a bad thing on one way because i won't get my point across,It doesn't matter how i write this review i am never going to do this book justice. Thats a bad thing on one way because i won't get my point across, but on the plus side, it's simply so brilliantly written i can't express how amazing it is. Of all the hard-hitting books I've read in my lifetime this one is one of those that hit the hardest. It tackles so many different issues and taboo topics including child abuse, polygamy and murder among many other. That's not to say though that this is a depressing and morbid story because it isn't and there are many hopeful and uplifting moments.
In brief, the story focuses on Kyra, a 13-year-old girl with three mothers, one father and countless brothers and sisters who live in a compound with the other members of there cult religion. Life is strict there. They aren't allowed to read any other books but the Bible, the women marry who there told to and they aren't even allowed to flirt (i mean how nutty is that???) Kyra herself is quite the rebellious teen and is certain there is more for her than an arranged marriage. She's even started getting books from the mobile library which she reads in secret. Her life becomes all the more complicated when the Prophet tells her that she has been chosen to be the seventh wife of her uncle Hyrum who is 60-years-old. Disgusted by this turn of events, Kyra desperately tries to find a way to escape and to be with the boy she does love, whom she wants to choose for herself.
The story plunges straight in and doesn't do any long winded introductions or explanations. Kyra's world is very normal to her. She loves her brother, sisters and her mothers and father despite that fact she seems to sense that there most be more in the outside world and she copes really well despite her situation. I was really surprised by how most of the families in the compound were like. A lot of them were really nice and loved one another deeply, it was those in higher positions that were manipulating everyone and controlling them, which i found really really sad. It was almost like the prophet and apostles get some sort of kick from controlling people and taking away happiness from other people.
With regards to Prophet Childs and Uncle Hyrum, i have to say, those two are the most repulsive and evil men in the history of fiction. Hyrum seems to collect wives like stamps and the Prophet just likes to be in charge and ruin peoples lives, simply for his own gain; an evil evil evil man. The irony being that why he's being so evil he's preaching about heaven and how they have to do what he says in order to get there, this book made me so angry for that reason. I mean who tells an innocent girl that if she doesn't marry a 60-year-old man then she will burn in hell. And people wonder why the world can have such a bleak view on religion? This is exactly why which is a shame because religion can be a beautiful thing when treated carefully.
I had massive respect for Kyra because despite her fear for herself and her family she still struggles against the rigid rules that are against her and if i'm honest she was a lot braver in her situation than i would have been if it had been me. What makes her such an amazing person wasn't just her willingness to take risks but also that she was willing to make herself miserable if she had to in order to save someone.
Her relationship with Josh was refreshingly innocent and new, especially against the backdrop of arranged and unwanted marriages and was also a welcome breath of fresh air among the more depressing sadness of the novel. I couldn't believe some of the cruelty that went on, and sometimes against innocent babies. I was furious at the end of one part in particular. Her friendship with Patrick was another stand out for me, and i loved the fact that he was able to open new worlds for her when she was otherwise trapped. The support from her mothers and her siblings was profound as well, but in honesty, i think it was Patrick that gave her most of her courage.
The ending is very bittersweet and left me feeling slightly sad but with a sense of hope for the first time since the novel started, both for Kyra and everyone else in the compound and it really highlighted how much some people lose in order to get what they want and also what you'd be willing to give up in order to gain the thing most people would take for granted: Freedom. A stunning novel for teens and adults alike, full marks from me!...more