3.5-4 stars. There was something lacking in this one, it didn't have the BOOM ending that I've come to expect from Soul Screamers books. Sure it had a3.5-4 stars. There was something lacking in this one, it didn't have the BOOM ending that I've come to expect from Soul Screamers books. Sure it had a good ending, but it didn't grab me like others have. Did make me cry though, but not sure if that's because I was already a bit emotional.
It just didn't feel like very much happened. And I really got bored of certain things being lightly skipped over purely to build suspense. And so often.
Surrender was never released in the UK and as such, we Brits had to accept that our Haunting Emma collections woOriginally posted to Once Upon A Time.
Surrender was never released in the UK and as such, we Brits had to accept that our Haunting Emma collections would look something like this:
Thankfully, it is a trilogy worth making do with mismatched covers as it’s a delight to read. And I did spend a fair while making bets with myself over the colour of book three. I think I went with orange but I guess we’ll never know!
It had been a long while since I’d read Betrayal, book two of the trilogy, and so it took me a while to work out who was who, who was where, and what was going on and get back into the narrative style all over again and I didn’t feel as though previous events were re-explained very well so I do think this series works much better if you read all three in one sitting. I also found it funny reading this as I was in more of an adult chick lit mood, whereas reading the first two I was in the mood for this kind of series so the teenage angst bothered me so much more this time around but it’s still a good read.
Aside from the masses of angst and the assumption that you have a photographic memory, I also noticed an awful lot of moments in which the characters proved themselves to be glaringly oblivious. There were things that had me screaming at the book in a, “They’re behind you you dolt!” kind of style. But I felt that the fun of reading Surrender overrode my annoyances.
The Haunting Emma trilogy is the kind of series you read when you don’t want to think. You want to sit and enjoy your fantasy world and have a well resolved ending. It feels comfortable to read, the battles are fast-paced and just a little epic, and the characters are loveable and fun. It is certainly worth reading even if just the once....more
It took me way too long to get around to reading Grave Witch (try 6 or 7 months) and now that I have I'm kicking myself for not finding the time sooneIt took me way too long to get around to reading Grave Witch (try 6 or 7 months) and now that I have I'm kicking myself for not finding the time sooner because it is definitely one of the better urban fantasies out there. Kalayna Price has created this fantastic world in which faeries exist, along with witches, ghosts and reapers. Alex, our protagonist, is what is called a 'grave witch'. A person who can call upon the power of the grave to 'raise shades'. Shades are basically memories of the deceased. They are not ghosts, which are separate entities altogether, but they can be questioned and Alex makes a living raising shades to aid in murder investigations, arguments over wills, and all sorts. She also happens to be the only person she knows who can see Death, as in the Grim Reaper. A Soul Collector. There are also other types of Witches but Alex isn't particularly good with the other types of magic however we do see a lot of animosity towards Witches and Fae folk in general. This is definitely the most interesting representation of the Fae that I have read so far.
Alex herself made me gleefully happy. I've gotten so used to urban fantasy heroines being "solitary and independent". Read: annoyingly stubborn and relying on the first bad ass male that comes along. Alex has friends and she is not averse to turning to them for help and spending time with them. It was like a breath of fresh air! A heroine that actually enjoys fun and companionship! Okay so sure, she does rely on the first bad ass male that comes along when she is a self-proclaimed commitaphobe but we can't have everything, right?
What I really loved about Grave Witch, along with the fantastic world-building, is definitely the almost casual writing style. It draws you in from the very first sentence and keeps you hooked throughout. I found it an utter delight to read, especially when the Fae and their homeland came up, as well as details about modern day Witches. If you haven't read it yet I urge you to pick up a copy. I've fallen completely in love with this series to the point that I immediately picked up Grave Dance and then bought Grave Memory. There is more to this book than you might think. Don't assume it is your typical urban fantasy until you've encountered its' twists and unpredictability. And what an ending....more
This series is definitely a favourite in urban fantasy. I love the mix of witches and magic and faerie and ghosts and reapers and all of that combinedThis series is definitely a favourite in urban fantasy. I love the mix of witches and magic and faerie and ghosts and reapers and all of that combined and ... arg. It's good, okay? And by the end of this one I was actually invested in the love interest too. Mebbe soon I'll actually review them both on the blog and convince you all to give them a try if you haven't already? Promise they're worth it.
I will admit to being a little unreasonably wary of The Dead Ways before picking it up because I was worried thaOriginally posted on Once Upon A Time.
I will admit to being a little unreasonably wary of The Dead Ways before picking it up because I was worried that it might have been a little young for me as I have a history with not enjoying middle grade books because I often find the writing and story style too simplistic. However, I was not to worry. The Dead Ways is a great piece of fiction for young adults and adults alike. Okay, so there were quite a few convenient near misses throughout the novel but that's something I just associate with middle grade fiction and thus it bothers me a lot less than when it occurs in adult fiction.
As for the writing style itself I was gripped from the very first page. The Dead Ways begins with Scott being kidnapped from outside of his school and so straight away we have a fast paced scene and questions to be answered. Why kidnap Scott? Who are the kidnappers? What is so important about Scott's father? And though it's a very short novel at just under 200 pages, it feels just right. The story doesn't drag and it manages to fit everything in pretty perfectly.
I particularly enjoyed Tom's character. There's something about a gruff, almost-hippyish, Celtic loving, hairy middle-aged man that just makes that kind of character ultimately loveable (see: Hagrid). He was a caring father character with a few quirks and it was so easy to become attached to him.
Honestly, I think it was inevitable that I would love The Dead Ways considering how much ancient British legend and lost Celtic history was a part of the story. I'm a bit of a sucker for ancient Britain and legend. If you're looking for a quick but highly interesting and exciting read, do give The Dead Ways a try. And follow Christopher Edge on Twitter while you're at it!...more
Warning: There may be spoilers in this review for the first book, Deception.
Betrayal picks up where Deception left off after Coby's death. TWarning: There may be spoilers in this review for the first book, Deception.
Betrayal picks up where Deception left off after Coby's death. Tension between Emma, and Harry and Sara is high, and Coby, now a ghost, is increasingly worried about them. She needs to find a way to help the friends who hate her and defeat Neos and fast, all the while not knowing exactly who she can trust.
I had a little trouble enjoying Betrayal. I'm not sure if it was purely because I wasn't in the right mood for it, or if it simply wasn't quite as good as Deception, but it didn't grab quite as much. Harry and Sara's hatred of Emma felt a little too much to me, I didn't believe it. Sure it made sense that they'd blame her and live in misery after the death of their best friend but the way it was portrayed felt a little too much. The fact that Emma blamed both Coby's death, and apparently everything else that goes wrong in her life, on herself only bugged me more. There's just a little too much self pity going on in this book.
That being said, it is still a great read and I was excited to see where Nichols would take the story. This series is a real comfort read. One of the big things for me with a series sequel is how repetitive the recaps can get, however, she doesn't overdo them and tells enough so that you know what's going on if you didn't read the books one after the other. I also really liked the idea that they all found comfort in family, whether they're blood related or otherwise. That was a nice message in an otherwise very untrustworthy cast of characters.
I also have to mention this, though it's not a criticism at all, but I giggled a little to myself when the British guy said something about the Van Gogh museum and they said, "but he said it like 'van goff'" and I was sat there thinking, "yeah, and?" because that's how I read it in my head. It was a bizarre little moment in Hannah's brain.
Surrender, book three in the Haunting Emma series, should be released in December I believe. I for one can't wait to see where the story goes from here....more
First off, I have to say that when this book first arrived, I read the blurb, looked at the cover and thought, “meh, not really my thing”, but I fanciFirst off, I have to say that when this book first arrived, I read the blurb, looked at the cover and thought, “meh, not really my thing”, but I fancied an easy read so I picked it up, as it was after all sent for review. The reason I wasn’t initially all that interested is that I’ve been getting tired of going into young adult paranormal novels with great expectations only to be disappointed. If Bloomsbury hadn’t sent a copy over, I wouldn’t have read Deception at all. So I have to say a massive thank you to them else I never would have read this little gem, and now I can’t wait to pick up its’ sequel, Betrayal. So maybe I shouldn’t go around judging books by their covers after all!
Deception is written from the first-person perspective of Emma Vaile, a 16 year old girl whose parents go on holiday and they don’t come back. Living alone and abandoned by her best friend, Emma ends up taken to a halfway house and threatened with foster care, it’s then that she finds herself on a plane to Boston with her new guardian, Bennett Stern, the hot ex-friend of her brother’s. More and more she experiences strange goings on and more questions she needs to ask. She’s seeing people who can’t possibly be there, ghosts, experiencing visions of what seem to be a past life, and seeing nightmares, and it’s all about to unravel around her, revealing secrets she could never have imagined.
It doesn’t sound like anything special, at least it didn’t to me, but there’s the trouble. It is. It wasn’t the story that grabbed me so much, at least initially, but the way in which it was written. It’s a very quick, easy read, which is sometimes just what you need. Yet even so, Nichols has managed to give her characters depth. Just when you think you have a grasp of a character’s personality and what they’re upto, they will twist around and surprise you. Even now I don’t know the full extent of every single character. It’s fantastic because you don’t know what to expect.
She paints a beautiful picture of Emma’s surroundings, particularly Echo Point and it’s easy to picture the historical, Colonial American town as Emma makes friends and explores it. And on top of that, you have this beautifully haunting ghost story that is suspenseful and gripping. I literally couldn’t put this book down and ended up missing out on a bit of sleep because I just completely lost track of time and couldn’t bear to stop reading.
As for all that I said about hating romance in teen fiction recently? Scrap it. I found myself vying for the romantic interest in this book constantly and hoping for just a little rumpy-pumpy. I was a little surprised at myself after my recent annoyance with romance in books, however, it really worked. Emma is a teenager, with teenage hormones, and she’s bound to like the hot guys. It fits quite snugly into the plot rather than overshadowing a good story or feeling like it’s put in there just to be there, which is how I usually feel about romance in young adult fiction, and I thought it even added a lot to the emotion of Deception. I did have a little issue with the reasons for why the romance was ‘forbidden’, as mentioned in the blurb. It felt a little like a convenient plot device but I was so in love with the book that I couldn’t fault it as much as I might otherwise have done after that emotional rollercoaster towards the end. I hate that phrase, but it just fits so perfectly. This book will break your heart.
There are plenty of questions and mysteries throughout that leave you wanting to read more, just to find out what the hell is going on, and before you know it you’ve run out of book. Most questions are answered toward the end and despite how frustrated you might be in the beginning as to where everybody has gone and why this, that, and the other is happening, things are quite well wrapped up, or are at least mentioned again leaving you craving more, so if you do pick up Deception, I certainly recommend you also pick up Betrayal because you’re going to need it....more