**spoiler alert** The Undrowned Child by Michelle Lovric is unlike any other book I have previously read. It is a book full of historically interestin...more**spoiler alert** The Undrowned Child by Michelle Lovric is unlike any other book I have previously read. It is a book full of historically interesting facts about Venice with a fantastical twists but also includes a wide variety of colourful characters, human and not human.
The story is set in 1899 & is told from the viewpoint of the two main characters; Teodora (aka Teo) a girl from Naples & Lorenzo (aka Renzo) a local boy of Venice. My first impression is that the story is very heavy for a child. The book covers everything from death to betrayal to racial discrimination to violent/bloody battle scenes to evil revenge centuries old. It's definitely not a lighthearted fairy tale.
The book begins with tragedy as generations of a single family drown in the Venice lagoon one fog filled night under mysterious-magical circumstances and of the baby whose body was never found...
Fast forward to "present day" and Venice is under threat of destruction. The best scientists from around the world are being sent to Venice in the hope they can figure out way to save the drowning city scientifically. Teo is the bookish daughter of two such scientists and a visit to Venice seems like a dream come true but it all turns into nightmare from the moment a book called The Key to the Secret City falls on her head.
As the lines of an old prophecy begin to come true, Teo, with the help of Renzo, must find a way to save the city from an ancient enemy and travel throughout Venice encountering many strange/wonderful creatures. One of which are mermaids who talk like sailors & have a love of spices. The mermaids were one of my favourites and often gave comedic relief in this dark story.
If you want to read something new and unlike any other story you have read before, give this dark tale a go.
P.S. At the end of the story the author has included facts about the history of Venice and advises where you can find places you have read of in the book. It might surprise you to learn what was actually true...(less)
**spoiler alert** Now there are two types of Vampire books. There's the corny ones filled with cliche undying loves scenes that make you either want t...more**spoiler alert** Now there are two types of Vampire books. There's the corny ones filled with cliche undying loves scenes that make you either want to hurl or shoot yourself. Then there are the ones that take you by surprise and give a breath of fresh air to an overused, sometimes overrated genre.
My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey isn't as corny as the title suggests. The story centers around two girls who are as different as two people can be but are the best of friends. Lucky (a.k.a Lucy) Hamilton is a unique human teenager whose temper makes her punch first, ask questions later & is loyal to a fault. Solange (a.k.a Sol) Drake is also unique. Not only because she's the only girl in a blue-blood vampire family of 7 older brothers but also in a "first born female vampire in 900 years" with seriously crazy boy problems kind of way... Cat hearts anyone?
As the story progress you find out that Sol is going through her last days as being human as her 16th birthday approaches & the bloodchange creeps ever closer. On one side Sol's pheromones are on over drive making all the male vampires outside her immediate family throw themselves at her in a love-crazed frenzy, send her flowers & seriously strange gifts. On the other side a human organization of Vampire Hunters called Helios-Ra have suddenly started attacking the Drake family for unknown reasons, even under a treaty. One of which is Kieran Black, seriously cute but hellbent on exacting revenge on the Drake family for murder of his dad.
If that wasn't bad enough Sol's birth was prophecized centuries ago stating a female born to the Drake clan will rise to become Queen of the Vampires & unite all the vampire tribes together. Geez, pressure anyone?
Lucy on the other hand feels that she's is the weakest link in the defense around Sol, so she learned combat skills & weaponry from Sol mum in order to hold her own in protecting her best friend from those who wish her harm. As the battle & danger escalates she finds herself drawn closer to Sol's brother Nicholas, a guy filled with endless feuding/teasing banter since childhood & who usually makes Lucy want to poke him in the eye with a fork. Is it just the vampire pheromones at work making her see him differently or is it something more?
If you want a sappy vampire romance filled with corny confessions of love I suggest you read Twilight, as this isn't that type of book. If you want a little more out of your vampire book, with tender moments, funny banter & exciting battle scenes pick up this book, though I'll warn you once you start reading you'll want to keep reading till the last page.(less)
**spoiler alert** "What is the point of falling in love with a man if he turns back into a ferret when the moon goes down?"
Brugel is a country where t...more**spoiler alert** "What is the point of falling in love with a man if he turns back into a ferret when the moon goes down?"
Brugel is a country where the strange and unusual are not only tolerated, they are encouraged. So when Ondine finds was appears to be cute little ferret in her secret stash of food at Psychic Summer Camp, she unwittingly adopts him & doesn't bat an eyelash. When Shambles the Ferret turns out to be seriously hot Hamish McPhee the Laird of Glen Logan, a dark haired boy with roguish twinkle in his green eyes & a scottish brogue, cursed into the shape of a ferret for 80 years, things get a bit complicated.
Throw in a secret long-lost treasure, a historical mystery, secret romances, witchy aunt Col, an assassination attempt & handsome Lord Vincent, Ondine is having seriously difficult time keeping herself out of trouble, let alone finding the time to break the spell, with or without Shambles' help.
When I first started reading it I thought maybe this is a just another book aimed at the pre-teen to mid teen audience but as the story progressed I couldn't help but be sucked into the fairy tale and the hilarious witty banter, not to mention being educated in scottish brogue or entertained with fun facts by the author's footnotes that can be found on pages every so often.
"Ye canty wrassler, A'll dun't ye!"(1) His accent came back thick & strong. "A'll gar claw whaur it's no yeukie!(2) A'll saut brose, Old Col!(3) Ma tongue isna unner yer belt!(4)"
(1) You liar, I'm going to bash you. (2) I'll put my fist where it's not welcome. (3) I'll get my revenge. (4) And don't think about trying to silence me.
I don't want to ruin it for you, so I'll just say Shambles is guaranteed to give you a few chuckles, it definitely did have me giggling on the bus.
One Girl. One Boy. One Spell to be Broken...
One Seriously Entertaining Book to be Read!!!(less)
I've always been a fan of the roaring twenties, so when I came across Bright Young Things at Dymocks there was no way I could have walked passed it. T...moreI've always been a fan of the roaring twenties, so when I came across Bright Young Things at Dymocks there was no way I could have walked passed it. The story centers around 3 girls in 1929 whose lives will change forever.
Letty Haubstadt dreams of something more than the quiet sheltered life she has always known. Confident that fame and shinning lights await her in New York City, Letty leaves everything she has ever known behind and changes her last name to Larkspur, determined to make her dreams of becoming a famous singer and star come true. But Letty will learn that the journey to fame isn't as easy as it seems when your not the only pretty girl aiming for the spotlight.
Cordelia Grey also leaves her life, and a husband she never wanted, behind to travel to New York City to find a long lost father with a shady past and present. Trying to build a new life for herself isn't easy and a life of privilege isn't all the glitz and glamour that it seems. Cordelia will have to learn the ropes of her new life quickly before her naivety costs her everything she holds dear.
Astrid Donal on the other hand is a flapper who has grown up in a life of privilege, knowing the ins and outs quite well. Moving from one rich family to the next, as her mother changes husbands and toyboys faster than she buys dresses, has been the norm longer than Astrid can remember. But is Astrid brave enough to break free from her mother's vicious cycle and make a new life for herself?
It's not a bad read, if you are a fan of Godbersen previous Lux series. It's amazing to see how much the 3 girls actually go through in the space of one book and the author, as with Lux, hooks you into her world of mafias, speakeasys and glamour. Can't wait to see what else is in store for Letty, Cordelia and Astrid in Godbersen's next installment.(less)
The long awaited 5th book of the highly popular Vampire Academy series didn't disappoint. The 4th book ended with Rose hearing the rumour of a Spirit-...moreThe long awaited 5th book of the highly popular Vampire Academy series didn't disappoint. The 4th book ended with Rose hearing the rumour of a Spirit-user who could turn Strigoi back into the Dhampirs or Moroi they once were, raising her hopes of saving the soul of her beloved Dimitri.
Right from the beginning shadowkissed/wise-cracking Rose has a few issues to face. Not only does Rose have to figure out how the Spirit-user turned Strigoi back and pass her final Guardian exams but she has also has major boy problems.
On one side Rose has Adrian, a totally hot moroi Spirit-user/Dreamwalker who absolutely adores her & who is also willing to put aside his bad habits to make her happy; but his aunt is the Queen of the Moroi who has made her disapproval of Rose very clear & has the power to assign her to a desk job instead being Guardian of Lissa.
On the other side is Dimitri, her gorgeous ex-instructor/ex-lover turned Strigoi who sends her creepy love letters every week. Dimitri has made it very clear that if he can't have Rose as his Strigoi partner for eternity he'll make sure that no else will have her.
Rose isn't the only one with boy problems. Lissa and Christian are still loggerheads since the last book. Christian still can't forgive Lissa for her out of control behavior and things she said/did under influence of Avery. Lissa is still battles her demons/depression that is a result of using her Spirit power, which isn't helped by the fact she goes green with envy when she notices Christian in the company of other female Moroi.
I don't want to ruin the story but there is a lot that happens in this book and you definitely won't see the ending coming.
I can't wait for the release for the sixth and final Vampire Academy book... Last Sacrifice.(less)
Dee & James are back in the dark sequel to Stiefvater's Lament.
Things are decidedly awkward between Dee and James, formerly the best of friends u...moreDee & James are back in the dark sequel to Stiefvater's Lament.
Things are decidedly awkward between Dee and James, formerly the best of friends until a fateful text that ruined their friendship at the end of the last book. Now starting at their new art school, Thornking-Ash, they barely hang out and the air between them is heavy with the tension of words that have been left unsaid.
James is still as cocky and witty as in Lament. You often feel like either giving James a hug or a slap behind the head, depending on the situation. Nothing new there but his comical observations and one-liners are still as entertaining as ever. Dee, on the other hand... well apart from littering some of the pages of the book with unsent texts to James in lame failed attempts to bare her soul and the occasional odd Emo appearances that makes you want to slap her...really hard... or push her off a tall building, Dee barely registers in this book until the end. So without a doubt, Ballad is mostly from the view point of James, picking up where the last book left off.
Apart from the new friends James makes at Thornking-Ash, such as Sullivan a pretty cool down to earth teacher that let's kids drink coffee during lessons, my favourite character in this book is Nuala. Known as a leanan sidhe, Nuala is a solitary fey who inspires gifted humans to new creative soaring heights before feeding off their energy when they end up dying before their time. This beautiful but deadly muse has now decided to make her new mark James but he is adamant not to play her game. What follows is an entertaining & often comical battle of the wills/wits as Nuala tries to convince James to make a deal with her and James tries to lead a semi normal life. Key word - TRIES. Understandably hard when Nuala can turn into your deepest desire or worst nightmare. Still, as the story progresses you find that there maybe more to Nuala than she lets on.
Meanwhile Thornking-Ash is more than what it appears to be as well and as characters from the previous book start showing up during the course of the story you realise that there might be some unfinished business left to attend to and new dangers to face.
Overall it wasn't a bad book and it wasn't what I expected, which was surprising in a good way. As entertaining as it was to witness James finally "grow a pair" as Nuala puts it, I really hope there is a 3rd book that answers my old questions from the 1st book and the new questions from the 2nd book.