Calla has always welcomed war. But now, the stakes are higher than anything she has ever faced, and even she is unrea...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
Calla has always welcomed war. But now, the stakes are higher than anything she has ever faced, and even she is unready for this fight. And the situation keeps gets more complex. How will Shay, the forbidden love she fleed her former masters (the Keepers) for, react when she rescues Ren, her former flame and the man she was meant to be alpha with? How can she save her brother when he is so broken from the Keepers ripped out his wolf and destoryed it, and killing their mother? Will Shay and her new allies, the Searchers, get all four swords to create the Elemental Cross that will put this war to an end? And, when the final battle comes, who will survive? And who will Calla choose to be her mate… that is, if she herself survives, and she's not even sure of that fact any more…
The price for love has never been higher.
As you guys should know (or be a little aware), I ADORE Andrea Cremer since I got my hands on that shiny ARC of Nightshade (from my first EVER blogging event at Atom Books HQ! So, if you have a copy, you understand…). And since then, have read and devoured her books at a stupid speed. Whenever Atom have sent me a copy of her books, I have always reacted in the same way: very very excited, and tweeting/emailing my thank yous.
So, from the above paragraph, you must suspect that I had high expections for Bloodrose. And I did, but I always trusted the author to know what she was doing. I did that with big books (like Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc). I want an certain ending (like most fans), but I also trust the author completely. I know that they will give me an ending that will leave both of us happy/heart-broken. If I don't get my ending, that's fine as I know the author gave an ending that they wanted/knew that the story needed.
So… the book. Did it live up to my expeditions? Did it, like Nightshade and Wolfsbane, suck me in and want me rooting for Calla?
One big word answer: yes. This book was non-stop action and you kept going at a stupidly fast pace. It was almost a breathless read. Now, I know some of you guys are going to find it too much an action read and wish there was moments where it stopped and took a breath, but with some people classing Wolfsbane as the "info-dump" book, it kinda balances out. And Andrea's writing is wonderful. I can't fault it.
And as for the ending - right, people are saying it's quite "surprising". Even the author said that it might surprise some readers. But, after reading it, it made sense to me why the ending that to be that. It might have felt a bit out of the blue, but Andrea laid down the clues through the book. You just have to look for them. But I sense that some readers might think it's too "neat", but it's fits with all the characters...
When I did finish the book, I was mixed on how I felt. I wasn't sure if I was going to be emotional because I was leaving a world and characters behind that I enjoyed and loved (and the last few chapters were emotional), or if I want to grab something sharp (a pencil or a basilik fang) and stab the book, cursing her to hell as I wasn't ready to leave this world (and we're not. The UK publisher, Atom, has confirmed that they are going to publish the prequels, Rift & Rise in the future).
So, yeah. I love this book. I love this trilogy. I love this author and I want her book children. And now, I'm off to mourn this trilogy and annoy Atom by asking/demand information on Rift. I want it now! I'm not 100% ready to leave this world behind. Not just yet…(less)
When Adamma Okonma move from New York into England, she's a bit unhappy. She's moved away from her friends, her boyfr...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
When Adamma Okonma move from New York into England, she's a bit unhappy. She's moved away from her friends, her boyfriend, all because her father is Nigerian diplomat. So when her family put her in Crofton College, a boarding school in the middle of nowhere, you can guess her reaction. So when she meets Scarlett, she begins to think things are looking up. But Scarlett is secretive, wants to be center of attention, runs away without warning. Their friendship becomes destructive. And then something comes between them, tearing them apart.
Told in two timelines - Before and After - we see Adamma become friends with Scarlett and their friendship grown then destroy itself and then we see Adamma after something unspeakable happens.
So, you're probably wondering: is this book as good as Heart-Shaped Bruise? Or is it, as Tanya feared when she was writing this, a one hit wonder?
Oh, Tanya. Why did you worry? This book is just as dark, twisty and as addictive as Heart-Shaped Bruise. And, at the same time, it is very different from Heart-Shaped Bruise. Adamma is so different to Emily Knoll, as is Scarlett. Follow Me Down is very different from Heart-Shaped Bruise as Follow Me Down has two mysteries slowly intertwine together while Heart-Shaped Bruise is a dark revenge plot. The two mysteries - what happened to Scarlett and who is Adamma romantically involved with - will have you turning the pages and will have you guessing to the last page.
I loved this. I loved how this thriller kept me on the edge of my seat, staying up late at night and guessing till I closed the book. I think you guys, who love dark contemporary thriller, need to get your mitts on this. And when you do, NO JUMPING AHEAD TO THE END! (less)
Tessa should be happy. All brides should be, right? But having Magister's shadow looming over the London Institute do...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
Tessa should be happy. All brides should be, right? But having Magister's shadow looming over the London Institute doesn't put her in the right frame of mind. He wants one more thing to complete his master plan against the Shadowhunters - Tessa. And it's not only that. There are forces within the Clave doubting the London Institute's claims that the Magister will strike soon. With allies turning heir back on Tessa and her friends, the Magister makes a move that puts lives in danger. But can Tessa defeat the man who murdered her brother? Who will win Tessa's heart - Will or Jem? And will there be a happily ever after?
I'm going to admit this here and now: I much prefer the Infernal Devices over the Mortal Instruments (well, what I have read, which is the first three. Although, I am looking forward to the movie - the trailer of which is below!). And I enjoyed reading this as much as the previous two within this series so... will the finale live up to the rest of the trilogy?
Oh yes. Yes, it does.
It was wonderful returning to Tessa, Will and Jem and the world of Infernal Devices and finally, FINALLY, getting answers to questions that have bugged me since book one! Cassandra gives us the answers - some of which are so straight-forward, you bang your head against your palm and go "How did I not see that?!" while others you have to read and think it over before you realise that the clues were there...
The epilogue - I feel I have to write about that as I sense it will split the fandom/readers. You are going to be in 2 camps. You are either going to go "Oh, what a lovely ending" or "NO! HOW COULD CASSIE WRITE THAT?!" (that seems to be the reaction to most epilogues, I find), but to me, I am in the "Oh, what a lovely ending" camp. It just fitted (and Cassandra explains why in her "A Note About Tessa's London" bit) and, shockingly, it gives everyone the ending they want (writing this without spoilers is hard, but I sense I revealed something).
This just went perfectly with the rest of the series, and with rumours that Cassandra Clare in writing another trilogy linked to the children of these characters (as well as The Dark Artifices), we shall see if I return to the world of the Shadowhunters, but to me, this is a perfect ending to a friendship, whichever I return or not.(less)
Janey fell to her death. Suicide, the Police said. One year later, her friends - Ryan, Katie, Ben, Alisha, Greg and h...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
Janey fell to her death. Suicide, the Police said. One year later, her friends - Ryan, Katie, Ben, Alisha, Greg and his current girlfriend, Erin - go on holiday in Spain, all bar Erin (who met Greg months later) hoping to put the past behind them. That is, until Roxanne Dent crashes the party and throw out a shocking confession: Janey was murdered and she has proof.
The events that follow throws doubt on everyone in the villa. One of the them is a killer and not all of them will survive the Spanish sun...
I loved this book. I think this, dare I say it, is better than Hollow Pike. A huge statement to make, I know, but I devoured this book within 3 or 4 days. It was addictive reading!
Does anyone remember Point Horror from the 90s? Well, imagine that with a teen drama (The OC, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, etc) and make it British, and you have what Cruel Summer is about. I'm not sure how else to describe this. Although I haven't watched it, am pretty certain you guys who have watched the Scream movies will love this book because it's very similar. Murder! Doubt! Chatty humour! Even cattier characters! Tongue firmly in cheek!
So, did I guess who the killer was? Kinda, but I was always unsure of myself. I kept jumping between two and three characters. But when it was revealed and why, I was SHOCKED! I was speeding through the last 100 pages going "WHAT?! HOW?! GET THE HECK OUT OF THAT VILLA!!! RUN!!!"
This book would be PERFECT for a movie (hint hint Film4/Kickstarter). And as someone who HATES reading/watching horror, I would go see this!
Oh dear, this is turning into one of those gushy review but I loved this book! If you are a fan of Scream or like the idea of a "What if Point Horror had a child with TV's Gossip Girl?", this is the book for you.(less)
After the events of Cinder, Cinder is in prison and will soon be taken to Luna. But she can't let that happen. She ha...moreReview Taken from The Pewter Wolf
After the events of Cinder, Cinder is in prison and will soon be taken to Luna. But she can't let that happen. She has to escape. But if she does, she will the Commonweath's most wanted fugitive. But she has no choice. She has to escape...
In France, Scarlet's grandmother has vanished. And the Police have stopped looking for her. Scarlet decides to find her beloved grandmother herself. But as she starts searching for her, Scarlet begins to wonder how well she knew her grandmother. And when Scarlet discovers that her grandmother was kidnapped, she has to trust a street fighter called Wolf. But should she?
As Cinder and Scarlet's stories collide, the ruthless Luna Queen is more determined than even in her plans to rule both Luna and Earth. And she ups her game to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner...
Now, if you are aware from my previous review of Cinder (here's the review if you want it!), I wanted to read Scarlet first but was advise to read this to help with back story. And I am very glad I did. While you can easily jump straight into this as most of this book follows Scarlet, with Cinder's story popping up every now and again, it helped with the back story of Cinder. Of how she got into this situation, why the Queen Luna wants her dead and her story with Prince Kai (oh yes, fans of Kai, he has some chapters too. And there will be where you and every readers will scream "NO! DON'T DO IT!" at him).
I adore this book so, of course, my review is going to be bias. I love how, unlike Cinder where everything hits the fan at the fifth chapter, Scarlet hit the ground running. I love how the story moves at a shocking fast pace (compare to Cinder, this moves fast. Cinder took past over a course of weeks. Scarlet takes place in a matter of days). I love that the pacing never truly lacked or went slack. I love how the new characters were introduced (oh, Captain Thorne is probably my fave new character as he bought much needed humour to some stressful situations). I love the direction this book went and went it's going with the next book in the series, Cress. I can not wait.
However, while I am totally bias, I know some of you won't be. I know that there will be issues that will drive a few of you nuts over. Ok, let's address them. First of all, Scarlet and Wolf's relationship. It changes and evolves VERY QUICKLY and, in real life, this wouldn't happen. And, because the story doesn't stay with Scarlet (it jumps from her to Cinder to Prince Kai and, at one point, the Luna Queen herself [these changes will annoy some of you, as well,), some of you won't feel the chemistry between her and Wolf. The same could be said with Cinder and Captain Thorne, but seeing as they are thrust together and have to make do, their relationship works nicely. But Scarlet and Wolf's relationship does move very quickly. But, remember, we have two more books in this series and I suspect that we will be seeing more of Scarlet and Wolf in them so we will probably see more of their relationship as the series moves through Cress and into the finale, Winter.
Like I said, I'm bias to this book. I adore it. I can not wait for Cress, which will be out next year (this is the disadvantage to getting ARCs - longer waits...)! Bring it on! (less)
Not sure where to start this review of Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting (apart from thanking Sam at Headline for taking pity on me and sending...moreNot sure where to start this review of Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting (apart from thanking Sam at Headline for taking pity on me and sending me a copy – you rock!), so I might as well start with a tiny overview of it.
Violet has the morbid ability to sense echoes of those who have been murdered and with that, a matching echo that clings to their killer. Alone a few people know about this, but all that could be threatened when she discovers a body of a child, bringing her into the attention of an FBI agent, Sara Priest.
As she tries to keep her secret safe, Violet finds herself the centre of a scary obsession. Is she being stalked? In times like this, she would normally turn to Jay, her best friend, expect they no longer best friends but they're dating, meaning that the rules have changed. And with Jay spending more time with his new friend, Mike, Violet begins to dig into Mike's family history. What she doesn't realise is that, in doing so, she might have started a chain of events that could put everyone in danger...
Now, I love the Body Finder! You guys know I do! I loved it so much, I made several people read it. So when I, somehow, got Desires of the Dead from Twitter, one person practically ordered me to read it so he could read it straight after me! (Gave it to him last night so he was pleased.)
So, my reactions to Desires of the Dead? I LOVED IT!
It felt like a worthy sequel. It was dark and creepy enough, yet it still felt romantic enough to hold your attention. There were several moments where I read the book and went “No! Don't go there!” and there were others I (and maybe several other bloggers) swooned over Violet and Jay's fragile relationship (that's what it says on the back cover of the UK edition). I think, at one point, I was reading the book and went “If Kimberly is doing what I think she's doing to these characters, I might never forgive her.” (I have forgiven you, Kimberly. Promise.)
But I think I love Kimberly's writing. I'm not sure why, with this book, I sped through it. Am not sure if it was because of her writing or what she puts her characters through, but I loved it. I loved spending time with Violet and Jay and am very happy that she has been asked to write two more books for this series.
I can't wait for more from Kimberly Derting. My other request is that she writes faster! (less)
I am very honoured that Walker Books (aka the UK publisher) gave me a VERY early and VERY exclusive ARC of Zoe's latest book. Thank you!
I can't talk...moreI am very honoured that Walker Books (aka the UK publisher) gave me a VERY early and VERY exclusive ARC of Zoe's latest book. Thank you!
I can't talk about the book (been asked not to) but I was given the OK to say I have read it. NOTHING MORE!
Review will be up nearer the publication date (or when I'm told it's ok!)
EDIT: 3rd June 2013
I CAN TALK TO YOU GUYS ABOUT THIS BOOK NOW! (aka Particular Review Taken From The Pewter Wolf)
When Mio steals her late grandfather's katana - a priceless sword that is meant to be keep hidden at all times - all she was doing was livening up her fancy dress costume. Not unleash an ancient evil, determined to get it from her at all cost, onto modern day London! And now, not only has Mio started to be stalked from creatures from mythical Japanese myths, she somehow unleashed a mysterious warrior that wants to save her and keep her safe. But Mio has to figure it out. Figure out the katana's strange powers. But lives are on the line, and she seems to be only one worthy enough to save them...
Am going to get straight to the point on this: I ADORE THIS BOOK!
I just fell for it, hook line and sinker. I kinda guess I would but I didn't expect I would so quickly and get so addictive over it till I did. There was one point I took this book out to my local coffee shop with my other half (he had his iPad). I got so sucked into the chapter I was reading, I didn't hear him ask me the same question several times before he had to poke me in the arm. That was how absorbed I was in this book and I don't think I've had that feeling with a book for quite a while. To vanish from the world.
As I read this back in April and several months have passed, I can't remember if I had any issues with this book, but OH! The Questions! I have questions which I hope will be answered in the next two books in the trilogy. And AT LAST, we see characters that the author didn't have to spell out the sexuality or skin ethnicity. She didn't have to use a sledgehammer and drum the point home! She treated her readers with respect and for that, Zoe, I thank you.
I thought while read it back in April (and still do now) that if you are a fan of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments and/or Infernal Devices series, that you might want to check this book out. Just... trust me on this, ok?
PS - I'm sorry but whenever Mio thought of her katana as "Mine", I always imagined Gollum saying it in my head. Preciousssss.... (less)
I tried to go through notes from the Atom Book Book Bloggers Event last year to see what I wrote about this book. Couldn't find any. Whether it was be...moreI tried to go through notes from the Atom Book Book Bloggers Event last year to see what I wrote about this book. Couldn't find any. Whether it was because it wasn't mentioned to us or I didn't take notes, I have no idea. But I got this book and, because I got excited over this book in the past month or so, I sat down and forced myself not to read-in-one-go (managed to spread it over in over a week.)
After the terrible deaths of her parents, Kate and her sister, Georgia, moves from the USA to Paris to live with their grandparents in the hope it will help them cope. In a city that is beautiful and she comes visit every year with her parents, Kate doesn't seem to cope. But then she meets Vincent, a guy who seems to not care about her one day and then sweeps her off her feet the next. Now, Kate thinks there's something dangerous about him and when she and Georgia sees him dive into the river Siene after a girl trying to commit suicide followed by men swordfighing just under the bridge, Kate knows it. But who exactly is Vincent? Someone she should run away from him or towards him?
Kate's heart is already fragile, and one false move could shatter it back into a million pieces. But how far will she go for the truth? How far will she go for love?
Now, I am going to say something that might upset some of you: this series is the next Twilight Saga. Or, as Mundie Moms tweeted me (and I agree with them), this book is BETTER than Twilight!
*watches the Die-Hard Twilight Fans gasp and faint with shock*
Now, before all you Twifans freak out and hunt me down with flaming torches, just hear me out. I just adore this book, because there is something Twilight about it and, yes, I am a bit of a romantic at heart. So yes, I was going "Kiss him, Kate! KISS HIM!".
But this book is more than a simple love story. It tackles the issue of grief and death and Amy Plum handles these subjects with gentleness. As someone who lose his father a few years ago, I remember and instantly related to Kate's situation.
Also, I found the idea behind Revenants so interesting. Zombies that aren't zombies but guardian angels made this book different to vampires and werwolves that is invading the YA bookshelves.
And, before I go anyway, Paris. I LOVE that Paris was used a backdrop of this story. I've never been to Paris (the closest I've ever been to Paris was Disneyland), but Amy made Paris sound beautiful, sexy, elegant but mysterious and magical. I WANT TO GO TO PARIS!!!
Am saying nothing more about it, but am going to say this. Die For Me is the next Twilight and I can not wait to read Until I Die! (less)
After the terrifying ending of The Night Itself, Mio, Jack and Shiobu bet all the odds and defeated Nekomata. But Mio...moreReview Taken from The Pewter Wolf
After the terrifying ending of The Night Itself, Mio, Jack and Shiobu bet all the odds and defeated Nekomata. But Mio is still compelled to protect the katana, her family's ancestral sword. And now the katana's voice is in her head, trying to turn her into its puppet.
And when things can't get worse, a plague is sweeping through London and there's something very wrong with Jack's sister, Rachel...
With all this pressure piling on Mio, she soon begins to wonder a horrible truth: she might not be able to save all the people she love. A sacrifice might have to be made... But will she go through with it?
I adore The Night Itself and Darkness Within lived up to every expectation I had. It was gripping, fast paced and had so many twists in it, I never felt bored when reading this. So much so, I kept tweeting the author going "It can't get worse than this, can it?".
I just fell into this world almost as quickly as I did when I read The Night Itself.
This is Zoe's most personal book (she says so in the acknowledgements) and you can feel how much this book means to her.
But yes, this book! THIS BOOK! THIS SERIES!!! I adore this trilogy and I need to read the third and final book, Frail Mortal Heart (Untitled), when it comes out next year. I NEED to know how this trilogy is going to end (That and read Shadows on the Moon)! If you haven't read this trilogy, you really should.(less)
Jem has been in love with her best friend, Kai, since she first met him. The fact he's gay makes things kinda difficu...moreReview Taken from The Pewter Wolf
Jem has been in love with her best friend, Kai, since she first met him. The fact he's gay makes things kinda difficult, but she's getting over that. And then something unspeakable happens: Kai's outed on the internet. And Kai kills himself.
Jem is beside herself. Her best friend died. She can't see a way forward. Until she decides to find out who posted that video, and make them pay in the cruelest way possible...
I feel like I've been saying this a lot about this book: this is Cat's most powerful book to date. She doesn't flinch away from the subject matter - grief, homophobia, bullying, discrimination, suicide, the damages of lies just to name a few - so if you don't like reading about these, stay away from this book. But Cat seems to get under Jem's skin while writing and, though she does things in her act of revenge I can't forgive for (not gonna spoil), you kinda understood what drove Jem to do the things she did in the extreme ways she did.
Jem's grief speaks volumes and when you get to read Kai's letters to Jem... I know book bloggers who have read this book and have sobbed while reading Kai's letters. I got kinda choked up over Kai's March and July. So, yeah... unless you have a heart made of stone or sold your emotions on eBay, you will probably cry or feel on the verge of crying. You have been warned.
There is something that might bother some of you guys (apart from the possible crying) is the language. While swear words don't bother me (and I think Cat gets wayward teens better than anyone - maybe Hollyoaks should hire her as head scriptwriter...), I sense it might bother some of you. So, if you have issues on swearing and underage sex (amongs other things), you might want to avoid.
While I guessed one twist early on, Cat nails it with the twists that follow at a stupid pace.
Unflinching, uncomfortable at times yet unputdownable. This is Cat Clarke's best novel to date.(less)
Lis London is moving from her home in Wales to Hollow Pike. But that doesn't seem to help her. She keeps having a nig...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
Lis London is moving from her home in Wales to Hollow Pike. But that doesn't seem to help her. She keeps having a nightmare that she's going to murder. And when she sees the copse, she realise that this is the place in her nightmares.
But she doesn't believe in nightmares nor the local tales of witchcraft. Until a terrible thing happens that forces herself to think again...
Now... what can I say? I EFFING LOVE THIS BOOK! Not going to swear, but this book is so great! And it's a debut novel and the fact that this has such a strong reaction from me is amazing!
I want to talk about the subject that this book raises: bullying. This book very much shows the effects of bullying. Lis left her home in Wales because of terrible bullying she faced. Only to walk again into bullying, and it's nasty bullying. There were scenes that some people might find shocking (the use of fake emails, for example) but it doesn't surprise me and just reflects the levels some people will go to. But I think James tackled this issue with a good amount of care but was unflinching over it. I found this brave.
And then, James turns the book on its head and throws us a murder mystery. And not just a typical murder mystery, but the idea of witchcraft being involved. And he seems to blend the genres of this book together with the greatest of ease, and it was always interesting to see where he took me next as the twists were always there, lurking in the darkness of Hollow Pike's copse...
I had very high standards for this book. And Hollow Pike met each and every one of them. And excelled them all. Keep an eye on James Dawson. He is going to be huge! I demand his next book AT ONCE!(less)
This is my first review eCopy from NetGalley (that's right! I have FINALLY joined after how many long months from most of my book blogging chums?). An...moreThis is my first review eCopy from NetGalley (that's right! I have FINALLY joined after how many long months from most of my book blogging chums?). And I have been very lucky. As a trial, I "requested" four books (two books that I am super excited over and the other two were me testing out the site) and I have been approved for all four! So... yeah... MORE NETGALLEY REVIEWS ON THE WAY!
Anyway, Spirit! I have had the first book in the series, Storm, on my kindle since I read a review somewhere (it was either from Jo or Braiden. Or was it both of you?) and yet, I have never read it. But I have read the prequel eNovella Elemental and the eNovella that sandwiched between the second book in the series, Spark, and Spirit, Breathless. Which I'm not suppose to read as it hints at events in the previous books so SPOILERS! And this is the same with Spirit. I really should read Storm and Spark first.
But this is me we're talking about so... yeah... MOVING ON!
Hunter is kinda coping with a lot at the moment. His father and uncle are dead. He's a Fifth - an Elemental that could use spirit. His grandfather is always trying to start a fight. His mother is... well... she's there but not there. The Merrick brothers don't trust him as far as they can throw him. And there's Calla is a completely lunatic. Basically, because of his gift, he's learnt the hard way that there is a price to pay. And that's fine with him. He wants to be alone.
And then Kate comes along. Hot, sexy, bold, funny Kate. The girl who seems to get under Hunter's skin. But Kate has her reasons...
Something is going to happen. Hunter can feel it. But the question is: who should he trust? And what's the price for what he decides?
Er... where should I start? I know I jumped into the series halfway through but, wow! I loved it. It was unlikely anything I have read within the YA paranormal genre. We had strong lead characters, regardless of their gender (THANK YOU , BRIGID!) and the story was twisty and addictive. I kept going back for it and reading late into the night, even though I knew I had an early start (hence my sudden increase of coffee drinking!). And it was hot. You had hot moments within the book and Brigid, within a few lines, would change the situation from hot and steamy to action-packed. And because of this, it was tense. You never knew where you were. Was the tense moment over or was there more to come?
And it was unpredictable. There was one moment in the book, which I never saw coming so when it happened, I was staring at my kindle going, "WHAT?! WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!" and I sense that I will be itching for the next book in the series, Siege, to see the continuing fallout of that (even though Siege will be told from one of the Merrick brothers's point of view, Nick, rather than Hunter's)...
Addictive, sexy, unpredictable. Fans will love this! And now I sense I will be reading the whole series now and getting thoroughly addicted to those hot Elementals! Anyone fancy doing a time-sharing Fictional Boyfriend with one of these guys with me...? (less)
Am going to be honest, I wouldn't have known this book existed if it wasn't for Wondrous Reads. In one of her blog posts or one of her tweets (I can’t remember which), she revealed the cover and I fell in love with it. I thought it was striking, simple and mysterious. I think it was those red shoes. Striking, no? After tweeting her, I was excited about this book so, when Kathryn from Simon & Schuster emailed me, asking if I would want to review this book, I jumped at the chance. How could I not?
Lila has two secrets that she is willing to hide. Her first is that she has the power of telekinetic - of being able to move obejcts with her minds. So, when she is violently mugged and she exposes her power, she jumps on a plane to goes the only safe place she can think of: being with her brother, Jack, and his best friend, Alex. And here, we have her second secret: Lila has been in love with Alex her whole life. As Lila tries to keep both her secrets hidden, she discovers that both Jack and Alex are members of a military unit and they have been gathering information about her mother's murder which happened five year ago. And, by the looks of it, they know who it is…
But soon, the lines blur: who is the hunter and who is the hunted? What is the truth and what is a lie? Who can be trusted and who should be feared? And if Lila isn't careful, the lives of the people she loves will be put at risk…
Right, how do I review this without gushing? Yeah, this is one of those books where I could very easily gush. So, am keeping myself in check. And that make writing this oh-so-very-hard!
It's a typical, yet not-so-much a typical YA book. For a start, most of the story isn't set in school or on holiday. It's set near a military base. A nice change from boarding schools or towns in the middle of nowhere!
Also, you have a love story where you are screaming at the Lila to act on her impulsives and yet, you completely understand why she won't. And, because of that and her reaction to her power, she completely relate to her. She's a typical teenager and yet she is thrown completely into a non-typical situation.
And as for Alex… I was tweeted by Daisy Chain Books and was told that her heart is in torment as Alex was fighting it out with Jay from the Body Finder series (a series I adore! If you haven't read it, investigate it now!) for best ficitional boyfriend.
This is one of those YA books that is an addictive read, and it's a perfect summer read to have while by the pool. And there's a sequel on the way (YES!) and the author is writing a new series that will come out in January 2012 called Fated, which I am now very excited over. If it's anything like Hunting Lila, then I am going have to have to get my hands on this…!
So, it's a YA, paranormal read with a huge dollop of thriller and romantic. Perfect! This was a wonderful debut novel! I demand more! And I demand more steamy-ness (which I've been told will happen…)! At once!(less)
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner. In an alternative universe, in 1950's, the space race is on and the Motherland is despe...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner. In an alternative universe, in 1950's, the space race is on and the Motherland is desperate to be the first on the moon. At all costs.
So when his friend Hector vanishes, Standish Treadwell is determined to discover the truth, and so realise that he, his Grandfather and a small band of rebels must stop the Motherland... but how will the moon landing stop them? And can one dyslexic boy make all the difference?
I got my copy of this from when I went the Hot Key Books launch party and, very briefly, chatted to Sally. I met her once before at the Indigo Launch Party when she chatted about her previous novel, Double Shadow (a book I still haven't read). Both times, I have been utterly charmed by this woman and mentally swore I would read her books. I failed. Badly. Sorry Sally! So, when I was about to read another of Hot Key's books (The World Between Us by Lydia Syson), I had Twitter scream at me, "NononoNO! You have to read Maggot Moon! Trust us on this! You need to read this book!". Fine, I thought, and I read Maggot Moon, instead.
I read this over three days. I forced myself to read this over three days as, if I hadn't, I would have read it in one sitting and sobbed my heart out when I finished this book. This book is wonderful! Wonderful and gripping and heart breaking and completely thought-provoking!
I mean that last part about Maggot Moon being thought-provoking. I finished the book around 4:10pm (strange how I remember the time) and I spent the rest of the day just thinking about it and mourning it. I MOURNED FINISHING A BOOK! That rarely happens with me and only a few books have done that. Also, as a book blogger, you can't really do that. You're meant to (or in my case) finish a book, think about it for an hour or two, or start another book. But with Maggot Moon, I spent the rest of the day just thinking it over and going "What happens?" and "what if?". There's a youTube video, which kinda explains what I went through when finishing this book (I'm still very much in denial over the last chapter...)
Ok, before I go completely gushy over this book, I suppose I better give you some negatives over this book. First, the cover. A lame excuse, I know, but I HATE IT SO MUCH! I don't know why I hate it, but I do, even though I get why the cover's the way it is (it's inspired on 1950s posters). It just doesn't feel like the cover this book deserves, you know? Also, some of you guys won't like the swearing in this book, nor the violence used in this book. There are two scenes of violence that jump to mind, but I feel these are important to show the horror that is the Motherland, but I know some of you will disagree.
Another fault you guys might have is the fact that Standish is dyslexic. Not a big deal, but I know some of you guys are grammar freaks so seeing grammar misused, words the wrong way round, some spelling mistakes [not many, by the way], etc (if this is you, how on EARTH can you stand my blog?) will upset you. But, if you read it like I did, where you imagine Standish sitting next to you and him having a conversation with you, you'll be fine.
I am ashamed that I haven't read Sally Gardner sooner. But am so glad that Maggot Moon was my first and I can not wait to read more of her works! And, Maggot Moon... I don't know how to rave about this book so I won't. Just go. Go get a copy and read it. Please.(less)
Set in Victorian London, in a travelling freak show, there is a boy completely covered in hair. Wild Boy. But while p...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
Set in Victorian London, in a travelling freak show, there is a boy completely covered in hair. Wild Boy. But while people see him as a freak, he watches them and develops a knack for observation and detection that is almost Sherlock Holmes-like. And then a murder happens and the fingers begin to point to him, Wild Boy has to go on the run. With red-haired acrobat Clarissa Everett, the pair must put their differences aside and join forces to find the real murder. But with a price on their heads, it might be harder than they think... Roll up, roll up, the circus is in town...
I'm going to admit something very quickly: this is a tad younger than my normal reads. It's not as meaty, as dark or as sinister as most of my reads.
But I loved it. I completely fell under Wild Boy's charm and would always find myself smiling within a few pages of reading. It was one of those stories that sucked me in, even though it was "light" compare to my other reads. I just loved the characters, the story, the mystery, the twists...
Now, I've read some reviews and most seem to get who the mysterious hooded figure aka the killer was. I didn't. I honestly thought it was someone completely different so when it was revealed in an almost Agatha Christie style, I read the line again. And again. And then went "WHAT?!" on Twitter.
I know I should be negative, but I can't. This was a great read and I want/need a sequel. There better be a sequel, Rob. Because I don't want to let Wild Boy go yet...(less)
After the events of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou is missing. Zuzana, Karou best friend in our world, is frantic...moreReview Taken from The Pewter Wolf
After the events of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou is missing. Zuzana, Karou best friend in our world, is frantic with worry. Is she with Akiva? Is she ok? Why hasn't she responded to her emails? And will that scumbag known as Karou's ex go away before Zuzana drops a water balloon that might be filled with bladder tea?
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. Once upon a time, they held a wishbone between them. Once upon a time, the wishbone's snap split the world in two...
Now, I had to be be careful what I wrote there because I know there is a fair few of you that would be screaming "NONONO! TELL ME NOTHING!!!" while at the same, hunger for more details. So, it's hard to get the balance right.
Now, I have read other people's reviews of this book and they're split. Some people say this book suffers a little from Second Book Syndrome. Other people disagree and rave about this book. I think it depends on how you view this book. If you put a lot of hype and pressure on a second book in a series like this, it can go one of two ways: it meets your every expectation or it will disappoint you completely.
But I LOVED this book. I think this is because, while I like Daughter of Smoke of Bone, I didn't love it. I think the hype put me off as did the back story as it slowed the whole book down (but, like I said above, my views on Daughter of Smoke and Bone have changed since I wrote and published my review. It's one of those book you have to finish and take time to think about). But with Days of Blood and Starlight... wow. It was addictive reading. I kept trying to read it when I could find time - and I started a new temp job last week so I had to sneak quick reads in my lunch break, on the Park and Ride bus, in bed at a stupid o'clock...
With Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini laid the world of Karou and Akiva out. A real fantasy that we had to make sense of as it felt like the book had taken drugs. But with Days of Blood and Starlight, we got to the meat of the story. What was hinted at in Daughter was there in full force in Days. This is a book about war where no side is the right side. And we see this from several points of views...
And the last 100 or so pages... oh, Laini, you ripped out my heart and left me gasping for air. I can not WAIT to see what you do in the third and final book in this trilogy! I don't know how you are going to top yourself. It's a good thing Hodder is going to publish Lips Touch next year as I need something to get me ready...!(less)
How on earth do I explain this without revealing any spoilers? You see, it's one of those books where you have to ver...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
How on earth do I explain this without revealing any spoilers? You see, it's one of those books where you have to very careful on what you say as you can easily slip up and reveal a spoiler and that's part of the fun with this read?
I could lie in this review - very tempting to lie. But let me be as vague as possible.
Cady has been suffering bad headaches for the past two years. Something happened she can't remember. But none of her family - the Sinclairs - will tell her.
And that's all I dare say. I fear if I write more, I will give away the twists.
I got addictive while reading this. Something about E Lockhart's writing reminds me on Maggie Stiefvater and Eowyn Ivey. It's the writing that made this book addictive! It was so interesting reading about a family and the ties that bind us - the good and the bad.
And the ending. I usually guess endings when there's a mystery/thriller element to them. But this book's ending - I never saw it coming.
I read this book so quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This might split readers but I really liked this book. Maybe even loved it. It's the few books I read that, once I finished, I wanted to go back and reread it, just to see if I figure the story out.(less)
Poppy and her new boyfriend, Michael, go to Cambridge to see her father and for Michael to have an interview at a uni...moreReview Taken from The Pewter Wolf
Poppy and her new boyfriend, Michael, go to Cambridge to see her father and for Michael to have an interview at a university. What Poppy doesn't expect to find a dead body of a student, his arms outstretch in an snow angel position. But his wings are his own blood. And she finds her father kneeling by the body...
Things don't look for Poppy's father, so Poppy hunts down the killer... But hunting the truth can be murder, and if she's not careful, someone Poppy cares about might find themselves in the killer's reach...
I'm going to say this. I really think this book is PERFECT for you The Body Finder fans out there. It's dark and twisty with a tiny hint of something unnatural (it's not in your face as The Body Finder), but I devoured this book in less than a week. And recently, reading something this fast is a miracle! But I just couldn't stop reading this.
Apart from the murder and the thriller side of this book that I thoroughly enjoyed, I really liked how Sharon Jones wrote about Poppy and Michael's relationship. I like how, recently on the Internet (mainly YouTube), the topic of sex and consent has been raised and Sharon tackles it within Dead Silent. And I liked how Sharon wrote it with maturity and how she made both the characters act like grown-ups over it. There was always questions and moments of hesitations, but this is very natural in a new relationship so I applaud this. THANK YOU FOR TREATING YOUR READERS LIKE ADULTS!
I also loved the idea of the author tackling religion. If you have read the previous book, Dead Jealous, you know this takes place in a pagan festival and that Poppy's mother is pagan. So here, we have Poppy beginning to explore not only her mother's Paganism but also her father's Christianity and her own as she claims to be an atheist. It's refreshing to read about religion and not feel like it's been forced down your throat!
And as for the mystery... I really didn't see it coming. And I think I'm quite good at figuring who the murderer is in crime books, I didn't really think it was them till the very last moment and, even then, I didn't go with in. But I like that I didn't see it coming!
I am so glad I haven't read the first book. Once I have finished my NetGalley month, it's going to be one of the first books am planning to read. I can not wait! And bring on book 3!(less)
The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists (the inspiration for the new Aardman movie and, yes, that is a LONG titl...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists (the inspiration for the new Aardman movie and, yes, that is a LONG title) tells the story of the Pirate Captain and his pirate crew as they search the sea for adventure. After raiding a ship, they meet the young Charles Darwin who is in need of help. And the Captain Pirate agrees, leading the pirates back to London where they encounter a diabolical Bishop, grisly murders, vanishing ladies, a Man-panzee... and the joys of ham.
Now, I'm not sure how to review this book without going "This was awesome!" or "There's something about it that reminded me of the Worse Witch by Jill Murphy". So, I won't. It's one of those rare books where I found myself smiling as I read it as it was completely stupid and silly, utterly surreal and yet, wonderful!
Not much else to say. Expect I want to read more about the Pirate Captain. And his luxuriant beard... (less)
Am going to admit this: this is outside my comfort-zone. This is an adult novel. Not crime/thriller-type adult novel...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
Am going to admit this: this is outside my comfort-zone. This is an adult novel. Not crime/thriller-type adult novel that I normally read, but an adult novel. A proper adult novel where you take your time to read it and get swept along with the story.
Jack and Mabel have moved to the raw Alaskan wilderness in 1920. The distant between them is slowly growing wider and wider due to a terrible event. Then, one night, it begins to snow. And the mood changes. Mabel surprises herself by throwing a snowball at Jack and, in a moment of tenderness, they build a snow child together. The next day, the snow child vanish and both Jack and Mabel see glimpses of a small child hiding in the forest close to their homestead...
Now, I'm not sure how to write this review on this book as it's a strange book for me to review. I was told from several of my blogger pals (true bloggers, not like me who's faking it!) that I would just "inhale it" and "just fall for her prose". And for people to say that about a debut novel is a big deal for me! HUGE! And I can totally see it! This book takes it's time to reveal the story (like how I imagine a story set in Alaska to be) but there's something more to this book. It's as if the book breathes sometimes. That's the only way I can describe it. The Snow Child breathes...
Like I said before, this book doesn't rush itself so you guys who want fast-pace reads, you might want to avoid this.
And yet, this is a interesting tale for me. I think, on Twitter, I told the author and the UK publisher (thanks Sam from Headline for sending me a copy! She's the lady that told me about this book so I owe her...!) that the Snow Child is quietly beautiful. And I stick with that! The Snow Child isn't a debut that screams, shouts and demands attention: it's more subtle. It creeps into your mind and into your bones and lingers in the mind long after you've finished it. It's quietly beautiful and I am on baited breath for Eowyn Ivey's next book...(less)
The second book in the Infernal Devices trilogy, Clockwork Prince practically starts within days of Clockwork Angel,...moreReview Taken from The Pewter Wolf
The second book in the Infernal Devices trilogy, Clockwork Prince practically starts within days of Clockwork Angel, Tessa Gray is still coming to terms that demons, vampires and her mysterious history. With the future of the the London Institute's leadership under threat, Tessa with Shadowhunters (and parabatai), Will and Jem go to the Yorkshire Institute for information on the history and, hopefully, the location of the Magister and her brother, Nate.
But as the story unfolds, so does Tessa feelings for both Will and Jem. So, she has to make a decision about this love triangle. But love is dangerous, when it's been revealed that one of their own has betrayed them...
Now, I found Clockwork Angel an odd creature. I was stepping into a world I already knew but, for Tessa, it was new and terrifying. So, it took a few chapters to get your head round that and how being in Victorian London is different than modern day New York. But Clockwork Prince, it was wonderful. I slipped into it very quickly and speed through the chapters with some excitement of what will happen next and the clues that will be unearthed. This felt more like a mystery (and I do like a good mystery).
And as for the love triangle. Well... it doesn't get easier. I know reviewers (like SisterSpooky and District YA) who, with every chapter, kept changing Teams. I feel like I am a Team Jem but who knows as Clockwork Princess is out next year so there's still time...
I'm trying not to reveal too much as I don't want to spoil it for anyway, but this book doesn't suffer from "Middle Book Syndrome". It stands up for itself and tells the story strongly and give us character development and plot twists after plot twist that felt me going "What? What?! WHAT?!".
Speaking of plot twists, Cassandra Clare seems to have this down to a fair art now. Just when you seem to have your head round a plot point or a character, Cassandra always pulls the rug from under you and you have to get to grips with this new revelations and they don't stop till the very last sentence (am I not joking here!).
This is probably my favourite book in the Infernal Devices & Mortal Instruments that I have read so far (am going to read City of Fallen Angels with Mundie Moms next Read-A-Long) and I can not wait for, what I think will be, the stunning yet heartbreaking conclusion, Clockwork Princess.(less)
After the terrible events of Nightshade, Calla and Shay find themselves behind enemy lines - the Searchers - and she...moreReview taken from The Pewter Wolf
After the terrible events of Nightshade, Calla and Shay find themselves behind enemy lines - the Searchers - and she thinks their days are numbered. But when they make an offer to destroy her former masters - the Keepers - while saving her pack and another alpha - the boy who saved her life - Calla realises that she's in control of her destiny.
But is saving Ren and her pack worth the price of freedom? And what about Shay? Can true love survive?
I don't know what to say about Wolfsbane. I adore Nightshade and Shadow Days (the novella prequel that you can get via http://www.nightshadebook.com/) so of course I will fall in love with Wolfsbane. This might be seen by some people as slow-going, but if you think about it... the whole book takes over a space of two or three days and there is let-up from when we left Calla in Nightshade...
With Wolfsbane, we see more of Calla's world outside of Veil and we begin to see the sides of war and, also, the horror of being a casualty of war. Not just the physical effect but the mental. There was one character who, when I discovered what they went through, was shocked. And then, as events unfolded, I was shocked by this character's actions...
And with this, we have the light relief of new characters, who happen to be Searchers. And, yes, this is needed as we are about to go into war. Not only a war between Keepers and Searchers, but also for Calla's heart. But, as the author has said, what makes you think Calla will choose between Shay or Ren? She could easily choose neither...
Scared, Team Shay & Team Ren? Oooh, you should be...
Am trying really hard not to gush but, I can't. I love this series and I love Wolfsbane. And I can not WAIT for Bloodrose! I NEED Bloodrose to come out soon! If not, I will have to beg Atom for an ARC! I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!(less)
When Verity Gallant walks into Wellow's library and discover a man reading a red leather book, crying, she had no ide...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
When Verity Gallant walks into Wellow's library and discover a man reading a red leather book, crying, she had no idea about the events that would unfold. That the man would give the red leather book and a strange wooden ball. That The Storm would come to dock in the little harbour town. That Verity's Grandmother (who she didn't even know existed!) come to stay. That Verity will slowly discover her family history that her father has been desperate to hide. That Verity will discover the tale of the Mistress of the Storm...
This is a little outside of my "YA" comfort-zone (this is, to me, an book within the "8 to 12 years old" bracket) and there's something nice to read something that isn't so teen-driven.
It was a wonderful read. There was something old-fashioned about it and it's nice to read about a soon-to-be-teenager, Verity, who feels out of place with the world. I think everyone feels like that when you're going through those wonderful "Teen Years".
Am trying to write this review without going into "gushy" zone, which is VERY HARD (been trying to write this on and off for the past few hours!)! I just loved this book. I found it enchanting with tales of witches, smuggling, how children see parents and vica-versa. The only fault I can think of is the term "muttered/mumbled quietly" was used quite a bit, but it's a small detail so I will forgive the author.
I just fell in love with this book. I want the sequel, Heart of Stone, as soon as possible!(less)
Charlotte is getting ready for the biggest NASCAR week of the year. And it looks like Tempe isn't going to enjoy the...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
Charlotte is getting ready for the biggest NASCAR week of the year. And it looks like Tempe isn't going to enjoy the hype or buzz as she is called to a landfill site near the speedway. A body has been discovered in a barrel of asphalt, a hand poking through the top…
With the country's media on Charlotte, Tempe has her work cut out to identify the body. Could it be the sister of a young man who went missing with her boyfriend ten years ago? As Tempe slowly begins to investigate, she slowly finds herself involved in the FBI and touching on one of America's largest fascist organisations. But before she can truly identify the body, the FBI confiscate the body and destroy it… By accident? Or are the FBI hiding something?
Now, I am sure that some of you lot who are Kathy Reichs readers are shouting at this blog, going "She's doing the same outline again! She gets a body, tries to identify it, the media goes into a frenzy, she tries to solve it and, when she does, her life is in danger". But, it works for Kathy and, if it aren't broke, don't fix it. And it was interesting to see how we got to the point where her life is in danger. And when you start a book which has the line "In the end, Summer saved my life", how could you not. It's almost like 206 Bones, where she awoke in a underground catacombs, and you have to read through the mystery to get to this point though you get some "flashforwards" of how Tempe got out of the catacombs, so you read two stories that, at the end, began one.
But this is very Kathy Reichs. She holds you with the mystery and then she gives you the science. I know that there are a few people who will say that all the science and NASCAR talk is a tad confusing and I suffered that a bit at the end but I was reading quite fast so it might have been me. But yes, I can understand that point.
I have also read one or two reviews, saying Kathy's later books don't have the same impact as her earlier novels. Now, seeing as it has been afew years since I read her debut novel and its sequel, Deja Dead and Death Du Jour, I can't possible say. But I am have got a copy of a 2-in-1 volume of Deadly Decisions and Fatale Voyage and I have been thinking of reading one of them in the future. Not sure when but seeing as this is fresh in my mind, I can compare and come back to you guys on that one.
But, Kathy is still my fave crime writer and she knows how to tell a good, twisty tale that holds my attention and kept me guessing, and I can only speak for myself. And, because of this, her YA novel, Virals (which I've had for quite a while but never seem to find the time to read) has gone up in my To Be Read pile and, seeing as I might read an early Tempe mystery, it looks like I might got on a reading binge in the near future…
PS - for those of you who are hoping that Tempe and Andrew Ryan to get their act together and get back together again, I think that ship has sailed. We don't see Ryan at all in this story! We hear him on the phone once or twice and have an email from him once or two… (less)
The UK government have a plan to benefit future generation of pollution and stop congestion on the UK busiest motorwa...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
The UK government have a plan to benefit future generation of pollution and stop congestion on the UK busiest motorways. The Greening of the Roads scheme is the removal of these roads and replaced by fast-speed train. But since the project started, stranger things have begin to happen. Mist and ghostly apparitions appear out of the nowhere and effect only the motorway.
So, when Scott Williams, son of Alex Williams, civil servant to the Department of Transport, is nearly kidnapped and, six months later, discovered his father dead, he knows something is terrible wrong. And when Detective Inspector Jason Dyer is assigned to the case, both slowly discover that there's a conspiracy going on. But what on earth is the Dead Ways? And how is that connected to the Greening of the Roads scheme?
The Dead Ways is a fast read because it is so short compared to other books I read (and I was reading Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare at the same time) as this was under 200 pages long. And it was fast-paced and, seeing as I do like crime thrillers, this suits me to the ground as, most of the story, there was a dark thriller edge to the story so when things did begin to happen, it was a creepy moments in the story (let's not talk about what happened at the Royal Alexandra Hospital's Mortuary as that one scene really creeped me out and I would LOVE to see on TV - Oh yes, I think this would be a brilliant BBC One family show on Saturdays at the Doctor Who & Merlin timeslot!) and they fit the story.
There was one or two things that bothered me about The Dead Ways. The first is that, there were times that I felt that the story lacked substance. And there was times that I put the book down, I had to make myself pick the book up (but as I was reading Clockwork Angel at the same time [part of a Read-A-Long I'm taking part in], this could be the reason).
But The Dead Ways is an interesting supernatural thriller and I will be intrigued on what will happen next in this trilogy. And I might not be able to look at flowers on the side of the roads in the same way again...(less)
Truth time: I haven't read many of the House of Night books - just the first two actually (Marked and Betrayed) - so...moreReview Taken from The Pewter Wolf
Truth time: I haven't read many of the House of Night books - just the first two actually (Marked and Betrayed) - so I have no idea what's happened to the series or the twists and turns that have happened in later books (from the quick info scan I did on Wikipedia, I certainly couldn't pick up the latest book, Awakened, and read it from there. I would have to start at the beginning!). So, when Atom surprised me with parcels of books including this novella from the series and claimed that it was a "great introduction" to the world of the series, I was intrigued and decided to have a quick read (it's on 140 odd pages so it would be a fast read).
Dragon's Oath - the first in the House of Night Novellas - delves into the history of Dragon Lankford and into his life before he was a Sword Master. Before that, he was fledging, talented and falling in love...
Now, ehe House of Night Novellas will "…delve into the background of some of the Tulsa House of Night's most important - and mysterious - professors", according to the press release I got with the book. And from the info I got from Wikipedia & Atom's twitter, there will be a second novella in Janurary next year called Lenobia's Vow.
As someone who vaguely knows the series (but not very well), reading this without being spoiled or going "what's going on?" was going to be the main concern for me. And apart from the first chapter and the epilogue (that happens around or just after Awakened for those of you wondering), that was it. And I don't think you really need to find out much at the events in Awakened to figure out what was happening in Chapter 1 but if you are a real fan of the series, you would just go "Oh, ok!" and just carry on, not thinking much about it.
But I quite like this. I wanted a fast, fun read and this was a fast, fun read. It was a bit romantic and magical, which something I also wanted (I go through these stages with my reading. You'll get use to it). Plus, most of the book was reading about Dragon when he was younger so it felt like a new character, not like I have been introduced to halfway through a series. And the situation with him and Anastasia felt very teen - very caught up in the emotions and addictive.
A thing that surprised me was sex and sexuality. Yes, it is a teen book and, yes, every book within this series does have a "NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNG READERS" on it, but this book was mostly set in the 19th century where the issue of sex were quite prude, compared to nowadays. But then, you saw and hear about gay and lesbian vampyres and that was a shock. Only because of the time the story it was set, but it was great to see strong female characters who are lesbians and then refer to young Dragon grabbing the lusting of two male fledgings. By the looks of it, these vampyres were a little ahead of the times...
Plus, every chapter started with a illustration by Kim Doner, and I loved these. My fave were for chapter 4 or 6. I just think they were great and I hope that the same illustrator through all of the Novellas, unless there is good reason.
There is a downside which I have seen in one or two reviews: the reason behind writing the Novella in the first place. It gives some information but not much, or very little. And I don't think it gives as much as it claims, but there seems to be something that, if you are a true fan of the House of Night, you'll see and go "A-ha!" whereas if you're not, like myself, you see an event happening and think nothing of it.
But I liked it. Not sure if I love it, but I do like it. I think I might see what the next Novella will be like, but I'm in no rush to read the House of Night series just yet. I think the Novellas will be good reads on their own, without the series. Just some distance will be needed. But I can sense House of Nights fans will be rushing out to get it and devour it within seconds. I will wait and see what the next novella - Lenobia's Vow - will be like…(less)
Originally, I wasn't going to read this book. When I first heard of this book, it didn't push my buttons. It didn't g...moreReview Taken From The Pewter Wolf
Originally, I wasn't going to read this book. When I first heard of this book, it didn't push my buttons. It didn't get me excited. But then the UK publishers, Atom, asked if I would be involved in a blog tour for this book. I said yes, but knew that if I wanted to take part, I would have to read and review the book. I didn't want to agree to something and go "Read this!" if I haven't read it nor liked it. So, that's how I got my hands on a copy.
Anyway, the story. Nora Kane joins a translation project to unravel a 700 year old book along with other clasicists. So, imagine her outrage when she was given the "girly" task to translate the letters of the author's daughter, Elizabeth Weston. Expect, the more she translates Elizabeth's letters, the more Nora becomes fascinated with her life. And with her busy friend Chris dating Adriane and her budding relationship with Max, Nora has her life under control.
Until Nora finds Chris murdered. Until Nora discovers Adriabe has appeared to have lost her mind. Until Nora discovered Max has vanished into thin air, making him the Police prime suspect in Chris's murder.
But Max couldn't have done it. Could he? Slowly, Nora tries to make sense of what has happened and it seems that the reasons - and the answers - she seek are in Elizabeth Weston's letters...
Now, this book has been described as "The Secret History by Donna Tartt or The Lessons by Naomi Alderman meets The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown". So, already, there's a high standard. So, will it live to the hype that surrounds this book?
Yes, it does. I was surprised on how quickly I fell into this book and this strange world of Latin and universities and then, suddenly, how it switches to murder, Prague, secret societies and the Lumen Dei (you have to read the book to find out what that is). And it's also surprising how smart this book is. There were times I read this that I feared that the book would come across "too smart" and, I think, this only happened once or twice with me, but it was over very little things.
Don't get me wrong. This book is good! But it's flawed too. Some of you guys won't like it as it's slow going. It took over 100 pages (in my copy) for something to happen and it kinda does this all the way through the book until the end where everything falls into place. And there were several occasions that I felt that it went a bit flat. Sometimes it was characters, other times it was dialogue but it always picked itself up within a few paragraphs (I says this as my copy was a draft so this might be changed in the real version).
This is a very smart read, even when it goes into the realms of secret societies. I'm just fascinated on how much research the author, Robin Wasserman, did as (according to her Acknowledgements and Afterword) she talks about Elizabeth Weston, Edward Kelley, Don Giulio & Rabbi Judah Loew Ben Bezalel and the Voynich Manuscript and explains that they were real and briefly explains them to us.
While this book won't be everyone's cup of tea, but this is one smart read to start 2012 and I will be very intrigued over Robin Wasserman write next...(less)