Another book for one of my university courses. I don't think I would have necessarily picked this book up otherwise. And, as you can see from the 5-stAnother book for one of my university courses. I don't think I would have necessarily picked this book up otherwise. And, as you can see from the 5-stars I gave it - that would have been a real shame. "Like Water for Chocolate" is peopled with fascinating characters. The novel is filled with magical-realism that blends beautifully with the emotions and events - resulting in a novel that leaves the reader feeling wonderfully sated....more
Linda Grimes' debut Urban Fantasy novel, In a Fix, hit me like a breath of fresh air. It's filled with innReview from my blog: The Word Fiend
Linda Grimes' debut Urban Fantasy novel, In a Fix, hit me like a breath of fresh air. It's filled with innovative ideas, engaging characters and effortless humour. I was completely charmed by In a Fix.
Urban Fantasy is one of my favourite genres to read. I love the interplay of the supernatural with the modern world that we are all so familiar with. But, truth be told, I do find that the usual suspects – the vampires, werewolves and demons – can feel stale after a while. But Grimes has taken the path less travelled and created a new and interesting supernatural group – aura adaptors. They're human, but they have the ability to borrow and use other people's auras – taking on the physical appearance and traits of that person. I think it's a fantastic idea and Grimes uses it with skill and humour in her novel.
In a Fix is a well-paced read and balances action, humour and even some romance to leave the reader wanting more. Grimes drags you into the world she has created from the first word and you will find yourself emerging hours later with a smile on your face and the desire to dive straight back in again.
The characters in In a Fix are a real treat – each has their own distinct personality; complete with quirks, habits and a solid backstory. Ciel Halligan is In a Fix's narrator and main character and I immediately liked her. She's unsure of herself, but has an underlying feistiness that is delicious to see when it does break through. Unlike many Urban Fantasy protagonists Ciel does not have amazing fighting skills or deadly magic, but she still manages to be a strong, independent heroine. Then there are the men in Ciel's life – Mark, her long-term crush, and Billy, her best friend. Ciel's interactions with Billy are easy and full of the sort of banter that comes from knowing someone for a long time. But there is an attraction bubbling beneath the surface which presents interesting possibilities. I really liked Billy – he's irreverent and fun, but there is a more serious, protective side to him which I felt gave the character more depth. Mark is a harder character to get a handle on – largely because he plays his cards close to his chest and is more circumspect with his emotions. It's obvious he cares for Ciel and I enjoyed watching him come out from behind his walls through the book. Ciel's ongoing crush on him also makes for an interesting, charged dynamic between the two.
In a Fix is an entertaining, addictive Urban Fantasy debut and I am dying to get my hands on the next book in the series. Linda Grimes has definitely earned herself a fan. ...more
I believe that there is a lot of writing talent in South Africa, so I'm always on the lookout for somethinReview from my blog: The Word Fiend
I believe that there is a lot of writing talent in South Africa, so I'm always on the lookout for something new and interesting to read from local authors. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I first met Carlyle Labuschagne on Twitter and heard about the book she was writing, The Broken Destiny. A sci-fi YA novel written by a local author – I leapt at the chance to get my hands on a copy.
The real treasure in this debut novel is the world that Carlyle has created. She has taken elements of sci-fi, mixed in some fantasy themes and added a sprinkling of mythology to flavour. As a result The Broken Destiny has a rich and textured landscape and history that supports the characters and the plot. I have to take my hat off to Carlyle for this achievement – fantasy and sci-fi books come alive when they have a unique world and setting and she has managed to pull this off with the ease of a seasoned writer.
One aspect of the world that I want to highlight is Carlyle's inclusion of the Zulu people in her story. I loved the nod to African culture and the slightly exotic feel they give to the book for international readers.
The Broken Destiny is a book about change and finding our place in the world. The story follows Ava, one of the third generation Broken living on Poseidon after the destruction of Earth. I have very mixed feelings about Ava, especially as she is the central character in The Broken Destiny. Her fear and confusion as unknown forces start to affect her life are effective tools to draw the reader in and engage them in the story. But I found Ava to be very self-centred which detracted from my enjoyment of the book. In fact, it was often the secondary characters who kept me wanting to read more. There is a shift in Ava's character by the end of the book, but I would have liked to see that shift and the maturity and depth it gives her start happen earlier in the story. The cast of supporting characters that Carlyle has created are great fun to read about. She has made sure to give them their own unique problems, quirks and fears and they help to carry the story.
The Broken Destiny is a promising debut novel from an exciting new voice and I look forward to seeing how Carlyle's confidence and skill continue to grow. ...more
Review: I knew I had to read this book the second I saw the title. I loved the idea of a nerd as the heroinReview from my blog: The Word Fiend
Review: I knew I had to read this book the second I saw the title. I loved the idea of a nerd as the heroine in a romance novel and the play on the famous Marilyn Monroe movie is a nice touch. Gentlemen Prefer Nerds lived up to the promise of its title and I was thoroughly charmed by this light-hearted adventure into the world of jewel thieves and cons.
The bright blue and yellow used for Gentlemen Prefer Nerds' cover compliment each other nicely and serve to effectively draw the readers attention. If I was browsing in my local bookshop I would definitely stop to pick it up. The male model has a taunting half-smile on his face, as if he knows more than he's letting on and is a perfect fit for how I pictured Fabian. The female model isn't quite how I imagined Maddie, but with her glasses, hair pulled back into a sensible ponytail and shy stance she does capture some of Maddie's nerd-factor. The pink heart-shaped diamond glittering next to the title is the valuable gem that puts the whole story in motion. This is a fun and effective cover and I must compliment the design team at Carina Press.
Gentlemen Prefer Nerds was a delight to read. Joan Kilby writes well, bringing her characters to immediate life on the pages. The story progresses at an entertaining pace with action and drama interspersed with humour to keep the story in balance. One great example of this humour is when, during a dramatic helicopter escape from the police, Maddie stops and stubbornly refuses to abandon her cat, forcing Fabian to perform an impressive feline rescue. Kilby skilfully uses these moments to give us a better understanding of the characters' histories and personalities.
Maddie is a fabulous heroine. Brilliant and passionate about jewels she lives a rather boring life where she lives vicariously through her books – picturing herself as the daring heroine who saves the day. It was interesting to see how she reacts when she is forced into new and dangerous situations in real life. Maddie really blossoms in the book. Fabian is a mystery when we first meet him, but we slowly learn more about the gorgeous Englishman as the story unfolds. I liked the respect he has for Maddie and her abilities and the quiet strength coiled in him. The chemistry between Maddie and Fabian sizzles through the pages of Gentlemen Prefer Nerds. In fact my only problem with the book was that when they finally made love it wasn't the exciting event that all of the chemistry and tension had been building towards. It felt like a bit of a let down.
Gentlemen Prefer Nerds is a fun, entertaining read that will have you glued to the pages. Definitely worth reading. ...more