Sarah J. Pepper’s Death of the Mad Hatter is in genres that I don’t normally read – unless they somehow have paranormal or dystopia attached to them,...moreSarah J. Pepper’s Death of the Mad Hatter is in genres that I don’t normally read – unless they somehow have paranormal or dystopia attached to them, but it was one of those books I picked up because of the name alone.
Was it worth it?
It sure was!
I actually haven’t read Alice in Wonderland, but I have watched the Disney classic often enough that I guess I have a rough of idea of how it goes down in the book. Pepper’s take on Wonderland and all the characters within it was refreshing and imaginative – which is something you need when going up against a strange story such as Alice in Wonderland.
Death of the Mad Hatter hinges around the following prophecy:
The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror.
Alice Mae is a bewitching character that I fell in love with immediately. She is strange and quirky and you are not entirely sure she’s trustworthy, so right from the start I am eager to find out the truth!
Riley, on the other hand, I found less identifiable. At times it feels like you are trapped inside the mind of a girl rather than the boy with a girl’s name with this character. Yet, by the end, the author has managed to get me involved in Riley’s story, so all I ask of you, the reader, is that you persevere with this character.
And I think this is a direct result of the dialogue between the characters in this book. Each time a character opened their mouth, I was drawn into their world completely. Sarah J. Pepper really is gifted at this task.
Overall I found this story mixed up, captivating and at times down right confusing – but that is EXACTLY as it should be with a book based half way between Earth and Wonderland!(less)
Okay, I’m going to start this review by saying that EVERYONE needs to give this book a go! It hurts to breathe when I think about how much I loved thi...moreOkay, I’m going to start this review by saying that EVERYONE needs to give this book a go! It hurts to breathe when I think about how much I loved this book. Which surprised the hell out of me considering I wasn’t particularly fond of the cover or the blurb and picked this book up purely because its genre fell into the dystopia challenge I’m participating in this year. It just goes to show you should never, EVER judge a book by it’s cover!
I am still amazed that this book is a debut novel. M.P. Attardo’s voice throughout has a sweet, lyrical storytelling narrative to it. She also manages to breathe life into complicated concepts out laid in this book.
Intermix Nation tells the story (in a nutshell) of racism. It may be set in a fictional dystopian world, the people may be set with different challenges than what befalls the diverse races here on our earth, but essentially, the story is still the same: racism is wrong, yet it exists. Attardo carefully brooches this subject with great candour and draws the reader in to explore what it’s like to be a minority in the world.
This story centres around Nazirah Nation, a young intermix girl who is struggling to come to terms with the fact her parents were murdered for marrying outside their individual races. Nazirah is not particularly likeable at the start. She’s a spoiled teenanger who is indulgent and completely centred around her own misery. But as the story progresses and her parents murderer, Adamek, jumps teams by joining the rebellion – effectively teaming with Nazirah as well as being constantly around her, Nazirah grows and grows and grows. Her journey is such a fascinating one. Not only must she grow up and smell the coffee, she becomes the poster child of the rebellion, a position that puts her directly in the path of Adamek.
While I don’t want to give anything away, the story of Nazirah and Adamek is unbelievable. I am so thankful that I got the opportunity to follow their journey.
There were moments in this book where I just found myself sitting there; reading and weeping. Attardo has the gift of making you live her story. She makes the nasty horror of the character’s situation seem completely real. Yet, rather than wallowing in it, the reader wants more.
To be fair, there are moments when you notice that this is a self-published novel. There are a few instances of phrases being repeated close together, formatting errors in relation to chapter starts and the occasional missed or incorrect word. Don’t let this be the reason why you turn this book aside though. I only noticed them because I was purposely looking for criticisms against this book (because, as you know, I really dislike giving an entirely one-sided review) and they in no way truly draw you away from the unique story that is Intermix Nation.
Overall, I am giving Intermix Nation by M.P. Attardo 5 out of 5 stars. Honestly, I wish I could give it 6 out of 5 stars. This author is now firmly placed in my ‘must read’ list.(less)
Okay, so recently I did a cover reveal for this book and I was blown away by the cover – so much so that I went out and bought the book and pushed all...moreOkay, so recently I did a cover reveal for this book and I was blown away by the cover – so much so that I went out and bought the book and pushed all my other review books aside so I could read this one!
Was it worth it?
Parts of this book I found completely captivating and raw. Some parts hurt to read with their clarity of how a person might cope with the life and death decisions that have to be made after a catastrophic world event.
Other parts left me wanting, but not in a great way. I found the first half of this book lacking when it came to character development. I just found I wasn’t caring about the characters as much as I should be. The main character, Prue, is very hard to like. She is pointy and surly and tends to stalk off in a huff most of the time. I found myself wondering if maybe all her past relationships had broken down because she just wasn’t a very nice person! Normally these are characteristics I lOVE in a female character. I’m not sure what went wrong, so I can’t offer any suggestions on how to right it. Oh, and fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead, and, in particular, the character Michonne, will probably love this book.
However, this strange thing kept happening. Every time I put the book down, I couldn’t wait to pick it up again! And boy was I glad I persevered. After Prue settles into a town that may or may not be sinister (is the town too good to be true or is the author excellent at portraying the inside of a mind that is near snapping point?), things start to pick up. All of a sudden I found myself turning pages in an effort to see what happens and how the characters will fare in the end.
I found Nicole R. Taylor has a knack for describing action scenes and, surprisingly, romantic ones – a welcome surprise for sure! Her character dialogue is also brilliant and I found her character’s voices ringing true as I read.
Overall, I am giving What Remains by Nicole R. Taylor 3 out of 5 stars – please persevere, it’s a diamond in the rough! (less)
DISCLAIMER: This book/eBook being reviewed was provided free of charge for an honest review.
Earlier in the year, I was offered this book in exchange f...moreDISCLAIMER: This book/eBook being reviewed was provided free of charge for an honest review.
Earlier in the year, I was offered this book in exchange for an honest review. Firstly, I took it on because it was about zombies, VEGAN zombies that exploded if they came in contact with human brains! That alone was enough to intrigue me. Secondly, this novel falls into the bizarro genre – one I had never sampled before, so I just knew I had to read this book. Thirdly, surprisingly, this book can also be considered dystopia, so I will be including it in my Dystopia Reading Challenge.
As for Vegan Zombie Apocalypse, did I like it?
Hmmmm… yes and no.
I really can’t categorise my feelings on it entirely. I am also finding it really hard to rate it.
Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t put this book down. Imagine Plant’s vs. Zombies – the completely fucked up version. The concept was cool and the world building was amazing and completely plausible within what the author was attempting to convey to the reader.
I just found parts of it really hard to swallow. I am not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but there were moments where I just couldn’t stomach what was going on. At times I also wondered if the author was just saying things in order to chock the reader rather than advance the story. If you find any of the following offensive, then this book is not for you:
*use of the word ‘c**t’ *faeces *zombie rape *sex that is more than two people doing it missionary style *live critters used as tampons
BUT, as far as bizarro fiction goes, I think it was an excellent starter book.
The first half of this book is definitely better than the second half, when we go from plausible weird to LSD induced non-reality. Even still, I found I devoured this book in two days. Really, once you start this book you CANNOT put it down!
Overall, (after much deliberation) I am giving Vegan Zombie Apocalypse by Wol-Vriey 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you for managing to push me out of my comfort zone Wol-Vriey!(less)
First off I'm going to say how much I am NOT a fan of romance novels. I am partial to the odd erotica novel, but anything that is cutesy is just not m...moreFirst off I'm going to say how much I am NOT a fan of romance novels. I am partial to the odd erotica novel, but anything that is cutesy is just not my cup of tea.
So I was completely surprised when I read 3:am Kisses!
The author ropes you in with characters that are deliciously developed, yet doesn't bog you down with backstory to develop this. The main female character, Baya, is sweet and oh so innocent which plays nicely against the male lead character, Bryson, who is damaged goods thanks to a traumatic event in his past.
I hate to compare this novel to 50 Shades of Grey, but there was certainly a comparison there: sweet innocent woman vs. damaged male. But this is where the similarities end. Moore has deftly woven a story that is rich with the hope of first love and the promise of sharing your first time with someone special.
I am giving 3:am Kisses by Addison Moore 4 out of 5 stars!(less)
Kids and young adults will LOVE this novel and, no doubt, the consequent books in the Steel Roots series. There is plenty of action, loads of adventur...moreKids and young adults will LOVE this novel and, no doubt, the consequent books in the Steel Roots series. There is plenty of action, loads of adventure and a main character that is feisty and completely lovable. Not to mention the intrigue of a dystopian-steampunk universe and a swarm of characters that all have their own unique voices and stories to tell.
The Boxcar Baby is told through the eyes of 15 year old AB’Gale Steel, a young woman who had a safe, secure life in a hard world – until her papa goes missing. AB’Gale is naive and the story is told beautifully through her eyes as the horrors of her world are uncovered in her search for the man she calls Papa Steel.
The story flows organically from what feels like one tale to the next, yet, at the same time, bringing the main story along for the ride. AB’Gale gets caught with many people on the road and she is confronted with many situations she must tackle, each time she does what she feels is the right and just thing to do. She is a gallant character that is strong and a beautiful role model for impressionable young female readers.
At times I found I was pulled out of the story due to the repeated use of the same words within sentences and paragraphs. Each time I took a breath, realised what had caught me out and dove right back in. While, technically, I found this broke up the story, young readers probably wont even notice it is occurring.
While I absolutely adored AB’Gale, at times I found her just a little heartless. For example, when her grandmother is taken away and the family farm redistributed, AB’Gale seems to only linger on this gut-wrenching event only briefly. I would have liked to see a little more angst here as she is definitely a character that is morally upstanding. Her family does mean a lot to her and seeing her grandmother and home taken out from underneath her would, surely, have shaken this 15 year old girl to the core.
But these are but minor occurrences in the grand scale of things. I really, REALLY enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the next one in the series. Overall I am giving The Boxcar Baby by J.L. Mulvihill 4 out of 5 stars.(less)
Okay, so since interviewing author KL Joy about the BDSM scene last year, I have been HANGING for her second book, Desire: Stories of Longing, to come...moreOkay, so since interviewing author KL Joy about the BDSM scene last year, I have been HANGING for her second book, Desire: Stories of Longing, to come out! Finally it has and I was able to get my hands on a review copy – so what did I think? Was it just as good as the first novel (Catalyst: Stories of Awakening) in the series? Did it push all the right kink buttons?
Hell YEAH it did!
First up though, I would like to say how much I LOVED the cover of this book. It is really refreshing to see an erotica cover that portrays the scene exactly without having to resort to a 50 Shades of Grey handcuffs or tie image. I could just keep looking at this cover all day and am greatly relieved I received this novel in a digital format and not in print, otherwise this review might never have gotten written!
This is the second middle child novel I am reviewing in the last week that has managed to live up to the expectations of the first one in the series. I’m not sure why mainstream authors are getting their second books so wrong when indie authors are apparently getting it, oh, so deliciously right!
We find Desire picking up where it left off in Catalyst, yet this time is is more the singular story of Vivianne rather than a collection of interwoven stories of characters from the same social circle. While I loved the way the first novel did this, I was pleasantly surprised with the way the second book’s story line was developed so differently from the first.
I’m really impressed with the way the author manages to describe her kink with such beauty. When reading erotica, I normally find myself cringing at some of the rudimentary descriptives. This never happens in KL’s works. She is crass and bold and at times embarrassingly honest, yet I am never shying away from her prose. The author certainly knows how to get the reader in the mood!
Sometimes, however, I found the writing between the erotica a little forced and stilted. While the sex scenes were beautiful (and I could tell when one was coming as the author relaxed into it), there were moments when I found the spoken interaction between characters a little stodgy. This tends to occur more so at the start of the book and the characters loosen up quickly, so make sure you stick with this novel as this does ease from the middle through to the end.
At times I found the relationship between Vivianne and Belle just way too complicated, but, conflictingly, also loving the way in which the characters get such a look in this time round. Each person has a back story and some of these are touched on in Desire which enriched this story dramatically.
I really, really can’t wait to read more by this author! Overall, I am giving Desire: Stories of Longing by KL Joy 4 out of 5 stars.(less)
I haven’t read true science fiction for such a long time, so I was excited to be FINALLY sitting down to one. Nakba by Jason S Walters is not only sci...moreI haven’t read true science fiction for such a long time, so I was excited to be FINALLY sitting down to one. Nakba by Jason S Walters is not only science fiction, but a dystopian tale – so I can also include it in my Dystopia Reading Challenge of 2013, hosted by Blog of Erised, thus making it book 12 in this challenge.
This book drew the reader in from the very first page. I found myself instantly intrigued and wanting to learn more about this strange new world presented to me. The author manages to weave a compelling tale while introducing just enough tantalising backstory as required in detailed by brief snippets without bogging the reader down too much. The story skips along at a refreshing pace as a result.
At times I found myself comparing this novel to The Giver by Lois Lowry due to the fact that everyone in this new world is attempting to be bland and normal and not at all outstanding. The observations of the characters own beliefs and thoughts on this attempted inconspicuous society were certainly welcome and definitely enriched the tale adding layers and depth to what could have been just an average Sci-fi tale.
But this is no average Sci-fi tale. The author’s prose is wordy and descriptive without being flowery. I found myself being sucked into the lives of these strange people and turning pages at a rapid result because of this. The dystopian world is easily believed and I am still amazed at how easily the author explains it’s vast universe. Well done Walters! The author also artfully develops his characters and the odd flares of menace peppered throughout are particularly delightful.
There are some really cool concepts in this novel, eCars, humannequins and the nanotechnology scents being my favourites. (Who knew, in a distant universe, people would want their drinking establishments scented with the smell of urine, vomit and bad body odour?)
Towards the middle of Nakba, the story begins to slow and I found myself losing interest slightly. Buy, readers, I must stress that you keep at this book because it is only a brief pause. The author seems to take a breath, regroup and come back with such vengeance for the second part of this book that I have to say that I enjoyed this half even BETTER than the first half!
This is also where the character of Cassidy is introduced. She is, by far, one of my most favourite new book characters! I loved how her disability was added to enrich the story but wasn’t ridiculed or glamorised in any way.
She simply is what she is.
Over all, I am giving Nakba by Jason S. Walters 4.5 stars out of 5!(less)
So, it’s that dreaded middle child in a trilogy book. Was it terrible? Did it feel like a bridging book to get you from the awesome start in Book 1 to...moreSo, it’s that dreaded middle child in a trilogy book. Was it terrible? Did it feel like a bridging book to get you from the awesome start in Book 1 to the fantastic end in Book 3? No it did not! In fact, I was REALLY excited at how good this book was, since I usually rack up the Book 2′s to the ‘Jan Brady pile of neediness’. Not this time honey! Heart Search: Found by Carlie M.A. Cullen is just as great as the first book! Not once did I find myself checking the time or finding an excuse to do housework rather than read. Cullen has done what so few can – she’s delivered a second book that is just as interesting as it’s siblings on either side of it.
We start Heart Search: Found right where we left off in Book 1 (Heart Search: Lost), so if you haven’t read that one, then I’ll give you a moment while you head on over to Amazon and pick it up. Thanks to this continuation of story, there is no drag at the start and we are eagerly anticipating what is unfolding. The reader finds themselves involved in the story and each page is turned in rapid anticipation of what is to come next.
You know how I was a little hesitant about the two stories within one book last time round? Well not this time! Each chapter ends on a cliffhanger and then flips to the alternate story line – just LOVE it! I just found I was devouring pages to find out how each story line was moving along. There was no sense of ‘when are they ever going to hook up’ like there was in the first book and for this I am eternally grateful.
Now, for the vampires.
I know there has been a rise in human-friendly vampires of late. Cullen’s vampires do not fall into this category. And yet they do. Just a bit. While they feel no shame or remorse with taking human lives each time they drain one and dispose of them; in Book 2, we are finding a little of the internal battle so common in YA vampires. You see Joshua gets reminded of his past in several different ways thanks to the introduction of someone from his human existence. And this opens up a whole big can of worms. I was completely loving this turn of events.
At times there were places where this novel felt a little over explained. And there was one section (where a decision was being made) that dragged a little, but these things were easily forgotten with the overall fast pace of this novel. So if you want your vampires smouldering hot, yet old-school – then this is the book for you!
Overall, I am giving Heart Search: Found 4.5 out of 5 stars. I can’t WAIT for the next book in this series!(less)
While this novel isn't your classic zombie apocalypse story, there are certainly elements of it woven neatly within this story. While most zombie nove...moreWhile this novel isn't your classic zombie apocalypse story, there are certainly elements of it woven neatly within this story. While most zombie novels have people dying and reanimating, the 'zombie-ish' characters in this novel are actually turned into flesh-craving creatures - therefore they never technically die. They're still nasty pieces of work though and they're not entirely smart enough to work out how to climb a fence. But if they catch you on a lonely highway.....well....it's not pretty.....
Essentially, this novel is a love story. The main characters are in love and craving a baby to call their own. When this doesn't eventuate, but the cure-it-all miracle drug, Nevermore, appears on the market, everything seems to be falling in place. But that is not the case. Mara is one of the few people allergic to this drug, so there is no wonderbaby for them.
After many weeks of fretting about never being able to take this drug, her husband, Sebastian, decides to surprise her by getting the injection himself.
And this is where the heartache REALLY begins!
You see, before Sebastian has a chance to announce this wonderful news, the horrible side-effects become apparent. So he has roughly five weeks to spend with his wife before he turns into a Nevermore zombie!
And this is where the story opens up your chest and rips apart your heart.
You know he's had the Nevermore injection. You know Mara doesn't know. And Mara is all excited that she never had the injection. I can't explain how much this book affected me. It's been two weeks since I finished the first book and I am STILL thinking about it. I am ITCHING to find time in my reading schedule to read this novel again. And again, and again....
This book has one of the BEST starting sentences I've read in a LONG time! And it all goes full steam form there. This book is not a long one, but it...moreThis book has one of the BEST starting sentences I've read in a LONG time! And it all goes full steam form there. This book is not a long one, but it certainly doesn't feel rushed over as it takes you on its fantastical journey.
The characters are believable and I just love the way the main character chats to the reader as if you are sitting down to a cuppa with her. Instantly you are engaged by her world and all the perils that come with discovering you are queen of a mystical realm.
At times the story was a little too flowery in its descriptives for my liking, but I could overlook that as I followed the journey, knowing that many people will adore this type of writing.
During this novel, I felt like I was reading an old fairytale, with the way the author wrote. At times this writing style falls short a little and you feel like the author is telling you what's going on, but then the main character jumps in and adds her own view on it all and the reader is back on track again. But when the author hit the fairytale style of writing on the head - she really nailed it and I felt transfixed by the world she'd created.
Overall, I am giving Child of the Loch by Elizabeth Delana Rosa 4 out of 5 stars!(less)