Wow. I don't normally read contemporary young adult - teenagers being teenagers and dealing with normal teenager problems is not something I am usuallWow. I don't normally read contemporary young adult - teenagers being teenagers and dealing with normal teenager problems is not something I am usually interested in - but the cover of this book just grabbed my attention and then the book wouldn't let go.
I think it's maybe because it was so relatable for me: it's set in a small Australian town and I'm from a small Australian town. The characters are all kind of nerdy/quirky just as I was. The main character is trying to write a comic, but the main character won't behave. As a writer, I know that feeling well. Melissa Keil emulated perfectly the feelings that come with leaving school and all the changes that come with that. The "end of the world" storyline was really a parallel for the "end of life as we know it" stuff that the characters are all trying to deal with. I read the epilogue with a lump in my throat. I didn't want it to end.
The only thing I didn't like was the way the romance played out, but they were really adorable once they got together, so I'm willing to overlook it....more
It's been about 9 months since I read the first book in this series so I did have a little trouble remembering the details odd the series' universe, bIt's been about 9 months since I read the first book in this series so I did have a little trouble remembering the details odd the series' universe, but I got back into the flow, it was just add good as the first....more
This a quick, fun read and despite its short length (GoodReads tells me it comes in at 96 pages), it pOriginally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind
This a quick, fun read and despite its short length (GoodReads tells me it comes in at 96 pages), it packs in a really tight plot. I read it in an airport; it was just perfect for that type of environment and waiting period.
When Acacia Carlisle’s brother goes missing, and then her father’s airship goes down while searching for him, Acacia sets out to track down the man responsible for it all, Baron Lindsey. She enlists the help of Captain Drew McCallan, offering the patronage of the Carlisle shipping line in return for use of his airship and crew. Together, they end up on an adventure neither of them expected.
Acacia and Drew were both really fun characters. I could hear their voices in my head, both very distinct. Acacia has loads of self-confidence and isn’t afraid to use the resources available to her (such as her family’s name and money) to get what she needs. Drew has been a bit more down on his luck, but he is knowledgeable when it comes to airships and navigation, and together, he and Acacia make a good team.
The book’s descriptions were also very vivid, especially the mountaintop airship port where the climax of the story takes place. I could imagine it all. However, I did expect that the world would be a little bit more steampunk-y. Apart from airships being the main mode of long distance transport, I felt we were basically in the a regular Victorian set-up.
That was my only real quibble, though. I’m definitely going to look up the next book when it comes out....more
Oh my goodness, this book was so much fun! To the point that I was making stupid noises during the last 10% or so. There are entertaining characters, an interesting setting and intriguing political machinations happening all around.
Rory is somewhere around the age of eighteen, and making ends meet picking pockets and the like with her partner in crime, Jake. She’s saving up to travel with a master swordsman and achieve her dream being just like the Scarred Woman, a swordswoman whose work she witnessed ten years prior. This all goes wrong thanks to a betrayal from Jake, and Rory is on her own.
The Viper, aka Longinus, is a master assassin with the invention of numerous deadly poisons to his name, but he has a secret: he has a debilitating fear of blood. When Rory witnesses an assassination gone wrong and learns of his secret, she blackmails him into teaching her to swordfight. But as they begin training, the victims of a copycat assassin start appearing, and Longinus and Rory are both in mortal danger.
Rory is a great character; she’s streetwise, but not ridiculously capable, like some street urchin characters tend to be. She also talks like street urchin, instead of sounding exactly like every other character in the book. Someone needs to give Longinus a hug, except be careful how you do it, because there will be hell to pay if you ruin his clothes. He’s a bit ridiculous, but it made him more endearing.
The world of Damsport is rich in both geography and history, and yet it didn’t overpower the story. The reason I have never been able to read a lot of Steampunk is because it tends to get very caught up in “look at all these cool gadgets and this world I’m creating!” and the story and characters suffer from it. The Viper and the Urchin did not suffer from this problem.
The ending resolves enough to feel satisfying, but there is definitely set-up for subsequent books. I for one can’t wait to see Longinus spend more time around Lady Martha; it’s going to be hilarious. My problem now is that the book was only released a month ago, so I’m going to have to wait (not so) patiently for the next one....more
Somehow I managed to miss Matilda when I was binging on Roald Dahl books at age 10. Since I'm going to see the musical soon, I figured I really oughtSomehow I managed to miss Matilda when I was binging on Roald Dahl books at age 10. Since I'm going to see the musical soon, I figured I really ought to get the book under my belt.
I listened to the audio version of this book, read by Kate Winslet. She was a fantastic narrator, with different voices and accents for each character which sounded completely different to one another. I was familiar with the movie from watching it many, many times on rainy days at primary school, but the book is much darker. I feel like I should re-read a lot of Dahl now, since as a kid, it never struck me as particularly dark, but I always heard people claiming it was. I can see what they were on about as an adult though, now. ...more
Wow, this series was fantastic. Not for the faint-hearted, though. It is violent, bloody, contains detailed descriptions of medical procedures and lotWow, this series was fantastic. Not for the faint-hearted, though. It is violent, bloody, contains detailed descriptions of medical procedures and lots of people die. But the ending really got me emotional. There was some weird stuff, like familial influences literally being in your blood, or something, but overall, amazing. I will write a proper review for the whole series soon....more
I actually thought this was only going to get about three stars from me, as there were parts that I found really frustrating and disappointing, givenI actually thought this was only going to get about three stars from me, as there were parts that I found really frustrating and disappointing, given the standard of the first two books. However, some of those parts ended up being relevant to the plot later, and there was enough good stuff towards the end especially, to make up for it.
Try as I might, I did not figure out the twist in this one. It's now my bedtime and I'm feeling suitably spooked; guess I'll have to deal with weird dTry as I might, I did not figure out the twist in this one. It's now my bedtime and I'm feeling suitably spooked; guess I'll have to deal with weird dreams tonight......more
I have three disclaimers for this review. First up, my ARC was received for free as the prize in a givOriginally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind
I have three disclaimers for this review. First up, my ARC was received for free as the prize in a giveaway. Secondly, this book had the disadvantage of being read when my life was super busy and I was going a bit crazy with everything, so I probably wasn’t in the right mindset unfortunately. At another time, this may have totally got an extra star or two. Thirdly, because I finished the book at the end of May and am writing my review at the end of June, the review is probably also somewhat lacking, and for that I apologise.
All right, now for an actual review.
Kat Preston refuses to believe in ghosts after an experience that left her with her soul nearly torn out of her body. She’s been doing pretty well, but when a school assignment involves visiting the site of a century-old unsolved murder, suddenly she’s not only surrounded by ghosts, but due to a portal in a mirror, sucked back in time and into the body of one of the guests in the days leading up the murder. Her research partner, Evan, follows her through, and they find themselves trying both to stop a murder from happening and also find their way home before they fade away completely.
There is a lot packed into this book’s 256 pages. The book has supernatural creatures, time travel, a murder mystery and a dash of romance. I found it most interesting when Kat and Evan were sent back in time, both in terms of the plot but also the way in which the story was written. The book is in first person from Kat’s POV, but often she has no control over the body of the woman she is possessing in the past, and the narrative is almost in third person, describing that characters’ actions. This may annoy some readers, but I actually found it kept me interested.
It’s hard to say too much else without giving away important plot information, but suffice to say, even once Kat and Evan make it home, the adventure is not over. Kat is able to start learning more about her gift of seeing the dead, but the ghosts of the murder victims are not their only issue… There is enough set-up for future books in the series but enough resolution that you don’t feel like the author wrote one book and then chopped it in half at an exciting bit.
I think my main issue with the book was that apart from Kat, I never really felt that invested in any of the characters, despite everything that was happening around them. The historical characters were a bit more interesting than the modern ones, but I did have a bit of trouble keeping track of them as well.
All in all, though, this is an entertaining beginning to a series with an original concept. I look forward to more!...more
This book was entertaining enough, but there were just enough anachronisms and flaws in the otherwise good writing to prevent me giving it a higher raThis book was entertaining enough, but there were just enough anachronisms and flaws in the otherwise good writing to prevent me giving it a higher rating. I also hate the "Sherlock meets Doctor Who" comparison; the similarities ended with a prickly detective (who could maybe be described as having some of the 11th Doctor's whimsy about him) and a long-suffering police inspector. While I appreciate Ritter trying not to go the obvious route, there was far more chemistry between Abigail and Jackaby than her supposed love interest. I did enjoy the use of supernatural creatures not often used in urban fantasy, but the story could have done with more of that.
Edit: I've seen some comparisons to Lockwood & Co. and would definitely agree with them. But I would say read Lockwood instead. ...more
So I really adored the Cress/Thorne relationship and how it developed, and Cinder and Kai were quite adorakable, too, in the last 10% or so, once theySo I really adored the Cress/Thorne relationship and how it developed, and Cinder and Kai were quite adorakable, too, in the last 10% or so, once they were reunited. But the rest of the book felt reaaaalllly long, and I wasn't really that interested in the other characters (particularly Wolf), hence only four stars. ...more