Sunday, 30 September 2012

Back to Bataan - Jerome Charyn


Title: Back to Bataan
Author: Jerome Charyn

Blurb

New York City, 1943. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, while Jack Dalton is stuck attending Dutch Masters Day School. What Jack really wants is to enlist in the army, to fight...


Everything changes when Coco, Jack's "fiancee," throws him over for one of his classmates. Jack sees red and does something drastic. Then he runs away. Hiding out in a nearby park, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, an ex-convict who is as articulate and charismatic as he is dangerous. The Leader turns Jack's world upside down. To put things right, Jack must prove himself a braver soldier than he ever imagined.


Review

This book is so awesome it makes me wonder why it is not a lot more famous. The writing is flawless and I fell in love with Jack's character. He is amazingly more mature and interesting at 11 than most YA protagonists.

The story is about 11 year old Jack Dalton, he is the resident scholarship kid at Dutch Masters Day school, so naturally he gets the stick from his wealthy classmates and when his girlfriend breaks up with him for a the rich boy Alfredo Jack does something stupid to hurt Alfredo's family.Thinking he committed a big crime he runs away and joins a gang of a sort led by The Leader.

For a book this short, the characters are amazingly developed and intricate. This book surprised me. I did not expect to enjoy a book this much when it centers so much on historical facts.

This book is not about the usual teen angst and drama but delves into the basic human nature, bravery, love and betrayal in World war two America.

The one thing I found strange about this book was that while the protagonist was 11 I felt like I was looking through the eyes of a much older person, this is not a necessarily a bad thing since it showed how fast children were forced to grow up around war.


The verdict
To be honest, this book is not the light hearted book of teen drama but a series look into the life on eleven year old in World War two.


Overall
I give this book 3 out 5 stars.




Thursday, 27 September 2012

Phoenix [Phoenix Elite #1] - Melissa Starr


Title: Phoenix 
Author: Melissa Starr

Blurb
Elora Rae Gannon believes her life is over. On her sixteenth birthday she receives news that she is a mythical monster of hellish proportions and if that's not bad enough, she receives this information in the form of a letter from her dead mother who also informs her that she must become part of an elite secret society of others like herself or die. Sucky birthday, huh? And just when she thinks she's got it all figured out, her new-found family in the Elite forces her to break ties with her human BFF shortly before her BFF just up and vanishes. With her world in utter upheaval, Elora makes the move to a new school- Marlind Prep, with full intentions of finding out exactly what is going on behind the scenes and why her best friend has vanished- all while trying to figure out how to successfully make out with her boyfriend without sucking the very life out of him!

Review
Despite my love for greek mythology, it is written about so much it becomes rather tedious but Starr infused modernity with Egyptian mythology which I found refreshing and enjoyable. This book is a lot like The House of Night series without the seriously annoying-ness of zoe.

On her 16th birthday Elora finds out that like her deceased mother she is a Phoenix. The phoenixes are rich, hot and get the best damn lives ever except they have to suck life out of someone every in order to extend their lives one more year (lovely, I know).

Elora is actually a really cool protagonist, she is independent and extremely loyal even if i hate the fact that she is that loyal to her best friend Chloe. To top things of their is a hot romance between her and a fellow phoenix, Ezra.

The one thing I did not like about this book is Chloe because she is the most annoying character ever. Despite being warned to stay away from the Phoenix business, she does not and goes missing. Sigh. 

The verdict
To be honest this book couldn't not be more awesome, it makes you wonder why it is not more known

Overall
I give this book 3 out 5 and present a special interview with author


Product details
Format: Kindle Edition
Print Length: 196 pages
Publisher: Fire and Ice by Melange Books
Language: English
Purchase: Amazon

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Tempest [Tempest #1] - Julie Cross

Image result for tempest julie cross
Title: Tempest
Author: Julie Cross

Blurb

The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Review


I seriously avoided this book like it was the plague, mainly because there was so much hype around its release I felt obligated to avoid it at all cost especially since I usually make it a habit to hate on every book loved by the many in the blogosphere but when I found it online for half price I could not find a good reason to avoid it. I am actually glad that I picked up this book because it was a new take on time travel which I absolutely love. I actually had no trouble keeping up with the whole timey whimy stuff and even enjoyed the attempted science behind it.

Let’s talk about Jackson, for the most part he was a pretty decent character but there were moments that made his character seem unreal. I have hung out with guys all my life and I can say I have a pretty good idea of how their thought patterns work unfortunately I can’t say the same for Ms Cross. For one Jackson’s love for Holly comes out totally unconvincing, to be honest this book could have done without the romance element, I mean I really didn’t care if Holly lived or died.

This book was really easy to read and interesting enough that I didn’t feel the need to wonder around half way through but the laws of time travel seem rather weird because you can never be sure of what he can or can’t do. One thing I liked about this book is even in its slow moments you can never predict what was going to happen next, it just keeps you glued to the pages.

Many people in the blogosphere complained that they found the whole time travel thing rather confusing but I actually really admire Cross’ idea of half jumps and full jumps. This idea of time travel prevents the whole paradox issue which I think is a rather smart.

One thing I really disliked about this book was the over the top portrayal of everything. I mean I get it loads of secrets, his whole life has been a lie, CIA is involved, conspiracy theories, human cloning and time traveling enemies called EOT which stands for Enemies of Time (someone ordered extra cheese with their fries?) come one Cross that’s a little too much don’t you think especially if the said teenager is forced between the two side.

The verdict
This book had me absorbed and despite the over the top story line I really like it.

Overall
I give this book 4 out 5 starts, Cross wrote a book which had me hooked from the beginning to end.



Product Details
Paperback: 334 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin [January 17th 2012]
Language: English
Author's Website: http://juliecrossbooks.com/
Purchase: Amazon | Barns & Nobel

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Never After [The Ever After Chronicles #1] - Jason Robert Macumber

Title: Never After
Author: Jason Robert Macumber

Blurb

The world of fairy tales is twisted and corrupted. Two years after her entrapment and torture at the hands of the Seven Deadly Trolls, Snow White now works as an assassin for hire. Rude, crude and with her princess status long revoked, she has become a dark angel for the Ever After's damsels-in-distress. A game of cat and mouse soon begins when two of the Deadlies, Pride and Wrath, return to exact revenge on the fallen princess for the murder of their brothers. Armed with her trusty dagger carved from the magic mirror, Snow finds herself drawn into a conspiracy that involves an ancient relic from beyond her world's borders and the destruction of her world. Taking perversion to a whole new level, NEVER AFTER is an estrogen-filled romp to save the Ever After as Snow slices and dices her way through beloved characters leaving no talking animal safe

Review:

Continuing my fairy tale fortnight is Jason Robert Macumber's Never After although I hesitate to call it a fairy tale since it is dark and gritty with no happily ever after. Seriously guys I mean it this story is crude and if you expect sweet Snow White you will be disappointed. On the other hand if you are like me and love the darker humor this book is for you.

In a way I suppose it is very much like the original tale. Snow White is held hostage by the seven trolls and tortured. After she escapes she becomes an assassin. Trust me this story is not for kids, Snow white becomes one kick ass heroin although she is not much of a hero. She becomes obsessed with revenge and kills a lot which is a surprising but welcome difference from the whiny little girl in the Disney cartoons. 

The verdict
Despite the crude nature of the book I really enjoyed it.

Overall
I give this book 3 out 5 starts.
Product Details 
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC (29 July 2012)
Language: English

Friday, 21 September 2012

Cinder [Lunar Chronicles #1] - Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder 
Author: Marissa Meyer

Blurb

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future

Review

Since I have been accused of being a Hipster I fully expected to hate this book but was surprisingly enjoyable. I really enjoyed Meyer's reinterpretation. Not only did she recreate Cinderella, but she improved her and made her one kick ass cyborg instead of the poor little girl who sang to the birds about dreams.

Unsurprisingly this book had more teen angst than cyborg action which really didn't disappoint me too much since I quite enjoyed the fact that Cinder did not throw herself on Kai but held back and kicked ass before she sealed the deal.

One thing that didn't work for me about this book was the mystery element, seriously I had the entire story figured out 2 seconds after the Lunars were introduced. Seriously it's obvious that Cinder is BEEP and BEEP. Since I deem this book worth reading I will not spoil the mystery but be warned to expect the obvious since there is absolutely no subtext to this book what so ever.

The other thing I really admired about this book was the portrayal of the stepmother, instead of the cold hearted B she is seen as in the original Cinderella, Meyer actually added depth to Ari. She was not just cruel woman but a whole rounded person, sure she is still kind of evil but there are moments in the book where you actually feel sorry for her and I really like that.

The verdict
This book surprised me and was better than I would have assumed since most proclaimed YA books have not been my cup of tea.

Overall
I give this book 4 out of 5 and an impatient glance at the count down clock for Scarlet. 

Product Details
Paperback: 387 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends [January 3rd 2012]
Language: English

Cover Characteristic #1 - Dresses

This is a new meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. Each week we
 will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite
cover’s with that characteristic. 

I absolutely love pretty covers so this meme comes as a godsend. This week the topic is dresses, I am going to pick 5 dressed that I loved. 




5. Dragonswood - Janet Lee Carey
4. Darker Still -  Leanne Renee Hieber 
3. Everneath - Brodi Ashton
2. With All My soul - Rachel Vincent 


1. Supernaturally - Kiersten White

I absolutely adore this cover and I can't wait till I read this book,
hopefully it will not disappoint.









Comment: Olympic and Paralympic Games

The Games are over, The Generation? Inspired? But what else could we learn from the Olympics?


What could Plato, Jessica Ennis, Einstein, Michael Phelps, Shakespeare, Katherine Copeland have in common?

Coming Soon! Two shiny new articles and a review!


Thursday, 20 September 2012

In My Mailbox #2



This meme is hosted by The Story Siren.

I have been waiting for this for a whole week but finally got it today and the best damn think is I saved a hell lot of money.





The Hunger games trilogy - Suzanne Collins
Cinder: The Lunar Chronicles - Marissa Meyer
Tempest - Julie Cross
Heaven - Christoph Marzi
Buffy the vampire slayer [1&2] - Various
Wings - Aprilynn Pike
Spells - Aprilynne Pike

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Hush, Hush [Hush, Hush Saga #1] - Becca Fitzpatrick


Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpartick

Blurb

Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment. 

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. 

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life

Review

All my life I have been proud of the fact that I was not the kind of girl who fell for bad boys but then I realised to my shame that I had been channeling that girl quirk through my books. Hush, Hush is yet another book in a string of YA novels with bad boy v good girl which I can't help but be attracted too. Hush, hush is a strange book, it has good points and bad points with equal measure. 


First lets talk about Nora, she is one whiny assed little girl who calls the police five times a week and can't seem to decide whether she wants to like Patch or be terrified of him. She is suppose to be smart but manages to get caught cornered and helpless so many times it got annoying. Heck there is only one moment in the entire book that she acted like she had a spine. 



In YA novels there is a theme that is surprisingly common and that is 'Stalking is Hot'. I don't know if it existed before Twilight but since I have found it in surprisingly numerous books with stalker boy friends which are considered hot. Come on Patch, you make my heart do the funny dance but for the love of God stalking is NOT hot and so I feel that I should recycle this meme since it's very appropriate.




I actually really like the general plot of the book, it was well written and kept me gripped for two hours. I really like the reform of the whole fallen angel concept especially the Nephilims which must be my favourite hybrids ever.



something that mystifies me not just about this book but most other YA books is where the hell are there parents? Granted I was one of those nerds who didn't travel outside the comfort of my bed and a good book but how the hell do this kids travel to other cities and fight the forces of darkness without mummy dearest knowing about it especially since mums have eyes in the back of their heads.



The verdict



Despite the obvious flaws in this book I really enjoyed it. It was actually a fun filled ride into the world of teenage angst and fallen angels – not a ride I expected to enjoy.



Overall



I give Hush, Hush 4 out 5 and a mental not to read Crescendo as soon as possible before it flies out of my brain.


Product Details
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books (27 May 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1847386962 | ISBN-13: 978-1847386960
Purchase: Amazon | Barns & Nobel  

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer [ Mara Dyer Trilogy #1] - Michelle Hodrin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer Trilogy Series #1)Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodrin

Blurb

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.





Review


This book was a bit strange for me, I could not decide if I loved it or if I hated it. There was so many clichéd and stereotypes that you could say this book was a compilation of books that have been written before but I could not bring myself to hate it. There was some sort of charm to the book; I loved the mystery in the book even if the powers weren’t exactly refreshingly new.

Generally I liked Mara but there were moments I wanted to slap her back to reality, the whole paralysed with fear every time they appear get old real fast. Come one Mara grow a backbone kick ass once in a while. As for Noah, damn he is one seriously hot guy but yet again not very original, what don’t tell me you have never seen the new good girl with a secret and the bad boy shack up.

The one thing I loved the most about this book is Jamie. I swear if that boy was real he would so be my soul mate. Heck I even laughed my ass of at the whole Ebola joke, yes nerd humour is awesome.

The best thing about this book is the mystery, it is amazing. Nothing is really given away but you are drip fed information but each page you flip over and there is yet another drop, meanwhile you want the whole picture so you keep reading because well heck you are enjoying yourself. In a way it’s kind of like Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, even when you know it’s not exactly the most original or rational story you still can’t help but like it anyway.

The verdict
I am much divided with this story, am not sure if I should like it but I do anyway.

Overall
After much consideration I am going to give this book 4 out of 5 because despite knowing its flaws I still gobbled the whole thing in one night.


Product Detail
Hardcover: 452 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster for Yoing Readers
Language: English
Purchase: Amazon | Barns & Nobel

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Mana - Asher Tensei

ManaTitle: Mana
Author: Asher Tensei

Blurb

Eurich is thrown into a seemingly ill-fated destiny. After learning of his legendary magic, he is convinced that he alone must stop an impending doom, but nothing is ever as it seems. His best friends Jason and Raine try their best to help him save the world, but help isn’t what he needs —he needs a way across the barrier.

Despite this fate thrust upon him, Eurich knows what is coming. The world is headed toward Chaos due to a weakening barrier between Earth and a world that has been hidden for millennia. 

Our world is about to take a sharp turn for the worse. Extra moons are rising in the sky, and panic is at an all-time high. Worst of all, there are no explanations.

Saving the world begins with a choice —but is humanity worth him risking his own life?

Review

My friend once told me that he could never write a book because no matter how well he described it no one will ever see the things he saw when he wrote it and with some author’s I agree that’s the case. The story will be just a dialogue with no spatial awareness what so ever but with Mana I would have to disagree. This book is written beautiful with vivid description that paints not just locations but amazing characters.

I find in most fantasy because the magic or whatever power might be present tends to dominate over everything including human characters and emotions, this book doesn’t.  Tensei creates very realistic characters that you want to care about rather than whiny little girls with boy problems. 

I absolutely enjoyed this book and I would recommend to any fantasy lover to go and buy this book.

Overall

I give this book 3 out of 5 for a fantastic journey into a fantasy filled world.


Product Detail
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Malachite Quills Publishing
Language: English
Author's Website: http://ashertensei.com/
Purchase:  Amazon


Saturday, 15 September 2012

Glitch [Glitch Trilogy #1] - Heather Anatasiu



Title: Glitch
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Blurb

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers. 

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

Review
As last week's cover crush, I had high hopes for glitch and considering the amount of time I waited to get my hands on it, I was sorely disappointed. The general idea of the book seemed intriguing enough but about page 15 I realised that this book was not what I expected.

For one the protagonist Zoel is perhaps  the whiniest, most annoying characters that I have ever read about. All she does is complain - complain about glitching, complain about not glitching, complain about 'The Community' for not letting her snog her lovers - yes she has two - all over the place.

I mean seriously it's not even a decent dystopian novel but to make matters worse it has a love triangle, someone please save me from reading yet another book with a love triangle. The only thing i remotely liked about this book apart from the undeserved book cover is the little twist in the middle, can't tell you what it is because then it will destroy the only good thing in this book.

To be honest am not sure I should even be reviewing this book since I fail to find more than a spec of goodness in it. Zoel is irrational going from glitching i page 1 to falling in love in less than 50 pages even though she had no idea what that meant before hand. The whole book was entirely juvenile and that coming from me is rather disappointing.

Perhaps the worst thing about this book  - and it drove  me crazy every single time - is the expressions. Trust me read about 50 pages and you will understand what I mean. For your benefit let me list the two I hate the most.



1. Crackin' 
2. Shuntin'
Used in sentence  - 'No shuntin' way' and 'Crackin' hell'.

My response - NO!


As a  Londoner, heck as a British person we always manage to say bloody hell or something equally pointless to add to our sentence but i'll be damned if that extends to the above two. I hated them from the moment they were said until they stopped. Heck I wanted the person who kept saying them to drown in a tunnel filled with water but unfortunately that did not happen.

The verdict
Honestly, their is no question about my response to this book - it was written for 13 year old who care nothing about the depth of the story and only want some make out sessions and love triangles.

Overall
This book was not my thing, and honestly I rather not look upon its deceptively pretty cover ever again. I give this book an over all of 2 stars and one of them is for hitting a full enough workdcount to be considered a book.


Product Details
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Griffin 
Language: English
Author's Website: https://heatheranastasiu.com/

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Cover Crush Thursday #2


Join these meme by posting it on your blog. You don't have to ask permission just write Meme hosted by Sky Rose Reviews, heck you can even use the picture above if you don't mind the terrible lack in artistic talent.

Issue #2


This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now. 
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse and the whispers grow too strong to bear, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own. 
Unless she fixes the things her great-great-great grandmother Alice put wrong, Wonderland will have her head.

I am so crushing after this, yet again my love for pretty covers is getting to me because I wan't this super bad and to be honest the synopsis is pretty hooking too, hopefully it will not be as disappointing as Glitch. 

Thursday, 6 September 2012

In Our Mailbox #1



Today I got the best damn thing through my mailbox, literal and virtual mailboxes.



In my literal mailbox I just got 10 Kathy Reichs books. if you don't know who she is, where have you been, she is the author of the books that were turned into the TV series Bones.


I am so totally psyched about those especiall since I got them for SUPER cheap. £! a book, damn that's some bonus for my bank account, I was prepared to buy each one in their normal prince :D

On my virtual mailbox I got Glitch and Defiance which  I have been dying for for months now. Thank you McMillan for such an awesome book but books like these i think am going to have to get physical copies cause they will be like the pretty jewels in my book collection.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood [Anna#1] - Kendare Blake


Title: Anna Dressed in Blood

Author: Kendare Blake

Blurb
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

Review


This book is… what kind I say about this book. Usually I avoid horror books because the entire story is based on how scary it can be and leaves all the little details like a good story line out. Add that to the fact that books just don’t scare me and you have a not so scary book with a less than half a decent story line, totally not something I want to read.

This book however is different, while it still didn't scare me there we times I felt my face cringing at the level of gore and blood. Trust me if you are one of those people who loves girly instead of gore I suggest you stay away from the book, but if you love a bit of blood, guts and ghosts then this book is for you.

At the heart of it, this book is a love story but don’t go expecting pottery making classes because this ghost is not some faded little man but one hell of a she devil.  I absolutely love Anna because for once it’s the man who is being constantly rescued and thrown about the room. When Anna battles Cas you know which one of them is going to win.

 I am seriously blown away by this book, if I had to describe it is more The Exorcist meets Supernatural, the same scary ass girl but with only one brother and the same avenge my dad thing. If Cas in half as hot as Sam or Dean am all for it becoming a movie.

The verdict
I really love this book. It has the goriness of some scary ass ghosts and still managed to create a seriously sweet and frankly hopeless love story.

Overall
I give this book 4 out 5 stars for one scar-ish sweet love story between a hunter and his prey or is it the huntress and the prey, that get so confusing sometimes.

Product details
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (17 Oct 2011)
Language: English
Author's Website: http://kendareblake.com/
Purchase: Amazon | Barns & Noble

Monday, 3 September 2012

Slide - Jill Hathaway

Title: Side
Author: Jill Hathaway 

Blurb

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.
Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.
Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane. 

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again

Review

I really, really wanted to like this book. Vee’s superpower is super awesome and it started out rather promising. Who the hell doesn’t want to read a book where a girl looks through a murder’s eyes while he/she carries out the murder? It seemed like an excellent setup but it went downhill from there. 

The entire setup of the book but stereotypical at best complete with spoilt popular sister, queen B-I-T-A-C-H and new boy love interest. Come one guys how many times have we had the high school get up. Where I have lived and I have lived in two major cities the whole click system does NOT exists, but perhaps am just a lucky person.

The reason I always avoided teen-mystery books is because half way through the book, I always figure it out and then its 200 plus pages of ‘for the love of God how obvious is it’ frustrated growls and this book was obvious. 

Vee always and I mean ALWAYS goes for the obvious and rushed conclusions and even after the murderer was discovered the reasons behind the murders is seriously stupid. Especially the reason behind Sophie’s, it made me want to hit my laptop so much, if I had a physical copy I would have burnt or thrown it out the window right then and there.

The verdict
This book like many I have read has a good start, a good idea but once again fails to dliver. It’s almost enough to make me stp reading YA all together.


Overall
I give this book 2 out of 5 stars and a warning that while it might have an awesome power it can get very frustrating. 


Product details
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Children'sBooks
Language: English
Author's Website: www.jillhathaway.com
Purchas: Amazon | Barns & Nobel

Divergent [Divergent #1] - Veronica Roth

Related imageTitle: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Blurb

In a world where uniformity is valued being unique is dangerous especially for those that do not fit into the Selfless Abnegations, the honest Candors, the intelligent Erudites, the daring Dauntless’ or even the peaceful Amitys. They are Divergent, people that don’t fit into the neat classification of their world.

Review

There are two loves in my life right now. A man named Gabriel and a book called Divergent. Seriously I mean it; I absolutely fell in love with this book. I picked it up and 4 hours, 3 trains and a KFC later I was watching TV with empty eyes that had Divergent flashing on them. This book is everything I like in a YA novel. It’s fast paced with a kickass protagonist and a love interest that is simply lush.

The protagonist Beatrice is… well actually she is pretty much every bullied, self-conscious, flat chested girl you have ever known so naturally you would think this story would be filled with stereotypical moments that make you want to hit the book, or maybe that’s just me. This book defies expectation; I am just about getting into the whole dystopian genre but this just about cements it as one of my favourite genres.

This book is very good developing people; the characters are very strong even if some like Eric and Peter are classic stereotypical bullies. Despite that I loved this book. Tris kicked ass and didn’t whine like a little girl at every single turn of events heck she is fearless.

As for Four, well ohhlala, now here is one seriously fine love interest. Tough, kickass and kind of damaged, pretty much tailor made for the YA genre.

The verdict

I actually really, really like this book, heck I might even go and say I loved it. It was a brilliant book that flowed with no boring and slow bits.

Overall:
I give this book an overall of 4 out of 5. A seriously awesome book by a seriously awesome author.


Product details
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (3 May 2011)
Language: English
Author's Website:
Purchase: Amazon | Barns & Noble 



Sunday, 2 September 2012

Interview - Jay Kristoff


For first interview with an author I have the one, the only and the seriously awesome Jay Krisoff, the author of Stormdancer [Lotus wars #1].


UK Cover
A DYING LAND

The Shima Imperium is verging on the brink of environmental collapse; decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshippers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, land choked with toxic pollution, wildlife ravaged by mass extinctions.

AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST

The hunters of the imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary beast, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows thunder tigers have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL

Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a hidden gift that would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.


Interview 

Stormdancer is described as a Japanese Steampunk dystopian novel, where did you get the idea of combining what are essential very different settings? 

I love the steampunk aesthetic. There’s something about the low-tech end of the spectrum that fascinates me. I like the thought of machinery that doesn’t quite work like it should, technology driven by greasy combustion and held together by rivets. I’m not sure why that is.

Thing is, a lot of steampunk fantasy seems to look back on the advent of industrialization as some marvellous, liberating event in history, and gloss over all that unpleasantness about child exploitation and slavery and whatnot that came with it. I wanted to tell a story where the machine was the enemy. Where technology wasn’t just killing people, but the land they lived in. I wanted to challenge the notion that everything was hunky-dory back in “the good old days” and maybe draw some parallels to the way we’re living on this planet right now. So that’s where the dystopian angle came in.


The setting of the novel is quite different from most dystopian novels, refreshingly so but why Japan?


I felt like Victorian England had been done – it seemed to be the default setting for almost every SP story (or colonial America to a lesser extent). A lot of great writers had already covered that territory, and I wanted to go somewhere different – I always try to be different. I’m a speshul snowflake, you see.

I took a look at some of the other amazing cultures on this planet during the 19th century and settled on Japan. I’ve always found the samurai age fascinating, and I was excited at the thought of combining a Japanese-inspired aesthetic with a grimy, industrial-style tech.

I mean, chainsaw katanas, come on, what’s not to love?


Did you have a foreknowledge of the Japanese culture was it something you decided to undertake when you decided to write Stormdancer, if so how hard is it to keep up with all the cultural references and terminology?


I had some limited knowledge, sure. I’ve always had a love of Japanese cinema, literature, manga (is manga literature? Probably not…) and I studied Japanese history. But I think the important thing to note here is that Stormdancer is only inspired by Japanese culture. It’s not actually set in Japan – the setting is totally fictional. So while I’m keying off Japan as a cultural touchpoint, there are some significant changes I’ve made to societal structures, language, religion and so on.

I’ve a couple of good friends who live in Japan that I bounced ideas off and threw language questions at (in particular, what rules they though I could get away with breaking), there are a couple of great websites around on the Shōgunate age of Japan, plus some excellent books about the history of the samurai age. But when I felt the need, I bent the rules, or just straight-up broke them. Stormdancer is, above all, a fantasy. There weren’t many griffins or telepathic sixteen year olds running around in feudal Japan – at least as far as I know.


Stormdancer is packed with visual stimulants, if I can call them that. Where do you get your inspiration from?


Anywhere and everywhere. The skeleton of a half-finished building at the end of my street. A photograph of a bird drowning in an oil slick. A song. I studied graphic design at college, I used to fill sketch books with ideas when I was younger.

Type the word “steampunk” into a search engine and you can spend hours trawling through the work of amazing creators like Datamancer or say great illustrators like Keith Thompson or James Ng. There’s some incredible stuff being done out there atm, and there’s no shortage of inspiration for people playing in this particular sand pit.


Yukiko is perhaps the best female protagonist I have ever seen on a book. Where you inspired by a particular person or did she just come naturally?


That’s awesome of you to say, thanks so much!

I can’t really say where Yukiko came from. I’d been reading a lot of female MCs at the time, and really didn’t like most of them. They seemed primarily concerned with and defined by the boys in their lives – the biggest question in the books seemed to be “Who will she pick?”, “Will they get together?”, and so on. I wanted to make a character who could stand on her own feet. I didn’t want to add to the pile of “female MCs who cannot think or eat or be without a boy on her arm”.
Maybe it comes of growing up with sisters? Or being married to a woman who kicks ass so hard she can leave a footprint in your genetic code?


I find most authors tend to make their protagonist the same gender. What would you say is the hardest thing creating a female protagonist and a teenage one at that?


I wrote a blog post about that not so long ago. I think any writer who’s not writing an autobiography is experiencing some kind of disconnect in that regard. I’m not sure writing a convincing teenage girl is any harder than writing a convincing 500 year old vampire. At least with teenage girls, you can always ask teenage girls (or women who were once teenage girls) to vet your work and look for your Moments of Fail.

I think the hardest part is probably balancing the notion that this character is your MC – that people have to like her and empathise with her, they have to feel a kinship with her, but at the same time, she’s a teenager, and teenagers sometimes do stupid things for what can be very stupid reasons. Hells, I know I certainly did – I have the criminal record (supressed) to prove it. So you have to have your MC make mistakes, act irrationally sometimes in order to seem authentic, while not having your audience throw her in the To Stupid To Live pile.


Both the covers of Stormdancer are absolutely stunning. Would you like to share who designed for you and did you provide input?


Neil Lang was our UK designer, and Young Jim Lin did the US cover, with the illustration done by the amaaaazeballs Jason Chan. I provided some input – describing how Yukiko looked, what she dressed like and so on. I had a lot more input on the US cover since it was an illustration and we could tweak the design based on sketches. With a photography-based cover, things are a little more rigid.

I wrote a post about the creation of the US cover here.



Absolutely Stunning!

For those of you who have not read Stormdancer, I urge you to get it the moment it's out in the shops but until then avoid this question. If you want to see the question and answer just highlight the empty space bellow.

Stormdancer ended with the Lotus Wars finally beginning, what shall we expect in the next instalment?

It’s actually tricky to talk about that – there are some massive spoilery events that occur in the first half dozen pages of book 2 that I shouldn’t let out of the bag yet, and if you haven’t read book 1, the climactic events at the end of book 1 are also huge spoilers. 
But yes, the Shima imperium begins to descend into all-out war. The seeds they’ve planted with their war overseas against the gaijin begin to bear some bitter fruit, the nation begins tearing itself to pieces. The Lotus Guild try to maintain their grip on power as the nation begins to decline, and they risk all in a stratagem to wipe out the Kagé rebellion once and for all. Yukiko’s powers are growing beyond her ability to control, and she’s also trying to deal with the mantle of “hero” that’s been thrust upon her. We meet new friends, new enemies and trust becomes an incredibly difficult thing to come by.


Are you currently working on any other projects or should we be expecting the next instalment of The Lotus Wars anytime soon because I have to tell you I am dying of suspense?

Hah, that’s very cool of you to say :)

It’s all Lotus War at the moment. I’m putting the finishing touches on draft 2 of book 3 – I’ll be handing that in to my editors very soon. After that, I’ll be back at work on editor notes for book 2. The next instalment will be out this time next year, unless something disastrous happens in the meantime, like my dog getting abducted by aliens or something.


One last question before I let you go and this is a personal one. For those of us stuck at 5’2, official midgets; what would you say is the secret to becoming a literary giant?


Eat lots of vegemite. I ate it every day for about 30 years. Seemed to work for me. :D

I wonder if they sell that in London.


And there you have it ladies and gentlemen, from the man himself, Mr Jay Kristoff. 


Author Bio

Jay Kristoff is a tragic nerd, but has spent the last ten years dumping expeez into his Intimidation stat, with the result that nobody is brave enough to say it to his face. He grew up in the second most isolated capital city on earth and fled at his earliest convenience, although he’s been known to trek back for weddings of the particularly nice and funerals of the particularly wealthy. He spent most of his formative years locked in his bedroom with piles of books, or gathered around dimly-lit tables rolling polyhedral dice. Being the holder of an Arts degree, he has no education to speak of.Jay prostituted his writing arm in the soulless crack-house that is “creative advertising” for over ten years. He’s hocked petrol guzzling monstrosities to sexually inadequate men, salty condiments to schoolchildren, and toilet paper to anyone with a bottom. He has won several awards that nobody outside the advertising industry gives a toss about.

Jay’s debut novel, STORMDANCER, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy, will be published by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press & Tor UK in 2012 as the first installment of THE LOTUS WAR trilogy. He is represented by Matt Bialer at Sanford J Greenburger Associates.Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13870 days to live . He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.He does not believe in happy ending.

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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Savage [Daughters of the Jaguar #1] - Willow Rose

Title: Savage
Author: Willow Rose



Blurb

The year is 1983. Christian is 22 years old when he leaves his home in Denmark to spend a year in Florida with a very wealthy family and go to med-school. A joyful night out with friends is shattered by an encounter with a savage predator that changes his life forever. Soon he faces challenges he had never expected. A supernatural gift he has no idea how to embrace. A haunting family in the house next door. A spirit-filled girl who seems to carry all the answers. An ancient secret hidden in the swamps of Florida. One life never the same. One love that becomes an obsession. Two destinies that will be forever entangled.

Review

Christian is... well perfect for the lack of a better word. He has it all amazing good looks, intelligence  money and even a musician. He was all in all the perfect male specimen which I was not fond of. Yep, I like my men rough around the edges at least in books and the fact that the book was narrated by the older Christian took some elements of mystery from the story. So naturally, I thought I was going to hate it but boy was I wrong.

The fact that Christian is not dead right now and is alive and well to tell his tale did not take away from the amount of mystery in this book. Question after question bombarded my brain abou
t Christian and the Jaguar and the premonitions. It was just jam packed with so many questions I felt like I needed to carry on.

I am usually not all that interested in books set before my birth and I found some references which I suppose are entertaining for the older generation but even that added to the fact that it is not just something enjoyed by the young adult [over 17 since it has some pretty hot scenes. Actually make that 18 cause they are seriously damn hot too]. But seriously the relationship between Aniyana and Chris can only be described as HOLY SMOKES!

The greatest thing about their relationship is that it's not just sexual its very much emotional and through Aniyana you end up liking Christian as a character more and more as the book and their relationships progresses 

The verdict
I really really like this book because not only was it a refreshing take on what would seem like a very familiar genre but it gives a retrospective male voice which is very unique in the paranormal romance genre.

Overall.
I give Savage 4 out of 5 stars with a huge congrats for creating such a fantastic novel and a guarantee that Ms. Rose will be joining the likes of Sherrilyn Kenyon and Christine Feehan in my permanently overread books.

Product details
Format: Kindle Edition
Print Length: 447 pages
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Language: English
Purchase: Amazon 
ENCHANTED BOOK PROMOTION BLOG TOUR OF SAVAGE BY WILLOW ROSE