Thursday, 31 January 2013

February Fever at Sky Rose Reviews


Hey guys, it seems the New Year is well and truly underway with the last day of the first month soon giving away to the first day of February, the love month of the year. In order to celebrate my first Valentine’s Day with my blog, which pretty much says it all about my non-existent love life, I have decided to dub this month February Fever of Sky Rose Reviews.

That is 28 days of the good, the bad and the seriously steamy. This month I have decided to dedicate to ''Books to read before you die'', well who else was going to be the love of my life anyway. If you have a heart condition or are prone to overheating please limit the days you visit.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day feel free to comment about the love of your life, your current fling, how much you hate commercialism of VD or even how much your love life sucks[been there done that and all]. What can I say I aim to make Sky Rose an all-inclusive book club for lovers of books and not just romance.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Beautiful Creatures [Caster Chronicles #1] - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl


Title - Beautiful Creatures
Author - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Blurb
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Review

I wanted to like this book, I really really did if only to prove to myself that I was capable of liking something that was the focus of so many internet hypes unfortunately for me it seemed that either this book was rather bland and boring or the hipster force is strong with this one. Technically I don’t feel like I am qualified to review this book since I could not finish it but after slaving though a hundred and fifty pages of teen angst and clichéd story line I felt I at least deserved to rant about it. After about page 100 I felt that the only way this book could be rescued was if all but one of the characters die and there is a hint that they will probably be tortured and even this idea was far from original. To read or not to read, that was the question.

First of all I am actually glad to have found a book I did not like if only to break the monotonous trend of praises, like I have said before, there is only so many ways you can say amazing but there are many many ways in which you can describe your loathing for a book. I would not go as far as saying I loathe this book but I can say that there is nothing in this book that was original.

It was a combination of many teen books that have long since passed their sale by date. The whole story can be summed up in a very few sentences. Boy dreams about girl, boy meets girl, girl is possibly not human and they cannot be together because of some impending danger due to the nature of the supernatural and to top it all off add in bitch queens and exploding glass and there you have it Beautiful Creatures wrapped up in a neat and thorn in my ass bow. Even the fact that it set in some hillbilly in the middle of nowhere does not save this book, in fact in my opinion it condemns it by adding more stereotype about small towns and the black sheep of the small town as a love interest. The only thing that this book has going for it is the nice cover font. 

Before anyone points it out, I am aware that the story is written from a male prospective rather than yet another whiny little girl but the truth is, having grown up with two boys and having had little female companion, I assure you, most men do not sound like a the hormonal little girl that is Ethan Wate. You can accuse me of stereotyping and I probably am a little bit but I think that the authors should have gotten some prospective from the men in their lives before writing this book Heck read Julie Cross' Tempest or ask Jay Kristoff as to how he constructed a protagonist of opposite gender.

I could go on about how stupid the whole thing is possibly for a whole day picking out each and every fault but since I have to get back to obsessing over Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who, both of which by the way are ideal shows, I am going to wrap this up.

Overall I give this book two stars and one of those stars is because of the beautiful font on the books which I am grudgingly admitting.
Product Detail
Paperback: 592 pages
Publisher: Penguin
Language: English
Author's Website: http://beautifulcreaturesauthors.com/







Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A Study In Scarlet - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Title - A Study in Scarlet
Author - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Blurb

Dr. Watson, who has just returned from a war in Afghanistan, meets Sherlock Holmes for the first time when they become flat-mates at the famous 221 B Baker Street. In "A Study in Scarlet" Sherlock Holmes investigates a murder at Lauriston Gardens as Dr. Watson tags along with Holmes while narratively detailing his amazing deductive abilities

Review 

I am ashamed to say that while I have quoted Sherlock Holmes more than once, I have never read any of the books. So after stumbling across the brilliant and seriously amazing BBC's Sherlock, I figured it was about time to read the books. 

A study in Scarlet is truly brilliant, it is the exemplary novel for all of us that appreciate a book with a bit more brain than half naked men, not that I would mind looking at Sherlock Holmes half naked as long as he looked like Benedict Cumberbatch.

The story is told by Dr John Watson, a former army medic who had come home after being injured in Afghanistan. Restless and rather worn out after his ordeal in the war, he is introduced to non-other than Sherlock Holmes himself. I could go on and on about Homes’ character since Dr Watson often had an idealistic view Holmes that could only be compared to Nick Caraway’s view of Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby but since I neither have the patience or the obsession I will sum him up as a faulty genius. He has a brilliant mind that is almost incomparable except maybe to the likes of Doctor who. His use of ‘’the science of deduction’’ is truly staggering but at the same time he is so aware of the fact that he is a genius therefore he comes out as rather arrogant. Sheldon Cooper anyone?

He is rude, inconsiderate, attempts to be cold and emotionless, and cares not about the dead or the relatives that are left over. He does not solve crime to make the word a better place but rather because it is the only thing that keeps the boredom away. To make things worse, he is ignorant of all subjects that are of no consequence of his chosen profession. There was a particular incident where Watson notes that Holmes does not know that the sun is at the centre of the solar system because as far as he is concerned it is of little consequence to his life. 
"I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones."
I find this passage amazingly enlightening and surprising. Surprising because this statement is steeped in arrogance and ignorance and to quote a brilliant writer Steven Mofatt ''Sherlock is a man aspiring to be a god'', yet I am surprised that I still find Holmes a model thinker. 

In part one of the books, Sherlock drifts through the book with ease and revealing secrets about the scene that seemed rather farfetched but with a deduction path that was not only reasonable but also nothing short of absofuckinglutely amazing.

While the first story was very good, it becomes even more so when part two provides such a large part of the puzzle which paints an overall picture. I will not elaborate as to how since I think this book deserves to be read by everyone however I will say that this book combines the brilliant mind of Holmes, Mormonism, conspiracy and revenge for a lost love.

Overall I will give this book 5 out of 5 stars because my conscience would not stand anything lower. 

Product Detail
Paperback: 72 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Language: English







Friday, 25 January 2013

In My Mailbox #9

I have a good haul this two weeks, I have an ARC and a bunch of classics which always makes me happy.

Lord of the Rings [1, 2 and 3] by J.R.R. Tolkien
Hounds of Baskevill by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
Between Two Thorns [ARC] by Emma Newman
About a Boy by Nick Hornby
and finally

Season 1 Doctor who DVD, I don't usually share the too many DVD i get every month but the nerd in me insisted that Doctor Who deserves a special recognition.











Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Teaser Tuesday #1


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

The rules are simple!
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!(make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Image result for emma newman between two thorns''Should you fail to impress me by the first all of the season, I shall reach into your soul and pluck out the bright source if your initiative. Then you can spend the rest if your life doing as you are told,perfectly incapable of forming a desire or opinion of your own.'' He waited a beat, but she remained in horrified silence. ''I think that's fitting.'' He glanced at the faerie who nodded with glee.

- Page 31

I am still unsure about the direction of the book but it is very promising and has interesting narrative voices.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Evil Star[ The Gatekeepers #2] - Anthony Horowitz


Title - Evil Star
Author - Anthony Horowitz

Blurb

It began with Raven’s Gate. But it’s not over yet.
Once again the enemy is stirring.
After defeating the Old ones at Raven’s Gate, Matt Freeman thought he could get on with his life. But someone has other ideas.
Far away in Peru a second gate is about to open. Only Matt has the power to stop the forces of darknesss breaking through, but now they know all about him. This time they’re going to destroy him first.

Review

The second instalment of the Power of Five series launched into a great start, the slightly nightmarish beginning to the book makes a hell of an entrance not to mention makes a promise of yet more action and adventure. This book did not disappoint, every time you think Matt is safe Horowitz throws him into yet another whirlpool of danger and violence. This time matt is stranded in Peru without Richard, The Nexus or anyone he knows. His only company is a Peruvian boy Pedro who does not speak English which would be hard enough as it is but they are also hunted by the richest man in Peru, Diego Salamanda.

This book was great, it was a heady mix of foreign country, danger, magic and a land filled with corruption and poverty. I really loved the relationship between Pedro and Matt, apart from the dream conversation they never actually talk but there is something so beautifully strange about being with someone who knows what you want without having being told. It is like they were brothers who have lived together all their lives rather than virtual strangers.

This book also introduced an element I love in a book, while I love it when a good guy wins, it is also implausible for them to win every time so when at the end something [which I am not going to say because I think this book is worth it] happens and the good guys loose it is a refreshing and dangerously exciting turn of events. It leaves a big hole for the next book where the challenge is bigger and more powerful than ever before.

Unfortunately for me I found the villains of Raven’s Gate much scarier than this owing to the fact that however disfigured Salamda might be, he does not compare to the frightening scenario in which Matt is trapped and in the hand of crazy witches.


I give this an overall of 3 out of 5 stars.

Product Details
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Language: English
Author's Website:
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble



Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Liebster Award

Today I woke up with to heavy snow falling in front of my window which would have been enough reason to make me happy but then I found loads of comments on my blog, which again would have made me happy enough but then one of them was a nomination for the Libester Awards which pretty much made my day.

Major thank you to Alexis Elizabeth from The Reading Hideaway  for the nomination. 

The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you;
2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;
3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)
4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog
11 Questions Answered Questions

1. What's your favorite book from when you were younger?
When I was younger I read everything from from Series of Unfortunate events to Eragon and Eldest by Christopher Paollini but my favourite has to be Noughts and Crosses by Mallory Blackman, the first and the only book to make me cry like a little girl I was.

2. What's your favorite book now?
That is a very hard question, at one end I am eternally attached to the Harry Potter series but I think it has to be Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff, I didn't just read the book I devoured it

3. Do you enjoy memes? (ex. In My Mailbox) If so, why? 
I like memes especially In My Mailbox, I love looking at the books people bought and thinking I want that or ooooh I read that it's an amazing book.

4. Ebooks or paperback?
Paperback! I have a lot of ebooks and when I say a lot I mean in the thousands but it is never the same as a real paper, you can't touch it or smell it or just feel the book. It is a slightly less satisfying 

5. What was your blog inspiration?
The first book blog I ever saw was Rebecca-Books and I loved the idea of it so half an hour later I started my own and two days later I bought my own domain name from Google. Love you Google.

6. What's your favorite book-to-screen movie?
Life of Pi, I read the book this month in order to watch the movie because I am that kind of snob and I found despite some changes the movie is true to the book, not to mention CGI brings everything to live so perfectly.

7. What movie (if any) ruined the book for you?
Twilight, okay as 19 year old now I will never admit to reading it but when I was younger I really loved it and then a lot of 13 year old 'twighards' came around professing their love for whoever and it just turned the whole book of for me.

8. What's your favorite tv show?
I have a lot, I usually like smart once or just ridiculous once. I love love love Supernatural and Doctor Who but I am also a fan of Dexter, House, Psych etc etc  

9. What's your favorite book series?
Harry Potter, hands down

10. What author would you want to meet and what's one question you would ask them?
I would love to meet Richard Dawkins, I know he doesn't write fiction but as idols go he is my biggest idol.

11. If you published a book, what would the title be?
It would called Renegade Reaper, in my year off of University I decided to write one. 

11 Random things about me
1, I am learning to to play the guitar  
2. I love love the supernatural genre, reality is overrated
My Diary. Yes it is a real sea horse.
3. I keep a diary [do I call it a journal now that I am old?] which has a mummified sea horse on the cover. It kind of creeps me out but secretly it makes me feel like a witch. I think this officially qualifies me as creepy.
4. I am musics biggest fan. I listen to  pretty much everything [except heavy metal, dubstep and opera]  but Rock is where my heart is. My favourite band is The Fray but I secretly [often] listen to Taylor Swift.
5.I hate reading two book in the same series one after another  cause I have the attention span of an ADHD suffering fly.
6. I have a very large, loud and slightly foul mouth which my brain has refused to control.
7.I am pathologically incapable of having small talks because I hate the award silence that follows.
8. While I love books and writing, I am a science nerd all the way. 
9. I am an intellectual snob, I have no time for stupid people but lemon cakes. Always.
10. I took a year off from uni to work at Oxfam. I am working the whole year at a charity without getting paid not because I am a nice person but because after this year Karma will allow me to be as rude to everyone as I could possibly master. I am a mean person.
11. Despite my love for the supernatural I am a very big sceptic, the biggest their is.

11 questions for my nominees

1. What is your favourite read of 2012?
2. If you had 3 wishes what would they be?  
 Is that it?

3.  If you could meet any author, dead or alive who would it be?
4. What is the most daring thing you have ever done?
5. Reader often forget that the people they read about are not real, myself included so if you can chose a perfect book boyfriend or girlfriend who would it be?
6. What is the last movie or book to make you cry?
7. What is your weirdest obsession?
8. What is your favourite book or books of all time?
9. Where have you traveled and what was your favorite place?
10. What is your favorite type of music?
11. What is on top of your bucket list [things to do before I die]
 

My 11 Nominees are  

1. Rebecca Books 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident - Eoin Colfer


Title -  Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident
Author - Eoin Colfer
Blurb

Artemis is at boarding school in Ireland when he suddenly receives an urgent video-email from Russia. In it is a plea from a man who has been kidnapped by the Russian Mafiya: his father. As Artemis rushes to the rescue, he is stopped by captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon fairy police. But this time, instead of battling the fairies, he is going to have to join forces with them if he wants to save one of the few people in the world he loves.

Review

The last Artemis Fowl book finished with such a precarious treaty that I needed to know what happened next but when I read that Fowl and the fairies would be working together; well I was unconvinced to say the least. What could possibly untie the boy who kidnapped and stole half a tonne of gold from them, not to mention physically and mentally humiliate the whole LEP establishment merely less than a year after the incident. It seemed the incident lay in the Arctic Circle.

I really enjoyed the book, although not quite as much as the first, in its attempt to be technical it lacked the cleverness of the last book but that is not to say that the double threat of humans and clever fairies is nothing to scoff at.

This book showed a different side to Artemis, while the boy who knew too much was preserved and occasionally demonstrated by his quick thinking and amazing perception, Artemis was generally at a disadvantage. For one he allowed himself to be at the mercy of the fairies and for another it showed that he was not as infallible as he had been. Physically speaking Fowl was as unequipped as the regular old nerd. This book also showed the side of the Artemis that we saw a glimpse of in the last book; while he seems larger than life he is actually just another thirteen year old boy who needs his father.

Unlike the last book I had a few problems with this one, for one it was a little slow, dragging on a little too long at some points but for another his father’s rescue came too easy. If someone as clever as Artemis has been searching for him for over two years with no avail then how is it Foaly found him in less than an hour. It seems rather unconvincing. To add to this, the last book has hinted that Artemis had given up the search for his father, so what possessed him to search again and successfully too. This was left unexplained which really irritates me as a whole.

Overall it was a pretty good book, with some explosive action and even some emotional moments, from Artemis no less. So I give it 3 out of 5 stars
Product Detail
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Puffin
Language: English
Author's Website: https://www.eoincolfer.com/







Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Artemis Fowl [Artemis Fowl #1] - Eoin Colfer


Title - Artemis Fowl
Author - Eoin Colfer
Blurb


Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories—they're dangerous! Full of unexpected twists and turns, Artemis Fowl is a riveting, magical adventure.



Review



I read this book because It has been on my to read list since I was 12 years old but a suitable time never came but this year as I proceeded to watch my 20 year old, almost 6 foot grown man friend read the book with childlike fascination, well I knew it was about time that I got me some of that.



This book was surprisingly good, sure the plot setting was interesting but often I found myself bored with billionaire, evil genius child image. Probably because of the unnatural jealousy that flares up every time you watch a mare boy flaunting his wealth about. Thankfully for my new years resolution and whatever remains of my sanity Artemis Fowl restrained himself from the obvious 12 year old womanizer plot so he could focus more on hating humanity and outwitting faeries.Unsurprisingly this made me a feel a kinship between the dark eyes pale boy bent on not ''melodramatic'' world domination but rather acquiring a tonne of gold from obviously mean spirited sprites.



I am a very big fan of the paranormal/supernatural genre but for me I have always avoided fairies. One because I often prefer to keep a somewhat probably inaccurate image of fairies as the good little season changers. Don't blame me, blame Disney. Even when little Tinkerbell grew mischievous, she wasn't exactly someone you described as evil.



I have to give it to Colfer he revolutionized the lore in a way that it still kept the original integrity, yes elves once made shoes at night and brownies cleaned your house but the time of peace has indeed passed and modern fairies despise their Mud People counterparts and shunned the sunlight that made them so pretty.Instead they made some heavy duty techno gear and only planted acorns when they need a little charge of magic from mother nature.



Colfer doesn't exactly get rid of the rich boy stereotype, Artemis has one hell of a man servant. One that could probably serve you tea while beating a Troll, can't say I imagine Richie Rich's butler Herbert Cadbury taking that kind of a beating from a tusked, man eating beast but the premise of the relationship was the same. Butler trusted Artemis implicitly and in return Butler was the closes thing Artemis had to a father.



The loyalty between them is a pleasure to behold.In a plot where there are flying meter high people with tonnes of gold, it gives a real emotional grounding to the story. 



One last thing and this probably occurred by a combination of active imagination and hormonal teenager mental state but a small part of me wishes that Artemis was that little bit older so as to have a romantic interest in a fairy, a fact Colfer firmly rejected in the epilogue, although I doubt he was talking about that kind of romanticism.



Overall I enjoyed this book and in several places it had me almost on the edge of my seat so I give it 4 stars and a promise to go out and get the next Artemis Fowl tomorrow. 
Product Detail
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Puffin
Language: English
Author's Website: https://www.eoincolfer.com/





In My Mailbox #8

This week or at least the beginning of it I have a couple of comics from 1977 and two novels that I wanted to read for a while now. I will probably do another haul at the end of the week.

COMICS

2000AD Sci-Fi special starring Judge Dredd
The Incredible Hulk - No. 128 [March 27, 1976]
Planet of the Apes & Dracula Lives - No. 122 [Feb 16, 1977]
The Incredible Hulk & Planet of the Apes - No. 243 [May 25, 1977]
The Incredible Hulk & Planet of the Apes - No. 235 [March 30, 1977]
The Incredibly Hulk & Planet of the Apes - NO. 236 [April 6, 1977]

NOVELS

One Day By David Nicholls

Emma By Jane Austen

Monday, 14 January 2013

Revenge — Yoko Ogawa [Review and Giveaway ]


Title - Revenge
Author - Yoko Ogawa

Sinister forces draw together a cast of desperate characters in this eerie and absorbing novel from Yoko Ogawa.

An aspiring writer moves into a new apartment and discovers that her landlady has murdered her husband. Years later, the writer’s stepson reflects upon his stepmother and the strange stories she used to tell him. Meanwhile, a surgeon’s lover vows to kill him if he does not leave his wife. Before she can follow-through on her crime of passion, though, the surgeon will cross paths with another remarkable woman, a cabaret singer whose heart beats delicately outside of her body. But when the surgeon promises to repair her condition, he sparks the jealousy of another man who would like to preserve the heart in a custom tailored bag. Murderers and mourners, mothers and children, lovers and innocent bystanders—their fates converge in a darkly beautiful web that they are each powerless to escape.
Review

I received this book from the amazing Picador publishers a couple of days ago and after 227 days at sea with Pi I need a book that was a little less intense, more gorier horror rather than psychological warfare. This book was not the right choice. It is full of intense moments of horror that are often implied rather than portrayed within the span of each story.

The murders that take place are committed outside of the story which allows the imagination to paint a more horrific image than anything the author could possibly describe. The sexual undertone which usually lies under each character adds just that little bit or heat and danger to the book.

After I completed this book, I proceeded in trying to sum up the story to a friend but I found that I could not find any adequate words that could possibly describe the genius Ogawa has created. Relying on our preconceived expectation of short stories she entangles the stories together so it creates an intriguing and honestly slightly frightening web of horror.

This book does not contain ‘wambam thank you ma’am' type of horror and if you are a fan of slow building and slightly psychological book then I think this one is for you.

The one thing I had a problem with this book and I am not sure if it is a problem is that, this book gives no indication of the gender or age of the protagonist so that it reads like one long voice with a hell lot of multiple personalities. This leaves the reader rather disorientated and unable to imagine anything other than the horror and the hand that does it until the person is mentioned and the image suddenly becomes crystal clear.

One thing I wold say about this book and technically it has nothing to do with the text within the book is the cover. Apart from loving the simplicity of the design which pretty much encapsulates this story, the cover also has a lovely texture that reminds me why I buy physical books instead of eBooks.

Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars for a brilliant horror that may or may have not given me a nightmare.

Product Details
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Vintage
Language: English
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


I loved this book so much I decided to give it away to one luck winner. Enter below guys and enjoy. Thanks to the amazing Publicist, this giveaway is open internationally.

A Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 11 January 2013

I know how to get to Narnia

Yesterday my blog reached the 6000 view mark so in a little celebration I decided that I was going to love my books just that little bit more so I emptied all the crap from the bottom of my closet and alphabetically arranged my books at the bottom so when the need calls for it I would open my wardrobe and Narnia would be waiting for me.


The pile pretty much carries on to the top, probably about time that I bought a book shelf I think.

NERD LEVEL - OUT OF THIS WARDROBE!

 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Image result for life of pi
 Title - Life of Pi

Author - Yann Matel
Blurb

Growing up in Pondicherry, India, Piscine Molitor Patel - known as Pi - has a rich life. Bookish by nature, young Pi acquires a broad knowledge of not only the great religious texts but of all literature, and has a great curiosity about how the world works. His family runs the local zoo, and he spends many of his days among goats, hippos, swans, and bears, developing his own theories about the nature of animals and how human nature conforms to it. Pi’s family life is quite happy, even though his brother picks on him and his parents aren’t quite sure how to accept his decision to simultaneously embrace and practice three religions - Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam.

But despite the lush and nurturing variety of Pi’s world, there are broad political changes afoot in India, and when Pi is sixteen, his parents decide that the family needs to escape to a better life. Choosing to move to Canada, they close the zoo, pack their belongings, and board a Japanese cargo ship called the Tsimtsum. Travelling with them are many of their animals, bound for zoos in North America. However, they have only just begun their journey when the ship sinks, taking the dreams of the Patel family down with it. Only Pi survives, cast adrift in a lifeboat with the unlikeliest of traveling companions: a zebra, an orang-utan, a hyena, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

Thus begins Pi Patel’s epic, 227-day voyage across the Pacific, and the powerful story of faith and survival at the heart of Life of Pi. Worn and scared, oscillating between hope and despair, Pi is witness to the playing out of the food chain, quite aware of his new position within it. When only the tiger is left of the seafaring menagerie, Pi realizes that his survival depends on his ability to assert his own will, and sets upon a grand and ordered scheme to keep from being Richard Parker’s next meal.

Review

After several days stranded at sea with Pi Patel I finally finished this book and what a feet it is too, not because the story is unbearable but because it is leaden with so much life and ideas it is hard to digest. The first half of the story takes place in India where young Pi Patel battles with the need to love God in every religion that he shows himself in. As anyone from this social construct of our society would tell you being religion is a somewhat exclusive club, anyone can join but only one religion at a time. Young Pi who sates that ‘’I just want to love God’’ attempts the somewhat unconventional method of practicing Hinduism, Christianity and Islam all at the same time.

While Pi had grounded himself in religion the story is not preachy or in any way trying to sell religion for those of us that have no interest in it rather is shows the face of the most practiced religions as well as a scientific voice in the form of Mr Kumar, the science teacher. This book explores fundamental human behaviour from our belief in God to our rank in the overall tree of life. Are we predators because we have a mental capability unlike any other animal on earth or does the fact that even the strongest of us can be easily killed by something as gentle as the fruit eating Orangutans. Pi also shows a rather confronting and factual look into human cruelty especially when it came to zoo animals which as a somewhat sane member of society, I found rather uncomfortable and a little hard to bare.

I realise midway through the second part of the book that confronting and uncomfortable were a reoccurring theme in the book. Pi having been stranded at sea for quite some time has lost the façade of human civility so much so that he attempted to eat Tiger faeces in order to survive. I was not uncomfortable with this scene because it was fundamentally disgusting but because Martel has a way of forcing the reader to contextualise, in my mind I replaced myself with Pi and found the end image rather hard to face for it had hard hitting facts about human nature.

The second half of the book was simpler than the second but only in the sense that while Pi was in the safety of his home he was free to contemplate life and its meaning, a rather daunting task but in the wild there was only one thing on the mind and that was survival. When faced with extinction the human brain forces us to return to the days of raw meat and even the occasional cannibalism. Yes, Pi however unintentional ate and used as bate a fellow human being.

The final part of the book takes place after Pi reaches Mexico. After surviving cannibalistic algae it was a rather refreshing sight however Martel once again forces you into yet another uncomfortable and rather hideous version of the story where the animals were replaced by humans. Suddenly there the moral excuse of being ‘’dumb animals’’ is no longer valid until you were left starting once again at the tip of human cruelty.

Personally I would like to believe that a 16 year old survived 227 days at sea rather than the savagery portrayed by the human counterpart and from the existence of this story so does Pi.

In hindsight I realise how amazingly clever this book is, it is beautifully written and at times hard to digest. It makes me wonder how a book of this of this magnitude could stay unnoticed for so long.

Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 and a full recommendation for anyone who wants to live through a psychological adventure as well as a physical one.

Now I am off to watch the movie and hope that Hollywood has not destroyed the soul of this book. Somebody please hide my cynicism.
Product Details
Paperback: 460 pages
Publisher: Canongate Books
Language: English
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble












Wednesday, 9 January 2013

In My Mailbox #7

This meme is hosted by The Story Siren

I know I already did one of these this week but good fortune and an amazing editor means I can do another one again. More books is always a reason to celebrate and to top it off I will be giving away the ARC copy of Revenge by Yoko Ogawa in the very near future [UK only] which I must thank Picador for providing. 



Books

1. Batman Monsters by too many to list
2. Revange by Yoko Ogawa
3. Periodic Table by Primo Levi
4. The Decadent Handbook: For the Modern Libertine by  Rowan Pelling , James Doyle, Amelia Hodson

 

Friday, 4 January 2013

In My Mailbox #6

This meme is hosted by The Story Siren

I bought some books that I should have read years ago but never seem to get the opportunity to, so I decided to pick some up.

Books
1. A thousand splendid suns
2. Life of Pi
3. I know why a cage birds sing
4. Frankenstein
5. The amazing Maurine and his educated rodents 






Thursday, 3 January 2013

Raksha - Frankie Rose [COVER REVEAL]





She has no name.

She has her knives; her training; her halo.

The first and second give her the tools and the skill to defeat the opponents she is pitted against each month. The third frees her from pain and fear. From any kind of emotion at all. Everything is as it should be. Everything is as it should be, until…

FearPainAngerHappinessDesireGuilt

Love.

When a newly-named Kit escapes the Sanctuary after killing her best friend, the last thing she needs is another knife in her hand. Or Ryka, the damaged, beautiful blonde boy, who she refuses to let save her. Still learning how to process the onslaught of her new feelings, the sights and sounds of Freetown are overwhelming and strange. There are a hundred differences between her old home and her new one, but one thing remains starkly similar: the matches. Yet where the blood in the Sanctuary landed only on the colosseum floor, Kit will quickly learn that a river of red runs through Freetown’s very streets.

Freed from the oppression of a society who stole her right to feel, the true horror of her old life leaves Kit wondering if she really has been freed at all. Would she be better off without the crippling horror of all the blood on her hands, or is the love of one boy worth living through all the pain?

Raksha is the call of the dead. It is the rumbling chant for fresh blood from the other side, the demand for sacrifice. The colosseum is behind Kit. The fighting pits await. 



AUTHOR BIO

Frankie Rose:

Frankie Rose was born in the United Kingdom, but now lives with her husband in sunny Australia.

She officially makes things up for a living, and when she's not doing that, she is generally making paper birds out of receipts and old lists or taking photographs that make her smile. 


Homeland Security [The Ultimates Vol #2] - Mark Millar


Title -  Homeland Security
Author - Mark Millar



Blurb


Iron Man. Thor. Captain America. The Wasp. Giant-Man. They are the world's newest heroes, brought together by the U.S. government to combat the world's growing wave of superhuman threats. But just because they have amazing powers doesn't also mean they don't have the inner problems that strike at us all. After the Hulk has rampaged through New York City, it's member against member as infighting among The Ultimates begins. With the city in ruins and immediate danger ahead, can they pull together to face their greatest threat yet?

Review

I read this because I simply could not get it out of my mind, obviously I like the dark and twisted a lot more than I realised. The longer I read this series the more I realise that Miller is a freaking genius. It is all good and well reading about heroes who are perfect but it is harder to digest a hero who is, in personal term rather immoral. Miller challenges the ethics of being a hero, do we put aside the fact that Hank Pym is a wifebeater because the world needs saving or do we let the aliens take over because we have ethical qualms. 

The story continues after the Hulk destroyed half the city. Miller makes a point in telling us how many people dies in his rampage, a point that is often left out of movies. This rendition of the Hulk, as pointed out to me is boiled down to the basic human instincts. Eat, fuck and destroy. Hank is still on the run after his incident with his wife. One thing I forgot to mention in my last review was the sheer surprise of seeing Hank and Janet escalate to violence because until that point they seemed like the perfect couple and even when they were fighting I thought there were going to do a Mr & Mrs Smith like fighting to makeup sex but no he had her bitten by loads of ants. Was I disappointed? Compared to what happened next, hell yes. 

This book finally, oh so sweet finally, gave me a moment worthy of Captain Americas’ statues as leader of The Ultimates. Watching the good old Cap open a can of whop ass on Hank Pym when the good doctor was 60 feet tall, was such a satisfying moment. Seriously mind-blowingly amazing.

This book introduced Black Widow, Hawkeye, Scarlett and Quicksilver. I really, really loved Black widow. In hindsight I realise how much her character is understated in the movies. She is amazing, definitely my favourite hero of the Ultimate universe. For one because she says what she want and kicks so much ass that it hurts just imagining it but the reason I like her even more than normal female heroes is that she is completely not sexualised. I mean I am not saying that the other Marvel girls don’t kick ass but they dress like a pinup girl straight from a man’s wet dream while this one can kicks ass in military get up.



By now this book has appeased my desire to kick Pym in the ass, respect Captain America and the reluctant feminist, now for the villains. Reptile aliens, of course who else can compete against The Ultimates right? Wrong. The choice in villain comes out as rather lazy, not to mention very V [1983 miniseries in which a group of reptilian aliens wear thin human looking skins and slow invade] are you kidding me, they are practically the same freaking villains. Apart from the obvious copying of villains, the reason I don’t like them is because there is a complete coincidence in their reappearance and The Ultimates finally getting their act together. Since when does evil have a good timing? 

In writing this review I realised that there is so much more to comic books than men in their underpants playing who saves the pretty girl. There is so much depth in these books, probably more than the average 300 page novels and that makes it a refreshing read.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars because it is actually very brilliant.
Product Details
Paperback:200 pages
Publisher: Marvel
Language: English
Author's Website: http://www.millarworld.tv/
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble







Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Reading Challenge 2013

~2013~


The goal to is read 150 books in 2013.
This includes all types of books, ebooks, audio, re-reads, library, novella, Manga, ect. 






2013 Standalone Reading Challenge


Hosted by IceyBooks & I Like These Books

  The goal here is to read 15 or more standalone books.
 This means that the book can not have an announced (sometimes sequels happen unexpectedly) sequel, prequel, follow up, etc. Also companion novels count towards the goal as long as the book takes place in the same world but with all new and different characters.






Hosted by Bookish

With this challenge the goal is to read as many book as you'd like but you are only allowed to read books that have been in your TBR pile for sometime now. New books will be allowed only ones in 2012 and older.


 
The goal: To read as many sequels as you can. You set your goal at whatever number works for you.
I am setting my goal at 10 books. 


The goal is to read one book featuring each of the following paranormal creatures:

Vampires

Werewolves/Shifters

Fey

Angels/Nephilim

Mermaids

Dragons

Zombies

Demons

Witches/Wizards

Ghosts

Aliens

Other (ie: sirens, unicorns, centaurs, timetravel etc.)



Read 26 books with titles A-Z 






Read as many pages as you can.

 You can always move up a level but you can't go down. The levels are:

Living with the parents: 0 - 2000 pages

College Dorm: 2,001 - 4,000 pages

Off Campus Apartment: 4,001 - 6,000 pages

My First Place: 6,001 - 8,000 pages

Condominium: 8,001 - 10,000 pages

Mansion: 10,001 + pages





Using the 2012 Book Blogger Recommendation List, chose books from the list. You can decide to read books only on the Top 25 list or from the entire recommendation list. You do not have to make a list of books before the challenge begins.

The Levels:

Level I - Read 5 books from the 2012 Book Blogger Recommendation List

Level II - Read 10 books

Level III - Read 15 books

Level IV - Read 20 books
Level V - Read 20+ books