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

Rating: 2 out of 5 cupcakes
Cover Rating: 3 out of 5 cupcakes


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.

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 clich├ęd 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.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A Study In Scarlet - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Rating: 5 out of 5 Cupcakes
Cover rating: 5 out of 5 [I love love love this version of the book] 


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


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 cupcakes because my conscience would not stand anything lower.  

Friday, 25 January 2013

In My Mailbox #9

 This meme is hosted by The Story Siren

  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 DVDs 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!

 ''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

Add to Goodreads

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

Monday, 21 January 2013

Evil Star[ The Gatekeepers #2] - Anthony Horowitz

 Rating - 3.5 out of 5 cupcakes
Cover Rating - 4 out of 5 cupcakes

  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. 

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 3.5 out of 5 cupcakes