Thursday, 22 November 2012

Review - Pantomime by Laura Lam

Title: Pantomime Length: 320 pages Format: ebook Publisher: Strange Chemistry Rating: 4/5 stars Review: I was really happy when I got accepted for this from NetGalley; it was my first time I’d requested something and the story sounded pretty awesome so I was excited to read it. First off, I really loved that it was set in a circus; I’ve never read anything that’s been set in a circus before so it was really fun imagining the magical world of the circus of magic. I especially loved reading the beginning when Micah is at the circus, just going from place to place and everywhere is described; it really sets the atmosphere and makes you feel like you’re really in the circus yourself. I also liked the characters of Gene and Micah, and was quite confused at the beginning, but as you read on, you gradually realise why the author has written the alternating chapters that way (no spoilers ;). I also really enjoyed reading about Gene’s past life, and connected with her as a character as she struggles to grow up in her privileged world. Finally, I really loved the romance between Micah and one of the other aerialist’s at the circus; she was a really fun character to read about and was probably my favourite character in the book. Overall, this was a magical, atmospheric adventure and I will definitely read any sequels that Laura Lam writes that are set in this world. 4/5 stars

Monday, 17 September 2012

Cover Reveal - The Holders by Julianna Scott

I have just had an email from Strange Chemistry publishing alerting people that the cover for The Holders by Julianna Scott has been released. It sounds like a great paranormal read and I think the cover is pretty too :)

Be sure to check out the book's description on Goodreads - here's a link to it:

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Die For Me by Amy Plum - review

Title: Die For Me (Revenants #1)
Publisher: Atom Books
Pages: 341
Format: paperback
Rating: 3/5

I had mixed feelings about Die For Me, which was unfortunately a disappointing read. Not because of what the story was about, because I know lots of people can easily read similar stories with similar plots, characters et cetera and not have it bother them too much. I guess I'm sort of the same; some paranormal romance books I've really enjoyed and not had a problem with, some like Die For Me have just got on my nerves. 

What I liked:
-The fact it was set in Paris - although I've been there once before it was not on an official visit, I was just passing through. That being said, I would love to go on a proper visit there someday and could quite easily imagine the places that Ms. Plum described. I could just easily have fallen through the pages to the places that Kate, the main character visited.
-Georgia, Papy and Mamie - I really liked these characters. I couldn't help but swoon over her grandparents (Mamie and Papy) acted so in love after they'd been married for years, even though they were at least in their seventies or eighties. I also liked Georgia, Kate's sister a lot. She definitely somewhat brightened the book up with her fun, sassy attitude. 

What I didn't like:
Unfortunately the plot was too similar to Twilight for me to fully enjoy it. I'm saying this as someone who used to like Twilight but hasn't for ages. Charlotte strongly reminded me of Alice, Jeanne of Esme, and so on. It was seriously like Twilight set in Paris but with zombies/revenants instead of vampires. I have to say that I liked Vincent and Kate more than Bella and Edward.

However, saying all this, I DID really like the fact that it was set in Paris, I really loved the cover, and as I said before I liked Georgia and her Mamie and Papy. And it has definitely made me want to go on a proper outing to Paris. 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Mini Book Haul

Okay so I haven't done a book haul for quite a while, and although I'm supposed to be on a book buying ban I naughtily bought not one, but three books in the past week. I also borrowed two books from the library, which technically doesn't count as buying books so I think I can excuse myself. I also swapped a book with someone earlier in the month though, but I couldn't resist as the book turned out to be pretty great. Firstly, I bought:
The Maze Runner;
The Scorch Trials and
The Death Cure, all by James Dashner as they were on offer in The Works and I couldn't resist! I can't wait to start the first one :)
Angel by L.A. Weatherly (got from a swap, thank you again Lisa)

And finally, from the library I borrowed:
The Secret Hour (Midnighters #1) by Scott Westerfeld
Crashed (Skinned #2) by Robin Wasserman

Friday, 29 June 2012

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa Review - Spoilers

Book Title: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher:Mira Ink
Format: E-book

Summary: In a future world vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. She must decide what - and who - are worth dying for.

My vampire creator told me this: "Sometime in your life, Allison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being. The question is not if it will happen, but when. Do you understand?" 

I didn't then, not really. I do now

This was the first Julie Kagawa book that I've read; I own the first book of her other series, The Iron King but haven't got around to reading it yet. However, I'm so glad that I bought The Immortal Rules as I really enjoyed it. In fact, I think I managed to read it in less than five days as it was so addictive and gripping. I just had to know what happened next.

First; the characters. Allison, or Allie was a great protagonist. After now having finished Legend by Marie Lu, she seems to be a mix of Katniss from The Hunger Games and June from Legend. With YA dystopian novels, you tend to find lots of kick ass female characters and Allie was no exception. She wasn't afraid of traveling to the deserted ruins at the beginning of the book to search for food. I especially enjoyed that she tried to suppress her feeding urges when she became a vampire, and tried to avoid feeding off humans. Overall, I really enjoyed reading about her character and look forward to reading more in the sequel.

The love interest, Zeke was also a great character. He always tries to see the best in Allie, even when many others around him try to doubt and question her motives and character. The romance that developed between them was very sweet, especially as Allie tried to keep away from him in the beginning, in order to try and protect him and to avoid accidentally harming him.

I also enjoyed the character of Kanin, Allie's vampire creator. I really hope we see more of him in the sequel as in my opinion he left the book far too early, although I think I can understand why the author wanted him to leave the story like that.

I also enjoyed reading about the world that the book was set in. At the beginning of the book, it reminded me strongly of The Hunger Games, due to Allie noting that she and her friends live in a poor sector of the city  called the Fringe, and have to scavenge and hunt for food on a daily basis. Also the fact that it is set in a far-off future, reminded me of other dystopian novels that I have read, but after the first few chapters, The Immortal Rules really creates a world of its own.

Overall, I really enjoyed the characters, the world that Allie lives and survives in, and the nonstop action that kept me reading the book and hardly putting it down. I look forward to the sequel next year.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Caldecott Chronicles No 1 - Review

The Caldecott Chronicles No 1 Review
Publisher: SilverHouse Books
Author: R. G. Bullet
Rating: 8/10
Description: Caldecott Estate, the ancestral home of the 32nd Earl of Rothshire, is besieged. The undead are traipsing and crawling across overgrown lawns, intent on ripping the very flesh from the Earl’s body.
But many of them will not make it that far as the 32nd Earl has two things in their way: A prized Purdey shotgun and an accomplice named, Saffy. Saffy is a young and simple girl from the local village. She is quick of foot at setting traps, and dispatching the undead to the afterlife. She is endlessly coming up with cunning and disturbing methods to rid the estate of the disease.
The bizarre and gruesome details are narrated in a journal by a very Aristocratic British gent. Get a first hand look on how the Victorian upper class deal with stumbling trespassers and see how one draws inspiration from a teenage girl born to kill.

Review: Well, what can I say; I really enjoyed this little story. I can’t say that I have read many zombie books and stories, but I can say that this one has encouraged me to read more as it’s an exciting genre and I really liked the sense of urgency that made me turning the pages.

You really feel that you are inside the protagonist’s head, and that there could be a zombie just around the corner from them, so you want everything to work out okay for them.

I liked the relationship/friendship between the Earl and Saffy. At first, it was quite comical to read as he’s an upperclass earl, and she is just a regular, young girl caught up in all the danger and action. I felt that having Saffy as a character lightened up the story, and I look forward to reading more about her in the sequel.

I also enjoyed reading about the little cat that the Earl finds in one of the zombie-infested houses. I found it really interesting and sweet how a cat could survive the zombies and I really hope that he/she survives whatever is to come as I do like cats (I have one as a pet).

I look forward to reading the sequel.

Book Haul - 15/05/12

I haven't wrote about the books I've bought/received et cetera since the last of April, so this is my haul for the books that came in May.
First of all, I have gotten quite a lot of books this May, both on my Kindle and paperbacks so I will probably have a lot to get through!

It was my birthday on the 13th, and, as presents, I got two books from my family: Dead in the Family and Dead Reckoning, both by Charlaine Harris and two books that are in the Sookie Stackhouse series, which I am a big fan of. I'm really excited to have them since it's been a while since I read Dead and Gone, and they don't take me that long to read.

Also, as a birthday present I got The Hunger Games Official Illustrated Movie Guide by Kate Egan. I am a super excited to read this, as anyone close to me knows that I am obsessed with The Hunger Games; it is one of my favourite books, and the movie has definitely been my favourite film of 2012, without a doubt. I can't wait to get into it and read it all.

Next, on my kindle I bought The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa. I'm really glad I bought it as it was a real bargain; plus its dystopian and since getting into The Hunger Games again, I'm looking out for any good dystopian books or series, so if you have any suggestions or recommendations, please let me know! :)

I also bought A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks, Timeriders by Ales Scarrow and Wither by Lauren DeStefano. These we're all bargains as well, and I'm really happy I have them, especially Wither and A Walk To Remember as I was looking for the latter in particular for ages so I will probably be starting that soon. Hope you all have a good week/month in reading :)

The Hunger Games Review

The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic
Published: 2008
Length: 454 pages
My Rating: 9/10

This review is a part of my re-read of The Hunger Games series. I read it at some point in 2011 but had forgotten quite a bit of the story by the time the movie came out, so I read it a few weeks after I saw the movie. Which was amazing =)
The main protagonist, Katniss lives in a futuristic society where North America has been divided into twelve districts and the country is called Panem. The country is ruled over by President Snow and the harsh Capitol city where all the rich and famous people live. Basically, each district is better off than the next one; the first two districts live in luxury with nothing to worry about, and Katniss lives in District 12 where most of the residents live in poverty and people starve to death on a regular basis.
Due to parts of the country rebelling, the government created The Hunger Games, an annual event where a boy and a girl is selected from each district and are forced to kill each other in an arena until one remains. Due to the circumstances, Katniss and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta end up fighting in the games together and the stories pace really picks up from that point.
First off, I really enjoyed Katniss as a protagonist. You can tell from the first few pages of the book that she cares a great deal about her family and would do anything necessary to protect them. I also liked her determinedness and her feisty attitude, and this aspect of her reminded me of Rose from Vampire Academy at points.
I also loved the character of Peeta; at first I didn’t know if he and Katniss would enjoy each other’s company; maybe he hated her at home and couldn’t stand the sight of her (luckily this didn’t seem to be the point). I liked how optimistic he was, even when he was going to be fighting for his life, he seemed to take it in his stride more than Katniss, which made his scenes good fun to read.
Although they were the villains or “baddies”, I also enjoyed reading the Careers scenes (the people from the wealthy districts who seem to really enjoy killing people). Although you are meant to hate them all, especially Cato, I found that whilst I didn’t like them as characters, I could understand why most of them acted the way they did; training to kill people was just the way they had been brought up to think like, and after all, they were trying to save their lives in the process as well.
Other characters I loved: Rue, she was adorable and her and Katniss’s friendship was really sweet to read about. There is a real sense of urgency as you as the reader follow Katniss’s attempts to survive in the arena, and you never know what’s coming around the corner on the next page.
I could go into lots more detail about this book since I loved it so much, but I will just end on that it is a fantastic dystopian/action/love story that I recommend to anyone who isn’t afraid of reading something a little darker. Suzanne Collins is an amazing writer and this is an amazing book.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting - slight spoilers

Published: 2009
Publisher: Headline
Pages: 336
Rating: 4/5

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to discover dead bodies - or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world...and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes that she might be the only one who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness of her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer - and Violet is unnerved by the hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer ... and becoming his prey herself.

I really enjoyed The Body Finder. I thought that the concept of someone with the ability to "find dead bodies" was really original, and the story had me hooked from the first few chapters. I really liked Violet as a heroine; her determinedness to find out who the killer was, and not stopping, even it means putting herself in danger a lot.

The actual murderer's chapters and points of view freaked me out quite a lot, I must say, and for that I've got to applaud Kimberly Derting for writing their scenes so well. Some parts of the book dragged a bit, but I liked Violet and Jay's steady romance; it was very sweet and lightened up an otherwise dark book. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series

Review - Fade Out by Rachel Caine - Spoilers

Fade Out (Morganville Vampires #7)
Publisher: Allison and Busby
Pages: 348

Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedom, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again...
Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve's castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worse. Claire and Eve soon realise this film project, featuring the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger - and way more dangerous - than anyone suspected...

Review: 4/5
Well, what can I say about Rachel Caine and the Morganville Vampires. The stories are always full of action and plot twists that keep me reading, so it's really no wonder that I always get through the books fast. In this seventh installment of the series, the town of Morganville is recovering after the epic battle in the previous book, and Claire's friend Eve decides to join a stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Eve's starring in it with her friend Kim, who Claire takes an instant disliking to, and the events of the book really start from there.

The story is really hooking in this one; I wanted to find out straightaway why Claire disliked Kim so quickly, and it is really one of those books that you just can't put down. I really enjoy reading Claire and Myrnin's scenes; he is sweet with just the right dose of insane-ness. I also enjoyed reading Ada's scenes; even though she isn't the nicest of characters, her bits are almsot always entertaining. Overall, I really enjoyed this installment in the Morganville Vampires series, and I enjoy reading on to find out what happens next to Claire and co. 4/5

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Currently Reading, mini book haul

I haven't updated this page in a while, so I thought I would share what I am currently reading and what books I have bought in the last few months.
I bought:
The Demon Trappers: Forsaken by Jana Oliver;
Wildthorn by Jane Eagland;
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare;
Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson;
Cujo by Stephen King;
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud;
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

I have been quite good with buying books so far; the last one of these that I bought was City of Ashes, I also have 40+ books to get through on my bookshelf so I'm hoping to read a big chunk of them before I buy anymore (if I can!).

I am currently reading Fade Out by Rachel Caine. It is the seventh book of the Morganville Vampires series and I should have a review on it by the end of this week.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Books I bought

It has been a while since I last updated this page so I thought I would do a post on all the books I have bought in the last month.

From The Works: Morganville Vampires books 6-8. Carpe Corpus, Kiss of Death and Fade Out by Rachel Caine. I'm a really big fan of this series and the books don't take me long to read, so hopefully I'll start reading them soon :)

From Publishers Book Clearance: Shade by Jeri Smith Ready; Emerald by Karen Wallace and Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles. I checked out Shade a while back and it is meant to be good so I'm looking forward to reading it. I like paranormal/fantasy type books so hopefully I'll enjoy it.

Emerald is a book that I've seen around the internet, it looks pretty good, and it has been a while since I've read some historical fiction (which I am a fan of!) so hopefully this will be good.

Rules of Attraction is the second in a series of books by Simone Elkeles. The first one is Perfect Chemistry, which I've already read and enjoyed, so hopefully this one will be great :)

Finally, I bought Graceling by Kristin Cashore, secondhand. I've already finished it and it was pretty good, I loved the character of Po! If you want to find out more please read this book, you won't be disappointed if you like fantasy.