I've found it extremely hard to pick one book as my favourite this month. As you all know, I loved Lacey Weatherford's series Of Witches and Warlocks so much that I dedicated a whole week to it. If you missed any of that, you can find all of the posts below:
Review: The Trouble With Spells
Review: The Demon Kiss
Coming Soon! Matt Lanter Appreciation
Monday, 30 August 2010
There is a new King in town and he is insistent that he is a good guy. On top of telling Zara that there are both good and bad pixies, she is also destined to be his Queen, something which she doesn't want to believe even for a second. Astley, the King informs Zara that more Kings are on the way due to her fathers imprisonment and they are going to want to take over his territory. She is quickly going to have to choose sides but Zara's mind is a complete mess, having to decide whether or not to listen to werewolf boyfriend Nick or listen to a pixie.
A huge war is coming and there are so many uncertainties for Zara, Nick, Issie, Devyn and now Astley. One thing is going to change everyone in a big way and it's something that no one saw coming.
What I thought
The plot could have been amazing after the way that Need left the story but it fell short. It showed a lot of promise but it was neither strong or consistent. I felt like there was a lot of little inconsistencies the whole way through which didn't tie the story as a whole together well enough. There is a lot going on thoughout most of the book and I felt it was a little too much at times. I guess I would have liked to have seen a little bit more quiet time and to have had the exciting/ action packed parts spaced out more.
There seems to be a lot about mythology in this series but in each book I find that it doesn't go deep enough. Captivate started to go into all sorts of weird stuff about ancient Gods but it kind of confused me. It is one thing to mix different supernatural beings like vampires and pixies but throwing Gods into the mix seems too much.
The relationship between Zara and Nick is what bugged me most about this book. They were cute in Need but this time I hated everything about them. It was all very teenagerish with them calling each other 'baby' a lot etc. The way that they acted, even though it is obvious that they are meant to be besotted with each other, took away everything that was real and strong about their characters separately.
Astley, a pixie king is the best thing about this book. From the very first moment that we meet him, you can see that he is different but can't really tell why until the story gets going. Although I loved mostly everything about him, I'm a little bit sick of these love triangles in this genre. They are getting far too repetitive and although authors are trying to do something different each time, it doesn't seem all that different to me.
There is a part about half way through which should have been totally heartbreaking but it didn't have that effect on me. I found myself not caring as much as I should have and if it had been in any other of the books in this genre that I read then I probably would have cried my eyes out but I didn't even well up. I think this is mainly due to the fact that the main characters annoyed the hell out of me sometimes and that pushed me towards not caring.
One of the most interesting parts in the first book was Zara's obsession with phobias and it is sadly missing in Captivate. Zara still resorts back to chanting phobias when something is wrong but I loved the fact that there was little facts at the beginning of each chapter last time and I wish it had been used again to keep continuity. Instead, Zara lists different things to remember when dealing with pixies which ties into the book that she is trying to write but I just didn't like it quite as much.
Overall, I didn't like Captivate nearly as much as I liked Need but it did have a lot of good aspects. The third book in the series, Entice, is due for release in January and I will definitely be getting it to find out what happens next!
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Friday, 27 August 2010
The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books and runs from Friday to Sunday. The Hop is a fantastic way to get your blog noticed more and visit some other cool blogs that you didn't know about before. Head over and sign up and see what you can find!
Each week a new question is asked and we all get to be a part of the fun by answering. This weeks question is:
Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?
My rating system reflects the name of my blog and I had the idea in my head before I even started blogging. My rating system is obviously Heaven, Hell and Purgatory and I feel like every book can fit in each of these catagories. I am yet to put a book into Hell though because it's been such a great year for books. Although I think this rating system limits me at times, I still love and it would never change it.
Thanks for stopping by my blog! Leave me is a comment with a link to yours and I'll make sure I come by and check it out.
All great performances deserve a warm-up! Enroll early at McKinley High--before New Directions was even a glimmer in Mr. Schuester's eye. When did Rachel first decide Finn was more than just a jock? When did Puck and Quinn start their secret romance? And how did the fledgling Glee Club function without a fearless leader? Hint: It wasn't exactly a perfect melody.
Break out the gold stars and refill the slushies: It's time to find out what happened to all your favorite characters before the show-mance began.
What I thought
I have been a massive fan on Glee since it first started so I was both curious and excited to see how it would be transferred into a book and prequel. There was a lot of good reviews for it on Twitter so I was starting to think that it was done really well. I was unfortunately left not completely loving it though.
Glee: The Beginning really accentuates the personalities of the main characters and because of this, I could imagine them as they are on the TV show. I liked being able to picture each character in my head and after watching them for so long, their antics in the book fit really well with how I would have imagined them to behave. Rachel’s quirky personality and eagerness to become a star came across really well and I loved some of the things she did to try and get herself better known in the school. I do wish Sue had made a few more appearances though because she was just as funny and mean in this story and I loved seeing that she has never really changed.
One of the most interesting things about this book for me was learning about certain events that have only been hinted at so far throughout season 1. I finally got to know what Rachel’s two Dads are called and the kind of friendship that Mercedes and Kurt had. The best part of Glee: The Beginning was finding out how Quinn and Puck’s affair started and when Rachel began to notice Finn. I really saw a different side to all four of these characters because of this and it just made me love Puck even more.
My biggest problem with the plot was that certain things didn’t match up with the timeline of the TV series. For instance, Rachel had to audition before Mr Schuster for her place in Glee Club in the pilot episode but in the book, Kurt speaks to her about being in Glee and is already a member by the end. The first thing that really stood out to me though was the use of Usher’s recent song OMG. Considering that the book is set before the TV series I would have thought that older songs would have been used to keep the timeframe of the book in line with the TV series. Another thing was their first performance. I loved their first performance of Push It on TV but again, this didn’t match up with what was in the book. The inconsistencies aren’t all of the way throughout the story but some were big enough for me to take a lot of notice of.
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
When strange murders of Downworlders start to surface and Valentine reappears, it is Jace in the firing line. The Inquisitor of the Clave refuses to believe anything that Jace tells her, believing that he is really working with Valentine and the Lightwoods are also doubting their friend and brother. Everyone knows that Clary is probably the only one who can get through to Jace but will she be able to before Valentine goes too far?
What I thought
My TBR pile is already pretty big but after reading City of Glass, I couldn’t wait for this one and had to buy it straight away. As soon as it arrived I got myself comfortable and began to read…and I didn’t stop.
After the first book, I was quite nervous about how Cassandra Clare was going to approach Clary and Jace’s relationship. I had no reason to be nervous at all though as these parts were so well written and believable. My mind was telling me that I should have thought it sleazy but I just couldn’t think like that in the end. There is so much tension between the two but neither really wants to talk about it with the other. I thought it was really clever of Cassandra Clare to make this such a big issue throughout the story instead of choosing to ignore it. Secrets regarding both characters were hinted at and I think they will be something to do with this. I still have hope for this relationship to work out in the end somehow.
Jace’s character developed so much this time around. He faces many hard decisions and events throughout the story and the cracks slowly begin to show. Gone is the big macho guy who isn’t afraid of anything. Of course, he doesn’t turn into a complete wimp but he really does begin to show his emotions. I truly enjoyed seeing a softer side to Jace, especially when it came to Clary, but also while he had to deal with Valentine. It was good to see that he could still be cocky and a little bit full of himself at the same time though. I wouldn’t want him to lose any of the things that I love about him.
Many of the secondary characters get a much bigger role in City of Ashes as well as having some new ones introduced. I really loved Simon in City of Glass so I was glad to see that he got a storyline all of his own instead of just being Clary’s friend although I would have liked for him to have had a bit more time if his own. Other characters that I enjoyed learning more about were the Inquisitor because of her past and what she had to do with the story as a whole and I also liked Mr and Mrs Lightwood being around more. I thought that they should have been around in the first book even though their absence was explained.
The excitement kicked in very early on in the story as it began to unfold but it didn’t stop there. There was action throughout the whole story with a lot happening. City of Ashes had one of the most thrilling and exciting fight scenes that I have ever read. I really didn’t want this part of the book to end because I loved it so much. City of Ashes is a rollercoaster ride that made me want to read as fast as I could so that I could find out what was really going on.
One of the things that I love the most about this series is how the real world and the world of Shadowhunters, Vampires and Warlocks etc are intertwined. I love that all different kinds of people are involved in the story and made a part of the action. I did have one small problem with the story though and that was timeline. I have no idea when the book is set. Maybe I missed it so correct me if it is actually stated. Clary and Simon should still be in school and they weren’t at all during this book. I assume they are on break or something but because I didn’t know for sure, it made me wonder.
The inclusion of Clary and Jace’s unknown abilities was fabulous. This gave both characters a lot more depth and mystery as it seems that there is so much more to learn about them. The fact that I got to see snippets of what they might be capable of made me really excited to see what was going to happen in the next book and now the latest three books to be announced.
Although there isn’t much resolution to be found in City of Ashes, it has set the scene well for the next book in the series, City of Glass. I wish I had bought it with this one so that I could pick it up straight after I finished reading City of Ashes. In only two book, I have become a big fan of Cassandra Clare and will be reading anything that she brings out in the future.
Monday, 23 August 2010
Angry at her mum for shipping her off to a place she doesn't know, Zara tries to get on with her life and making the most of school and her friends but normal doesn't last very long. The strange man is lurking around again and she has no idea why but she decides to confide in her friends who set out to figure the mystery out and make everything safe for Zara. Unravelling the mystery of the strange man only leads to shocking revelations about the people around her and the people she thought she could trust.
What I thought
Need was not at all what I expected, which is a really good thing. I've tried to give a really basic plot summary because this is how it is done on the back of the book. Yes, I was expecting the strange man to be someone other than what he seems and he is, but not at all what I was expecting. I thought this was going to be a kind of lighter thriller/ mystery for young adults but it was very much a fantasy story. It soon becomes clear that there is something paranormal going on around Zara and in Maine but Jones doesn't let the reader know what is happening until a fair way into the story, which I really liked. I don't like knowing everything that is going on from the first chapter as I like a story to have secrets and keep me guessing and Need kept me guessing for a while.
There are two really weird things about this story (and they aren't what you'd be expecting). One: Zara is obsessed with phobias and each chapter begins with a fear of something or other. The very first page explains why Zara is so into phobias and this is tied in with the rest of the story. This was definitely something that I have never seen before and it was new and interesting to me. Learning something real while reading a fantasy book was something that I liked the most. That also brings me on to number two. Stephen King's books are mentioned quite a lot. Zara's step father wrote things in the margins of his books, which brings Zara to realise some things about what is going on around her. This kind of made me think that if these things are happening in Maine, why couldn't Stephen King be writing from personal experience? OK, maybe not in the real world but in Zara's world this definitely could have been the case. The little details like these are things that make a book fantastic instead of just being good.
Zara is a girl with a strong personality and it's clear that not everyone gets her. The phobia thing is strange enough but then she has that weird man following her around and the queen bee at school takes an instant dislike to her. She isn't afraid to voice her opinions and she stands up for herself, not letting anyone tell her what to do, no matter how much they tell her to stay put. Even though she is the new girl, she begins to make friends really quickly which is helped by joining the track team in school and opening a chapter of Amnesty International. Although Zara is going through a hard time, she still comes across as a strong person, not even letting her first day at a new school get the better of her. I thought that she was developed quite well but it could have been done a little better towards the end. There were times where I wanted to smack her though for being so stupid. If I tell you the reasons why though, I will completely ruin elements of the plot.
The secondary characters are very stereotypical for a high school. There is the hot blonde bitch who doesn't like the new girl, the 'geeks' that befriend the new girl and the handsome, popular guy who is into the new girl. While these should be too clichéd, they aren't in this story for some reason. I think every school has these kinds of people anyway and they make the story more real. Well, as real as it could be anyway. Zara's new friends, Issy and Devyn (I liked his name more than anything though) are true to her, even when they haven't known her for very long. They are the kind of people that you know will be there for her when something goes wrong and will do anything to try to help.
I wasn't so sure about Nick. He apparently has never kissed a girl and for being a guy in high school, that strikes me as weird enough. If there was someone you were going to think was different, it would have been him. He was a sweet guy but with a huge hero complex. He just wanted to save everyone. I was fine with that to begin with but it got tired really fast because he was never selfish at all. Again, not your typical teenage male. He does have one freak out moment though which really made me laugh so it made me like him a little more.
Even with the moments that made me want to shout ‘You idiot!’, I loved this book. It kept me guessing and I didn't figure out everything about the story. The characters are interesting and real for the most part. Don't feel too disappointed by the ending because the second book, Captivate, answers many of the things that weren't in Need.
The Drake Chronicles continues, with a glimpse inside the world of a vampire hunter.
Hunter Wild just wants to get through her last year at the secret Helios-Ra Academy. To do so, she’ll have to betray her grandfather, date a vampire and possibly take down the entire League – all before the end of term.
Can't wait for Out for Blood to be released in November? Well....you can catch a sneak peek of the first chapter by going to:
I've read My Love Lies Bleeding but haven't read Blood Feud yet but I will be getting round to that before book 3 in The Drake Chronicles is released!
Sunday, 22 August 2010
In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren to show what everyone has been recieving or buying each week.
Finding Sky - Joss Stirling
Publisher: Oxford University Press
UK Release Date: October 2010
When Sky catches a glimpse of Zed for the first time, lounging against his motorbike at school, she is drawn to him just like every other girl in Wickenridge. But Zed sees something special in her that the other girls don't have. Zed tells her they are both Savants - people with special powers like telepathy and the ability to see into the future. Not only that, she is a Savant too, and his soulfinder - meant to be together. When a soulfinder speaks telepathically to her partner, it's like all the lights coming on in a building. You lit me up like Vegas. But for Sky it's just not that easy - she's a mystery to herself, haunted by nightmares from her past before she was adopted, and riddled with doubt and insecurity. Just when Sky is slowly coming round to the idea of being with Zed she is kidnapped by a family of criminal Savants. In a chilling twist, Sky and Zed's relationship is put to the ultimate test and the fate of those she loves lie in Sky's hands. Will Sky have the strength to embrace her power and be brave enough to control her own destiny, or will the dark demons of her past prevent her from realising her true potential?
The Ask And The Answer - (Choas Walking Book 2) - Patrick Ness
We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men. Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced t learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode. "The Ask and the Answer" is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. This is the second book in the "Chaos Walking" trilogy.
City Of Ashes (Mortal Instruments Book 2) - Cassandra Clare
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father.
From the fabulous Emma at Asamum Booktopia!
As you have already seen this week, I am a massive Vance Magnum fan and I can't get enough of him and The Bookish Snob agrees with how I feel.
Elaine Scott: Vance Mangum is mysterious, sexy and a little bit bad. The romance that blossoms between Portia and Vance is very addictive to read and I instantly fell in love with him along with Portia.
Saturday, 21 August 2010
Friday, 20 August 2010
The third book in the Of Witches and Warlocks series by Lacey Weatherford is due for release in a few months and if you have read the previous books in the series, I know you will be dying the for the next installment. Take a look at the preview of the cover for Blood of the White Witch and the back cover blurb!
When love came knocking on the door of novice witch, Portia Mullins, in the form of handsome bad boy, Vance Mangum, she had no idea how quickly the attraction between them would escalate. Now she finds her relationship with Vance taken to a whole new level, in a way she had never dreamed possible at this point and time of her life. Yet even as the personal connection between them explodes, the two quickly find themselves in a world of shifting balances. While searching for Vance’s missing mother, they realize they are suddenly unsure of who to trust, learning that sometimes things are not always as they appear. When Vance’s demon characteristics abruptly begin to resurface again without warning, the horrible truth comes out, crashing down upon them and shattering some of their most precious dreams. Once the deadly secret is uncovered, Portia and Vance find themselves hastily rushing against the hands of time in an attempt to stop an ancient ritual from being performed. But will they be successful before fate reaches out to twist them cruelly, possibly separating them and changing magic forever? Passion, loyalties, powers, and family ties, will all be tested when dangerous adventures abound in this third installment in the Of Witches and Warlocks series, Blood of the White Witch.
Find out more about this amazing series at the Official Of Witches and Warlocks website
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Vance has gone off in search of his demon father, Damien, who has completely ruined his life by plotting to convert him over to the dark side. Portia, Shelly and Brad manage to track him down and convince him that he can’t do it alone. Joining forces with the coven, Portia and Vance plan to take down Damien before he can cause any more harm but things are so much more complicated than anticipated. Portia and Vance’s relationship is on the line and neither is willing to budge when it comes to protecting the other.
What I thought
As soon as I had finished The Trouble with Spells, I instantly picked up this book. I was so happy that I had the sequel waiting because I wouldn’t have wanted to be made to wait to find out what was going to happen next. If possible, The Demon Kiss was much more addictive.
Portia really grows a lot in this instalment of the series. I loved her in the first book and The Demon Kiss didn’t do anything to change that. If anything, I ended up loving her more. Although she is still able to show how much she cares for Vance and those around her, she also shows a completely different side. Portia has grown into an extremely strong main female character due to the outcomes of ‘The Trouble with Spells’. I really enjoyed how she wasn’t about to let Vance get away with what he did and took it upon herself to go and sort things out. This only intensified the passion in their relationship because Portia wasn’t afraid to show that she would go to any length to save what she had with Vance.
Just when I thought Vance couldn’t get any hotter, he does. The passion and chemistry between him and Portia was outstanding throughout and I could really feel what they were. There is so much that I don’t know about Vance and that is part of the attraction. There was always the thoughts in the back of my mind that he could be truly evil, even though that isn’t how he is portrayed. Due to how the first book ended, anything could have happened with Vance and it’s the not knowing that makes him so interesting. Bad boys are supposed to be surrounded by mystery and Vance certainly has that going for him. I loved that I got to see some new sides to Vance’s character that I wasn’t expecting. I knew from the first book that he truly loved Portia and felt so much for her but this is expanded upon a lot more this time around which resulted in my sighing lovingly so many times because he was so adorable.
Portia’s best friend, Shelly, and her boyfriend Brad get a much bigger role in this book which was fantastic to see. We saw glimpses of them both in ‘The Trouble with Spells’ and I really wanted to find out more about them. Shelly and Brad brought a lot of humour to the book, especially when it came to voicing their opinions on Portia and Vance’s relationship and how they acted around other people. Not only are these two characters funny but they are brave and prepared to do anything to help their friends. I guess I wouldn’t say no to a road trip to Mexico either though.
The fact that we see quite a few different settings made this book exciting and fast paced. There never seemed to be much time where something wasn’t happening, even when the characters are stuck in one place for quite a long amount of time. Each time the story moved to a different location, the characters found new and scary situations to deal with and I liked seeing how everyone coped in different ways.
There is a lot of mystery surrounding Vance’s Dad (Damien) and what he is really up to and I was glad to see that nothing was fully revealed until fairly far into the story. I was kept guessing about his intentions throughout and could never really tell what was going to happen. It was also interesting to see how Damien’s actions were going to affect everyone else in the book and what the bigger picture was. As a villain, Damien really freaked me out. If he was my boyfriends’ Dad, I would probably run for miles.
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
I'm pleased to welcome The Bookish Snob to Heaven, Hell and Purgatory today to share her love of Vance Magnum with you all. It is no secret that I love him but I think she loves him a bit more.
Vance Mangum. Just rolls of the tongue doesn't it? Give me a moment to gather myself because at the mere thought of his name my heart starts racing and my knees weaken. Sigh. Ok where was I - oh yes, Vance Mangum. The book world has a new bad boy and what a bad boy he is.
The first image you get of Vance is him wearing a leather jacket outside of school, leaning up against his motorcycle. Can you see him? OK now add amazing blue eyes, a rock hard body and a smile that will drive you crazy. He has a wicked sense of humor and like all bad boys, has a tortured and mysterious past. Oh and did I mention he has magical powers ? Yep, I can hear your heart beating faster from here. Delicious huh? Right from that first moment of meeting him, Vance grabs hold of your heart and embeds himself deeply. He's the boyfriend you always wish you had in high school - the boy who when he walks into a room everything reduces down to a whisper and you find yourself drawn to him. He finds your eyes and with that smirk that melts your insides, he walks to you, letting everyone know that you're the one he wants and that to him, no one else matters. Everyone else may think they "know" him but you do - he's devoted, loyal and completely into you. It also doesn't hurt that he kisses like the devil and that he has the ability to scramble your brain with that incredibly sexy raised eyebrow.
He's the reason why you get up in the morning, why you find yourself with a goofy grin on your face and why you find yourself doodling your name and his wrapped in a heart whenever there's a pen nearby. He is irresistible and 100% unforgettable. This, my fellow bad boy lovers, is Vance Mangum. This is why reading the "Of Witches and Warlocks" series is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself. And here's an extra incentive (like you really need any more) - the way I see Vance, he has the potential to be even badder!! You get a hint of it in "The Demon Kiss" as you learn more about how hard he fights against his demon nature and how easy it could be for him to fall over to the "Dark Side". What would happen if he falls? What would that do to his bad boy status? I have no idea but honestly doesn't it just make you tingle imagining all the evil possibilities?
I believe Vance will prove the saying that wine improves with age. He can only get better, hotter and insanely addicting. We've seen how much he's developed so far in books 1 and 2 and I'm on pins and needles waiting for the last two in the series. So remember this name everybody - Vance Mangum because I guarantee, this won't be the last time you hear it :) I HEART VANCE !!
Find out more about this amazing series at the Official Of Witches and Warlocks website
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Matt Lanter is the actor who inspired Lacey Weatherford for the character Vance Magnum. You can read more about how this came about here on the official website for Of Witches and Warlocks.
You may have already seen Matt in action on the hit US TV show, 90210 as Liam. Since finding out that this was who inspired Vance Magnum, I have started to watch 90210 and I'm now hooked because of him. Matt is also the voice of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars which is where many people may recognise him from.
Due for release in the US on 18th August is Matt's latest film 'Vampires Suck'. There have been many spoof films around over the past couple of years but I have to say, I am seriously looking forward to this one. Check out the trailer below.
Seeing as Vance Magnum is a seriously hot bad boy, I thought I would share some pictures of Matt looking exactly how I would picture him in the role. Enjoy :D