Thursday, 30 September 2010

My Love Lies Bleeding - Alyxandra Harvey

My Love Lies Bleeding is the first book (and debut novel) in The Drake Chronicles series by Alyxandra Harvey. It was published in the UK on 4th January 2010 by Bloomsbury and it is 256 pages long. Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy for review!

Plot
Solange Drake is the only female vampire to ever be born and is part of an old vampire family. The Drakes. Solange isn’t an only child though, she has seven vampire brothers. Being the only female vampire to be born is far from a blessing for Solange as the Queen sees her as a threat and most male vampires want her for themselves. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, the Drake family realise the danger of Solange’s upcoming change into a full vampire…if she makes it through the change.

Solange is kidnapped very close to her birthday and it seems like best friend Lucy and older brother Nicholas are the only people who can save her. They set out on a rescue mission but there is something between Lucy and Nicholas that they have both been fighting for quite some time. Loving a vampire can’t be that bad…can it?

What I thought
I love anything that has some mythology behind the story so once I realised there was a lot more to this book than the main plot, I was excited. Even though there are quite a few different vampire clans, they are easy to distinguish one from another so I never felt confused by this aspect. I’d like to find out about some of the other clans in future books. I really liked the idea that Solange was the only born female vampire and how that made the current Queen feel. This was a completely unique aspect for me because I have never read anything else with something like this before.

My Love Lies Bleeding is narrated by both Luce and Solange, enabling me to be able to really get into the story. Hearing the story from two different aspects let me know what was happening at different times and in different places so I felt like I knew exactly what was going on at all times. I was surprised to see how much action there was in this book. Even though the synopsis sounded like it would be quite exciting, I really wasn’t expecting there to be so much. The action scenes are very well paced and breaks up the rest of the story. There is so much happening on both sides of the story and I really felt like anything could have happened, knowing that there will be more books in the series.

Both Luce and Solange also have their own love interests so it was a welcome change to not see a love triangle at all. As the book is quite short, I did feel like both of these relationships could have been expanded on a bit more, especially when it came to Luce and Nicholas. I instantly liked both characters because they had strong personalities. Luce wasn’t afraid of anything, maybe because she had pretty much grown up with a family of vampires. She was very strong and was quite the match for Nicholas who was a bit cocky and full of himself at times. Luce never lets him feel as though he is better because he is a vampire and she’s determined to make sure everyone knows that being a human doesn’t mean she is useless.

Luce and Nicholas’ relationship was an interesting one because there were so many feelings that weren’t always explained fully. To Luce, Nicholas goes from being Solange’s annoying brother to someone who totally shocks her to someone she finds herself liking a lot more than she should. The tension between the two was really well written and believable because of this. I could feel the strain between the two because of who they both are and I liked learning more as their relationship developed.

I thoroughly enjoyed My Love Lies Bleeding and I’m now really looking forward to reading the second and third books in the series: Blood Feud and Out For Blood. Hopefully the other Drake brothers are just as hot as Nicholas.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (#15)

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine  that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Nightshade - Andrea Cremer
UK Release Date: 20th January 2011 (Paperback)
Publisher: Atom

Synopsis
She can control her pack, but not her heart ...While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies' throats. And she wouldn't have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she'll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla's predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy's secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all...

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Of Witches and Warlocks: Blood of the White Witch - Lacey Weatherford

Of Witches and Warlocks: Blood of the White Witch is the third in the series by Lacey Weatherford and is due for release at the end of October 2010.

Plot
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 instalment in the Of Witches and Warlocks series, Blood of the White Witch.

What I thought
Any of my regular readers will know just how much I love Lacey Weatherford’s work and this series of books. After reading both of the first two books, The Trouble with Spells and The Demon Kiss in just one sitting, I was already desperate for this one and I hated having to wait for it. This is a series where you want to know what will happen next immediately and the suspense was awful.

I’ve said before that Portia is one of my all time favourite main female characters because of how awesome she is and she didn’t let me down this time around. What I love so much about her is that she knows what she wants and she isn’t afraid to do anything to get it. Some of the things that she has to endure in this book were far more than I think I could ever cope with so I have to applaud her for seeing things through, even when the going was really tough. Portia has an amazingly strong belief in her relationship with Vance and doesn’t believe that anything will get in the way of what they have and if something tries to tear them apart, she’s hell bent on stopping that from happening.

Vance Magnum is near enough my perfect man (Lacey, please give him tattoos!). After reading Blood of the White Witch, he seriously had me thinking about rewriting my perfect man and just naming him Vance Magnum. Forget all of the other stuff I said I wanted, Vance is who I want. Passionate, loyal, strong, independent and incredibly hot. A girl couldn’t ask for more. From the first moment he appeared in The Trouble with Spells, he had my heart melting and ever since then, he has had a firm place there and I think that is where he is going to stay for a long time. Vance is not your typical YA bad boy though. What I love most about him is the fact that he isn’t afraid to show how he feels and the passion and love that he feels for Portia is so distinct and pure that you cannot help but fall under a bit of a spell when you read about them together. Even though he has these amazing and good qualities about him, there is a lot more to him than meets the eye.

Vance still has demon tendencies due to events that happened in the previous books and this is where he really comes into his bad boy self. Every morning he wakes up with those deep red eyes that I find really sexy and he still wants blood. Vance’s demon tendencies are part of what make him as hot as he is. He has a lot of built up tension and passion towards Portia and he struggles a lot to keep those parts of him in check. There are a couple of times where he lets go a little more than maybe he should have and this is where he gets really steamy. I don’t want to post any spoilers so I’ll just say this…be prepared to fan yourself at certain scenes. Each new book by Lacey just makes me fall in love with Vance all over again and each time for new and exciting reasons.

Portia and Vance are a fantastic couple and I loved everything about them in this book. I really enjoyed being reminded of a relationship that is so strong that it is bound to survive anything, no matter what it has to go through to get there. Their love is so pure and powerful that it is simply beautiful to read about. Portia and Vance go through a lot in this book, even more than before if you could have thought that possible and their adventures have many different effects on them both as a couple and personally. Both characters have strong personalities and clear feelings of protectiveness towards the other so it was quite funny to see how far they would both go to protect the other. Not everything is doom and gloom though for this amazing couple, they do have some time being blissfully happy and in love but a book wouldn’t be much fun if things didn’t get shaken up a little bit would it?

Blood of the White Witch has a bit of a different feel to it compared to The Trouble with Spells and The Demon Kiss due to the location changes. I really enjoyed the direction in which Lacey took the story and also the fact that Portia and Vance went to Scotland, which is one of my favourite places to visit. Being in a place that they are unfamiliar with and having a lot going on must have been quite worrying for Portia and Vance because they didn’t really have anyone that they could totally rely on apart from each other for a long time. The story is well paced and interesting throughout, with twists and turns all over the place that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Lacey really knows how to add in some amazing shocks into her books and Blood of the White Witch has a couple that I couldn’t have guessed in a million years. I love that this book kept me guessing the whole way through and that I never really knew where the story was going to go. There could have been so many outcomes that as I was reading, I was thinking of a lot of different possibilities and none of them were right. The great thing about this book is that you will never guess happens at the end no matter how many ideas you come up with. Blood of the White Witch has THE best ending I have ever read, not just as part of a series, but ever.

I was so blown away by this book that after reading it, I couldn’t really do anything. I was in a bit of a state of shock and so many different things were going through my mind about what would happen next and everything that I had just read. I was totally unable to move for a good hour after reading this book and was desperate to talk to someone else who had read it (you know who you are!). Of Witches and Warlocks is a series that everyone should read and Blood of the White Witch is by far my favourite to date.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel is the first book in The Infernal Devices series and a prequel to The Moral Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. It was released on 6th September 2010 by Walker Books UK and it is 496 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy for review!

Plot
Sixteen year old Tessa Grey embarked on a journey to Victorian England to join her brother Nathaniel but instead, she finds herself surrounded by trouble in a world that she doesn’t understand. Tessa never thought that things like vampires, demons and Shadowhunters could ever really exist but she finds that she is more like them than she thought possible and there are people who want her for what she can do, even if she doesn’t know much about it herself.

Alone and in danger, Tessa has no other option than to take the help of the Shadowhunters and rely on them to help her find her brother but she has a hard time coming to terms with what is happening around her and what she really is. Tessa cannot help but be fascinated by both Will and Jem, best friends with completely different personalities. The people that hunt her might not be the most dangerous thing after all.

What I thought
After reading the first two books in The Mortal Instruments series and hearing about this one, I was desperate to read Clockwork Angel. Although I have read two of The Mortal Instruments books, I knew that it wasn’t necessary in order to read this one. I thought it was a very clever idea to have two series that can both work as stand alones but also merge really well with each other.

From the very first page, Clockwork Angel is exciting and mysterious and drew me in instantly. After being thrown straight into the Shadowhunter world, I was wondering how things were going to be different this time around. Clare’s descriptions of Victorian England are so vivid that I could imagine myself walking the same streets and Will and Jem. This world has a very eerie feeling about it and it is surrounded by mystery. I felt as though anything could have been coming around the next corner which kept the story exciting and intriguing throughout.

I am a huge fan of historical fiction/ romances so to have this mixed in with Shadowhunters, vampires and demons was like Heaven for me. I really don’t think that I could have asked for more with this book and even though the raunchy parts were obviously missing compared to historical romances, I didn’t mind at all. It really would have been out of place in Clockwork Angel anyway. I wish I knew of more YA books that are historical because I know I would love anything slightly similar to this.

The plot was exciting throughout and I was avidly awaiting what would happen next every time I turned the page. Clare used a fantastic mix of action and mystery throughout and although there wasn’t really a whole lot on the romance side, I can see this being expanded on in future books in the series. What made this book so good for me was the mix of characters and how each personality really came into their own as the story went on. Even though there are quite a lot of characters at times, it was never hard to follow who was doing what or what they meant to each other.

Tessa was a marvellous protagonist and there was so much that I loved about her. When she arrives in England, she thinks she is going to reunited with her brother but all is not what it seems. She soon finds that her brother has been kidnapped and now so has she. I have no idea what I would have done in her position apart from maybe sit in a corner and cry my eyes out. I know I wouldn’t have been strong enough to deal with the Dark Sisters and to do the things they made her do. When Tessa finally gets rescued and taken to the Institute, she has no idea what is going on because she always thought she was human and none of these other beings existed. I really liked the fact that she was very vulnerable and naive when she arrived at the Institute because it gives her character a lot of room for growth. As Clockwork Angel went on, Tessa did start to become more sure of herself and what was happening around her and she also began to show that she was a lot stronger than everyone gave her credit for. I’m excited to see where Clare takes Tessa and what kind of character she will become.

Will has so many similarities to Jace (of The Mortal Instruments) that at times, it was hard to see past that. He’s mysterious, cocky and extremely full of himself but then that was what I loved about Jace so of course, I loved Will too. There is just something about these bad boy characters that I cannot help but fall in love with, even if they are being complete asses at times. As a Shadowhunter, Will is strong and confident and he isn’t afraid to make that known. I loved how sure of himself he was or rather, how he made out he was sure of himself. Will seems to have quite a few buried secrets and I can’t wait to find out what is really going on with him in future books.

I really wish that Jem had been featured more because he was so interesting. From very early on, we get to find out that there is something wrong with Jem but nothing about what it is. I loved the mystery that surrounded him, where he came from and what he was all about. Jem really seems to care and isn’t full of himself at all. He’s very grounded and down to earth, even though he kills demons etc for a living. Jem seemed to be a lot older than he actually is and maybe that comes from his past that we only get a snippet of in this book. Jem really stood out to me because he was so different to Will. The difference in personality between Jem and Will worked perfectly and gave the chance for them to bounce off of each other.

Usually in a book where there is some kind of love triangle going on, I am firmly on one side. Not this time though! I was extremely torn between both Will and Jem and I still have no idea who I prefer. If I was forced to choose, I would have to say Will at the minute just because he features a lot more than Jem and we get to hear a lot more from him. In the back of my mind, I want to like Jem more but I can’t really see that scenario happening.

I enjoyed seeing Magnus Bane making a couple of appearances and after the cliff-hanger Clare left us with, I know he is going to play a bigger part in the books to follow. He was always one of my favourite characters in The Mortal Instruments because he is so interesting and there is a lot that we don’t know about him. I really, really hope that he is around a lot more from now on and we get to find out about his past.

Cassandra Clare has done it once again! She knows how to hook the reader within a couple of pages and keep them until the very last page. Her imagination is so fantastic and vivid that I always feel a part of the story myself. Clockwork Angel is by far my favourite book this month!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

In My Mailbox (#14)



In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren to show what everyone has been recieving or buying each week.


For Review:

Random House
I got such a nice package from Random House this week and I couldn't be more excited about the selection of books.




Torment - Lauren Kate

Boys Dont Cry - Malorie Blackman  

Trash - Andy Mulligan 

Xisle - Steve Augarde

Star Crossed - Jo Cotterill

The Hunt (A Dark Touch Novel) - Amy Meredith 




Walker Books












Bloomsbury 

Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends—or even more. When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?

From the author

In a time when the world was ravaged by chaos, one kingdom remains; ordered, isolated, protected. Then Tabitha Serannon awakens an ancient power and the world begins to change.

She is hunted for her talent. The Shadowcasters whisper in her ears as their evil closes around her. Soon the Riddler walks beside her, but is he on her side?

She has a moment to learn the magic before she loses her grasp of the Lifesong, but the path she must follow leads into Darkness; into terror, treachery and desire.

To survive she must give voice to a music that she hardly understands, an enchantment that will echo through all time.

Won from Vintage Books



Story centers on an existentially tormented zombie who begins an unlikely friendship with the girlfriend of one of his victims and starts a chain reaction that will transform him and his fellow zombies.

I  also got some swag from Lynsey at Narratively Speaking but my camera battery died so haven't been able to take pictures. Thanks for the bookmarks!

I had a pretty fantastic week and can't wait to start some of these books ASAP! What did you get this week?

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Torment - Lauren Kate

Torment is the sequel to Lauren Kate’s 2009 novel, Fallen. Torment is released in the UK on 30th September 2010 and published by Doubleday Children's Books and is 480 pages long. Thanks to Lynsey over at UK Book Tours for this one!

Plot
Lucinda Price recently found out that she and boyfriend Daniel have lived many past lives together… but only for seventeen years. Daniel is a fallen angel and choosing her caused him a life of pain each time that she dies. Now that he has found her again, Daniel will do everything to make their relationship work, especially because Luce is mortal and wont die when she is 17 this time around.

News of Luce’s mortality has spread and there are a lot of people out to get her. Daniel calls a truce with the demons in order to kill of these hunters one by one and save Luce. In order to keep her safe he decides it would be best if she goes into hiding. Luce is hidden away at Shoreline, a school mixed with humans and Nephilim. Shoreline is supposed to help Luce and keep her safe at the same time but she has no idea what is going on. Daniel is reluctant to tell her anything apart from the fact that she needs to be there…without him. Although Luce makes new friends quickly at Shoreline, everything she thought she knew is not what it seems and she begins to question her relationships past and present with Daniel. Why wont he let her know what is happening and is he telling the truth about what she does know? Luce has a lot to learn in a very short amount of time but will she be able to handle it?

What I thought
One of the things that I really liked about Fallen was the fact that I got to see glimpses of Daniel and Luce’s past lives and I was extremely happy to see more of that in Torment. Luce’s past lives that she can’t remember play a large part in the overall story and I was glad to see that. It was about time that Luce learned more about who she has been previously and what her relationship with Daniel has been like over the years. It really isn’t fair that he knows everything and she doesn’t is it? Luce really came into her own in this book and I ended up liking her a lot more than I did in Fallen. Her intelligence really showed because of how much she questioned everything. I liked the fact that she refused to be bossed around by Daniel and told him exactly what she thought about him trying to do that. Luce in Torment was the Luce I had wanted to see in Fallen.

The shadows that have haunted Luce all of her life play a massive part in the story and this was one of my favourite things about Torment. So much is revealed about what the shadows are and what part they play in Luce’s life and also past lives. The shadows really tie in Luce’s insecurities about not only her relationship with Daniel but also about who she really is. I’m really hoping that the shadows are featured in the next book so that I get a better understand of both Luce and Daniel.

Daniel annoyed the hell out of me but kind of in a good way. He really isn’t around an awful lot in this book and for good reasons, but I would have liked for him to have been featured more. His character really takes a back seat in order for Luce to shine and for her to learn so much instead of overpowering her like he normally does. The reason why I liked him being annoying was because it made me feel like I wanted to jump straight into the book and sort him out myself. He deserves a good slap or at least some sense knocking into him because I didn’t agree with the way that he treat Luce. His attitude really drew me into the story and made me want to find out more about why he was acting this way.

I LOVED the fact that other people knew who Luce was as soon as she entered Shoreline. It seemed to me that if Luce and Daniel had been through so many lives together already, then people who had also been around that long would know about their relationship. Luce’s peers reacted like star struck teenagers when they realised that it was really her and all seemed to have questions they had been told as children about her and Daniel. I know if this was me, I would have been whispering with my friends, wondering what the real story was.

I always love a book with a lot of mythology and background and Lauren Kate didn’t disappoint me. I found finding out about the history of angels and demons fascinating because different characters had different views on what really happened and who was on what side. Not everything was revealed but what I did learn made me question everything was going on and everything that I thought I knew about the characters already. I think that because of this, book 3 will have some shocks about what is really going on.

One of the aspects of Torment that I wasn’t so keen on was the timeline and how realistic it was. The book is set over a period of 18 days and that was way too short for my liking. Some of the things that happened in those 18 days just didn’t fit and I couldn’t really believe that they were happening. Even though I liked Luce, she too was slightly annoying at times. She makes out like 18 days is such a long time to be away from Daniel but at less than 3 weeks, I didn’t really get it. How weak is she that she cant deal without him for only 18 days and especially because he tells her that it is for her own protection. Because of either the constant whining or secrecy from Luce and Daniel, I couldn’t help but feel like they were being stupid and selfish at time.

I think a lot of people are probably going to scream at the ending because of how massive the cliff-hanger is but I thought it was fantastic. Usually I hate unanswered questions but Lauren Kate left me wanting more in such a good way by ending Torment exactly where it should have been left. I’m excited to find out what Daniel does next and what else Luce will learn about her past lives. A huge battle between angels and demons seems imminent and although I know the good guys are supposed to win, I’m not too sure who the good guys are anymore.

So there were both good and bad parts of Torment for me and while I should put it in Purgatory, I can’t bring myself to do it. The good far outweighed the bad and I really did enjoy it overall. Torment has mystery, intrigue, action and romance…near enough everything that I could want from a book. A great sequel that sets the scene amazingly well for book 3 and I can’t wait to find out what is in store next for Luce and Daniel.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Untamed (House of Night #4) PC and Kristin Cast

Untamed is the fourth book in the House of Night series by mother and daughter duo, PC and Kristin Cast. It is published by Atom Books and is 464 pages long.

What has happened so far
Zoey Redbird recently got marked by a Tracker, meaning that she had to move to the House of Night in order to maybe become a vampyre. If she doesn't die first. Zoey is unlike any of the other fledglings though. She has been extremely blessed by the Goddess Nyx who gave her powers that she never expected. Zoey can has an affinity for all five elements: Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Spirit. She has also overthrown Aphrodite as the leader of the Dark Daughters, taking the lead for herself.

Beginning a new life has been hard but at least Zoey has her faithful friends, Stevie Rae, Shaunee, Erin and Damien to help her out. Not to mention human boyfriend Heath, who she imprinted with and talented fledgling boyfriend Erik. Football players from Zoey's old school went missing and were murdered so she had to save Heath before he was killed as well. After best friend Stevie Rae died and came back as something else, Zoey wasn't coping very well and managed to annoy everyone she cares about.

Untamed
Extremely special vampyre fledgling, Zoey Redbird isn't have the best time lately. She has quickly found out that being special and gifted doesn't equal happiness and an easy life. After keeping important secrets from her friends, Zoey finds herself quite alone, not even having one boy on the go. The only people that are still talking to her are un-dead Stevie Rae and bitchy and newly unmarked Aphrodite.

Neferet has declared a war on humans after several of the teachers at the House of Night were murdered. Zoey knows that Neferet is wrong and planning something even more sinister but no body trusts her enough to listen. An ancient evil being is about to be resurrected and with Zoey alone, it doesn't seem as though things will work themselves out this time.

What I thought
Untamed has a completely different feel to it compared to the previous books in this series. While Zoey's problems seemed quite important in the other books, they don't even come close to what is going on this time. I really enjoyed the fact that this plot had a lot more depth to it and that it will continue into future books. It is extremely fast paced and concentrates much more on action and build up of tension rather than romance which I was so thankful for.

As much as I like Zoey, there is only so much of having too many boyfriends that I can handle. The fact that she had lost almost everyone close to her in the previous book meant that she had a lot of time on her hands to figure out what and who was really important to her. For this reason, I saw a different side to Zoey and one that I actually preferred. She was a lot more serious but it wasn't in the depressing way that I had expected it to be. A lot more is revealed about Zoey's personal life and I felt like this gave me the opportunity to reconnect with her and remember the reasons why I liked her in the first place.

Even though Zoey is having problems in the romance department, that doesn't mean that everyone is. Damien and Jack are as happy as they ever have been and I love how cute they are together. It was so nice for Damien to find someone in a school where the gay guys are not always so open and ok about it. Aphrodite also gets a slice of the happiness in Untamed and it was about time. She really has changed over the course of this series and I feel as though she doesn't deserve all of the negativity that she receives. After having her mark taken away, a whole new side of her is revealed and her love interest has quite a lot to do with that. Of course, the bitch is still inside her and it is nice to see that she hasn't lost that as it is what makes her so funny.

As I have said in previous reviews of books in this series, Zoey is of Cherokee (Native American) descent and we get to find out more about the history of these people in Untamed. Not only do we learn more about that but also more about vampyre mythology and the way that the two were blended was really interesting and these parts were some of my favourites.

The House of Night sees many changes in Untamed but not all of them for the better. With Neferet wanting a war to start, evil is all around and in places that aren't expected. Many of the students have no idea about what is happening and go about their daily business. There is a certain eeriness surrounding the plot because you never really know what is lurking in the shadows of the school until very far into the book. I loved the not knowing and being able to imagine what was there for myself.

Overall
Untamed is a fabulous addition to the House of Night series and one that kept my attention throughout. I don't see this series weakening any time soon, especially with the plot developments that happened in this book. Things are about to get really rough for Zoey and the gang but are they all going to be able to cope or even survive? I damn well hope so.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Rebel - R J Anderson

Rebel is the second book in the faerie series by Canadian author, R. J. Anderson. It was released on 7th January 2010 and is 304 pages long. Although it is part of a series, Rebel's main characters are different to those in the first book, Knife.

Plot
Knowing that the oak tree and her faerie friends and family are in serious danger, Linden decides that she has to do something to help. The Faerie Queen knows just how desperate things are and as a dying wish, she gives Linden half of her magic, having complete trust in her.

Knife, from the first book is now married to Paul and live in the house opposite the oak tree. Setting off on her great adventure, Linden begins at the house. There, she finds Paul's teenage cousin Timothy, who has been suspended from school and has no where else to go. Timothy feels like Knife doesn't want him there as she always seems to be hiding things. What he doesn't know, is that she is helping to protect her former friends and family of the tree.

Feeling pretty low, Timothy decides to run away to London but Linden finds a hiding place in his backpack and tags along. The adventure begins once Timothy finds Linden and they start their hunt for other faeries to help out the tree folk. Not only do they find male faeries but also ones who steal creativity from humans. There are some other faeries which only seem to be myths but if they are real, they might just be able to save everyone.

What I thought
As much as I loved Knife, Rebel was superior in so many ways. The story itself is a lot bigger and way more exciting. Rather than just keeping to the oak tree, house and garden, Rebel ventures out into different cities as well as countryside in Wales. The way that these different places were introduced paved some solid foundations for a diverse range of cultures and folklore. You would think that the large mix of different kinds of faeries and places would be quite confusing but everything is explained extremely well so I didn't get confused at any point.

There is a lot going on throughout the entire story and I loved that everything about it was really exciting. The changes in setting are quick to happen and although I would have liked a little more time in each place, I understand that the book would have maybe been too long and drawn out this way.

Linden was a much more believable heroine than Knife. Even though she wants her help the other faeries, she gets scared because she doesn't know anything other than the life she is so used to. Linden is really shy and innocent to begin with and has a hard time dealing with being all alone with Timothy in human form. For someone who has never met a male, let alone a human before, she coped quite well. There were quite a few times where she didn't really understand what was happening and made some silly mistakes in the human world which made me laugh most of the time.

The music/ creativity aspect of faeries has been done many times before, especially when they want to steal talents from humans. This is the first faerie story that I have read where the faeries start to get really nasty and violent when it comes to getting what they want. This part of the story was very interesting to read and it didn't feel repetitive or done before at any point.

Throughout, Rebel has a lot to do with good vs. evil. The bad guys definitely have enough motive for what they are doing and the way that Anderson describes the other faeries is truly amazing. I really felt how evil and mean they were and that they were only out to get what would benefit them. The good guys were so virtuous and courageous that I couldn't help but keep my fingers crossed for a complete happy ending.

The ending was the only part of Rebel that I was disappointed with. Although the main issues were written extremely well, I still don't know what happened between Linden, Timothy and Rob. It was clear in Knife that she and Paul ended up together but not this time. I know the third book, Arrow will be released at some point but I think it will follow in tradition and focus on a different character. I would have really liked to have known what happened in each aspect of the story, especially this one.

A great faerie story for all ages. Highly recommended as you don't really need to have read the previous book.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (#14)

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


A touch mortal - Leah Clifford
UK Release Date: March 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Synopsis
Eden didn’t expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.

Yeah.

So long happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own.

And that’s only the beginning of the end.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Linger - Maggie Stiefvater

Linger is second book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater. It was released in the UK on 21st July 2010 by Scholastic and it is 432 pages long.

Plot
Grace and Sam finally got the chance to be together in Shiver after Sam got hurt and transformed back into a human. Their happiness is about to be cut short though as problems from all sides begin to jeopardise their future.

Grace’s parents don’t like the idea of her being with Sam at all, forcing her to make the choice between them and him. Sam’s werewolf past is coming back fast to haunt him and newcomers are threatening everything that he has been working for. Grace and Sam’s relationship isn’t as simple as they make out though as she is keeping a huge secret from him. One that will change everything.

What I thought
Shiver introduced me to Maggie Stiefvater’s unbelievably beautiful writing and as soon as I was done, I wanted the sequel right away. Linger must have been my most anticipated sequel of the first half of the year and it really lived up to my expectations.

Although Grace’s part of the story should have been the most interesting, it wasn’t. Well, for me anyway. I had guessed what was going to happen with her very early on so I kind of stopped thinking about it until it actually happened. That aside, I really liked everything else that was going on with her. Grace’s problems with her parents were a big issue for her in Linger and I thought these parts were written extremely well and realistically. Shiver really set the scene for Grace’s parents and how they acted towards her. They are never around much and up until now, have let Grace have a free run to do whatever she wants. When they began to tell her that she couldn’t see Sam anymore, I thought her reactions were exactly what they should have been. I would have probably done the same thing if I had been in her position because I don’t think that they really had any right to start telling her what she could/ couldn’t do. I was so glad to see that Grace didn’t just take it from them and did what she wanted to instead. Go Grace!

Sam develops a lot in Linger and really comes into his own. At times, he felt like a completely different character from how he was in Shiver because of what he had been through. Sam seems to take in everything that happens and each little different thing has some kind of affect on his character. This time around, Sam is a lot stronger because of what he has to deal with. Without Beck, Sam has to grow up really fast and take responsibility for the other wolves and this was a part of the story that I really enjoyed. I think there are still some secrets behind Beck and the new wolves and I wonder if we will find out more in Forever.

I completely loved Isabel and Cole in Linger, probably more than I loved Grace and Sam. To start with, I was happy to see that Grace and Isabel had become really good friends since Shiver due to what they had both gone through. The fact that they had something so huge in common brought them closer, even though they are both really different people. Isabel is still in a pretty dark place after what happened to her brother and Grace seems to be the only one who really understands what she is going through… until Cole turns up anyway.

Cole appealed a lot more to me than Sam to be honest because of his bad boy rockstar-ness. Although a lot of the bad things that have happened to Cole were all his own fault, there were other things beyond his control and I really felt for him because of that. With both he and Isabel being in dark places, it was obvious that they were going to connect but I didn’t care that it was predictable. I thought that they made a great couple, although that isn’t really the right word for what they are. The tension between the two added to their chemistry and how they acted towards one another and this gave the story a completely different feeling in parts.

In Shiver, I loved the fact that it was told from both the POV of both Grace and Sam so when I saw that Isabel and Cole were getting their own voices, I was excited. Each character had their own distinct voice so when it was their turn in the story, it was very clearly done and never confusing. I loved being able to find out what was going on from other people in the story at different times and was glad that it didn’t focus solely on Grace and Sam.

The story went to places that I wasn’t expecting at all. I thought that most of it was going to concentrate on Grace and what was going on with her but instead, there was a lot more happening. Grace, Sam, Cole and Isabel all have problems in their personal lives and I liked the fact that this gave them all their own stories that added to the main plot. Even though they all had separate things going on, they were all brought together really well.

The ending was extremely predictable but with one more book to go, I can see that Maggie Stiefvater will write something amazing that will probably shock us all. I felt like the way that Linger ended was only natural and I would have probably been disappointed if it hadn’t turned out that way. I cant wait for Forever because everything should be wrapped up nicely. I kind of don’t want this trilogy to end up but I would rather it stay a trilogy than be dragged out of numerous, pointless books. So long as Maggie doesn’t leave us with some crazy unanswered questions then I will be more than happy.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Book Blogger Hop #8 (17th - 20th September)


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!

Normally a question will be asked each week but in honour of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, we're asked to talk about some of our favourite fellow bloggers!

Rhiana Reads... One of my very first blogger friends and soon to be my book signing buddy! December 11th can't come quick enough! Although we have similar tastes in books, we are also very similar in many other ways which is one of the reason why we get on so well. Every book that she has recommended to me I have loved and I'll always get anything that she says is good.



The Delusional Diaries of Lacey Weatherford Anyone who has been reading my blog recently knows just how much I love Lacey's series Of Witches and Warlocks. Lacey also introduced (not personally.... I wish!!) me to the gorgeous Matt Lanter who was the inspiration for one of the characters in her books.

Lacey started her own meme last week Madly In Love Mondays. Go and check it out next week and give it a go! 

The Bookish Snob was the one who told me about Lacey's series. Ever since finishing the first book, we were really good friends and spend many hours on Twitter talking about hot men, both real and fictional although two do seem to take up most of our time. Her blog is hilarious and most of the time, her posts make me laugh so much. I love a blog with so much humour and I don't think you will find many more funny than this one. With book reviews, hot men, monthly spotlights and a whole page dedicated to Vance Magnum, what more can you ask for?


Asamum Booktopia Emma is currently having a zombie week on her blog and before now, I never knew there were as many zombie books out there. I have a couple in my TBR pile but now there are quite a few more that I would like to read. There are different things going on over at her blog most days of the week so there is bound to be something you like. Emma also recently interviewed me for Spotlight Saturday



There are so many more that I would love to put in this post but it would be soooooo long! Thanks for stopping by my blog for this hop and please leave a comment :D

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Chosen (House of Night #3) - PC and Kristin Cast

Chosen is the third book in the House of Night series by mother and daughter duo, PC and Kristin Cast. It was released by Atom on 26th February 2009 and is 352 pages long.


What has happened so far
Sixteen year old Zoey Redbird recently got marked by a Tracker, meaning that she had to move to the House of Night in order to maybe become a vampyre. If she doesn't die first. Zoey is unlike any of the other fledglings though. She has been extremely blessed by the Goddess Nyx who gave her powers that she never expected. Zoey can has an affinity for all five elements: Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Spirit. She has also overthrown Aphrodite as the leader of the Dark Daughters, taking the lead for herself.

Beginning a new life has been hard but at least Zoey has her faithful friends, Stevie Rae, Shaunee, Erin and Damien to help her out. Not to mention human boyfriend Heath, who she imprinted with and talented fledgling boyfriend Erik. Football players from Zoey's old school went missing and were murdered so she had to save Heath before he was killed as well.


Chosen
It's Zoey's 17th birthday but she isn't looking forward to it at all. She hates that she was born on 24th December and getting crappy Christmas themed presents for her birthday. Also, her best friend isn't around and she was the only one that understood.

Something terrible happened to Stevie Rae and now she's undead. As she struggles to keep her humanity, Zoey and her friends are trying to stop her from eating people on the street and giving herself over to the evil inside. Zoey knows that if anyone at the House of Night finds out what happened to Stevie Rae, all hell could and probably will break loose. She's going to have to trust the one person who she never would have expected to in order to keep Stevie Rae safe.


As always, Zoey is having boy trouble but this time, its more complicated and dangerous than ever.

What I thought
Unlike books 1 and 2 in this series, Chosen isn't all about Zoey. I really enjoyed the plot surrounding Stevie Rae and it made a nice change for someone else to be getting most of the attention. I do like Zoey and I know that she is special and all but I love the other characters just as much and think they all deserve a bit more time spent on them throughout the series.

There is plenty of mystery throughout Chosen, which is a big part of why I like this series so much. While Zoey's romances are a big part of the story, it's the action and suspense that really does it for me. As I was reading, I found myself so caught up in whatever was happening in that chapter, that it made me slightly forget some of the other things. This isn't a bad thing though. I enjoyed being distracted enough to not always figure out what is going on. The fact that more characters were involved is what kept the story interesting and fresh.

I did feel the absence of the explanations of rituals and mythology thought but there was so much going on that they would have ended up being wasted words. Instead of this, we get to learn more about Zoey's background and the Cherokee people. A Cherokee legend gives the idea that they are not so different from the vampyres in some ways. The suggestion that everyone is connected in some way was interesting as it also gives the impression that everyone is the same no matter who you are or where you come from, names have just been changed.

Zoey and Aphrodite's friendship develops a lot in this book due to the events surrounding Stevie Rae. Zoey puts a lot of trust in Aphrodite, mainly because she has to, but Aphrodite seems hell bent on acting like her usual, bitchy self. She doesn't want to be seen as someone nice and she definitely doesn't want to be seen as being a part of Zoey's 'nerd herd' as she calls it. Although she has her doubts, Zoey clearly sees something in Aphrodite that no one else does.

Zoey's friends reacted to her spending time with Aphrodite exactly how I had expected them to, which was a little disappointing. Aphrodite has been less than nice so it's understandable that people don't like her but I would have thought that if Zoey trusted her then the others would too. Well, at least more than before. Zoey is right about a lot of things that the others have no idea about so I thought that they would given her a bit more credit.

I really wish that Zoey would sort out herself and her boy problems. Just when she thinks that one of her boy problems is over, another hot guy turns up and makes everything crazy. Why does she have a thing for every hot guy that comes her way? Does she have no self control? I really think that she's being a bit greedy and not take all of the best guys for herself. The only one that she has a true connection with is Heath due to their past and their imprint and it's quite obvious that he would do anything for her. I'm routing for Heath all of the way, although Zoey probably doesn't deserve him now. I guess what I'm really trying to say is that this amount of romantic complications isn't needed in every book to make it good.

Something that I do find to be lacking is the amount of steamy scenes between Zoey and the guys that she's involved with. There were a few moments that began to show promise and I liked them but they just weren't enough for me. Each book in this series warns that they aren't suitable for younger readers so a little more raunch wouldn't be completely out of place. It was good to see Zoey and Erik make a little more of their relationship though (about bloody time!) but the time spent in this department wasn't long enough.

Overall
I did enjoy Chosen but not as much as the previous two books. I liked the way that it set up a story that seems like it is going to be continued and spread out over more than one book. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, Untamed to find out what is in store next for the gang.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (#13)


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Night Star (Immortals Book #5) - Alyson Noel
UK release date: 23rd November 2010
Publisher: Macmillan Childrens Books

In this installment, Ever and Damen face down bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears—all in the hope of being together forever. Night Star is guaranteed to mesmerize fans and leave them breathlessly awaiting the sixth and final book!


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