Sunday, 31 July 2011

In My Mailbox #20

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted every Sunday over at The Story Siren. A great meme which allows bloggers to share what they receive/buy/borrow each week.

For review

Liesl & Po ~ Lauren Oliver ~ goodreads

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior ~ Maureen McGowan ~ goodreads
Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer ~ Maureen McGowan ~ goodreads
Ruby Redfort: Look into my Eyes ~ Lauren Child ~ goodreads


Forbidden: The Demon Trappers 2 ~ Jana Oliver ~ goodreads
Halo ~ Alexandra Adornetto ~ goodreads
Prophecy of the Sisters ~ Michelle Zink ~ goodreads

So that's what I got this week, what did you get?
Happy reading :)

Review ~ Circle 9 ~ Anne Heltzel

Title: Circle 9

Author: Anne Heltzel

Published: September 2011

By: Candlewick Press

Source: netgalley

First line: The rain falls around me in torrents, flowing from the mouth of the cave above us to the ground by my feet like a waterfall, splashing up at my toes.

Last Line: But for now, I’ll just sit on this bus, and I’ll watch the Vermont mountains rush by, and I’ll dream.

Favourite Line: My life with Sam is a rich tapestry, better than any dream state. My dreams are cursed.

I’ve taken a while to think about the review that I wanted to write for this book because the subject matter is at times much darker and reads more like a psychological thriller than your typical YA fiction.

The story begins with Abby, a young girl who finds herself regaining consciousness in mysterious circumstances. Lying next to the remains of a burning building and having completely lost her memory she is helped by Sam, a teenage boy who she cannot remember even thought he claims to know her. Sam takes her back to his home which turns out to be a cave which exists far away from the relative dangers of Circle Nine, an area which, he tells Abby is not to be trusted. Within no time she has adopted him as her angel and the two appear to be completely smitten with each other. For the first part of the book their lives together are seemingly idyllic. They live in the opulently decorated cave which Abby describes as being like paradise whilst Sam adopts the role of Abby’s protector, he feeds her, reads to her and cares for her every whim whilst she in turn is in absolute awe of him. They are the cutest of couples.

Within in a few weeks however things begin to fall apart. A darker side to Sam begins to emerge which leaves you feeling on-edge permanently. At the same time Abby is desperately trying to put the random flashbacks she is experiencing into some kind of order as she tries to piece together her previous life. As her memory starts to return so her situation becomes increasingly ominous. You begin to realise that the world that Abby sees herself in is not quite as heavenly as it first appeared and the brief inclusion of two other characters namely Sid and Amanda only go support your suspicions further. By the end of the book when Abby’s memory does return we find that her earlier life and the way that it ended was far more traumatic than was anticipated. Her journey back to reality is a harrowing one and we, the reader, get to experience every detail with her. You find yourself praying for resolution not just for her but also for Sam. It was Sam’s character that left me most torn. You see his dark side (and when it reveals itself it really is quite sinister) but then you also see the remorse and you end up hoping that he too can find some kind of peace.

There are aspects to this book that are incredibly dark that touch on sensitive issues and for that reason I wouldn’t recommend this book to younger YA readers. That said,the darker content is also what makes the book. Abby’s story would not have had the impact that it did on me were it not for the way that it was detailed. I have to say I love the way that Anne Heltzel writes. The beginning of the relationship between Sam and Abby is very romantic and the language she uses is so rich and warm that it makes your heart melt. I found that I carried that same warmth for the characters with me even when they were at their worst because I felt as though I knew how they had gotten to that point and I could still see the good inside them. If I could have found them and rescued them I would have! The twists and turns in the plot had me gripped from start to finish. I was a tad frustrated by the ending when I first read it. As much as I enjoy being able to add my own twist to the end of a plotline I felt as though there were some areas (well one, but I shan’t give the game away here) where I needed just a bit more detail. I guess though that could also be the point of such an ending, that is, the reader is left to imagine what happens next.

For anyone who enjoy darker fiction or thrillers this is a must read. I look forward to seeing what Anne Heltzel produces next.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5. I would absolutely recommend this book. I found it to be a challenging read at times. It is not all hearts and flowers by any stretch of the imagination but it is thought provoking and a gripping read from start to finish.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

On My Wishlist #11

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It is a list of the books I want but don't yet have. The books can be old, new or forthcoming

After Obsession

Title: After Obsession
Author: Carrie Jones
Published: September 2011
By: Bloomsbury
Aimee and Alan have unusual pasts and secrets they prefer to keep hidden. Aimee's deceased mother struggled with mental illness and hallucinations, and Aimee thinks it could be hereditary. After all, she sees a shadowy river man where there isn't one. And then there was that time she and her best friend Courtney tried to conjure a spirit with a Ouija board ...Alan is Courtney's cousin. His family moved to Maine when Courtney's father went missing. It's not just Alan's dark good looks that make him attractive. He is also totally in touch with a kind of spiritual mysticism from his Native American heritage. And it's not long before Aimee has broken up with her boyfriend ...But it's not Aimee or Alan who is truly haunted - it's Courtney. In a desperate plea to find her father, Courtney invites a demonic presence into her life. Together, Aimee and Alan must exorcise the ghost, before it devours Courtney - and everything around her.

Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions

Title: Enthralled
Published: September 2011
By: HarperCollins

A journey may take hundreds of miles, or it may cover the distance between duty and desire.
Sixteen of today’s hottest writers of paranormal tales weave stories on a common theme of journeying. Authors such as Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, and Melissa Marr return to the beloved worlds of their bestselling series, while others, like Claudia Gray, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl, create new land-scapes and characters. But whether they’re writing about vampires, faeries, angels, or other magical beings, each author explores the strength and resilience of the human heart.
Suspenseful, funny, or romantic, the stories in Enthralled will leave you moved.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Review ~ Tempest ~ Holly Hook

Tempest (Destroyers #1)
3.5 stars

Title: Tempest
Author: Holly Hook
Series: Destroyers #1
Published: September 2010

Opening line: Janelle froze in front of the bay window as the breath caught in her throat.

Closing line: Gary shifted leg to leg and tossed one of the crackers down onto the plate. " you want to dance?"
Janelle nodded. "Sure."

Favourite quote: "Just because you have a lot of power doesn't mean you have to be a monster. You think I'm not as strong as my mother was? I chose to restrain myself. And you will, too."


Janelle Duvall has been in Palm Grove, Florida a week when a hurricane hits. Janelle is confused by her usual safety-conscious father who wants to just stay put in their home, but after her pleas and a little help from the police they finally make it to a safety shelter. While there Janelle is forced to leave the shelter as she rescues a child, and as she does Gary falls out of the hurricane. The first thing she notices is that he has a gray spiral birthmark which matches the one she has.

Janelle wants answers about the birthmark and just when she seems to be getting nowhere with her father Gary provides the answer for her, only she doesn't believe it. She discovers she is a Tempest who is on path to become a hurricane. Only Janelle can't handle the news and after discovering she is wanted for mass destruction and soon ends up trying to run away with Gary to escape her fate.

I love the idea that hurricanes are transformed people who not only destroy but also save, as we learn in the story. The characters are well developed and all have their own Tempest history which I loved reading about.

Although there are undertones of a possible relationship but I applause Hook for being brave enough to keep it out of this first installment, yes I'm sure it will come with book 2, but it was great to read about Janelle and see her transformation throughout the book without the need of love to get her through everything!
I'm not going to lie though, the character annoyed me a little as it felt like it took her forever to finally realise what she was destined to do.
I really liked Gary as a character too, I did wonder at times if he was a good guy or a bad guy but I think you will just have to read to find that one out for yourself ;)

I rather enjoyed Tempest. Is it full of suspense, mystery and adventure. It is an action-packed ride that will keep you reading until the end. Hook has created something highly original and refreshing in a time of vampires and werewolves.

I look forward to reading book 2.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

In My Mailbox vlog #1 (19)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted every Sunday over at The Story Siren. A great meme which allows bloggers to share what they receive/buy/borrow each week.

My first vlog and that's the still they pick :(

Dearly Departed ~ Lia Habe l~ goodreads
Delirium ~ Lauren Oliver ~ goodreads
Dragon's Oath ~ P.C. & Kristin Cast ~ goodreads
Sister Missing ~ Sophie McKenzie ~ goodreads
The Hidden Kingdom ~ Ian Beck ~

Saturday, 23 July 2011

On My Wishlist #10

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It is a list of the books I want but don't yet have. The books can be old, new or forthcoming.

Title: Destined
Author: P.C. & Kristin Cast
Published: October 2011
By: Atom
In Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa's House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.

But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness? Find out what s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry, #3)

Title: Chain Reaction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry
Published: August 2011
By: Walker Books
Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn't live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he's never known, and just when he thinks he's got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?
Continuing all the steamy romance of the first two books, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Simone Elkeles gives fans one more satisfying taste of the irresistible Fuentes boys.


Title: Breadcrumbs
Author: Anne Ursu
Published: September 2011
By: HarperCollins
A stunning modern-day fairy tale from acclaimed author Anne Ursu
Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to go in after him. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbs is a story of the struggle to hold on, and the things we leave behind.

What are you wishing for?

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Review ~ The Girl of Fire and Thorns Review ~ Rae Carson

4 stars

Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Published: September 2011
By: Harpercollins
Souce: netgalley

Reviewed by: Sally

First line: Prayer candles flicker in my bedroom.

Last Line: For the first time in a long time, I am not afraid.

Favourite Line: She was wrong of course; my lips are like fat slugs and my eyes are far too small, overwhelmed as they are by cheeks like pomegranates.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns is an excellent fantasy adventure story. I say story, it reads more like an epic than it does your typical YA fiction tale. There is a historic Spanish backdrop to this tale which Carson details so intricately I found it very easy to place myself in the countries that she describes, both in terms of the landscape, the buildings, the clothes, the people and the food (Oh the food!!).

The main character is Elisa who, at the beginning of the story, begrudgingly finds herself being married off to the King of Joya d’Arena on her 16th birthday. Whilst her older sister is to ascend the throne in Orovalle, it is decreed that Elisa has been chosen to go into service. This is because of the appearance of the godstone, a living gem, which resides in her navel and which is given to her by god during her naming ceremony. Service we soon learn is a commitment to humanity and it is expected the Elisa will carry out an act in the future which will benefit mankind. It is also something that requires knowledge and courage and at the start of the story it becomes apparent that Elisa does not appear to have a great deal of the latter. Rather she sees herself as lazy, fat and useless in comparison to her sister.

With her new husband by her side she arrives in Joya d’Arena to find out that her marriage is a secret and soon discovers that not everyone is as trustworthy as they first appear. As she tries to determine her purpose as bearer of the godstone she is kidnapped and suddenly finds herself immersed in a dangerous world where she as the bearer is coveted and where only she is able to save those caught up in a bitter war which threatens her country as well as those she loves. Magic, sorcery and good old fashioned battles all have their place in this book and they make for an exciting read!

By the time I finished this book I felt as though I had gone on the journey with Elisa. I had seen her struggle with and beat her neuroses (mainly to do with her weight and her lack of self worth) and watched as her and her friends struggle in the war against the Inviernos. Her transformation through the book is wonderful to read and you find yourself cheering her on as she realises how strong she is. There are some fantastic characters in this book, most notably Alejandro, the husband who is not as strong as first thought; Rosario, his son from his first marriage; Cosme who becomes a good friend to Elisa, Humberto, Cosme’s brother and Hector, Alejandro’s personal guard. Each character is more complex than first appears and I love the way that their plot lines develop as well as the way they interact with Elisa, which isn’t always pleasant. There is of course a dash of romance but this is by no means a romantic YA story, far from it. There are bigger plot lines that run through this book that make for a thrilling read and one I found hard to put down.

The story is tied up quite nicely at the end of book one so you do feel a certain sense of closure when you reach the final page. I’ll be interested to see where book two picks up. I now also have a soft spot for certain characters in this series and I do harbour hopes for a romance in the next book. Fingers crossed!

4/5 I really enjoyed this and would absolutely recommend it. You may need a plate of pastries nearby as you read. In fact I’d say it’s a certainty!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Your chance to win

NOW! FREE EBOOK #TheTroublewithSpells + a chance 4 a personalized pic from @MattLanter #MattLanterMuse #MenageABlog 

Artist Interview ~ Johanna Basford

Self initiated project, 2009
Pen and ink illustrations with photography

We are so excited about having Johanna at the blog to answer our questions we love her work!! As you know we came across Johanna's work on twitter and we are so happy that twitter is constantly introducing us to a world of talent!

Here's what we had to ask Johanna:

1) Did you always want to be an artist?

I knew I always wanted to work in the Creative field, but I wasn't sure exactly what as. I went through phases of wanting to be a fashion designer, an architect, an interior designer and a textile designer - but ultimately, I knew I wanted to draw. I wasn't one of those kids who wanted to be a nurse or a pop star or an astronaut, it was always art.

2) Does anything influence your work?

Yes, thousands of things! I think its impossible for a creative person to filter out the stuff that surrounds them and for it not to influence their work. Wether it's a comic strip, a mosaic in a bathroom, flowers in a garden, a big scary guy's tattoos on the bus or the label on some crazy health food drink - all those little bits and pieces get stashed away in my brain and somehow make their mark on what I do.

Ring by Ruth Tomlinson

3) Who is your favourite artist?

I've got loads and in all different disciplines and styles. The list is constantly changing but here's some selected highlights at the moment:
Lotte and Bloom : Florist
Ruth Tomlinson : Jewellery
Ralph Steadman : Illustration
M C Escher : Artist
Johnny Cupcakes : Fashion

4) If you could work with an artist, living or deceased who would it be and why?

Banksy or Vivienne Westwood.
I admire their work ethics, their creative genius and the clever way they've lead their field and continually pushed the boundaries of what is perceived as possible in their disciplines.
Also, I think collaborations work best when both parties bring something different to the table, be it backgrounds, skills or ideals. There's no point wishing to work with someone who's work is along the same lines as me, from a completely selfish point of view, I 'd like to work with someone who can challenge me and teach me new skills.

Die for Me cover art
 5) How does it feel to work on a book cover, is it any different to your other work?

Every job is different, but I guess the things that make a book cover different is that you have to convey the author's vision of the story on a relatively small canvas. You have to condense all their words and years of hard work into one little picture which will help entice the reader in. For me, this is a big responsibility. When I work on a book cover, I'm usually commissioned by an Art Director who handles all the layout and type, so I work with them to create an illustration which can then be dropped into their final vision of the book cover.
Scale is also important. We live in a world where the biggest book store is Amazon, so the artwork has to scale well and still act as an ambassador for the story when it's reduced down to just pixels on a screen. This can be tricky for me as my work is often very intricate and fine, but that's where having an Art Director comes into its own. They completely understand the print to digital process and can guide me on how to create an amazing image for print which will also translate strongly online.

6) From all the work you have created which is your favourite?

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Fringecover : an interactive illustration
commission using Twitter.

I was particularly pleased with the Fringe Cover I did for last year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Fringe is the world's largest Art's festival, so it was a very high profile project and I was aware a lot of people would see the final artwork  across all the marketing and promotional materials for the event. We used Twitter to crowd source content suggestions for the design, then I worked with the guys at Whitespace in Edinburgh to create the final illustration. It was a challenging, but very rewarding project. In fact, it won a Scottish Design Award earlier this year which is was very cool.

7) Can you share with us what you are working on at the moment?

A couple more book covers (one of which is the follow-on to Amy's Die for Me, called Until I Die.)
Some album artwork for a singer (to be released in the autumn, I can't say any more just yet!)
Some billboard illustrations for the marketing campaign of a Shopping Centre in England.
A textile design for a handbag company.
A label design for a special edition beer by super cool Scottish brewery, BrewDog.

8) If you wasn't an artist what do you think you be doing?

A florist.
I love flowers.

Thank you very much for answering our questions! We are very much looking forward to seeing the cover of Amy Plum's Until I Die, we are big fans!!

If you want to learn more about Johanna and her work you can follower her on twitter, visit her website.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Books in the twitter giveaway so far

For your chance to win pop over to twitter, follow me and RT my giveaway :)

23 books in paperback and hardback

Author ebook contributions:~

From Cyndi Tefft:


From Allegra Skye:

Saved (Book #1 of the Shadow Vampires)

From Ley Mesina:

Reborn (A Goddess of Night Novella)

Holly Hook:


From Shelley Workinger

Solid (Solid #1)

From Simon Dale

The House of Sherbet

From Mike Wells
Wild Child


Review~The Spook's Destiny by Joseph Delaney

The Spook's Destiny

Title: The Spook
Author: Joseph Delaney
Release date: June 2011
Published by: Random House
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Callum Dalloway

Opening line: “Driven by the gentlest of breezes, our small fishing boat was sailing slowly west, bobbing gently towards the distant shore.”

Closing line: “Once that was extinguished, you were lost and truly alone, with only the dark for company.”

Favourite quote: “I scrambled out of bed, and soon realised that it had been more than a dream: here too a set of hoof prints had been burned into the floorboards. They were scorched deeper on the last occasion in my room at the inn. Time was running out. The power of the blood jar was almost at an end.”

I began reading these books when I was 11 years old, and at nearly 19 I am still hooked. The great thing about The Wardstone Chronicles is that the writing style never alienates despite becoming a year older every time a new book is released!
The book begins with Tom, Alice and the Spook himself fleeing the war in the County and travelling to Ireland, finding new dangers and demons to do battle with once they step ashore. As well as the Fiend himself after young Tom, he also faces the threat of the Morrigan, an ancient goddess from the dark.
As always, the pace is fast, and the moments where you feel the fear reading late at night are still there! Delaney
I can
There are huge events that change matters for the characters forever, complicating relationships and attracting more danger than ever before. Stand-offs, kidnappings, out of body experiences and nightmarish threats aplenty.

As the books have moved along, the dark has been growing more and more, and enemies are appearing from the shadows continuously. You can just tell the story is coming to an end, a large, cataclysmic stand-off no doubt, but I am very glad it is not this book the series ends with. I need more!

Addictive, easy to read but never bland or simple, I cannot recommend this series enough. If there are any Spook fans who drifted away from the books or stopped for one reason or another (although I doubt the numbers are few) you must continue as this story is far from over... Everyone else, get starting!!
s Destinys descriptions are matter-of-fact, and the characters retain that mysterious quality they always had since the beginning. These books always have you question the characters loyalties, as well as whether things that happen are real, or illusions from the dark...t give away too much of the story as the whole premise of the series is the suspense and uncertainty of the future. You cannot read this book without reading the others in the series, as there are many references to past events that are vital to understanding the story.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Review: Forever~Maggie Stiefvater

5 stars

Title: Forever
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: July 2011
By: Scholastic

Reviewed by Sally

First line: I can be so so quiet.

Last line: He reached out his hand to me.

Fave quote: “Grace” I whispered. “This isn’t how it ends.”

“There is no better taste than this: someone else’s laughter in your mouth”

So finally the readers of Maggie Stiefvater’s The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy have closure. I was very late coming to this series so thankfully haven’t had to go through the frustration that fans of the series will have had to endure as they wait for the final book to be released. I only had to wait a couple of weeks for the release of Forever and that was torturous enough!

Forever is a superb finale to the trilogy. Having gone from figuring out her bond with the wolves which leads to her relationship with Sam, Grace now finds out that in a cruel twist of fate the virus that has lain dormant in her for years has awoken and as Sam adjusts to life as a ‘normal’ human again so Grace has to acknowledge that she is now a wolf. We pick up the story at the point where spring has arrived and Grace is now shifting back to her human body, albeit erratically as she struggles to control her switching between her two forms. Sam is now public enemy number one as he finds that he and Beck are implicated in not only Grace’s disappearance and possible death but also in the brutal murder of another girl. Shelby seems to be more out of control than ever and causing all kinds of bad publicity for the pack and Cole and Isobel are still apart although it is clear that neither want this to be the case. For their part, Isobel continues to struggle with her parents grief stricken behaviour which clashes horrendously with her devotion to her friends whilst Cole seems to be convinced that he’s the world next Louis Pasteur as he searches for a cure which will prevent the wolves from shifting should they want to. Worse is to come when Isobel finds out that her father has managed to successfully organise a cull of the wolves of Mercy Falls.

I liked the way that Stiefvater has wrapped up this story. Sam’s vulnerability still shines through in this book although it’s for a whole new variety of reasons. Grace’s struggle is beautifully written and the relationship between the two main characters is as tortured as it ever was given the switch in their circumstances. I also found myself more drawn to Cole and Isobel in this book. Thus far both characters had irritated me. I knew that deep down there was more going on than they were prepared to admit to the outside world but they didn’t seem to have the guts to do anything about it and that left me frustrated. In this book they really come into their own as they fight their inner demons and make a stand, particularly Isobel and I found myself really rooting for her at the end. One thing that didn’t change was my desire to give Grace’s and Isobel’s parents a healthy slap as for the most part they continue to bumble along in their own self-obsessed little worlds (I did have a glimmer of hope for Grace’s Mum at one point though!)

I don’t want to say too much about the storyline as I don’t want to give anything away. All I will say is help and betrayal turns up in the most unexpected of places in this book as the book crashes headlong into the cull that ends this chapter of Sam and Grace’s lives. The main characters are left to make choices which will dramatically change their lives, possibly even end them and the last few chapters had me completely gripped. One of the highlights of these books for me is the way that Stiefvater has left so much to the imagination. She provides just enough information throughout the story and leaves you to fill in the gaps for yourself rather than spoon feeding you the finer details. Some scenes are heartbreakingly beautiful whilst others make you so tense you have to go back and re-read sections because you’re so desperate to discover what the final outcome is for Sam and Grace that you start to skim the pages (or at least I did!). Forever is a perfect ending to the trilogy although I should point out here that if Maggie Stiefvater perhaps wanted to write another book about Sam and Grace, well I wouldn’t complain.

5/5 Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

In My Postbox #18

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted every Sunday over at The Story Siren. A great meme which allows bloggers to share what they receive/buy/borrow each week.

For review:
Saved~Allegra Skye~goodreads
Legend~Marie Lu~goodreads
Daughter of Smoke and Bone~Laini Taylor~goodreads

From netgalley:
Spellbound~Cara LynnShultz~goodreads
Cinder and Ella~Melissa Lemon~goodreads
Wherever you go~Heather Davis~goodreads

Forever~Maggie Stiefvater~goodreads
The Iron Daughter~Julie Kagawa~godreads

I would like to thank author Amy Plum for sending me signed bookmarks :) Die for Me is selling like hot cakes along with Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini. I talk about them in the shop to everyone if I'm honest and we have sold out of both, twice!!

What did you get this week?

Saturday, 9 July 2011

On My Wishlist #9

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It is a list of the books I want but don't yet have. The books can be old, new or forthcoming.

Last Breath (Morganville Vampires)

Title: Last Breath
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: November 2011
There is a question Claire has long been asking: why do vampires live so far out in a sunny desert when they're sensitive to sunlight? The reason doesn't have to do with sunlight but water - and an ancient enemy who has finally found a way to invade the vampires' landlocked community. Vampires aren't the top predator on earth. There's something worse that preys on them ...something much worse. Which means if Claire, and Morganville, want to live, they will have to fight on to the last breath.

Shade (Shade, #1)

Title: Shade
Author: Jeri Smith~Ready
Published: September 2010
By: Simon & Schuster
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.

Eona: The Last Dragoneye (Eon, #2)

Title: Eona ~ The Necklace of the Gods
Author: Alison Goodman
Published: April 2011
Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon's army. The renegades are on a quest for the black folio, stolen by the drug-riddled Dillon; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona's power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his throne from the selfstyled "Emperor" Sethon. Through it all, Eona must come to terms with her new Dragoneye identity and power-and learn to bear the anguish of the ten dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered. As they focus their power through her, she becomes a dangerous conduit for their plans. . . .

Eona, with its pulse-pounding drama and romance, its unforgettable fight scenes, and its surprises, is the conclusion to an epic only Alison Goodman could create.

What are you wishing for?

Friday, 8 July 2011

Review: Saved

Saved (Book #1 of the Shadow Vampires)
undecided on rating

Title: Saved
Author: Allegra Skye
Published: June 2011

Opening line: Keira Blaine was born second.

Closing line: And she knew, she just knew, that Cooper would be there with her wherever she went, every step of the way.

Keira and Amanda are twin sisters who have moved to Everstock with their parents and have to start their senior year at a new school. But the twins are totally different, Amanda is the popular, beautiful one and Keira lives in her shadow.
At their new school Amanda is quick to make friends and soon becomes one of the it crowd while Keira is left an outsider.If the girls parents like Amanda better than Keira.

Things for the twins take a turn for the worst as there is a terrible car accident. While Amanda is confined to a hospital bed Keira's life is beginning to change. As she recovers from the accident Keira learns she is developing mysterious powers. And as she begins to home in on these new supernatural powers is drawn more and more to Cooper, the mysterious boy around school.

As the two spend more time together it is clear that fate has brought them together but fate might also be ready to take it all away from them.

Ok, there are things I love about this book then things I don't! I love Keira's character and find myself warming to her and feeling sorry for her. I also really like Keira's friends and find that they are nice secondary characters. I hate Keiras mum! I just don't understand how a mother can be so horrible to her daughter, and she stops Keira seeing Amanda in the hospital. Her mother is just mean!! Her dad also annoys me, he just seems to go from one extrema to another. Even though Amanda comes across as the spoilt rich kid I actually liked her and I love how different the twins are.

I really like how Keira's character develops throughout the book and I love how she starts standing up for herself. Her relationship with Cooper feels like it comes out of no where and sometimes I found it confusing, he hardly speaks to her to begin with and won't tell her anything (a little Twilightish) but towards the end of the story their relationship grows and I really warm to them as a couple.

I like the supernatural powers that Keria develops and I love the scene in the hospital with her and Amanda as she helps her twin find herself.

The book is the first in the Vampire Shadow series but the only mention of vampires is that an infection as taken hold of the town and the thing victims have in common is two small holes on their neck. And we get the odd mention of a strange creature in the book and then again at the end. The ending is a little rushed and part of me felt confused with what had just happened.

I think the idea of the book is great and if it had been longer, its only about 160 pages, it would have been perfect. Characters and relationships could have developed more, I just feel like so much has been left unsaid but I wonder where this story will go in the next book.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2

Are you ready!?!?!
I have seen many trailers but I have only just discovered this one! I can't wait to see this film!!
I am a massive Harry Potter fan just like the rest of you!
I will now be re-reading The Deathly Hallows :)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Finding Sky Review

Finding Sky
4.5 stars

Title: Finding Sky
Author: Joss Stirling
Published: October 2010
By: Oxford

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?

Opening line: The car drew away, leaving the little girl on the verge.

Closing line: My future looked very promising--and he was standing right beside me.

Favourite quote: 'You're my balance Sky. I was already slipping before I met you. I can't tell you what it means to me that you saved me from that grey existence.'

WOW! Just WOW! Why didn't I read this book sooner?

I think the above, taken from goodreads, tells you enough about the book and I kinda wish something similar was written on the back of the book itself.
I will admit this is a book I looked at over and over in work and for some reason I never bought it. But then one of my customers couldn't stop talking about it and we have very similar tastes. Before I had chance to buy the book she had come back into the shop and said 'read it, you'll love it' and boy did I love it!

Finding Sky is a story that pulls at your heart strings as you are dragged into Sky's world and the journey she is on to find herself and understand her past. Her past is locked deep in her mind and only her Savant and his family can help her unlock the doors.
I really like Sky, sure she has troubling dealing with what Zed has to tell her, who wouldn't, and yes she may have trouble dealing with her past but she isn't weak and I love how she grows throughout the story. She allows herself to finally let go and trust Zed and his family as they help her on her path to discovery/recovery.

And now for Zed *swoons a little* (sorry, I couldn't help myself). He is everything I want in a leading man. He is strong, protective, and arrogant, as well as loving and caring. He would do anything to protect Sky. But Zed also has his own demons to deal with and he needs his Savant just as much as she needs him.
The relationship between Zed and Sky develops at a nice pace and I hope to hear more from them throughout the other brother's books.

Speaking about the other brothers, Zed comes from a large family, he is the seventh son, and his brothers are all great characters. You feel each of them has a real purpose and I can't wait to read each of their books!
I think that is actually what I'm going to love most about this series, each brother is going to get his own story but we still get the rest of the family.

Stirling has created a world I would happily get lost in! Let me know if you feel the same!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Artist Feature:~ Johanna Basford



We are really excited here at Midnight Reads to be featuring the work of Johanna Basford! We became fimilirar with Johanna's work after reading Amy Plum's Die for Me for which Johanna created some beautiful patterns.

Johanna's Profile:~

I'm a creative catch-all; a designer / illustrator / printer on a mission to cover the world with my hand drawn patterns and motifs. I'm not a Vector Technician, but one of the dwindling number of creatives who still likes to put pen to paper. My delicate hand inked designs intend to charm and delight, inviting you to peer closer and discover the hidden intricacies.

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)
Die for Me cover

My creativity is cultivated by a curious imagination and a delight in the fantastic. Much of my work has roots in the flora and fauna that surrounded me during childhood on my parents' fish farm in rural Aberdeenshire. In 2001, I packed my bags and headed to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, where I graduated 4 years later with my degree in Printed Textiles.

Every piece I create starts life as a simple pencil sketch, evolving into a rambling pen and ink drawing (usually over several sheets of paper). I love the tactile nature of the materials I use and the joy of smudgy fingerprints. For me, computer generated work lacks soul and depth of character - hand drawing captures a sense of energy and charm which no pixel can ever replicate.

Nocturnal, BrewDog
Nocturnal, Brew Dog


Finding Sky
Book cover: Finding Sky
Joss Stirling

You can learn more about Johanna here at her website or follower her over at twitter @johannabasford.

All work is copyright of the artist.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Reborn Review

Reborn (A Goddess of Night Novella)
4.5 stars
Author: Ley Mesina
Published: May 2011

Lily Westbrook knows she is anything but ordinary. When her powers fully mature on her eighteenth birthday, she realizes that being half witch and half vampire is more of a challenge then she was let on to believe.

After being accepted to Kensington University in Cedar Creek, Massachusetts, she sets out on a journey that pulls her deeper into the world of witches and vampires, uncovering the truth about her past and discovering who she is meant to be.

This review is part of the Review
Appreciation Day blog hop hosted by Cait
over at The Cait Files.
Wow! A great novella with so much going on. You'll finish it in one sitting!!

Lily Westbrook is half witch half vampire who has been raised by her aunt after her parents, Clarie and Nathaniel's forbidden love and marriage does not go unpunished.
We start this story with Lily about to turn 18 and come into the full use of her powers. She is moving back to her birth town to go to university where she soon learns the truth about her parents as well as herself and just how important she really is.
I love the idea of the story because in the world Mesina has created witches and vampires are sworn enemies, which is something I haven't read before. But as we know Lily is made up of both which has resulted in her becoming the Goddess of Night.

I love this book, I just wish there was more of it. I love all the characters in this book. Lily, Roxy, Drew and Xander become our main character's all helping each other in order to find answers to their own questions. The group blends well and I like the fact that the author is slowly building their relationships with each other even though the book is moving at fast pace. I can't wait to see how the characters develop in book 2!!

 The story is short and so much happens that I don't want to spoil it for you so get hold of a copy any way you can and just read it!!! You will not be disappointed with the world Mesina has created!
I'm all ready looking forward to book 2!!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

In My Postbox #17

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted every Sunday over at The Story Siren. A great meme which allows bloggers to share what they receive/buy/borrow each week.

For review

Title: Shadows on the Moon
Author: Zoe Marriott
Published: July 2011
By: Walker Books

"On my fourteenth birthday when the sakura was in full bloom, the men came to kill us. We saw them come, Aimi and me. We were excited, because we did not know how to be frightened. We had never seen soldiers before."

Suzume is a shadow-weaver. She can create mantles of darkness and light, walk unseen in the middle of the day, change her face. She can be anyone she wants to be. Except herself.

Suzume died officially the day the Prince's men accused her father of treason. Now even she is no longer sure of her true identity.
Is she the girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama? A lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens? Or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands?

Everyone knows Yue is destined to capture the heart of a prince. Only she knows that she is determined to use his power to destroy Terayama.

And nothing will stop her. Not even love.


Title: Haunting Violet
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Published: June 2011
By: Bloomsbury

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.

Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

Must thank Cait over at The Cait Files for sending me this one :)

Free edition 
Title: Temeraire
Author: Naomi Novik
Published: March 2006
By: Haper Voyager

Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors rise to Britain’s defense by taking to the skies . . . not aboard aircraft but atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons.

When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Capt. Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future–and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.

This edition is an exclusive free copy when you pre order Inheritance by Christopher Paolini at Waterstone's.

So that is what I got this week, what did you get?

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