Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Review ~ Stealing Phoenix ~ Joss Stirling

Stealing Phoenix
5 stars

Title: Stealing Phoenix
Author: Joss Stirling
Published: September 2011

Opening line: The boy seemed the perfect target.

Closing line: Ever.

Favourite quote: 'Humility-that's what I need-someone who will challenge me about what it means to be intelligent. Someone who will test my controle. I thought I wanted to go through life all calm and even-tempered; now I realize I need that fire or I'll never feel the sparks...'

I loved Finding Sky and was hoping to learn about all the brothers and with Stealing Phoenix we get to know more about Yves and his Soulfinder. I just can't wait to read all about the other brothers!

Phoenix has been born into a community of Savants and knows nothing but a life of thievery that could cost her her own life if she comes back home empty handed. Controled by the Seer, Phee has no way out, he can make her think and do what he wants and makes life more than difficult. Phee has the ability to freeze time to allow her to pick pockets, a modern day Artful Dodger and she is getting by just fine but Phee's life is turned upside down when the Seer gives her a mark to steal from. This is a new thing for Phee and to make matters worse the person she is stealing from is not only a member of the Benedict family but he is her Soulfinder.

Yves Benedict is the second youngest of the Benedict brothers and on his trip to London he is robbed by Phee. But his Savant abilities go into overdrive and he blows up his belongs before Phee gets a chance to hand them over to the Seer burning her in the process. And when Phee has the balls to turn up the next day for another chance to steal his things he is amazed to discover she is his Soulfinder.
He is good-looking, smart, wise, and wants nothing more than to protect his souldfinder. She is strong, street-wise, and has a spirit of fire. As the fates bring the two together they are faced with heartbreaking decisions and that could cost the lives of the ones they love.

Stirling has again written a strong story that sends her readers on a roller coaster of emotions as we follow the relationship of Yves and Phee. They are both strong characters and know what they want which makes their relationship an exciting one to follow and Stirling doesn't make it easy for them. I love how Stirling's characters have more to them than the whole, I've seen him, I love him, I have to have him, yes there are elements of this but there is a fight to be had to get what you want on more than just a physical level. There is more substance to her characters especially her female characters who are strong willed and believable.

Yves and Phee's story is a truly heartfelt one than will keep you wondering if the two will actually be together or if they will be torn apart by the choices that are made for them.

I love Stirling's writing and I can't wait to see who's next in line to meet their soulfinder. This series is set to be another fantastic one and I urge you to read the first two books, you will not be disappointed!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

In My Mailbox #23

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.

So I'm still doing really well and I haven't spent any money on books again this week, Sally was not so good!

This is what we got this week.......

For review Bungle got:~

Runlight: Joanne Harris

This Dark Endeavour: Kenneth Oppel

Darkness Fall: Cate Tirnan

Survivor: Alone: James Phelan

CRYPT: The Gallows Curse: Andrew Hammond

Sally Got:~

I also got three from netgalley for review this week.

The Juliet Spell
Author: Douglas Rees
Published: 27th September 2011
By: Harlequin Teen

Title: Tankborn
Author: Karen Sandler
Published: 15th September 2011
By: Lee and Low Books

Title: Wolf Mark
Author: Joseph Bruchac
Published: 15th September 2011
By: Lee and Low Books

Plenty enough to be getting on with for now I think! But enough about us! What have you been up to?

Saturday, 27 August 2011

On My Wishlist #13

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.

Isle of Night (The Watchers #1)

Title: Isle of Night
Author: Veronica Wolff
Series: The Watchers
Published: September 2011
Is life offering fewer and fewer options? Then join the dead.

When Annelise meets dark and seductive Ronan, he promises her a new life-if she has the courage to chance the unknown. Now, she's whisked away to a mysterious island and pitted against other female recruits to become a Watcher-girls who are partnered with vampires and assist them in their missions. To survive and become a Watcher, Annelise has to beat out every other girl, but she's determined to do so, because to fail doesn't mean dishonor-it means death.

Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles, #1)
Author: Nancy Holder & Debbie Vigurie
Series: Wolf Springs Chronicels
Published: November 2011

Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles, #1)

When Katelyn starts at her new school the only person she knows is the handsome and intriguing Trick Sokolov, an acquaintance of her grandfather. She's surprised when the popular Cordelia Fenner invites her home and when she meets Cordelia's hot brother, she begins to think her new life might be ok after all. But as she spends time with the family, she realises that the Fenners are harbouring a deep dark secret. Every bone in Katelyn's body tells her that the Fenners are mad, bad and dangerous to know - but how can she give up her only friend, and how can she ignore the way Justin sets her blood on fire with a single look? Katelyn finds herself caught between three major werewolf clans who have been at war with each other for centuries - a war, it seems, that Katelyn is destined to end.

(I loved both covers so just had to show them)

What are you wishing for?

Monday, 22 August 2011

Review ~ Blood ~ K.J.Wignall

Author: K J Wignall

Published: 27th September 2011

By: Egmont USA

Source: netgalley

First line: We burned the witches in 1256.

Last line: The forces of good had to triumph, and above all, he would not rest until he had destroyed the devil child himself, that thing of darkness, seat of evil, William of Mercia.

Fave line: I say “my age” because for all the passing of nearly eight hundred years, I am still sixteen in my person, just as I will be sixteen when you who read this are old, then dead, then forgotten.

Blood is the first book in the Mercian trilogy. It is the story of William of Mercia, an 800 year old vampire who was changed in the year 1256. Point to note: He prefers to be called undead as opposed to vampire! After he wakes from a 20 year sleep his first mission is to find someone to feed off. He comes across Jex, a homeless guy who it transpires already knows about him and who has possession of a notebook which contains pictures of a girl who, Jex claims, needs him as much as he needs her. It isn’t long before he meets the girl in the pictures, a homeless girl called Eloise who before long is taken into his confidence as they both set out to find out who ‘changed’ him. They enlist the help of Chris and Rachel who run a vegan restaurant and who have a love for the paranormal and before long they find that they are trying to solve a mystery surrounding William that goes back centuries becoming increasingly darker as they get closer to the truth.

It’s clear from the outset that you are reading part of a trilogy in as much as the characters are given plenty of room to develop and the plot flows at a comfortable pace rather than being squeezed into the first fifty pages. There are, naturally I think going to be comparisons with books where vampires are the primary characters, especially when you are looking at a budding relationship between a vampire and a mortal (and I guess I’m primarily thinking about Edward and Bella here). There are some similarities that would be near impossible to avoid, after all, he’s a vampire, she’s human, his bloodlust is bound to prevent the path to true love from running smoothly! That said I didn’t find myself comparing the characters that are written about here to any other. Their backgrounds and personalities are so disparate that it was never an issue for me. Something else that stood out for me was that there was nothing overly sentimental about this book which I liked, although there is enough emotion surrounding the characters that it’s very easy to like them, particularly William who is such a tortured old soul!

I also like the way that the book reads. The language that K.J Wignall uses has a more classic, gothic feel to it than most YA vampire fiction which made a refreshing change. I also liked reading about the way in which William encounters things for the first time (born again Christians and the Big Issue to name a couple). It’s these tiny details that set it ever so slightly apart from other books of this genre. In short I found this a fun book to read and would absolutely recommend it to YA readers of all ages.

3.5/5 I look forward to seeing what happens to the lovely William in book 2!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Review ~ The Sleepwalkers ~ J. Gabriel Gates

Title: The Sleepwalkers

Author: J. Gabriel Gates

Published: 4th October 2011

By: HCI Teens

Source: netgalley

First line: Something in the ruins waits.
Last line: But it sure is dark for noon on a cloudless day.
Fave line: Let people call rock and roll the music of the devil all they want; some of it, not all but some, is divine.

The Sleepwalkers is essentially a YA horror story and you can pre-empt the darkness of the novel based on the opening paragraphs of the first chapter which describe a nightmare that the main character Caleb is having. Caleb is described as a skinny 18 year old who has just graduated from high school and who has everything to look forward to. As he planning to travel to Africa to enhance his profile as a journalist he receives a letter from his old friend Christine addressed to Billy (his childhood name) begging him to come and help her. Together with his friend Bean they travel down to Florida (leaving behind Amber, his rather needy girlfriend) to his old childhood home to find that not only has his father gone missing but there have, over the years been many incidents of people from the sleepy town going missing over the years but no-one seems to be doing anything about it.

They eventually make their way to the Dream Centre, a hospital that now exists within the old mental where plenty of patients seem to enter but no-one seems to leave. Here they find Christine who is a patient in the hospital. She tries to explain that an evil force is determined to bring about the end of the world and it eventually emerges that he, Caleb is ‘the bringer of death’. With the help of Anna, the spirit of Christine’s missing sister who vanished when Caleb dared her to go into the old institute, the friends set out to put a stop to everything happening around the town. It turns out however that the influence that the protagonist has on the area is greater than it first appears and the main characters in the book find themselves fighting to survive against what seem to be increasingly insurmountable odds.

There’s something quite refreshing about the way that Gates writes. His style is quite snappy, almost disjointed at times but that doesn’t make it any less descriptive than any of the other YA books that I’ve read. It just gets to the point a lot faster. You could almost imagine that rather than reading a book you are in fact listening to the story being told to you as there’s an almost conversational element to it at times. I particularly liked Caleb’s friend Bean. It was I felt Bean that seemed to have all the witty one-liners and had a more rounded personality than the rest of the characters in the book. That said there was enough information about everyone mentioned that you felt as though you had a fairly detailed picture of them as you ran through the story. I think the way that the plot unfolds makes it easy to see how this book could be easily turned into a film as it follows the plotlines of a well crafted teen horror movie and contains all the elements you would expect a film of this genre to have. I also loved the twist at the end of the book – certainly didn’t see that coming!

In short, I enjoyed reading this book as it was a step away from the usual YA fiction. I would recommend this for readers aged 15+ years who are looking for something more akin to classic horror tales. You won’t be disappointed!

3/5 Might be best to read this one with the light on...

Monday, 15 August 2011

Artist Feature ~ Lisa Denyer

Midnight Bay
 We are so excited to have Lisa Denyer's work at Midnight Reads. Lisa is an amazing artist and we are so excited to be featuring her work. Today's images come from Lisa's Giclee Print collection, they are truly beautiful.

Under the Stars

Artist's Statement:~

I am interested in capturing a precious, jewel-like quality within my paintings whilst also retaining a free, abstract feel.
I have always been fascinated by natural shapes and silhouettes.
Although I don’t believe that nature can be replicated in its intricacy and intensity, I want to capture its sublime aspect in a contemporary way. I do this by depicting images such as mountains and forests, inherently Romantic images, as simplified motifs.

Green Forest

Lisa says of the featured images:

I was very much inspired by Romanticism and the sublime when I made these pieces. I used images of deep, dark forests to create a fairytale element, in order to evoke the vibrancy, possibilities and intrigue which are synonymous with the natural settings in fantasy stories. I hoped to mesh fairytale ideals with themes of an environmentally Utopian future. The images are void of human activity, allowing room for the viewer to create their own narrative.

You can learn more about Lisa next week when we feature an interview with this amazing artist. Lisa will also be doing a giveaway, I only wish I could enter myself!! In the mean time you can find Lisa on her:~

Sunday, 14 August 2011

In My Mailbox #22 Bungle

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.

So I'm still doing really well and I haven't spent any money on books but look what I still managed to get this week.......

Demon Girl (Rae Wilder, #1)

Title: Demon Girl
Author: Penelope Fletcher
Published: October 2010

Rae Wilder has problems. Supernatural creatures swarm the earth, and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Stalked by a handsome fairy who claims she is like him, demonkind, Rae thinks maybe it was a mistake breaking the rules by going over the Wall into demon territory. Plunged into a world of dark magics, fierce creatures, and ritual sacrifice, she is charged with a guarding a magical amulet. The changes to her mind and body are startling, but rather than accept her purpose she struggles against who she is destined to be. Throw in a big lust for a vampire who can't keep his hands off her, and life starts to get complicated. Rae is forced to make the ultimate choice: to live and die human, or embrace her birth-right and wield magics that could turn her into something wicked, a force of nature nothing can control.

Her Wiccan, Wiccan Ways (Rhiannon Godfrey, #1)

Title: Her Wiccan, Wiccan Ways
Author: Traci Hall
Published: December 2008

Rhiannon Godfrey is a psychic prodigy, but her parents don't see things her way. They think she needs a "normal" high school experienceshe wants to stay in trendy Vegas. In the small farming town of Crystal Lake, being Wiccan doesn't exactly help the Godfreys blend in. Beyond angry, Rhiannon neglects to inform her parents the farmhouse they just bought is haunted. Instead, she decides to use the resident ghost to prove that she belongs back in Dr. Richards's Institute of Parapsychology. Not that dispelling ghosts is her area of expertise, but really, how hard can it be? And then there's Jared Roberts. Totally hot. For a cowboy, that is. Only problem? He comes with an evil twin sister, the shallow and popular Janet. Janet's only goal is to make Rhee's life miserable. So when she and her friends decide it's time for a little payback, Rhee goes to her mother's book of spells. Janet needs to be taught a lesson, and what harm can come from a few words? Just one little spell.

Waterfall (River of Time, #1)

Title: Waterfall
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Published: February 2011

Lisa Tawn Bergren's new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn't have to fear a vampire's bite but must still fight for her life.

In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in Fourteenth-Century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.

Starfire Angels (Dark Angel Chronicles, #1)

Title: Starfire Angels
Author: Melaine Nilles
Published: July 2009

They've been coming here for thousands of years, using Earth as a sanctuary to escape threats from their own kind. Mankind knows them as angels, and one of them left a child upon her death to be raised as a human.

Raea is now a high school senior and her life as a human is about to end. The crystal shard she bears is not a pretty pendant; it's a collective of powerful entities who chose her as their Keeper, a protector of one of the four shards that power a machine capable of destroying whole worlds. Those who desire the Starfire's power have sent an agent to find her, but she's too busy evading a nosy reporter ready to exploit her secret and dating a hot new foreign student to notice. Nevermind learning what she really is.

Only one person on Earth can help her, the last person she ever expected. But he's not from Earth. Life as a human would be so much easier.

The Amulet: A Faedra Bennett Custodian Novel

Title: The Amulet
Author: Alison Pensy
Published: September 2009

To Faedra, faeries were nothing more than the figurines she collected and displayed in her curio cabinet. She was in for a surprise. Faedra had no idea that faeries controlled nature, and with a book no less. Nor did she know that her descendants had protected an ancient fae amulet for thousands of years. An amulet that if ever was reunited with the book would give the wearer power to control the weather, too. She didn't know all this because the one person to teach her died when she was just six years old. Well, now it was time for her to find out... A letter from the grave reveals her true identity the day of her eighteenth birthday. But she barely has time to digest the revelation when she is plunged into a fight for her life and that of mankind.

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3)

Title: The Iron Queen
Author: Julie Kagawa
Published: Janruary 2011
By: Harlequin Teen

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

So that's what I got this week, what did you get?
Dont forget to check what Sally got in her mailbox, you can see here.

In my mailbox #22

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.

Ok, so here's my very first IMM - woohoo!! I wasn't sure that I would have a lot to say today because I spent the first half of the week at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - wrong! I decided to take the one book with me (Divergent which is a re-read), thinking that I would probably squeeze a chapter in here and there, between shows, before I crashed for the night etc but that was so not the case. I left for Scotland with one book and came back with four! All I can say is thank god the passenger in front of me got his case stuck in the device that measures luggage. But for that a certain no-frills airline would probably have charged me a fortune! The good news was that I loved each and every one of them!

For Review:

Title: The Sleepwalkers
Author: J Gabriel Gates
Published: October 2011
By: HCI Teens
Source: netgalley

Privileged and popular Caleb Mason is celebrating his high school graduation when he receives a mysterious, disturbing letter from his long-lost childhood playmate, Christine. Caleb and his jokester friend Bean decide to travel to his tiny hometown of Hudsonville, Florida, to find her. Upon arrival, they discover the town has taken a horrifying turn for the worse. Caleb's childhood home is abandoned and his father has disappeared. Children are going missing. The old insane asylum has reopened, and Christine is locked inside. Her mother, a witch, is consumed with madness, and Christine's long-dead twin sister whispers clues to Caleb through the static of an A.M. radio.

The terrifying prophesies of the spirits are coming to pass. Sixteen clocks are ticking; sixty-six murdered souls will bring about the end of the world. As Caleb peels back layer after layer of mystery, he uncovers a truth more horrible than anything he had imagined, a truth that could only be uttered by the lips of the dead.
Am now about a third of the way through the books and things are certainly starting to heat up! Review to follow soon....

So that's me! What have you guys been up to this week?

Saturday, 13 August 2011

On My Wishlist #12

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

Carrier of the Mark (Carrier, #1)

Title: Carrier of the Mark
Author: Leigh Fallon
Published: October 2011
By: Harper Teen
Their love was meant to be.
When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRĂ­s.
But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.


Title: Remembrance
Author: Michelle Madow
Published: July 2011
New Hampshire high school junior Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she seem to get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, the pair of them soon find that fighting fate isn't going to be easy.

Dark Souls

Title: Dark Souls
Author: Paula Morris
Published: August 2011
By: Point
Welcome to York, England.
Mist lingers in the streets.
Narrow buildings cast long shadows.
This is the most haunted city in the world. . . .
Miranda Tennant arrives in York with a terrible, tragic secret. She is eager to lose herself amid the quaint cobblestones, hoping she won’t run into the countless ghosts who supposedly roam the city. . . .
Then she meets Nick, an intense, dark-eyed boy who knows all of York’s hidden places and histories. Miranda wonders if Nick is falling for her, but she is distracted by another boy — one even more handsome and mysterious than Nick. He lives in the house across from Miranda and seems desperate to send her some sort of message. Could this boy be one of York’s haunted souls?
Soon, Miranda realizes that something dangerous — and deadly — is being planned. And she may have to face the darkest part of herself in order to unravel the mystery — and find redemption.

What are you wishing for?

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Liebster Blog Love

So, a few days ago we found out that Fishy from The Reading Fish put us on her list of top 5 blogs she wanted to highlight for:

We want to say a big thank you to Fishy and carry on the blog love.

The Goal of the award is to spotlight up and coming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers. The rules of the award are:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all - have bloggity-blog fun!
So To Spread the Joy, and Reward amazing Deserving Bloggers...here are my nominations...
Nix from Scorching Book Reviews Because in my world of YA I need to get my adult fix. Nix blog is in the middle of an amazing event and her reviews are just brilliant!! Nix is a great blogger and always happy to help.
Raimy-raw from Readapaptor because of the dino's haha and because she has a great passion for reading and has some amazing reviews. I also follow this blogger via twitter and we have some great booky chats.
TG from What I Read and What I Thought because of the great reviews. I also love the look of this blog, it feels so fresh and bright.
Hannah from Once Upon a Time, I love this blog name, it has a real book feel. The blog has a nice feel to it with some brill reviews.
And for my final blogger, which may be a little different: Laura from Cupcakes for Clara because I love the blog and I love Clara!! Laura is an amazing artist and I love that her blog always teaches me something new. If you are an arty or crafty person Laura's blog is the blog for you :)
So, these blogs are my picks, I hope you learn to love them as much as I do :)

Review ~ Wherever you go ~ Heather Davis

Title: Wherever you go

Author: Heather Davis

Published: 14th November 2011

By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Source: Netgalley

First line: You’ve been by her side for six months but she still hasn’t noticed you.

Last line: And that is your last thought as you become part of the light.

Fave line: There are just too many, sorry!

Wherever you go had me gripped from the first line. A YA/paranormal novel it deals with a variety of issues from losing a loved one to teen depression to Alzheimer’s, divorce and the responsibilities that come with being a young carer. Reeling off such a list might give you the impression that this is a heavy read but in actual fact that is far from the case. I found this tale to be both thought provoking and heart warming and the way that Heather Davis writes tugs on the heart strings on more than one occasion!

The story’s main character is Holly who has recently survived a car crash in which her boyfriend Rob is killed. While she is still in the process of coming to terms with her loss, Holly also attends school and acts as main carer for her younger sister whilst her mother who is single works two jobs. She then also finds herself taking on the role of carer for her Grandfather who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Enter Jason, Rob’s best friend with whom she starts to strike up a relationship, although their recent loss means they both bring some pretty substantial baggage with them. Both however are oblivious to the fact that Rob has failed to move on from this life and now exists in their world as a ghost. For his part Rob finds himself forced to stand on the sidelines and watch everyone that he cares about grieving for him as well as watching the girl he loves move on to a new life away from him. That is until he realises that Holly’s Grandfather can see him. It is this realisation that sets in motion a chain of events that lead to a beautifully written and emotional conclusion as Rob tries to find his way out of this world and to help everyone around him find some kind of resolution.

The story is told from three perspectives, namely; Holly’s, Rob’s and Jason’s. I liked how each character was written in a different person i.e. Holly is written in the first person, Rob in the second and Jason in the third and I also liked the way that the three plots weave together using the different viewpoints. From the outside looking in you can see the burden that weighs Holly down as she struggles to hold everything together and you get frustrated by her mother’s ignorance to the situation, although perhaps it’s more about denial than ignorance. I also felt really sorry for Jason who had clearly been infatuated with Holly for a long time but who now resides in Rob’s shadow. Most heartbreaking I thought was the struggle that Rob experiences, especially as he watches Holly, Jason and his parents who are still mourning his death. Every line of his broke my heart just a little bit. I felt instantly attached to all of the characters in the story each of which has their own struggle. I also love the parallel between Rob and Aldo whereby Rob is prevented communicating with the outside world because of his current state and Aldo is able to foresee a time when he is in the same position as a result of his progressive condition. The bond that the two forge is really lovely to read. I also love the list that Aldo writes which contains the things he doesn’t want to forget – just beautiful.
I could actually keep on writing about this book forever. There are many other angles to this story but I don’t want to give too much away. I was transfixed from the outset and love the range of emotions that it evokes as you read it. As I said earlier, there are a range of issues that are dealt with and I’ve no doubt that many of these will strike a chord with the readers. I was therefore also impressed at the addition of the helplines at the back of the book. I think these could serve to be very useful.

I love this book completely, even though it left me in mourning for days!! Can’t wait to buy a copy of this for my bookshelf. One caution - It’s a weepie and you’ll need tissues!

5/5 – Just loved it.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Review ~ Dragon's Oath ~ P.C. & Kristin Cast

4 stars

Title: Dragon's Oath
Author: P.C. & Kristin Cast
Published: August 2011
By: Atom
Series: A House of Night Novella

Opening line: Anger and confusion stirred within Dragon Lankford.

Closing line: In the Otherworld, Nyx gazed down at Anastasia's fallen Warrior and wept.

Favourite quote: "I'm not going. I will never willingly leave you, my own. I'll be right here, growing and learning."

We join Bryan Lankford in nineteenth century England, as a somewhat troublesome but more than talented teenager. Lankford is rather full of himself and thinks he can get away with anything he does that is until his father, a wealthy nobleman, has had enough, and banishes him to America with nothing but his sword. While on the docks waiting to leave Lankford is Marked a vampire and he boards a dragon-prowed ship to America, resulting in a new name and a new fate.

As he grows Dragon Lankford becomes a Sword Master, and learns there are challenges and perks one of which becomes Anastasia, the newest Professor of Spells and rituals at the House of Night. Anastasia becomes concerned about the effect Dragon is having on the other students and decides to cast a spell to let the vampires know that their future is not with the arrogant young fledgling. But Anastasia's spell has a side affect she wasn't expecting and when a dark power threatens the vampires she and Dragon grow closer.

I'm a fan of the house of night books and like most other fans I couldn't wait for this novella and after reading it it has me excited all over again and I can't wait for the next book to be released!
The writing in this books feels a little different from the main books but I think it worked well for Dragon's story. I think this novella is a brilliant insight into Dragon's life and it sure gives a new dimension to the other books. I must admit, I love the cocky Dragon but I love how he becomes vampire we know. And I can't wait to see how Dragon's tale will affect the next book.

I also love the art work in this book. It's not something we have really seen in the House of Night books but there is something magical about this book and the love story that evolves and the images add to the enchantment.

Cover Reveal ~ Daughter of Smoke and Bone ~ Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Laini Taylor
September 2011
Hodder & Stoughton

Here it is, the final cover of Laini Taylor's book! I even love the back of the jacket, and the colours are beautiful! And I was told 'the actual physical jacket will come complete with foiling effects for extra fabulousness'. And even though I have a proof I am going to have to get this finish product when it's released :) Do you like the cover as much as I do?

Sunday, 7 August 2011

In My Mailbox #21

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.

First of all this week I have to tell you all how I met author Tom Clempson and his lovely wife Laura who you know as the creator of Cupcakes for Clara. They are such lovely people and I'm so happy I finally got to meet them :)

Tom and I with a copy of his book One Seriously Messed-Up Week :)

OK so this week I have been very good and not spent any money on books. I need to get through the ones I have. But I did get:

From netgalley
The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)

Title: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Published: October 2011
By: Harlequin

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

For review

Catalyst (The Passage of Hellsfire, Book 1)

Title: Catalyst
Author: Marc Johnson
Published: March 2011

For centuries, the kingdom of Alexandria has protected Northern Shala from the monstrous creatures lurking in the Wastelands. Now, a dark force threatens that fragile peace.

Far from home, Alexandria's princess is abducted. When a young villager named Hellsfire stumbles upon her and her captors, he rushes in to rescue her, alone and unarmed. His fear and fury unleash an uncontrollable magical force that grants him the power to save the princess-and change the world.

Hellsfire has never craved nor dreamed of power. But such magic as he now possesses has not been seen in Northern Shala for a thousand years, since the devastation of the War of the Wizards and the creation of the Wastelands.

Now Hellsfire must leave all he's ever known, and make a dangerous journey to learn to master this wild, ferocious power-power he knows he is not ready to wield. More difficult still, he needs to master his emotions. If he can't, the power will consume him, Alexandria will fall, and darkness will eclipse the land, destroying everyone he loves.

In the dead of cold, the spark shall burn...

And I also got this amazing Harry Potter bag:

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

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Review ~ Cinder & Ella ~ Melissa Lemon

Cinder and Ella
2.5 stars

Title: Cinder and Ella
Author: Melissa Lemon
Published: November 2011
By: Bonneville Books
Source: netgalley

Opening line: If you drink water and breath air, then you have heard the story of Cinderella. And, if you drink water and breath air, you have heard it...wrong.

Closing line: And there, out of he stump of the tree that had once been cut down by her eager knight, Ella would find ... a willow sprout.

After their father’s disappearance, and their mother's heart is broken Cinder is forced to look after her family. She leaves home for a servant job at the castle to help bring money into the family home. While she is away her sister Ella runs away from home because her own mother doesn't even recognise her anymore and she can't cope with the demands of her other two sisters. But soon enough there is a mission to find Ella to return her to the kingdom and to the Prince who is dark and dangerous.

I thought, like many others, this book would be a retelling of the classic Cinderella, but other than the name there is not much else in common with the original fairytale. The story became an original tale within itself. There was no fairy godmother or glass slipper or pumpkins, instead we have knights, an evil dark Prince and soul trees. I found the first half of the book a little slow and the other two sisters, Katrina, Beatrice really annoyed me however, Beatrice did grow on me in the end. There wasn't much character development as the story really became about Ella and her fight to save herself and the kingdom.

I did like the relationship between Ella and her knight, Tanner, and the scene where he stays awake for hours clearing her soul tree of the prince's weeds really does pull at the heart strings. I love how they grow as characters but I wish others would have been given the same chance.

I just wish the first half of the book had been more like the first half and I would have loved for the soul trees to be part of the story more and explored further. I would recommend this book if you are looking for something completely different, just be prepared for a slow start.

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